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.
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...
This is the photo of my garden in the current guide to Australia's open gardens. It was taken last October. The foreground f...
It's not street trees that are a problem. It's overhead wires. In order to avoid branches touching the wires and risk a fire, y...
Wake up sleepy-twigs, spring is here.
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...
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...
If it's geographically possible, try to visit the Art Gallery of Ballarat before December 2nd. That's when the exhibition C...
The garden seemed full of aphids. I did nothing, just watched curiously. The aphids went away. The plants recovered. Who...
A long hot summer is forecast. All the more reason to celebrate and farewell the spring garden. But wait ... it's already summer! ...
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 ...
- 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