Where have all the flowers gone?

What are the plants or flowers you remember from your youth? I remember sunflowers in the corners of the paddocks, the yellow rose on the tankstand, and the cheery relience of some gerberas who kept popping up no matter how grim life was. What flowers do you remember?

To support wildlife and pollinators – the birds, bees, butterflies and other insects – we need a good variety of flowers at all times of the year.

We know flowers have many benefits for people too – their ability to brighten and cheer keeps florists in business. Flowers in the garden have even greater benefit – offering a cheerful welcome and signalling the seasons.

The flowers on my verge are there for passersby as they walk to the busstop or the shop, and they are welcome to pick them. Sometimes the fairy wren are out there too. I don’t grow community vegies on the verge, I grow food for the soul.

Most houses in my neighbourhood are surrounded by turf, maybe a few shrubs or a neatly trimmed hedge. Supposedly low maintenance. But there’s nothing low maintenance about these gardens – they just make maintenance routine and easily outsourced. Because I work from home, I’m here to see the buzz men come around. They mow, clip, whippersnip and blow yards into neat submission. Hot, noisy work. Some homeowners give up a large portion of their weekend to do the work themselves.

There is rarely a flower in sight. To my mind, these are not gardens. Maybe they are a yard, or a setting for a house. They could be much more.

Where have all the flowers gone?

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