November 25, 2010
A Change of Scene
Call it escapism; call it meeting a commitment. I left the Secret Garden in the care of Lady Mondegreen and went on a road trip to Oamaru last weekend: a journey with three girls eager for the dressing-up opportunities afforded by the Victorian Heritage Celebrations; a journey to dance with fellow morris dancers; a journey ... without my Musician. Although Kitty and I explored every little bridge and walkway and gazebo in the Botanic Gardens one damp evening, the garden that charmed me most was the little Harbourside Garden right next to the national Steam Punk Headquarters in the historic precint. It meanders down amongst plantings of seaside tolerant shrubs and perennials to a suggestion of a wharf just before the river passes out to sea. At this time of year almost all of the plants are in showy flower including a very light coloured Pride of Madeira and a shrub rarely seen in its wild form in New Zealand, the Guelder Rose. The Harbourside Garden is a little oasis of refinement and colour under the looming fantasy of the Steam Punk HQ, and opening into the loneliness of shingle reaches populated only with wild fennel and rusting rolling stock. Solitude whichever way you look.
Pride of Madeira Echium candicans
Guelder rose Viburnum opulus
(The cultivated form Viburnum opulus sterile commonly known as the Snowball Tree, has been evident in many of the floral tributes we have received over the last few weeks).