The bounty of bulbs

bulbs-1Each year the front yard explodes with the bounty of winter-flowering bulbs: tuberoses, jonquils of at least five different types, including the highly-perfumed and multi-layered clusters of the Erlicheers, and the dainty arches of the snowdrops.

I know the latter are properly named ‘snowflakes’, but childhood memories and habits, as well as their drooping stems and rounded heads, insist they remain ‘drops’.
bulbs-2The bees didn’t care about terminology as they crawled inside each little green-dotted cup.
bulbs-3The springtime daffodils are just beginning to unfurl their papery sheaths, so for a few weeks I will have the bounty of both seasons from my bulbs.

They all grow anywhere, fight their way up through tough grass, need no care from me, continue to multiply, expanding into bigger and bigger clumps each season — and offer their collective beauty to delight my indoor days.

Spring shades


Pinks, mauves, magentas, purples – spring is hitting the full spectrum now in its flower offerings.

In the forest, the native Indigofera bushes have burst into prominence with masses of pinkish-mauve pea flowers, carried at about chest-height below the eucalypts. Normally their delicate foliage renders them less visible. Any garden would be graced by these.

In my garden, though, it’s the large and flamboyant blooms of the irises that are catching my eye most often: exotically arranged coloured flags of petals, pink up, magenta down, a dusting of gold feathers, deep purple silk buds.

They even hold their own against the riotous backdrop of the lavender.

Wild purple

Even before Spring had officially sprung, the forest began to deck itself in royal purple.

Twining up saplings, threading through the spiky clumps of Lomandra and Dianella, or just running for glory through the grass — the Purple Coral Pea, Hardenbergia Violacea.

It’s also called False Sarsparilla, which doesn’t seem fair, as it’s just being itself, as if that isn’t gorgeous enough. The tough, heavily-veined leaves you can see here belong to it.

Much less showy, in fact so shy that it takes a lot of careful and close looking to find it, is the Wild Violet, Viola betonicifolia.

It’s also called the Purple Violet, which seemed a bit silly to me, but then they could hardly say the Violet Violet, could they?

It has distinctive long sword-shaped serrated leaves at the base of the single stem, if you’re looking out of season: you can see two in this photo, at roughly 12 and 3 o’clock.