Saturday, April 18, 2015

Autumn treasure

 The shadows are lengthening and the days are growing cooler. Salad days have come to an end, and it's time for hot soup and toast.
At Easter I laid a trail for the young one (now 6 1/2 years old).
'To do this treasure hunt, you need to be very observant,' I told her.
'What does observant mean?'
'It means you notice things.'
I knew very well how she notices every detail in nature. And so the clues consisted of plant samples in tiny plastic bags. Hard to photograph these, but you may be able to detect the lobelia flowers, which she found after finding the peace lily, whose leaf I placed into her hand.
 And there she discovered a lemon yellow flower head.
 She knew immediately to go to the snap dragon. It's a flower that has fascinated her since she was very small. But what are these stamens?
She had to think for a while. It's a pohutukawa, but they only flower in summer. Then 'I know!' as she ran up to the gate where a small Tahitian pohutukawa grows. These plants flower through autumn and winter.
 The geranium was easy.
 And then the clivia.
 It took a bit of hunting for this one as it hides in shady places.
 Then to the hibiscus and the jade plant - that's another easy one.
And finally to the treasure. We don't do sugary things, but she loves bliss balls, the little butterfly notebook, and a nice edition of 'The Secret Garden', which we immediately read from cover to cover.
What a delight to have our own 'secret garden' where the plants are alive and well, and fun grows freely.