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.
The Duck and the Darklings is an extraordinary, unusual and special picture book, highly recommended for all ages. It's simply the...
I've been making the garden for thirty-five years. Actually that's not quite true. I've been making and remaking the gar...
I love grasses because ... ... they sway gracefully in the breeze, ... they provide vertical contrast in the garden picture, ...
The leaves on Acacias are not really leaves at all. They're called phyllodes, and they're actually flattened leaf stalks that fu...
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 ...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
As far as gardening is concerned, our hot summers must be like winters in cold places. In cold places, there's too much snow to ...
They call it the outback, and it's a long way from the city. It took two days travelling to get to the Flinders Ranges. One day b...
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...
D works for a pesticide company and tells interesting stories about pesticide use and the relationship between humans and wildlife. I ...
- Atlas of Living Australia
- Australian Marine Conservation Society
- Australian Plants Society Victoria
- Avaaz - The World in Action
- BirdLife Australia
- Birds in Backyards
- Bush Heritage Australia
- Eco Voice: Voice of the earth
- Encyclopedia of Life
- Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
- Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association
- Landshare Australia
- Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
- Seedsavers: Preserving the genetic basis of tomorrow's food
- Stop Factory Farming of our Pets
- Sustainable Gardening Australia
- The Nature Conservancy Australia