But Does Anyone Know What They’re Called?
Yes, I’m an avid gardener. And yes, I take note of what grows where. And yes, I’m always curious when I see a plant that I have never seen before. And yes, I’m intrigued if I see something that I cannot identify.
Maybe my penchant for identifying plants began when I was a child, growing up in a huge house in India. We had this massive garden, big enough for a cricket area, a badminton court, a huge enclosed quadrangle that was a plant haven about nine hundred square feet - and we still had room for wide garden beds, the longest of which would have been about forty feet long. And in one corner, near the boundary wall, we had a couple of leaf pits that you could get lost in.
So when we played cricket or soccer or hockey, we knew we’d be in strife if the ball was struck anywhere near Dad’s prized flowers. When you’re a young fella, you learn pretty quickly whether you’ve just decapitated a dahlia, a sweet pea, a bougainvillea, a canna or any of the many flowering varieties that graced our magical garden.
So when I saw these flowers in a tiny patch of soil outside a store in Blackburn, here in Melbourne’s east, I was baffled. I’d never seen these before. And no, I certainly didn’t know what they were called.
As you can see, they were covered in profuse flowers that faced every point of the compass. The blooms were a bit like giant, two-tone snapdragons, but the stalks were huge and imposing. I reckon they would have been just short of my height - and I’m no midget.
Atop each plant was a long, graceful arc (see below) covered in interesting shades and tones. It doesn’t look like a native Australian plant and since Blackburn and the surrounding areas have some classic English country cottage gardens, I wonder if it’s some old favourite that has faded away from our nurseries.
Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.