“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.”

Spring is here, and what a delight it is each morning to witness the buds unfolding that herald the start to the season. Sometimes hidden under the spectacular, fresh, clean and new foliage, are welcome flashes of colour from new blooms. The leaves are stunning too, from glossy lime green to darkest maroon with bright red tips.

Out this week in the garden is Gold Medal, a Grandiflora hybrid tea rose that, with the cooler weather has tinges of orange and pink on the petals. By midsummer, it will be a golden yellow. It was bred by Jack E. Christensen in the USA in 1982. I moved this one not long ago because it was hidden at the back, and I missed seeing the golden blooms. This move shows that sometimes relocating plants to a different position can make all the difference.

When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited. ”


There are no other roses in the garden quite like La Jago; extraordinary and magnificent, almost like a tree of roses. Fortunately, it is planted at the back of the Tea Garden on the edge, so it has ample space to grow and has been growing for two years and is already over two metres tall. An added bonus is that it is visible from the kitchen window and provides a nice contrast to the paddocks of grain beyond.

Already looking spectacular and not even entirely in bloom, this stand-out rose is magnificent. The rose is regal, hardy and covered in vibrant golden yellow buds that open to an explosion of red, orange and magenta- truly stunning.

La Jago is a red blend hybrid tea rose bred in France by G Delbard in 1997. It was named La Passionata, then later introduced into Australia by Melville Nurseries Pty Ltd in 2006 and named ‘La Jago’ after a Melbourne society Milliner-Peter Jago.

The Delbard name in the rose world is synonymous with perfection, as the French company founded in 1935 strive to create roses that combine fragrance, beauty, strength and disease resistance. The founder George Delbard, who was breeding fruit trees on his farm in Malicorne Allier, France, over 70 years ago, branched out into breeding dahlias and roses. Since then, over 250 new varieties have been bred by the Delbard family and enjoyed across the world.

“Each garden has its own surprise.”

Susan Allen Toth

Alfred Sisley rose is the first of the Painters series to bloom so far this Spring, and looks splendid being so bright and cheerful against the glossy leaves. The Painters range will be beautiful this year I’m hoping, after planting several new ones and spending considerable time on the existing Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne roses and others in the garden.

“Fertilizer does no good in a heap, but a little spread around works miracles all over.”

Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Madame Tillier rose is a Damask Perpetual heritage rose from before 1846, by Jean Alexandre Bernaix in France. It has a pink bloom with a brick red tinge and is hardy and disease resistant. The lavender is in bloom and alive with bees throughout the garden in various types. It is the French Lavender that dominates hiding spring blooms at times.

I’m optimistic about the season ahead and quietly confident that it will be successful. After all the autumn plantings and time spent productively in the garden, it should pay off with healthy plants and loads of gorgeous fragrances and flowers if the weather permits.

“The garden, historically, is the place where all the senses are exploited. Not just the eye, but the ear – with water, with birds. And there is texture, too, in plants you long to touch.” 

William Howard Adams

It is all about diversity in the garden this season with more texture and colour to compliment the roses. Already I can see I’m on the right path as the various blooms unfold from different foliage, and bulbs Some of these have finished, and I missed photographing them; hyacinths, snowdrops, bluebells. None less the Iris is out and extraordinary, growing two metres tall and looking great against the dark bronze foliage of the “Enchanting Rose”.

A biodiverse garden not only looks fabulous, but enhances soil health, increases pollinators in the garden, and creates a more balanced ecosystem. But also boosts overall success for the season by providing new opportunities for healthy herbs, vegetables and flowers with companion plants that deter pests and diseases. Groundcovers and mulch are a great adjunct to controlling weeds; this year, weeds reign supreme after all the wet weather.

Title quote by Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

Content Di Baker 2022

Images from my garden Spring 2022

La Jago and Gold Medal Roses are available from Wagner’s Rose Nursery and Silkies Rose Farm

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