Things I didn’t photograph

Angus Stewart |

Horticulturalist and “Gardening Australia” presenter Angus Stewart at Mt. Annan Royal Botanical Garden.

I am a constant gardener, but an unconstant blogger. If I were as devoted a blogger as a gardener, I’d have pictures for you of the lovely garden we’ve left on its own to enter spring and early summer in Sydney. I’d have pictures of our Eremophila nivea, a bushy silver-gray native that is notoriously difficult to grow in the burbs but is somehow thriving under the bedroom window. I’d have pictures of my growing collection of happy, healthy hellebores, two new this year, including one (Helleborus sternii) bought on a visit to Ingrid, an independent grower, at her home in the Blue Mountains. (“You’re living the life,” I told her.) I’d have pictures of the two grevilleas (uncertain cultivar) that stand sentry outside the living room window, with their first-ever flowers, petite, yellowy and red.

The best picture I can offer you, dear reader, is of Angus Stewart. We attended a talk that the horticulturalist and “Gardening Australia” presenter gave at Mt. Annan Royal Botanical Garden — our favorite of the three in the area, because it specializes in natives. We finished up out in the garden, where he told us, among many things, about the care of kangaroo paws, which he’s been cultivating for years. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of our long, glorious row of Anigozanthus “Bush Pioneer,” tall ones that Angus himself developed. I pruned, fertilized (with Angus’s own line of native, organic fertilizer, bought at the talk), composted and mulched them before leaving. They’ll be majestic yellow by the time we return.

In the meantime, I did snap a picture of these flowers at Mt. Annan, which I plan to add to the garden next time. They’re beautiful, and tough, and feel just like paper before they open up.


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