about this blog
This blog tracks the ongoing changes of my garden, and the wildlife I try to attract to it. It's a nature blog. It contains my thoughts and musings about anything and everything to do with nature - gardening, book reviews, philosophy, travel, science, history, art, design, politics. Catmint is my signature plant because it has all the qualities I value in a plant: resilience, beauty and the capacity to spread prolifically . Unfortunately it's not indigenous. If I was starting again I'd probably choose an indigenous plant.
Friday, 8 April 2011
johnny jumps up in my garden
The botanical name of this plant is Viola tricolor. This wildflower has naturalized in my garden, and just looking at it makes me feel happy. I notice its absence in autumn and winter and miss its smiley cheeky face.
Viola tricolor is a wild pansy, associated with magic, love and romance for centuries before the round-petalled, cultivated pansy became popular in England around 1810. The wild pansy is known by many names - Heartsease, Love-in-Idleness, Johnny Jump Up, Love-Lies-Bleeding, Stepmother and others. The name Pansy derives from the French pensees, meaning thoughts.
In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Puck, assistant to Oberon, King of the Fairies, squeezes the juice of Love-In-Idleness into the eyes of sleeping Titania, so she will fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes.
Australia Day, 26 January, commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, when Governor Phillip raised the British flag, and N...
I have decided to make a list of the plants in my garden. For too long I haven’t really respected them as individuals, vaguely seeing them ...
Yesterday I dug up the compost that was ready and chucked it on the garden. The rest, for example semi decomposed sticks and phone books, I ...
Sometimes I wish I had used a proper, professional garden designer instead of the painful, stumbling process of learning as I go. If I did ...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Amy Crumbs, who blogs at Crumbs . The Liebster Award is a fun thing, but it ha...
I've got ideas for these posts but they can't all be published. What to do? ... make a list! 1. Children's playgrounds, nat...
There are an astonishing 22,000 species of Australian moths and only half have been described. This one, Macrobathra euryleuca, was ...
I'm desperately wanting to take pictures of insects and spiders, and have finally accepted I can't achieve the results I want with...
In Melbourne's southwest, about 5 minutes drive from a major industrial centre, is a shining jewel: six and a half hectares of virgin...
- Animal Rights Photography
- Atlas of Living Australia
- Australian Marine Conservation Society
- Australian Plants Society Victoria
- Avaaz - The World in Action
- BirdLife Australia
- Birds in Backyards
- Born Free Foundation
- Bush Heritage Australia
- Eco Voice: Voice of the earth
- Encyclopedia of Life
- Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
- Global Giving
- Gould League
- Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
- New Internationalist
- Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
- Seedsavers: Preserving the genetic basis of tomorrow's food
- Stop Factory Farming of our Pets
- The Nature Conservancy Australia
- The Plant List