Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A little discovery

The simple act of finding something delightful is one that I never tire of, and I know Pammy feels the same way. We're often saying to each other "hey, come and have a look at this" when one of us discovers something worth sharing out in the garden.

Other times, instead of marching in triumphantly bearing the latest "news", I like to take the other tack and let Pammy share in the secret delight of discovering the same thing I had just discovered, but all by herself. 

This time, while she was busy elsewhere in the house, I was out in the garden and spotted the first Tillandsia (Spanish moss) flower of the season. And so I snipped off a bit of the plant with its flower and just left it on the desk in her studio, for her to "discover" when she wandered into that room. Here is the little cutie.

The Spanish moss flowers around this time of year, and so the
discovery of this year's flowers was not a major surprise.
It was more a matter of relief that they had finally appeared,
as they usually flower in mid to late October, and so early
November is getting a little bit late for them.
The first time we discovered these tiny flowers was a thrill,
and we did it by accident. Several years ago I just happened to
take some photos of the plant and, only when I opened the
photos on my computer screen, did I notice little green flecks.
So I went outside, got very very very close to the plant and called
out "Hey Pammy, come and look at this!"

Last year I used a toothpick to give you some idea of the small
size of a Spanish moss flower. This year, as I was in Pam's
studio, I grabbed a pencil for the same scale effect.
Out in the garden, stand back five feet and you probably won't
see a thing, apart from a tangle of lightly hairy silver "beard".

And here's the Spanish moss itself this cool, soggy spring afternoon. It's draped from the branches of our grevillea, which itself has grown a bit scrappy and bare-branched at its lower levels over the years. Without the Spanish moss the grevillea would look pretty ordinary, but it is the perfect framework from which to drape the long shawls of whispy grey beard, and between the two of them they're a lovely team of plants. 

The Spanish moss itself is thriving here. I always give it a light spray whenever I water the garden, to give the Spanish moss the feeling that it's in Louisiana (or Georgia, or Mississippi, or Florida ...) where it's always a bit steamy. Come to think of it, Sydney is pretty steamy in summer, too, but the extra watering I've given it in the last two years has really seen it grow better than ever.

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