Stop and smell the roses

Native plants and vegetation are my passion.
(We all know that.)
So you won’t be surprised when I say I haven’t always been the hugest fan of roses.
They’re not native to Australia.
Sometimes they seem overblown to me, and showy — blowsy, even.
But once a year, the rose bushes outside my local library put on quite a show.
Somehow, these roses please even my curmudgeonly spirit.
They are, simply, quite lovely.

They bring joy, not just into my day …

but into my very soul.


I think I’m slowly joining the rose-lover’s world …


Our garden down south originally had several patches of arum lilies.
Also called calla lilies, these flowers are sometimes thought to symbolise death. They’re considered a toxic weed in South Australia, so I ended up reducing my lilies to one small, protected patch.
They spring up during the mid-winter rains, when the grass is long and wet and green, and the soil damp and crumbly — reminding me not of death, but of life.
Of growth.
Of abundance.

I’m happy to let them grow in that small patch, ready for picking and putting in a vase — tall, elegant and lush.


In the garden in our house just north of the city,
the bushes we planted when we first moved here eight years ago
have sprouted and grown and spread.
It’s a messy, weedy, often untended garden.
But it’s true to our dream:
a garden of plants almost exclusively native to our area.

As spring slowly approaches, it fills me with delight.

An ending and a beginning

Around Anzac Day here in South Australia, the daily temperature dips, the skies cloud over and the days shorten.

Autumn! It’s arrived.

Australian native trees are mostly evergreens, so any show of red or golden leaves comes from exotic trees. Autumn can seem a little … subdued. Gloomy. Like a dying away.

But not quite. A couple of weeks ago, in my garden, I noticed this:


There will be flowers again soon.