What an amazing Spring it has been! Even though a trifle late to start due to the recent drought, we had rain just at the right time and even though we can always do with more, it has certainly had a rejuvenating effect on the garden!In my post on early Spring at the beginning of October, we were in the throes of Spring blossoms, Dutch crocus, primroses, tulips and other Spring bulbs. They were soon followed by ranunculus; Crested, Bearded and Dutch iris; tree and intersectional peonies; and now, our glorious roses!The garden is full of colour and scent and the birds, bees and I are in seventh heaven! Here are some of our locals: a magpie, a baby galah and of course, Oliver, the quiet and sociable King Parrot!
It is probably easiest to visit each section of the garden in turn! Following my steps in my daily garden inspection- well, let’s be honest, I probably do this three or four times a day (!), starting from the house, along the side path to the treasure garden and terrace, then descending the steps to the Soho Bed.
We are then bowled over by the cutting garden with all its profligate abundance and riotous colour, then past the productive vegie and perennial bed to the bottom of the garden. On the way back, we visit the Moon Bed before swooning at the Main Pergola, then a walk up the hill past the new white hybrid musk hedge to the rainforest area, before following the steps down to Tea Garden and the shed.House
The entrance arch from the lane is now looking very established and I love the appearance of these dainty little pink blooms of Cécile Brünner just as the camellias are bowing out.We transplanted the Rugosa rose hedge from down by the brutish cottonwood poplar last Winter to the driveway and even though the soil is tough, these roses are also and can probably handle it! They will provide beautiful scent for passerbys and mask any odours from the garbage bins, as well as a beautiful sight from our bedroom window! Mme Georges Bruant (white) and Frau Dagmar Hastrup (light pink) are already up and blooming, but Roseraie de l’Haie has yet to find her feet, having been the closest to and worst affected by root competition from the giant poplar!When we come out our back door, we are greeted by the sight of our magnificent Banksia rose, which has now fully recovered to its former glory, as well as the sweetly scented white and gold honeysuckle.
Its red and gold companion blooms further down the fence line, as does this glorious broom and this sweetly scented lilac.
Mme Herbert Stevens was one of the first roses to flower this year and has been so generous with her blooms. I love the soft tinge of pink on her creamy buds and her soft globular blooms.
The bright mixed massing freesias of early Spring were replaced by Cottage Gladioli Blushing Bride Gladiolus nanus and now, colour is provided by purple and pink lavenders.
Mrs Herbert Stevens was soon joined by the lemony white Noisette rose Lamarque, who is now quite established, and their combined scents waft up to the verandah every day.Treasure Garden
The first garden bed I peruse on my daily walk, containing all my tiny or fragile treasures. It never fails to surprise me. I discovered that the Rhodohypoxis baurii survived after all and this year, had my first Lily-of-the-Valley flower!
The blue and gold colour scheme of early Spring bulbs and primroses has now been replaced by pink, white and plum dianthus and the spicy scent as absolutely divine. In order: Coconut Ice; Doris; Valda Wyatt; Sugar Plum and oldfashioned favourite, Mrs Sinkins with the strongest fragrance of the lot!
We were thrilled by our first Bearded Iris blooms on the terrace, presiding over their older cousins in the Soho Bed (soft gold) and the Moon Bed (mauve). A dear friend gave us a number of corms to plant at the top of our future lavender bank and they produced a range of colours from the dark purple of early Spring to a bronze, gold, royal blue, pale blue, pale mauve and white.
I now have a new passion- bearded iris!!! We were also mystified by another different iris from my sister’s garden, eventually identifying it by its white crest as Iris tectorum, the iris found in the thatched rooves of Japanese and Chinese houses.Soho Bed
The Soho Bed has been an absolute picture from the soft gold bearded iris, purple Italian Lavender, mauve catmint, light blue forget-me-not, pink and white valerian and mixed pink, white and purple aquilegia… to the blowsy chaos of late Spring, as can be seen in the photos below.The rose have been glorious: Mr. Lincoln and The Alnwick Rose;
Lolita; The Alnwick Rose;Just Joey; and Fair Bianca.Cutting Garden
Our decision to redesign the configuration of the cutting garden from 4 long skinny beds to 4 square quarters has certainly been vindicated by the best ever Spring display!In the shady bed, the pansies persisted into late Spring, with magical foxgloves and aquilegia replacing the earlier Dutch Crocus.
I have never come across such tall heartsease, which skirt the purple divinely-scented sweet pea.
The late tulips (Carnevale) were replaced with the ever-faithful hoary stock, Jacobean lilies, blue cornflowers, yellow statice …
and poppies galore from wild species to orange, gold and white Iceland poppies and wonderful mottled mutations of Ladybird poppies.
The Dutch Iris were later than the bearded iris this year, possibly because we moved their bulbs in the reconfiguration of the cutting garden, but their display was superb,
especially in combination with the jewel-like colours of the Picasso ranunculus!
They have since been replaced with a wild riot of ladybird poppies, self-seeded from last year and mutating with a wide range of colours from the traditional scarlet to a pure red, mushroom pink and a delicate clear pink!
They looked fabulous with gold Dutch Iris and ranunculus and now, the blue nigella and cornflowers, which for once are standing upright with the support of the mass of poppies! And now, the dahlias are starting their season, both in the cutting garden and underneath the Albertine rose frame on the shed wall.
The final bed is filled with feverfew, just about to flower, interspersed with Love-in-the-mist, Nigella hispanica, both beautiful fillers for vases! I love the variations in the latter’s colour and form.
The cutting garden has provided us with some beautiful bouquets, as well as edible flowers for our salads and omelettes.Vegetable Garden
This Spring, we have been enjoying fresh shallots, lettuces, cabbages and broccoli, the latter well protected from the marauding bower birds.We have also been feasting on fresh strawberries for breakfast with yoghurt, on their own with cream for dessert and also in homemade strawberry ice cream and rhubarb and strawberry icecream! At the back of this bed are new hollyhocks and peony poppies from last season. The perennial bed has established well with rhubarb, asparagus, raspberries coming into fruit, angelica producing seed and Russian and standard comfrey in flower.
The mulberries are also turning black and we think the removal of the shading cottonwood poplar branch above it last Winter has really helped with the full sun sweetening up the berries. Peaches, plums, elderflowers, crabs and apples are also developing. At the bottom corner of the garden, buttery Albéric Barbier is in full bloom,
but its thorny stems were not enough to deter a lost wombat, who tried to barge his way unsuccessful through the fence one night! We return to the main garden through the future chook arch,smothered in pink Hybrid Musk, Cornelia, and Climbing Tea Rose, Sombreuil, with a new vigorous Clematis texensis ‘Princess Diana’ rapidly clambering its way up the latter’s stems and flowering for the very first time- a real thrill!!!Moon Bed
Another visual treat, it looked particularly good, backed by the snowball tree in full bloom. Starting with the mauve bearded iris and honesty, it was followed by six beautiful intersectional peony blooms, their colour reminiscent of moonshine…. very similar in fact to the beautiful blooms of Troilus:and finally the stunning David Austin roses: cream and gold roses: Golden Celebration, Jude the Obscure, Windermere and Troilus;
and soft pink William Morris, Lucetta and Heritage.
How could I not be inspired to make beautiful bouquets of these sumptuous globular roses!Main Pergola
We are so happy with the main pergola, which is starting to look very established now! The roses are clambering over the top now with their heads bowing down and are just so exquisitely beautiful! On the lower side, creamy Devoniensis,
perfect soft pink Souvenir de la Malmaison and now New Dawn, all backed by choisya, allspice and the snowball tree in full bloom. The photo below demonstrates the reason snowball trees got their name! The upper side sports Adam, Souvenir de St Anne and my favourite Mme Alfred Carrière! Next to Adam, our tree peony bloomed for the first time this year- such a spectacle! And now, Philadelphus virginalis is treating us with her beautiful fragrance. On the other end of the pergola, the Michelia ‘White Caviar‘ gave a us a totally different olfactory feast in mid-Spring, followed by the everchanging hues of Weigela. The transplanting of the white hybrid musk hedge of roses last Winter was also a great success and all roses have experienced a great improvement in their health!
They included Hybrid Musk roses: Autumn Delight, Penelope, Kathleen and Stanwell Perpetual, a Scots rose with a delightful scent and long flowering period.
The big star of this area of the garden was the waratah ‘Shady Lady’ blooming for the first time!
It was so exciting watching the bud, which had been dormant all Winter swelling and colouring up to produce its magnificent red bloom! We were also thrilled to see all the bluebells from my sister’s garden come up at the same time. Down in the Tea Garden, all the mints have returned after their Winter dormancy and the Maigold holds court, being one of the first roses to flower this year and still flowering!
Entrance Arch and Albertine Frame
The gold of Maigold is continued at the corner of the shed on the entrance arch,which is smothered with Rêve d’Orand Alister Stella Gray. A blue Clematis macropetala ‘Pauline’ is climbing up through the latter rose, but has yet to flower for the first time.The Albertine trellis has been spectacular in its second year with an extended flowering season and many many salmon-pink scented blooms.The dahlias are now starting to appear under its petticoat!Shed Garden
On the other side of the shed, Albertine is matched by the exquisite Fritz Nobis, climbing beside the entrance door.
Fritz Nobis and Leander (below) are repeat-flowerers in a predominantly old-fashioned once-flowering rose contingent in the shed garden, though Mutabilis and Archiduc Joseph also bloom throughout the season.
Once-flowering roses (left to right and top to bottom) include: York and Lancaster; Mme Hardy; Mme Isaac Pereire and Fantin Latour.
In amongst them grow old cottage garden favourites like yarrow, sweet peas, Gaillardia Goblin, agastaches, campanulas and alstroemerias.The garden really looked a picture for the opening day of our latest venture, appropriately titled ‘Candelo Blooms’, selling handmade creations from the old shed. It has been a real labour of love and a long time in the planning and implementation, but we finally made it! My daughter Jen designed and painted the flyer and signs,
while my other daughter Caroline sold her own Christmas card sets, art cards and prints.
My products included children’s clothing, cushions, toys and crepe paper flowers, as well as fresh bouquets straight from the garden and plants and secondhand books. while Kirsten Rose sold her beautiful timeless ceramics.This clever lady also designed another beautiful flyer for future promotions.We had a wonderful day- very well-attended by market visitors and many locals, who all really enjoyed the old shed, open garden and music provided by my beautiful daughters. We were even visited for the first time by a Tawny Frogmother Mum and baby, obviously very intrigued by all the festivities! It was such a fun day! Here is a photo of Ross and I outside the shed!
I hope that you have enjoyed a peek into our late Spring garden. Happy Gardening!