“Perhaps optimism is a rosy interpretation of the facts, or perhaps optimism is a factual interpretation of the rose.”

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 devastation of the dust storms, I have cut almost all damaged blooms and deadheaded the roses. Sadly, I also cut off a lot of buds that were not going to open to a proper beautiful bloom form because of the damage of thrips and wind but alas not rain. These will open with a spectacular show soon.

“Each moment of the year has its own beauty, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”

Some of the first flush this year was wonderful, certainly enough to look forward to more blooms opening over the coming weeks. My archway is starting to gain coverage and the only attackers are the colourful Rosellas. I would not like to deter them as they are charming to watch swinging on the arch even though they love eating the small buds.

Bantry Bay Climbing Rose

“To create a garden is to search for a better world. . . . Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening.”

Next, I did a Spring clean in the garden of any bare root roses that had been too severely struck by the late Spring frosts and were clearly dead. I loathe taking roses out after spending so much time choosing them and imagining the colours intermixed with perennials and roses in the garden already. The worst removal was my stunning and in full flower, standard Peace rose that was growing so well and in its second year. The high winds moved the strapping from the stake leaving it loose and it was completely broken off in half. Such a shame.

Lovely Peace Rose

I’ve lost quite a few bare root roses this year but to be honest not as bad as last year. My count would be about ten that never grew after planting or started to shoot but were knocked out by late frosts.

“A killing frost devastates the heart as well as the garden.”

On the other hand, the lavender has been stunning this year, it loves the heat and bright sunshine and the bees adore it.

Lavender and Merrymaker Roses

I moved a Just Joey Rose into a pot because it was struggling where I planted it last year and found the area was too dry. In three days Just Joey has turned around and started to grow again more happily. I replaced a few roses with potted ones from Churches Garden centre at Bathurst. These included In Appreciation to add a pop of Magenta to another garden bed because I know it is a fabulous rose that I have grown already in the Palm Garden. Also, I added Tangles a low growing lilac flowered rose, Garden Delight and Ellen.

In Appreciation Rose

Ellen is a magnificent rose from David Austin bred in 1984 and is part of the English Rose Collection. Ellen is a rose of pink and apricot shades with an intensive fragrance. Garden Delight is a Kordes rose bred in 2001 in an orange blend with yellow undertones.

Along with losses comes success with some plants looking superb. The Delbard Painters Series roses are spectacular such as Paul Cezanne and Camille Pissarro. Then Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Grimaldi, Maurice Utrillo and Henri Matisse not in bloom as yet. This series is quite remarkable showing rose flowers that look almost hand-painted, hence why some are named after famous artists. Also in this series is La Vien Rose also not completely out yet because I cut most of the small buds off to prevent damage. Photos to follow.

Paul Cezanne
Camille Pissarro

This week I also did a complete overhaul of the area under the palm tree where I’ve planted dry garden, ground cover plants. Firstly, I spread thick wet newspaper over all the weeds and covered this with thick mulch and compost material. I’m very happy with how this spot has been transformed. It is quite a challenge to grow anything under trees especially here because although it is semi-shaded it also gets strong afternoon sun in Summer and is open to winds. My last addition will be a garden bench under the shade of the tree. To give a sweet spot to view the garden now that underfoot it is all level and looking inviting. Photos to come.


” A killing frost……” quote from Eleanor Perenyi, American garden writer, author of the classic Green Thoughts, 1981

“Each moment of the year… from “Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To create a garden is to ..”. from Marina Schinz, Swiss garden writer and photographer

https://oldhousegardens.com/QuotationsArchives source of all quotes

Ellen and Garden Delight images

Content and photos Di Baker 2019 All Rights Reserved with the exception of Header Image artwork from Literature and Art https://www.facebook.com/literatureandarts/

Painting by Dame Laura Knight

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