Week 49/2023: Tis the season of the agapanthus

Agapanthus season

Week of 4 December 2023

I have this fascination with agapanthus, which grows everywhere in my suburb.

It’s one of the most ugly plants I know, and I despise seeing the massive flower heads everywhere I walk.

Agapanthus praecox ssp. orientalis is native to Southern Africa and is classed as a weed in Tasmania.  It’s not a Weed of National Significance or a Declared Weed in Tasmania, so it doesn’t have to be ruthlessly eradicated.

Still, it’s a weed so it’s not something we should be deliberately cultivating.

And I am captivated by these horrible things.

50 in 50 challenge—the fascination begins

In late 2020, I set myself a photo challenge of 50 photos in 50 days with only my 50 mm lens. (You can read about it here.) This forced me to be creative and to look for subjects that might suit that lens rather than the wide-angle I’d been using.

Over those 50 days I looked at subjects I don’t normally photograph, including an agapanthus bud.

An agapanthus bud starting to flower against a purple wall
November 2020, from my 50 in 50 challenge

I think the contrast of the wall and the bud was what caught my eye on the day I made this photo—and little did I know, it was the start of a photographic obsession.

Three years later, and I have over 1200 photos of these things in various stages of flowering (and later, death).

An agapanthus bud bursting into flower. The capsule has green dots on it
A dotty one

I progressed from my 50 mm lens to my zoom telephoto lens and, this year, to my shiny new 100 mm macro lens. This is a lens I need to spend a lot more time learning how to use, and it’s exposing (ha) some of the limitations of my camera.

A purple agapanthus bud flowering as seen from behind
A purple one

The last month or so, since the buds started appearing, I’ve been going out a few times a week to photograph them. It’s interesting seeing the differences between the buds, and watching them develop and change over the weeks.

A horizontal agapanthus bud against a red background
A horizontal one

I’ll probably lose interest in them once they go into their ugly full bloom, but for now I’m enjoying watching them slowly unfurl.

Week 49 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Lots of fun things this week, but I especially loved seeing Kramstable’s former school’s production of Crazy For You on Friday. It was a big show with lots of big songs and dance numbers by George and Ira Gershwin.

What did I notice this week?


Some leafy branches stuck into the top of a bus stop pole
Random things I see on a Saturday morning

Also, this.

a sandwich in a plastic sandwich bag hanging in a leafy bush
Random things I see on the way to the bus stop


What did I learn this week?

If I put on a time tracker like Toggl, to track how long I spend working on things, I get less distracted and get a lot more done.

What I’m reading this week

  • Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
  • The White Wash by Siang Lu
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