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Survival of the fittest

August 1st used to be Wattle Day in NSW though the National Day has shifted to September 1st.

NSW changed the date to August 1st in 1916 because during this allowed the Red Cross to use the earlier flowering Cootamundra Wattle. They enclosed sprigs of wattle in letters and parcels during the war and wattle was presented to homecoming service men and woman

One of my dear friends has a birthday on this date and each year I have given her a bouquet of wattle or a photo of my Cootamundra wattle in full, glorious bloom.

Not this year. Because of the drought, none of my trees in the garden or in the paddocks have a single flower.

But there are drought survivors. In a back paddock when we were feeding cows last week, I saw two patches of pale green. On closer inspection, they were the grey green leaves of irises, patches that must have been part of a garden long ago. Nearby is also a quince tree and the area has a permanent spring, so the Heywood family chose a good spot for their hut.

In past years I dug up some of the bulbs and now they are growing in my garden and I guess, will flower again, when we finally get rain.