The Eloquent Garden

The garden you create or dream of creating is a mirror of yourself

Category Archives: flowers

Shared plant – dicentra spectabilis ‘gold heart’

Gardening in the Lines shared a wonderful plant for plant Monday and I wanted to pass it on.

It is dicentra spectabilis ‘gold heart’. Here’s another picture below:

Messages From your Heart on this Valentine’s Day

I think it’s no co-incidence that so many flowers and leaves are Heart-shaped.

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Versatile..what a relief!

How wonderful!

…After years of confusion, thinking I am scattered/focussed; intense/frivolous;  nutty/sane;  intrepid/fearful; cool/excitable; blunt/subtle;  honest/dishonest; imaginative;  conservative/ lateral; dancing to distraction/introspective; flexible/stubborn; and Overly Fascinated with — the meaning of gardens, irony, alliteration. With history, mystery, strange dark Finnish films, chocolate scrabble, idle and not-so-idle chat……..

Kevin at Nitty Gritty Dirt Man has solved the mystery, and set my mind at rest…..

………………….apparently I am VERSATILE!

Thanks Kevin for being on his list of those nominated for the Versatile Bloggers Award. I don’t know if this nomination had Capitals, but for here, I have chosen to give it some.

Anyway,  here are some of the many things that I find Overly Fascinating, just on the verge of full moon early in February 2012……

The Language of Flowers….Once there were no Texts or emails and people relied on letters and words to stuff up communication between the sexes. Before that, writers claim, would-be lovers communicated their feelings with bouquets of flowers, with each flower having a specific meaning.

These bouquets were called Tussie Mussies. I can only imagine the monumental  miscommunications these must have caused! A peony posy and a few dandelions misinterpreted and you could have found yourself married to the wrong man…or a woman! Or two men! Or celibate for life! Gosh! …Makes my love life seem tame really……

What inspired these thoughts? A book by Vanessa Diffenbaugh  ‘The Language of Flowers’ …about love and fear and flowers. Vanessa wrote “My skin lifted under his gaze as if the surface of my body were reaching toward him without the permission of my mind.’  How I wish I’d written that!

A fine way to begin the weekend with The History of Madness in Brisbane a local history session at Brisbane Square library this Saturday…

Hmmm, I’m thinking of differing historical views of madness….

Friends Hospital in Philadelphia described madness as ‘people deprived of the use of their reason’, and treated patients with active therapeutic gardening.

Yet Sam Harris, after publication of ‘The End of Faith’, received tens of thousands of emails and letters from people of all faiths and doubt, ‘who believe that the most important moral questions facing humanity today are not able to be answered by reason.’

What about the passion of Luang Pu  Boung Leua Souriat who depicted his unique vision of spiritual life in an astonishing giant size cement statue garden near Nong Khai in Thailand. Do you find this reasonable? And what of his devotees who continue to maintain his vision after his death?

And Edward Wilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis described our affinity with nature as innate, essential, part of our biology.

So maybe those who don’t regularly go into nature are in danger of madness?

Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in The Woods’, describes children who don’t spend time in nature as having Nature Deficit Disorder…

And Gardeners….what of our madness? We lose sense of time and probably reason, as we give ourselves over to the passion of gardening. We believe our plants communicate with us. We fall in love with plants,  wonder where and how l they’ll fit in our gardens? But we love them,  find a place, learn their needs.

Sometimes gardens have their way. They create a living work of art. This one’s at Ayutthaya in Thailand, the head of a statue enclosed within the roots of a Ficus tree.


Gardeners are taken with strange ambitious projects that consume us and make our friends smile fondly (mostly…) and maybe wonder just a little, as we confess our sudden inspiration to grow a…

Frangipani Forest ! Yes indeed. I had many frangipani cuttings, and a sudden vision overtook me! Of a colour wave of  frangipanis, kept to 2 and a half metres high, a perfect canopy of fragrance and colour, their deciduousness to remind me of cooler climates, and maybe my Grandmother who grew them…. Madness?  Memory?  Inspiration? …Sometimes inexplicably linked.

And People with Passion ….inspire us to lateral or amused thoughts, to keep us mainly sane….

Think of visionary gleam, one of my fav bloggers, who honours plants and flowers that look like football teams. Oh, have a look at that one! Fabulously nutty!

And me so thorny……now he ‘s a funny one! But is he mad?  Not in blogging world…maybe blogging is  therapeutic? And if therapy is needed, is blogging madness? Oh I can see where this is heading….

Then appreciation of delicious, a blog by a Filmmaker, of things pleasing to her eye. Some quirky, amazing finds from creative talents in art, photography, fashion. Keep an eye on the progress of the author’s films, too. Think on ‘The Storymaker”  and latest ‘Campers’ – Art that ‘has the capacity to generate different meanings without ever being completely consumed.’ (Umberto Eco.)

Now over the last few months, I have come to appreciate the concept that neighbours may potentially become confused when aspects of adjoining lives are glimpsed in cosy moonlit backyard…chocolate scrabble playing, idle and not-so-idle chat, pumpkin picking rituals, memorial ceremonies for my Companion Animal, practicing Modern Jive, other such fanciful-ness.

So, to avoid neighbourly confusion,  I have become Overly Fascinated with…

                          Garden Rooms, the concept of creating private, enclosed spaces within a garden..using hedges, vines, green walls. Now I believe I read that in Germany and Switzerland it’s mandatory for all roofs that are flat to be Green Roofs, now that’s just sensible, and lovely.

                                                 My Garden Room is to be purple Honeysuckle climbing sides of a pergola, with a golden Duranta hedge on other side.

Another has begun to be walled with jasmine and passionfruit, completely climbing over this immovable

children’s fort that came with my new bare backyard. My very own Folly, complete with Ship’s Wheel.

And as there are other things in life than gardening….

I am also Overly Fascinated with…..

Becoming a versatile, playful Ceroc dancer..maybe even sultry if I can be bothered going to any workshops.

And swimming in a tidal swimming pool to cool this Summer Heat.

And making Alzira’s Russian Salad

mix together: 1 cup beetroot, cooked & sliced. 1 kipfler potato, cooked & cubed. 2 hardboiled eggs, cubed. 2 tablespoons pickled cucumber.  few drops of lemon juice. approx 2 tablespoons salad cream.

and reading  ‘Damned’ by Chuck Palahniuk, which begins ‘Are you there Satan? It’s me, Madison. I’m just now arrived here, in Hell……’. Hilarious, contentious. And he wrote ‘Fight Club’ too, among many others.

This has reached the tipping point of versatility…..I hope you enjoy this in several readings and tell me what you think……

O! This is unexpected, finding you in my bed.

I planted a garden bed. Pretty,  simple, cute. But above all, perfectly balanced in colour, foliage and spacing.

Dwarf blue and white agapanthus. Deep purple heliotrope ‘cherry pie’. Angelonia in deep pink, some white alyssum, sedum edged in burgundy-pink. Two dipladenia, one deep red, one white, with clear fishing line from soil to steps, so the plants will climb magically into the air, seemingly without support. Tufts of white variegated grass. Two phyllanthus multiflorus. As a backdrop to these pretty, yet strong plants, three cerise-flowering, pepper scented geraniums. These I discovered years ago in the cool  Maleny hills and propagated them through several moves, to be with me in each new home, each new garden.

As I admire my new and lovely plantings while taking a Sunday-ish morning garden walk, coffee in hand, I notice something. O! This is unexpected, finding you in my bed!  And yet as I look at you, I think, how well you do look.

I love when gardens surprise me. And this morning,  I see,  a dwarf african lily, quite past its flowering time, has made a strong, white flower stalk. And there’s much more! Suddenly my sweet, balanced garden has gone from exactly as I planned, to an interesting, challenging thing.

Yes, a slim vigorous pumpkin, or is it a rockmelon, vine – insistently,  laterally twining his way. I am most fond of many lateral thinking people, so I’m delighted, if surprised to find this determined little vine in my garden. And is this not more balanced, more complete – a masculine vine to balance the planned sweet feminine garden? I move him slighty, tenderly,  as he embraces, a little too passionately for now, the Angelonia. She seems grateful for this small intervention, straightening slightly. I love vines, at one moment twining closely, the next off on some funny fearless tangent.

And since this garden shows itself to be such a ferly thing, I accommodate its adventurous spirit, experimenting with   Lisianthus in who knows what colour. And the rambling mystery of Colour Parade petunias..there will be some surprises there!  And what about some poppy seeds? Yes, such gloriously free and surprising flowers from the far North of Europe are also bound to feel at home here in my garden, I feel. For some unexpected tomato plants I make pyramids of stakes, tied at the top so the vines can freely grow upwards.

And another unusual thing. One plant that has always flourished, used all throughout my planting life, has decided that it will cease to grow. It is gone, beyond all life.  I think on this, introspection takes me over.  I conclude it  did not suit my new garden.  Like a habit, that really has no further use in my life. Just gone. A symbol, I decide, of my firm, full resolve to leave behind an old behaviour that really does me no good all. My garden as a mirror of my self.

Can I suggest you think on your garden, real or imagined, houseplants too, as a symbol, a mirror, of yourself. Think on what you plant, and why. Who inspires your gardening, your life. Is there something unexpected in your beds? Think on your garden of the future, still in your head.

Think on what you long to plant. Maybe honeysuckle vine, symbol of loyal love and friendship?  Beetroot? – Read ‘Jitterbug Perfume’ Tom Robbins on beetroot and its pollen! A bay tree, for luck and fortune? Perhaps there’s a plant taking too much time,  unhealthy or difficult that simply needs to go. Or perhaps some plants just for fun, some annuals. Maybe try new plants, new ways of gardening.

Maybe make a space and wait, see what you dream of planting there.

I am for now, wondering what my vine plans next! Climbing? Perhaps investigation of a nearby garden bed? Vines are so much fun, at one moment twining closely , next moving in lateral surprising ways.

Do I think our gardens, real or imagined, somehow mirror our selves, our lives? ……Yes, why not.  Maybe.

But what I do know is that while in our garden,  in nature, we have time to contemplate, or not contemplate, to think, or not think – on our lives. And in this Empty Space,  solutions, answers, creations, appear. And we smile and  feel strong.

the meaning of life

At death, our beloved Companions take us with them  for a time.

Then, when they know

that in the darkness we see what they taught us,

suddenly  they set us  stunned, shocked, fragile, fearful, vulnerable, resilient, back into our lives alone.

And golden eyes keep watch

To see what we remember.

Eloquent Gardens speak of Love, Mystery, Unspoken Dreams, Comfort

I find lovely –

Joseph Austin’s art

“Seahorse and Coral.”  

Hints of sea lives,

languid coral

with seahorse contemplation.

“Lotus”

Buds and indolent vines

twine their way towards sunshine

to recline

on lily pads.

and Barbara Kingsolver’s  The Bean Trees,  ‘Wisteria vines have rhizobia, 

microscopic bugs that live underground in little knots on the roots.

They suck nitrogen out of the soil and turn it into fertiliser for the plant. 

Wisteria would not thrive without the rhizobia.’

‘An Eloquent garden plan of trees growing from stone’   Andy Goldsworthy’s ‘Garden of Stone’…

And I think it would be delightful to wander with a Beloved within

The Garden of Love at the Chateau de Villandry, Loire Valley France –

where clipped boxwood topiary illustrates four types of love stories:

tender, passionate, fickle, tragic


‘She felt an odd calm spirit here in the wilderness.

Was it like this when you fell in love; stood on train tracks;

went to a country where no-one spoke your language?’ 

from The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman.

A story of lives and histories enmeshed with those of plants and trees, of bravery, secrets, difference, love.

Lovely plants….

Heartsease.….used in early times to ease heartache and suffering.  

The flowers are edible..I float them on the top of my home-made salad dressings.

I lightly press some heartsease flowers into the dough  just before I put bread into the oven to bake.

I put a couple of heartsease on the tops of lemon-cream cheese iced cupcakes. So pretty!

Purple Honeysuckle….folk-lore says that the twining flowers of honeysuckle represent loyalty in a friendship – or loveship.

My purple honeysuckle anticipates being planted and waits patiently in its pot. It’s  already flowered once with pinkish beginnings , almost purple if you have an imagination which certainly I do,  and deep gold flowers. It’s underplanted with sweet purple and white alyssum and new seedlings. The tag showed petunias in pink, purple and white profusion. I enjoy the mystery of petunias, that so often both the colours and scent of this plant friend surpass my imaginings of them..as do many of my human friends, in fact…

Holmskoldia….. blue and purple delicate flowers,  tiny fascinators, that linger for months.

Michelia ‘Lady of the Night’, Michelia Skinneriana… 

creamy yellow flowers, fragrance like ripe bananas. Perfect for us, as we are banana starved here in Queensland at present.



How lovely to discover…

 Lovage growing in my potted garden. I had planted lovage after discovering some on a market trip with dear friend Effie, and frankly it had not thrived.

So I forgot about it, then was amazed to find it growing beautifully. I delicately trimmed some leaves, with thanks to the plant, and whipped up a little

LOVAGE  OMELETTE 

I mixed together:    2 eggs, 1 inch thick slice madhusudan paneer ( I love the sound of that, that’s why I buy it from my local Spice Shop) diced small, 1 tspn whole grain mustard, salt (not too much, My lovely Daughter says I may eat too much salt, I told her gardeners sweat so they need salt, but she may be right. She often is, and thanks to her this blog looks good again.  Sorry for the delay, technology was getting the better of me.  You might like to detour over to her latest post,  appreciation of delicious  @nonsense funnel for some dreams of loveliness), lovage, a tiny bit of marjoram,  and lots of  pepper.       

I cooked in a small frypan oiled with Olys, a new one I bought, made from wheat germ, rice bran, blackcurrant, walnut oils.

It was delicious eaten in a leisurely manner reading ‘What I Talk About When I talk About Running.’  Haruki Murakamis running memoir, a book about how  he became a writer in the same way he became a runner. I am enjoying this, and  I quite definitely don’t enjoy running, but will think on this idea when on my morning walks for a while and see what I come up with…

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