Monday, 8 July 2013

Hoop Petticoats and Australian Politics

Narcissus Glenbrook Ta Julia 1/90 (above)

Hoop Petticoats are the name of a sweet bunch of dwarf daffodils from the Mediterranean; the little flowers sit at barely 20cm high with the corona (the cup in other daffs) funnel-shaped like a whalebone hoop petticoat of a Victorian lady amongst the grassy leaves. Gold hoops flower in early spring (Narcissus bulbocodium) but close relatives, paler and rather flatter, bloom in winter: milky-white N. cantabricus and lemon N. romieuxii, the latter from the Atlas Mountains.

Narcissus Glenbrook Ta Julia 6/91 (above)

 This past fortnight I have found some pots of delicious hoops near the shade-house, first ivory-white hoops, then citron, all labelled `Ta Julia’ from Rod Barwick’s great crosses from (I believe) the 1990’s.
Rod lives reclusively (he says) at his Tasmanian Glenbrook Bulb Farm and created the Glenbrook Ta Julia Group of Narcissus, a grex (`flock’: Latin) from `Tarlatan’ and `Julia Jane’. Racehorse-like, the name borrows from the parents’.

Narcissus romieuxii JCA 805 'Julia Jane' is, I read, a `superb selection that was originally collected by Jim Archibald in the early 1970's. Large pale lemon flowers with an open flaring corona, 15cm tall’ while Narcissus `Tarlatan’ is probably a bulbocodium hybrid which is `tall, pale lemon-coloured’ and blooms early – mid winter. Tarlatan is a cotton fabric mentioned in Alcott novels.
With this grex we are looking at, basically, brothers and sisters, and this is most evident comparing primrose Narcissus Ta Julia 1/90 and near-white Narcissus Ta Julia 6/91. But look closely at Rolled-edge Narcissus Ta Julia 1/90 (above, tragically this pot belongs to a friend, can I beg a bulb?) and the fraternal shape is different even while the colour is so similar to the other Ta Julia 1/90, below, unfurling.

So I pick up a pot and place it near the door to enjoy and then our Prime Minister is deposed and I look afresh at my label and I think, well, Ta Julia, and I mean it.
I mean that Thank you to Julia Gillard most sincerely.
Reducing Aboriginal child mortality, introducing the Disability Scheme, NBN, parental leave, carbon tax, Murray-Darling Basin Plan, reforming education; all under unbelievable levels of attack and abuse.
Gillard goes and I’m holding a little pot (with a womanly flower standing tall in the deepest cold) that says Ta Julia. Amazing.     
 Narcissus Glenbrook Ta Julia 16/90 (above)

No comments:

Post a Comment