Friday, August 21, 2009

Botanical Gardens Walk


Walking in the Christchurch Botanical Gardens

The next morning
while my Mother
packed her bag
for her few weeks respite
in the Rest Home
to recuperate
from her broken ankle
my daughter and I
bundled my father
and his walker
into the car
and headed for
the Botanical Gardens...

We parked the car
in Hagley Park
in the centre of the city
and entered the Gardens
by crossing the Avon River

the sparrows didn't mind
an invigoratingly cold bath

and a few warm days
preceding our visit
had tricked nature
into believing
it was spring...

we encountered
some distant cousins
of Harold and Maude

and slowly ambled
around a small circuit
of bare trees,
and conifers

of great size

and shape
and proportion

until we were drawn
like magnets
to a pink cloud

in a winter's sky

a glorious pink
tulip magnolia

of such beauty

and my father
pointed out
some buttons
on the ground

knowing they were in fact
the nuts of this
eucalyptus specimen

and all around us
there were signs
of spring waiting
to break out -

in flower,

in song,

in hallowed life...

Oh happy days



  1. I guess it's always spring somehwere in the what your post left me feeling...Your daughter, you, and your parents...the seasons of life.

    I have feelings of sympathy for your mom's injured ankle Delwyn, hope she recuperates as well as you.

    Warm thoughts go your way,

  2. good morning here / late evening there delwyn! the walk through the gardens was lovely but delwyn, that magnolia - wow! that's magic isn't it!!! there's a magnolia down the street and when it finally opens up, it's like a song - a soft, beautiful song that summer's coming. the buttons - well you had me fooled - i had no idea those would be seeds. how cool!! what a great gift of a day for your dad. have a peaceful evening. steven

  3. I really enjoyed this look at your beautiful life down under as it is called around here. Those cedar trees are really amazing and must be very old.

    We are fast approaching fall here. Some leaves on some trees like the crabapple are starting to turn color and drop. It won't be long until a trip out in the country will show all of those warm reds, oranges, yellows and browns of an Ohio Fall.

    Not really looking forward to that because our winter follows.

  4. Hi Delwyn,
    You posted about one of my favorite places! I visited there in October so there were many spring flowers. I loved your nut photo - it would be fun to play "guess what this is" - who would think of a nut? Your post reads like a poem. You've absorbed the spirit of Mary Oliver!

    I can't believe your Mother also has a broken ankle! Hope her healing is swift and complete.

  5. Lovely photo of the tulip magnolia! We have a fabulous specimen the grows behind Sebastopol's post office and blossoms in early spring. I still get a kick out of seeing the seasons change exactly out of phase with the Northern Hemisphere. There's something more complete or whole about recalling that the seasonal changes aren't worldwide.

  6. Hi Wanda

    Yes and isn't it grand that we can experience all the seasons twice through blogging and feel warm when you are cold and cooled when you are hot...

    Fortunately my Mother's break is a hairline one and because she fainted there is no twisted ankle to recover from - that is taking the time with me. How about you...Did you roll the ankle first before the break...breaks in the plural,wasn't it...

    thank you for your kind thoughts Wanda,

    I am sad that I do not know you in the real world because you are a gem...

    It is Saturday and I spent the morning doing a bit of spring cleaning before I even opened up the computer...fancy that...whenever I go away, even for a few days I feel like a big cleanout afterwards and want to rid myself and home of excess stuff...

    Happy days

  7. Hi Steven from a warm saturday which is expected to rise to 30!!! and high fire danger too...

    Even though many trees were bare the air was fresh and the green colour is always invigorating. My dad chatted to a gardener about the annuals he was planting and seemed to enjoy being out in nature...

    Magnolias must be the harbinger of spring...what a wonderful way to start the seasonal cycle all over again...

    thanks for your friendship Steven, I value it...

    Happy days

  8. Hi there Abe

    I hope you have come to some healthy resolution about blogging...taking the pressure away and enjoying the connections more...

    These photos are from New Zealand where I spent a few days last week. I lived there until I was 26 then moved to Qld Au and have been here even longer. I miss the seasonal change in the willows and poplars of New Zealand and of course the spring flowers, but the abundance of exotic flora here greatly compensates my loss.

    Thank you Abe for dropping by and I look forward to seeing some of those changing leaves on your posts...

    Happy days

  9. Hello Barb - lover of Christchurch...

    I do have some spring flowers coming up soon, fortunately it wasn't entirely bereft of colour and life...

    Oh that's nice Barb...I have been touched by M.O. thanks for those kind comments.

    I told my mother she didn't need to go to that extent to feel empathy for me....I hope she won't take as long as me to regain her mobility. She has a plaster cast so needs help with showering and such... but with no sprain she should pick up better once the bone has repaired...

    Happy days

  10. Hi Dan

    well today I have learned that the tulip magnolia heralds spring...what a grand start...

    Aren't we fortunate to see this change happening before our eyes season by season in different parts of the world, and to enjoy noticing how it effects the people, the flora and the landscape...

    thanks for your visit Dan

    Happy days

  11. One visit to Christchurch and its gardens and there are memories that last forever - especially when the visit is in spring!
    June also in Oz

  12. Hello June

    It is nice to catch up with you,

    yes, the gardens in Hagley Park are claimed to be one of the best Botanical Gardens in the world...and you can see why. We were a little early but still the magnolia and flowers, I have yet to post, were glorious ...

    thanks for calling in June

    Happy days

  13. Those magnolia blossoms are so very beautiful. (Ours always come out to early and get burned by a late frost.)

    Of course! You are heading into spring.

  14. Hi
    Your pink magnolia blossoms are really lovely!! I love magnolias. The leaves are impressive too. So it is early spring there? Magnolias are in bloom in March here.

    I enjoyed reading your reports from NZ. Really interesting and amusing! The sail ships are so beautiful! I would often go to see sailships when they were in port. Unfortunatly, I haven't come across Australian or NZ's sailships in Kobe. Your grandmother's and grandaunt's photos are in your parents' house? They look very nice after so many years!!

  15. Hi Sapphire

    yes it was very early spring in Christchurch... we have magnolias here too, with leaves all year round. I must watch for the next flowering to see when it is, but I remember I did post some pics of them before and I started blogging in late Jan this year so they must flower mid summer - that's odd...

    My mother recently was given a package of photos and documents from Dad's sister's family. She has passed away and their family thought Dad should now have the file.

    It was a great treat to open up and explore...a do have some photos but all these United Nations ones were new to me.
    Mum gave me the old passport for safe keeping. It is a treasure...

    Do you keep family archives...

    Happy days Sapphire

  16. Delwyn, I've just replied on my blog to your post and now looking at these photos of the botanical gardens in Chch I actually think my old photo is taken in Chch botanical gardens (the paths being a bit more formal and trees)

    I wonder if any of your old photos have the name of the studio on the back?


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