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, enough to reshape the landscape to an abundant lush green. What an extraordinary contrast to the days of summer. Like an extended Autumn the days recently have been glorious and there is no excuse not to be outside enjoying the garden.
The Roses that are meant to be dormant linger on in the garden with buds still forming and opening into gorgeous blooms. The extensive rainfall, warm sunny days with less frost have made winter a dream this year. It does get cold in rural Australia especially in the morning and early evening but this year most of the garden appears confused as to what time of year we are actually in.
Some of my roses continued to bloom until mid July. They are happy I’m sure that the ravage of summer heat and dry, dusty winds have been replaced by steady and repeated rainfall. As always at this time of year I am itching to get out with the seceauters and prune the roses, tidy up the ones that are bare. I can’t help but think we have not had all the frost of the season yet so will have to wait until late August.
The daily ritual of choosing rose blooms to pick for the table has continued despite it being winter right up to about a week ago. Although they are not perfect they are still beautiful and a joy to see in the midst of winter days.
Winter has never been my favourite season but I am beginning to understand that there is something deeply appealing about the opportunity to hibernate a little, to reflect and plan for the onset of Spring. A chance to be cozy and warm when it’s a cloudy, misty or cold and wet outside.
What a year it’s been with the turmoil of the pandemic around the world? Any plans of travelling as we do in the Southern hemisphere in Winter have been cancelled or postponed and we all are spending so many hours at home trying to keep safe and well. There is one place we can go during this time that will reward us in more ways than one and that is in the garden.
Winter is the dormant season for many plants especially roses so winter is the perfect time to relocate, redesign and rethink your garden. Are some roses in the wrong place? Are the colours wrong for your intended colour scheme? Or are some roses too tall on the border or planted too far back if only short? Time to take action and get the garden ready for Spring. Consider all these other tasks that we can do to prepare for a splendid Spring.
Five Best Winter Garden Tasks
Tidying up the garden and removing debri and overgrown groundcovers to allow space for the roses to grow.
Spraying Lime Sulfur to knock down fungus
Weeding and cutting back. With extended rainfall the weeds are rampant this year so winter is the time to get them under control.
Pruning the roses or fruit trees once the last frost has passed will stimulate growth for a healthy prolific Spring display.
Plant any new bare root roses in August and apply Seamungus for healthy plant development. It works well.
All content and images by Di Baker 2020
Title quote by Henri Matisse