My family of choice have started a seasonal celebration tradition that we are happily invited to. Winter solstice usually involves a progressive dinner, and we hosted dessert this year. We started out with some planting in the neighbourhood in the afternoon. I loaded up the wheelbarrow with about 40 plants.
My beloved pushed.
We planted out an unloved patch of earth beside a tram stop, and for good measure, weeded the bed next to it that council had planted with grevilleas. Hooray for grevilleas! The hori hori got another outing and no one was injured in the process, always a good thing, especially with the assistance of so many keen people with tiny fingers.
Who knows what the public transport catching public and people driving past in cars thought… but I thought it was wonderful. There was a bit of chat about a recent tree planting that I missed because I was sick. One of the folk who was planting quoted another one of our number as saying something like ‘our loyalty is to the earth’. Which perfectly sums up my feeling… that planting saltbush in the city is no less worthy than planting elsewhere. That said, planting a forest and rehabilitating land where there isn’t a pile of asphalt nearby is a happy thing too! It was a complete delight to be planting in such joyous and plentiful company rather than kneeling in the dirt on my own in the chill before work.
I have become a person who attracts native plants! That day I was gifted a volunteer eucalypt in a pot, and a month before, two others that had come up in someone else’s vegie patch. The gifted volunteer eucalypts went in alongside the tram line, along with a feijoa or two that friends brought along. I was speaking with a friend this morning who had been past and watered them—I checked on them this morning and they were looking damp. Now I know why!
Needless to say, all this planting meant that more propagation was needed, and right on cue these ruby saltbush seeds planted improbably in May (because, how will I learn if I never experiment?) had germinated rather fulsomely. Now that I know pricking them out works really well… I went ahead and pricked them out.
I have also been planting creeping boobialla, so some more cuttings went in too. The regular form:
The fine leaved form:
And some of the plants the council has been putting in!
They have drip watering and they are really thriving. Three cheers for thriving plants, whomever may plant them… Meanwhile, India Flint’s wonderful Solace project made its way from a pile of parcels from all around the world into the crisp air of Andamooka, also on the solstice. Please do go and see for yourselves…
6 responses to “Solstice planting”
YOU are the luckiest woman I ‘know’ !! What a terrific family celebration for Solstice. I am pleased for you and your ‘children’/plants 🙂
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Thanks Susan! I surely feel blessed 🙂
bless y’all dear hearts. my Pa was a serious guerilla planter of native trees (especially when we lived in Melbourne in the 60s). you are doing wonderful things.
Thanks, India! If we all do what we can… My father was a big advocate of native trees too. We lived in Melbourne in the far outer suburbs in the early 1970s and how barren many suburbs and towns were until non Indigenous folk realised that native trees could grow where imports never did succeed. I remember Dad planting a native tree with each of us in our Ringwood East backyard when we were small. Mine was a banksia. I also remember him showing me the mystery of pincushion hakea seeds near the railway station there. Three cheers for the inspiration of our fathers 🙂
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Thanks for your inspiring post. Planting trees in public land which will benefit everyone. Wonderful effort. BTW, I started knitting the felt clogs (with my colleague helps!). – Hugs Nat
I hope so! Thank you Nat. I hope those clogs go really well for you!