Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tribute to the dead infants of female convicts in Van Diemen's Land.

They never had names. 
The official government term was ‘Departures and Arrivals’ and, No, they were not referring to ships or planes. These were the babies born to convict women at the Van Diemen’s Land female factory. Out of 1200 babies born at the Female Factory in South Hobart. Between 1829 and 1877 approximately 900 babies died with no record being kept of the mother or child. Ninety departed from the Female Factory (prison) in George Town, Tasmania. All buried unceremoniously in unmarked graves.

In the early 2000s artist, Christina Henri put out a request for the women of Tasmania to sew calico bonnets for these little forgotten souls. The result was an overwhelming number of over 2000 Christening bonnets being made and in 2004 the display of 900 bonnets in the shape of a cross was presented at the site of the Hobart Female Factory.

Tiny dancers, wearing bonnets swayed to the sound of Brahms Lullaby while rose petals were scattered over the display. 

Ref and Pics: from permanent display in the Watch House in George Town, Tasmania.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Bird of Paradise flower

I have inherited a flock of Bird of Paradise plants in my new garden (in Tasmania). They are tall and exotic and don’t make any noise. But when I glance at them from my kitchen window, I see then flaunting their gaudy orange plumes and twisting their necks – beaks open-wide, as if waiting for a feed. They stand proud in their spectacular regal plumage demanding admiration.  

Several meanings are associated with this spectacular flower:
Freedom – Bird of Paradise flower is also a symbol of freedom and overcoming obstacles, reminding us to let go of our worries and embark on a new adventure to some place we have never been before (seems appropriate to me at this time).

Optimism – This flower is a symbol of optimism and positive energy, especially because of its bright and bold colours and interesting shapes.
Also known as a Crane flower, The Bird of Paradise is a native of South Africa but has been adopted as the floral emblem of the City of Los Angeles.
(Refs: Teleflora and flower meanings)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Flowers of Rememberance - the Poppy and the Rock Rose.

While the Flanders Poppy is synonymous with Remembrance Day, there is another flower that is remembered by the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli.

Thousands of miles from Flanders, the inhospitable hillsides of Gallipoli were coloured with the hardy flowering shrub – the Rock Rose (Cistus salviifolius).

After World War 1, seeds from the 'Gallipoli' Rose were brought back to Australia and planted by the soldiers in their gardens.
Rock roses thrive in full sun and flower profusely while growing on poor soils. Because it doesn’t mind salt-laden winds and alkaline soils, it is a great coastal plant.

Hopefully, it will tolerate the wild winds blowing off the waters of Bass Strait. So, in anticipation, I have bought 18 small rock roses (both white and pink) to plant in my new garden, when the time is right.