I happened to be in Australia's small capital city, Canberra, on September 1, which for odd reasons lodged deep in the Aussie psyche is considered the official first day of spring. Every time I turned on the local ABC radio station (the Aussie equivalent of NPR in America or the BBC in Britain, and commonly known as "Auntie") somebody was talking about what was happening in their gardens. The night before had been the first frostless night in weeks, and the plants were swinging into action.
Auntie's reliable voices covered the news with the same calm but intense focus that they bring to everything, announcing the blooming of the Hardenbergia in exactly the tones they'd use to describe the latest movements of the Taliban or the breaking news of the Labor Party's deal with the Greens. And indeed, these masses of tiny purple pea-flowers were exploding everywhere.
To be complete, September 1 was also Wattle Day. More on this soon.