Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shades of Green

D.Day Anniversary today. (See my blog 25 March 2009). My memory of that cemetery is the green of the lawn – such a peaceful spot.

Our medlar tree is ablaze with gold leaves. Despite heavy rain there has been little wind to blow the leaves away. They hang bedraggled but not drab, a slash of brightness between the green of the cabbage tree leaves and abutilon bush. The abutilon is covered with flowers, slightly darker apricot than the medlar leaves. It’s a colourful sight. The bellbird made another visit to the flowers yesterday. Obviously nectar’s in short supply during winter, hence the foray from the sanctuary.

In a long ago poem, I describe the New Zealand bush as
every unconscious
shade of conceivable green'.

The garden is the same. In all the hullabaloo over flowers it’s easy to overlook foliage, the stage on which the flowers perform. Leaf shapes in any small garden are legion. What is striking is their diversity. Taken for granted, green is the dominant colour, but the smooth dark green of the camellia contrasts with the pale, feathery kowhai. Even the wandering willie, one of nature’s best survivors, has its own green charm.

Part of the appeal of a lawn is its greenness. I have tried to imagine how a lawn would look if it were another colour. Each time my imagination shudders to a stop. Brown appears to be the only possible variant. I have been to deserts in Australia, Iran, Kuwait, Egypt and Arizona. I found them exciting and interesting places, but after a few days I hankered for the green of home - the colour of peacefulness and relaxation.

I curse the cold and bless the rain. Both are responsible for the green.

This morning’s paper has a heading about a ‘withering attack’ on Prime Minister John Key by Green co-leader Meteria Turei. She accused him of turning his back on his state house roots. I saw TV clips of the speech. Her points were well-delivered but I would never have used the word ‘withering’. It’s not her style.

The media's claims have to be watched. Both Jane Clifton and Maggie Barrie have echoed my complaints about TV’s production of 50 years of TV in New Zealand. A childish quiz show. Management’s reply, it had high ratings. It’s a Tui billboard sign. Yeah, right man. I was tuned in, part of that rating. I turned off a third of the way in. When I channel-browse is that part of the ratings game? How green can you get?

Back to admiring the medlar. Maybe the bellbird again?

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