It has been a beautiful Autumn with good rain early in March; a superb display of colour with the deciduous foliage from April to late May and long-lasting zinnias, dahlias and salvias, as well as a repeat-flush of roses; and lots of gardening activities, creative pursuits and local exploratory trips!Autumn vies with Spring in my affections. The weather is much more stable, though is tempered by the knowledge of the impending Winter, only to be assuaged by the parade of brilliant deciduous colour, as each tree prepares for its Winter dormancy. The verandah is such a vantage point, the backdrop changing daily.The zinnias and dahlias lasted well into late May, having been touched up by a few early frosts, and Ross has finally put them to bed with a good layer of protective mulch.The roses have taken centre stage again with a wonderful Autumn flush. These photos were all taken this Autumn. I have organised them into their separate beds:
Top Row: Left to Right: Just Joey; Fair Bianca; LD Braithwaite and Alnwyck.
Bottom Row: Left to Right: The Childrens’ Rose; Mr Lincoln; Eglantyne and Icegirl.
Top Row: Left to Right: Golden Celebration; Heritage; Windermere; William Morris
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Lucetta; Jude the Obscure; William Morris; and Troilus
Top Row: Left to Right: Mme Alfred Carrière and Adam
Bottom Row: Left to Right: an older Adam bloom and Souvenir de la Malmaison
Hybrid Musk Hedge : Left-hand side : White Roses
Top Row: Left to Right: Autumn Delight and Penelope
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Penelope and Tea rose Sombreuil on arch.
Right-hand Side: Pink Roses
Left to Right: Cornelia on arch; Stanwell Perpetual and Mutabilis
Left to Right: Fru Dagmar Hastrup and Mme Georges Bruant
Left to Right: Cécile Brünner first two roses and Mrs Herbert Stevens
Top Row: Left to Right: Viridiflora and Archiduc Joseph
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Archiduc Joseph and Countess Bertha
I have organised the rest of the garden blooms by colour:
Top Row: Left to Right: Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis; Violet; Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla;
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Poor Man’s Lavender Plectranthus neochilus; Plumbago; and Hydrangea
Top Row: Left to Right: Tree Dahlia buds and Elkhorn Fern
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Rosebud Salvia new bud and Bells of Ireland, Molucella
Orange, Gold and Yellow :
Top Row: Left to Right: Paris Daisy with Salvia, Indigo Spires; Woodbine; and Paris Daisy
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Hill Banksia, Banksia collina; slightly older bud of Rosebud Salvia; and Orange Canna Lily
Top Row: Left to Right: Fuchsia; Salvia; Christmas Pride, Ruellia macrantha;
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Rosebud Salvia, Salvia involucrata; Christmas Pride; Pink ‘Doris’
Top Row: Left to Right: Grevilleas Lady O and Fireworks; and Salvia ‘Lipstick’
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Grevillea Lady O; Echeveria and Azalea Dogwood Red
Top Row: Left to Right: Mexican Heather, Cuphea hyssopifolia; Cigar Flower, Cuphea ignea
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Dames’ Rocket, Hesperis matronalis, and Violet
Top Row: Left to Right: Nerines; Honeysuckle; Strawberry flowers and first of the Paper White Ziva jonquils for the season!
Bottom Row: Left to Right: Autumn Crocus; Windflower; Tea, Camellia sinensis; and Viburnum opulus – an out-of-season bloom.
We have been very busy and productive in the garden, gradually crossing jobs off the list! Weeding is a constant in the Soho and Moon Beds, as well as around the feet of all the shrub roses and bulb patches. We have just dug up either side of the shed garden path, so the shed roses are now in garden beds and we planted out many of the potted cuttings, which we took from my sister’s garden at Glenrock. All are doing well!We also made two arches out of old gate weld mesh, one leading into the future chook yard and supporting Cornelia (photo 2) and Sombreuil (photo 3); and the other on the corner of the shed, with Reve d’Or (photo 3) and Alister Stella Grey (photo 4) either side. Ross defined the edges of the vegetable beds with old recycled fence palings and planted out young vegetable seedlings, which he then mulched. We are really enjoying their Winter crop in our salads at lunchtime.From front to back in the photos below: red and green mignonette lettuce; spring onions; broccoli; spinach; cos lettuce and kale. We harvested the pumpkins, which again engulfed the compost heap, zinnia bed and maple tree, as well as the last of the tomatoes, making 3 bottles of green tomato chutney. We also have plenty of late Autumn fruit, now that the bats have gone, though I suspect our citrus is fairly safe anyway! Unfortunately, the figs did not ripen in time, but the Golden Hornet crabapples have lasted well on the tree. All the new citrus are growing madly and bearing fruit – the lime (photo 1) has a particularly fine crop and the lemonade (photo 2) is also bearing well. The cumquats have been an absolute picture, both in full blossom and fruit.We picked 6 Kg of fruit to make into cumquat marmalade and there was still fruit left!The loquat trees were in full bloom for weeks, attracting huge noisy parties of rainbow lorikeets, which then went on to eat the Duranta berries, along with the Crimson Rosellas and huge flocks of King Parrots. Up until early May, we had even larger flocks of screeching Little Corellas in the thousands, gathering in the trees, recently vacated by the bats, then flying off en masse right on dark to their roosting trees to the north, occasionally accompanied by the odd Galah! We have enjoyed flyovers by the local Gang-Gangs (photos below) and Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos. We even had a rare flypass by a Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo, en route to the local mountain forests. Other exciting glimpses included three Dollar Birds (photos 1 and 2) and a Figbird (photo 3), both Summer migrants, normally found further north. Other larger birds in our garden at the moment include very quiet Australian Magpies (photo 6), a pair of courting Australian Ravens (photo 2), a Grey Butcherbird (photo 3), Pied Currawongs (photo 5), Spotted Turtle Doves (photo 4) and our Blackbirds (photo 1), which have been on holiday and have just returned. And our littlies: the Eastern Spinebills (photos 1 and 2), Silvereyes (photo 3) and Double-barred Finches (photo 4). all of whom do a stirling job keeping the bugs in check.We found this delightful Grey Fantail nest in our old camellia tree at the front door.The slightly cooler weather has been wonderful for pursuing creative tasks from cooking to sewing, embroidery and paper crafts. I made my son a delicious carrot cake, using a recipe from https://chefkresorecipes.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/carrot-cake/ for his birthday: and hot cross buns for Easter Friday, using a recipe from https://bitesizebakehouse.com/2017/04/08/cranberry-hot-cross-buns-2/ , with a fun Easter Egg hunt in the garden with friends on the Sunday. My friend Heather, who visited us during the Candelo Arts Festival and is the Melbourne agent for Saori (http://artweaverstudio.com.au/), gave us a Saori weaving workshop and we were thrilled with our woven runners. I gave my friends Rae, Brooklin and Kirsten, a hand embroidery lesson, inspiring Rae’s wonderful exhibit. I was so impressed! I made embroidery rolls for their birthdays, as well as a pair of felt appliqué cushions for my sister’s bed. And another decoupage floral card and a paper owl, assembled from a German kit, which was given to me by my daughter in Berlin.And finally, there were the bouquets from the garden! Masses of colourful zinnias… and bright dahlias; Scented roses;
Simple blue salvias and bold hydrangeas; And wonderful mixtures of colourful blooms! How I love arranging flowers!And finally, we had some wonderful days out, exploring new spots and revisiting old haunts. The Bendethera day in March was rather inclement and while we could not reach our final destination due to the amount of water in the final creek, we did ascertain that our vehicle could manage the 4WD tracks for a future camping trip and despite the rain and constant cloud, it was still a lovely day out. We had much better April weather for our Monaro drive to Delegate, Jindabyne (including the wonderful Wildbrumby Scnapps Distillery in photo 2) and Thredbo (the Kosciuszko chair lift in photo 3) and discovered a wonderful birdwatching and trout fishing venue, Black Lake, near Cathcart, on our way home (photo 5), where we saw six elegant Black-Winged Stilts (photo 6). We introduced friends to Bay Cliff and Greenglades (also see: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/12/13/wonderful-wonboyn/) in late April (see if you can guess the tracks on the beach in photo 7!); and Aragunnu (also see: https://candeloblooms.com/2015/09/11/aragunnu-and-bunga-head/) in May, two of our favourite spots on the coast;as well as revisiting Nunnock Swamp and Alexander’s Hut (also see: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/10/18/south-east-forests-national-park/).And we went canoeing on Back Lake at Merimbula, where we photographed a beautiful Azure Kingfisher, as well as a teenage cygnet and white egrets. We are so lucky to have such easy access to these beautiful unspoilt natural areas! Next week, I am returning to our dreamy roses!