Sunday, May 22, 2011

I find this country to be lacking in very few things. It's got sunshine, beaches, chicken salt and summer temperatures above 35 C. What more could you want in life, really? The current lack of bananas is unfortunate but temporary, and you can always get your fix from a slice of the ubiquitous banana bread. There's an ongoing shortage of water, but we don't wash our dishes very often anyway. The absence of Cheez-its, of course, is tragic. I won't get into that right now.

One thing that occurs to me from time to time, though, is how very few flowers there are. I don't know if it's a fact or my skewed perception, having been raised by a mother whose fifth child is her garden. Maybe it's just that things bloom periodically throughout the year instead of there being a single flowering season.

I mentioned this to someone once. I don't remember who. They were quick to point out the flower boxes adorning the street.

Flowers planted courtesy of the city are nice, but they aren't what's missing.

This comes about because my mom emailed me a photo yesterday of what looked like the epitome of the North American country garden - all different colours and textures and not a bit of empty space. Today, because it was warm and sunny and a terrible excuse for a "winter's" day, I went on a flower hunt with my camera.

I didn't find many, but that's hardly surprising given that it's the wrong time of year to be looking. What I did find were fall colours.

Heaps, in fact!

Which was a bit surprising, because autumn in Australia is not marked by a sudden shift in colour the same way autumn in the north is.

At the end of the day, just as I was heading home, I took route through the park I hadn't taken before and found a fountain encircled by a bed of sweet william. My mom used to have sweet william in her garden and it always looks like summer vacation to me.

Conveniently, it's also one of the six flowers I can identify by name. Gardener's daughter I may be, but gardener myself? Not so much. But outrun a cockroach, appreciate a good bowl of hot chips and gravy and complain when the temperature drops to 20 degrees? Those are things I can do.

Perhaps I'm in the right country after all!

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