Autumn is here in all its entirety. A sudden change in light, skies clear and the chill of first frosts. Glorious with no rush or panic, unlike Spring, that holds that feverish sense of haste. Autumn is a quiet time, a chance to make grand plans and dream of all the things that the slow … Continue reading “Autumn paints in colours that summer has never seen”.
Potted geraniums ( accurately known as Pelargoniums ) in Australia do not have the same panache in the garden world as the glorious displays of geranium window boxes everywhere across Spain and Italy. Here we love them anyway for their humble, almost comedic style and robust nature in our hot, dry climate. The no-fuss plant … Continue reading Bountiful blooms even without a green thumb!
Silence in the air this morning, not a breath of wind outside as first light peeks over the horizon, the hills in a smokey blue haze. Inside is quiet, too, with the random scramble of mice in the walls and the predictable sounds of scurrying across the floor in distant rooms. We are in the … Continue reading Keep calm and garden on…
Summer's end, but I'm not ready for the chill of winter yet. Nonetheless, I'm eagerly waiting for slightly cooler days so I can be in the garden for longer than a few hours. Although it has turned cool in the morning and evening in my region, the days are continuing to be fairly hot. Summer … Continue reading “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date”
My favourite garden project is my 'Tea Garden', a small area, started in 2018, that is viewed from the kitchen window and surrounds a large arch seat. There is a plum tree outside the fence that, together with the arch, provide a perfect place for a quiet reverie and a cuppa, especially in Spring. When … Continue reading The Tea Garden
Considering the state of the ground my garden started in, I decided to be less hard on myself and claim that my garden is a success so far. If you have not read my previous stories about the garden, in short, it is heavy dry clay soil, where one area was old lawn and the … Continue reading There are no right ways to make a garden -only alternatives.
The garden is blooming in abundance once more, and I'm delighted. We have had a glorious summer apart from the disastrous early start that saw many roses lose their leaves. The mild season has been especially welcome because we have spent so much time at home this year and able to take care of plants … Continue reading “Roses do not bloom hurriedly; for beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom.”
Happiness reigns because it is raining at last in the garden and the topic on everyone's lips in the country this week will be "How much rain did you get?" Unseasonal rain sounds like music. There's no angst about it because crops are harvested, so it's all about filling water tanks and dams or watering … Continue reading “If it’s hot, it’s hot. If it’s dry, it’s dry. If it’s raining, it’s good.”
Going off topic today to talk about the pretty, colourful plants we call geraniums. What is known as geraniums may be pelargoniums a native plant from South Africa. These plants are a gardener's best friend as they are easy to grow, require only a small amount of care and are extremely hardy. And of course, … Continue reading “I like to keep myself wrapped in layers of sleep and wait for the geraniums”.
Often visitors ask me what my favourite rose is, and I usually can't decide, but in recent weeks and on reflection, I think it is Lady of Shalott. I have written about this rose several times and have at present two in the garden, although in pots. Even though I had shared any information I knew on … Continue reading “One rose is enough for the dawn.”
A romantic country garden is a popularly held dream by many, an escape to a simpler, more relaxed way of life. In reality, though, it is a far cry from a gentle, passive, easy lifestyle because a rural landscape is magnified and intense in every way. The environment of farm life, the sun, the wind, … Continue reading “The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”
Buff Beauty is the rose I'm highlighting this week. It has just started to bloom and looks splendid. Buff is not well known in Australia as a colour and may be recognised as a chicken variety called the Buff Orpington, a large, docile, quiet variety, considered a heritage bird. But for those in the know Buff … Continue reading “A rose in a desert can only survive on its strength, not its beauty.”
Nurture; nur·ture a verb (used with object), nur·tured, nur·tur·ing. "To help develop, help grow, nourish, sustain, to promote growth" Nurture is the best word to describe my growing of Claude Monet and Nahema roses in my garden because these two roses, more than any others, have been taken care of quite diligently, with daily encouragement, care, and … Continue reading “I am following Nature without being able to grasp her… I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ”
Patience is a necessary life skill, especially worth developing for gardeners. As we work hand in hand with nature to create and maintain the garden of our dreams we know it will take time, perseverance and backbone. Apart from providing all the right elements as best we can, there is a point where we have … Continue reading “Patience is a flower that does not grow in everybody’s garden”
“In all the recipes for happiness I have ever seen, ‘something to look forward to’ has been given as an important ingredient. Something to look forward to! How rich the gardener, any gardener, is in this particular integrant! For always he [or she] looks forward to something, if it is only the appearance of the … Continue reading A Country Garden
"Christmas is the tenderness of the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future" This year Christmas has been hard with restrictions on family gatherings, the constant sadness of lives lost, and the millions of people suffering from the pandemic. Many people have been forced to live more isolated lives and cannot share … Continue reading “Summertime is always the best of what might be.”
“What I need most of all are flowers, always, always.”Claude Monet, 1840-1926 Impressionist painter and life-long gardener The great Impressionists painters emerged in 1870's France and were known for rejecting the strict rules of fine art and looking at the world in new ways. Instead of realistic portraits in a studio, these painters thought they … Continue reading Delbard Painters Series
– Centre front in my mind and heart over the last few months are my roses. Living in isolation in a rural environment is quite usual, although not quite anti-social as we have experienced this year. Without the opportunity to see family and friends, my focus has been on the garden, and I have busily … Continue reading “Each moment of the year has its own beauty, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”
Summer is upon us and the days are becoming extremely hot so that my time in the garden is earlier and earlier in the morning. No use leaving watering and other tasks too late because once the sun is up the heat builds very quickly. I love this time of year, and I'm patiently waiting … Continue reading “The hum of bees is the voice of the garden”
“But he that dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose” Ann Bronte Our long-awaited day to visit the Rosa Botanica -Carla Fineschi Gardens in Cavriglia Italy, an hour south of Florence, arrived. (Visited May 29th, 2019). We were met by a lovely Italian woman sitting in an old garden shed out of the rain … Continue reading Carla Fineschi Rose Garden, Tuscany
It would be lovely if the sentiment expressed in today’s quote were the reality in the garden now, but the roses are still not as prolific as anticipated. There are some beautiful blooms but no grand colour splash across the garden as a whole. Patience is what is needed now. Coaxing the roses through the … Continue reading “And the shower of roses spun around me, inviting me to take part in their ever-present waltz.”
My love of travel and exploring the world is quite a contradiction to that of growing a rose garden. So how can I bring them together in my life and enjoy both to the fullest? As you know, I love my rose garden and want to see all the roses in full bloom and to … Continue reading “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.
I love inspiring quotes. At times I'll come across a quote that rings so true to me, and is exactly the sentiment I had thought of but not quite been able to express. This quote by garden author C Z Guest says it all, and in a similar vein to columnist and landscape designer Ann … Continue reading “I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend. ”
The Summer glow that radiates from The Lady Of Shalott Rose is one reason it is one of my favorite roses. The colours are rich, in shades of deep apricot, red and salmon pink with a faint touch of yellow underneath that gleams in the sun all season. The flower is romantic and shaped like … Continue reading Who killed the Lady of Shalott?
The title quote by Mirabel Osler rings true to me as I knew nothing at all about roses when I began. Now three seasons on and three hundred roses later, give or take a few, I am none the wiser. There are so many unanswered questions that race through my mind every day of what … Continue reading When I first began with roses, moving into that vast territory of scent, form and colour. I knew nothing.
It's pretty tough in the garden sometimes even though Spring's colour and fragrance have replaced the cold and frosty days of winter. We have experienced extreme weather this Spring with long days of high winds, heat and dust storms that have created havoc. Many plants are struggling from wind damage and the ground, despite my … Continue reading “Life is itself a school, and nature always a fresh study.”
What have I been up to in my garden in recent days as I move forward with optimism through the gorgeous Spring season? There are many new roses this year that have yet to flower as Spring moves on. After the dust storms devastation, I have cut almost all damaged blooms and deadheaded the roses. … Continue reading “Perhaps optimism is a rosy interpretation of the facts, or perhaps optimism is a factual interpretation of the rose.”
"THE greatest piece of gardening in the world is a little staircase in the Generalife," Russell Page The gardens of the Generalife, Spain in Arabic are 'Jinnah al-Arif' which means 'Gardens of the Architect'. The gardens are situated on a high area above the Alhambra's main Palaces in Granada, Spain. The gardens and the Alhambra … Continue reading Gardens Of the Architect
In almost every garden, the land is made better and so is the gardener.Robert Rodale When I reflect on the past few years of growing a new rose garden, I often wonder, after a full day of being scratched by rose thorns and exhausted by the heat, why it is I love it so much? … Continue reading “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”
Perfect blooms in the garden this season are scarce because I've had a few setbacks. The roses are not looking good at all. Growing roses definitely has it's up and downs and this week is a mix of both. It still hasn't rained. The air is dehydrated, and it feels as if it has not … Continue reading “Every spring, like it or not, we are all beginners, all over again.”
In between the 15th century Palazzo Della Gherardesca and the "Conventino", a 16th century Palazzo, once a convent is an 11 acre botanical garden in the Renaissance city of Florence. It is on the right bank of the Florentine Arno River The Giardino Della Gherardesca, a refined, lush garden of magnificent, natural beauty and one … Continue reading Giardino Della Gherardesca
I love the quote above from Alice Walker, the American writer and author of 'The Colour Purple'. It resonates with me and encapsulates so much in just a few words. Although I never set out in search of my mothers garden, her gardens were magnificent and memorable. When you grow up playing in a beautiful … Continue reading “In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.”
What gardener hasn't dreamt of the possibilities of a new garden and lost themselves for hours in catalogues for bulbs, seeds or roses? Imagination can run amuck with ideas of glorious garden vistas, the beautiful colours and colour schemes. One can spend hours planning and researching trees, shrubs, roses, grasses and perennials. This is gardening, … Continue reading You don’t have to garden to garden.
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.”Anne Bradstreet, 1612-1672, I am enjoying the changeable weather of Spring, including the early morning and evening cool weather of the past few days. Although the wind, typical for Spring, has been excessive and not so enjoyable as it has blown all the blossoms … Continue reading “Everything in the garden is rosy”
First rose bloom of the season. Spring is here that wonderful time of the year when gardens come into their own and the colours entice us to spend more time outdoors. The signs of new growth in the garden is enchanting. Plants look like perfect, healthy specimens before the heat of summer ravages them. I … Continue reading Spring, Roses and Dust
Roses exude charm and beauty but why are there so many different types and where did they originate? Today I'm uncovering the mystery of rose classes and what is meant by Heirloom, Heritage and Old Garden Roses. Roses come in three distinct classes; A. Species Roses see post Wild Roses B. Old Garden or Heirloom … Continue reading Heirloom Roses
Jude The Obscure The sentiment in the Robert Browning quote in the title could easily have been written about David Austin the English rose Breeder who, with his team in Shropshire United Kingdom, revolutionised garden roses. David Austin will always been remembered for bringing the charm and romance back into rose breeding. From a young … Continue reading It was roses, roses all the way.
My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. Evidently the idiom having a 'green thumb' dates back to the early part of the 20th century and means a person with a gift for gardening or who can easily grow … Continue reading A Green Thumb
This week, I enjoyed working in the garden, hand in glove with one of my son's. Our main task was to mulch the garden in preparation for the hot, dry summer ahead. It was wonderful to spend time gardening closely with someone else and even more special when it is family, and you work so … Continue reading Hand in Glove
“The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”Paul Coelho My French … Continue reading Jardin à la française
Today is about the perfume and scent of roses.... It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. Robert Louis Stevenson Did you know that rose perfume is at its most intense very early in the morning and the scent will gradually become less … Continue reading The Perfumed Garden
What colour is in a picture, enthusiasm is in lifeVincent Van Gogh Yes, I am addicted to roses, I admit it. My mother too, loved her garden in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, which was perfect for roses and she indulged as well. As a family we enjoyed her passion for roses and … Continue reading Colour my World
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication Leonardo de Vinci Over the last decade or so it has become apparent to me, that our Australian Dream has changed. Rather than the desire to own a suburban house block within the metropolitan area and build a dream home, it seems we all just want to live in, or … Continue reading Living in the Bush
Giardino in Passagno These lovely, pastel pink blooms are from the Giardino at the Gipsoteca in Italy. The gipsoteca means 'the plasterworks' and is where the Antonio Canova museum is located in the small Italian town of Possagno not far from Asolo in the Veneto region. Crepe Myrtle Trunks As one enters the Museum you … Continue reading Antonio Canova Gipsoteca
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. – Abraham Lincoln Across the world The Rose symbolises an expression of beauty, love, hope, promise and new beginnings. Roses are simply delightful to have in the garden. The colours, the history and the tantalising perfume. There is nothing better … Continue reading How To Grow A Rose Garden
This is a story of a garden set on a rural property in the central west of NSW, an area with a hot dry climate and known for beautiful roses. Roses thrive on plenty of sun, heat and low humidity so they grow well in the fertile, clay soil of this region. I'm writing about the … Continue reading “Gardening is a work of a lifetime: you never finish.”
Prominent in the garden this week are the weeds, and they are clearly winning the battle for the limelight. There is something about summer in a garden that does not entice me out to weed. Every morning, a balancing act occurs between starting early enough to beat the heat, flies and bees but not too … Continue reading “Weeds are stubborn.Weeds are independent.Weeds aren’t tolerated”
Why does the vegetable garden need to be a separate garden rather than part of the total garden landscape? With this at the forefront of my mind I'm planning a new garden in the style of a French kitchen garden known as Potager or Jardin de Curé. An old French-inspired graceful garden of herbs, flowers, … Continue reading “Start where you are. Use what you have.Do what you can.”
Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.Pablo Neruda Spring, the gorgeous season of the year, has arrived in the garden. The garden suddenly a happy place full of activity and new beginnings. The lavender buzzing with thousands of bees, blossoms like fairy dust here one day and blown away on … Continue reading Then Spring Came
Winter has struggled to take a firm hold this year. The usual severity of the white, crisp frost has been light around the garden this winter ( so far) The cold nights and early morning chill is followed by the warmth of bright sunshine on most days. If no sun then welcome rain has fallen, … Continue reading “There are always flowers for those who want to see them”
New Weathervane If unexpected self-isolation can teach us anything, we must be grateful for simple things that perhaps we sometimes take for granted. Our personal freedom, health, and loved ones are the most important aspects of life I am grateful for. What joy I felt to be free again after those three weeks of lockdown … Continue reading “The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together.”
“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. Autumn is my favourite season of the garden year. Many days and nights of late, I have dreamed of roses blooming in our Australian rural garden. My mind's eye has imagined being at home, tending my roses and preparing for winter. … Continue reading The Autumn Rose Garden
Miracles do happen as Mirabel Osler once said in the quote above and my garden is testament to this. When I first glimpsed the destruction from the ravage of January this year, I thought I'd never had a bloom on a rose again. I described this my last post " There is no gardening without humility". A … Continue reading “At the heart of gardening there is a belief in the miraculous.”
“There is no gardening without humility, an assiduous willingness to learn and a cheerful readiness to confess you were mistaken. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.” [So just keep studying and enjoy it!]Alfred Austin, English poet laureate, in The Garden That I Love, … Continue reading “There is no gardening without humility…
As a beautiful new rosebud, the new decade begins. But it is a sombre morning today to wake to the shock of the plight of thousands of people in bushfire regions of Australia who are stranded and frightened on the South Coast of NSW and Victoria. It is hard to be cheerful when so many … Continue reading “Success and failure, triumph and disaster. That is the rhythm of life in the garden.”
Water As the year closes and mid-summer moves on, the garden roses need some care and attention if you want the blooms to continue into Autumn. Water is the number one essential ingredient in summer for roses. They are reasonably drought tolerant unless not completely established yet, but roses will not thrive and flourish without … Continue reading “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
It is customary in Australia to ring in the New Year with the excitement of fireworks, parties, friends, and champagne and the good intentions of new year resolutions. I have always enjoyed New Year's Eve, and since early childhood, I've been able to celebrate the coming year at a party. My first memories of New … Continue reading A new year is simply the turn of a calendar page — and a beautiful chance for us to turn over a new leaf.
All we need in Australia this year for Christmas is RAIN. Apart from wishing for rain my hope is that everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and that the New Year brings fulfillment in all areas of life. Australia is in a dreadful situation with severe bushfires across the country, due to … Continue reading Christmas is the day that holds all time together.
"You have to have a sense of humility when you grow plants-never forget that nature is in charge"Sebastion Bras How could we ever forget that nature is in charge when we live through such extreme weather conditions.? Smoke filled atmosphere from the fires burning many kilometres away, the continual chance of dust storms, no rain, … Continue reading “Hope is one of the essential tools of a farmer or gardener.”
Gardening is a means by which you can attain many valuable hours of solitude without being thought of as unsociable.John Erskine Isn't that the truth? The allure of a quiet reverie and time in solitude to think one's own thoughts uninterrupted is often out of reach. Well, the garden is just the place to enjoy … Continue reading I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I work in the garden.
On-trend at present and almost ubiquitous in design and decor magazines, homemaker stores and lifestyle TV shows, is the classic, indoor plant, Monstera Deliciosa. It is not a rose, so I am off subject slightly, but it is a fascinating plant. As a culture, we have not heard much about Monstera for the past decades. … Continue reading Monstera deliciosa
“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers — and never succeeding.” Marc Chagall, 1887-1985 Think like an artist when designing a garden and use the basic design elements such as colour, line, texture, form and scale to help create a garden that looks and feels appealing and is a joy … Continue reading The Joy of a Well Designed Garden
The French Garden returns for Spring 2019 I happened to be away from my garden for just four days this week. Returning, I found that Spring has triumphed sending out masses of blooms all around the garden. The new roses are flourishing and the sensational colours from last year have returned. It is very hard … Continue reading The earth laughs in flowers.
“A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but it is also a colour, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself. ” Roberto berle Marx Modern Roses are roses bred … Continue reading Modern Roses
“To contemplate roses is to punctuate one’s days with poetry.” Wild Roses are also called Species roses. Roses native to the Northern hemisphere and considered to be the roses that all modern roses have been bred from. Many of them date back to ancient times or pre-date our civilisation. Wild roses grew in swamplands, grasslands … Continue reading The Wild Rose
What continues to astonish me about a garden is that you can walk past it in a hurry, see something wrong, stop to set it right, and emerge an hour or two later breathless, contented, and wondering what on earth happened. Before The Palm Garden is the name chosen for a large garden bed started … Continue reading The Palm Garden
Spring is here although in some areas the season has been slow in starting with unusually cold, frosty mornings contrasting with high daytime temperatures. Patience is needed, as I wait for the leaves to sprout on the bare root roses. I can see that the sap is moving and there are signs of life and … Continue reading Fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Spring has begun and the garden sings with new growth. What a fabulous time of year it is as we wait in anticipation for the bare roses and perennials to green up … Continue reading Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
In Aix en Provence quite close to the town centre there is a beautiful Hotel, called Le Pigonnet from the French word Pigeonniere ( Pigeon House). We fortunately were able to stay at Le Pigonnet in June 2019. I must confess, I chose this hotel because it sits in a glorious garden that forms a … Continue reading Le Pigonnet