Yesterday I was planting some paper daisies, which you may call Chysocephalum baxteri or Helichrysum baxteri, if you please, in the new (ish) front garden bed, when I had a stroke of garden genius. The whole bed, I realised, should be ripped out immediately and 20 large Gymea lilies should be planted there.

These lilies, Doryanthes excelsa, are fascinating. They are native to NSW, huge strappy leafed plants that grow under the gum trees, and when they flower, they produce tall stalks with a BIG red flower. They are large, rather untidy and altogether striking. Imagine seeing a big bed of them…

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So today, I went to the inspiring, but frighteningly expensive, Kuranga Nursery, where they specialise in native plants. There I found mature Gymea lilies- at just over $100 each! Eek! They also had immature lilies for $13.95. Seems reasonable, but the catch? They take 5-10 years to flower. So there goes that dream. I bought an immature plant anyway and planted it in the back of the bed. Maybe in 5 years time, there will be a giant red flower appear and I will remember this day. And that’s the way of gardens.

You can see the little Gymea in the photo above and also a Boronia hybrid, ‘Jared’s Red’, which I could not walk past without picking up.  We got to the check-out and P. was bemused; “Where did that plant come from, you didn’t have it a minute ago, did you?” The beautiful scent of boronia, plus the rich purple of the blooms was too much for me to resist. But I think P. thinks garden plants just attach themselves to me, like magnets, as I walk through a nursery. Which is not so far from the truth.

And, in other garden news, the bluebells are out.

When we moved here, around 10 years ago now, the deciduous trees were well established, but the ground underneath them was completely bare. So my challenge was to find plants that could cope with the dry shade these trees create. At last, I feel I have made a difference there, as beautiful bluebells are colonising the area, and when they die down, there are Liriopes and fishbone ferns now starting to fill out nicely.

And I have had some op-shop success lately too. Lots of new books to read, I really need to make a reading list.

And this little basket was $2.

And this set of small hanging ceramic bowls was only $5.

They are handmade, leading me to wonder about their origin. Did the maker give them to the op-shop? Were they not happy with them? Or did they come from someone who bought them or was given them, and then decided to get rid of them? Did the previous owner die? Or get shipped off to a nursing home? Which is why I get all conflicted about buying stuff, I get hung up on the whole question of where it’s all going when I can’t look after it. Will it all be sent to the tip? It all seems such a waste. But then again, why not enjoy stuff in the short time we are here to enjoy it? Yep, you can see how knotted up I make myself, pretty quickly too. I’m a world bloody champion at it.

Any-hoo, I planted each dish with a different sort of sedum, cuttings from ones I already have. Should look pretty, once they grow.