Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I have a mainly native garden, planted deliberately to encourage native birds and do my small bit towards the reforestation of Banks Peninsula. When I planted the section in 2003 I agreed with myself that I wouldn't revert to the cottage gardens of my past. But I have missed flowers to pick. Both to make posies to take to friends and family and to enjoy in the house. So gradually annuals and perennials have crept in, most often in and around the vegetable garden where there is open space for flowers to seed and colonise.
Zinnias carry special memories for me. Every late spring my Mum used to scatter zinnia seed in the difficult, narrow space between the terrace and the path. By mid summer there would be a riot of zinnias which would flower for months it seemed. In autumn we would collect the seed to save for the following year. When we picked zinnias for the house we would seal the ends of the stems on the oven element - so they also evoke memories of a smoky, singed smell.
While ordinarily I would dismiss flowers without a perfume, zinnias retain a special place because of their hardiness, their cheeriness and because of these special memories.