• Harlinah Teoh

Botanical bounty on a walk through the burbs

Late on Saturday afternoon on the first day of autumn. Air the perfect temperature – a touch above ‘warm’. Bees, backlit leaves, blowsy roses, bit of a breeze. Time for a walk through the burbs.


I never get bored walking round my neighbourhood. There’s nothing glamorous about it. It’s not urban enough to be edgy, not shabby enough to be chic. The houses are a crazy-quilt patchwork of eras: an occasional original Victorian farmhouse, a liberal dose of bungalows from the 1920s subdivision, and a representative sample from every decade since.


The gardens are similarly diverse. 1950s lawns, concrete edges and veteran hedges. Roses and lavender. Olive trees, lemons and zucchinis in the front yard. Too-large 1970s natives. Weeds and neglected shrubs. Yuccas and designer pebbles. Fluffy grass, baobabs and rusted steel fences.


Today I took my phone and snapped pictures of things that caught my eye. I was reminded of walking to school at age 5; it took me 30 minutes to walk 300 metres because every leaf in the gutter was utterly fascinating. Today I walked a bit further than that, but I still got distracted by leaves in the gutter.




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