When they appear depends on where you look. Two weeks ago, this small colony of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) outside our living room window burst into bloom. It has a southern exposure and is protected by the ivy it grows in and by its closeness to the house.
Over the years, two more colonies have emerged about twenty feet from the large one outside the living room. They’re small but seem to be getting larger.
Out on the road, where the plants are in a more exposed position, they come into flower about a week later and they don’t grow in a colony like this; the plants are mostly solitary.
I like to think my garden is a place where the Sanguinaria find refuge from the stress of life on a roadside grown busy with more traffic than they knew in days gone by.
Time and time again I drove past thousands of flowering Crocosmia on the roadsides of New Zealand, remarking to myself, “I’ll stop in a few miles and take a photo of this.” As a plant of South African origin, Crocosmia apparently loves Kiwi roadsides. I never stopped to take that picture, so the closest I can come is this Crocosmia planting pondside at the Christchurch Botanical Garden, strangely in the native plant section of that garden.
“Architecture generally involves creating monuments to permanence from substantial materials like steel and concrete. Yet this year, the discipline’s top award is going to a man who is best known for making temporary housing out of transient materials like paper tubes and plastic beer crates.” – Robin Pogrebin, New York Times
Christchurch, New Zealand, lost its symbolic center when the Cathedral in the center of its downtown collapsed in an earthquake in February 2011. We heard about a “transitional cathedral” on the first day we arrived in Christchurch last month. It was designed by a notable Japanese architect. I didn’t know who.
Driving along Federal Twist Road last weekend, I stopped my car for a quiet look at the forest. With sunlight beaming down in silent stillness, I could almost hear it, spring in the air.
I first learned of William Martin and his iconoclastic garden, Wigandia, several years ago when he spoke at the Vista lectures in London (I listened to all the Vista podcasts). Shortly after, he discovered my garden through my blog, and an intermittent dialogue and friendship began. Wigandia has been widely publicized in books and magazines, and has been chosen as the best Australian garden twice. But it is not an easy place to get to, situated as it is on the side of an ancient volcanic cone, Mount Noorat, about three hours drive east of Melbourne. When Phil and I planned a trip to Australia and New Zealand in February of this year, a visit to meet William Martin and see Wigandia was at the top of my list.
If you received a partial blog post on my visit to William Martin’s garden Wigandia in Australia, it was published prematurely and withdrawn.
I’m receiving questions about it, so that’s the story. The complete post will appear shortly.