Spring is such an exciting period with everything waking up after the long cold Winter! The garden is literally transformed from September to November, as can be seen in the photos below, one for each month:It just gets better and better as the days progress, especially with the recent life-giving rain! In fact, this seasonal post is probably the most challenging to write, as so much is now flowering that it demands complete ruthlessness when it comes to photo selection and I really don’t know that I am up to the task! Here are a few more general garden photos from mid-Spring:and late Spring:
But back to the start of Spring and proceeding from the top down! First up, the trees…! It is just so lovely to have our tapestry of green back, especially on those sunny golden evenings when a thunderstorm is brewing.September was blossom-time, starting with the wild plums and crabapples: the Floribunda and Golden Hornet:
They were followed by the apples, quinces and pears, the maples (October) and finally, the dogwood (November).
By October, most of the trees were sporting their new foliage wardrobes and by November were in full fruit and seed production mode: plums, crabs and apples.
Next, the shrubs! September marked the end of camellia and japonica season;
and the return of old favourites like lilac and Michelia, White Caviar.
The bright sunny yellow of the broom and the Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) always gladdens my heart!
The May Bush (Spiraea), the Viburnum x burkwoodii Anne Russell and the Beauty Bush (Kolwitzia amabilis) were spectacular this September:
and continued on into October, to be joined by the white lilac, Mme Lemoine; the choisya (Choisya ternata), Viburnum plicatum Mariesii and the Snowball Tree (Viburnum opulus).
Further colour and scent was added by the woodbine on the fence;
As well as the weigela, the Carolina allspice and the red azalea, which enjoyed its move to the rainforest section of the garden.By November, the yellow honeysuckle on the fence had joined its cousin and was heading for the skies, while the blooming of the snowball tree finished with a snowfall of petals.Both philadelphus were in full glorious bloom and scent, as was the Italian Lavender. And the roses…! My beloved roses…! But first, the bulbs! The bulbs are always the first flowers of Spring! Lots of whites, golds and blues with the odd red and orange accent. My wild white bank of Actaea daffodils above the birdbath was a great success and we had a good show of the glamorous Acropolis daffodils at the entrance to the pergola below the Michelia.The bright yellow nodding heads of Winter’s miniature Tête à Tête daffodils (1st photo) were joined by these bright golden Golden Dawn tazettas (2nd photo). The pink and blue bluebells under the crab apple and next to the mosaic birds provided a soft blue, while the masses of grape hyacinths and divinely-scented Delft Blue hyacinth turned the treasure bed into a sea of blue. The tulips in the cutting garden also provided a wonderful show from the soft pale yellow and candy-pink-striped species tulips (Tulipa clusiana Cynthia): to the Pink Monet and Gold Bokassa tulips; and the brightly coloured Synaeda Orange Lily Tulips and Red Bokassa tulips, all children of the original bulbs planted in 2015.A snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) and Jacobean lilies (Sprekelia) arrived in October, but the iris quickly stole the show. I love the stunning bright colours of the Dutch Iris in the cutting garden, but I think my heart belongs to Bearded Iris, whose soft romantic colors and forms complement the November roses so well: gold in the Soho Bed and soft mauve in the Moon Bed. A friend has just given me a large variety of differently-coloured Bearded Iris, which we have planted above the agapanthus bank.After the bulbs, the Spring flowers started to take over. Because there are so many, I have organised them into colour palettes.
White: Acanthus mollis; Rock Orchid and Dianthus Coconut Sundae,
Dandelion seedheads; Feverfew and Nicotiana,
and a white Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea Mirabelle, though some of them were pink:
I love the white cornflower in amongst the white foxglove and feverfew in the shady end of the cutting garden.
Yellow: Nigella orientalis Transformer, English Primrose, Geum Lady Stratheden and Wild Strawberry;
Gold: A very special gift: an Intersectional Peony and my self-sown gigantic Russian Sunflowers;
and the stunning Meadow Lea dahlia;Red: Ladybird Poppies in the Cutting Garden and Dahlias, providing jewel-like colour on the skirt of the Albertine roses, as they finish their blooming season;
Deep Red: The last of the Double Hellebores from Winter;
Pink: Rhodohypoxis baurii and Dianthus Valda Wyatt of the treasure garden and the last of the pink violets from under the camellia; deep pink divinely-scented sweet peas; a mutated Ladybird Poppy and glamorous self-sown Peony Poppies in the sunflower bed.
I just adore the self-sown peony poppies in the Soho Bed!
Purple: I am hoping one of my readers can identify this cute little flower adorning the steps, but the others are Perennial Wallflower and Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla); Blue: Forget-me-nots, Borage, Blue Primrose and Cornflower;
And this last week, the Geranium Rozanne in the treasure bed!And Green: Hacquetia epipactis, a new purchase and woodland plant from Moidart Nursery (https://www.moidart.com.au/).The roses started with the white and yellow banksias on the bottom fence and the pergola over the outside dining area in late September, with the house and main pergola roses opening in early to mid-October and then, the main flush of roses in November. I have presented the roses according to their location.
House: First up, Noisette climber, Lamarque, whose clean fragrance reminds me of Granny Smith apples:
then, Hybrid Teas, Mrs Herbert Stevens (white)and Château de Clos Vougeot (red):
Main Pergola: The climbing roses are now starting to clothe the pergola, especially on the top side, with Adam and Mme Alfred Carrière already reaching the top! In order, top to bottom and left to right : the top side with Mme Alfred Carrière; the bottom side; Adam (2 photos); Mme Alfred Carrière (2 photos); Souvenir de St Anne and Souvenir de la Malmaison, in the middle of the top and bottom sides respectively; New Dawn and Devoniensis.
I just had to include two more photos of the beautiful Devoniensis in the late afternoon light!Arches: Cécile Brünner on the entrance arch; Cornelia (pink) and Sombreuil (white) on the arch at the bottom of the garden, leading into the future chookyard;
and Noisettes, Alister Stella Grey (small rose on bottom left) and Rêve d’Or (the larger rose in the other three photos) on the small arch near the shed corner.
The Albertine frame on the back wall of the shed has been a great success, with the Albertine roses in full bloom from late October till late November and now, the jewel-like dahlias adding colour to its skirts as the roses gradually finish.
Here are the dahlias:In the front beds of the shed include: Reine Victoria; Fritz Nobis and Leander.
The roses in the long bed against my neighbour’s fence have been wonderful this year! They include, in order, top to bottom and left to right: Archiduc Joseph (first two photos); Viridiflora (green); Small Maiden’s Blush (white; photos 4 and 5); Mme Hardy (white with a green eye); Fantin Latour (pink); and the divinely-scented Mme Isaac Pereire!
I have still to identify these two once-flowering roses. Any suggestions?Maigold brightens up the lawn beside the shed. I planted it for my Dad, who died last January, and it borders the Tea Garden, planted with peppermint, Moroccan spearmint, chamomile and Camellia sinensis, as well as a golden Kerria. Unfortunately, the Native Frangipani, which was planted above Scamp’s grave and which got hit by last Winter’s frost, has not recovered, so we are replacing it with a golden peach tree or a lemon-cented tea-tree, which ever one come first!
The fragrant Rugosa hedge is growing, though the Roseraie de l’Hay still struggles with root competition from the Cottonwood Poplar. In order, Mme Georges Bruant (a white double); Frau Dagmar Hastrup (a pink single) and Roseraie de l’Hay (a rich purple, double, highly fragrant rugosa).
The Russelliana are tough though and are thriving, despite a similar problem and full shade from the Mulberry Tree in Summer! I love the Hybrid Musk hedge to the left of the arch next to Sombreuil: Autumn Delight (first two photos) and Penelope (the rest of the photos! It’s a favourite!):And it looks like my ill Kathleen is on the mend at long last!The hedge on the right, next to Cornelia, contains some of my favourite roses: Felicia (first photo); Stanwell Perpetual (photos 2-5) and Mutabilis (photos 6-7).On the boundary fence is a very prickly rose, which I propagated from cuttings, having a 100 percent strike rate! I think it is Wichurana Rambler, Albéric Barbier. Soho Bed: A mass of colour with gold bearded iris, Italian lavender, pink and white valerian, catmint, borage, thrift, geum, perennial wallflowers, salvia, stachys, rose campion and November roses!Here are single photos of some of the roses in the Soho Bed, in order: Top to bottom, left to right: Fair Bianca (white); Mr Lincoln (deep red); Heaven Scent (pink; frilled petals) and Lolita to the right of her; The Alnwick Rose; Eglantyne (pink; two photos); The Children’s Rose (pink); Icegirl (white); Just Joey (salmon); and Our Copper Queen (gold).
Moon Bed: Full of beautifully blowsy and romantic David Austin roses, mauve bearded iris, blue borage and forget-me-knots, purple catmint and salvias (light and dark blue, deep pink and red-and-white Lipstick). Here is the Moon Bed in early Spring:In order, from top to bottom and left to right: Windermere (cream; two photos); William Morris (pink; two photos); Heritage (pink globular); Golden Celebration (gold); Lucetta (pink; two photos); the divinely-scented Jude the Obscure (peachy-cream and heavily cupped); and Troilus (lemony-cream). Unfortunately, my Evelyn died!
As you can imagine, we have been kept very busy raising seeds (with not much success!), mulching garden beds, training raspberry canes and vegetable gardening. The first photo below was taken in early Spring, when the kale was in full flower, and the second photo taken in late Spring.Ross commandeered my old dahlia and zinnia patches opposite the cutting garden for more vegetables, but I can still include the odd flower for pollination purposes, as well as just sheer scent and beauty! Because Iceland Poppies are one of Ross’s favourite flowers, we sowed its seed on one quarter of the old dahlia bed, but unfortunately only two white poppies emerged! They look stunning against the deep purple cabbage leaves!
Ross has reorganized the vegetable beds, as seen in the photo below. In the top left, perennial crops like raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus, comfrey, angelica, Russian Tarragon, and the odd potato from last year’s plantings, with sweet peas, nasturtiums and calendula flowers and even the odd wild strawberry, though we have lots of real strawberries in the old zinnia patch! On the right of the path are four vegetable beds, so he can rotate plantings. Just look at the size of those purple cabbages!!! It’s wonderful growing and eating our own food and the vegetable garden is now at a stage, where it self-seeds with tomato plants appearing all over the place! Likewise, our giant bed of sunflowers and peony poppies, both of which have had excellent yields this year, compared to previous years. As well as a few surprises like this miniature rose, which must have grown from a seed in a bird dropping. I was momentarily stumped by the identity of this stranger, growing at the edge of the hard-packed dirt path under the shade of the potato plants, until I remembered that I had sown a whole packet of Scarlet Flax, Linum grandiflorum rubrum, last year in the cutting garden, none of which had come up, so I don’t know how it reached its current postion, but hopefully it self-seeds and is here to stay!I’ve also been kept busy with birthday cakes and gifts: A crochet roll for my daughter, who has started learning to crochet and amazingly and unbeknownst to me, received two balls of soft, multi-coloured mohair wool and this set of brightly coloured crochet hooks of different gauges, from a workmate. They look so wonderful in the crochet roll! I also printed out some crochet patterns for the matching folder.And gifts for Zoe, my dear friend’s beautiful little daughter, who has such a generous and giving soul: a hedgehog to thank her for the cute little felt mouse, which she gave me, and a birthday ladybird coin purse. Note: all three patterns (crochet roll, hedgehog and coin purse) came from the wonderful book: Everyday Handmade: 22 Practical Projects for the Modern Sewist by Cassie Barden and Adrienne Smitke 2011.A French cockerel coffee cosy and coaster for my friend’s 60th birthday, involving a huge saga and much blood, sweat and tears! All I can say, is NEVER EVER try to make such a complicated fiddly pattern when you have a bad migraine!!! Nor cook a cake, but that’s another story!!! This pattern came from Mollie Makes Feathered Friends, edited by Jane Toft 2013.And birthday cakes for my neighbour and daughter! It’s so wonderful being able to play with all the Spring blooms and create beautiful bouquets and vases for the house!While we have also had some terrific days out over the Spring, including a wonderful whale-watching trip, I am reserving these photos for future posts and instead, I am finishing this post with some of our avian residents and visitors! We are currently deluged with the noisy chatter of Rainbow Lorikeets, drunk on the nectar of Bottlebrush. Unfortunately, I am without a camera at the moment and the birds are a bit quick for my mobile phone, but the photos below show the source of their delight!
Oliver, our super-quiet King Parrot, returns to our verandah from time to time to check if Ross has relented and softened his stance towards feeding wild birds!The Crimson Rosellas love feasting on the Spring blossom of the wild plum,while the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos prefer sheoak nuts!The male Satin Bowerbird and his wife love our garden, snipping off blue cornflowers, Erlicheer blossoms and even the odd snowball (Viburnum opulus),as do the magpies, which still chase off any larger birds- at the moment, the targets are storm birds, but given the latter are cuckoos, that’s very understandable! This quiet baby magpie loves weeding with Ross in the garden!The galahs, who adored the pink blossom in early Spring, both an edible treat and a visual complement to their rose-pink plumage, and the Duranta berries;And the return of the huge and noisy Little Corella flocks amassing in Candelo for Christmas, before their big journey in early January!Now that the year is drawing to a close, this is the last of my seasonal posts for the year. In fact, for quite a while, although I shall probably still add the odd post updating you on any major changes in the garden next year, the reasons becoming clear in next week’s post, Camera Woes (Thursday). I am also returning to my monthly feature plant posts, so you may also catch a brief glimpse of the garden in them!
But first, next Tuesday, I will tell you all about the wonderful Old Roses of Red Cow Farm, which we recently visited in early November. Such a treat! I was in heaven, as you can well imagine!!! If you can only ever visit this magnificent garden once, then this is the time to do it!!! Happy Gardening!
P.S. Here is a photo of our delightful street library just outside the general store, a new addition to Candelo! It even has a library stamp and ink pad!