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Newsletter - November 2017

Greetings dear friends

November is a special month for me, it happens to be my birthday month and a time when my favorite plants are in bloom.  A showcase of blue skies, blue trees and blue flowers.  I am fortunate to live in a street lined with jacaranda trees and they have just started to blossom.  I purposely walk to the shops more times than needed simply to marvel at the silky blue clusters of flowers hanging overhead.  And even better, tread a path through the carpet of blue petals scattered onto the pavement.  If you happen to be walking at the right moment when there’s a gentle breeze, one can even experience purple petal confetti.    It’s pure magic.

I have just returned from a visit to Burra in the mid- north of South Australia, for the Burra & Districts Open Garden Expo.  It was an opportunity to visit 15 open gardens, in Burra itself and the surrounding townships of Farrell Flat, Mt Bryan and Hallett.   I tip me lid to these folk; gardening in remote and hostile locations, in the toughest of conditions, is hugely challenging.  And to really test their mettle this area is home to SA’s wind farms, consequently limiting plant selection to those that will tolerate regular winter frosts, long hot, dry summers and winds throughout the year.

The district has one saving grace though for a gardener, and that’s the abundance of stone and slate, so beautifully worked by men and women over the years.  It abounds everywhere, buildings, walls, barns, pathways and outbuildings.  It’s a warm coppery brown colour and the perfect backdrop and protection for a garden.  Hence I was able to witness lots more blues - iris’s, wisteria, salvias, lavender, cornflowers, and deftly hiding against a corner stone wall, a surprise, a clump of ethereal delphiniums, happily blooming away.

There’s a poignancy too about November, especially Remembrance Day.  In South Australia, before the poppy, the humble violet was the symbol of perpetual remembrance.  Driving through the rural hamlet of Tarlee on the way back from Burra, I chatted to a bloke whipper snipping the grass around the memorial, “getting it ship shape for the 11th”.  Only a couple of houses nearby, yet dozens of names on the memorial.  The loss of their boys must have been devastating for that community, and how brave the women who carried on regardless, and tended the maimed on their return.

I never feel their sacrifice was in vein though, I just feel lucky and so grateful.

Always believe something wonderful is about to happen.



McLaren Vale Lavender Products

Winner Best Product 2014, 2017 The Australian Lavender Growers Association