700. Flowers from my garden

Today is the 700th story on the 700th day (plus 13 poems and 49 pieces of music). For 700 days I have wandered your wondrous gardens of bloggeration (or is it bloggery or blogification?) There have been weeds and flowers, vegetables and fruit, shrubs and trees, well-worn tracks and hidden paths… each an adventure; each a moment for admiration. The wonder of each creative blog I follow!

Today then, I celebrate in the simplest way: here are flowers for you from my own garden; picked over time; not always the most-ever beautiful. They are presented with gratitude.

Thank you!


This dahlia (whose name escapes me – have subsequently found the label in a drawer and it is called “Rebecca’s World”) is among my favourites. It looks a little like a water lily. Each flower begins it’s life either deep red or pure white. As it unfolds the red flowers become white and the whites become red.


This dahlia (whose name escapes me) is too brazen, too bold, too messy, too loud. (It’s not so subtle in the real). After one season I dug it out and gave it away. It was a show-off; a smarty-pants. Let’s hope it enjoys doing its thing in its new ostensacious setting.


This dahlia (whose name escapes me) I call “My Shirley Dahlia”. Shirley used to help me in the school library. One day I brought a bunch of these flowers for the library. She wanted a tuber. Next winter I gave her some. The next spring, mine never grew; they had rotted in the ground. The following winter, Shirley gave me some of the tubers that had multiplied in her garden. The next day she was killed in a farm bike accident.


This dahlia (whose name escapes me) I plant amidst the white. Come Christmas (which in New Zealand is summer) the white and red bloom together in a brilliant yuletide show!


This dahlia (whose name escapes me) is perhaps as near to a sunrise as I can get; or maybe it’s a sunset. Here you see it flowering among the berries of a karaka (New Zealand laurel). The karaka berries are poisonous but the kererū (wood pigeons) love them!


Here are two flowers of the banana passionfruit. And the fruit is delicious to eat. But don’t tell the Government Department for the Environment: the plants are classified as a noxious weed.


Among the first flowers of the spring is this New Zealand native, the kowhai (pronounced Coe-fie). Golden sunshine on the ground in the daffodils; golden sunshine in the trees. Winter must be over!


My favourite tree in the garden; the pepper tree. Some years it flowers prolifically; some years hardly at all. But all year, every year, it hangs and weeps. My kind of tree…


 I think this is some variety of virgilia. Blue sky, green leaves, peach-coloured blossom.


If you love wisteria (as I do) you must avoid planting it near the house. This one is currently destroying my side fence with its testosteronic growth – a true teenage boy is the wisteria.


The Jerusalem artichoke! Tall. Playful. Like giants chatting away at a convention. Lots of bees. Lots of butterflies. Lots of tubers to eat in winter.


The globe artichoke! The stately grandfather of the garden flowers and garden vegetables.


The annual national orchid show was held just twenty minutes from where I lived. Each year I would buy a new orchid. I had quite a collection and they were spectacular! When I left the area there was no room in the removal vehicle, so I gave the orchids to a neighbour.


This is my Christmas lily (known as such because in New Zealand it flowers at Christmas). I have only the one variety of Christmas lily. It grows about 7 feet high before it flowers!


I often use weeds and grasses with flowers if they’re brought inside. It saves on garden flowers and they look great anyway!


My favourite roses are wild ones. I like it when they grow berserck over a background fence. I’m not a great rose fan so avoid them. They scratch!


Here are flowers of the feijoa. It’s one of my favourite fruits; a large green perfumed fruit of the guava family.


Sunflowers galore in summer! All kinds and shades! This one is called “Teddy Bear”. It’s the cuddliest flower in the garden.


Dark blue is my favourite colour in the garden. I have lots of irises, but if I move this one comes with me!


I don’t know the name of this flower. I call it Christmas Bells because it rings in Christmas! And let it ring out the 700th story! Thanks for walking with me for all or part of these 700 days! (See note below from mattb325 – it’s Dierama pulcherrimum: the fairy’s fishing rod or angel’s fishing rod!)

73 thoughts on “700. Flowers from my garden

  1. redosue

    It has been pure pleasure to be with you almost since the beginning, Bruce. Much as I enjoy your storytelling rambling, I have to disagree with you about the 2nd dahlia which is my favourite tied with the white one immediately below it. Keep blooming, my friend and all I can say is it’s a good thing Derrick and Jackie live so far away or they’d be at your garden gate with a bottle of Hoegarten and a half bottle of Syrah wanting to trade for a tuber.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks Sue – your comments (and blogging) have always been one of the things I look for when I log in to WordPress! The second dahlia has elements of two characters I’m familiar with on the blog – Harry and Lady Smock (aka Vee) – who suffer from a delightful brazenness at times. Perhaps you are familiar with them?! I also might be knocking at your door with a tuber in exchange for a pair of knitted socks!

      1. Cynthia Jobin

        700 stories in 700 days…Arabian nights here we come! Thank you for this beautiful tour of your garden So many of your flowers and fruit are exotic to me and, were I so inclined, I would envy more than your green thumb. My buddhist tendencies are tickled by the fact that you have forgotten so much botanical Latin. Your flowers are more than just specimens; they seem to be your friends. I’m glad our paths crossed here in blogsville, and thoroughly enjoy your site. I was just going to say “keep it up”, but given what I now know about your chatanooga-choo-chew-the
        -fat-chat, I dare not use that expression. ❤

        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          Thank you Cynthia for those lovely comments. (And blame our mutual friend, Oscar, for our not being able to freely use all the terminology one would desire!) I always think of names as a form of limitation – my mother would start at the oldest child’s name and work her way down until she hit the right child’s name – almost as if she knew the real person, and the name was an irrelevancy. Such are flowers (at least for this lazy botanist). It’s amazing how a slightly more “mild winter” allows for more “exotic” plants. On the other hand, a sterner winter produces a cornucopia of colour and fruit which we in New Zealand can’t really emulate!

          1. Cynthia Jobin

            My mother did the same thing with names. And when I visited an ancient Aunt who was in a nursing home, she used to greet me with: “i know you….” and we had perfectly reasonable conversations, though she could no longer remember my name.

      2. redosue

        Oh! I might have to resurrect Harry and Vee just to make use of that dashing dahlia! You’ll need to bring more than tubers to get me to knit another pair of socks! There is a sock fatwa in this house!

        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          No socks – that’s the end of any trip to Canada! And Harry and Vee are undoubted merely having a rest. Even though they may have been “killed off” they can always make a guest reappearance (one hopes)!

  2. Shubha Athavale

    Congratulations Bruce, serendipity ( through Uma Shankar’s blog) brought me to your blog and I have been reading for a few months now ( commented a couple of times), loved the flowers, made my day and we are enjoying the onset of spring in Sydney too. Thanks

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks for that comment, Shubha. Yes, I have noticed your comments! But I didn’t realise you were from Sydney. I don’t know why the world doesn’t follow Uma’s blog! He seems a bit down in the dumps at present…

      1. Shubha Athavale

        Been in Sydney for over 25 years and been to beautiful NZ 3 times as we love it. Yes Uma is very talented but been quiet for so long! And my kumera never ever sprouted 😦

        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          My kumara sprouted and grew and grew and covered the whole table and then hung down to the floor, and only yesterday I decided to throw it out as it had grown too big! And some of the leaves were starting to turn yellow.

  3. arlingwoman

    Wow. 700 daily stories plus music and poetry. Wowsers. I loved the tour of your garden, especially that showy dahlia and the sunset dahlia. I also really liked the pepper tree. So you have this great garden and ducks and a goat and…there is so much going on…

          1. arlingwoman

            You’re TRYING to make me jealous. I want a picture of the cow! Maybe a story. Have you gotten At Swim Two Birds? My copy has a quote from Dylan Thomas that it’s a perfect book to give your sister if “she’s a loud, dirty, boozy girl.”

  4. thecontentedcrafter

    Oh Bruce – today I just want to give you a big fat hug!! What a wonderful post to celebrate such a wonderful event – 700 in 700 is quite mind boggling to me who cannot be consistent with one a week! I know I have barely been around for a tenth of that time, having somehow got inveigled in via Derrick’s blog as I recall – but my it is enjoyable place to pop into over coffee in the morning! I’ve just been off celebrating my 66th life anniversary Bruce – I feel that 66 in 66 is quite eventful for some reason and now I must absolutely enjoy every moment on offer as most of the numerals available have surely been used up ………..

    I am not a dahlia lover, but my goodness your favourite dahlia, the one whose name escapes you, is stunning! If I were to grow dahlias that would surely be the one. I do love wisteria and banana passionfruit and that gorgeous blue iris – blue being my favourite colour – and your predilection for combining tamed flowers and wild flowers together in a vase is simply ‘hurrah!’ making! What a guy!!

    Congratulations Bruce, here’s to the next 700!

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      66 is not to be sniffed at, Pauline. 1949 was clearly a vintage year! I have still 3 months to go before I catch up with the double 6! (I like to say that I have seen 8 decades – albeit only a few days of the 1940s!) Thanks for the digital hug. Keep up the lovely presence you bring to so many in our world of blog!

  5. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia

    Seven hundred tales! Wowzers, that sonds like a mythological monster to be reckoned with. But then your blog and it’s contents are not of the garden-variety! Thanks for sharing your talent with us here in the blogosphere of WordPress.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Oscar. (It certainly could be fun if the mythological monster got out). One aspires to be as good as one’s readers – so the stories keep plodding along in the hope of reaching new heights…

                    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      (I’m glad you added “770 tales” to the end of that statement.) I’m actually approaching the 900 mark – they’re all lying there waiting to appear on the blog. I get so impatient waiting to present them.

                    2. Bruce Goodman Post author

                      When I once visited a dying flute player – he was in his 90s and used to play the flute in the NZ Symphony Orchestra – the ends of his fingers were raw so he wore condoms on each finger while he played the flute.

  6. mattb325

    I love all of your un-named dahlias, and while it might be considered rude to forget their names, they don’t seem to mind and flower anyway! You last plants is Dierama pulcherrimum: the faeries fishing rod. Congratulations on the 700th tale 🙂


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