Monday, October 13, 2014

Here Be Dragons

I've been meaning to visit a particular location ever since we moved here over two years ago, but for one reason or another had not got around to doing so. A prompt, by way of "it's really pretty right now - the iris are all blooming" from a visiting friend this morning, put a much need fire under me to set off & explore this oasis in the central city.

Tucked away between train tracks & tall buildings, right on the edge of the central business district, lies the oasis otherwise known as Roma Street Parklands. It's magical, really it is. Perhaps especially so at this time of year when the Iris are in bloom & the Eastern Water Dragons are all shapes, sizes & places

This one you might have to enlarge, in order to spot all 5 dragons.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Minutes, Hours, Days & Months.

Yesterday marked 6 Months since my gorgeous Mum left us. I chose to escape...distract myself from that huge tightness in my heart that, at times, threatens to overwhelm me. Especially those days that seem to mark significant passages of time.

Those days that I feel I've forgotten what she sounded like, how she smelled, or the feel of her lips on my cheek or arms around me as we hugged & kissed in greeting or departure.
Yet I still remember what her tiny, wasted frame felt like in my arms on in those final two days all too vividly, along with the final kiss I was ever able to give her  - & those days I would like to be able to forget. They are not the memories that I want to carry around with me.

Isn't it strange though, how over time one can think they are losing the essence of a person so loved, that the person has been gone longer than they were here - yet at the same time it seems like only yesterday that person left. I struggle with that & I know my children, nieces & nephew do too. Essentially we fear we will forget - but we wont.

In our eyes Mum/Nana was a winner &, most definitely, a "keeper".  We simply weren't ready to let her go yet - but are we ever? Her capacity for love knew no bounds - how a heart that big survived in a frame that small is beyond me. Her often naughty sense of humour was almost as large as that heart of hers. Her laugh, when let loose, was an absolute joy to hear - & that is almost what I miss the most.

Our Winner

So for myself, my children, my nieces, my nephew....& all those, close to Mum, that cared I think Marcel Proust, in his letter to George de Lauris - whose Mother had just died, sums it up very well:

Now there is one thing I can tell you; you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your Mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will feel her gently revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait 'til the incomprehensible power that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more & more.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Busy Bee's and Silver Linings

Osteospermums, the African, or Cape, Dasies - those stalwarts of the perennial garden, always in flower, tough as old boots & can be planted anywhere....right? Not so much here in my part of Queensland - I've been advised on more than one occasion that it's better to stick to the older varieties, rather than some of the newer hybrids, as they seem a bit more heat tolerant.

Of course I was told that *after* I'd tried & lost my favourite "Tradewinds Terracotta" that I'd surprisingly managed to find here ....along with a rather pretty un-named pale terracotta with a mauve centre that looked very similar.
Not to be deterred when I recently found a divine pale lemon yellow variety called '"Flower Power Lemon", I purchased it. You know the saying "I came, I saw, I conquered"? Well, "I buyed, I tried, I failed". (Yes, I know - lame AND bad grammar, but hey it's my blog...)

The plain of fashioned white variety, however, survived the first years heat, then near drowning during January storms & is now going great guns down in the back garden. 

A couple of  single petaled almost "Terracotta" coloured plants that I found are, so far, doing quite well in front of the patio - the Native Stingless Bee's seem to like them too. Perhaps they share my love of that colour....

Small Native Stingless Bee appreciating "orange".

Then, at a Garden Centre in Toowoomba ( a slightly more tolerant climate than down here) a couple of weeks back I discovered this beautiful Osteospermum called Coral Sands.

Osteospermum 3D "Coral Sands"

A bit hesitant to set myself up for another failure I promptly called my friend over to ask the ultimate "will this one thrive - or turn up it's toes" question ....& lost it the second they laid eyes on it!lol! A nearby nursery assistant found me the only remaining plant of it in the nursery. Sadly it wasn't as healthy or floriferous as the first, & some of the flowers didn't have the gorgeous double crest - instead just being the usual Osteospermum dark purple/blue.

The silver lining to getting the plant that I did, is that the Native Stingless Bee's, while not landing on the fancy double crested flowers (probably at risk of getting stuck!) seem to like the plain flowers & it is so important to encourage & keep these little creatures in our gardens.

The un-crested flowers that the Bee's prefer

Hopefully it will come away & thrive - but right now, with the onset of the really hot weather I'm just hoping for survival.

As a gardener, & one that is concerned about the future of our planet, this has been a good reminder in not getting too carried away by all of the fancy new hybrids. While our senses may be delighted by something new & different - our wee friends & helpers in keeping the food crops alive seem to prefer the plainer stuff ;)

Rosa 'Crepuscule'