Bucket List of United Kingdom Gardens

There are so many wonderful places I would love to visit in the United Kingdom and I could easily visit Britain for its gardens alone! For anyone interested in British gardens, an excellent starting  point is to visit: https://www.greatbritishgardens.co.uk/.

This site features over 500 properties, which have been grouped into special interest categories: Arboretums and Woodland Plantings; Coastal and Wildlife Gardens; Family Gardens and Royal Gardens; Japanese or Prairie Gardens; Organic Gardens; Topiary, Walled and Water Gardens; and Seasonal Interest Gardens: Autumn Colour and Winter Gardens; and Specialty Gardens focusing on Snowdrops and Daffodils; Bluebells and Rhododendrons in the Spring and glorious Roses in Summer.

Other excellent sites to visit include: http://www.ngs.org.ukhttps://www.gardenvisit.com/  and  http://www.parksandgardens.org.

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9673Given that we live so far away and holiday time is always limited, I had to be so strict with myself and only include my utmost favourites!

While I would adore to visit some of the rightfully popular gardens like Sissinghurst Castle (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden and https://cadyluckleedy.com/2015/09/26/the-national-trust-sissinghurst-gardens-cranbrook-kent-uk/) and Hidcote Manor (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote), my aversion to crowds would outweigh my appreciation, though I realize it is probably impossible to avoid them these days! The 4 ha (9 acre) garden of Sissinghurst Castle has 200, 000 visitors each year, while the 10 acre Hidcote Manor Garden has 175 000 visitors each year, but fortunately, the latter’s website has a wonderful 3D virtual tour as well!

Nevertheless, it’s all a matter of degrees, so  I have not included them, nor have I listed gardens with very limited opening times like Charles Jencks’ Garden of Cosmic Speculation (http://www.scotlandsgardens.org/gardens/garden/6f8a52d7-f7b0-45c2-91fc-999e00d2ac95) or Prince Charles’ organic  garden at Highgrove (https://www.highgrovegardens.com/), described beautifully in his book: The Garden at Highgrove, which I reviewed in my post: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/05/16/inspirational-and-dreamy-garden-books-part-two-books-about-specific-gardens/; or gardens, which we have already visited on previous trips like: Muckross House, Killarney, in Ireland and Inverwewe in Scotland;  Overbecks, Devon and Trebah and the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall; and the Chelsea Physic Garden, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens, though I never did see the Marianne North Gallery at the latter, so feel I would love another visit there!

I will be doing a separate post for my favourite rose gardens! Please note all the photos are from my own garden, not the bucket list gardens, which I am describing,  and are included to add interest and colour to the post. BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0726Here is my bucket list in the United Kingdom!!!

West Dean Gardens

West Dean, Nr Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0RX

https://www.westdean.org.uk/gardens/explore and https://www.westdean.org.uk/gardens/blog

West Dean Gardens has long been on my radar, not just for its beautifully restored historic gardens, but also for its wealth of courses in conservation (Books, Ceramics, Clocks, Furniture, Metalwork, or Collections Care) and creative arts offered by West Dean College, both at the degrees and diploma level (https://www.westdean.org.uk/study/school-of-creative-arts/degrees-and-diplomas) and a huge variety of short courses, including embroidery and flower arranging. See :   http://westdean.assets.d3r.com/pdfs/original/17984-short-course-brochure-2017.pdf; and http://westdean.assets.d3r.com/pdfs/original/21070-short-courses-winter-2017-2018.pdf.

blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-29-18-26-41How wonderful it would be to stay at West Dean and participate in one of their courses, as well as be able to wander around their gardens in your relaxation time! Here is a link to a map of the gardens: http://westdean.assets.d3r.com/pdfs/original/19218-gardens-leaflet-12pp-2017-low-res-2.pdf.

The highlights include:

A 100 metre (300 foot) long Edwardian pergola, designed by Harold Peto in 1911 and made of stone pillars, linked by wooden overthrows, and covered with rambling roses (Veilchenblau; Sanders White Rambler); clematis; wisteria; honeysuckle and magnolia. The interior herbaceous borders include hostas; pelargoniums; ferns; iris; Dicentra and Spring bulbs. On one end is a gazebo with a mosaic floor of knapped flints and horses’ molars, while on the other end is a sunken garden with low growing plants, bulbs and a small pond.

Walled Kitchen Garden: Originally built in 1804, its current layout was developed in the 1990s and includes 2 cross paths and a perimeter path following the walls, creating 4 central beds and a series of borders against the walls.

The central beds follow a four-crop rotation of annual crops: potatoes; brassicas; legumes; and salad and root crops. Perennial crops are grown against the walls: soft fruit on the western wall; asparagus; rhubarb; sea kale and globe artichokes on the eastern wall and auriculas; lily of the valley; cordonned currants and gooseberries on the southern wall, the latter border also  growing early Spring crops, Summer herbs and late Autumn vegetables.

There is also a hot central flower border (Crocosmia; orange dahlias and yellow Kniphofia); a pear tunnel and espaliered pears and apples at the back. West Dean is famous for its apple collection with over 100 types of apples and 45 types of pears, many of them heritage varieties.

Victorian Glasshouses: There are 13 working Foster and Pearson glasshouses, built between 1890 and 1900, and growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables (figs; grapes; peaches and nectarines; strawberries; 58 different varieties of tomatoes; 75 different chillies; aubergines; cucumbers; melons; ornamental gourds ) and exotics and tropical plants (fuchsias; begonias; bromeliads; ferns; and orchids).

St. Roche’s Arboretum: established in 1830, this 49 acre woodland has a 2.5 mile circuit walk and contains many beautiful old specimen trees (beeches; limes; planes; and cedars), the National Collections of Liriodendrons (Tulip trees) and Aesculus (Horse Chestnuts) and shrubs, including rhododendrons and azaleas, which are a picture in Spring, along with the wildflower meadows and naturalised bulbs (over 500 000).blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-16-18-17-25Wisley

RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB

https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/wisley-blogs/wisley

An important centre for horticultural research and education and the flagship garden and historic home of the Royal Horticultural Society (https://www.rhs.org.uk), since 1903, when it was donated to the RHS by Sir Thomas Hanbury, who established La Mortola on the Italian Riviera.

It is one of four RHS properties, the other three being Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire; Hyde Hall, Essex; and Rosemoor, Devon, though another new RHS property at Bridgewater, Greater Manchester, is opening in 2020.

Wisley is enough for me! Apparently, it is the second-most visited garden after Kew Gardens in the UK – over one million visitors each year! So much for crowds then, though I’m hoping the sheer scale of the gardens will dilute them all! This place is HUGE , as is the website, and full of interesting ideas and inspiration!

Covering over 240 acres, 135 acres of which is open to the public, it has one of the largest plant collections in the world. There are so many different areas and it is worth visiting every area, at least on the website!

Here are the main areas which I would like to see :

The Glasshouse, which covers an area of 10 tennis courts, is 12 metres high, and has 3 different climatic zones (tropical; moist temperate and dry temperate) with 5000 different tender plants. It is surrounded by free-flowing beds of herbaceous plants and 150 metre (500 foot) long borders made up of Piet Oudolf-inspired diagonal ‘rivers’ of flowering perennials (mainly North American prairie species) and ornamental grasses with spectacular seedheads, planted in 2001. Usually including 3 plants to each river, the borders exhibit different combinations of repetitive plantings of: Echinacea; Echinops ritro; Perovskia; Gaura; Helenium; and Eryngium giganteum.

The Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Gardens, including demonstration gardens; an ornamental potager and raised beds of 50 different types of vegetables (350 cultivars); as well as the National Rhubarb Collection;  and a Tea Garden containing Camellia sinesis, as well as chamomile; cornflower; parsley; mint; strawberry; licorice; lemon balm; jasmine; bergamot and rose petals.

The Orchard, which contains 1300 different fruit cultivars, including 100 different types of plums and damsons; 175 different pears and 700 different apples, as well as strawberries; the National Collections of Red and White Currants and Gooseberries; rhubarb; figs and even a vineyard of white wine grapes. Many of the apples and pears are on dwarf root stock and trees are also trained to espaliers and fans.

The Cottage Garden, designed by Penelope Hobhouse in 1990, with lilacs, roses, bulbs and herbaceous perennials in a formal layout; and the 128 metres (420 foot) long Mixed Borders, which bloom from late Spring to Autumn, with their peak being in July and August. They contain clematis; phlox; helenium; salvias; nepetas; dahlias; sedums; asters; monkshood; helichrysum; monarda; culvers’ root; geranium; globe artichoke; and ornamental grasses.

The Walled Garden displaying Alternatives to Box and Foliage Plants (yew topiary, canes and grasses and over 50 cultivars of hostas).

The Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, planted in 2007 and containing disease- and pest-resistant, repeat-flowering David Austin and Harkness Shrub  Roses, climbers and scramblers, under-planted with camassias; alliums; agapanthus; and ornamental grasses.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2014-10-27-13-10-57The Rock Garden, home to alpines; small weeping trees; dwarf conifers; and ferns; with a Japanese- style landscape; grotto and ponds; the Alpine Meadow, full of Spring crocus (National Collection); hoop petticoat daffodils; erythronium; snowdrops; and fritillaries, as well as primulas and hellebores; and Howard’s Field with the National Heather Collection.

The Exotic Garden, full of tropical looking plants with large leaves and vibrant flowers), which can be grown outdoors in the UK Summer, including dahlias; gingers; cannas; bananas and palms; and the Mediterranean Terraces, showcasing the plants of Chile; Australia; New Zealand and South Africa, including eucalypts; acacias; callistemons; pittosporum; abutilons; loquats; lavender, rosemary; cacti and succulents. I imagine I would feel right at home here!

Bowles Corner, dedicated to EA Bowles, a past president of the RHS and lover of ‘demented’ plants, those of unusual habit or appearance like  Corkscrew hazel, Corylus contorta, or plants with variegated leaves, as well as his beloved Galanthus; Crocus; Colchicum and hellebores; and the Bonsai Walk showcasing hardy, outdoor, miniature,  40 to 80 year old evergreen, deciduous and flowering bonsai trees.

There are a number of areas, showcasing trees including:

Seven Acres with its Winter Walk with trees chosen for their Winter colour, scent, shape and structure, including Snakebark Maples; Tibetan Cherry; Dogwoods and Willows, underplanted with witch hazel; daphnes; iris; and hellebores.

Oakwood, a wild area with moist soil and light shade and the first garden of the original property, containing hostas; primulas; foxgloves; Trillium; Gunnera; Giant Himalayan Lilies; kalmias; camellias; rhododendrons and magnolias.

Pinetum, the oldest tree collection at Wisley and the Jubilee Arboretum, where trees are grouped for easy comparison eg shade trees; narrow upright trees; weeping trees; blossom trees; fruit trees; and Autumn foliage trees, and the woodland garden of Battleston Hill, complete with stumpery!

Wisley also has an excellent garden library open to the public, as well as a research library; and holds a large number of garden-related courses from Garden Design; Botany for Gardeners: Photosynthesis; Social Media for Gardeners; Plant Identification; Seed Harvesting and Preparation ; Propagation; Tool Care; and Winter Pruning; to Plant Photography; Screen Printing and Painting; Bees in Watercolour; and Christmas Wreaths. They also hold a number of craft and design shows and a major flower show throughout the year.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-18 10.08.01Ryton Organic Garden

Wolston Lane, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV8 3LG

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/ryton

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/news

Given our interest in organic horticulture, this garden, the HQ of  Garden Organic, a charity organization promoting organic farming and gardening, is also a must-visit for us!  Garden Organic began in 1954 as the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA).

The 10 acre garden is divided into 30 individually-themed display gardens,  including : the Vegetable Way, a Herb Garden, Pest and Disease Control, World’s Biggest Flowerpot, Soft Fruit Gardens, Biodynamic Garden, an Allotment Garden, a Bee Garden, All Muck and Magic TV Garden ; a Children’s Garden and the famous Vegetable Kingdom, a visitor centre, packed full of interactive displays describing the history of vegetables in the United Kingdom.

All gardens are managed organically and show all aspects of horticulture from composting, companion planting  and pest and disease control to fruit and vegetable production; herbs; herbaceous plantings; roses; shrubberies; and lawns, as well as large conservation areas: native trees; a wildflower meadow and cornfield; a lake; and peek-in RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)  urban wildlife garden. It sounds like a haven for birds and bees!blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-16-18-10-36They hold regular courses in growing orchard trees and organic or cutting-edge vegetables; seed saving; organic and biodynamic gardening; moon planting; composting; and conservation and sustainability, as well as a new Certificate in Organic Horticulture. At Ryton, they have a large organic research centre and a heritage seed library and are also involved in sustainable farming projects in Africa and India.

Their website is an excellent resource for organic growers, especially their section  on frequently asked questions, grouped under the following subject areas: Composting, Containers, Diseases, Disorders, Fruit, Ornamentals (Flowers), Pests, Propagation, Soil Management, Vegetables, Water use, Weeds, Wildlife and General.blognovgarden20reszdimg_0425Great Dixter

High Park Close, Northiam, Rye, East Sussex, TN 31 6 PH

https://www.greatdixter.co.uk

https://www.nowness.com/series/great-gardens/the-gardeners-garden-great-dixter

The family home of garden writer Christopher Lloyd (1921-2006), Great Dixter was bought by his father Nathaniel in 1912. The fifteenth-century medieval hall house was remodelled by Edwin Lutyens from 1912 to 1920. Originally, there was no garden, but Nathaniel and his wife, Daisy, developed an Arts and Crafts garden, designed by Lutyens, around the old buildings. Some of Lutyens’ hallmarks in the garden were: curving yew hedges; decorative tiling and the incorporation of farm buildings into his garden design.

Christopher, who was renowned for his originality and verve; his adventurous trials and experiments with new growing methods and plants; his  dramatic plant combinations; and his successional planting, died in 2006 and his work has been continued under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett, his gardener since the early 1990s and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.

Fergus and his team have continued to experiment with colour, texture and scale, producing high-impact visual displays and creating an increasingly naturalistic look to the garden using blowsy self-sowers like cow parsley. The garden is in constant flux , the planting schemes different every year. Great Dixter is famous for its colour combinations like lime-green euphorbias and red tulips;and  its use of link plants like Thalictrum; forget-me-knots; Verbena bonariensis and bronze fennel.

It is a high maintenance garden, but has an informal feel. Most of the plants are propagated at Great Dixter and are watered with their own bore water and fed with organic compost, with minimal use of chemicals.

While still relatively popular, it gets nowhere near the numbers of neighbouring Sissinghurst, at just over 50, 000 visitors per year, thanks in part to Fergus’s insistence on no signage in the garden; keeping the shop size small; and the paths narrow.blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-05-18-15-11The website has an excellent interactive map, which describes each part of the 24 hectare garden. I would particularly like to see:

The Wildflower Meadow at the entrance to the house, cut twice a year in August and late Autumn and containing many different British orchids, wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) ; snakeshead fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) and North American bulb, Camassia quamash; and the Upper Moat, Daisy Lloyd’s ‘Botticelli Garden’, studded with primulas and Snake’s head fritillaries; meadowsweet and  Autumn flowering crocuses, Crocus nudiflorus and Crocus speciosus.

Nathaniel’s Yew Topiary Lawn, clipped once a year and the Peacock Garden with its parliament of 18 topiary peacocks and two-foot tall hedges of white and purple Aster lateriflorus ‘Horizontalis’ and a row of  indigo blue ‘English’ iris, I. latifolia.

The Exotic Garden, a tropical-looking late summer to autumn garden with large leaves and brightly coloured dahlias and cannas; a haze of purple from self-sown Verbena bonariensis, a Great Dixter signature plant; a white flowering Escallonia bifida, full of  butterflies; and four hardy Japanese banana plants, Musa basjoo.

The Orchard, a huge meadow stretching almost the whole south side of the garden, containing apples, pears, plums, hawthorns and crabs and  long grass with communities of crocuses, daffodils, erythroniums, wood anemones, four types of terrestrial orchid, and Adder’s Tongue ferns; and The Long Border, a very famous feature of Great Dixter, reached by Lutyens’ circular steps, and separated from the informality of the orchard meadow, by a broad flagstone path and a strip of mown grass.

This closely woven exuberant tapestry of  mixed  shrubs, climbers, perennials, annuals and grasses blooms from from April to October, with its peak in High Summer (Mid June to mid-August).

The Prairie, a meadow of long grass; Common Spotted and Twayblade orchids ; and  North American prairie plants,  Veronicastrum virginicum, Eryngium yuccifolium, and Helianthus grossaserratus.

The High Garden, an Edwardian kitchen design ,with paths flanked by fairly narrow flower borders of oriental poppies and lupins, backed by espalier fruit trees, hiding the Vegetable Garden.  See Aaron Bertelsen’s blog : https://dixtervegetablegarden.wordpress.com/.

Great Dixter holds Spring and Autumn Plant Fairs; a series of lectures and symposiums and is a centre for horticultural education and work experience.blogdecgarden20reszdimg_0127While in the same area, it would be worth visiting Perch Farm, if it coincided with either one of their open days or even better a course in flower arranging or cutting gardens! See: https://www.sarahraven.com and

https://www.gardenista.com/posts/garden-visit-sarah-raven-perch-hill-east-sussex-england/.

Interestingly, Christopher Lloyd is one of Sarah’s heroes! I have already discussed her wonderful garden in my post on Sarah Raven’s books in: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/03/21/books-on-specific-types-of-gardens-part-one-cutting-gardens-cottage-gardens-and-herb-gardens/.

blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-29-17-27-54Newby Hall and Gardens

Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 5AE

http://www.newbyhall.com/

A forty acre (16 hectares) garden designed and created by the present owner’s grandfather, Major Edward Compton, who inherited Newby in 1921 and gardened for over 50 years till his death in 1977. He designed a labour-intensive ‘garden for all seasons’ in compartmented formal rooms off a main axis, created with a broad grass walk, running from the south front of the house down to the River Ure and flanked by double herbaceous borders against double yew hedges.

His son, Robin Compton, and Robin’s wife, Jane, were also passionately interested in the garden, flowers and colour and design. They totally restored and replanted these lovely gardens over a ten year period, winning the BTA Heritage Award and the HHA/Christie’s Garden of the Year Award. The gardens are now run by Mrs Lucinda Compton with Head Gardener, Mark Jackson.

Like the other gardens featured, it has many fascinating garden areas, which are described in depth on the website, but the areas I would most like to see include the following:

Double Herbaceous Borders

172 metres long with a modern colour palette of soft pastels; vibrant lilacs; magenta pinks; lime green; claret and silver. Plants include architectural Cynara; Eryngium; Echinops; and Giant Scotch Thistle Onopordum acanthium ; Delphinium cultivars and Campanula lactiflora; Crambe cordifolia; Geranium and Origanum; asters; dahlias; sedums and  undulating drifts of colourful flowering perennials like Echinacea, Lythrum, Sanguisorba and Veronicastrum .

The Autumn Garden

A compartmental walled garden  containing Clerodendron trichotomum var. fargessii; Hydrangea quercifolia and  Hydrangea aspera Villosa Group and 40 late Summer flowering herbaceous Salvias; 800 dahlias in exotic purples, radiant reds, blousy pinks, moody maroons; Sedum; Echinacea; Phlox; and Verbena bonariensis.

The Rose Garden, mainly old-fashioned once-flowering hybrids and cultivars of Gallicas, Damasks, Albas, Centifolias and Mosses, the peak season being June into July, as well as some more modern repeat-flowering David Austin hybrids; underplanted with annuals like Salvia, Cleome, and Cosmos. The photographs on the website look so beautiful!blogsummer-gardenreszd20img_0323The Water Garden, created by a man-made stream following a slope down into a pool. Plantings include: the famous soft pastel Harlow Carr primulas; Iris; Gunnera manicata; ornamental rhubarb Rheum palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’; Lysichiton americanum (Bog Arum); Brunnera; Darmera peltata; and hostas; camellias; rhododendrons and bamboos.

The East Rock Garden, the brain-child of Miss Ellen Willmott in the early 1900s, containing Euonymus; Nicotiana; Osmanthus; Viburnum; Cistus ; foxgloves; Ceanothus; and an impressively-striped Acer tegmentosum ‘White Tigress’; Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’, Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’; and hundreds of dark ‘Havran’ Tulips, against a backdrop of Magnolia stellata and Camellia japonica magnoliaeflora..

The White Garden, containing a lily pond and two identical flower beds with variety of white herbaceous perennials, bulbs and annuals, providing harmony and contrast with different heights, flowering times, scents, foliages and textures.

The Woodland Garden, an informal relaxed garden with many plants collected by ‘Chinese’ Ernest Wilson, including the ‘Pocket Handkerchief Tree’, Davidia involucrata, underplanted with epimediums; Himalayan Birch, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ; the Snowdrop Tree, Halesia carolina; and Snowbell Tree, Styrax hemsleyana.

The Tropical Garden, with its dense plantings of exotic-looking shrubs and plants with large lush foliage: Yuccas (Adam’s Needle), Eryngiums (Sea Holly), and Phormiums, backed by Eucalyptus gunnii, different Paulownias (the Foxglove Tree) and Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum awabuki). Perennials are interspersed with colourful tender exotics like Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican Sunflower), Leonotis leonorus (Lion’s Tail), Phytolacca ‘Lakka Boom’ and the Castor Oil plant (Ricinus sp.). Whilst Summer is the best time to see the Tropical Garden, there is a wonderful show of flowering magnolias in Spring.

The Beacon Garden, planted to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, with a tall beacon in its centre, under-planted with hundreds of Narcissi, and surrounded by four beds planted with a central Weeping Pear Pyrus salicifolia and pale pink and deep red peonies (Paeonia officinalis and Paeonia lactiflora).

The Curving Pergola, covered with the golden racemes of  Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’ in late May/ June.

The Orchard Garden with a central circular bed and a geometric arrangement of Quince and Apple trees. Four Philadelphus hedges create a square-within-a-square, all softened by the late Spring blossoms of fruit trees, flowering Philadelphus hedges and Crab Apple (‘Red Sentinel’) espaliers. Long grass is interspersed with naturalised Tulipa sylvestris and Fritillaria meleagris. The top bed of the Orchard Garden contains magnolias; a large Wisteria and a Banksiae lutea rose, as well as smaller perennials and annuals, including veronicas and diascias. The East bed contains Rosa ‘Alfred Carrière’ and Rosa ‘Alchemist’.

The National Cornus Collection, which contains over 100 specimens with 30 species and 76 different hybrids and forms, including my Cornus ‘Norman Hadden’, photo below.blogdecgarden20reszd2016-12-06-18-28-38There are so many smaller gardens I would love to visit as well. Here are three of my favourites:

Virginia and Leonard Wolff’s Monks House (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/monks-house) for its bulbs, thousands planted by Leonard, old roses, colour, literary history and beautiful interiors, as described by Caroline Zoob in her beautiful book, Virginia Wolff’s Garden (see my post: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/05/16/inspirational-and-dreamy-garden-books-part-two-books-about-specific-gardens/);blognovgarden20reszd2016-10-29-12-09-48Snowshill Manor Garden (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/snowshill-manor-and-garden and https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1000781), an Arts and Crafts garden in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, designed and built from 1920 to 1923 by MH Baillie Scott and owned by Edwardian architect, Charles Wade, who collected a fascinating array of treasures (22 000 of them in fact, chosen for their colour, craftsmanship and design) from tiny toys to Samurai armour ; masks to spinning wheels; musical instruments to fine clocks; and model boats to bicycles, all of which he stored in the house, preferring to live in the smaller Priest’s House in the grounds.

Typical of the period and style, the garden is a series of outside with terraces and ponds, and formal beds, full of colour and scent. Many of the garden ornaments are painted ‘Wade Blue’, a soft powdery blue, which harmonises with the Cotswold stone and the blue/purple planting theme.

There is also an ancient dovecote, a pool, a model village, Wolf’s Cove, which was built by Charles Wade, a kitchen garden, orchards and some small fields with sheep. Apparently, he used to entertain up to 500 guests each year, including Edwin Lutyens, John Masefield, J B Priestly, Virginia Woolf and, in 1937, Queen Mary!  And finally….blognovgarden20reszdimg_0048Tintinhull Garden (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tintinhull-garden), started  in 1933 by Phyllis Reiss and developed further in the 1980s by internationally-acclaimed garden writer and designer, Penelope Hobhouse, who described it so beautifully in her books: On Gardening; Garden Style; and Colour in Your Garden (See my post : https://candeloblooms.com/2017/02/21/garden-guides-and-garden-design-books/).

The garden is broken up into intimate garden rooms, linked by axes and paths, and the great diversity of plantings can be investigated through the official website, which has illustrated lists of all the plants used in the different areas of her garden.BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_1083On Thursday, we will cross over to the continent to explore a few French gardens on my bucket list!

Walter Duncan and the Heritage Garden

We were very fortunate to stay in the old cottage at the Heritage Garden, the highlight of our rose holiday, from the 28th to the 30th October 2014. It had been a long-held desire and it was every bit as wonderful as we had hoped. It was so exquisitely beautiful! All the Old roses were in full bloom- in fact, the very next weekend was the annual Open Day for the general public, the garden opening only one day a year on the first weekend in November and the proceeds going to charities like the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to visit the garden anymore – its days as a bed-and-breakfast, the open days and its use as a venue for weddings and photo shoots are all over and Walter and Kay can now enjoy a well-earned retirement after all their years of hard work!

So, in a way, this post is an ode to Walter, Kay and their wonderful rose garden! I just hope I can do them all justice!

Note: I have interspersed specific roses grown in his Heritage Garden throughout the text. First up, Damask roses Botzaris (1st photo) and Quatre Saisons (2nd photo).BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9454blogdivinedamasksreszd20img_9496Walter was born in Adelaide in 1939, though his family roots were the grazing property of Hughes Park, Watervale, South Australia, owned by his family since 1887 and now run by the sixth generation. He inherited his love of roses from his mother, Rose.

After learning to prune roses from Alex Ross in 1958, he joined the Rose Society of South Australia Inc in 1959. He began growing roses and exhibiting them at the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (R.A.H.S.), an organization with which his family had a long association with five generations involved.

He started writing cultural notes for the Rose Society of South Australia in 1960, becoming the editor of the South Australian Rose Bulletin and serving on the committee of the Rose Society  of  South Australia Inc. from 1962 to 1974. He was Vice-President at three stages over 15 years from 1964 on, then President from 1972 to 1974, and has been an honorary life member of the society since 1978.

Here are photos of the bright yellow Species rose Rosa hemisphaerica and Gallica rose Sissinghurst Castle.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9704BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9712In 1976, he established a rose and cut flower nursery called ‘The Flower Garden’, later trading as ‘The Rose Garden’, based at Hughes Park and supplying thousands of bare-rooted roses and cut roses to nurseries and supermarkets all over Australia for 24 years. He retired from the nursery  in 2000.

Also in 1976, he was elected to the Horticulture and Floriculture Committee of the R.A.H.S. and has served in a number of positions from Chairman (1985 to 1996; 1998 to 2007), Treasurer (2004) and Board Member (1994).

Here are photos of China roses: Viridiflora 1833 and Perle d’Or 1884.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9654BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9555 He has won a number of awards for his exhibits, including the Banksian Medal twice from the Royal Horticultural Society, United Kingdom, and five Grand Champions.

Below are photos of Tea Roses: Devoniensis 1838; Rosette Delizy 1922; and Francis Dubreuil 1894.BlogTeasReszd20%IMG_9628BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9679BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9662 Walter has written numerous articles, including their culture, cultivars and propagation, some of which can be read at : http://sarose.org.au/growing-roses/cultural-notes . He was also a co-author of Botanica’s Roses. He has also delivered many speeches about roses and was a Lecturer at the 2008 Rose Conference, Adelaide.

These photos are of the beautiful Kordes rose, Fritz Nobis 1940.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9677BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9678He has been actively involved in the development of many prominent rose gardens in South Australia, including the old rose section of the Adelaide International Rose Garden and the modern rose garden at Carrick Hill.

In 1999, he attended the International Rose Conference in Lyon, France, where he met Jean-Pierre Guillot and became the Australian agent for his new breed of roses called ‘Rosa Generosa’. He also bought a 9 Ha (22 acre) block of land at Sevenhill as a retirement property, but more about that later!

This stunning Guillot rose is called Sonia Rykiel 1991.bloghxroses20reszdimg_9491Walter is a highly respected rosarian, both here in Australia and internationally. He was Winner of the Australian Rose Award in 2007 and the TA Stewart Memorial Award and Distinguished Service Award from the Heritage Rose Society in 2008.

In 2009, he was given the World Rose Award (Bronze Medal) by the World Federation of Rose Societies. Finally, for all his services to the rose industry, the show and his charity donations from his open days, he received an Australia Day Mayoral Award from the Clare and Gilbert Mayor in 2014.

The unusual roses below are Hybrid Teas: White Wings 1947 and Ellen Willmott 1935. Both have Dainty Bess, a light pink Hybrid Tea with similar stamens as a parent.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9666BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9670Hughes Park

712 Hughes Park Rd.  2 km from Watervale in the Clare Valley and 100 km North of Adelaide

PO Box 28, Watervale 5452

Phone: (08) 8843 0130

http://www.hughespark.com/

Hughes Park has been a Duncan family property for six generations. The original part of the homestead was built between 1867 and 1873 for Sir Walter Watson Hughes, a co-founder of Adelaide University. When he died in 1887, he left Hughes Park to his nephew, Walter’s great-grandfather, Sir John James Duncan (1845-1913), who built a further section on the front of the homestead in 1890. The homestead complex also included a dairy, blacksmithy, stables, a petrol house, coach house, offices, workmen’s cottages, maids’ quarters and a manager’s house.

The two-storey honey coloured sandstone homestead has a very old Noisette rose, Cloth of Gold 1843, growing along the front verandah. It is over 100 years old, being one of the earliest yellow roses in Europe, and flowers early with the tall bearded iris, repeating in Autumn. While this photo was not taken at Hughes Park, I have included it as it is a photo of Cloth of Gold.BlogNoisettesReszd2014-10-19 13.43.09Walter had his nursery and rose display garden at Hughes Park for many years and featured in many magazine articles, as well as Susan Irvine’s book ‘Rose Gardens of Australia’.

The display garden was situated below the old homestead and sheltered on one side by two enormous Ash trees, originally planted by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and on the other side by huge century-old olive trees, through which an old Rosa laevigata clambers, its creamy white single fragrant flowers (in early Spring) contrasting beautifully against the blue-grey foliage of the olive trees.

The display garden was divided into quarters by North-South and East-West pathways, over which there are 20 decorative metal arches, 5 metres apart, supporting a Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison 1843 on either side. Walter fell in love with this rose, which was painted extensively by Hans and Nora Heysen and planted at their garden at The Cedars, Hahndorf.

On either side of the paths were rose-filled borders, under-planted with self-seeding plants, including forget-me-knots; white honesty; poppies; foxgloves; violets; hellebores; blood lilies; and tall bearded iris, with climbers espaliered on tall fences at the back. Here is a photo of that beautiful romantic Bourbon rose: Souvenir de la Malmaison.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9465Beyond the display garden were extensive nursery beds in open paddocks. Walter sold over 100 000 roses each year. He used Dr. Huey 1915, a vigorous thornless rose which grows easily from cuttings, as his understock and flew his budder out from England every year. Walter ran his nursery from 1976 to 2000.

After he left Hughes Park, the homestead was empty for 10 years, before being renovated by his nephew, Andrew Duncan, and his wife Alice. They opened the two-bedroom 1845 cottage as a bed-and-breakfast in April 2009.

I fell in love with the next rose below – a Hybrid Tea and Alister Clark rose, Cicely Lascelles 1932, a rose which was new to me, but has a future place in my garden!BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9667BlogAlisterClarkReszd20%IMG_9468BlogAlisterClarkReszd20%IMG_9669The Heritage Garden                   136 km North of Adelaide (1.75 hours drive)

LOT 100 Gillentown Rd or 12 McCord Lane

Sevenhill SA 5453

Postal address: PO Box 478 Clare 5453

Phone: (08) 88434022; or Kay’s mobile phone: 0418837430

http://theheritagegarden.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/theheritagegarden/

Image (567)BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9506When Walter and Kay bought the 9 ha property back in 1999, it was just a bare paddock with a rundown 140 year old cottage, originally owned by Agnes, Polly and Jack McCord, who had an orchard and a reputation for growing the best chrysanthemums in the Clare Valley.

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9571

When his childhood home in Greenhill Rd., Eastwood, was to be demolished in the late 1990s, Walter salvaged all the materials, including 1 1/8 inch Baltic pine floorboards, bricks and blue stone, cast iron, windows and doors, transporting it all and storing it in old sheds on his new property.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9642BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9489 He designed a house, similar in style to the old place, but adapted to modern style living with a large open-plan kitchen and family room at the back of the house.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9623 The decorative cast-iron verandah railings are swagged in Mme Grégoire Staechlin 1927 (also known as Spanish Beauty) and the stone walls are covered in ivy, connecting the house with the garden.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9498BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9631 Other walls are covered with a Chinese Wisteria Wisteria sinensis, Mme Alfred Carrière 1875 and Lamarque 1830 , under-planted with erigeron, forget-me-knots and aquilegia, and Bonica 1982 and the Edna Walling Rose 1940.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9739BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9494Once they had built the house, they turned their attention to the old sandstone cottage, converting it to bed-and-breakfast accommodation by 2002.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9518 It has two living areas, a wood fire and a cosy bedroom.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9790BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9792 Kay is a keen quilter, so her beautiful quilts can be seen in every room.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9793BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9795BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9799 We stayed three nights for the price of two, a very generous offer, especially given the provision of a full breakfast, a complimentary bottle of Clare Valley wine, and port and European chocolates, as well as wonderful vases of fresh roses from the garden!BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9683BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9517 Breakfasts was eaten out on the front patio near the old chimney ruin, covered with R. brunonii.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9682BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9522BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9523 The cottage walls are covered with Noisette roses Céline Forestier 1842 (1st photo) and Crépuscule 1904 (2nd and 3rd photo).BlogNoisettesReszd20%IMG_9520BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9521BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9513 The fence is covered with a huge yellow Banksia Rose, which blocks the southern wind  and there are two arches of Phyllis Bide 1923 at the entrance to the cottage on McCord Lane.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9542BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9508

They also built a romantic summerhouse for use by guests, with three full-length recycled French doors opening out onto shady green lawns,BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9515BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9559BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9687 and colourful garden beds, full of roses, perennials and annuals: the garden to the left of the garden entrance from McCords Lane with its rugosas; BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9781BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9500The garden to the right with its golden Kordes Shrub Rose, Maigold 1953;

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9503BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9505And the riot of colour in the garden bed at the back of the main house.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9740Walter and Kay designed a 2 ha (6 acres) English-style garden with a backdrop of the Australian bush.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9462BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9780 In 2012, Catherine O’Neill painted a watercolour plan of the garden, showing the main sections of the garden.BlogDuncanReszd50%Image (568) Walter and Kay used the existing trees as a starting point: a 70 to 80 year old walnut tree; and gnarled old plum and fig trees.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9782 They planted a quick-growing row of poplars, which are now 40 feet high and provide shelter from the north, as well as birches and prunus.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9680 At the side of the property, they planted a quince orchard (Smyrna Quinces) with 200 trees, the fruit used by Maggie Beer for her famous quince paste. I loved the statue at the end of the quince orchard.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9639

A crab apple walk of Malus ‘John Downie’, with its cream Spring flowers and orange to red Autumn fruit, leads to the rear of the garden, where Walter has his French-bred Guillot rose collection.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9418 These hardy, drought-tolerant free-flowering, fragrant, pastel roses have an even growth habit and look a bit like David Austin roses. They include Sonia Rykiel 1991; Paul Bocuse 1992 (photo below); William Christie, bred before 1998; and Gene Tierney, bred before 2006. Knight’s Roses are now the agent. See: http://knightsroses.worldsecuresystems.com/guilliot.htm#.WQAqa9zafIU.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9420 Behind the Guillot rose patch is a vegetable garden and a contemplative area with a gravel courtyard, wellhead, candle pines and a claret ash.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9626BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9409However, it is the front of the house, which is the highlight, with a 200 foot long archway, transferred from Hughes Park, extending from the front gate to a wedding pavilion near the house.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9681BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9487 The 22 arches are spaced 4 metres apart and support Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9731 The arch is narrowed in the middle by two urns, giving the tunnel an illusion of increased length.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9732 It is such a romantic beautiful sight in full bloom!BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9467  On one side of the fragrant avenue are deep beds of Tea Roses including : Nestor; Maman Cochet 1892; Triumph de Guillot Fils 1861; and Monsieur Tillier 1891.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9463BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9717 Walter has over 2000 roses, including Species Roses; Rugosas; Gallicas; Albas; Damasks; Centifolias; Bourbons like Mme Isaac Pereire 1881; Teas; Noisettes and David Austin Roses like Golden Celebration (2nd photo).BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9705BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9452 They are planted on arbours, arches, along swags and up pillars and under-planted with foxgloves; delphiniums; erigeron; forget-me-knots; iris and poppies to create a total picture.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9483BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9709BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9486BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9645BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9734 Climbing Lorraine Lee 1924 is one of the first roses to flower in Spring, then continues right into Winter.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9449 The Mutabilis 1894 against the house is enormous!BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9737BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9524BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9566The scent from Rugosa, Mme Lauriol de Barny 1868, is superb!BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9672BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9673In Winter, Walter prunes over 200 roses from the third week of July to early August. He fertilizes them twice a year with Sudden Impact, just after pruning and at the end of February of early March for an Autumn flush.BlogCultivationReszd20%IMG_0346BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9720BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9437 The grass parrots used to nip the new rosebuds, but he has deterred them by an ingenious, safe and effective arrangement of fishing lines.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9725BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9706 The dry hot Summers of South Australia are ideal for roses, but necessitates lots of watering and vigilance against bush fire risk.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9779BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9445Other garden features include a bridge over the creek; an aviary and chookhouse; a fountain on the front lawn; topiaried trees and statues, providing focal points.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9635BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9561BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9444The Heritage Garden was the 2004 winner of the Most Outstanding Garden in the Clare Valley in the New Tourism category. We feel very privileged to have been able to stay there and enjoy the garden on our own for three full days!

Here is a photo of Hybrid Musk, Autumn Delight 1933, a rose which I have since planted in our Candelo garden.BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9649For more photos and information, including an audio tape and television interview by Sophie Thomson on Gardening Australia (Series 28 Episode 6; from the  10:33 to 17:24 part of the 27:30 long program) with Walter Duncan, see the following links:

http://www.gardenclinic.com.au/how-to-grow-article/rose-by-rail?pid=44213

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/gardening-australia/FA1605V006S00.

I will finish this segment with a photo of Large-Flowered Climber Blossomtime 1951.

BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9475If you are in the area, it is also worth exploring the local countryside with its rustic architecture and heritage villages, like Farrell Flat, Burra and Mintaro (photos below), BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9602BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9601 as well as a number of wineries like Skillogalee Winery, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. (https://www.skillogalee.com.au/). It certainly was a wonderful end to our fabulous rose holiday in Clare!BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9770BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9774BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9744BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9747BlogDuncanReszd20%IMG_9765The next three posts will be covering some of our favourite history books in our library, starting with archaeology and anthropology, followed by the prehistory of Australia and finishing with some general history books.

The Winter Garden

Winter is finally coming to a close! The first two months (June/ July) were very cold, with heavy frosts, which were much worse than last year, damaging all the fresh new growth on the citrus trees (first photo) and almost completely destroying our beautiful native frangipanis, which had been doing so well (second photo). Hopefully, they will recover this Spring!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.51.56BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-23 11.01.35Most of the salvias in the Moon Bed, a large area of agapanthus slope (1st photo) and the giant bamboo and the pots of succulents, daisies and aloe vera were also hit, and even the pink rock orchid (2nd photo) and the elkhorn (3rd photo), both of which should have been safe in their relatively protected positions! Luckily, they are both tough and show signs of recovery.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-23 10.56.32BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-23 14.42.40BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.54.51Heavy frost certainly sorts out your plant selection! Only the tough survive!!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-27 10.52.38BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-28 10.43.18Winter frosts also mean blue and gold sunny days and cold Winter nights and while the Winter Garden takes a holiday from blooming, we still did plenty of work in the garden, preparing for the new season, as well as exploring the local area and enjoying the Winter fires (both in the house and a friend’s bonfire night) and indoor activities.

I will start this post with an overall review of the garden in each month, followed by a recap of our garden jobs; creative pursuits and exploratory days out.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-28 10.53.21BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0253June saw the end of the Autumn foliage (1st photo above of the Japanese Maple), a bounty of ivy berries for the bowerbirds (2nd photo above) and the last of the late roses. The photos below are, in order: Stanwell Perpetual; and David Austin roses, Heritage and LD Braithwaite.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-28 10.45.22BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-28 10.46.56BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-28 10.46.36from which I made my birthday bouquet below: David Austin Roses: Heritage; Eglantyne; Fair Bianca; and William Morris; Feverfew; purple and white Dames’ Rocket; violets; Ziva Paperwhites and Buddleja foliage.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-30 13.04.00BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-14 13.29.16BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-06 13.49.24 From then on, it was vases of violets and Winter bulbs: Galanthus; Erlicheer and Ziva Paperwhites, all of which are flourishing in their new positions and naturalising well.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.44.24BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0215BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-20 11.51.42BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0177BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-20 14.56.25 Other June bloomers included: Primulas and Primroses; BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 11.51.28BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.44.01Winter Honeysuckle and Winter Jasmine;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-20 16.11.03BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 17.39.25 and Japanese Anemones and Wallflowers. Lots of  whites; purples; lemons and yellows, with sharp sweet clean scents! The bees just adore the wallflowers!BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0179BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-27 13.22.48BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-11 14.43.38There were also the richer colours of gold and red in the Hill Banksia and the Grevillea. BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-07 13.46.16BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0192 The first crop of our citrus was also very encouraging, though I should have harvested the limes and lemonades earlier before the frost damaged them! Seen below are photos of our lime tree; lemon crop (cumquats in background) and lemonade tree.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-05 14.56.44BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-05 14.58.27BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0307BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0153 I was very impressed with the sweetness of our first and only Navel Orange!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-06 12.34.34In July, I was also very excited to see the emergence of our first Winter Aconite, which I had bought at great expense from Moidart Rare Plants last Spring, planted in the Treasure Bed and then waited for signs of life for months, resigning myself to the thought of having totally lost it! Now, it needs to multiply, then I will try naturalising it in the bird bath lawn with the Galanthus, which enjoys similar requirements.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-03 16.17.01BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-08 14.18.30By late July, the leucojums (photo above) and hellebores had joined in. The first photo below is the corner of my neighbour’s garden by our shed. I can’t wait till our hellebores spread like that!!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 17.32.16BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 11.35.04 While I love the single form of Helleborus orientalis (above), I’m rather partial to the double forms: Purple, White and Red;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.46.25BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 17.25.46BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-27 13.01.51BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 17.26.11 as well as the rarer species hellebores: Helleborus x ballardiae ‘Pink Frost’.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 14.58.49The japonicas, daphne and camellias also really picked up their game in early August, having been a bit shy to shine this year!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-03 11.53.57BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-03 11.51.00 I felt they bloomed much earlier last year with its milder Winter. The first photo below is the view from our bedroom window!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-20 17.21.20BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-28 12.22.48BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-26 10.23.23BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 17.54.20BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-04 16.19.28I was delighted to have more flowers for the house.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-24 16.24.41BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-24 16.25.14While June and July can sometimes feel a bit long, I love the quickening pace of August with its increasing day length, resulting in miniscule changes in the garden, which gives such a sense of hope, anticipation and excitement: The tiny leaf buds swelling on the  trees (photo is the quince tree), shrubs and roses;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.53.12 The shooting of tulips and iris in the cutting garden, naturalised bluebells, crocus and Poets’ daffodils in the lawn and hyacinth and grape hyacinth in the treasure bed;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.43.48 and the celebratory blooming of miniature Tête à Tête daffodils and golden Winter Sun;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-23 19.21.12BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-20 11.48.16BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-24 16.39.37BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-20 11.56.09BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-22 14.46.57 Magnificent golden Wattle;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 13.31.09BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 13.31.15 Early Spring blossoms: Crab Apple; Plum and Birch;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-27 10.55.37BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-27 10.55.07BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-24 09.31.42 And the blooms of forget-me-knots, golden-centred white paper daisies and begonias.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 11.42.00BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-23 19.21.45BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-20 12.02.09The birds are also revelling in the return of Spring!BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0243BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 16.03.40BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-14 11.27.57BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-14 11.29.22 While the Winter trees were full of Currawongs, Crimson Rosella and Grey Butcher Birds (photos above in order), the tiny Striated Pardalotes have returned to the Pepperina tree, where their beautiful song marks the return of Spring.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 14.42.08BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 15.18.05BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 13.11.38Eastern Spinebills and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters are also enjoying the August sun.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-20 13.54.15BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 14.57.55The Bowerbirds have been feasting in great numbers on the new loquat crop, stealing a march on the Summer flying foxes!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 17.06.59BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 17.09.28They also enjoy a swim in the bird bath, when not picking off my erlicheer blooms!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 15.59.05BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 15.59.23

BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.47.19The magpies have been busy building their nest high in the Pepperina tree since late July. Can you see it up there?BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-07-30 15.06.56BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-28 12.07.26BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-11 11.37.45BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-27 10.57.23 Despite their vicious swooping assaults on any large bird foolish enough to come anywhere near their territory, they are incredible quiet with us, often waiting patiently within a metre of us while weeding for an easy meal.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-24 13.15.57BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-24 13.13.06I was very excited with the return of last year’s baby White-faced Herons, to check out the old family home in the cottonwood poplar. BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-09 10.25.02We are crossing our fingers that they will nest there again, despite the magpies’ plans to the contrary! They seem to think that they own all the trees in the garden – in fact, quite possibly our house as well, though Oliver (2nd and 3rd photo below) might have something to say about that!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-24 18.11.14BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-23 09.50.49BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-23 09.53.30 The nurturing aspects and bird-viewing potential of our neighbour’s giant tree makes up for its vigorous, and dishearteningly constant, propensity to shoot out roots deep into the soil under our vegetable beds! Raised vegetable beds are definitely part of our future garden plans!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-07 09.25.08BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-07 09.25.12Winter is a great time to clean up the old garden and prepare for the new season! Weeding has been a major job: the aforementioned battle between the cottonwood poplar and our vegetable garden; the Cutting Garden ( 1st photo); the Soho Bed (2nd photo) and Moon Bed; and the new Shed Garden.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.51.35BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-24 12.25.49We pruned all the old messy and dead growth: the feverfew and dames’ rocket in the Cutting Garden and the salvias and Paris daisy in the Moon Bed; the hydrangeas in late June and all the roses in late July; BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-27 14.54.15and lastly, all the old dead wood of the feral and incredibly prickly Duranta, creating a new semi-shady area to grow a white shrub bed, as well as lots of work, cleaning away all the lethal spiky offcuts! We transplanted the Viburnum mariesii plicatum, which was struggling in its old position in full shade; the white lilac, which really was out of place and would have eventually been too large for its location, and four Annabel hydrangea rooted cuttings from my sister’s garden at Glenrock.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 17.24.49BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.54.01 The neighbour’s cats were fascinated by this brand new garden, but I’m not sure how their feet fared! The tubs were protecting my Galanthus from being demolished by trampling feet as well!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-07 12.47.03We also transplanted the pomegranate and red azalea from the bottom of the garden to the entrance of the main pergola and the red border of the native garden respectively to make room for a future garden shed, which will hopefully be built in the next few months.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 17.24.06Winter is a great time for garden planning and reorganization, as well as for building structures!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-11 18.02.49BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-11 14.46.06 Ross has built a fantastic rose frame, using steel posts and weld mesh from old gates, against the old shed wall to support and effectively control our Albertine ramblers, which would otherwise take over the camping flat completely!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-11 18.00.22 I can’t wait to see the future wall of salmon pink roses!blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-16-09-47-07We dug up the area underneath for a mixed dahlia bed, the plants hiding the bare legs of the climbing roses and blooms taking up the baton after the Albertine has finished. BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-20 14.59.06 This decision has also freed up the old dahlia bed for a future Brassica crop, though we have reserved the front third for Iceland poppies!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-21 13.34.29We also finally put up the weld mesh on the top of the Main Pergola to support this year’s Summer growth of the climbing roses!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-27 15.25.57Ross is getting very organized in the vegie garden! He has defined the edges of the vegetable and cutting garden beds with old weatherboards;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-06 14.12.02BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-04 16.33.09 Confined all the raspberry plants to their own bed near the compost heap; planted two more blueberries, all in different stages (leaf bud; flowers; and Autumn foliage!);BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-06 14.40.12 Transplanted the rhubarb, asparagus and Russian tarragon to the new perennial vegetable garden (the northeast bed, which grew tomatoes and raspberries last year) and the snow peas to the corner of the compost heap, allowing some to stay and climb up the raspberries; pruned the old raspberry canes, transplanting the new Heritage runners to their own run and extending the old run with the Chilcotin and Chilliwack varieties;  and sown Calendula seed at the front of the bed.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-21 13.58.28BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-21 13.50.07 In the remaining space of the perennial bed, he will plant pumpkins and zucchinis, letting them rambler down the bottom corner. He will then rotate between the two old main beds, which will grow potatoes (with later cucumbers) and beans, carrots, beetroot, with the current parsley and rocket in one bed; and kale, silverbeet, shallots, snow peas and lettuce and the two new ex-cutting garden beds, which will house early Spring brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts), and solanums (tomatoes, capsicum and aubergines) this year, though he has promised to allow any self-sown sunflowers or zinnias from the old beds to co-exist. Here are photos of our Winter vegie bed, with kale; ornamental chard; snow peas; broccoli; Spring onions and carrot seedlings just up!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.51.02BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.50.51Meanwhile, I have been busy with the flower beds! I have transplanted overcrowded self-seeded rose campion and catmint to their new positions in the Moon and Soho Beds; planted gold and soft purple Bearded Iris to the back of the shed beds;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.53.39 and created a complete silver ring of Lambs’ Ear to define the border of the Soho Bed. Stachys lanata is so tough, it didn’t even miss a beat on division and transplantation and, once established, will certainly make it difficult for any external invasion of weeds and grass! I love the downy soft feel of its foliage!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-06 14.12.20 We planted our new roses from Thomas Roses in the Shed Bed (Mme Hardy; York and Lancaster; Rosa Mundi and Chapeau de Napoleon); on the flat (Maigold) and on the Main Pergola (Souvenir de St Anne).BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-06 16.27.24BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-06 17.07.37 Ross also dug up an area on the terrace under the Pepperina tree and divided the old clivia clumps, so we can enjoy a swathe of orange in Summer.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-08 14.28.27This month, we have started sowing seed  in punnets under a plastic poly-tunnel on the warm path for plants to be later transplanted after the frosts: Heartsease (already up) and Scabiosa; Aquilegia and Honesty; Green Nicotiana and Gaillardia, which has already emerged at two weeks; Yarrow and Echinaceae; and Sea Holly and Green Wizard Coneflower, though we should have read the fine print on the latter, as we later discovered that  they need a constant 20 degrees Celsius to allow them to germinate! In lieu of an incubator tray, we have been carting them in and out of the house each day!!!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-03 12.54.44BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-18 18.56.01We have also sown seed directly in the garden: Nigella, Miss Jekyll Blue, and pink oriental poppies, Princess Victoria Louise,  in the Soho and Moon Beds (photo below); Cerinthe major and burgundy-blue-and white mixed cornflowers (‘Fireworks’) in the shed garden; and Iceland poppies in the cutting garden (and third of the potato bed, as they are one if Ross’s favourite flowers!!!) You can see why I can’t wait for Spring!!!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-04 15.19.03The Winter kitchen has also been a hive of activity with a first batch of lime cordial, made from our very own limes;BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0183 28 jars of cumquat marmalade from 6.6 kg fruit, with still more setting and ripening on the trees!;BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0298BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0302 and making lemon cupcakes for a birthday, as well as lots of warming Winter soups!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-01 11.24.25BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-01 11.25.22On the colder, greyer days, I have enjoyed embroidering diatoms on a felt;BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0091 discovered the joys of making cords using a Kumihimo disc;BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0092BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0094 learnt to crochet a flower chain;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-16 12.24.22 and made another embroidery roll for a friend.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 16.00.45BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-08-14 15.46.43The majority of the days have had blue-and-gold days, as in sunny blue skies, perfect for exploring our beautiful local area:

Haycocks Point;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-01 14.21.09BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-01 15.19.08Canoeing on the Murrah River to the Murrah Lagoon and the sea, where architect, Philip Cox,  built his holiday home;BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0335BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0398BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0551BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0549BlogWinterGardenReszd20%IMG_0578Exploring Bombala and Delegate, platypus country and part of the ancient aboriginal pathway, the Bundian Way;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-04 13.13.41BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-04 12.56.29BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-04 15.11.21BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-04 15.40.14Visiting On the Perch, Tathra, with its amazing range of birds, organized into their different environments, including this Emerald Dove and Maud, the Tawny Frogmouth; Zoe loved feeding all the birds!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-13 13.54.16BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-13 14.56.17BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-13 14.18.27Hiking from Bittangabee Bay to Hegarty’s Bay, part of the Light to Light Walk from Boyds Tower to Green Cape Lighthouse in the Ben Boyd National Park;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-17 16.17.16BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-17 14.07.28BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-17 13.56.53BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-17 13.57.50BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-17 12.57.17BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-17 17.23.34Discovering Penders, the property owned by businessman Ken Myers and architect Sir Roy Grounds, which was donated to National Parks in 1976 and is now part of Mimosa Rocks National Park, with its amazing views from the Bum Seat, photographed below, of Bithry Inley and the sea;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 16.13.13 BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 13.18.48and fascinating history and built environment, including Roy Ground’s tepeelike outdoor eating area, The Barn, and his geodesic dome structure;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 13.34.56BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 13.22.50BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 17.12.51BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 13.17.45 the magnificent Spotted Gum and Macrozamia forests and old orchard, with huge old camellia trees in full bloom;BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 15.30.23BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 15.47.10 as well as the beautiful coastal walk to Middle Beach, with golden banksias against the blue blue sea and our first ‘echidna train’.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 14.44.25BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 14.55.32BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 13.43.08 Apparently, during the mating season in July and August, one female will be followed by two to ten males, until she tires and the first in line gets lucky! According to the ranger on the track, echidnas are also very active just before rain and sure enough, three days later, it did rain! This quiet Swamp Wallaby kept us company over our picnic lunch.BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 14.20.04BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-07-25 16.30.37Other Winter highlights included my birthday (What a cake!!! Thank you, Chris!);BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-30 19.28.44BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-05-30 19.29.08 and a visit to Canberra for an interesting woodcut exhibition at the National Library of Australia, ‘Melodrama in Meiji Japan’ (see: https://www.nla.gov.au/meiji). We also popped into our favourite nursery, where we bought some tuberoses to plant in September after the frost. I just adore their scent, but will have to plant them away from the frost!BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-12 13.52.04We finished the Winter with a local orchid show at Merimbula with some stunning plants and an incredible range of form and colour.BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-19 12.45.09BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-19 12.38.53BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-19 12.40.40BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-19 12.42.42BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-19 12.41.33BlogWinterGardenReszd2517-08-19 12.40.26Next week, I am returning to one of my favourite rose types, the Noisettes. I will leave you with a Winter miracle, the humble spider’s web!BlogWinterGardenReszd2017-06-06 13.49.57

Our Beautiful Earth: Part One: Natural History Books: Plants

Given that we are keen gardeners, it should be no surprise that another great interest is botany and the beautiful wildflowers of our incredible continent! In Australia alone, we have over 18 000 species of flowering plants, grouped in 200 families! We are forever identifying and photographing wildflowers whenever we are bushwalking and are always learning new things.

The botanical world is endless and knowledge is always expanding. The Pea Family is a classic case, so the best one can do is to have a broad understanding of the major families and know how to work the plant identification keys, but even then, there are always anomalies!  From my experience, it is useful to have a number of wildflower books, especially those pertinent to your specific locality, though having said that, there are often cross-overs between areas, so a wide variety of books is beneficial. Recent publications are also useful, as taxonomists often change scientific nomenclature, especially in the Eucalypt world! Here is a good general Australian wildflower book:

Field Guide to Australian Wildflowers by Denise Greig  1999

This book covers over 1000 Australian wildflower species, commonly encountered growing wild. They range in size from tiny annuals and terrestrial orchids to large perennials and shrubs. The book only includes a few trees, mainly colourful rainforest species or large-flowered mallees, and some common and conspicuous introduced plants, but ferns, fungi, sedges and grasses are not covered.

It is primarily a field guide rather than a definitive reference work, and early chapters are devoted to an explanation of terminology and nomenclature; how to use the guide; a small section on plant anatomy; a map of Australia showing the vegetation zones with accompanying descriptive text; and a guide to all the different Australian plant families, with a brief description and page reference numbers.

The remainder of the book is devoted to each family with species descriptions, flowering times and distribution on the left-hand page and colour photographs of each plant on the right-hand side. In the back is a useful glossary and bibliography. There are so may Australian wildflowers, but this general guide is a start!

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Because we lived in South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales for many years, the next set of books were very useful.

Wildflowers of the North Coast of New South Wales by Barry Kemp  2004

Local flora guides are essential and this one is terrific! It covers the New South Wales coast from Newcastle, north to the Queensland border (500 km), and altitudes up to 800 metres elevation.

The plants are arranged into major habitat groups: Coastal Dunes, Headlands and Estuaries; Swamp Forest, Freshwater Wetlands and Riverbanks; Coastal Heath; Woodland Heath; Open Forest; Rainforest and Weeds, all sections with a description of each environment and its challenges and further division, based on size (Small Trees and Large Shrubs;  Small Shrubs and Herbs) and then family (in alphabetical order); genus and species. Beautiful photographs of both habitat and each species abound.

Many of the plants described are not restricted to this area, so the book is still relevant to Sydney and South-East Queensland.

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Australian Rain-Forest Trees WD Francis 1970

One of the original classics in rainforest tree identification, this third edition was produced almost 50 years ago, the first edition being published in 1929.

The introduction covers rainforest distribution in Australia; the character of Australian rainforests; the relationship of rainfall to rainforests; their atmospheric conditions and light; the soil and leaf litter; the effect of bushfires; tree size; buttresses and flanged stems; the bark, wood and leaves of Australian rainforest trees and the cultivation of these trees in Australia.

There is a brief description of the families of Australian rainforest trees, followed by identification keys and detailed descriptions of each family, including the derivation of its name, description, distribution, remarks and uses, as well as references, for both subtropical (Part One) and tropical rainforest trees (Part Two) !

I loved its black-and-white photographs of huge old rainforest trees with enormous girths, their height dwarfing the humans (often with axes in hand, the book having been produced by the Forest and Timber Bureau!) beside them, as well as close-up scaled photographs and diagrams of leaves, flowers and seed pods!

There is also a personal connection to this book, with photographs of my husband’s aunt and uncle in one of the photos, as well as a number of her moustached surveyor father, James Edgar Young, an early member of the Queensland Naturalists Club Inc, which was started in 1906 and still operates today.

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Ornamental Rainforest Plants in Australia by David L Jones 1986

Another excellent guide to Australian rainforest plants, with not an axe in sight!

One thousand species are discussed in detail, especially those with ornamental interest, with a focus on their cultivation and propagation in the home garden.

There is a wealth of information on rainforest types and distribution; cultivation requirements (soil; light; planting; mulching; watering; fertiliser; and pruning); leaf terminology (divisions, shape and margins); creating a rainforest (site conditions; species selection and layout; preparation and planting; mulching and nutrient recycling; watering and misting; and maintenance); and propagation by seed, cuttings, layering, division, grafting and budding.

The plants are discussed in family groups, with general notes on family features; horticultural attributes; cultivation; and propagation, then specific entries on genus (arranged alphabetically) and their species (common and scientific names; type of rainforest habitat; flowering period; description; distribution; notes and cultivation and propagation).

There are black-and-white scaled botanical sketches of foliage, fruit and flowers throughout, as well as coloured plates of photographs, making this book an invaluable identification guide as well.

In the back of the book is a variety of lists of rainforest plants for different situations and purposes, titled: Tropical, Subtropical, Temperate, Coastal and Inland Regions; Pioneer Plants and Fast Growing Species; Indoor Plants; Shade Trees; Curtailing Stream Bank Erosion; Attractive or Decorative Bark, Foliage, New Growth, Flowers and Fruit; Fragrant Flowers; Edible Fruit; and even Species Attractive to Nectar-Feeding or Fruit-Eating Birds.

This book certainly fulfils its promise of encouraging a love of rainforest plants and incorporating them in the garden.

BlogEnvtlBooksReszd30%Image (522)Gardening With Australian Rainforest Plants by Ralph Bailey and Julie Lake 2001

A very similar book, also promoting rainforest gardens, with a slightly different approach. While starting with a description of the different types of Australian rainforests, it digresses to dispel certain misconceptions and myths and then has very detailed chapters on:

Planning : Site considerations; design; climate; and soil

Plant Selection : Watercolour garden designs; buffer zones; essential steps in the creation of the garden; and lists of plants for specific needs eg windbreaks; buffer zones; variegated foliage; fragrance; and the rainforest floor.

Planting : Soil preparation; pH; planting for the different levels of the rainforest (for example : canopy, understorey and floor); climbers; planting in established gardens; watering; protection from wind and frost; staking and mulching; and more lists of plants: shrubs and understoreys; climbers and scramblers; palms; trees and shrubs with spectacular flowers; trees for the home garden; and pioneer plants.

Final Details: Vantage points; furniture; lighting; and rainforest pools, creeks and waterfalls.

Care and Cultivation: Water; fertilising; pruning; weed control; insect attack; and common pests and diseases;     and

Feature Rainforest Plants and their incorporation into mixed and exotic gardens; poolside plantings; colder climates; and boggy areas and creek banks.

There are also chapters on : Small Gardens and Courtyards: Seaside Rainforest Gardens; Drier Inland Gardens; Container Growing; Wildlife in the Rainforest Garden, including bird and butterfly attractants and pond life; Rainforest Plants for Bush Tucker, including lists of edible and toxic plants; and finally, propagation by seed, cuttings and grafting.

The authors include their 100 favourite rainforest plants, with key symbols for light levels, temperature, water requirements and special features for quick reference. Primarily a gardening book, its photographs are still useful for supporting other identification guides.BlogEnvtlBooksReszd25%Image (573)

Rainforest Plants I-V by Nan and Hugh Nicholson 1985-2000

A wonderful series of five books by the owners of Terania Creek Nursery in Northern New South Wales, we used these small books extensively during our Dorrigo years, as our block was perched right on the escarpment, bordering Bellinger National Park and Dorrigo National Park and was surrounded by subtropical, warm temperate and cool temperate rainforest species.

The photographs are beautiful and make identification much easier, though at times I wished that they covered all aspects – flowers, fruit and leaves on the one page!

The accompanying text is also very informative with common, scientific and family names and notes about the name derivation; distribution; identification features; habitat; fruit, seeds and dispersion; germination and use in the garden.

Other features include:  a distribution map for the East coast of Australia (Volume 1); notes on growing a rainforest and weeds (both in Volume 2); rainforest types (Volume 3); disturbing rainforests (Volume 4); and rainforest seeds and their propagation (Volume 5), as well as a cumulative index for all 5 books.

There are certainly some beautiful rainforest plants and this series really engenders a great appreciation of them all.

Australian Rainforest Fruits: A Field Guide by Wendy Cooper 2013 *

I always used to hanker after this book, but alas, it was too expensive at the time, but had we stayed in Dorrigo on our rainforest block, we would no doubt have bought it at some stage. See: http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au/product/australian-rainforest-fruits/cs9780643107847.aspx.

Mind you, if we had had the money, we would have loved the definitive reference guide to Australian plants :  the Flora of Australia series, co-published by CSIRO and Australian Biological Resources Study, since 1981 . See http://www.publish.csiro.au/books/series/6  and: http://www.environment.gov.au/science/abrs/publications/flora-of-australia  and http://www.environment.gov.au/science/abrs/publications/flora-of-australia/families.

The plan was for more than 60 volumes, covering almost 30,000 species, systematically arranged by family, including flowering plants, conifers, ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichens of Australia and its oceanic islands. It is now no longer available in printed form, but fortunately for us, it is now presented as an online Australasian eFlora platform. See: http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/online-resources/flora/ and http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/flora/index.html and http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/flora/main/index.html.

BlogEnvtlBooksReszd20%IMG_1077While on the subject of Australian flora (and fauna), it is well worth checking out an organization, called Bush Blitz, which is based at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra and conducts biological surveys all over Australia, discovering many new species in the process. Our friend, Brian Hawkins, with whom Ross worked back at the Rainforest Centre in Dorrigo, is a Senior Project Officer with them. See: http://bushblitz.org.au/expeditions/ and http://bushblitz.org.au/team-profiles/.

Guide to Wildflowers of Western Australia by Simon Nevill and Nathan McQuoid 2008 *

No botanical library would be complete, nor botanist satisfied, without a visit to Western Australia during the Springtime with a wildflower guide in hand! Each locality has its own unique set of wildflowers, a sample of which is included in special beds at Kings Park. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2015/11/05/favourite-late-19th-century-gardens-in-australia/. I wish we had had this guide with us during our visit in 2008! See: http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au/product/guide-to-the-wildflowers-of-western-australia/s-n780975601914.aspx.

Field Guide Orchids of New South Wales and Victoria by Tony Bishop 1996

The number and diversity of orchids is so vast, that it is worth having a specialised book on these beautiful little plants. We had a number of different orchids on our Dorrigo trees and rocks, like the sweetly scented Orange Blossom Orchids, Sarcochilus falcatus, and the delicate Dagger Orchids, Dendrobium pugioniforme, and Box Orchids, Dendrobium aemulum.

In Victoria, we also really enjoyed hunting for terrestrial orchids at the Grampians, as well as Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road each year, when a specific area was fenced off during the Spring Wildflower Festival and marked with identification flags to aid the search. I remember dragging my daughter and her non-botanically inclined boyfriend along one year and watching the little old ladies taking them under their wing was priceless!

We also really loved seeing the wonderful Spring display of Rock Orchids, Dendrobium speciosum, on the cliffs of the Merrica River last year. See: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/11/22/the-kings-of-merrica-river/. They brought back many fond memories for Ross of the King Orchids on the cliffs of his childhood home in South-East Queensland. He adores their scent, which is very similar to that of the flowers of another rainforest vine, Ripogonum scandens.

This comprehensive guide covers the lot from descriptions of Horned Orchids, Donkey Orchids and Hare Orchids; Bird Orchids, Duck Orchids and Beak Orchids; Lizard Orchids; Mosquito, Midge and Gnat Orchids; Onion and Leek Orchids; Greenhoods, Ladies’ Tresses and Helmet Orchids; Elbow Orchids and Parsons’ Bands; Fairy Orchids and Sun Orchids; and Waxlips,Tongue and Beard Orchids, to name but a few!

Each genus and its species are described with general remarks about the genus and specific details on each species, including common and scientific names, flowering season, description, distribution and habitat; identification features and similar species, all supported by excellent colour photographs and identification keys, though it still doesn’t make the task any easier, as so many of them are alike!!!!

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The last two books are very pertinent to our local area now.

Native Plants of the Blue Mountains by Margaret Baker and Robin Corringham 1995

I always love visiting the Blue Mountains, especially in Spring, when all the wildflowers are in full bloom, not to mention all the wonderful gardens!

The sandstone plateau supports many vegetation communities: eucalypt woodland and open forest; tall open forest and closed forest; heath and cliff-faces; and swamps and stream communities. There are over 1500 species of flowering plants in the Blue Mountains National Park, including 20 endemic plants species and 72 rare or threatened plants.

After a brief description of the general area, the book is divided into each of these plant communities, with a general description and photo, followed by detailed entries (including a description; preferred habitat and family name) of all the plant species within those communities on the left page, with photos of each species on the right page. For more on the flora of the Blue Mountains. It is also worth consulting: http://www.waratahsoftware.com.au/wpr-flora-bluemountains.shtml.

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Kosciuszko Alpine Flora by Alex Costin, Max Gray, Colin Totterdell and Dane Wimbush 2000

Back on Australia Day 2005, the family enjoyed the wonderful 22 km Main Range Walk from Charlotte’s Pass up to Hedley Tarn, Blue Lake, Club Lake, Lake Albina and Mt. Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, then back via the old road.

There were masses of wildflowers (Lake Albina particularly stole my heart!) and still patches of snow, despite being High Summer! We bought this book to help us identify all the photographed wildflowers, little realizing that years later, we would be residents of the Far South Coast of New South Wales, within a morning’s drive of this very special alpine area!

The photographs in this book are superb, many having been taken on beautiful clear sunny days, unlike our 2005 trip, which still included a fair proportion of mist and cloud! It is a very interesting and informative book, with chapters on alpine and subalpine areas; the evolution of the Kosciuszko Alpine Area; the human history of the area and its impact on the Kosciuszko flora; the plants and plant communities, including montane and subalpine communities; the alpine communities of feldmark; heaths; herb fields; grassland; bog and fen; introduced species; and distribution and succession in alpine communities. There are also excellent maps and profiles of the area.

The rest of the book is devoted to the 212 native species, subspecies and varieties of ferns and flowering plants in the Kosciuszko Alpine Area. There is an introductory table with species and common names, as well as growth form, habitat, distribution and page number, followed by beautiful photographs of each plant species in its habitat. I look forward to doing more alpine walks next Summer!

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Flowers of the South Coast and Ranges I-III by Don and Betty Wood 1998-1999 *

While we have yet to purchase this set of books, I have often browsed them and we will definitely be adding them to our library over time, as they are THE guides to our local flora on the Far South Coast of NSW. See: http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au/product/flowers-of-the-south-coast-and-ranges-i/wb9780958577205.aspx.

http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au/product/flowers-of-the-south-coast-and-ranges-ii/wb9780958577212.aspx.

http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au/product/flowers-of-the-south-coast-and-rangers-iii/wb9780958577229.aspx.

Even though fungi are not plants, I will include them at the end of this post, as they inhabit a similar world!

A Field Guide to the Fungi of Australia by AM Young 2005

I love looking for fungi, especially on wet Autumn days, when not much else is in flower! They can look quite exotic and have such a wide diversity of form, colour and texture, as well as a fascinating life history!

I find them all endlessly fascinating from the puffballs and jelly fungi (ear shaped Auricularia; brain-like Tremella and the bright yellow pikes of Calocera) to the giant bracket fungi, delicate coral fungi, trumpet-shaped Cantharellus and stinkhorn fungi – the Aseroë and meshed Colus, the earth stars and cone-shaped, honeycombed Morchella. They vary from white and creams to browns, reds, yellows, greens and even blues and purples, as well as having amazing stripes, spots and patterns. Some are even luminescent, though I have yet to see one!

It’s difficult to choose, but I think my favourites are the white spotted bright red and extremely toxic Fly Agarics (Amanita muscaria), the fairy toadstools of childrens’ books; the quaint Earth Stars Geastrum triplex and the Red Starfish Fungus, Aseroë rubra, with yes!, its bright red starfish-like double arms, waving at the top of its body.BlogEnvtlBooksReszd20%IMG_0939This is a fascinating book about a fascinating subject, about which is still very little is known! This book is only concerned with macrofungi, the fungi whose finer structures can be seen without a microscope (as opposed to microfungi-like moulds) and at the time of publication, there were 20 000 to 25 000 species of macrofungi in Australia, of which 60 per cent are unknown, and yet they perform an essential role in the life cycle of all living matter, being the prime agents of decomposition and the recycling of nutrients and elements.

They also have important mycorrhizal relationships with the roots of other shrubs and trees like eucalypts, casuarinas and wattles, as well as being an important animal food resource.BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0948The introductory chapters explores the fungal organism and anatomy (we only see the fruiting bodies); fungal reproduction and spores, which also display a wide variety of shape and texture; the difference between toadstools and mushrooms; the divisions within macrofungi : Ascomycetes (yeasts; truffles and morels; ); Basidiomycetes (the majority of bushland fungi, including cultivated mushrooms); and Myxomycetes (slime moulds); and collecting, describing and preserving fungi.

It includes interesting fungal facts about fairy rings; luminescence, as in the Ghost Fungus of South-East Queensland rainforests, which are the favourite food of Giant Land Snails; mycorrhizal relationships; fungal-infected caterpillars; and their role in the diet of Australian marsupials and reptiles, as well as that of humans!BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-08 13.43.10 The book then has a black-and-white illustrated key  for all the different types of fungi, but because so many fungi have yet to be identified and the book only describes less than 200 species, the keys serve more to indicate groups of species or genera, then refers to the relevant sections of the book. Because the number of Agarics or Gilled Fungi is quite large, they have been divided on their location or food source: forest/ woodland (wood, leaf litter, soil); grassland; animal remains; and dung. There is also a toxicity key (most important for those adventurous souls out there!).BlogEnvtlBooksReszd20%IMG_0962 The main body of the book is then devoted to species descriptions – their common names; fruiting bodies; spores; habitats; distribution and notes, backed up by black-and-white illustrations and a central section of superb colour photographs. Did you know there was a fungi called a Curry Punk, that Stinkhorn Fungi emit the odour of rotting meat to attract flies for spore dispersal or that the fruiting body is 90 per cent water and is totally for spore production and dispersal. It is such an interesting book and an essential component of the natural history library!BlogEnvtlBooksReszd30%Image (524)

Note: You will notice that I have included an asterisk * next to some of the books mentioned. These are books, which are on our bucket list, which we would love to purchase over time,  which leads me to my final recommendation! If you are visiting the Botanic Gardens in Canberra, an excellent bookshop for natural history and gardening books is the Botanical Bookshop at Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross St., Acton ACT 2601 Phone: 02 6257 3302. Opening times are : 9:30am to 4:30pm 7 days a week (Closed Christmas Day).  You can also order books online at  http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au.

To see us through the Winter, over the next 5 weeks, I will be focusing on other natural history and environmental books in our library, after which I will have an update of the Winter Garden and resume the normal format of posts on different types of roses, special rose gardens to visit and more interesting books on history, art and architecture, poetry and travel !

Inspirational and Dreamy Garden Books: Part Three: Books About Australian Gardens and Specific Plants

While the overseas gardens mentioned may be a pipe dream and a wonderful form of armchair travel, it is more possible for us to visit some of our wonderful Australian gardens, so here is a collection of books about the development of some very special examples!

Books about Australian Gardens

Wychwood: The Making of One of the World’s Most Magical Gardens by Karen Hall and Peter Cooper 2014

A magical garden in my home state of Tasmania and a definite destination on our next visit! This gorgeous book describes the evolution of this incredible world-famous garden and nursery from bare paddock 25 years ago. In Part One, we follow the journey of English Karen Hall and Scandinavian Peter Cooper from their childhood years and early married life; relocation to Tasmania and purchase of an old farmhouse on 2.5 acres at Mole Creek, in the shadow of the Great Western Tiers in the north-west of the state in 1991. Part Two describes their first steps; their nursery years growing plants side-by-side with their young family; and the development of their iconic labyrinth and their orchard and kitchen garden, all with lots of practical advice and information from plant choice to the basics of espaliering; heritage apple varieties and cider-making; delicious recipes; garden art; and sharing Wychwood with the public. Part Three is the really valuable section, in which Karen and Peter have been so generous with their information and knowledge, gleaned over one quarter of a century in the garden.  It includes The Twelve Golden Rules :

Know your climate and conditions;

Know your enemies;

Grow what you love;

Plant small;

Prepare well;

Consider your planting;

Embrace the seasons;

Keep it simple;

Mulch, water and the art of cutting back;

The gentle art of illusion;

Be practical; 

Cut-grass edges and tools we couldn’t do without – the latter being a very useful section for us, as we had been trying to decide about garden edging!

The rules are followed by a large section on plants, including their favourite varieties and their benefits: trees; roses; shrubs; climbers; grasses; bulbs; and perennials, biennials and annuals, so useful for those of us with cool temperate gardens. Next is a section on seasonal chores and finally a list of all the plants in Wychwood’s garden. This is another one of those truly beautiful dreamy and inspirational garden books and Peter’s photographs are superb!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (446)

The House and Garden at Glenmore: Landscape, Memory, Seasons, Home by Mickey Robertson  2016

This lovely book was a birthday gift for my wonderful gardening husband on our visit to Mickey Robertson’s Spring Fair at Glenmore in Southern NSW last October. I have devoted an entire post about our visit to this inspirational and beautiful garden at : https://candeloblooms.com/2016/12/21/a-garden-weekend-in-the-southern-highlands-part-2/. The book is equally inspiring and well worth purchasing for its beautiful presentation; its wonderful descriptions and useful practical information; fabulous photographs, both of the house interiors and the garden; and its wealth of mouth-watering seasonal recipes in the back, many of which are made for the lucky participants in her workshop classes. She describes the history of the old house and its renovation in detail with lovely photos of all the rooms, as well as her gardening journey and the development of all the different areas of the garden, especially her great passion, the organic vegetable garden. She also has detailed notes about each season in the kitchen garden – what’s in season; what needs doing etc. Do try to attend an Open Day or Spring Fair one year, as it is so wonderful to see this garden in its Springtime peak, not to mention partake of all the delicious cakes! But in the mean time, enjoy this lovely generous book!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd25%Image (449)

Two Dogs and a Garden by Derelie Cherry 2009

Bob and Derelie Cherry are camellia experts, who have a beautiful garden further north between Sydney and Newcastle at Paradise, Cherry Lane, Kulnurra . The 92 hectare property has a 35 hectare garden, of which 12 hectares is devoted to camellias. This is another garden I would love to have visited, but it is now closed, the last open day being in August 2013. Bob and Derelie are now retired, Bob having sold his nursery business ‘Paradise Plants’ to David Hanna in 2012. Bob is a well-known modern-day plant hunter and plant breeder, who has travelled extensively throughout the world. You can read more about him on: http://gardenclinic-secure.worldsecuresystems.com/how-to-grow-article/meet-bob-cherry-plant-hunter?pid=44202 and http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1705859.htm, but I think Derelie’s book is probably the ultimate source of information about this amazing man and his wonderful garden. Again, this is a book, which can be picked up and dipped into at any point with beautiful photographs and interesting snippets, which wander from the Cherrys’ favourite plants (camellias;  hydrangeas; polyanthus; lavenders; sweet peas; stock; luculias and lilacs; fragrant gardenias, osmanthus and heliotrope; buddleias; wisteria; my favourite dianthus; Spring blossom trees and magnolias; rainforest plants; lotus, waterlilies and orchids; belladonna lilies and agapanthus; strelitzia and hibiscus; Autumn foliage; and a large section on roses, including a visit to Walter Duncan’s  Heritage Garden at Clare, South Australia, and Roseraie du Val-de-Marne in Paris) to Bob’s follies (stone walls; paths; columns and pillars; and even a bandstand and a bridge); plant-collecting expeditions; the Australian bush; and life at Paradise with Bob; their two much-loved dogs, Trudi and Jessee, and the native wildlife. This book was very much a labour of love, which shines through on every page!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd30%Image (452)A Garden, A Pig and Me: A Year at Torryburn by Jenny Ferguson 1999

Torryburn is another very famous property, having been the childhood home of famous Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar, who wrote ‘My Country’, more famously known as ‘I Love a Sunburnt Country’.  Jenny Ferguson was the well-known cook of Sydney restaurant ‘You and Me’ in the 1980s (1978-1985), before buying an 800 acre  property, which was running beef cattle and Arab horses at that time, in the Hunter Valley in 1989. She and her husband, Rob, immediately sold the hilly half of the property, set up a thoroughbred brood mare stud, renovated the 1881 Victorian Italianate homestead and then began to plant! The first section of the book describes the different areas of the garden, along with maps, while the majority of the book gives a month-by-month account of the development of the garden over the year. Very similar in style to Holly Kerr Forsyth (I discussed some of her books in my post: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/04/18/inspirational-and-dreamy-garden-books-part-one-inspiring-books-and-garden-travel-books/), this very readable book contains lots of delicious recipes and beautiful photographs throughout, as well as appendices of roses and other plants grown at Torryburn. And here’s the amazing thing, revealed only in the final chapter! Jenny commutes between Torryburn and Sydney and has done so for the previous 10 years, living half her week in each place. An amazing achievement! Since the book was published, Torryburn was sold to John Cornish and his family in 2002. It is still a thoroughbred stud. For more history on Torryburn, see:  http://www.torryburnstud.com.au/torryburn-history.

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Wheelbarrows, Chooks and Children: A Gardener’s Life by Margaret Simons 1999

Now for something totally different, a fun little down-to-earth book about gardening with a young family in the Blue Mountains and all the trials and tribulations! This book shares it all – the highs and the lows; the successes and failures; and above all, gardening in the real world, when there is never enough time to do everything as it should ideally be done and lots of interruptions and disruptions! I was given this book by my Mum when I was knee-deep in nappies with three kids under 4 years old and could totally identify with this book! The number of times during those early family years that we would restart the vegetable garden, only to have it disappear under Kikuya grass with the birth of the next child! This is a very amusing book and very heartening! I love her turn of phrase, from ‘I began my gardening career from a position of great ignorance, and I have not yet recovered ’ to her hatred of aphorisms like ‘you reap what you sow’, a phrase, which she sees as ‘absurdly obvious and very cruel’ and should be tempered by  the word ‘sometimes’ and this is only in her introduction titled ‘How I Became a Not-a-Real Gardener’. She has lovely little passages on :

Daffy Daffodils; Babies and Chooks as Permaculture ; The Rooster and the Nasty Damp Patch; and Earth Motherdom amongst others in Spring;

The Bush Ablaze; A Gentle Evolution; the Luxury of Solitude; Goatishness; and Mud Pies in Summer;

Abundance; A Love of Parsnips (my husband’s favourite…NOT!; Winter Sulk; Wheelbarrows of Cement; Soggy Days and Snails; Worm Liberation; Domesticity; On Discovering That One Has Changed; and Chooks and Writing in Autumn and finishes with:

Winter’s offerings of  A Time of Retreat; A Real Gardener; Mulching Out of Season; Ghosts in the Garden; Grunge and a Wet Weekend; Winter Magic and the Web; The Miracle of Cuttings; and A Chance of Life).

As I said, a very humorous easy read with some helpful bits of practical knowledge, thrown in for good measure!

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Seasons by the Sea: A Coastal Garden in Australia by Paula Green 2001

Set on the South Gippsland coastline at Point Smythe, near Venus Bay, in Victoria, this lovely book describes the gardening journey of Paula Green and Terry Hoey, complete with all the challenges a coastal garden on a 7 hectare bush block presents. The writing style is totally different- very poetic and picturesque, her text immediately evoking images of the richness and enchantment of the natural world. Her short sentences make you feel like she is talking directly to you and her descriptions are breathtakingly beautiful. For example, her passage on the coming of Spring:

Spring whispers through a limping Winter on its last legs. It creeps up on me when I’m not looking. It comes like a kiss of life. Cold days are blown away by Spring’s warm breath. It’s been sleeping in my arms all Winter. It uncurls in the sun, yawns, stretches and rubs the sleep from green eyes. Cheeks flush. Its fresh face sparkles. Its heart rate quickens. Spring twitches with birth pangs. Wide awake, it takes my hand. Spring is stepping out in a new dress

or Summer:

‘Summer enters without knocking. Flexes its muscles, elbows its way in and sends Spring packing. The season is a celebration of our own private Garden Fest. Bush Mardi Gras. We kick off our work boots and kick up our heels. We knock off early, roll up late or chuck it in all together. Seedlings sunbake and soak up a few rays. Vegetables swell. Fruits ripen. Seed heads snap, crackle and pop open’.

I could go on and on and on! She describes their owner-built mud-brick and stone house; their vegetable garden and orchard; the cottage garden, rose garden, yellow garden and native garden and their simple living philosophy and throughout the whole book, their great love of environment and the natural world. Included in the book are lovely recipes based on their home-grown produce; Terry’s beautiful simple sepia photographs and a plant list of common names and their scientific equivalent. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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This last title and general philosophy reminds me of Jackie French’s Seasons of Content, another book, which would have fitted into this section like a glove, but has already been described in my post on Books on Specific Types of Gardens: Part Two in the section on Jackie French books: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/03/23/books-on-specific-types-of-gardens-part-two-vegetable-gardens-sustainable-and-organic-gardens-and-dry-climate-gardens/.

Gardens of the Goldfields by Mandy Stroebel: A Central Victorian Sojourn 2010

Central Victoria is another very challenging climate for gardeners, and was particularly so over the years of the Millenium Drought, which finally broke on our arrival in Victoria in 2009. We had brought the Dorrigo rain with us!  We spent six months in Castlemaine in 2010, the very year this book was published! I loved Castlemaine – its deep sense of history; the beautiful old buildings; the amazing gardens, despite its severe droughts and frosts and impoverished, depleted and eroded gold-worn soils; and the Mediterranean feel of the place from its native bushland to the delightful Greek refrain, which replaced the nearby school bell every hour. This book describes the gardens of the goldfields, from grand pastoral estates (Ercildoune, Burrumbeet; Plaistow, Joyce’s Creek; Tottington, near St Arnaud;  and Wombat Park, Dayleford) to subsistence plots and productive paddocks (Tute’s Cottage, Castlemaine; the heritage apple orchards of Badger’s Keep, Chewton; and the Swiss- Italian lavender farm, Lavandula, at Shepherd’s Flat, which we visited twice); cottage pleasure and villa gardens (the cottage garden of Rosebank, Castlemaine; the pleasure gardens of Belmont, Beaufort; and the villa gardens of Fortuna Villa, Bendigo and that of the highly creative Leviny family at Buda, Castlemaine). It includes the beautiful old Botanic Gardens of Wombat Hill, Daylesford; Kyneton, Malmsbury, Castlemaine and Ballarat (for more on the latter, see: https://candeloblooms.com/2015/11/05/favourite-late-19th-century-gardens-in-australia/); the gardens of Rosalind Park, Bendigo and Queen Mary Gardens, St Arnaud, as well as the avenues of honour, planted to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the First World War. The history of local nurseries and early horticultural societies is also covered, as well as featuring current nurseries, all of which I have mentioned in previous posts: The Garden of St Erth, Blackwood and Lambley Nursery, Ascot (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/03/08/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-nursery-gardens-in-victoria/) and the Goldfields Revegetation Nursery, Mandurang (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/04/12/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-specialist-nurseries-and-gardens-in-victoria/). Mandy then focuses on gardening in the goldfields today, describing three gardens: Forest Hall, Castlemaine; the lovely Lixouri, Barker’s Creek (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/09/20/favourite-private-country-gardens-part-2/) and Sam Cox’s naturalistic environmentally integrated garden at Munro Court, Castlemaine, to illustrate fundamental design elements of goldfield gardens: the use of the borrowed landscape; built elements of local stone, gravel and hardwood for hard landscaping; decorative elements: wrought iron pergolas and gates, mosaics, pots and urns and sculptures, with a brief nod to our neighbours at Shades of Gray (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/06/14/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-sculpture-gardens/); and of course, the ever-important plants, which are tough and can tolerate both drought and severe frost. She includes protective measures to prevent frost damage and clues for appropriate plant selection, as well as contact details, including web sites in the back. A very useful book for goldfield gardeners or other areas with a similar climate, as well as very interesting from a historical perspective and armchair travel, not to mention actual visiting in person on open days!

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Books about specific plants

Daffodil: Biography of a Flower by Helen O’Neill 2016

I have always loved daffodils, ever since I was a child in Tasmania, when their bright yellow trumpets would herald the beginning of Spring and the end of the long cold Winter! William Wordsworth’s poem ‘I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud’ is a special favourite and was one of the first poems I learned off by heart. We named our donkey Wordsworth, because he too wandered lonely as a cloud! I love the huge variety of form and colour in the daffodil world, especially the Poet’s Daffodil Narcissus poeticus, the beautifully-scented Paperwhite Zivas; the miniature Hoop Petticoats and the sterile Tête à Tête, as well as the double Acropolis and Wintersun varieties. Here is a photo of Narcissus poeticus:Helen O’Neill also has a special personal connection to daffodils. Her mother painted them and there is one of her lovely pictures in the book. Daffodils also offered Helen great hope and brightened up some of her darkest days during her cancer treatment. I was also tickled pink to discover a connecting link between ourselves and the author through her mention of an old Armidale friend and author, Sophie Masson. The photo below is the Tête à Tête variety.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.10.08Daffodils have a fascinating history, covered in great depth in the book from their origin and the myth of Narcissus to daffodil collectors (daffodilians); the Daffodil King and his dark legacy; and the daffodil code. Despite their general toxicity, they have great medical potential, as they contain a number of different alkaloids like galantamine (slows the onset of early Alzheimer’s disease); lycorine (inhibition of ovarian cancer cell growth); narciclasine (treatment of primary brain cancers); and jonquilline (antiproliferative effects against a large range of different cancers), which is amazing, given the daffodil’s starring role in fundraising for cancer research on Daffodil Day! Daffodils are also used in the perfume industry and the cut flower trade, both of which are discussed at some length. Throughout the book, we learn about all the different species and hybrids. In the back is the Royal Horticultural Society Daffodil Classification Code, with its 13 divisions, a most welcome addition, given there are over 30 000 different cultivars bred by hybridizers and 36 species, as well as naturally occurring hybrids. The photo below is of the Acropolis daffodil.Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0522The other special attribute of this book is its stunning photography and inclusion of some very beautiful romantic artworks. I particularly loved Daniel F Gerhartz’s Woman at Tea Time; Konan Tanigami’s daffodil woodblock print; Gustav Klimt’s Dancer 1916; Eugene Grasset’s Avril 1896; Burbidge’s Pictures of Narcissus poeticus 1875; Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s When Flowers Return 1911 and Frederick Richardson’s Daffy-Down-Dilly 1915. I even loved the William Morris-like daffodil frontispiece, designed by Hazel Lam of HarperCollins Design Studio – a lovely touch!BlogDreamyGardenBooksReszd30%Image (457)

Tulipomania by Mike Dash 1999

Another fascinating and informative book about the history of the tulip. I loved this book – it was just so interesting! It tells the story of this amazing bulb from its origin in the valleys of the Tien Shan mountains; its spread westward to Persia and Turkey; and its steady ascent to prominence in the Netherlands during a period called Tulipomania (its peak being 1636 to 1637), when they were actually used as a form of currency and cost an enormous amount. One of the most celebrated tulip varieties, Semper Augustus, cost 5500 guilders per bulb in 1633, the value rising to 10 000 guilders per bulb in the first month of 1637! It was only affordable to a few dozen of the richest people in the whole of the Dutch Republic and was enough to feed, clothe and house an entire Dutch family for half a lifetime or to buy one of the grandest homes (with a coach house and 80 foot long garden) on the most fashionable canals in Amsterdam for cash during a time when real estate was very expensive.Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0521While tulips were much loved during the early Ottoman empire, they experienced a resurgence  in their popularity during the Tulip Era (1718 – 1730) during the reign of Ahmed III. He held tulip festivals over two successive evenings during the full moon in April, when the tulips were in full bloom. Guests wearing clothes, which harmonized with the flowers, would wander through the tulip beds illuminated by candles fixed to the backs of slow- moving tortoises. These were not the varieties favoured by the Dutch, but the slender, needle-pointed Istanbul tulips. I have always been entranced by this image! It was a riveting tale and I learnt so much about the history of Turkey and Holland through this wonderful book about the tulip!

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For more about both daffodils and tulips, see my post on Spring bulbs at: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/09/06/spring-bulbs-in-my-cutting-garden-feature-plant-for-september/.

Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World by Jennifer Potter 2013

A fascinating book about seven much-loved flowers: the Lotus, the Lily, the Sunflower, the Opium Poppy, the Rose, the Tulip and the Orchid, but how does one choose just seven to discuss? For Jennifer, it was a choice based on flowers, which had some connection with her life, from the stylized, almost abstract, lotuses in a Tibetan monastery, which she used to visit as a teenager near Lockerbie in the Scottish borders to the tropical spider orchids from her childhood in Malaya, a very sound method of selection to my mind! The Rose is a definite for me and I would also agree with her inclusion of Lilies, Sunflowers, Poppies and Tulips, but Iris and Daffodils would probably replace the Orchids and Lotus for me with my Tasmanian childhood! But what about the wild escapee hydrangeas down by the creek; the Christmas roses (hellebores) down the garden walk; the fuchsia berries, which we’d used to rouge our cheeks and redden our lips and its flowers which look like dancing fairies; crab apple blossom and the succulent echeverias with their sweet coral and yellow bells in the rock garden? Or the sandalwood-scented Triunias and native frangipani of our rainforest block at Dorrigo; the agapanthus, violets, snowdrops, chaenomeles and camellias here at our Candelo garden and my favourite gardenias; jasmine and lily-of-the-valley or the snake’s head fritillaries and firewheel tree? Ross’s list also mirrors his Queensland country childhood : his uncle’s prize dahlias; heliotrope for Auntie Maud; stock and snapdragons; Iceland poppies; King Orchids from the cliffs and those beautiful subtropical trees: jacaranda; silky oak; flame tree and frangipani, which reminds him of seaside holidays at Burleigh.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-17 14.20.50Jennifer is an excellent researcher and her accounts of each plant’s history is so comprehensive and makes for fascinating reading.  I never knew that in Ancient Greece, lily flowers were used to make perfume for men and were crushed and boiled in wine in early Christian monasteries as an antidote to snakebite, nor that the orchid kingdom was so huge! Apparently the orchid family, Orchidaceaea, is one of the largest plant families on earth with the greatest diversity of flora. There are 25 000 species of orchids in 850 genera (compared to the rose with 150 species, mostly in the one genus, Rosa), with 155 000 more hybrid orchid varieties, the number of new hybrids increasing at a rate of 250 to 350 per month and that was back when the book was published in March 2012! And, while some orchid species are disappearing due to over-collecting and habitat destruction, between 200 to 500 new species are identified each year! Orchids have the longest history of cultivation in China, dating back at least to the time of Confucius (551-479 BCE), with over 1000 species in over 150 genera. No wonder I was keen to know more! Which leads me to my final book for this very long post!

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Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust and Lunacy by Eric Hansen 2001

Another very amusing book about orchids with a great title, a perfect finish for this post! But be warned! As commercial orchid grower, Joe Kunish, states in the introductory quotation: ‘You can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food, and cars, but once you’re hooked on orchids, you’re finished. You never get of orchids….never!

I am not going to tell you too much about this book, but the chapter titles should give you a few clues. Some of the more extreme titles include: Journey To Fire Mountain; Bodice Rippers; The Wizard of Oz; Orchid Fever; The Fox Testicle Ice Cream of Kemal Kucukonderuzunkoluk; Au Yong and The Pollen Thief; Perfumed Legs at the Oyster Bar; The Orchid Raids; The Forbidden Flowers of Gunnar Seidenfaden; Orchids, Guns and Harpsichords; and Tom Nelson and The Bog Orchid Rescue. In his research for this book, Eric travelled to many exotic locations, including Penan long huts in the Borneo rainforest; a greenhouse with 420 tropical orchids in a Norwegian village just above the Arctic Circle and an Turkish icecream shop! He discovered some fascinating obscure plant trivia like the fact that one orchid, Orchis maculata, was used as an aphrodisiac in late medieval Iceland; the roots of the Malaysian orchid, Cymbidium finlaysonianum, could cure a sick elephant; a paste from the pulverized bulbs of certain species of Cyrtopodium was used as an adhesive by rural Guyanan shoemakers and the split pseudo bulbs of Coelogyne asperata were made into blackboard erasers by rural school teachers in Central Sumatran villages; as well as the more unsavoury side of the orchid industry. It’s certainly a dangerous world and makes for a fascinating read!

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This is the final post on Garden Books. Next month, we will be exploring some of our favourite books on natural history, environment and sustainability, and the philosophy of Simple Living! Next week, we will be discussing another great Australian rosarian, Alister Clark, and the Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden at Bulla, one of my favourite small gardens!

The Autumn Garden

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!BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-17 11.35.40BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-15 11.44.40BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-12 14.34.52BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_1019BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-28 11.58.13BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-10 12.50.42BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-14 18.07.56BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-14 18.07.30Autumn 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.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-18 10.07.28BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-18 10.08.01BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-18 10.07.51BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-12 10.01.18BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-12 11.52.44BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-12 11.59.43BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-20 16.12.47 The verandah is such a vantage point, the backdrop changing daily.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-30 17.16.16BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-14 10.23.52BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-14 10.37.55BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-26 18.02.13BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-19 09.47.55BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-18 10.07.44BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-15 10.25.17BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-30 18.59.23The 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.BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0199BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-03 11.06.50BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-03-30 18.53.29BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-25 11.50.02The 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:

Soho Bed:

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.

Moon Bed

Top Row: Left to Right: Golden Celebration; Heritage; Windermere; William Morris

Bottom Row: Left to Right: Lucetta; Jude the Obscure; William Morris; and Troilus

Main Pergola

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

Rugosa Hedge

Left to Right: Fru Dagmar Hastrup and Mme Georges Bruant

House

Left to Right: Cécile Brünner first two roses and Mrs Herbert Stevens

Shed

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:

Blue :

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

Green :

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

Pink :

Top Row: Left to Right: Fuchsia; Salvia; Christmas Pride, Ruellia macrantha;

Bottom Row: Left to Right: Rosebud Salvia, Salvia involucrata; Christmas Pride; Pink ‘Doris’

Red :

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

Purple :

Top Row: Left to Right: Mexican Heather, Cuphea hyssopifolia; Cigar Flower, Cuphea ignea

Bottom Row: Left to Right: Dames’ Rocket, Hesperis matronalis, and Violet

White :

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.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-07 13.25.16 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!BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_1186BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_1237We 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);BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-27 18.04.14BlogHybridMusksReszd2016-11-10 09.19.26BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0877 and the other on the corner of the shed, with Reve d’Or (photo 3) and Alister Stella Grey (photo 4) either side.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-15 15.33.44BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-15 10.27.37BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-03-31 18.58.37BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-11 17.13.31 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.BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0277BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0274From front to back in the photos below: red and green mignonette lettuce; spring onions; broccoli; spinach; cos lettuce and kale. BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-03-31 19.07.15BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-24 19.24.20 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.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-03 13.43.42BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-05 11.44.26 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.BlogAutumngardenReszd20%IMG_0879BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-04-11 17.15.23 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.BlogAutumngardenReszd2017-05-15 18.09.05