previously published by the Society of Women Writers South Australia Inc.

On Saturday 13 September a group of twelve haiku enthusiasts met at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens for a ginko In a sudden burst of spring warmth, the gardens were at their best. After a short meeting to discuss our plans the group split up, so individuals were free to walk about the gardens or, if they chose, to find a special place to pause and observe the variety of plant life, creatures and humans sharing the gardens on this sunny morning.

Carrying our notebooks and cameras or sketching pads, we planned to take notes, which would form the basis for writing haiku or perhaps haibun (prose and haiku), haiga (picture and haiku) or tanka (another Japanese poetry form).

In the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion I found the Victoria amazonica (Amazon Waterlily) and Nymphaea caerulea (Blue Nile waterlily) were both in flower. A lucky chance, as I had never seen the Amazon Waterlily in full bloom before.
I picked up a map of the gardens in the Botanic shop that showed the special plants for September then headed for the east side of the Museum of Economic Botany to admire the spikes of the giant Gymea Lily flowering like red flames.

While taking photos and listening to the distinctive sound of the wind in the pines bordering the lawn, I noticed that my focus on gathering material for writing haiku was making me more observant than usual. Walking uphill, I came to the Sunken Garden, where orderly geometrical beds were filled with Aeonium Arboretum Swarzkopf. The contrasing black rosettes bearing their yellow conical flowers made a spectacular display.

stone stairs
ants bring tiny shadows
into the sunshine

Just before midday, the haiku group gathered again at the table we had reserved outside the café. We shared our jottings and first drafts of haiku before enjoying lunch and a more informal chat to finish our ginko.

The group has decided to meet again informally from time to time for a ginko or an indoor meeting. If you are interested, please contact Lyn Arden for further information. [email protected]