Botanical Buzz | Turning pages in the garden

Fact File: April 14, 1912, Titanic, ‘Queen of the Ocean’ of the White Star Line, hit an iceberg and sank. Ten days previous, April 4, 1912, Koombana, steam passenger vessel, of the Adelaide Steamship Company, disappeared in a cyclone off Port Hedland WA, Australia, with 156 passengers and crew never traced again.

One floral display will always replace another and the sensory archway is a fine example of that.

One floral display will always replace another and the sensory archway is a fine example of that.

Picture yourself in a boat on the ocean, looking up at an incredibly blue sky. ‘Next minute,’ you stroll past a girl with a flashing bright smile. You imagine the pond water shining and the air sticky with apple blossom. Perhaps the girl remembered snow-white clusters of Indian Hawthorn blossom (Rhaphiolepis indica) from early spring.

Following came our pink and white forms of Wisteria on the Sensory archway.

These were W. floribunda for pink and W. venusta ‘Shiro Kapitan’ for creamy-white.

Notice how one floral display will replace another.

In 1912 the tragedy of the Titanic blotted out any recollection of the Koombana disaster with only ten days between them. Indeed who has even heard of the Koombana?

Now what I propose is that we wipe away the tragedy and retain the principle. Instead of the negative we can appreciate that the positive can be immediate and even blot out the awful as if we had turned the page in a picture book.

Do we have frustrations, disappointments, or fears?

Turn the page! In the garden the excitement and awe of one display is often replaced by an equally stunning unfolding parade. Imagined repasts of ruby wine and limpid cheeses brought to mind and palate by Port Wine Magnolias (Michelia figo), are superimposed by pink Pierre de Ronsard climbing Roses capturing our fancy to invent poles reaching up into the never-ending blue sky festooned with pink tennis balls glittering with dew drops; held together with papier-mache and floury glue.

It is transient and so are our troubles.

Perhaps you don’t believe our negative feelings can be washed away by a cyclone of bright joy?

Maybe you suppose the awful things are frozen like a giant iceberg ready to rip open our belly and spill our happiness into the dirt? Has the Indian Ocean sunk your pretty white Hawthorn display?

Take courage! Turn the page of your picture book. It is updated each year. The Betchel Crab Apples will bloom again next year with marshmallow candy blossom. I saw movement through the shadows. The girl with the sun in her eye had taken off in a newspaper taxi. There is mystery in the garden. I can hardly wait to see what is behind the lemon tree. Can you?