International Women’s Day has had many themes and motifs since its inception in the 1910’s. Its revolutionary beginnings of political protests for equality have somewhat softened in most parts of the world and now its focus is more on showing appreciation and affection for the women that surround us.
The tokens of appreciation given to mothers, daughters, co-workers, sisters and other much-beloved women on the 8th of March vary from one country to another. Flowers, as you may have guessed, are a popular choice and, in some countries, the bloom is quite specific. For decades now, the traditional gift in Italy is a branch or bouquet of Mimosa. Being inexpensive and one of the first plants to bloom at this period of the year, made the Mimosa an obvious choice for “La Festa della Donna”. This yellow bush’s delicate perfume permeates the air on this special day.
Now that we know why this plant was chosen, let’s see how it is linked to Australia. The Mimosa plant, although quite settled now in the region is not native to Italy or its surrounding area. It made its way to the Mediterranean region from Australia in the 1820’s and is better known in these parts as silver or blue wattle. Acacia Dealbata can be found in the South-eastern corner of Australia and in most vases on Italian tables on 8th March, of course.
Happy International Women’s Day to all our women passionate gardeners.