Sunday, October 28, 2012

So Green is my Garden

"I love Spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."  Ruth Stout

The days are warming up and everything is beginning to dry out. Soon Summer will be with us and the paddocks around will become dry and dusty.

 Luckily our little valley stays green for a while and the paddock where the creek runs will remain green for a large part of the summer.

We are shaded by tall trees which bring a welcome coolness on the hottest days, but we will get very little summer rain even in the hills and the garden will become dry and tired looking. Water restrictions will be on us and it will be a constant battle to keep plants alive, so it's lovely to walk around taking Spring photos to remind us what will come next year.

At the moment the Viburnum opulus (Guelder Rose) are in flower. I love the huge fluffy balls of tiny white flowers.  I have other Viburnum species too, like 'burkwoodii;, but they are either finished or not quite in flower
Viburnum opulus

Viburnum burkwoodii

Liz Needle

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Love those Irises

"Gardening is the way I relax. It's another form of creating and playing with colors."
Oscar de la Renta

My other hobby (apart from gardening and reading) is Quilting which is a lot like gardening and almost as relaxing. Putting patches of colour together to create a harmonious whole.

I have always had a few irises in the garden, but 3 years ago I visited a friend's iris garden - Yarrabee Iris Garden - and fell in love with the magnificent colors. Since then I have planted isises all over the place in the garden and wait with anticipation for the buds to unfold into a riot of glorious colour.

I have 3 varieties of iris at the moment  - the very pretty low growing Louisiana well I think it is Louisiana - or maybe Pacific Coast. These irises were given to me by fellow gardeners and I have never really found out what they are. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

I also have a couple of clumps of tall yellow Dutch Iris, not yet flowering, but my iris passion is the Bearfed or Flag iris.

They come in an amazing range of colours and colour combinations. Unfortunately my camera does not really do justice to the colours, especially the purple and maroon ones - they seem to come out much bluer when photographed.


Liz Needle

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Patch of Blue

Once the gold of the jonquils and daffodils finishes, the garden is a mass of blue and white. Bluebells spring up everywhere to bedazzle the eye and occasional white or pink variations can be seen.

Violets, blue and white peep from behind lush green leaves.

Blue ajuga borders the garden beds and the other blue bulbs - babiana and the blue and white Cuban Lilies (scilla peruviana) make a showing.



 And in the creek paddock white arum lilies grow wild.

Liz Needle

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spring Flowers

"And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."  -  'Atlanta in Calydon', Algernon Swinburne

The first signs of spring in the garden are the daffodils and this year they were absolutely glorious. Along with the daffs were snowdrops,, grape hyacinths, bluebells and jomquils. I love the spring bulbs. They are so cheerful. We also had a few white tulips in flower, but they don't naturalise very well here and I am too lazy to dig them up and replant every year. I like things that are going to come up by themselves.

We had some beautiful camellias this year - they loved the wet and relatively mild winter. Unfortunately I didn't take many photos, but I have a few.

I think my favourite spring blossoms are the flowering apple trees. Such soft delicate colours.

 And so Spring continues. Every day something new awaits around each corner of the garden. I hope you are enjoying Spring at Lenswood.

Liz Needle


Monday, October 8, 2012

A Garden is a Lovesome Thing

"A Garden is a lovesomething, God wot!"   Thomas Edward Brown.

With retirement I have had more time to spend in my garden and we have laboured long to put it to rights after some years of almost neglect.  I would like to record what happens in my garden over a year, so the idea for this new blog (as if I need yet another project!) was born. I hope to share with you, not only the pleasures of my garden, but of any other garden  that catches my eye, fills my heart and excites my imagination.
Come on this journey with me through a year in the garden. I'm beginning with October because it is Spring downunder and Spring brings the garden to new life each year.

First let me introduce you to some of my favourite spots. This dry stone wall was bulit by my son from the stones that were used in the original cottage nearly 150 years ago.

This area is called Granny's Grotto because my mother used to love to sit here. Until last winter it was surrounded by shady trees, but we had several large trees crash down in a storm so now the grotto is open to the sun.

This is the side garden which borders the creek. The old willow in the background is one of the survivors of the storm that brought down its neighbours.

I love this birdbath and the bluebells around it. My garden is live with bluebells at the moment.

A pretty little overgrown path bordered with spikes of  deep blue Ajuga.  We are very blue at the moment, having just recovered from a pink and white phase with flowering prunus, camellias and magnolias.

White sparaxis and bluebells make a stunning display.

More bluebells. They are everywhere. So cheeful after a long winter.

The flowering cherry is about to flower - rather sparsely this year I am afraid.

Well, in the words of John Crundall, a much loved gardener in Australia, "That's your lot for the day."

Liz Needle