Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Spring blossom

We are reaching the crescendo of spring: white blossom appearing on the pear trees and pink on nearby crabapples, Prickly Moses (Acacia verticillata) covered in bright lemon rods, wax flowers exploding in pale pink, Spiraeas dotted with white buttons and the last of the nodding white daffodils. Half-drowned Mexican Orange Blossom are attempting one last show; it will dry soon for them, surely. Nectarine blossom of candy-pink is over and we are yet to see the apples bloom or the white dogwoods, but anticipation is more than half the joy. My favourite of the spring blossom trees is Japanese Crabapple (Malus floribunda) with its cherry-pink buds opening to white blooms. I’ve planted it here and seen wallabies pull down a branch with a paw or 2, very human-like, and nibble the latest flowers or leaves on the limb; of course they didn’t survive (the crabapples, not the wallabies). But I still sigh pleasurably when I see this crab; the exquisite sharply-pink buds, the wispy white blooms, the delicate arrangement of two-toned flowers that don’t smother the tree.

If I was to travel purely for horticultural reasons, like to the outback after rain when a carpet of wildflowers is promised, then I would choose Japan at cherry blossom time, closely followed by Canada at `fall’. These sound like overwhelming visions but if the treat is nature-made it seems somehow more visceral and meaningful – to J and me, at least. As when we saw glorious carpets of wildflowers in August and September in Western Australia a few years ago, we were moved. Camping amongst the magic carpet, sitting, reading on a rug amid the colour, was breathtaking.

I am sitting at my desk (neither Clancy nor Banjo) looking out at silver-leaf stringybarks, wattles flowering: prickly and blackwoods, and iris and hellebore, both purple and white. Honeyeaters and wrens cavort and dash after each other, the frenzied feeding of insatiable chicks but a glint in their eyes. Spring at its finest.

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