Monday, 22 December 2008

Flowers Great and Small

It's been a little while since I updated how the flowers are going in our little patch of Earth. It's been a fairly dull, damp summer so far which means the veggies are not really flourishing yet. But there are some lovely tail-end-of-spring flowers around and some bursts of sunlight in the form of these.


Sunflowers have long been a beloved flower of mine. Yes, it's true that tiny, delicate flowers can take your breath away but really, who can shun the sunflower? That big, smiley face, the way it seems to hold the light in the petals, it's all amazing.

Even better are the sunflowers that show up completely by surprise. When we planted our bare rooted Ash trees at the tail end of winter, we used a lot of compost and in doing so, apparently set the scene for a magnificent mini-field of sunflowers in the centre of the back yard.


See how they're right there among the (thankfully flourishing) ash trees? What you can't see here because of the fabulous greenery everywhere, is that there are about five of them. The other two aren't even the same variety. They're multi-headed sunflowers, each with a dozen or so yet to bloom heads on them. Amazing.

How this happened I don't know as it's been two years since we last had sunflowers. 

Elsewhere in the garden, there are smaller examples of light, colour and foliage. My other, smaller current loves are Everlasting Daisies, natives of Western Australia.

red everlasting daisies

I've got loads of these and just adore them. Today, I was describing the wonder of these flowers to Amy in Rhode Island, because I used a photo of them on the Christmas card I sent out this year. These feel all papery and when you cut them, they live, without water, for ages. I don't know how long because the yellow ones on my window sill look just as good as when I picked them earlier this year. They've darkened a little but look just the same.

There are more.

everlasting daisy

And then these pink lovelies.


Kuka, take note. The pink ones are the ones that started out life in your greenhouse!

I think, in a few weeks when the searing heat of summer is turning everything into brown, crumbly dust, I'll appreciate even more that I thought to plant these water-wise flowers. They require almost no care at all, except some trimming when the plants become heavy. 

I adore the European flowers that do well here, but the more I garden - and the more I learn about sustainable gardening, the more I begin to fall in love with the natives, the ones that actually belong and thrive here in our harsh climate. 

This will be my last post before Christmas, so I'll say now that I wish you all rest, relaxation, fun, merriment, love and joy in whatever way you choose to seek it out over the break. Thanks for reading and thanks for the friendship, the learning and the great writing and photos I find when I read all your blogs. It's all contributed so much more to my life this year than I can possibly say.

So merry Christmas and see you soon!