Wednesday, October 21, 2009

City of Flowers


The city of flowers

On my first morning
in Christchurch
I bundle up
with many layers,
jacket and hat
Yes it is cool
even though the flowers
announce spring

and I walk around the block

 a route
I had taken
many hundreds of times
as a child

and admire the colours
of the azaleas
and rhododendrons


and the blues
of the blue bells


I once could tell you
the names of my home town flowers


 but now colour
is enough


 but I recognise the protea

with its red spiral suns


I walked or biked by this gate
innumerable times as I grew up


always wondering
who it was


who live at Number 75
with the enchanting entry


 these pea like
cascading tree flowers
made me think
of the native New Zealand


and this is it
a quite different bloom


delicate blossoms

and flowers

brightened a chill walk

filled me with joy

and tenderness

and hope

when I encountered
a new tree

I'd never seen before

and made me realise

that Christchurch is really
the city of Flowers...

and I am not yet home
from my walk,
so will you join me tomorrow
for more flowers
of this beautiful city...



  1. Those flowers take my breath away. I think they withstood the cold and stood at attention for one of Christchurch's favourite daughters.

    It is nostalgic to look at something from our childhood that has withstood the test of time and brings back little, daily memories our childhood. Usually sweet - sometimes bittersweet.

    Looking forward to the rest of the flower show tomorrow!

  2. I love the protea! They are delicate and yet sturdy at the same time...simply beautiful.

    So now we can see you grew up in Paradise....ahhhhhhhhh, so lovely.
    Can't wait for tomorrow's show!

  3. Oh, you take my breath away. The first and final photos of this post are painterly, achingly beautiful.

    This post brightened MY day and filled me with joy, and tenderness, and hope. I am so grateful for your blog, Delwyn. Thank you for sharing the beauty you find in our lovely world.

  4. Dan
    when I feel jaded and tired of blogging you are always the one who appears with heartfelt thanks -enough to inspire me to continue, even if you are the only one that loves to see these little vignettes, it is enough...

    thank you Dan

  5. delwyn - what an incredible walk! it's like stepping into a book of flower paintings - each more detailed and unlikely than the one before it. the gate - well i love gates - what is on the other side? that's what i always wonder . . . . . i'm so looking forward to seeing the remainder of your walk. have a lovely day by the river. steven

  6. This morning Delwyn, you filled my world with joy, tenderness and hope. The joy of viewing such bright beautiful flowers, sharing the tenderness of your childhood walks, and remembering the hope the return of spring gives one! I will have the best of both worlds, my autumn and winter and your spring and summer for the next few months!

    The new white flower appears to me to be a White Dogwood Tree, my yard and woods have many...

    Happy that you visited with your daughters!

    Luv and Smiles,

  7. Hi Wanda

    yes that's what it was - I just googled it - thank you Wanda...

    I was with my sisters in NZ...perhaps you saw me say the 'three daughters' of my parents and got confused.

    I am very glad that you are enjoying the floral post and will take pleasure in my summer as I will enjoy your winter. How lucky we are to have found each other Wanda.

    Happy days my friend

  8. Your photos fill me with joy and tenderness as well, from several thousand miles away.

  9. Hi Bonnie
    It does feel odd walking around your childhood streets - these ones whilst flowering beautifully are a little unkempt since the university moved out of the city and into our suburb and homes have been gobbled up as student accommodation.... yards are no longer filled with young children and their bikes but with old cars, unmown lawns and litter...
    The trees and shrubs however are still amazing...
    Happy days

    Hi Kelly
    I was excited to find this protea tree as I have posted on these flowers a couple of times but not seen a tree. We get the flowers at the markets and more tropical varieties of flowers. It does appear as if I grew up in one paradise and them moved countries to another...
    happy days

    Hi Steven
    Its nice to have you here today with your chatty response and bright appreciative comments....

    Happy days

  10. I want to know who lives at #75 too, as it is a beautiful entrance.
    My daughter want to go to NZ because we watched Getaway a few weeks ago and the had a story on the Chocolate Festival at Dunedin, where they roll Jaffers down the street. She was sold!

    I have visited both North and south islands but this was 14 years ago now. It could be time to revisit.

  11. Hi Liss

    the many flat white coffees I enjoyed in NZ often came with accompanying jaffas on the saucer...
    If you go to NZ go in Feb...the most weather reliable month.

    Happy days

  12. The gate picture is my favorite - open, sending you out into the world and open to welcome you back.

  13. So stunning! Did you know I went to NZ when I was about 13? I don't remember much but I do remember we took some photos of ducks in the park in Christchurch! NZ has the most beautiful flowers, I love it. THanks for sharing.

  14. Oh just beautiful flowers! I think that blue one below the blue bells is a columbine. Rhodadendrons grow wild in the redwoods in N. Calif., quite a sight! Those proteas are awesome! I love the rustic fence photos too.

  15. Wow. Thank you for this beautiful post. I'm tongue-tied with overflowing emotion seeing these photos.

    This post makes me homesick for more than one home. I love it here in New Mexico, but lush floral life is definitely lacking; I miss the profusion of blooms in Louisiana.

    And I envy your ability to visit your childhood home; I haven't been able to go back to mine in Toronto for many years.

    I'm living vicariously through you with this post. I just wish you could bottle the scents and send them to me!

  16. Hi Polly
    we are indelibly tied to the content of our childhoods, even the flowers and the gates! I'm glad these pics give you some enjoyment and reminder of home.
    Happy days

    Hello Jann
    thanks for the tip. I'll google it. Rhodies are just amazing aren't they.
    Happy days

    Hi Rosey
    really, well you are familiar with my duck friends that will feature soon...You mifght like to check my links for the botanical gardens and city walks previously posted to remind you of your visit.
    happy days

    Hi Stiletto
    How nice to have you visiting again, after a long absence.
    Happy days

    Hi jennifer
    as are you...
    Happy days

    Hi GW
    gates are mesmerising in the way they fill us with questions and promises...
    Happy days

  17. Hi Delwyn, I'm back in Breckenridge, and it's snowing. Your blossoms in Christchurch are a treasure to me. I really love the photos of that ancient gate - an opening to what - perhaps the memories you share with us?
    My friend Helen will soon be in NZ (she's in Australia now). I told her to visit the City of Flowers.

  18. Hi Barb
    nice to hear from you. I hope my flowers add a little colour to the snowy weather.
    Perhaps it will be warmer for your friend by the time she reaches CHCH,
    I hope so. It was only 8-9* for me...where is Helen in Au?
    I hope that you had a good break away...
    Happy days

  19. What absolutely gorgeous blooms! Chirstchurch is blessed with color and natural treasure. Our flowers will be fading all too soon. Luckily your blog is my virtual greenhouse.

  20. Hi Delwyn been two weeks before, the system was down and slow.
    Love this post, so many gorgeous flowers to make us happy.
    I really enjoy admiring them and the previous post...the parrot is so cute, I hope to get one too!

    Happy day and bye!

  21. The range of colors is amazing. I thought the delicate pink/white cluster of blossoms over which you wrote "hope" were spectacular.

    I'm so looking forward to tomorrow's rest of the walk.

  22. It amazes me that these beautiful flowers exist when the temps are so cool! They are all so well endowed with their color and blooms...the yellow really struck my fancy. I do wonder who lives at number 75? Such a warm welcoming fence and gate. I see from the other comments that your new tree has already been identified as the dogwood. We used to have their lacy flowers all over our property in NC from the whites to the pinks. Just stunning!

  23. Hi Barry
    I'm glad you feel the same way
    Happy days

    Hello Sarah
    I like that- a virtual greenhouse for my readers..
    Happy days Sarah

    Hi Alicia
    It will warm up - it should have warmed up there, into the low 20s...
    The dogwood is a stunning tree, these ones were young but covered in those saucer shaped blooms.
    Happy days

    Hello Jennifer #1
    weren't they just so tender and hopeful...I especially enjoyed those soft blossoms as we see none of that in my part of Au.
    Happy days Jennifer

    Yoon see
    it is nice to have you back...dang these computer glitches! You are getting a parrot?
    Happy days


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