With a group of women I’ve been celebrating our southern seasons for over 25 years. Beltane has just passed, and this time we turned up at the house of our oldest member, bringing what we thought was fitting for the season. Quite spontaneously, the colour theme of red and green emerged. The vibrancy of these colours suited the season perfectly.

Tarata (lemon wood) was used by the Maori to make a lemony scent. Here it is in flower, in the discreet way that so many of our native trees have (for they were usually pollinated by moths at night rather than bees by day). The smaller leafed tarata is actually more fragrant than this variety, with its larger leaves.
Lavender was blooming profusely in my friend’s garden, where I gathered the tarata. Both native and exotic vegetation is full of fragrance in this time of high spring.
About an hour before I set out for our gathering, I sent my edited manuscript to the designer — yea!!
It’s such a relief to be changing from words to images. The red and green, shimmering together, were perfect for the feeling of celebration, flowering and sap rising.