A sniff of Spring in the air in August with the melodious song of the Striated Pardalote from the Pepperina tree and the slowly lengthening days.The daphne blooms are browning off, but the pink violets are exploding everywhere. This is obviously their month ! The purple and deep purple violets continue their lengthy show.
The banksia rose and all the new bare-rooted roses are sending out fresh shoots and leaves. The birch sports lemon catkins and the Prunus, tiny white blossoms. and the pink buds on the Malus floribunda get bigger and bigger every day!We have had our first anemones (purple, blue, pale blue, red and white), cheerful golden Winter Sun daffodils and sweetly scented Paperwhite jonquils in the cutting garden. The Dutch iris and cornflowers are growing madly and the Iceland poppies have finally surfaced and are developing well.
Sadly, a wicked rabbit or bandicoot decided to munch into 6 of my tulip bulbs, just as they were peeping their heads up, so Ross immediately made a wire guard to protect them. I don’t think that tulips could be too palatable, as the raider spat out all the leaves ! Some of my unfortunate Peony poppies emerged in the Soho Bed after our early Spring rain- I only hope there is enough of them to seed well for next year !The forget-me-knots are flowering and all the Soho seedlings-the flowering sages, verbenas, catmint and lavenders are sending out fresh leaves, as are the Soho roses.
When we were making the fernery, we discovered a huge pile of buried broken red bricks, so we used these to create 2 of the paths through the cutting garden and they look terrific and very rustic ! It makes it much easier to access the bulbs and weed the cutting garden.
We also moved the bird bath, so we could see the visiting birds better (like these dear little Eastern Spinebills) and transplanted the Galanthus to form a meandering border around it, as well as the japonicas and mauve lilac.I found one of my favourite Japonica camellias, Nuccio’s Gem, at our local Mitre 10. I was thrilled as I had been constantly on the lookout for it, to no avail up until now. We planted it in honour of a dear friend , who has just lost her battle with cancer, under the apple tree, full of the chatter of King Parrots and bird song, near our shady loveseat nook (where we read on hot Summer days) and opposite the cutting garden. I think she would appreciate its position , as well as its perfect white formal blooms, as she was a very stylish lady, who loved people, books, gardens and singing. How I wish she could have seen this place, but she loved all our photos and descriptions.
The tiny little Flowering Currant and Viburnum are flowering valiantly and the Exochorda is covered in new leaf and buds- it should be a real show stopper over time. I only hope my puny little Philadelphus gets its act together soon, otherwise I may be tempted to buy a bigger shrub of it if I happened to see it in my travels !!!
But I’m afraid I was tempted big-time! An email arrived from Misty Downs, advertising their end-of -season sale with their bare-rooted roses at greatly reduced prices. So easily led astray, I made an executive decision without the restraining influence of my husband and ordered 11 roses, which were on my 2016 Wish List!!! My rationale is that since I would have bought them next year anyway, this way I’ve saved money and the plants have gained a year’s growth, compared to if I’d bought them next season! According to Ross, I’ve just blown the Citrus budget, but we already have the Lemonade Tree and I’m sure we will find a way to afford the cost of citrus in late Spring. Ironically, with all the lovely August rain, it looks like many of the rose cuttings from up north could well be successful! I hope so anyway !!!The roses arrived at the end of the month, so my favourite wombat has been madly digging holes! The exciting news is we will now have to build the Main Entrance Pergola this year for my favourite climbing Noisette, Mme Alfred Carriere , and Climbing Tea roses: Adam and Devoniensis. The last corner will grace an exquisite Bourbon rose, Souvenir de la Malmaison, or maybe a Dupontii or an Alba ( Alba Maxima or Alba Semi Plena – depending on which cuttings are successful! ) The steel posts mark the position of the future wooden pergola uprights.We also bought another climbing Tea, one of the best white Teas, Mrs Herbert Stevens, to climb beside Lamarque on the front wall of the house.We completed our David Austin Bed with Lucetta and William Morris and started our old fashioned heritage rose bed along the fenceline by the old shed with Tea roses: Countess Bertha (Duchesse de Brabant) and Archiduke Joseph, the unusual green China rose, loved by florists : Viridiflora, and an Alba : Maidens Blush. The Kordes rose, Maigold, will arch over the corner of the shed . While digging the holes for Archiduke Joseph and Maigold, Ross unearthed a 1922 penny and a very artistic looking rusty iron railing- treasure indeed !
With a final load of manure, the new vegie bed was ready for action, so we transplanted some of the old silver beet, which has taken on a new lease of life, as well as planting new broccoli and lettuce, for which Ross immediately designed and built 2 very impressive slim long wire guards.We planted bare-rooted raspberry canes-one of each type-late Summer fruiting varieties : Chilcotin and Chilliwack and an Autumn fruiting Heritage variety; 2 blueberries : Denise( early) and Brigitta(late) ; a Black Currant Bush for its fruit, cassis and black currant cordial and syrup, and lastly asparagus and rhubarb crowns. We sowed radish, carrot and rocket seed, all of which have come up.
Back on the patio outside the kitchen, we planted up long pots with herbs, both seeds and plants- Russian Tarragon, Flat leaf and Curly Parsley, Coriander, Marjoram, Basil and Chives.
Ross painted Scamp’s old dog food tins in pastel colours- pink, mauve, aqua, lime green and gold – to hold the beautiful bouquets I plan to sell, once the flowers finally establish themselves !
We had more visitors and discovered the culinary sensations of local oysters and mussels, gathered straight off the rocks at Tathra, as well as the more unusual taste of sea urchins, collected off the sea floor off Merimbula Wharf by diving friends. They taste a bit like oysters with the creamy richness of scallops, but given the effort involved in preparing the urchins, I suspect it will be a one-off experience!I decorated a banana travel cake with pink and purple violets for our friends’ departure.
Finally, and only because tomorrow is actually my youngest daughter’s birthday and she has already opened this present , I have been working on a lovely Yoko Saito embroidery design . You can see some of Yoko’s designs on : https://www.pinterest.com/jsholley/yoko-saito-quilts-more/. This patchwork panel consists of 9 different patches, each embroidered with a different dog or cat for my animal loving daughter. They are so cute and so simple- just outline stitch ( stem stitch ), straight stitch and French knots – and they capture the essence of the animal perfectly. When the patches are stitched together, the panel is backed with batting and the seams are embroidered with a leafy vine, which takes ages to do, but looks fantastic. Yoko made this design as a quilted wall hanging, but having spent all morning hand-quilting one square – a first for me- I decided that really I preferred the non-quilted look and the effort involved was just not worth it, so I undid the quilting, then attached the patchwork panel to an antique rose patterned fabric, embroidered the vine around the bordering seam and then made it all into a cushion cover. She LOVED it !!! Happy Birthday Darling !!! xxx
Having finally caught up on the last 8 months of garden development and the start of our new life, tomorrow’s post is the official start of Candelo Blooms as it will appear in the future! I plan to hopefully manage at least one blog post a week ( though it could be more depending on the week’s activities) and will chronicle all the current garden projects, developments and dreams (as well as what is in bloom), our creative endeavours (both culinary and crafty ) and all that inspires us- including our beautiful local scenery; our dear little adoptive village Candelo; local events; our wonderful local birdlife and nature (even the weather!), internet or library discoveries and the work of fellow bloggers- the list is endless !!! Happy reading ! I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have so far!PS I can’t resist some more photos of our beautiful camellia!!!