Thursday, April 27, 2017

Meeting the plant lady

Daceyville, the little garden suburb where I presently live, is full of characters.

I have previously mentioned the rather sad case of the bird lady. Today I met the plant lady. Australia Post had misdelivered a letter, right number, wrong street. The letter looked important. Since the correct street was very close, I decided to deliver it to the right address.

It was was a beautiful morning, cool but bright. My route took me just down the road, around the corner and then up the next street. Boussole Rd is quite a beautiful street, with gardens extending all over nature strips so that you wend your way through plants.

Just up the street, I said hello to a woman gardening on the nature strip. We talked. "You must take some plants" she said, pressing a pot plant into my hands. "This is a very nice cactus."  This was followed by some magnolia cuttings and cut aloe vera stems so that I could try the facial cleansing properties of the sap.

I followed her up the street carrying my pot and clippings while she pointed out various plants, constantly wanting to give me more. The garden that had begun in front of her place had spread up the street with the permission of the neighbours, integrating the small front yards into the nature strip to create a harmonious hole.

"How long have you lived here", I asked? Fourteen years, she said. "We have been very lucky", she went on. "When we came out from Greece we couldn't speak English but  were never on benefits. We built up a business, owned our own home and had an investment property. Then our business went bad and the bank took everything. We were out on the street." .

"Which bank", I asked? Yes, it was that one! I commiserated, talking about my own experience with them. "But why lucky?" "We got this place (the whole street is social housing)", she said. "Nice area, nice people."

I had to move on. She pointed back to where we had started, the area with pots and clippings. "If you ever want plants, take them from there. That's my part. If anyone stops you, just say that the Greek lady gave you permission."

I wandered on to deliver the letter. carrying my pot plan and clippings. The day seemed even brighter.    .


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story Jim. "The Greek Lady" is really a person worthy of admiration for her hope, adaptability and resilience. I could take a few pointers from her.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi GL and thanks. I think that we all could.