Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Welcome visitor

There’s not much in life that thrives on neglect – relationships need nurturing, musicians have to practice and languages get lost and forgotten if they’re not used. But land? Leave it alone and nature does its thing. Her thing.

The tiny back yard that passes for a garden here in Birchgrove has been neglected of late; I’ve been giving book talks and struggling to finish the final manuscript for next year’s book about families who live on the land.

The manuscript was submitted yesterday – hoorah! – but I know it won’t be long before it bounces back for corrections and queries so today was the day I’d planned to get my hands dirty.

And it’s raining.

It’s not the kind of rain that forces you indoors, just the kind that makes you hesitate, a slight pause when you wonder if it’s worth getting wet.

That pause was long enough for me to notice things. Plants are springing to life as the days lengthen and sunlight warms the soil, and I noticed something else too – a delightful surprise has appeared in the garden without any help from me.


It looks a bit like a geranium to my untrained eye and I know I didn’t plant it because twelve months ago these raised garden beds were empty; blank and barren with nothing in them save the huge frangipani tree we managed to save.


And now look. Whatever it is, it’s very welcome.


7 comments on “Welcome visitor

  1. nantubre
    September 12, 2014



  2. bkpyett
    September 12, 2014

    Deb, this is a primula, isn’t it? They come in pink or white and luckily for you has either survived winter, or seeded from last year. I have just planted some, as they are such pretty delicate plants that don’t mind shade or sun. Good to get the rain!!


  3. debhuntinbrokenhill
    September 12, 2014

    How lovely, thanks for letting me know Barbara and what a great name. Primavera, printemps, primula! There must have been seeds in the soil we filled the beds with, and if it doesn’t mind shade all the better 🙂


  4. monsoonwendy
    September 12, 2014

    I also think it’s a primula Deb and my garden knowledge is ZIP! They grow in Nepal though and that explains everything. What a delightful surprise and congratulations on getting that manuscript in! Savour some peaceful moments.


    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      September 13, 2014

      How gorgeous to think that a plant that grows in Nepal is also, by happenstance, growing in my back yard. Thanks Wendy


  5. rthepotter
    September 13, 2014

    On a basis of complete ignorance I also looked at the flowers and thought Primula – and a very pretty one too. Congratulations!


  6. debhuntinbrokenhill
    September 13, 2014

    And the best part is I’ve just discovered you can divide the plant to produce more – free flowers, hooray!


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This entry was posted on September 12, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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