Monday, September 5, 2011

My Own Private Floriade

One of a series of groupings of colour-blocked hyacinths in my garden
For those of us living under a rock the inescapable scent of Spring is upon us. The first clue is the wafting cloud of Daphne which cloaks the garden in a fragrance more enduring than the finest perfume. Then the camellias come to life with flashes of white and pink, along with the traditional red of the sasanqua. Next appears the hyacinths with their thick heavy heads which seem to open almost over night. They represent to me the real coming of Spring. They also have a significance for me in that they open on around September 1st (my late father's birthday). Their scent and vivid colours remind me of how energised the atmosphere becomes at this time of the year. 

It's as if every plant has a timeline and a specific purpose. Regardless of what that may be I'm proud to admit that gardening is one of my guilty pleasures. Apart from the odd asparagus fern at university I never had much interest in plants. Come the onset of middle age and hey presto... it's day trips to Monbulk to purchase bulbs and bare root trees! It's a very peaceful place to be even with two Belgian Shepherds head butting me for attention. Every year I plant about a hundred hyacinths in colour blocks and then follow them up with 'Arab's Eyes' (Ornithogalum arabicum). These truly beautiful flowers last up to three weeks and look spectacular in tall vase forms with small necks. The garden also supplies me with an endless range of colour combinations which spills over into my work at Bison. 

Ornithogalum arabicum
Hyacinth Photo: Brian Tunks

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