Thursday, 6 December 2007

This and That

My childhood home where I lived until I got married at 29. My parents moved in just before I was born so I know every nook and cranny of this property . All my childhood memories come out of here. I used to lie in the living room as a teenager and read for hours on end and during the rainy season, hear the rain coming down the mountain long before it arrived.
Many an afternoon was spent sitting on this porch with visitors and having the customary sundown drink. The bottle brush trees are in the background.

Desert Rose is an unusual plant to find in the tropics. It is the equvalent of our "hot-house" flowers taking that interpretation to mean a plant that has to have special conditions put in place to ensure success. My father loves Desert Roses and tends to them almost (almost!) as assiduously as he does the lawn. I was so pleased to see them doing well and in full flower when I visited on Tuesday,The garden, as always, pulls up strong emotions. This petrea in coming into full and beautiful bloom. It was my mother's favorite tree and she would call me to come down to see it when it was in full glory. Often I would have to pose in front of the tree while she took a picture of it. My earliest memories are trailing behind Mummy in the garden at that dusk hour that is so magical in the tropics. We did not necessarily agree on gardening styles, Mummy adored the wild unkept, let the plant behave however it wants approach and I took the prune, shape and guide approach. When I moved into my home and felt as if I was living in the jungle, I gave everything a good, hard prune just before the rains and she was horrified. Why cut? I miss her terribly especially at times when I see her favorite trees still blooming, oblivious to the lack of her physical presence. I can only hope that she is enjoying the Petrea from a happy, content place.
Every single time I visit my parent's home, this blackbird is swimming in this pothole. Every time. Now it may not be the same blackbird but this "birdbath" is always occupied, regardless of time of day. What a grand life for a blackbird.
On Tuesday we had one of those beautiful days that precede the dry season. The colour of the sky is a deeper blue than usual at this time of year and there is a lovely crispness in the air in the evenings. I love Aloe Vera because of its powerhouse therapeutic abilities. I try to keep one close to the kitchen so that I can put some of the pulp on the spot in the event of a burn.
Some many different colours on one plant. Just one variety of croton is all you need to brighten up a bed. Everywhere I go, I am always surreptitiously plucking branches of ones that catch my eye. They root very easily from piece and that is how I have gotten most of my varieities.
This bottlebrush is from my parent's yard. We have four large one that have been there forever. They are landmarks of my childhood. The youngest one was planted maybe 38 odd years ago as I remember that its predecessor blew down in a storm the day of my sister's christening. She's five years behind me and I remember well the drama and excitement that went on that day.

Bromeliads from Mummy and Daddy's garden,