Blog  |  Gallery of Inspiration  |  The Bindery  |  About

Thursday, August 20, 2020


Meet Bob. As a platycerium superbum, commonly known as a staghorn fern, I had the pleasure to keep Bob alive for a period of three years between 2015 and 2018. As both an act of good will and a requirement of leasing the house to which he was attached (having his own clause to that affect written in the lease). Bob hangs about on a twice extended and renovated 1950s Kenneth H Oliphant abode in Reid. Attached to the external laundry wall, an annex off the back of the garage, in a southernly facing nook created by the house running parallel to his wall. Protected from the summer sun by a hundred year old Elk tree that looms over the residence, which was planted at the same time as those that reside in Glebe Park. His perspective on life oversee the household services: garage back door, with the weekly passing of the bins, hot water system and heating unit.

When we held a house warming Bob was introduced to everyone, being the last feature on the house tour. I managed to keep Bob alive based on the advice people gave when learning of his existence, usually delivered after the exclamatory ‘how does it survive in the Canberra winter?’ This included: feed him the occasional banana peel or crushed egg shells and basically ignore his existence. Which did the job. In such discussions with friends and family at the housewarming it was proposed that I should hold monthly dinner parties in Bob’s honour. Complete with a ceremonious feeding ritual. (Leading to commentary that bananas would become a staple in future dinner party menus.) Sadly, I never held a dinner in Bob’s honour and with the end of our lease in Reid my responsibilities on his welfare ceased. Since moving out of the house it has since sold and in the second year of his new owners I often wonder: how is Bob surviving the winter? Does he receive enough potassium? Have the new owners begun celebrating monthly feeding rituals? If not, at least: are they ignoring him enough?