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!

Do you think we should?
What are they up to?
Got it!
I only have eyes for you!
Lean pickings!
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

Daylight Slaving!

It has been a beautiful week, culminating in a long weekend with temperatures in the early 30s. All a bit of a shock to the system, along with the advent of Daylight Saving time! We all felt the heat a bit (except for my Queenslander husband, who thought we were all being slightly wimpish!) and I really appreciated the benefits of having cool shady corners in the garden!!! My white azalea and Viburnum plicatum tomentosum are flowering well in the shady nook behind our love seat.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1412BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1411The warm days finished off the tulips and our amazing camellia, but brought on  my beautiful ‘White Caviar’ Magnolia (Magnolia figo X yunnanensis), which has had buds all Winter. I have been dying for them to open and it was well worth the wait! They smell divine!!!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1519BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1413BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1555The ranunculas are just about to open,  the cornflowers are in bud and the anemones are still producing new blooms. Like the camellia, they are excellent value in the garden! I love the clear colours and the fragility of the new Iceland poppies, as delicate and ephemeral as these beautiful dandelion clocks.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1379BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1562BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1563All the roses are in bud and two of the Soho roses are about to bloom – my bet is on Heaven Scent, followed by Lolita, then two of the new bare-rooted Old roses : Roseraie de l’Hay and Stanwell Perpetual, both superbly scented Species roses. We think (hope!) some of the peony poppies may have survived in the Soho bed, otherwise we are nurturing one very lucky weed!!!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1596BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.45.27Our climbing rose on the house, Chateau de Clos Vougeot, is in full bloom and I can’t wait to discover the identity of the other climbing rose, which is on the front wall (Ross will say ‘back wall’)  of the house!!! On the southern corner of the house, Green Goddess (Zantedeschia aethiopica) continues to delight.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1524BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1551This afternoon, we made two discoveries :  a Clivea flower, hiding in the grass – it took us completely by surprise, but now we know where it is, we can manage it better next year! And the paintbrush tip of a blue Dutch Iris in the cutting garden !BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 16.25.10BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 14.49.38The bamboo is starting to grow again and that tough old Banksia rose is sprouting madly and even throwing out the odd flower truss! It will be lovely when that corner regains its shady cover!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1526BlogDaylightslavg BG30%ReszdIMG_1595The broom on the fence outside the kitchen window is a brilliant yellow and its colour exudes sunshine and happiness!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1452BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1462The trees have almost regained their leaf cover. I love all the different greens and textures of the vegetation in our view from the verandah. Even the Cottonwood Poplar is starting to wear a fine green shawl of catkins. The apple trees have joined the crab apple in its blossom party, the Snowball tree (Viburnum opulus) is forming flower heads of great potential and the White Mulberry (Morus alba) has a huge crop of green fruit.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 14.36.07BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 16.54.37BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1387BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1384BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1428BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.22.54Ross has been very busy in the garden, watering, mulching, re-digging the Moon Bed and paving the last path in the cutting garden, so I could weed the anemones.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1559BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1421He is holding off planting the vegetable seedlings out until the cool change on Wednesday : red cabbages, lettuces, mixed capsicum and Heritage tomatoes from the market : 2 Tom Thumb cherry tomatoes, 2 slightly larger tomatoes : an orange gold Sun Ray and  a Welcome yellow and that prized French Heirloom tomato : Rouge de Marmande. We also have some Black Russian tomato seeds to plant, as well as ‘Burgundy Spray’ sunflowers! Here are some photos of our produce already.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1489BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1568However, the seed potatoes could be planted in the new no-dig bed, as well as the vegie garden – Désirée and our favourite Dutch Cream.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 17.01.27Ross experienced a strong sense of déjà vu  when we replaced the NSW Christmas Bush and Wheel-of-Fire, whose fresh Autumn growth had been badly burnt by our Winter frosts. Our new NSW Christmas Bush (Albery’s Red) has masses of flowers developing already!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1574BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1584BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1575BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1585We bought some Heliotrope ‘Lord Roberts’ to provide a beautiful deep purple carpet below my old white Tea rose Mrs. Herbert Stevens. I love the scent of this old-fashioned cottage garden favourite – it reminds me of vanilla icecream and Ross of his Auntie Maud ( a keen gardener herself ) and the old family homestead.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 14.45.37We also collected our 2 Coin Spotted Tree Ferns (Cyathea cooperi), which my daughter ordered for Ross for Father’s Day and which will be planted in the fernery between the loquat trees to shield the view of the car in the carport from the rainforest garden. These photos show before and after planting, as well as the fernery floor with its orchids and ferns. An oak tree has self-seeded below the loquat and is the succession plan for its protector!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.21.34BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.14.52BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.20.47BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.03.17We  bought a Lisbon Lemon from the market to replace the old one, which has struggled to recover after its severe crew cut with its few remaining leaves dying off one by one, so we decided to accept the inevitable and replace it now, rather than waste one month of Spring growth! When we pulled out the old lemon, we discovered it had an awful root ball – no wonder it never thrived!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.27.01 Our dear friend gave Ross a Pink Rock Orchid (Dendrobium kingianum) and a Black Passionfruit for his upcoming birthday. He was thrilled! We will plant the passionfruit vine on our neighbour’s fence behind the future glass-house, which should afford it a slight degree of protection from the frost. At least, we hope so! I have been up to some Secret Wives’ Business, but will show you the results next week, once he has opened his gifts! The first photo below is the gift; the second photo is the Lisbon Lemon with the Black Passionfruit, awaiting planting!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.39.36BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1597

We cut  all the old branches off the dead boundary privet on our side and worked out where we are going to put our compost heap . It will be 3 m long and 1 m deep, made of corrugated iron, with 3 bays (marked out in the photo by bricks). We will erect green shade cloth against the fence to hide it from the neighbour’s view. We planted a small Sweet Pittosporum behind it. It has a very sweet fragrance in Spring and will also disguise any bad smells! I am still on the search for a fragrant rhododendron for the house end of the compost bays.BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.49.34BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 16.24.23BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 16.16.10We had more visitors this week :BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.11.44One inquisitive Raven (below) inspecting the garden and checking up on the resident blackbirds above, who do a fine job keeping the bugs under control!;BlogDaylightslavg BG20%Reszd2015-10-05 15.19.29A pair of Fig Birds and a female Bower Bird sharing a drink at the bird bath;BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1363 Two Galahs and a Crimson Rosella also inspecting the lawn and garden progress;BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1298BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1301Three Black Cockatoos doing a Fly Over – even though this photo was taken into the sun, I still liked the effect! – as well as our  ultralight featured in my last post, who is obviously a local. On closer inspection, his ultralight canopy is red and black (not blue!);BlogDaylightslavg BG30%ReszdIMG_1581BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1457Oliver and Twist playing peek-a-boo from the verandah gutter;BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1319BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1322BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1335 And some old friends (of the human variety) from university days, as well as some new friends from the market, so I was busy making biscuits and slices, as well as beautiful Spring bouquets to grace the house. The new batch of home-made lime cordial went down a treat – I will include a recipe for it in December just in time for Christmas!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1465BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1470BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1480And we splashed out and bought ourselves a bright red wheelbarrow for the heavier duty work, as our poor old rusty one is pretty fragile these days ! It doesn’t take much to make us happy!!!BlogDaylightslavg BG20%ReszdIMG_1594