Oversized sunglasses, comical frizzy wigs and crazy bowties-all emerald green. Then there’s the cheap Aussie beer, dyed green with food colouring. Yes, Friday was St Patrick’s Day.
I live in a university town and students love to drink abundantly while in fancy dress, so St Paddy’s Day is a big day out for them and the bars were full.
After 5pm a more prosperous crowd, who can afford to drink actual Guinness, invariably spilled out of their shops, offices and banks and joined the Irish revelry.
I began to think about that symbol of Ireland, the Shamrock.
Also known as clover, the Shamrock is a hard plant to pinpoint because even the Irish acknowledge the icon is actually several species. It seems everyone has a different Shamrock; Lesser Clover, White Clover and Red Clover all get a guernsey, as does Black Medick.
The most important feature of the Shamrock sprig is its three, distinctive heart shaped leaves.
St Patrick used the Shamrock in his evangelistic teaching during the 5th century to illustrate the Christian Holy Trinity.
Here in Australia our Shamrocks are Oxalis acetosella or Wood Sorrell.
This plant is a prolific weed, possibly the most frustrating weed for Australian gardeners. In spring it covers gardens and the countryside, but I’m sentimental and I only see its beautiful emerald foliage and the sea of pretty yellow or white flowers floating above. Of course, it has the three heart leaves.
Oxalis grows in abundance in my garden-what weed doesn’t? It pops up in garden beds, between pavers and, in spring, it shrouds the entire wild garden.
That is spring but now it’s early autumn and Oxalis was difficult to find in my garden this week. Eventually, I located a few lucky shamrocks not extinguished by the summer heat to photograph.
Please enjoy my photographs and lets celebrate St Patrick’s Day, I wish you all the luck of the Irish.