My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

Flower Power to Evoke

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Miniature Cyclamen

Naturalising under a tree in my garden

Naturalising under a tree in my garden

Naturalising under a tree in my garden in subtropical New Zealand, is a miniature cyclamen that flowers each spring. It is a commonly grown plant. There is a long history behind the journey of this plant to my antipodean world, a plant growing in a country far removed from its ancestral origins in Middle Eastern climatic and geographical environment.

Deeply interested in history, we were blown away by the magnificence of the archaeological sites during our travel in this part of the world. In December 2010, we took a day trip to Umm Qais or Gadara as the Romans called it, in northern Jordan.

We stood in awe amid the silent ruins. The excavated structures story how people lived, how ancient world events played out in Greek and Roman times, and in ways that shaped our modern world lives. We looked out towards the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee, acutely aware of modern tensions in this region.  We ambled along streets with Roman chariot wheel ruts grooved into the stone pavers. We explored buildings. We climbed steps. It was then I saw a familiar sight.


Miniature cyclamens growing on steps in the ruins at Umm Qais in northern Jordan. Dec. 2010

Miniature cyclamens growing in the cracks on the ancient stonework. Colourful and neglected, a botanical and peaceful echo of long ago times, tenacious survivors in a harsh growing environment. A floral link between the past and the present, the tiny flowers had the power to evoke in me a moment of longing to return to my garden.

How did the people who lived in this ancient city regard and use this plant? Did they enjoy cyclamens for pleasure as I now do? If only the flowers and stones could speak.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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