A Garden Weekend in the Southern Highlands: Part 1

Last Spring, while impatiently waiting for our garden to wake up, we had a wonderful long weekend away from the 14th to 16th October. It was timed to coincide with the Spring Fair at Glenmore House, Camden, so we based ourselves at Mittagong, so that we could explore some of the other Spring gardens in the Southern Highlands. We had the most wonderful time, starting with Red Cow Farm, Sutton Forest, on Friday afternoon, then Glenmore House and Moidart on Saturday and Chinoiserie and Perennial Hill, both in Mittagong, on the Sunday before driving home. All totally different, yet equally special : an artistic romantic garden; an organic vegetable garden; a grand old formal garden; a specialist peony garden and a new collector’s garden. Throw in some browsing in the beautiful shops of Bowral, as well as an amazing needlecraft shop in Mittagong and some antique foraging, and you have the recipe for a perfect weekend away! I have broken this post into three parts, which I will post on three consecutive days, to reduce its word count. In Part 1, I will be describing Red Cow Farm and Moidart. In Part 2, Glenmore House and in Part 3, the newer collectors’ gardens of Perennial Hill and Chinoiserie.

Red Cow Farm

7480 Illawarra Highway Sutton Forest, 5 km south of Mossvale    2.5 hectares (6 acres)

1.5 hours drive from Canberra and Sydney

Phone: (02) 4868 1842; 0448 677647

http://www.redcowfarm.com.au/home.html

Open 8 months of the year from late September to the end of May, 10am – 4 pm. Closed Christmas Day.

$10 Adults; $8 Seniors and $4 children (4 to 14 years old)blog-rcf20reszdimg_0317We first discovered Red Cow Farm last Autumn and resolved to revisit it in Spring to see the 800 old roses in bloom, but unfortunately, it was a little early, due to the cooler temperatures we have been experiencing, so it’s a definite on our holiday agenda next year in early November! Here is a Spring rose and an Autumn rose from each visit.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0908blog-rcf20reszdimg_0110 Despite the lack of old rose blooms, it was still well worth visiting the gardens again for all the beautiful Spring flowers. In fact, I would visit in any season, except obviously Winter, when the garden is closed! It is one of my favourite gardens! I love its size and scale; the different garden areas; the unusual and rare plantings; the variety of texture, form and colour in all the plantings; and the wonderful use of colour, as well as light and shade.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0081This beautiful romantic English style cool climate garden was created by Ali Mentesh and Wayne Morrisey, who bought the property back in 1990. They designed a series of 20 garden rooms and spaces around the 1820s stone cottage, which was originally built by ex-convict, George Sewell, as a gentleman’s residence and named Red Cow Farm after the red Hereford cattle in the paddocks next door. Here is a photo of the garden plan, given to us on our first visit:blogsth-highlds50reszdimage-193Starting from the cottage garden in front of the house,blog-rcf20reszdimg_0305blog-rcf20reszdimg_0083 the camellia walk leads via the Apollo Walkblog-rcf20reszdimg_0085blog-rcf20reszdimg_0842blog-rcf20reszdimg_0843 to the Abbess’s Garden, complete with its own chapel and angel statue;blog-rcf20reszdimg_0852blog-rcf20reszdimg_0864blog-rcf20reszdimg_0865 topiared cones; and beds full of exuberant plantings of old roses, dahlias, tulips and perennials and wonderful colour combinations.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0096blog-rcf20reszdimg_0121blog-rcf20reszdimg_0123 The riot of colour and form contrasts dramatically with the Beech Walk next to it.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0129 Two portals are cut into the high hedges, which were being trimmed on our first visit.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0093 The top of the walk leads back to a circular pergola, clothed in climbing roses and the house courtyard,blog-rcf20reszdimg_0131blog-rcf20reszdimg_0132blog-rcf20reszdimg_0090blog-rcf20reszdimg_0225blog-rcf20reszdimg_0310 while the lower doorway leads down to a beautiful Hazelnut Walk, under-planted with hostas, primroses, hellebores, euphorbias, tulips and other bulbs.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0873blog-rcf20reszdimg_0886blog-rcf20reszdimg_0877blog-rcf20reszdimg_0894blog-rcf20reszdimg_0880 and the pond, with its own island and antique sailing boat and the bog garden, lined with yellow and blue iris.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0898blog-rcf20reszdimg_0139blog-rcf20reszdimg_1010blog-rcf20reszdimg_1023blog-rcf20reszdimg_0905 I loved the golden light in the woodland and the play of dappled light and shade.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0167blog-rcf20reszdimg_0194blog-rcf20reszdimg_0201 Resisting the temptation to explore the island on the lake, we meandered down the long herbaceous border, which ended with an obelisk and a wonderful borrowed landscape view of cattle quietly grazing the hillside beyond.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0150blog-rcf20reszdimg_0153 We had to retrace our steps to the next border, as the ground was a bit boggy and the bees in their beehives very active!blog-rcf20reszdimg_0917blog-rcf20reszdimg_0970 I love the variety in textures, colour and form in this garden, which was equally lovely last Autumn with all the deciduous foliage starting to colour.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0148blog-rcf20reszdimg_0183blog-rcf20reszdimg_0979 Red maples contrast with blue conifers and trees with golden and variegated foliage and stems like this wonderful stand of bamboo.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0935blog-rcf20reszdimg_1039blog-rcf20reszdimg_1011 I love the use of grasses in this garden!blog-rcf20reszdimg_0149 The woodland contains many rare trees and maples and is under-planted with massive rhododendrons and birches with paths leading to seats and restful shady corners, as well as back to the lake.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0174blog-rcf20reszdimg_0950blog-rcf20reszdimg_0187blog-rcf20reszdimg_1041blog-rcf20reszdimg_0976blog-rcf20reszdimg_0915 I loved the bluebells, buttercups, cyclamen, fothergilla, rhododendrons and trilliums.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0969blog-rcf20reszdimg_0971blog-rcf20reszdimg_0948blog-rcf20reszdimg_0204blog-rcf20reszdimg_0986blog-rcf20reszdimg_0967There are numerous statues of cherubs, nude males, mythological gods and gargoyles throughout the garden.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0940blog-rcf20reszdimg_0888The island is accessed via a bridge covered with old roses, Lamarque (see bottom photo) and Albertine, falling into the water.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0210blog-rcf20reszdimg_1035blog-rcf20reszdimg_1021blog-rcf20reszdimg_1016blog-rcf20reszdimg_1020blog-rcf20reszdimg_0222blog-rcf20reszdimg_1026 We saw two very monstrous carp feeding in the pond.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1008We then wandered back through the shrub and flower walk to the old gardener’s cottageblog-rcf20reszdimg_0991blog-rcf20reszdimg_0993 and chook pen, where crimson rosellas, galahs, mickeys and crested pigeons were also feeding with the hens!blog-rcf20reszdimg_0247blog-rcf20reszdimg_0990blog-rcf20reszdimg_1050 It is such a delightful old cottage with so much charm!blog-rcf20reszdimg_0228blog-rcf20reszdimg_0229blog-rcf20reszdimg_1077 I love the circular flowerbed in the courtyard, which was filled to the brim with bright colourful zinnias last Autumn.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0223blog-rcf20reszdimg_0235blog-rcf20reszdimg_0226 This Spring, two large tubs of tree peonies Paeonia suffruticosa were in full bloom at the end of the pergola.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1053blog-rcf20reszdimg_1068blog-rcf20reszdimg_1064blog-rcf20reszdimg_1070 Against the house is a long pond with much prettier smaller goldfish. The flower/shrub borders are separated from the orchard of apples, pears and stone fruits by the Crab Apple Walk.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1073blog-rcf20reszdimg_1102Just above the orchard is the Monastery Garden, a walled garden, measuring 25m by 8m, built in 1996 in the design of a Celtic cross.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0240 The formal beds are separated by paths, made of a mix of bluestone, sand and cement, and defined by English box hedging Buxus sempervirens.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0250 Plantings include:  Maltese Cross Lychnis chalcedonica; Cascade Penstemon Penstemon serrulatus; Delphinium ‘Black Knight’; Geranium x riversleaianum ‘Russell Prichard’; tulips; and old roses: Reine des Violettes, Pax and Felicia.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1090blog-rcf20reszdimg_1093blog-rcf20reszdimg_1096 Statues of saints on plinths abound in the monastery beds including : St. Jude, St. Joseph and St. Anthony, all imported from Canada; St. Francis from Mexico and the patron saint of gardens, St Fiacre, a commissioned artwork by an Australian artist.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1103 There is also a large stone wishing well with intricately carved sides in the centre of the cross, a huge carved bell and a large Gothic baptismal font just outside the stone arch entrance to this part of the garden.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0261blog-rcf20reszdimg_1100blog-rcf20reszdimg_0265blog-rcf20reszdimg_0259 A wisteria walk separates the vegetable garden and Montfort’s Nursery from the Monastery Garden. The kitchen garden is sheltered from the wind by huge old pine trees and is full of fresh vegetables and herbs.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0284blog-rcf20reszdimg_0272 The nursery contains many rare self-propagated plants for sale.  Ali is very knowledgeable about all the plants, having had over 20 years of experience designing private gardens in Sydney and  Canberra, as well as on the South Coast and the Southern Highlands.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0237blog-rcf20reszdimg_0268blog-rcf20reszdimg_0246 The final section of the garden is a walled garden next to the house, full of colour and scent and a birdbath in the corner.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0298blog-rcf20reszdimg_1125blog-rcf20reszdimg_1131blog-rcf20reszdimg_0300blog-rcf20reszdimg_1114 A small shop in the front room of the house contains gifts and garden souvenirs: home-made jams, scented candles and framed prints of the garden. The garden is also used for weddings and photo shoots.blog-rcf20reszdimg_0316

Moidart

19 – 21 Eridge Park Rd Burradoo, near Bowral   5 acres

Ph (02) 4861 2600

Open mid-September to late October each year; 10am to 4pm.  $7 per adult

http://www.highlandsnsw.com.au/gardens/moidart/

One of the grand old gardens of the Southern Highlands, Moidart was built in 1932 by James Burn, a member of the Burns Philp company, after it was split off from the Eridge Park Estate, and was named after a district on the west coast of Scotland. This iconic garden was constructed concurrently with the house, so was relatively well-established by the time the building was completed in 1935. The garden was designed by landscaper gardener Mr Buckingham, with much consultation with the architect of the house, Laidley Dowling, so it all fits seamlessly together as an integrated whole , the basic design remaining unchanged for over almost 90 years, although plant growth has altered the emphasis in some parts of the garden. For example, the conifers at the front of the house have now blocked all the views out of the garden and the huge mature trees are casting much greater shade over the garden, altering plant habitats and the growth of plants underneath. The same family still owns the property and lives in the grand old house.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1428blog-rcf20reszdimg_1392Much of the work was done by Bowral local, the late Clarie Worner, who apparently prepared the ground for planting by using dynamite to disrupt the solid layer of shale on the surface! A family friend and amateur botanist, DWC Shiress, chose many of the exotic tree and shrub species, which include specimens of  Giant Sequoia (photos above); Cypress conifers; Monterey Cypress; Chestnut; Red Oak; Copper Beech; London Plane; Golden Ash; Golden Elm; Weeping Elm; Weeping Cherry; Tulip Tree; Crab Apple; Dogwoods; Cornus contraversa variegata; Davidia involucrata; Edgeworthia; Camellias and Echiums. Their relative positions can be seen on this mudmap of the garden design:blogsth-highlds30reszdimage-195The main driveway winds through a mature woodland to a turning circle, where the main house finally comes into view, before ending in a garage at the side of the house.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1293blog-rcf20reszdimg_1307blog-rcf20reszdimg_1310blog-rcf20reszdimg_1309blog-rcf20reszdimg_1311 However, we entered the garden through a woodland past the hosta walk; hellebores, bluebells and pulmonaria; rhododendrons, azaleas and viburnums; and the Bamboo Garden;blog-rcf20reszdimg_1295blog-rcf20reszdimg_1296blog-rcf20reszdimg_1300blog-rcf20reszdimg_1301blog-rcf20reszdimg_1439blog-rcf20reszdimg_1440blog-rcf20reszdimg_1430emerging at a huge old camellia, very similar to the one at our front door.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1305blog-rcf20reszdimg_1299 Below the camellia is an expansive lawn, studded with mature deciduous trees in fresh new leaf : elm, beech and plane trees.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1397blog-rcf20reszdimg_1306blog-rcf20reszdimg_1395blog-rcf20reszdimg_1426blog-rcf20reszdimg_1353 To the right is a serene round goldfish pond.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1303blog-rcf20reszdimg_1308 We wandered down to the courtyard in front of the house, full of Iceberg standard roses and a silver garden.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1316blog-rcf20reszdimg_1317blog-rcf20reszdimg_1319 The central stone circular steps lead down to the first terrace,blog-rcf20reszdimg_1390blog-rcf20reszdimg_1386blog-rcf20reszdimg_1389blog-rcf20reszdimg_1318 blog-rcf20reszdimg_1384but the further two terraces must be walked the whole length to access them.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1415blog-rcf20reszdimg_1413blog-rcf20reszdimg_1400 It is such a lovely stroll past mature trees and shrubs like azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and viburnums and herbaceous perennial borders.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1402blog-rcf20reszdimg_1385blog-rcf20reszdimg_1414 We looked down over the hellebore and bluebell walk to a paddock and large dam with geese and Highland cattle.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1412blog-rcf20reszdimg_1411blog-rcf20reszdimg_1403blog-rcf20reszdimg_1421blog-rcf20reszdimg_1401To the south of the house is a delightful sunken rose garden, which is viewed from the house over a box hedge.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1345blog-rcf20reszdimg_1342 It is formally laid out with box-edged garden beds, gravel paths, a central flowering crab apple and two sandstone semi-circular seats at either end.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1324blog-rcf20reszdimg_1341blog-rcf20reszdimg_1327blog-rcf20reszdimg_1322blog-rcf20reszdimg_1344 While it was too early for the roses, the peonies were a real show!blog-rcf20reszdimg_1348blog-rcf20reszdimg_1328blog-rcf20reszdimg_1332blog-rcf20reszdimg_1356 Behind the sunken garden is the daffodil walk in amongst beautiful lilacs and dogwoods in full bloom, including an unusual double form of Cornus.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1371blog-rcf20reszdimg_1362blog-rcf20reszdimg_1380blog-rcf20reszdimg_1379blog-rcf20reszdimg_1374blog-rcf20reszdimg_1381blog-rcf20reszdimg_1377There is a lovely pink dogwood at the back of the house.blog-rcf20reszdimg_1368blog-rcf20reszdimg_1434blog-rcf20reszdimg_1433Moidart is famous for its collection of rare plants, bulbs, shrubs and trees and fortunately, it is possible to purchase many of them at a plant stall at the entrance, as well as online from Moidart Rare Plants:  http://www.moidart.com.au/. More tomorrow…!!!blog-rcf20reszdimg_1294

The September Garden

It’s such an exciting month in the garden, as it is just waking up from its long Winter sleep. Every day, I look for new discoveries – fresh leaf, new blossom and the emergence of long-lost bulbs and perennials, which have disappeared over Winter. By the end of the month, the garden is positively exploding with fresh colour!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-10-27-36blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-40-24blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-13-13-19blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-22-13-14-39We have been fortunate to get good rain to start the growing season , the frosts have almost finished and the sunny days are getting longer and longer.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-08-49-57blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-11-09-35-29 The crab apple is in full bloom and beat the white prunus this year, though the latter quickly caught up and now dominates the garden by its sheer size!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-39-35blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-13-17-38-10 We were really thrilled to see the bluebells in bud under the crab apple !blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-11-02-25blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-11-02-48 The white mulberry and the maples have new leaf and buds forming, as have a number of the shrubs like the new pink weigela and spireae and viburnum, the latter two now opening up.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-13-15-21blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-12-12-11-13blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-36-43The garden is experiencing the changing of the guard from the final blooms of Winter honeysuckle and daphne to the yellow banksia rose and white maybush;blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-10-23-23blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-10-23-35The violets to the new maple leaf and bulbs of the treasure garden in early September,blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-02-18-38-02blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-11-19-00-04blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-15-21-56 the latter in turn to be supplanted by the cutting garden as the month progressed;blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-11-05-26 The pink violets to the red grevillea, Lady X;blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-14-11-36-09 The japonicas, camellias and hellebores to the exochorda, lilacs, red rhododendron and roses; blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-17-11-50-13blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-35-46blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-10-33-13 blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-16-28-01The deep red hellebore finally got its act together with a late show of flowers.blogsept-garden20reszdimg_1147The roses have been shooting new leaves proliferously and the early roses are in bud: Chateau de Clos Vougeot (photo below) is the most advanced this year; the Banksia rose and Fortuneana are set to explode and we have new buds on Viridiflora and Countess Bertha,  Alister Stella Gray,  Stanwell Perpetual and Mutabilis,  Adam and the new Souvenir de la Malmaison.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-17-22-03Along the back path, the lilies are shooting madly, the acanthus has new flower spikes and the Italian lavender and daisies are in full bloom.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-13-10-32blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-15-16-51-28blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-12-41-11The sunny heads of the calendula complement the bright golden laburnum nearby.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-13-10-53blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-08-48-49The Peony has finally surfaced, as have the Snakes’ Head Fritillaries, whose pendant buds have such a distinctive chequerboard pattern. Here is the bud opening over the week.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-10-24-48blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-23-18-28-48blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-25-09-54-55A sole blossom on Narcissus panizzianus (1st photo below) has joined the clivea buds, which have opened into clear orange bells.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-16-00-56blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-22-10-30-52 The Cutting Garden is gaining more and more colour every day.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-13-14blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-12-50blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-46-36 blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-18-00-06We started the season with Bokassa Gold and Clusiana species tulips, which are now guarded by wire cages, since their first bloom (photo 2) was decapitated by the bower birds!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-13-32-44blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-05-13-02-15blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-09-17-39-14blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-13-30-16 The tulips are now in full steam. In order, two photos of each : Lily Tulips Claudia and Synaeda Orange; Destiny Parrot Tulip; Bokassa Red and Verandi; and pale pink Monet Tulips.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-12-11-42-43blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-24-33blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-45-55blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-09-13-55-35blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-12-54blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-12-04blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-12-30blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-11-52blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-16-46-27blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-11-32blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-25-12-46-49blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-13-13-47 In the daffodil row, Golden Dawn and Winter Sun have been joined by the delicate Actaea and luscious Acropolis.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-05-16-14-30blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-05-16-14-50blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-17-11-44-11blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-10-59-57 The divinely-scented freesias have finally opened, as well as a few blue  cornflower blooms and  a golden Iceberg Poppy from last year.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-23-18-31-29blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-10-32-54blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-14-11-24-48blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-13-17-34-43 And our first ranunculus is in bloom!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-25-12-47-51We labelled all the daffodil and tulip bulbs, so that when their foliage dies, I can transplant them to new areas around the garden.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-21-11-05-26In the Soho Bed, the loyal Wallflowers are now joined by pink verbena blooms, Italian Lavender, pink thrift and recovering catmint , as well as masses of sweet little forget-me-knots. We have even had our first wild poppy!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-10-27-55blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-18-13-25-34blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-13-13-58blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-10-56-33blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-17-11-41-23blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-22-10-38-23 We still need to thin out the peony poppies, which self-seeded from last year’s crop, but we have done the deed in the hand-sown bed, so it is looking much more ordered!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-18-17-18 Ross made a separate strawberry bed behind the peony poppies. blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-18-17-24 We weeded the Moon Bed.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-07-11-06-53 Ross has also done lots of work in the vegetable garden, including making protective wire guards. He has also potted new cuttings and planted out the rose cuttings, which were struck last year.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-11-09-36-14I too have been busy! In early September, I made a second batch of Spring bulb cushion panels, as well as some based on spring blossom and tulips, to keep me occupied until the garden started exploding in Spring growth. It is such an exciting time of year!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-14-00-16blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-11-18-36-17blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-13-10-14-00The birds are also loving the Spring! The female blackbird has made a nest in the giant bamboo, well away from the neighbourhood cats, but her mate still keeps a watchful eye on proceedings!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-09-54-36blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-13-14-46-05The male bower bird is in full decorating mode in his attempts to impress a mate! We caught him in the act, plucking a blue cornflower, the colour complementing his violet-blue eyes!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-25-09-50-40The Red-browed Firetail Finches and Eastern Spinebills are loving the insect life in the fresh new foliage.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-09-55-02blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-14-23-41blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-14-23-30The Silvereyes, Crimson Rosellas, King Parrots, and Satin Bowerbirds are feasting on the blossom!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-19-10-46-59blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-13-17-43-44 The latter two are also testing out the ripeness of the loquat fruit on a daily basis.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-17-15-44blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-18-06-12blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-18-08-04 It’s lovely to watch the parrots grazing in amongst the bluebells, the grass kept unmown for the bulbs, though I still hate it when the birds (I blame the bowerbirds!) cut off flower heads and new growth! Even the roses and grevillea have been attacked!blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-16-08-46blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-16-08-34 And if that weren’t enough food, there is always grain to scavenge from my daughter’s budgie cage on the verandah! These birds are such characters!

blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-17-56-03
Do you think we should?
blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-17-57-31
What are they up to?
blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-17-57-49
Got it!
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I only have eyes for you!
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Lean pickings!
blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-20-18-01-49
A very handsome bird!

Finally, a few photos of special moments this first month of Spring… a spider web caught in the dew;blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-10-06-25blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-04-10-07-10 a new sun for my daughter’s birthday;blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-08-51-50blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-06-08-52-27 a rising moon and a beautiful fluffy sunset cloud.blogsept-garden20reszd2016-09-13-19-35-58blogsept-garden20reszdimg_1084blogsept-garden20reszdimg_1091

Spring Bulbs in My Cutting Garden : Feature Plant for September

Since it is the very start of Spring, I thought I would celebrate with a post on my favourite Spring bulbs in the cutting garden. I have also included bulbs from other parts of the garden, where they fit into the same bulb type. These were our first jonquils for the season.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-09 15.05.18Most of the bulbs were sourced from Tesselaars (https://www.tesselaar.net.au).BlogFavNurseries20%Reszd2016-02-25 11.24.43BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 280BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 248 However, I bought the Narcissus panizzianus and Lady Tulips from Lambley Nursery (http://lambley.com.au/) and the rest of the latter from the Drewitt Bulbs stall (2nd photo below) at the Lanyon Plant Fair (http://www.drewittsbulbs.com.au/).BlogFavNurseries20%Reszd2016-02-25 11.24.04BlogSpecialistnurseries20%ReszdIMG_0650 (2)The erlicheer jonquils were given to us by a friend. We have been enjoying the jonquils for the last few weeks of Winter, so I will start with Narcissi, then progress to tulips, freesias, anemones and ranunculus.

Narcissi           Also known as  Daffodil, Daffadowndilly, Jonquil and Narcissus

Belonging to the Family Amaryllidaceae, the genus name comes from the Greek word for ‘intoxicated‘: ‘narcotic’ and is associated with the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection in a pond and drowned.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdseptember 178The genus arose in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene epochs and is native to the meadows and woods of Southern Europe and North Africa, with the centre of diversity in the Western Mediterranean, especially the Iberian Peninsula. Both wild and cultivated plants have naturalized widely and are hardy to Zone 5. They have been cultivated since early times and were introduced into the Far East before the 10th century. They became increasingly popular in Europe before the 16th century and were an important commercial crop in the Netherlands in the late 19th century. Some species are now extinct, while others are threatened by increased urbanization and tourism. They are the national flower of Wales and a symbol of Spring, as well as cancer charities.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdseptember 188Description:  Perennial herbaceous, bulbiferous geophytes, which die back after flowering to an underground storage bulb. The bulbs are long-lived and naturalize easily.

Mainly green or blue-green narrow, strap-like leaves arise from the bulb.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-06 17.51.22Flowers normally solitary (ie one flower per stem), though there are cluster varieties, which bear their flowers in an umbel. They are generally white, yellow or both, though salmon varieties have been bred. The perianth consists of 3 parts:

Floral tube above the ovary

Outer ring of 6 tepals = undifferentiated sepals and petals

Central cup or trumpet-shaped corona

The flowers have 6 pollen-bearing stamens around a central style and an inferior trilocular ovary and are hermaphroditic, being insect-pollinated by bees, flies, butterflies and hawkmoths. They flower for 4 months from late Winter (June in Australia) to Late Spring (October in Australia) and are divided into early/ mid and late blooms. The fruit is a dry capsule, which splits to release lots of fine black seeds.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdseptember 190There are thousands of hybrids, but they are generally divided into 13 sections with up to 50 species : Trumpet; Large-cupped cultivars; Small-cupped cultivars; Double Daffodil cultivars; Triandrus cultivars; Cyclamineus cultivars; Jonquilla cultivars; Tazetta Daffodil cultivars; Poeticus daffodils; Bulbocodium cultivars (Hoop Petticoats); Split Corona cultivars and 2 Miscellaneous groups.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdsept 2012 016Growing Conditions:

Cold is required to initiate flowering, though some varieties tolerate more heat.

Full Winter sun is best or at least half a day.

A well-drained soil is also best.

Plant bulbs in Autumn with pointy end up 1.5 – 5 times the height of the bulb deep and 10 – 12 cm apart or more if naturalizing. Well-rotted manure can be dug into the bed a few weeks before planting the bulbs. The application of potash or a slow release fertilizer with low nitrogen content will encourage more flowers. After flowering, the leaves should be left to dry out over 6 months to allow photosynthesis to replenish the nutrients and energy of the bulb for the next season’s flowering. Bulbs should not be watered when dormant. Daffodils are propagated by bulb division. Diseases include: viruses (eg yellow stripe virus); fungal infections; and basal rot. Pests include: narcissus bulb  fly larvae; narcissus eelworm; nematodes, bulb scale mites; and slugs.Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.23.35Use:  Ornamental plants for Spring displays;BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdsept 2012 074 Mixed herbaceous and shrub borders;BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdseptember 189 Deciduous woodland plantings; Blog PHGPT2 25%Reszd2014-09-20 10.20.33Rock gardens; Naturalized meadows and lawns and even in containers.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdsept 2012 019They are excellent cut flowers, lasting for up to 1 week, but should not be mixed with other flowers in the same vase, unless preconditioned. Their stems emit a toxic slime, which clogs up the stems of the other flowers, causing their stems to wilt prematurely. Flowers should be picked while still in bud and no floral preservative should be used in the cold water – only a few drops of bleach. To precondition narcissi, cut the stems on the diagonal and stand alone in cold water for at least 24 hours, then discard the water, wash the container thoroughly and arrange with other flowers without recutting the stems of the Narcissi.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1470 Care should be taken when handling, as the sap can cause dermatitis, commonly known in the trade as ‘Daffodil Itch’. All daffodils are poisonous if ingested, though they have been used in traditional medicine. Narcissus produce galantamine, which is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Dementia.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-06 17.51.36The range of daffodils and jonquils is so extensive (there are over 25 000 cultivars!) that I am only describing the types I have in my garden. For more information on daffodils, there is a beautiful book called:  ‘Daffodil: Biography of a Flower’ by Helen O’Neill. Other titles can be found on :  http://thedaffodilsociety.com/wordpress/miscellany/books-on-daffodils-some-titles-for-the-interested-amateur-grower/. In fact this site, http://thedaffodilsociety.com/wordpress/, the blog of the Daffodil Society of Great Britain, is a mine of information with links to other societies worldwide;  other sources of information; articles on daffodil history; places to see daffodils; suppliers; growth notes and interesting obscure facts about them like the use of their juice by Arabs to cure baldness and their yellow flower dye by high-born medieval women to tint their hair and eyebrows!BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdsept 2012 012Species Daffodils:

See : http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/NarcissusSpeciesFive

Narcissus poeticus: Pheasant Eye Daffodils: ‘Actaea’

I have always loved these elegant heirloom daffodils, which are one of the earliest daffodils and probably those associated with the ancient Greek myth, which gives them their name. The species was first described by Linnaeus in 1753 in his work: ‘Species Plantarum’. Their natural habitat is from Greece to France, with the northernmost wild population in a valley in West Ukraine near the Russian border.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdgrampians 3 182They have long stems, each bearing a single flower, 7 cm wide,  with a small shallow yellow corona with a neat red rim and wide vivid, white, pointed, reflexed petals. They have an earthy clove-like fragrance. They flower late in the season and cope better with wet, poorly drained areas than most other daffodils. Best in full sun and well-drained soil, they should be planted at a depth 3 times the height of the bulb and 10 – 20 cm apart. They naturalize well.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0442Narcissus panizzianus

Another heirloom variety, which were grown by Lambleys Nursery from wild seed collected in Italy over 20 years ago. This paperwhite tazetta daffodil grows wild from Portugal to Italy and Greece in Southern Europe and Algeria and Morocco in North Africa. The 35 cm tall stems bear up to 12 pure white flowers with a spicy fragrance in Winter. They have grey green leaves and grow well in dry parts of the garden. I have planted  4 bulbs under my deciduous maple in front of my white statue, Chloe; 5 bulbs around the rusty iron ring statue; and 5 bulbs under the Bull Bay Magnolia; but while they have all produced leaves, they are yet to flower!

Narcissus x tazetta :  Fragrant Daffodils and Jonquils:

Paperwhite Ziva N. tazetta subsp papyraceus ‘Ziva’

The most commonly grown paperwhite, this long-lived frost hardy bulb hails from the West Mediterranean region : Greece, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria and can be grown from Zones 8 – 11. They have blue-grey strap-like foliage and  45 cm tall slender stems bearing clusters of highly fragrant, musk-scented, pure white star-shaped flowers from late Winter to early Spring. The bulbs are frost hardy and should be planted at a depth  of 10 – 15 cm and 10 cm apart. They flower 2 – 3 weeks after planting.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-02 14.20.13Erlicheer

These tazetta type jonquils have highly fragrant clusters of  6 – 20 cream to ivory flowers on each stem and are 30 – 75 cm high.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.43.45 Bulbs should be planted at a depth 3 times the height of the bulbs and 10 – 12 cm apart. They naturalize easily, are good in warmer climates and are one of the first narcissi to flower. And they are really tough. Our bulbs were given to us by friends while we were still renting and they sat in a box in the dark under the house for one whole season before we finally remembered them and planted them out and even the drying shrinking bulbs survived and regained their vigour after a year in the ground!BlogTinyTreasures20%ReszdIMG_0271Golden Dawn

Another fragrant cluster daffodil with broad leaves and 40 cm tall stems, each bearing 5 pale yellow flowers (each 4.5 cm wide with an orange corona). See yellow flowers next to the Actaea in the photo below. They have a strong sweet fragrance.BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2015-09-15 09.47.35 Very similar to Soleil d’Or, they flower much  later in mid to late Spring. BlogSpring bulbs 20%ReszdIMG_1072 The bulbs should be planted at a depth 1.5 – 2 times their own height and naturalize well. BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-17 15.14.52Double Daffodils: Narcissus x pseudonarcissus:

Acropolis

A late season bulb, they are 30 – 70 cm tall and have very  double, creamy white petals and petaloids with a small deep orange cup. The planting depth is 3 times the height of the bulb and they should be positioned 10 – 20 cm apart.Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0522Wintersun: Wintersun is a mid-season bulb, 30 – 70 cm tall,  with a bright yellow flower.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-17 15.15.31Miniature Daffodils: Tête à Tête

These tiny daffodils have golden yellow flowers, 3 – 4cm wide, on 15 cm stems early to mid-season. Each bulb produces more than one flower- usually up to 3 – 4 and often in pairs, with the flower heads facing each other, so they look like they are engaged in a private conversation, ‘tête à tête’, thus their name! They are placed in the Miscellaneous category, as they do not fit easily into the other types. Their seed parent was a primary hybrid of N.cyclamineus and N. tazetta ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’, while the pollen parent was N. cyclamineus.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.10.08 Bulbs should be planted 5 – 15 cm apart at a depth of 3 times their height. Tough and hardy, they are tolerant to both heat and severe cold and are perfect for small gardens, rockeries, the front of beds and pots. Mine are in my treasure garden and have just flowered for the first time! The plants are sterile, but are propagated by bulb division.BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-22 15.01.04Tulips:

Tulips are also very popular, highly hybridized bulbs, which have been cultivated since the 10th century. They belong to the Liliaceae or Lily Family and their genus name is the Latinized version of the Turkish name ‘tulbend’, meaning ‘turban’ and referring to the inverted flowers of some of the species.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 249Habitat:  Mountainous areas of temperate climates in Turkey and the Mediterranean areas. 14 wild species are still found in Turkey, but they are very different to the huge showy blooms of the modern hybridized tulips.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 274 History:  Wild collected plants were first hybridized in Persian gardens. They were very popular with the Seljuks and during the Tulip Era of the later Ottoman Empire, when they were a symbol of abundance and indulgence.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 260Introduced to Europe in 1594 by Carolus Clusius (1526 – 1609), a Flemish medical doctor and botanist, they became a subject of speculative frenzy in the Netherlands and a form of currency during a period called Tulipomania from 1634 – 1637, when a single bulb fetched an exhorbitantly high price!BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 314 They were also painted in many Dutch still-life paintings of the period. The Keukenhof in the Netherlands is the largest permanent display garden of tulips in the world. See: http://www.keukenhof.nl/en/footer/about-keukenhof/.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 334For more information about the fascinating history of tulips in both Turkey and the Netherlands, try to read a copy of ‘Tulipomania’ by Mike Dash.Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0557Description:  Bulbous perennials with Spring flowers of a wide range of forms (single/ double), stem lengths, colours (single and bicolours) and flowering times (early/ mid/ late Spring). They have an upright clump habit with medium green to grey green glaucous foliage.BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-15 17.57.48 The oblong to elliptical leaves, up to 38 cm long and 10 cm wide, twist as they rise directly from the underground bulb and have acute apices.BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-18 14.45.57 The fruit is an elongated to elliptical ribbed capsule on the spent flower stem and contains many fine black seed.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1246Growing Conditions: Tulips like climates with a long cool Spring, a dry Summer and a cold Winter (Zones 5 – 7). They need a period of cool dormancy (vernalization). In areas with a warm Winter, they should be grown as an annual. They love full sun (but will tolerate partial shade) and moist, rich, well-drained soils. The bulbs should be planted in late Autumn (after 6 weeks in a brown paper bag in the fridge) at a depth of 3 times the height of the bulb- usually 10 – 20 cm deep and 10 – 15 cm apart. I usually plant them on Mothers’ Day. After flowering, leave the leaves to fully senesce before removing in Summer, so the bulbs can replenish their nutrients via photosynthesis for optimal growth the following season.BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-16 17.14.40 Propagation is by bulb division or bulblet separation, the seeds taking at least 2 years to propagate! Hybrid tulip bulbs decrease in floral performance and vigour within 1 – 2 years of planting, unlike the species tulips, which get better and better! Their primary disease is bulb rot due to poor drainage, but there are also other fungal and viral diseases. The 2nd photo below shows last year’s tulips in their 2nd season.

Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1256BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-09-04 13.02.23BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-09-02 13.43.08Use:  Tulips are planted as a Spring accent in beds and borders, naturalized drifts and even in pots.BlogPrivCountry25%Reszdgrampians 3 146 They  are lovely in vases, but any wiring to support their heads must make allowance for the fact that their stems will continue to grow towards the light. Preservative should be avoided, as the sugar results in stem stretching, causing the flowers to flop over. Use cold water with 30 ppm chlorine and never mix with freshly cut Narcissi, until after the latter have been conditioned. Care should be taken when handling tulips, as their anthocyanin causes allergies and dermatitis. They are toxic to horses, cats and dogs.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 300Species Tulips (also known as Botanical Tulips)

There are 150 different wild species from Central Asia to Spain and Portugal. They differ to the hybrids in that they are usually much smaller in both plant height and flower size; have pointed petals;  flower from late Winter to  early Spring and like hot dry Summers; and they increase in bulb number and floral performance over the years. In the photo below, the hybrid tulip on the left dwarfs the Clusiana species tulips on the right.BlogSpring bulbs 20%ReszdIMG_1157 A good site to consult about species tulips is : http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/TulipaSpeciesOne.

Some of them include:

Tulipa batalinii ( yellow dwarf species) and T. linifolia (red Flax-leaved or Bokharan Tulip) from the Bukhara region of Uzbekistan and Turkey.

Tulipa kaufmanniana (Water Lily Tulip): Turkestan; Low growing; Cup shaped blooms with pointed petals of variegated base colour; One of the earliest tulips to flower.

Tulipa gregii: Turkestan; Short stems and large orange-scarlet to creamy-yellow blooms.

Tulipa altaica: Central Asia; Yellow pointed petals.

Tulipa agenensis (Eyed Tulip): Middle East; Crimson red with yellow patch around black centre inside.

Tulipa hageri: Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and Greece. Red flowers. See photo below.

Tulipa saxatilis (Satin or Rock Tulip) : Bright pink flowers with yellow centres. Hails from the Southern Aegean islands, Crete, Rhodes and Western Turkey.

Tulipa tarda (Late Tulip): Tien Shan mountains of Central Asia; Yellow petals with white pointed tips.

Tulipa acuminata (Fire Flame or Turkish Tulip): Turkey; Rare heirloom tulip, described 1813; Flowers mid Spring; Long narrow scarlet and yellow petaloids with pointy ends.

BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdgrampians 1 262

Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’  Also known as Lady Tulip, Candlestick Tulip or Persian Tulip

An heirloom species, it was originally thought to be native to the Middle East, specifically Iran (Persia), Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tibet, Kashmir and the Western Himalayas, but now believed to be indigenous to Spain. It has been cultivated through much of Europe since the early 1600s. Tulipa clusiana was named after the Flemish botanist, Carolus Clusius, whose work ‘Curae Posteriores’ (1606) documents the obtaining of bulbs via a Florentine grower from Constantinople. The species is normally striped red and white like a peppermint stick, but ‘Cynthia’ is striped red and yellow. It was introduced to gardeners in 1959 by CG Van Tubergen.BlogSpring bulbs 20%ReszdIMG_1158Description:  Narrow grey-green leaves; Solitary flowers in early Spring, borne on 25 cm stems. The pointed , rose-red tepals are edged with pale yellow on the outside and are pale yellow within. I cannot wait for this bud to open and to see the flower for the first time!BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-09-04 13.01.56Growing Conditions:  They require a chilly dormancy, so cold Winters are a requirement (Zones 3 – 8). They love full sun and perfect drainage in an organically enriched sandy soil. Plant in the Autumn, 5 – 10 cm deep and 5 – 10 cm apart. Don’t water much, as too much water during Winter dormancy results in bulb rot. These bulbs do not set seed, but are propagated by bulb offsets and stolons. The bulbs naturalize easily to form large colonies.  Diseases include gray mould and mosaic virus, while pests include aphids; slugs and snails; and mice and voles.BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-09-04 14.21.32Use: Best planted in groups of more than 15 bulbs in beds, borders, rockeries and naturalized in grass. Ingestion causes severe discomfort and the sap can cause skin irritations.

Tulipa x hybrid: 

Bokassa Tulips : Bokassa White/ Bokassa Red/  Bokassa Verandi/ Bokassa Gold

Strong growth, compact foliage and medium stems. Good for pots and small gardens.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1153Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0543BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-18 14.46.26Parrot Tulips: Destiny Parrot:

A flamboyant mid season tulip with pink-red feathered petals.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0303Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0296Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-22 10.59.57Lily TulipsSynaeda Orange/ Claudia (pink)/ Tres Chic (white)

Late season, urn-shaped flowers with a distinct narrow waist with pointed reflexed petals.

Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0431Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0521Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0617Monet Pink:

Late blooming, huge goblet-shaped flowers on tall stems.BlogBdayblessgs20%Reszd2015-10-09 14.15.19Freesias:

A member of the Family Iridaceae, Freesias were first described as a genus in 1866 by Chr. Fr. Echlon (1795 – 1868) and named after German botanist and doctor Friedrich Freese (1794 – 1878).

Habitat:  Eastern side of South Africa from Kenya to South Africa, most species being found in the Cape Provinces.

Description:    Herbaceous perennial flowering plants, 10 – 20 cm tall and wide, with fragrant funnel-shaped flowers, borne zygomorphically along one side of the stem, in a single plane, with all flowers facing upwards.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-24 11.25.20Growing Conditions:  They like wet Winters and dry Summers; Full sun or light shade; Must have good drainage and be left to dry out when dormant. Plant bulbs 5 cm deep and 5 – 8 cm apart with pointed ends up.BlogBdayblessgs20%Reszd2015-10-09 14.16.14Use:  Massed in garden beds and borders and in pots; In floristry, they are an excellent cut flower: the yellows, blues and whites have a longer vase-life than the reds and pinks, with some lasting 3 weeks when cut in bud. Use floral preservative.

Grandma’s Freesias ‘Alba’: Freesia refracta alba

The original and most fragrant of all the freesias, its cream flowers have hints of violet-blue and gold. Naturalizes in well-drained soils.

Freesia hybrids: Freesia x hybrida: Derived from crosses made in the 19th century between F. refracta and F. leichtlinii, as well as the resultant cultivars and the pink- and yellow-flowered forms of F. corymbosa..

Bergenden Freesias: Large bright single scented florets

Fantasia Freesias: Double flowers with sweet fragrance

Bedding Freesias: Shorter stems, so ideal for massed plantings and containers.

The last two bulbs in this post are members of the Ranunculaceae family, which contains 2346 species of flowering plants from 43 genera worldwide, the largest being: Delphiniums (365 sp); Clematis (325 sp); Thalictrum (330 sp); Aconitum (300 sp); and Ranunculus (600 sp).

 Anemones are a large genus with up to 150 species, including:

A.hupehensis (Chinese Anemone) and A. hupehensis var. japonica and A. hybrida (both called Japanese Anemone ): Fibrous roots; 90 cm tall; White and pink flowers late Summer and Autumn  on branching heads; Likes rich friable soil in semi-shade.

A.nemerosa (European Wood Anemone): Rhizomous roots, which spread quickly through the surface leaf litter under trees; White flowers in Spring; 40 varieties; Likes humus-rich soil and shade.

A.blanda (Winter Wind Flower): Rhizomes; Violet blue, pink or white; From SE Europe and Turkey.

A.sylvestris (Snowdrop Anemone): Nodding fragrant white flowers with golden stamens  late Spring/ early Summer; Ferny foliage; Fluffy seed heads; Spreads by underground runners and stolons.

Anemone coronaria  (Garden anemone/ Poppy anemone/ Wind flower)

Genus :  Anemone:  from the Greek word for ‘wind’ : ‘anemos’.

Species: coronaria:  meaning ‘crown’ and pertaining to head garlands.

Habitat:  Native to the Mediterranean region : Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Western Crete. In Israel, the Shokeda Forest, Northern Negev region, is a vast red carpet of wild anemones in Spring, while the Omalos Plain in the White Mountains, West Crete, is mainly a huge sea of red, but with pools of crimson, blue, magenta, mauve and white near the field edges.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1421History: The anemone is the national flower of Israel, but is also very popular elsewhere. The Italian nobleman, Francesco Caetani, the 8th Duke of Sermoneta (1613 – 1683), is said to have planted 28 000 in his parterres at Cisterna, south of Rome. They were also commonly painted in 17th Century Dutch paintings.Blog LateWinter20%Reszd2015-08-31 11.13.19Description:

Herbaceous, tuberous perennial plants, 20 – 40 cm tall.

Basal rosette of a few palmate leaves, each with 3 deeply lobed leaflets.

Flowers are borne singly on long stems in early Spring. There is a whorl of small leaves just below each flower. Flowers are 3 – 8 cm in diameter and have 5 – 8 red, white or blue petal-like tepals, often with a black centre.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0306

There are numerous cultivars, developed over the years by gardeners interested in breeding and showing flowers. The majority of hybrids being in the De Caen (single) and St Brigid (double) groups.Blog LateWinter20%Reszd2015-09-01 15.09.17BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.30.20Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0257Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0258I planted the De Caen anemones last year and loved their single simple flowers in a multitude of colours over a long period, so I will focus on them. The De Caen group was supposedly bred by Mme Quetel de Caen, but certainly they were hybridized and cultivated in the Caen and Bayeux regions of France. Crosses between the single Anemone coronaria and other singles like : the starry A. pavonina, which grows wild in Greece; A. hortensis; and  the scarlet A. fulgens, resulted in hybrids like the deep purple-blue Mr Fokker; the bright red Hollandia; the deep pink Sylphide and the white blooms of The Bride.BlogBdayblessgs20%Reszd2015-10-08 13.36.51BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.30.36BlogBdayblessgs20%Reszd2015-10-09 14.18.08Growing Conditions:  I am definitely still learning when it comes to growing anemones, as all of my corms disappeared last year, so I have since done a bit of research! Anemones grow from knobbly corms, which can be soaked overnight before planting for faster germination and growth. They do best in Zones 7 – 10, disliking heavy Winter frost or hot humid Summers. While they like moist soil when germinating, they hate too much moisture, which results in root rot. They also don’t like other plants or weeds and should be grown alone in their own bed. Perhaps, this is why I lost my anemone corms, as I had zinnias in the same bed. Information on soil type varied from a rich loam-based soil to a light sandy soil with light compost and a deep root run- I think the moisture content and drainage is the most important factor. A well-drained raised bed in full sun seems to be the best situation. Corms should be planted with their claws facing upwards 5 cm deep and 10 cm apart. They will flower 10 – 12 weeks after planting out. While traditionally planted in Autumn for Spring, they can in fact be planted all year round for constant colour- in Spring for early Summer, and again in early Summer for an Autumn display. They should be kept dry during dormancy and can be lifted and stored till the following Autumn or treated as annuals. At least, that is what I will do next time!

Pests and diseases are minimal- they can get powdery mildew or be attacked by slugs or leaf and bud eel worms.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 250Use: These beautiful bright anemones are grown for their decorative flowers in borders and rock gardens, and also for floristry. They last well as a cut flower, up to 2 weeks, if kept cool with a drop of bleach or floral preservative in the water. Do not put in a vase with Narcissi, otherwise the anemone stems will become limp. Care should be taken when handling the flowers, as the white sap can cause skin irritation and dermatitis. Ingestion can cause mild stomach upset.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1188BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1465Ranunculus

A large genus of 600 species including buttercups, spearworts and water crowfoots.

The genus name, Ranunculus, comes from the Latin words: ‘rana’ (‘frog’) and ‘unculus’ (‘little’), ‘little frog’, being the name given to them by Roman Pliny, as many of these plants are found in wet conditions.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdmelbourne spring 281The common buttercup found along creek beds is often meadow Buttercup, R. acris, or Creeping Buttercup, R. repens, and has single gold flowers, but the Ranunculus I grow in the cutting garden is the:

Turban Buttercup or Persian Buttercup     R. asiaticus

Also known as the Persian Crowsfoot, due to the shape of the corms). The Tecolote strain is the most common type with fully double flowers, 7 – 15 cm wide, on 30 – 45 cm stems, with a wide colour variation from bicoloured picotee and pastel mixes to single colours of white, pink, red, rose, salmon, yellow, gold and sunset orange. The Bloomingdale strain is less common, on shorter stems up to 10 inches and double flowers of pale orange, yellow, red, pink and white flowers. Last year, I ordered the Picasso collection from Tesselaars and I was thrilled with their exotic jewel-like colours.BlogFavNurseries30%Reszdgrampians 1 282Description:  Frost hardy cool-season perennials, which do best in mild Winters and long cool Springs. Lacy, celery-like leaves which form a mound 15 – 30 cm across. BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.57.18BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.56.39Lustrous, colourful double flowers with multiple, crepe-thin satiny petals in Spring.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.28.37BlogBdayblessgs20%Reszd2015-10-10 14.20.06BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.57.13Growing Conditions:

Ranunculus like moderate temperatures, Zones 4 – 7, but they are winter hardy to Zone 8. In fact, they need 6 – 8 weeks of cool weather in which to sprout and grow, so should be planted in Autumn for early Spring flowers (lasting 6 – 7 weeks) or late Winter for Mid-Spring (lasting 4 – 6 weeks). They prefer full sun and a well-drained soil is essential. If the soil gets water-logged, the bed should be raised with a 5 – 7 cm layer of peat moss, compost or decomposed manure. The tubers should be planted, claws facing down, 5 cm deep and 10 – 15 cm inches apart. Water well on planting and only lightly after that, though the roots should be kept cool and moist. Flowers appear 90 days after planting. They should not be watered once dormant and the corms can be lifted and stored in colder climates, where the soil freezes. Snails and mildew can be a problem, but generally they are very hardy. They can be propagated by tuber division or seed.BlogReignroses20%ReszdIMG_2987BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 158Use:  In borders and beds, accompanied by other cool-climate plants like forget-me-nots, calendula, primroses and pansies and Iceland Poppies (2nd photo below). BlogPrivSpec25%Reszdoctober 170BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.28.23In floristry, they are also an excellent cut flower, lasting up to 10 days with floral preservative. Change the vase water often. BlogSpringfeastg20%Reszd2015-10-29 11.01.43BlogSpringfeastg20%Reszd2015-10-29 11.00.01BlogSpringfeastg20%Reszd2015-10-29 13.46.25All types of Ranunculus are poisonous to livestock. These birds don’t look too worried! In fact, they complement the colours of the Spring bulbs! Or maybe they think vice versa!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1298This goose looks completely at home in amongst the daffodils- my daughter Caroline’s latest Feature Plant painting! Thank you, Caro!BlogSpring bulbs 20%ReszdIMG_1074

 

 

 

The August Garden

Spring is just around the corner and I can barely wait! Every day, I pop down to the garden at least three times to check on its progress and any new developments!

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Still frosty early mornings!
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Winter shade is also a constant challenge! This is a lunchtime photo!

BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.28.23 The days are very slowly lengthening, but we still get the odd sharp frost to remind us not to get ahead of ourselves and remove any protective mulch or hessian!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-14 10.50.15 The days have been just beautiful with stunning sunrises, followed by clear blue sunny skies.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 08.50.51BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 08.50.38BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.56.06 New leaf is starting to form on the quince tree (photo below) and roses in anticipation and the Spring bulbs are starting to appear.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.49.12

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My new birthday rose: Souvenir de la Malmaison

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I loved the colours on these old loquat tree leaves

I love my little treasure garden in the rockery beside the steps. Photos from all angles…!!!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-22 18.48.24BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-23 13.20.38BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-19 17.16.08 The Paper Daisies, Coconut Ice Pink and English primroses are all in full bloom and have been joined by miniature Tête à Tête daffodils, grape hyacinth and now a royal blue hyacinth!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-22 15.01.30BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-22 15.00.52BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-19 17.15.35BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.10.08BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.10.45BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 17.52.20 The violets behind them are still in full bloom and have even started colonizing the steps down to the garden.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 19.06.06BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-01 18.20.30BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-05 13.29.04 In the Cutting Garden, the Paperwhite Zivas have been joined by Erlicheer Jonquils, fragrant Golden Dawn and Double Daffodil, Wintersun.BlogJune Garden 20%Reszd2016-06-02 14.20.13BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.43.45BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-18 14.45.10BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-17 15.15.31 The Bokassa Gold tulips are in full glory, having started the month as a closed elegant bud, gradually colouring, then opening to a beautiful golden goblet, which looks magnificent when it catches the sun!BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-15 17.57.48BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-16 17.14.40BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-18 14.46.26BlogSpring bulbs 20%Reszd2016-08-18 14.45.57 The little species tulips (photos 2 & 3) and Grandma’s Freesias (photo 1) are also in bud and the leaves of last year’s tulips (photo 4) are growing madly, though I suspect their blooms will not quite match those of last Spring!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-24 11.25.20BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-24 11.25.05BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-24 11.24.23BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 17.53.42 We also still have snowdrops (photo 1) and snowflakes (photos 2 and 3).BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-06 17.47.41BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-01 18.34.04

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Snowflakes in my neighbour’s garden

The hellebores are also persisting, despite the nasty tactics of the bowerbirds, who like to behead both hellebore and erlicheer blooms! Quite distressing, as they are still such precious specimens- I am so looking forward to the day when I have masses of hellebores and snowflakes like my neighbour’s garden, so that the odd discarded bloom doesn’t matter!!!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-05 13.20.29BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.57.39BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-14 10.47.13BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-07-31 16.58.52BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-12 14.59.52BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-07-29 12.05.08 Other plants booming in the garden include : Wallflowers in the Soho Bed;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 13.12.12BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.13.45BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 19.01.14 Daphne and Winter Honeysuckle, whose flowering season issadly drawing to a close;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.52.41Pink Diosma and red Lady X Grevillea;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-22 15.02.07BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.50.19 the red Japonica;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-05 13.15.30A few early flowers of the crab apple tree nearby;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.19.30BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.19.40A stunning new orange daisy;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-22 15.02.42BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-12 14.58.53 and of course, the loyal camellias!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-07-29 12.05.29BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-07-31 16.56.26BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.52.24BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.53.21BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.53.30BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 12.51.18BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.47.57BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-11 14.50.28BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-09 17.43.28So, there has still been enough flowering for the odd Winter vase.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-07-25 12.10.07BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-11 14.57.50 The Spring sap rising and new bulbs has revitalized my creative juices as well and I have just made 6 delightful tiny cushions to celebrate the imminent arrival of Spring!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-21 23.40.53BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-22 14.53.46 We have also been very busy in the garden: Pruning buddleias;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-02 12.17.20BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 11.29.28 Thinning Peony Poppy Seed, though we have a way to go! We must have had a 100 percent strike rate! The crates in the background of the first photo below will form a new compost heap in the same position;BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-14 10.49.23

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A mammoth task ahead!

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Getting ruthless!

BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 17.54.35Weeding the Soho Bed; Here are before and after shots!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.31.19BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.12.10 And planting new vegies, as well as making long wire guards to protect them from the ravages of the bowerbirds! Little did they realize about the treasures beneath the soil!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 17.58.51BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-08 11.43.51 The Crimson Rosellas have also been enjoying the Soho Bed and the lawn.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 14.57.18BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 14.58.16BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 14.56.50BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 14.58.37BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.54.45BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.51.05 A very tame pair of Grey Thrush have taken up residence in the garden, delighting us with their friendliness, inquisitive nature and beautiful melodic song!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.27.07BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.46.54BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.44.40BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.45.48BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.58.13BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-18 14.49.08 They seem to have struck a deal with the resident blackbirds, sharing the sundial and birdbath.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.42.53BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.47.40BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.47.53 Other visitors to the bird bath include a Willy Wagtail and a Lewin Honeyeater.BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-20 18.08.58BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-20 18.09.06BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-15 11.42.28A large mixed flock of silvereyes and fairy wrens have been doing laps of the garden, investigating all the new leaf and gobbling up any insects they can find!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.25.34BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-25 11.25.06We have also had King Parrots and even Carrier Pidgeons! Perhaps they were delivering the message of Spring! I’m looking forward to more concrete evidence in September!!!BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.15.43BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-03 18.16.27BlogAugustGarden20%Reszd2016-08-12 17.11.08

The July Garden

A quiet month in the Winter garden, but still plenty of garden tasks from pruning roses to transplanting shrubs and sowing seed for the Spring. We have had quite a mild Winter, with fewer frosts, which are lighter than last year and clear sunny days, which invite you out to the garden away from the fire! It has been so mild that the little oak tree still has its leaves as I write! Here is a view from our front verandah on a typical July day this season.BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-02 10.21.22BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-02 10.21.33BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.03.48 All the bulbs are also peeking their heads out, including the lost Delft Blue hyacinths and miniature Tête-a-Tête daffodils (see below) in the rockery bed with the grape hyacinth and the bluebells under the crab apple tree.BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0375BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 18.07.26 I have yet to find the fritillaries and the erythroniums, though I have a rough idea of where I planted them! The new tulips are growing madly- the little species tulip, Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’ (foreground), is so different to its hybrid cousin, Bokassa Tulip Gold, behind it!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-16 12.10.35 The snowdrops, Galanthus, (1st photo) and snow flakes, Leucojum, (2nd photo) are flowering, though I am impatient to see them multiply and naturalize in the grass!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.33.32BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.28.45And my Dutch crocus (Crocus vernus ‘Remembrance’) are up! I was so excited to see my first splash of purple, as I had no idea where they were! They look so dramatic in front of the red camellia!BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-22 14.50.17BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 17.07.59BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 17.07.54The hellebores are now starting to open their buds – in order, Helleborus x ballardiae ‘Pink Frost’ (1st 2 photos); single form of Oriental Rose, H. orientalis; and my double forms of oriental roses, given to me for my birthday two years ago by my Mum. BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-07 12.48.03BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-09 13.45.50BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.41.10BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0373BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0374BlogJulyGarden20%ReszdIMG_0332BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-24 10.48.14BlogJulyGarden20%Reszd2016-07-20 14.34.23