Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Melancholic Moment

'Possum' (The Supervisor) having a moment of contemplation

For me late summer in the Gippy Garden is the time of year when a bit of Melancholy creeps in. Growth is slowing, a few less butterflies are visiting and the changing of the seasons has not yet arrived.

Buzzing heat drives me out of the garden only to see me creep back at twilight to get my hands in the still baking dirt. The shrill song of the cicadas gives over to the intermittent mournful chirp of crickets on hot still nights. It’s an in-between time tinged with a little sadness.

A ragged Australian Admiral butterfly

Don’t get me wrong, I’d miss a Southern Australian summer if I didn’t have one. After all, it’s also filled with watermelon, forever afternoons and walking barefoot in the garden.

I Know I can’t imagine what it would be like to be snowed in for days on end or to wonder if any of my plants have survived the biting cold.

It just that it puts me  in mind of the passing of time.


Comments on: "Melancholic Moment" (34)

  1. Nice blog post GG … it is that time of year when the garden takes a bit of a back seat. It’s just too hot … or wet … and the plants are struggling a bit trying to get through the last days of what sometimes seems like an endless summer. Lovely photos … the first one matches the tone of your post perfectly.

  2. I always think it so cool that Australia is opposite of us here in the northern hemisphere. When I lived in Germany a co-worker would always vacation down there in the winter (our winter your summer). Fall is a melancholy time for me too. Years pass by so quickly.

  3. The cat sure represents melancholy!

    • Hi Tina! Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing the changing of the seasons around the world and seeing those Northern Hemisphere gardens burst into life over the coming weeks!

  4. So glad you reminded me that you are experiencing just the opposite of what we’re dealing with. The heat of the summer is still there…keeping you indoors a lot. Yet, the end of your summer is nearing, marking the passing of time. It is always poignant in the fall, and I also feel melancholy about that time of year. Right now, I’m trying to envision our upcoming spring! That’s hard to imagine right now, but it’ll happen. Under all this snow are actual living plants with blooms just waiting to burst!

    • Hello Jan, yes, poignant is just what I meant! It’s still a beautiful time and place to be, but with that touch of poignancy. Can’t wait to see those plants in your garden burst forth with new growth 🙂

  5. It is so good to see summer flowers and reminders of the taste of watermelons on these snowy days. Of butterflies and roses. That kitty looks all settled in for a nap in the sun. 😉

  6. I’m sitting here with my feet in the fireplace wondering if my toes will ever regain feeling, and you’re sweltering! It’s not right!

    I don’t know about melancholy; that cat looks like it’s just has a really bad idea, but it knows it’s going to go ahead and do whatever it is anyway!

  7. What a sweet post. In late summer, you will often find me gardening once the sun has gone down – it is the best time for going outdoors :^)

  8. That cat has character! It is nice to hear someone speak of hot summer days while my own teeth are chattering and cold wind is blowing outside! I enjoyed your post. I look forward to learning more about Australian gardening! By the way, I have a tiny connection to Australia. If you are interested, check out my post from 2/7 called “Where in the world iss this?”.

  9. I enjoy reading your blog. That is a great photo of your cat and his feelings show, as well. It is good to be reminded that we all don’t share the same weather and our gardening experiences are different. The supervisor is very cute!

  10. The picture of that cat is classic. LOL Looks like the cat doesn’t know whether to eat the flower, rip it to shreds, or be jealous of it 😀

  11. It is so fun to see a colorful garden when we are in the middle of winter. Kitty looks as though waiting in the lurks to pounce on one of those butterflies or skippers. I know my kitties would if they could get to them. This post warms up my chilly bones today. Thanks…

  12. The evenings are the best times to garden – in the cool of the day and when the scents of the evening primrose, the night scented stock and the honeysuckle start to permeate the air. BTW I’m shivering as I type this – I could do with a little more heat and a little more sun. It was sunny here today when I got home and I saw more dust than I wanted to see and saw some windows that are gonna need a good clean.

    Love your cat – its as if he’s just waiting for that flower to open and a little bee come along – and then he’ll go and try and swipe it with his paw.

  13. Lovely post! Good to know it is summer somewhere in the world, as we dig ourselves out of another mammoth snowfall. Thank you for putting me “in mind of the passing of time.”

  14. Hello Pamela and thanks for stopping by 🙂 I’ll try to send some summery breezes your way!

  15. Beautiful post… I understand your melancholy and could feel it all the way over here in winter. There’s a bit of wistfulness inspired by knowing something is almost over, even when it’s at or just past its peak, I think. The passing of time is always with us; it’s recognizing it that is hard. You did a wonderful job of evoking that sense of impermanence and longing.

    Your kitty is so sweet and grumpy-faced in the photo. Perhaps he can comfort you a bit. 🙂

  16. Thank you for your lovely words Meredith.
    We’ve had lots of rain in the last couple of days, so that’s washed some of the melancholy away!

  17. The Supervisor looks just. plain. disgusted. and like that rose might be destined for a good swat…if only she wasn’t so tired. What a great photo!
    I know that melancholy you mention very well…for me, it happens of an August day when I look up and notice the light has a particular golden blue hue to it later in the day, only that later is earlier, if you know what I mean, as the days shorten. I always meet the coming of autumn with a mixture of dread and relief. It’s nice to take a break from our gardening labours and have time to pause, reflect, and plan. But on the other hand, the three feet+ of snow outside in my yard now isn’t making me all that happy. But by May, I’ll be grinning at Daffodils and planting like a maniac, so it all evens out.

    • Jodi – I’m sorry, I thought i’d replied to this comment earlier – I must have deleted it by mistake! I know just what you mean by ‘later is earlier’ it is starting to happen here now.

  18. Hi Aunty! 😀
    Love your blog and especially the pictures (and especially especially Possum hypnotizing a rose). However, I will only be able to read it while our garden is still sleeping under the snow. Later in the year it will only make me feel lazy and stupid!



    • (((((((Jules!!!)))))) You visited my blog – I’m chuffed 😀

      Rubbish to you feeling lazy and stupid, you are a better gardener than I am! Anyway, if all else fails you can always do what I do and post a picture of a hedgehog (or in my case the cat 🙂 )

      • I’m really, honestly a very lazy gardener. I start full of enthusiasm in spring and some time in midsummer I decide to accept the weeds and call it organic gardening. 😉

        And yes, the hedgehog/cat/birdie picture technique usually works.

        It’s dark now, but tomorrow I’ll take a picture of my new greenhouse and show it to you! 😀


  19. Hi Jules 🙂 I like your ‘organic gardening’ concept – sounds a bit like a large portion of my garden! But I guess part of starting this blog was to keep myself on track so I would not get lazy with it – it’s working so far 🙂 If I suddenly stop posting it is probably a sign that it has stopped working:D

    So where is my picture of the sparkly new greenhouse then hmmm?

  20. I don’t know how to put a picture in here, but I posted one on the 3rd person thread. 😀

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