The poppies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Last week at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show I stopped by a stunning garden of trees set around a lake like an oasis, with drifts of brilliant, crimson, crocheted poppies in clusters around it. Looking through the foliage and across the lake, the poppies continued all the way down, into some sort of field. When we stopped to admire them, Scout asked me to help her onto a rock and would I please take her photograph. This is quite rare. She patiently allows me to point a camera at her all day long but rarely requests it, and never before has she deliberately set herself up to pose with a backdrop in mind. As I was helping her onto the rock and pulling out the camera, a man lightly touched my shoulder and said “That is perfect. That garden was made for her. I made it for her.” I smiled and thanked him as he walked away, but was distracted moments later as Ralph started crying and the crowds were growing thick and we’d managed to lose both grandparents and when I turned back to Scout, she had decided to lie down on the rock and was pretending to snore. It was only later that I realised I’d bumped into the creative director of this whole amazing oasis, award-winning landscaper Phillip Johnson, and it made me so happy to think that he’d enjoyed seeing my daughter interact with his garden (which, incidentally, was an ANZAC tribute garden, making beautiful use of the handmade poppies contributed by volunteer-crafters from across Australia for the 5000 Poppies project).

So, belatedly, thank you for your kind words Phillip. We loved what you created and why you did it!

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