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Spring has arrived in Melbourne and gorgeous flowers are popping up everywhere. Even in a neglected and weedy corner of my front driveway, self-seeded freesias are in bloom. 

They’re one of my favorite flowers, hardy, and so fragrant. These ar the old-fashioned kind, and for my money they smell better than the bigger, splashier and more colorful ones that have been bred, though I do like them, too.

Years ago I used to spend a lot of time around Lorne, a pretty coastal town in Victoria, and at this time of year, all along the grass verges of the roads there would be masses of these little creamy, fragrant freesias. I invariably picked some to take home and pop in a vase, and their delicate fragrance would fill the room.

I used to feel a bit guilty about picking them, but I’ve since learned that they’re regarded as a weed — they’re not indigenous to Australia —and so the local council has now eradicated them with poison. I feel a bit sad about it. I do understand that the local flora and fauna needs to be protected, but I did love those freesias.

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