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Spring Flowers

I’m afraid I’m not doing very much that’s interesting or exciting at the moment — I’m pretty much staying at home working on the latest book — Clarissa’s story. So prepare yourselves for posts about flowers and possibly vegetables for a while — I know, so exciting. <g>

I also owe some of you responses to your emails and I’m sorry for the delay, but I’m heading toward a deadline, and so have put off a lot of things. But I will try to keep up my responses to the comments on this blog, so thank you for posting here.

I got a lovely surprise the other day when I went out to bring the bins in. The bottlebrush (callistemon) bush on my nature strip (verge) had burst into flower and was covered in brilliant red blooms. The wattle birds and other nectar-feeders were already clustering around it. So I grabbed my secateurs and cut some of the flowers that would probably brush up against a parked car. Don’t worry, there’s plenty left for the birds and bee

Then I noticed that my protea bush also had a flower. It’s had lots of buds for ages and I was waiting for the first flower to open so I could see what it looked like — there are so many different varieties of protea. But some stinker reached over my front fence and picked the first flower just as it was coming into bloom, so I had to wait another week before the next one opened. Luckily it was on the opposite side to the fence. So here is my current vase of lowers in the living room — red bottlebrush, one lone, bright  protea flower that looks quite space-agey, and a couple of leftovers from the bunch I bought a couple of weeks ago.

As well, a pelargonium cutting I took ages ago — I can’t remember when but I think it was pre-covid— suddenly flowered in the little courtyard and delighted me. I used to have one just like it that came as a cutting from my godmother’s garden and I loved it. But it died some years ago during a drought, and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since. I’d forgotten I’d taken this cutting and had no idea what color the flowers would be, so when I saw these gorgeous dark crimson blooms flowering, I was thrilled.

I love plants that remind me of people. My godmother is long gone, so it’s nice to have a remembrance flower. She also gave me bluebells that brought her to mind every year when they flowered, but sadly I had to leave them behind in the old place. But I’ll get some more for the new garden.

And finally in bloom are these bright red alstroemerias that were from Dad’s garden. I remember I dug up a small clump and shoved them in a pot, then forgot about them.

With no care or attention, they flowered that year in the pot, and then proceeded to grow through the bottom of the pot in my old garden. From then on, every year they flowered gorgeously for months with no attention, not even watering. And I spread them throughout the garden.

I did manage to bring some of these with me, and this is the first lot that have flowered, sitting on the back deck. Aren’t they pretty? They last ages too as cut flowers. Florists usually have them but I’ve mainly seen them in pastels and whites, not this clear, bright red.

So that’s my thrilling life for the moment. I could show you my broad beans, but will restrain myself.  And now . . . back to the wip (work in progress).

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Malvina Y
Malvina Y
1 month ago

We had an acacia outside split and fall over, so sad, it had rotted from the inside out. The council replaced it with a beautiful red bottlebrush which is giving me such delight, it seems to be flourishing.

bottlebrush.jpg
Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Malvina Y

Bottlebrushes are so lovely, aren’t they, Malvina? So bright and cheery and the birds and bees love them.

theo
theo
1 month ago

I think it’s very sad that someone would just help themselves to flowers that are not their own. I just don’t understand people sometimes.

On another note, we’ve had snow twice in the past week so thank you for the lovely pictures :)

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  theo

Wow, snow already? And I don’t mind if people pinch things that are growing outside the fence, but when they reach in and just rip a flower off, leaving a damaged stem, grrrrr.

Priscilla Payne
Priscilla Payne
1 month ago

I love those beautiful flowers. This came just as I was mourning the loss of leaves on my maple tree. It has been gorgeous this fall. Now it looks so bare and barren and it reminds me of the cold winter coming. but the day brings joyous news of the birth of my eighth great grandchild. A boy Levi. We mblob:https://www.annegracie.com/5f936639-802d-42ab-a7ef-ce5002484456ust celebrate the joys during these trying times. I am anxious for Clarissa’s story.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago

Congratulations on the safe arrival of Levi, Priscilla — how lovely!
And yes, that time when the glorious shades of autumn drop, leaving bare branches, is such a grim reminder of the coming winter.

robyn enlund
robyn enlund
1 month ago

Having a new garden means surprises for a whole year :-) They’re so pretty!

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  robyn enlund

Thanks, Robyn — yes, I’m not touching anything until I’ve been here a year. Well, I am planting vegies in the vegie box…

Shelagh
Shelagh
1 month ago

No need to reply, Anne. Deadlines are nasty things and so I’m sending positive thoughts down your way. May your words flow just as you wish them to, and may your garden continue to bless you with those glorious flowers. As far as I’m concerned, you can blog about flowers and veggies till the cows come home. I love the photos and envy you the flowers. I’ve only recently planted a large native flower garden and am looking forward to all manner of flowering delights in a year or so. For now the plants are too small to do much… Read more »

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Shelagh

Thanks, Shelagh. Deadlines are intimidating, to be sure, but they are also very motivating for me. Otherwise I could fiddle around with my writing for ages without moving on. Your garden sounds lovely. I adore roses, and have been keeping an eye out for lavender plants that I can take a cutting from — with the owner’s permission, of course. I grew my last lavender bush from a cutting and it flourished for decades. Bulldozed, now, of course. :( But I’m happy to start again.

Jeannette Ruth Halpin
Jeannette Ruth Halpin
1 month ago

Really! I agree – feel free to talk about flowers and vegetables as much as you like. I am in Virginia and our flowers are much different, and now it’s coming on to winter anyway. Your flowers are truly amazing. But here it’s still lovely in that slightly melancholy way at the end of a season. I was in the woods yesterday with the leaves falling in a golden shower, and a carpet of gold on the forest floor. Quite beautiful.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago

Thanks, Jeanette — Autumn is my favorite season, and in Melbourne it’s the best time for good weather — clear, sunny days and cool nights. And even though our native plants don’t turn colour, over the last century people have planted lots of deciduous exotic plants that have the gorgeous autumn color that so many with a northern hemisphere background miss.

Annette N
Annette N
1 month ago

I am so happy that you found flowers that are reminders of loved ones. Any time a memory is right there to remind us we have been loved…..that is huge. Enjoy the garden as much or even more than I have enjoyed your pictures.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Annette N

Thanks, Annette — yes, I’m determined to replace some of the plants I had in my old garden, and even if they’re not the actual ones that people gave me over the years, they will still remind me of them.

Vicki L.
Vicki L.
1 month ago

I agree also…Flowers. Veggies. Trees. Bees. Birds…anything that you can get a picture of and chat about. I’m not picky! I just love hearing and seeing what is going on. It always fascinates me to see what is going on in other locations.

Good luck with your WIP.

Also love that you managed to take some of your most favorite flowers with you. The red alstromeria is gorgeous. I’ve only ever seen pale ones.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
1 month ago
Reply to  Vicki L.

Thanks, Vicki — yes, the pale alstroemerias are quite common, especially in florists, but my dad’s red one is lovely, I agree. It’s tough too. The stems on the one on the deck are a couple of feet long — I only took a close-up of a small clump for the blog — and in the last few days we’ve had strong winds and some really heavy, pelting rain. I was sure it would be ruined, but each time after the storm has passed I go out to check on it, expecting a broken plant, but the long stems and… Read more »