Ah, a bit of sun amongst all the rain. Every weekend has been wet, so no progress has been made on the rammed earth wall. Flowers and new leaves are out in force though, so let’s have a spot of floral celebration:
The almond tree was the first to emerge from winter hibernation, in mid-August. It burst out with a bunch of flowers, and now there are loads of almonds growing! Yay!
The nectarines are next off the blocks, with a lovely show of pink blossoms.
Up the hill, the peaches and the ornamental cherry have also come into flower.
And after having one lone red tulip emerge a couple of weeks ago, all the rest are starting to wake up.
We had three little Christmas trees in pots that we were hoping would grow big enough over time to use as actual Christmas trees. Unfortunately two of them died from lack of water over summer, and their carcasses have been sitting in their pots waiting for something to happen. R was given a little Christmas tree at school which is going fine in its plastic pot, so we repotted that one. The larger pot needed something, and the little patch by the chicken coop needed something, so we thought a little pot garden that isn’t tasty to chickens should do the job there, since any food we put in there gets eaten straight away.
Theres a boronia, a thing called “Jewel of the Nile” with the pink and yellow leaves on the right, and a purple-leaved plant that gets pink flowers at the back.
And a very abused cyclamen with 1 leaf popping out of winter hibernation at the back.
Where do these things come from? This plant just popped up in the 1cm of dirt between the brick paving and the side of the house under the clothes line. It’s Lunaria annua or annual honesty. The oval or round seed pods with the spike on the end apparently turn translucent later on, and they get used in flower arrangements.
We’ll save the pods and grow more!
About six months ago I planted a couple of little Echinacea plants up on the hill. Perhaps we could make our own herbal remedies one day! Of course, the uncooperative little darlings up and “died” about a week later. I thought I’d planted them wrong. The label didn’t say anything about them going dormant over winter.
But, here they are again. Just sleeping I guess.
In summer, the really hot days are accompanied by a hot wind that blows from the north. It swoops through and burns the more delicate plants. Last year it practically destroyed a rhododendron that was put in a spot that wasn’t sheltered enough.
We had a couple of very unseasonal days of 35ºC and the hot wind, which instantly fried most of the belladonnas. I’m thinking of moving them all onto the south side of anything shady. They need to be protected to survive.
Interestingly, I put these belladonnas up by the road because that’s where I had seen them at a neighbour’s at the bottom of the hill. Over time I’ve come to realise that even though they’re only a couple of hundred metres apart, the conditions are completely different. While we’re getting pummelled by the wind, whether it’s due to the lay of the land or intervening vegetation, it’s pretty much still at the bottom of the hill.
Update: it only took a couple of weeks for the ones under the mountain ash to die off completely after this sort of treatment. Protected ones will last through to January.
First tulip of the season
Hoping for proper-sized leaves on the cherry tree this year, now that it’s re-established.
This peach has one branch with pink flowers …
The leaves on the birch pop out in a single day
Peach blossom and a new bit of wall
Blossom on the new almond
My favourite rhododendron makes creamy flowers with a delicate pink accent … but it’s a tiny twiggy thing that struggles to survive, with generally yellow, diseased leaves. Not sure what to do with it.
The cherry tree has taken well to being moved
Tulips pop up out of the shrubbery making a show in early October. They don’t last long, though, and this year a hot wind came through and burned them all to a crisp.
Gerberas emerge in mid-October
The garden is still making lovely flowers. The weather hasn’t been too harsh yet.
Everyone asks what this hot pink flower is when they see it. It’s Seline coronaria, also called Lychnis coronaria, although they were recently re-classified. The grey leaves are like suede. They’ve been in the spot next to the pear tree for some time growing. They were just seedlings this time last year and didn’t make any flowers. I didn’t know what they were – they’re a bit taller than what I’d wanted to have around the pear, but they’re really happy growing in a clump like this.
Fuchsias are still going strong:
Hydrangeas, also planted around about a year ago, also coming into flower. They make a welcome “bushy” bit amongst the tall spindly birches and the low flowers. We managed to get two of the ten or so cuttings we took to strike this time around.
The Hydrangea Macrophylla “Veitchii” came from the George Tindale Gardens sale. It’s a bit special-looking, with its two-size flower head. It’s one of the lace cap species, which come from the mountains in Japan (called “Ajisai” there).
Flanders poppies, self-seeded from last year, are providing a nice patch of colour up by the road. There’s a seniors’ walking group that goes down the road on occasion (all toting ski poles), and they stop here to enjoy the view and pass comment on the garden. S heard one conversation go like wife: “Oh, I wish my poppies were like that”, husband: “they would be if you planted them, dear”.
Also up by the road, the two little carpet roses have flowered. They’re in little hollows to catch the water (it’s very dry here over summer), and they’re loving it. Very snug and happy. Will probably get some more when we can afford it. Of course, all I can see here are weeds, but they’re keeping the soil together and helping retain moisture so most of them will stay until the roses grow big enough to cover the ground properly.
Last year we got one pale pink hollyhock out of the seeds that Mary provided. This year we’ve got 4 plants, which I’d kind of assumed had grown from that one. Nope. Just biding their time, it would seem.