Sure, to the swanky author of a well-received volume on gardening it’s a throwaway line: “has insignificant flowers”, “flowers are inconspicuous”. But how about some consideration for feelings, eh? What’s wrong with “reserved”, “low profile”, “unpretentious”?
My 7 year old drew me aside the other day and whispered conspiratorially “At school I drew a picture of a plant’s bits!!!” In the light of this insight, which I really hope she didn’t share with her teacher, perhaps we could even go with “modest flowers”?
To be honest, I find persimmon flowers faintly perturbing when upended and exposed to the rude light of day. Much better to let them shelter under their curtain of leaves.
I do, however, need to be rather forward with my demure custard apple flowers soon. They may not look like much but there’s the smell of perfume in the air. Time to wave my magical pollinating paintbrush and help create some atemoyan fecundity. Or, given my pruning anxieties and the consequent fact that most of the new flowers are more than two and a half metres off the ground, perhaps it’s time to fall off a poorly located stepstool, crashing through branches, crushing multiple flowers and possibly poking myself in the eye with pollen-dusted painting gear on my way down.
Thankfully there’s no need to hand pollinate the midgen berries to get tasty little purple-and-white fruits. Otherwise I’d have to get one of those three-haired brushes they use to paint a portraits on a grain of rice.
And then there’s the flowers that are not so much shy as downright recalcitrant. On the left, a NSW Christmas bush down the road. On the right, the unimpressive shade-dwelling specimen in our yard.
And another offender: Kunzea ambigua doing its thing elsewhere on the left and in our garden, not even making the effort to take a decent photograph. Very poor form.
Thank goodness for institutional plantings. Just because councils like to plant it on the median strip doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see the blue flax lily producing its, shall we say, somewhat coy flowers in the shade under the maple tree. If your camera is close enough, even the teeniest flowers are significant. Could that be a metaphor for this blog? Or is it just a sales pitch for a macro lens?