Japanese Windflower.

Japanese Windflower

Japanese Windflower

The Japanese Windflower’s time has arrived and together with Salvia are now reclaiming our garden. I got up this morning brimming with confidence and after a quick coffee with toast, decided on teaching the struggling bit of our lawn a lesson. We already spoke about it yesterday while sipping a red together with Milo who uses the time to create havoc and cruel deaths amongst the lizards that are scurrying around the pine chips and chards of pottery that we allow the garden to reclaim. The lawn of just a few square metres will have to go. Lawns and us were never meant for each other and I have often written about this in a querulous, contemptuous and impertinent way. It dates back to childhood, as almost everything in our lives does. Even if it doesn’t, it comes in handy when getting therapy or  in the confessional. Use it!

Soon after our arrival in 1956, and moving into our own fibro- asbestos sheeted home on own block of land in a suburb so far flung from anything, especially from people walking  along boulevards, or  sightings of a  book, hearing music played, or wild tempestuous dancing,  that growing lawns was about the only activity left for people to get excited and stimulated by.  We all had to be so strong and resist losing the will to keep going.

Of course at week-ends, when reading, music or wild dancing could be engaged in, many a bum would be sticking up above the sacred lawn. I thought then that it might have been a form of doing praying to a God. No, not at all, we were living in the thick of a hedonistic lot, no robed Evangelical homage or Islamic obeisance to anything here. It was plucking out unwanted foreign- imported grasses. It was revered as a national monument;  “A must suffer, do the lawn at the week-end.”

photoJapanese windflowers

You can see ,  grass and I hit it off badly, right from that early start. So, I finally went out early this morning;  roosters were crowing, eggs being laid and the garbage man doing the rounds. I bought eleven large bags of chipped hardwood mulch. Helvi and I spread it  ( with glee) over that little struggling bit of lawn which despite lawn fertilizers and lime, all sorts of different grass runners, refused to do much except being a source of annoyance and bad memories revivals all those years ago. I know many love lawns but this ardour of growing grass remained unrequited.

Those few square metres of ex-lawn now look just right, it ties and unites both sides of the garden. We sat there and it has good ‘feng shui’. The colour is a muted brown grey, a bit like the forest floor at late autumn when all colour has been leached out of the fallen leaves in preparation for a winter. The cheer of the lovely dancing Japanese Winter flower became even better…

Goodbye lawn.

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30 Responses to “Japanese Windflower.”

  1. bkpyett Says:

    Just love Japanese wind flowers. I had them in the last garden, must search them out again! They are so delicate and will soon take over your new non-lawn area! Enjoy your writing Gerard.


  2. auntyuta Says:

    ” . . . . moving into our own fibro- asbestos sheeted home on own block of land in a suburb so far flung from anything, especially from people walking along boulevards, or sighting of a book . . . . ”
    Our first experiences in Australia were a bit like this also. Coming from Berlin this suburban life “far flung from anything” took quite some time to get a bit used to. We also are not very good at maintaining a proper lawn!
    We used to get books from the Wollongong library right from the start when we first came to Australia. When we moved to a remote suburb (Oak Flats) we regularly travelled to a lending library in some neighbouring town. With the little English Peter had he none the less soon was getting quite good at reading the Sydney Morning Herald. Up until fairly recently there was never a day when he did not buy the SMH. On Sundays he usually did not buy a paper. As you probably know, he reads now extensively newspaper articles on the internet. To read articles in English as well as German keeps him pretty busy. Even I usually read now quite a few articles, certainly some more than I cared to read when I was younger! 🙂


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, book shops and libraries were wide and far. In the early years there were a few people who in Sydney’s Balmain set up a library just for children. I helped with that as well.
      Reading a book in a train was thought a bit suspicious and sexually being a bit dodgy.
      My poor dad was desperate to find someone who had heard of Tolstoy or even Grahame Greene. No luck in where we were living. All that has changed now.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. rod Says:

    Lawns keep me busy in the summer, and now the spring and autumn as well. But I don’t take them seriously. If moss grows, it grows. And in among the grass grows beautiful veronica, which I would sorely miss. And many moths snooze in the grass by day before appearing at night. So it has its uses.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Lovely post. Enjoyed reading about the flowers and the picture is great. Your garden must be so nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Beautiful Japanese Windflowers. We had them years ago, but they became so aggressive and it took a lot of time to tame them. We are in the planning stage of removing at least some of our large lawn and putting in drought resistant plants.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Lovely pics, good idea. I’ve just been clearing the dead stems and looking at the emerging new growth on our Japanese anemones (UK) – windflower is a nice word. I’ve spent my married life quietly chipping away at the lawn, which has little grass and much weed and moss.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hoorah for weeds and moss between ancient stones.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    I am not familiar with this flower at all, Interesting that it has self-sown


  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    The other name is anemone.


  10. Patti Kuche Says:

    Nothing more heartbreaking than trying to coax life out of grass that never will never be a lawn . . . good to hear you are enjoying your liberation in such style!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I think that you’ve written about these lovely flowers before? and if I’m not very much mistaken, I wrote in my comment about the time that I weeded Pete’s garden and mistakenly took them for weeds (well it was winter). I’m older now, and wiser 😀


  12. berlioz1935 Says:

    Bill Mollison, of Permaculture fame, hated lawns and promised to destroy it. He said he is sticking nuts into it so nut trees would grow.

    When we arrived here we found that many books were on a black list. Hitler simply burnt them. Here they were prohibited. For instance “Brave New World”. The funny thing was I was able to find such books in the German section of the library.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Was there a library up your way. I remember going to Fischer’s library in Sydney. Was it Bathhurt Street? It was near the Townhall. I used to run my hands over the top of the books and would take out the most dusty ones. I felt sorry that no one had taken them out.


      • auntyuta Says:

        I think Peter was talking about the Wollongong library. They had a foreign language section where we could find some German books and magazines.
        Wasn’t that hilarious that we could find “Brave New World” as a German edition, but it was not available in English!


    • Rosie Says:

      Bill Mollison – a great Australian. I have his autobiography, Travels in Dreams, and it is wonderful. Brave New World – so much of it has come true – especially the control of the human species. I enjoy your comments.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. M-R Says:

    WELL DONE ! Lawns and Aussie climates really aren’t a marriage made in heaven (as is, obviously, yours to Helvi); and when you’re sure it’s karked you can plant something like … oh, Poorinda Royal Mantle grevillia !!!


  14. Rosie Says:

    Gerard – please keep an eye on conditions under that hardwood mulch – white ants thrive in such conditions and then can easily make it to house foundations.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I know. Our town- house/ is brick veneer but I know white ants can get over that problem very easy by getting into architraves, timber frames etc. Here in Tne highlands white ants are less active. Thanks you for the alert Rosie.


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