A Time to Reflect - and Keep Busy...

13 May 2020
A Time to Reflect - and Keep Busy...

A beautifully reflective piece from long time OGV supporter Helen Kennedy on being a gardener during the pandemic. 

For over 50 years our Australian plant garden has been one of the major ‘constants’ in our lives.  It’s always been important to me, but never more so than in the time of Coronavirus! 

Being cut off from activities outside the home environment has given me, like many of us I imagine, a different kind of “garden time”.  There’s leisure to reflect on what’s been achieved, to consider change - and to tackle some of the jobs that have been in the “when I’m not so busy” basket.  So every cloud has its silver lining!  And I count myself very lucky, because even without tackling anything new, a ¾ acre garden provides plenty to keep me busy. 

Over these last few weeks of isolation, shrubs hanging over paths have been cut back, fallen bark and leaves raked away, the garden shed given a thorough clean-out (so much more space now!) and the few last little babies have been planted.  Jobs-to-do include sorting out my neglected native orchids and possibly even trying to germinate some of the seeds I’ve been hoarding.  I also plan to sit and read, rather than just flick through, several wonderful gardening books; they have been waiting for exactly this ‘free’ time...

I walk around our garden every day, and am taking it slowly, delighting at what’s in bloom.

Many banksias are sprouting pale candles (they are always the first sign that Autumn’s gentler weather is here); 

Bees are feasting on the blue veronica flowers.

The Chrysocephalum apiculatum border along one path is a mass of brilliant yellow. 

Scaevola clumps are covered in pale purple flowers.

Grafted beauties like Grevillea plurijuga ssp superba.

Eremophila platycalyx still have stunning pink ‘blooms’ to admire (although the Eremophila’s are not actually flowers, but the calyxes that remain long after the flowers have fallen; they are subtly beautiful against the grey leaves).  

Lots to enjoy, lots to do!  I will never be idle  - or bored - while I have the garden.

Helen Kennedy

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