image – http://www.sxc.hu
The competition is open to all WordPress bloggers who reside in countries to which Australia Post delivers and, more importantly, who have a stationery fetish. 😉
The first WordPress blogger to post the correct answer in a comment against this post after 10pm Sydney (Australia) time on Tuesday, 26th April, 2011 wins this Corban & Blair limited edition scribble journal (no, it’s not chocolate).
Please note that answers posted before 10pm Sydney (Australia) time on Tuesday, 26th April, 2011 won’t be considered. If you are unsure of the current time difference between your location and Sydney, Australia, check out the World Clock.
Your answer should correctly fill in the gaps denoted by ? in the final paragraph of the article below.
Where am I hiding?
Hidden on the east side exists a place like no other in this expansive outdoor playground in Sydney. Like a fortress, the high walls and lockable gate are a signal, not for the protection of its occupants, as is the shadehouse on the west side with its delicate Pteridophyta, but as a warning to those who enter. Inside, the stone underfoot discourages the rough and tumble of lawn games and in case you miss this subtle semaphoring, the printed warning signs are everywhere advising of the dangers of the marvellously peculiar residents.
Not for its inhabitants, the soft frilly edges of those poseurs up there in the Rose Garden, coyly hiding their barbs under delicate foliage. No. Instead, these street-fighters seem to take diabolical delight in their savage armoury of spikes and needles, goading the enemy to engage…just once. And unlike those one-hit wonders next door on Spring Walk, these perennial sentinels bear witness to countless seasons, tacitly challenging their vacuous neighbours to stand firm in the face of ageing and the elements. Undaunted by the assaults of sun, wind and rain, and perfectly adapted for water storage, they hold their positions and live to fight another decade.
Spurning the aid of the flamboyant colours of the Camellia Garden crowd and the bling of the fuchsia, this gang attracts a different set with its alternative charms. More Harvey Keitel than Paris Hilton, they yield their arcana only to the subculture of the intensely curious. A closer look at the apparent absurdity of their shapes is rewarded by the discovery of exquisite symmetries drawn from the entire geometric spectrum, and the epiphany that many are living fractals exhibiting the perfection of mathematics, science and art in all their parts.
Dispensing with the need for the eye candy of the ornamental cherry blossom or the cloying perfume of the wisteria, they trounce the surface seductions of the raunch culture with their covert treasures. With their exotic provenances—Bolivia, California, Eritrea, Galapagos, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Texas, West Indies—they form a kind of botanical Médecins Sans Frontières, providing essential ingredients for treatments from sunburn to diabetes. And much like their allies up there in the Herb Garden, their outward appearance belies a Heston’s feast of weird and wonderful culinary applications. Tequila and Oysters Guggenheim, anyone?
So, when you next visit, I urge you to take a different path; break away from the regular crowd of pretty young poppy-and-tulip things. Resist the lure of the riotously coloured rhododendrons and the fragrance of the floribunda; spurn the steamy sauna of the Tropical Centre and the shelter of the shadehouse. Instead, head east and enter this fortress of fascination to join the sunbaking lizards in silent contemplation of their bizarre companions: the euphorbia, echeveria, opuntia, agaves and aloes living in the ? of the ? As I said, there’s no place quite like it.
Good luck and happy Easter, Fellow Bloggers 🙂
image – http://www.sxc.hu