December 4, 2011
Places of the Heart
Hera left home just as Bobbie James began to flower in the cabbage tree outside her bedroom: white and yellow old-world blooms threading through creamy plumes of ti-kauka - a perfect marriage. One night only, did she stand on the veranda breathing in their perfume before leaving them to the mercy of the Nor’wester. That demon wind with its hot consuming breath would sweep through the garden sometime before Christmas; the cabbage trees only rattled their tough and bladed leaves in collusion, but all the lush perennial foliage, the early blooms and abundant old roses, would be beaten down and stripped to straw by mid-summer. This year Hera wouldn’t be there to revive them. She had planned no special schemes, no colour harmonies nor textural depths for the summer ahead. Instead she’d pruned and weeded and mulched, and left the garden uncomplicated for the benefit of the incoming tenants.