When I moved into my Potato Point house it had a front lawn surrounded by diosmas, and a military line of callistemon along the fence. J was looking for somewhere to indulge a rainforest phase and we needed to hide the all-night lights in the garden next door, so he planted a mini rainforest in my front yard. Elaeocarpus reticulatus (aka blueberry ash – my preferred name -lily of the valley tree, blue olive-berry, scrub ash, ash quandong , and if you absolutely must, fairy petticoats) was one of these trees. They now intermingle with the callistemon and the myrtles along the side fence, and have taken up residence along the front. Because it’s so crowded, they don’t achieve the rather splendid shape of a mature one in the swampy bush behind Potato Point beach, which was where J collected some of the seeds.
When I walked to my front gate in late spring I was accompanied by the smell of licorice. It took me a while to trace it to those raggedy fringed flowers, hanging in racemes, snuggling in amongst their toothed glossy leaves. When I structured the photos in Snapseed, it became obvious why they are called “reticulatus”: the veins in the leaf spread like a net.
The pleasures didn’t end when the flowers faded and fell. First I had a white petal carpet under the trees along the drive, like feldspar in granite, and soon, when the berries form, the pink and creamy- white of the flowers will be replaced by sky-blue globular drupes enclosing the recalcitrant seed. I don’t have baby blueberry ashes popping up all over my garden because the seeds are hard to germinate: sometimes they go to sleep for twenty years, waiting for fire or a good soaking to wake them up. J tried smashing them and soaking them in acid to hurry them along, but that didn’t work.
Most of my trees have white flowers, but there is one pink one.
This week in RegularRandom, DJ features delicate baubles, her own reflection, and a very elegant minimalist Christmas tree. I try to match at least delicacy, and the pink flower is specially for her.