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.
You don’t have to go to the countryside to get a nature fix. Wherever I go I look for plants and animals. Just like rural spaces...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
Press release! Deborah from Kilbourne Grove and I have just published a post together, featuring our communications about our common lo...
What messages do we give kids about gardens? Thanks to a successful program getting gardens into schools, many children now...
This post is dedicated to the silkworms at Les Chantiers Ecoles Silk Farm in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Artisans D’Angkor helps young Cambodia...
A recent post was about my success in rehousing a possum couple. The nest stayed empty so it seemed that the possums had settled in their...
I recently went to a talk with the intriguing title of Lizard Lounges and Butterfly Bars . I found this talk electrifying, as in settin...
If it's geographically possible, try to visit the Art Gallery of Ballarat before December 2nd. That's when the exhibition C...
I miss the jubilant rowdy morning chorus I used to hear each morning. These mornings I'm lucky if I hear half a dozen birds gre...
I've spotted a few different types of fungi growing in the garden. Yay! That shows biodiversity is increasing in the little ecosystem ...
- 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