Today my friend Christal took me on a drive out of Sydney to attend the Collectors’ Plant Fair. I do not own a car so it was a rare treat for me. Rare, too were many of the plants on offer at the fair.
On the way we both said we had no more room for more plants. We’ll just have a look. At first we did.
We were both drawn to the water plants – the lotus and water lilies were everybody’s favourites. Too bad neither of us has a dam; anyway we weren’t going to buy anything. As soon as I spotted the ‘four-leaf clover’, nardoo (Marsilea spp.), an Australian native, I tried to draw Christal’s attention to them but before she could turn around to grab one, they were gone. I settled for a giant water chestnut – I was into the edibles whilst Christal was attracted by carnivorous plants.
Amongst the stalls were specialist growers offering plants that we don’t see at suburban nurseries. Many came from interstate so the question foremost in our minds was: would they grow here? Then we lost our heads and bought what we felt we must have rather than what we knew we can grow.
Christal bought a spiky cactus the size of a football and two carnivores; one of them promises to stink like a dead body when it flowers to attract flies (why?). I fell for a desert fruit, the quandong, a parasite that came with its own host tree – how neat is that?
We sat down for a coffee and chatted to a couple who shared their table with us. We laughed at ourselves for buying plants that may not survive till the next Fair. As we parted company they joked: Well, we can buy new ones then; so I said, See you next year– same time, same place, same plants.