The October Garden

Well! What a month it has been! The mid-Spring garden has more than compensated for its late start and even though the temperatures are cooler than usual, the days are still sunny. There was an excellent fall of snow on the mountains last week – now that all the ski lifts have closed! The photos below were taken on our trips to Canberra on the 19th (first photo) and 23rd October (last 2 photos) this past week. It was actually snowing in Nimmitabel on Sunday!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0030blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0262blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0007 The cooler weather has prolonged the flowering season of many of the early Spring blooms, including bluebells under the crab apple tree, tulips (early October), hellebores and clivias.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0210blogoctgarden20reszd2016-09-29-11-16-38blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0130blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0280 The trees have all just about gained their new foliage for the season, the poplars being the last trees to come into leaf, and the plums have finished flowering, while the crab apples are in their final days (photos 3 to 5).blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1893blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1902blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-09-09-08-14blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-26-00blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0116 The cockatoos (photos 3 and 4) and king parrots loved the blossoms- a bit crazy really, as they are depleting their future fruit source! The latter (photo 2) also love to graze the weeds in the vegie garden, as does the white-faced heron (photo 1)!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0300blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0279blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0024 blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0013The apples have luscious white blooms and are setting fruit already.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0111blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-11-02-22blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0119 Meantime, the loquat fruits are turning yellow, attracting king parrots and bowerbirds by day and possums and fruit bats at night, the latter occasionally waking us up with their skirmishes. I don’t think we humans will get much of a look in when it comes to the fruit!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0142blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1821 At least, the white mulberries are starting to ripen and the blueberries and raspberries are in flower.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0182blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0147blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0229 We have been feasting on delicious organic strawberries from our new bed, though I suspect a slug may also have been, as the wire guards preclude attack by birds or rabbits!blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-11-03-15blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0162 The rhubarb has also provided delicious desserts and I have been substituting angelica leaves for the sugar, at least in the fruit part of rhubarb and apple crumble- a great success!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0106blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0107 We have been enjoying our own home-grown onions, lettuce, rainbow chard and baby spinach from the vegetable garden.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-38-20blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-09-11-54-39I also made another batch of cumquat marmalade from the 1 kg fruit we harvested. I would strongly advise NOT to combine blogging with jam making, but I think I just got away with it. Even  though the marmalade is darker than usual, it set brilliantly! Fortunately, the cumquat trees are still covered in lots of new blooms. I love their sweet scent as we walk past them. The Michelia has almost finished flowering too, but the Weigela next door has now replaced it.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0199blogoctgarden20reszd2016-09-29-16-43-08blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1691 Initially, its blooms opened white and I was a little disappointed, as I had bought it as a pink weigela to complement the pink flowering currant on the other side of the pergola entrance. I thought that the plant must have been mislabelled, but to my great delight, the blooms then turned a soft pink, deepening in intensity as they age. This plant is so pretty with its colour variations! The second photo below is my neighbour’s pure white weigela.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-16-33-07blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1850blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1692 Unfortunately, the flowering currant did not flower this year (with all its moves!), but it is doing well and the snowball tree behind it has masses of lime-green, turning white, globular blooms.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0096blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0088blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0090blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0238blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0299 The choisya has a mass of white starry flowers, which look very similar to the blooms of the citrus trees behind it.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0116-2 The Carolina Allspice has a number of buds this year, as has the Philadelphus virginalis, and I am keen to see the form of the latter’s blooms, as when it first bloomed last year, the flowers were the correct double form, but I did find some single ones later on, which could be root stock. We will just have to wait and see! On our recent trip to the Southern Highlands, we bought a Belle Etoile Philadelphus, with large single very fragrant flowers, which we have planted next to the old lilac on the fence. Ross has cut an archway between the bamboos and a path behind the large stand to access this part of the garden.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1907blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0209-2blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0205The blackbird has finished nesting in the bamboo, but a magpie has been very busy creating her brooding chamber high in the top of the Pepperina tree.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1861blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0346Our new Katherine Havermeyer lilac is a delight and is growing and blooming well.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-10-11-44-53 The Chaenomeles are still throwing out the odd bloom and the red rhododendron and white azalea are in full bloom, though we will probably move the azalea into a less shaded situation after it has finished flowering. My Grevillea ‘Lady X’ is perpetually in flower (last photo)!blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-38-58blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-18-24-22blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-18-20-25blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-18-23-30blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0298blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0251 Unlike the azalea, the Viburnum plicatum however appears to be thriving in full shade and we also bought two different hostas- Peter Pan and Allan P Mc Connell- from Moidart Nursery, near Bowral, to fill out this shady nook.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-18-21-38 I also discovered some Winter Aconite Eranthis hyemalis there- very expensive, as it is very difficult to source here in Australia- in fact, this is the only place I have ever seen it- and I may also let it run riot here among the snowdrops, though initially will put it in the treasure bed until I am sure it germinates next year! Here are the treasures we brought home!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1682blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0164 We also bought some blue primroses, a lovely deep blue auricula (photo 3), Pulsatilla vulgaris, Rhodohypoxis baurii (photo 4), a variegated Arabis procurrens and Azorella trifurcata to fill out the gaps in this bed as the grape hyacinth die down- I love their little seed pods (photo 2)! We planted the new plants in the treasure bed yesterday morning.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1684blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1974blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0291blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0245 The Lily of the Valley (photo 1) are also up and the Rosalie Geranium has returned. The Acanthus soldiers and blue Convovulus mauritanicus (photo 2) are on the march nearby. blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0054blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0211-2I love the pattern and form of the Acanthus, the photos below showing why their common name is Oyster Plant, and their colour really compliments the house walls. blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1837blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1834 The Garden beds have been such a treat this Spring!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0097-2blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0136blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0145blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0158blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0255 The Cutting Garden is a delight with lots of clear royal blue, pale hyacinth blue, bright gold and clean white Dutch Iris and blue cornflowers, forming a backdrop to the bright intense jewel-like ranunculus. Such a treat!blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-39-55blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1786blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-10-58-52blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0224blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0120blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0216-2blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0121blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0322blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-10-15-50-24 The beautifully-scented freesias (photo 1) have just about finished, but the nigella amongst it is in bud. I suspect they are the self-seeded progeny of last year’s lime-green variety (photo 2), rather than the new blue nigella, which we sowed last Autumn. The foxglove is in bloom again, its flowers displaying a similar habit to the weigela- white turning pink, from the base up (photos 3 and 4)!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0250blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0312blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0284blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0285 The Iceland Poppies from last year also self-seeded, producing white, gold and orange blooms. So stunning and long-lasting when cut.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-09-29-11-19-09blogoctgarden20reszd2016-09-29-11-18-56 Here are more photos of the individual ranunculus blooms.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0091blogoctgarden20reszd2016-09-30-15-41-43blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0124blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-10-15-51-18blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-10-16-11-36blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-18-28-54The Soho Bed  is such a picture and there is very little bare ground to be seen! I am a bit eclectic when it comes to style and colour, but somehow the jumble of colours seems to work – in my eyes anyway!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0204blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0210blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0240blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0067 The loyal wallflowers have been joined by a variety of other mauves and purples in the catmint, the wild poppies and the stunning Italian Lavender; blue forget-me-knot; pink thrift and verbena and gold highlights in the old gold bearded iris and now the geum.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-40-06blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-18-16-32blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1731blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0263blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0055blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0073blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0078 The bees, both honey bees and native bees, and butterflies are in heaven!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1924blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1911blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1908blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1946blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1926 Here are two Spring vases from the garden!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0330blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0133 The Moon Bed is also very beautiful with soft mauve bearded iris, rescued from the heavy shade of the cumquat trees and transplanted to the new Moon Bed, where they can recapture the glory of their flowering period.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0098blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0222blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-30-17 We did not know what colour they would be, so waited with baited breath as their blooms slowly opened. We were delighted with their dreamy colour, Ross’s favourite, and one which really suits the Moon Bed, while the gold bearded iris are perfect in our sunny Soho Bed!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0095blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-30-17 The blue salvia, yellow Paris daisies and day lilies and pink peony (1st photo below) are all growing madly and the roses all have fat buds and are just about to open! SO exciting! November is going to be heavenly! Even the roses from my cuttings last year are in bud! The second photo below shows the blooms of a white tree paeony Paeonia suffruticosa, which we saw at Red Cow Farm on our recent trip to the Southern Highlands , promptly purchasing a seedling, which we will plant at the bottom of the steps next to the pergola and the Philadelphus next Autumn! I will be describing this trip in more detail in my Favourite Gardens post in December.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0241blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1063blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1064 The highlight of the October roses has been the Yellow Banksia, R. banksia lutea, over the outdoor eating area. I can safely report it has now fully recovered from its drastic initial haircut and has been a mass of bright gold and softer lemon blooms!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1904blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-09-11-39-16blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0289blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0079 The Spirea on the fence nearby has also been a mass of blooms, but is now finishing off, while the honeysuckle is set to take over.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-09-30-11-06-22 blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0168blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0211The white banksia rose, R.banksiae alba plena, on the bottom future chook fence, has also been in full bloom, as has its partner, the Jasmine, Jasminium polyanthum.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-08-11-02-02blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-09-11-53-04 I think both of them are vigorous enough to compete with each other, as I have seen two instances out and about this Spring- a wall covered in yellow banksia and potato vine and an old pergola obliterated by a white banksia, a jasmine and a snail creeper!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1758blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0828 The Rugosas have also been beautiful, scenting the air round the vegie garden: in order, Frau Dagmar Hastrup, Mme Georges Bruant and Roseraie de L’Hay.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0109blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0262blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0295Mutabilis and Stanwell Perpetual have also had their first blooms.blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-37-35blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-37-29My birthday Souvenir de la Malmaison appears to like her position in the middle of the pergola and her first blooms have been dreamy, though this particular lady does not like wet weather and has a tendency to ball, which is why she is in the middle rather than the more prominent ends of the pergola!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1852blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0089 Here are some other early starters in order:  Just Jude (2 photos); Viridiflora; Lamarque; Alister Stella Grey; Adam; Evelyn; Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose (2 photos); Countess Bertha; and Château de Clos Vougeot (2 photos).blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0017blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0261blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0320blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0241blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-26-26blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0226blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0223blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1819blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0023blogoctgarden20reszd2016-10-11-12-27-04blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0247blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0160 My climbing Cécile Brünner (1st photo) on the front arch is just starting to bloom, a late small camellia beside her mirroring her form and colour (2nd photo).blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0209blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0248Spring is such a wonderful season! It’s hard dividing my time between the garden, blogging, cooking and sewing!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0075blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0070-2 I did finally finish assembling the small Spring cushions, helped my daughter make a bag and baked a delicious sponge for my husband’s birthday in mid-October.blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0097blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0367And we have had visitors: Oliver and his son, Fagan, who miss the budgies (who have moved to my daughter’s flat) or probably more accurately, their bird seed!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1978blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1995blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1980 A brush-tailed possum, who wants to set up residence in the roof of the shed;blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1800 And finally, some Shetland ponies, who give rides to kids at the monthly markets and who are currently doing the rounds of Candelo, mowing lawns and paddocks in exchange for free feed! It’s such a great idea!blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0353blogoctgarden20reszdimg_0083blogoctgarden20reszdimg_1831

A Spring Palette : Green and White, Blue, Gold, Purple, Pink, Red and Orange

This week, the air was full of floating white puffs of cotton, falling gently like snow from the Cottonwood Poplar with every gust of wind. Quite magical and almost impossible to capture on film, except when they collected in snowdrifts amongst the strawberries or were trapped in spiders webs or on sticky spent anemone heads. You will need to click on the 1st photo to actually see the floating puffs!!!BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.32.57BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.27.49BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.31.26BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 14.00.03The Snowball Tree (Viburnum opulus) played a starring role this week, with its plentiful, large, round flower heads turning from lime-green to white, its globes mirroring, in a larger version, the cottonwood snowfall.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.06.31BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 08.15.57BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.31.30All the deciduous trees are now in full leaf and it is so lovely viewing the mosaic of different greens and textures from the verandah.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.22.08BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.25.02A lonely white columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris – 1st photo below) stands firm in the agapanthus corner and on the front wall of the house, our climbing white Tea rose, ‘Mrs. Herbert Stevens’ (2nd photo below), promises to complement its Noisette companion ‘Lamarque’ well. I can show you photos of the latter next week when her buds open up.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.21.45BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.33.26Nearby, the Acanthus mollis spires match the exterior house wall perfectly.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 08.57.35

Our neighbour’s lamb is now an independent teenager. We watch his development over the honeysuckle-clad fence. This honeysuckle variety is called ‘Firecracker’.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.25.20BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.22.53Blue is a predominant colour this week :

The soft violet-blue blooms of Ground Morning Glory (Convovulus mauritanicus), which line the path and the violet bed around the Japanese Maple;  and the rich blues of anemones.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 08.58.24BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.30.36BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.30.20BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.30.26The royal blue and pale blue Dutch Iris, with one white one thrown in.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.03.10BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.58.38BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.29.54BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-13 14.45.18BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.29.20If you looked closely at the 3rd photo above, you would have detected the first cornflower bloom (Centaurea cyanus), which is the succession plan for the Iris and Daffodils and will hide the latter’s spent leaves, as they strive to get the most out of the growing season.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.22.26Gold has also joined the parade of colour with the beautiful Bearded Iris in the Soho Bed – one on each corner of the sundial. They have such a commanding regal presence and have kept a watchful eye over the developing poppies.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.26.22BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.30.44BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.21.06BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.01.28Yes, poppies! We eagerly awaited the opening of the first bud, hoping that they were the surviving peony poppies, but alas! They were in fact weeds – of a kind – the wild purple single poppy – but still charming enough to warrant a place in the Soho Bed – at least for the time being! I think that I am still holding out unrealistic hopes that maybe just one of them might miraculously transform into my much-longed-for double poppy!BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.21.26BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 08.59.22

The thrift (Armeria ‘Pretty Petite’ -1st photo below) has been so generous with its long lasting pink blooms. The hot pink Autumn Sage (Salvia gregii – 2nd photo), Wallflowers (Erysimum mutabile – 3rd photo) and Catmint (Nepeta X faassenii – 4th photo) are also excellent value.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 13.52.41BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 13.53.37BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 13.54.04BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 13.54.25The Italian lavender has been a real show.

BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.26.51

And the roses are starting to come into their own! They really are the Queen of Flowers and will reign supreme for the rest of the year.

BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-13 14.44.02‘Fortuneana’ ( photo above) and ‘Stanwell Perpetual’ (1st  and 2nd photo below) were quickly joined by the divinely scented Rugosa hedging roses : ‘Roseraie de L’Hay’ (rich crimson-purple) and ‘Mme. Georges Bruant’ (white).BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-12 08.59.46BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-13 14.43.39BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 07.35.47BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 07.36.13The Hybrid Musk rose hedge behind the vegetable patch is also starting to bloom with ‘Cornelia’ (pink – 1st 2 photos), ‘Kathleen’ (pure white – 3rd photo) and ‘Penelope’ (lemony white – 4th photo).BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-13 07.56.47BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 08.14.43BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.23.21BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.23.40In the Soho bed, ‘Lolita’ (last photo below), ‘Heaven Scent’ and ‘Alnwyk’ have been joined by ‘Eglantyne’ ( 1st 2 photos below ) and all the other roses are in bud, as they are in the David Austin Moon Bed.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.21.13BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.00.29BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-12 11.46.47‘Adam’ (1st 3 photos below) signals the start of the climbing rose season on the Main Pergola and in the Old-fashioned Rose bed in front of the shed, Kordes bred rose ‘Maigold’ (gold – 4th photo), Tea rose ‘Archiduc Joseph’ (coppery pink – 5th photo) and China rose ‘Viridiflora’ (green – 6th photo) have started to bloom. The latter is highly unusual, as its flowers are really sepals and they never develop petals. The blooms are much sought after by florists as its green blooms  fade to russet. ‘Viridiflora’ was a chance mutation of a China Rose ‘Slater’s Crimson China’ and it is the only green rose in existence.BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 08.15.51BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.34.52BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.31.04BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.08.18BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.08.34BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-13 14.51.49And I think that I have finally identified the climbing rose on the entrance wall of the house or at least I hope so! If anyone has a different idea, please let me know! But for the moment, I am going with  ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’, which is normally a giant of a rose, reaching 12 m, so it is just as well that it is obviously not in its ideal location!BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.20.09BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-18 09.19.58Finally, the spectacular ranunculas and Iceland poppies in the cutting garden. Their rich exotic colours from pinks to golds, oranges and a variety of reds (scarlet, clear red, burgundy) and the satiny sheen to their petals are so conducive to photography! My poor camera has been working overtime and threatens to resign any day!!! I suspect that I may be getting a new one for Christmas, if my old one manages to hold out that long!!!BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.29.54BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-15 16.28.23BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.56.21BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.56.39BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.57.13BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-14 13.57.18BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-17 09.28.37BlogSpringpalette20%Reszd2015-10-11 08.54.32





Printemps en Candelo

What a blast! Not just the garden explosion with Spring, but it has been almost a month since I started this blog and I’ve loved every minute of it ! So stimulating writing it and so exciting getting out into the garden every day to report on its progress !!!

It has been a cold week – both outside and in our heads (!) – with a mixture of sun and beautiful soft rain, so perfect for the garden ! We even had a short storm earlier in the week, which smelt of Summer and promised exciting times ahead.Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-22 09.32.46Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-22 09.32.51Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-22 11.04.49The crab apple is in full glorious bloom and has been joined by a wild flowering plum, which is trying ( in vain ) to give the former  a run for its money ! (The plum is shown in the first photo- against the fence in front of the house,  left foreground). The giant poplar is showing tinges of green and the maples all have fine leaf cover.

The Winter Honeysuckle is looking incredibly healthy with its fresh new growth and the Banksia rose is shooting madly, as are the buddleias. All the other bare-rooted roses are well-clothed in leaf and look like they have been in for ages. Some even have little buds forming. The race is on between newcomer Cornelia and our old Soho roses Lolita and Heaven Scent. I think the latter will probably bloom first, but what they don’t realize is that the old early Hybrid Tea rose, Chateau de Clos Vougeot, which is climbing on the side of the house and was one of the few originals here, has actually beaten them to the post!!! See later !

Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1268Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1154‘The Bride’  has arrived (top photo) and even though she is young, her future holds great promise and her bridesmaids, the tiny Virginalis philadelphus and Viburnum burkwoodii ‘Anne Russell’, are developing well. In the Soho Bed, the lavenders, catmint and flowering salvias are all in bud and beside the house, Acanthus mollis spires (bottom photo above) are forming. They open white and a dusky purple-pink, which complements the house colour perfectly!Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1153Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-22 10.59.57The cutting garden has been fantastic, with lots of new anemones forming daily. All the daffodils and my magnificent tulips are out in full force and I think the ranunculas might finally be on their way!!! Even the dahlias are coming to the party! This lovely ,blowsy parrot tulip (above right) has opened out flat, but is remarkably tenacious, retaining all of its petals throughout wind and  storm. The cornflowers are growing madly and the poppies are in head, albeit a little bent and shy ! I look forward to them opening up, once the weather gets a little warmer! Photos below include a new salmon Bokassa Tulip, shy Iceland Poppies, my happy mix of bulbs and the snowball tree gradually coming into leaf.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1170Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1168Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1183Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1246In the vegie patch, the raspberry canes are starting to get their leaves, the tiny blueberries are covered in flowers and everything is growing well. We had our first home-grown salad of lettuce, rocket and radishes the other day !!! I love it when the sun shines through the colourful stems of these chards.Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-24 13.09.46Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1255We haven’t done a lot in the garden this week due to this cold/flu freshening up, but the pergola uprights are up! Ross still has to fix the horizontal beams on top, but he did plant the citrus this last weekend. They will look good behind the moon bed and should grow well there in the full Northern sun The 2nd photo shows the order of planting from the cutting garden to the Main Pergola: a Washington Navel; a Lemonade Tree; an Imperial Mandarin; and a Tahitian Lime. We also planted another Lemonade, which was looking a little less robust than the other, opposite the cumquats, to form a colourful arch in front of the entrance to the Main Pergola. It will also form an arch (over the downhill path from the fernery and house ) with the quince tree, hidden behind Ross in the bottom photo.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1180Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1239Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1252Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-21 13.14.04 We finally planted out the stocks, now that the frosts are in abeyance, to replace the tulips and erlicheers as they make their departure for the year.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1256Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1257

We transplanted the strawberries to the berry section of the vegie garden (just in front of my neighbour’s washing line in bottom photo!) and sweet peas to climb up a feature tripod beside the chard (top photo on left side).Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1263Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1266 - CopyAnd we had visitors…

: a local horse, who slipped his paddock – I’m so glad my neighbour caught him before he munched into my roses and tulips!Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0691Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0690

:a flock of acrobatic silvereyes foraging for insects in the new foliage of the maple…Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-23 08.41.56Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-23 08.41.20: a return visit from the Kings ! This super-quiet pair are obviously very familiar with Candelo verandahs ! I think I might call them ‘Oliver’ and ‘Twist’ !!! We are a bit tough on succumbing to their cadging – when they realize no food is forthcoming, they retreat to feed on the Prunus blossom, which is where they should be !!!Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-23 08.12.01Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-23 08.12.12Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-23 08.11.30Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-23 08.14.10: The next-door neighbours now have two very cute  sheep to mow their lawn!Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1236Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1197: And a very noisy ultralight did a flyover the morning after our late midnight French sojourn! Assuming it was red and navy blue, the colours were appropriate, so we forgave him!!!

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Yes !!!  We went to France at the weekend! My neighbour Anne had always planned to celebrate her 60th birthday in Paris, but plans had changed and so Paris, like Methuselah, came to her instead !!! It was a great night and wonderful for us to meet all the locals. Everyone dressed appropriately from very glam and sophisticated (not me!) to arty and flamboyant. If you click on our photo, then click on his neck, you will see Ross’s concession to dressing up !!! Anne had done a wonderful job with the decor from black cardboard cutout lampposts on the walls to an Eiffel Tower of fairy lights, surrounded by photos of her younger self.Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1205Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1207We had a magnificent feast, with everyone taking a plate of food. I made a quintessentially Australian dessert, pavlova, but shaped in a French flag with the tri-couleurs represented by blueberries, cream and strawberries (see ‘The Sweet Spot’ on Thursday ! ) . I couldn’t resist adding our first rose bud (Chateau de Clos Vougeot), even though it is not part of the French Flag ! We very carefully carried the pavlova, down the hill to Anne’s place, on an old, but firm, blue plastic tub lid, then decorated the outside of the tin pavlova tray with flowers (white plum blossom, forget-me-knots and periwinkle) to hide the ugly cooking marks!!!Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_1188Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-26 19.41.38

We also took along a bottle of Rosé ( albeit Australia’s Jacob’s Creek!) ; a bouquet of red, blue and white anemones in a recycled jar of our favourite delicious imported French jam, St. Dalfour, (blueberry jam of course!), and a gift of one of my hand-embroidered felt cushions, based on French themes, in red, blue and white, with a backing fabric of a Paris street map and wrapped in tricouleur tissue paper, complete with a handmade Eiffel Tower card !!!Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-15 16.19.29Blog Printemps20%Reszd2015-09-15 16.17.22Here is how I made the card :

  1. Google, select and cut-and-paste an image of the Eiffel Tower to a Word Document, resize if necessary and print out.
  2. Fold an A4 black card in half and place on the cutting mat with the card join at the top.  Using a tracing wheel , transfer the pattern onto the black card and cut out.
  3. Open up the card and cut out the negative space on the front of the card only.
  4. Using a silver pen, mark in the girders, as well as the inside window, write your message and put your logo on the back. Voilà !Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0569Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0575

I have always had a love affair with France, so much so that I think, in the interests of getting this post published, as well as not overstepping the mark with the length of my posts (though I am well aware that I already have!!!), I will reserve sharing my passion with you for a Random Thoughts post later this coming month !!! But it is great to know that I have some fellow Francophiles right here in Candelo !!! Especially my front neighbour in her beautiful blue house !  Au revoir !Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0693Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0696P.S. Would you believe it? Our amazingly generous camellia is still blooming. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! She deserves a few more photos in recognition of her wonderful service and generosity !!!Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0692Blog Printemps20%ReszdIMG_0695


Spring has Sprung !

It is such an exciting time in the garden ! The recent rain and wind resulted in a flurry of snowflakes from the white Prunus – so beautiful watching the gentle fall of the blossoms – and the Ascendancy of the Crab (Malus floribunda) as the dominant feature tree in the garden.

Blog SpringsprungFav20%Reszd2015-09-15 09.49.21Blog SpringsprungFav20%Reszd2015-09-15 09.52.25Blog SpringsprungFav20%Reszd2015-09-15 09.48.44Within just one week, the maples were in full new leaf. The pomegranate, white mulberry and poplar have decided to follow their lead and the Carolina Allspice and Snowball Tree are finally showing signs of life! Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0586Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0580The new lilacs and exochorda are developing flower buds and ipheon, broom, calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’) and bluebells are flowering in the house beds. My cute little mosaic Birds-on-a-Stick enjoy the latter’s company. I made in a workshop with Helen Millar in Geelong. See : .Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0557Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0543Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0522Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0544

The flowering bulbs  fill my heart with joy, especially when the sun shines through the tulips!

Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0521Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0617It was a hive of activity in the garden this week, with so many jobs requiring attention that we had to work on a number of different fronts. The largest achievement, and a job which was well-overdue, was the removal of the enormous pile of garden waste, which had accumulated over the past 9 months! It is just so good to see the rainforest area clear now !

Blog SpringsprungFav20%Reszd2015-09-15 09.55.41Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0615We discovered an old tree stump underneath the pile, so we planted a Birds Nest Fern in it. The photo on the bottom shows the view from the rainforest area.Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0606Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0616Ross drilled all the holes for the stirrups for the Banksia pergola. We just have to fix in the uprights now!

Blog SpringsprungFav20%Reszd2015-09-15 09.56.37Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0587He finished the initial digging of the Moon Bed and made a very  wise decision to use the No-Dig method (for an explanation, see : on the new cutting garden, which is currently under cardboard and hay to suppress the grass. When he dumped the garden waste, he collected a new trailer load of manure, which we will apply on top, then a layer of pea-straw before planting a crop of potatoes to break up the soil. I can’t wait for this new cutting bed to develop, as I am keen to broadcast the mixed Dahlia seeds, given to me by my friend in Armidale. She assures me that some of them are real beauties ! Our current specimens have not yet peeked their heads up, in fear of a return of frost, even though we haven’t had one for ages !

Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0607Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0609I also started weeding the Soho Bed and Ross has mulched all the roses with sugar cane mulch. The photo on the right also shows the fully dug Moon Bed in the background. Unfortunately, we have both had heavy colds this week, so we have just plodded along, but the colour and beauty of the garden really lifts our spirits every day!Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0612Blog SpringsprungFav20%ReszdIMG_0613


The Garden Wakes Up

Spring is truly underway ! We have had beautiful sunny weather up to 22 degrees Celsius and it is amazing how quickly the garden responds. The maples have new leaf, the Snowball Tree (Viburnum opulus) and Carolina Allspice ( Calycanthus floridus) are just waking up, the roses are in good leaf and my tiny shrubs of Viburnum bodnantense and Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) are powering along. Even my puny Philadelphus is sending out new leaf- it must have heard my threats !!!IMG_0338IMG_0265The Prunus has provided a magnificent show. I love the gentle snowflake fall of white blossom and the white carpet of petals beneath. The Malus floribunda is waiting patiently for its time to shine- but its only just hanging in there with more and more beautiful pink buds opening every day! All the hellebores underneath the feature trees are shooting madly.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0286Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0261The Winter Honeysuckle and Daphne have just about finished, though the camellia and violets remain loyal to the end. The Banksia rose is definitely recovering, which is more that can be said for its fellow victim to Ross’s shears, our poor lemon tree, nor the Wheel-of-Fire, whose new Autumn leaf was severely burnt by frost! The herbs are looking fantastic !Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0391Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0384Ross has redeemed himself however by starting to dig the David Austin bed. While we had already planted the bare-rooted David Austin roses, we still had to eliminate the grass cover in between the plants and create a proper garden bed for them. With the former’s position right next to the Soho bed, I always had it in mind to create a crescent-shaped moon bed to complement the circular Soho bed with its sundial in its centre. Initially, I wanted the orientation of a waning moon- the moon of new growth – a backward ‘c’ – with its convex curve mirroring the concave curve of the right and nearest side of the Soho bed.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0213Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0340Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0201Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0214

These photos show the position and the start of the intended moon bed.

However, because of the sweep of the paths through the main entrance pergola to the garden beyond, we decided a waxing moon ( shaped like a ‘c’ ) would look better with its convex curve facing the neighbour’s fence. The paths flowed better and funny little no-man’s-land corners at the points of the crescent were avoided. We plan to plant 4 citrus trees against this fence line, where the old kiwi fruit vine used to grow, so the orientation of the waxing moon bed also works well, as there is a sense of its curve enveloping  the citrus. Being the Harvest Moon and the moon of the Earth Mothers: Demeter, Ceres, Korte, Danu (Anu), and Bast, we hope this will also ensure bountiful  crops of fruit! The soft yellow, cream, gold and pink globular, cupped rose blooms will certainly look very beautiful against the glossy dark green citrus foliage and complement the golden/ orange orbs of fruit!Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0381Of course, we are aware that as everything grows to its full maturity, we will lose the moon shape, especially the convex curve, but the concept still provides the backbone underneath! We hope to prepare the ground for the 4 citrus trees this week : a Tahitian Lime next to the pergola, then an Imperial Mandarin, a Lemonade Tree and finally a Washington Navel. We will plant another Lemonade tree opposite the cumquats on the shed corner to form an evergreen arch before entering the main pergola. This arch will be extended by the arching canopy of a Smyrna Quince tree, which we planted next to the evergreen magnolia.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0333Other plantings this week included :

  • ‘Dogwood Red’ Beaute Orientale Azalea down by the red rhododendron and the persimmon. It is in flower at the moment and has beautiful burnt red blooms.
  • a Cycad or Burrawang to mark the end of the fernery path.
  • some local natives including a hakea, mintbush, native violets and more ferns.

We also sowed more seed in the cutting garden :

  • Bupleureum and Nigella ( Love-in-a-Mist) in the Iris bed
  • Borage and Cosmos in the poppy bed and
  • Digitalis (Foxgloves) in the tulip bed.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0305.jpgBlog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0329

The Spring bulbs have been to die for !!! So very beautiful and so precious !! The anemones have been stunning with all their white, pink, mauve, blue and red hues of every tone.

Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0250Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0306Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0258Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0257The daffodils and jonquils are all blooming- I particularly love the elegant Actaea daffodils ( also known as Pheasant’s eye or Poets daffodil). This was one of the first daffodils to be cultivated and is associated with many myths : see It is grown in the Netherlands and Southern France for its essential oil, Narcissus Oil, used in perfumery.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0442Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0273Another jonquil with a beautiful scent is the erlicheer. I made my gardening angel a bouquet of them with violets and forget-me-knots to thank her, not only for all her manure, but also taking all of our garden waste. It will be so good to have that area cleared, so the rain forest plants can establish. We took our first load over this week. Ross also attacked the ivy down the side path and we moved all the pots of cuttings down there in preparation for the Banksia pergola construction.Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0382Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0383And the first of the tulips are opening up and what a show ! Bright orange Lily tulips with yellow centres, pink and white candy stripe Lily tulips,  pure white Bokassa tulips and flamboyant pink and white Parrot Tulips like the skirts of Can-Can girls! We just had to remove their protective wire guard, though we still replace it at night-time, just in case the marauders return !!!Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0303Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0431Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0300Blog Gardenwakesup20%ReszdIMG_0296And still on the theme of gardens, we had a very interesting outing last Saturday to the South East Coast Producers’ Field Day ( see ) . SPCA- South East Coast is a wonderful organization ( see : ), promoting organics, seed saving and sustainability and all the stallholders and speakers were so inspirational ! Indira Naidoo was promoting her new book ‘The Edible City’ and the  story of her transition from  news reader and TV presenter to urban agriculture guru is fascinating. See : and She also takes tours of the rooftop farms of New York City- apparently there is one that is 2 1/2 acres ! See : France  passed a new law earlier this year ensuring all new buildings in commercial districts are covered with green roofs or solar panels. See : Its so wonderful to hear about the greening of our concrete cities, which is  essential for the well being of their inhabitants.

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And finally, a beautiful photo of a fragile spider’s web in the top of the Prunus early one beautiful misty Spring morning and one of primroses, a true sign of Spring!