Coming home to delights old and new

It felt so good after a week away in the Senate to walk into the kitchen last night and to see that my frangipani, one of only two houseplants, was about to flower. I have nursed this plant back to life after over watering last year. I love frangipanis and it is one of the joys of travelling to more tropical climes to see them as street trees and to be able to pick up the wonderfully fragrant flowers from the footpath. It is really not very sensible to have one in Tasmania, albeit inside, but it is a result of getting carried away in a nursery. Some people cannot walk past book shops without buying one and I am the same when it comes to nurseries. The flower justifies my spontaneous consumption.

My frangipani about to bloom

My frangipani about to bloom

Outside I did a quick once around to see if my new irrigation system for the vegetable boxes had worked and it has. Everything is powering along but I am especially pleased that the carrots and parsnip seeds have germinated and that the leeks have begun to thrive. I have managed to give away cucumbers, beans and tomatoes to staff members but am frustrated that I haven’t the time to enjoy more than a cursory once over of the garden before having to go again.

I did notice that my mint that I chopped back savagely about ten days ago has begun to shoot again. My mint is really special. I brought a cutting from the farm at Wesley Vale when I first moved to my place. This mint was part of my childhood. In the early 1900s there was a cheese factory near Pardoe Point and as a child I used to love exploring the ruins of the factory and its surrounding dwellings. Behind one of the main buildings there was a mint patch which had survived the ravages of time and demolition. Often on Sundays Mum would send my sister and I down from our farmhouse to pick mint and bring it back for mint sauce to go with the roast lamb. It has the strongest mint flavour that you can imagine…well before modern varieties had the flavour bred out of them. I still love home made mint sauce and just about anything with a strong mint flavour and the memories are a bonus.

9 thoughts on “Coming home to delights old and new

  1. My darling three and a half year old seems to share your purchasing need when walking past a nursery, or even the supermarket in our case… our balcony is slowly filling up with his ‘oh mummy I really need this flower’ purchases. I’m glad that he seems to have inherited a green thumb from some unknown identity, as whilst I love gardening, its just not been something I have really pursued at all.

    And what a fantastic taste to have your precious memories attached to.

    • Delighted that your son really needs the flowers that he sees. I agree with him. How about filling a used polystyrene box from a greengrocers or a container of some sort with potting mix and buying him some radish seeds. Children get so excited because they germinate quickly and within no time he will be able to eat his own radishes. Strawberry plants growwell in containers as well but it is the wrong time of year and also they take longer. A few spring bulbs in a pot will also go down well and you can get some bargains at the moment with bulbs on sale everywhere. Please put up a photo of your wonderful little man with his flowers on the balcony.

  2. Hi Chris,
    I agree there is nothing like the smell of Frangipani and it is a scent which has especially fond memories for me.

    I too have loved re-establishing a vegie garden and I am please to report the heritage tomatoes you gave us last year are ripening as I write. The visit to the botanical gardens to collect them was a great effort as I heard on the radio how long the queue was.

    This year I will keep some seed and hopefully be able to present you with some seedlings next year. Our small vegie box last year kept us in lettuce and silver beet, even had a little to share with neighbours. This year it has been extended dramatically and has been quite productive.

    Our neighbours on either side have also installed vegie boxes and we have been sharing a few tips and and produce. A great comaraderie is developing in this lovely neighbourhood. Some are setting a standard which is hard to match, but production is good. I particularly enjoy hand watering, it is a great part of the day in the garden, especially if you see carrot seeds emerge, the bane of my life………

    It is a glorious autumn day , the sun is beautiful and although I know you aren’t here to enjoy it, I am sure your garden is.

    Cheers Diane

  3. Another thought I just had…potatoes.

    I am digging potatoes from my garden and lets face it, you aren’t Tasmanian and you aren’t true blue unless potatoes mean something to you…

    My favourite pink eyes are abundant but I also planted Dutch Creams this year and they really are good too.

    Cheers Diane

  4. Enjoyed reading your gardening stories. I am trying to get into it again, planting in pots. So far lots of baby rocket’shooting up’. Also have a big pot of old fashioned mint -always flavour my chai and green tea mix with mint leaf or two–a custom I observed in Paris with young Moroccans (50 yrs. ago) The brush turkeys dug up my last efforts a few months ago. Also plant nasturtiums for a nibble and salad, parsley and other herbs. The rest of my ‘garden’ is a lovely jungle. Happy gardening and best of Green Luck in the elections –Barbara

  5. Pingback: Isn’t Charlie wonderful? « Sowing Seeds with Christine Milne

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