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 and to catch that first glimpse of buds, blooms, and flowers in the garden. It was magic, and even if we cannot see the people closest to us for a while longer, the garden will have to suffice for now.
Hurdles and obstacles are now overcome, and with fresh eyes, I was pleasantly surprised to find the joys of autumn abundantly visible when we arrived home. Everywhere I looked were signs that the drought had broken; extremely healthy weeds, overgrown grass, puddles, and wet corners in the surrounding paddocks. Best of all, though, were the blooms on many rose plants, especially those in their third year in the garden. These are and continue to be magnificent.
Earth Angel is a rose I planted in 2017, and although it has flowered each year since this year is the first bloom cycle where the soft pink and white flowers resemble the peony shaped blooms Earth Angel is known for. It makes a fabulous cut flower and is also richly fragrant.
With the abundance of rainfall since February the roses are proudly showing off their last opportunity to bloom before the onset of winter frosts. Autumn is their grand finale and a reward for patience which I have never seen since I started the garden. This is due in part to a missed early season as many buds were damaged from heat, pests and birds. The birds had some fun eating new shoots and buds whilst we were away too but there are still plenty of stunning displays opening each day to enjoy both visually and through their fragrance.
Autumn blooms are not like the prolific first flush of spring but more a quiet yet dazzling array from a select group of plants that have not given up flowering. Each day they appear randomly, one after the other, in odd spots around the garden like a botanical treasure hunt. The blooms continue to appear, almost as if the roses had decided to take it slowly into dormancy, knowing full well I had missed the main event.
Autumn has come easily to the garden this year, spreading a welcome calmness and tranquillity. The last chance to enjoy the roses amid the long list of tasks; weeding, deadheading, and pruning, to name just a few.
Everywhere there is an alluring ambiance from the varying shades of green. Gone are the dry creek beds, empty dams, and sad looking trees that were parched and desperate for rain. Something I had dreamt about for weeks when locked inside with no fresh air or green space to view so, no wonder the garden looks good to me.
Outside the kitchen window is this vibrant deep mauve rose called ‘Sweet Intoxication’ It is a Floribunda rose bred by Dr Keith W. Zary in the U.S in 2008. It has a wonderful scent due to the parentage of the rose being Perfume Perfection and Melody Parfumée ™.
After the intensity and ravage of summer, the roses can be bleached by the sun and paler than the expected colour. I notice that the blooms are brighter and more vibrant now in Autumn. A welcome change for sure.
All Content and Images Di Baker 2020
Title quote by Saadi of Shiraz, Medieval Persian poet