“If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

Roses are the masterpiece of nature, adored the world over for their beauty and mesmerising fragrance. Today I have a selection of roses I photographed on one day early this week when I ducked outside to the damp garden to shoot a few snaps of the roses that were in bloom and had survived the… Continue reading “If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

“Each garden has its own surprise.”

Season after season, wonderful surprises pop up in the garden as if by magic. These unexpected elements create new landscapes that are delightful reminders of what gardening is actually about. Mirabel Osler calls it the 'alchemy of the garden.' A pleasing effect from a myriad of plants creates something more than individual details. An unexpected… Continue reading “Each garden has its own surprise.”

“The real voyage in discovery is not in new landscapes but in having new eyes”

New landscapes are emerging, and I'm seeing the garden for the first time with fresh eyes because, at last, when I walk in the garden, I feel as though it is a 'proper garden' now, complete with fragrance wafting in the air and an abundance of perfect roses. I've even said 'Wow' to myself a… Continue reading “The real voyage in discovery is not in new landscapes but in having new eyes”

Out of the Blue

body of water during dawn

Blue is one of the most popular colours. The azure blue of the sky is reflected in our lakes, oceans and waterways and creates the haze in distant mountains but the pigment blue in the garden is extremely rare. So, even though Blue is all around us in the environment, Blue is elusive and there… Continue reading Out of the Blue

“A gardener learns to play the hand he’s dealt” 

Once again, I've been saved from garden watering by obliging clouds and another deluge of rain over the last three days. It was predicted and arrived on schedule almost to the hour, beginning as quiet stillness in the air that made me think of the phrase, the calm before the storm. Followed by soft Irish… Continue reading “A gardener learns to play the hand he’s dealt” 

“The sound of the rain needs no translation.”

dew glass rain raindrops

Overnight the garden has gone from an abundance of colourful perfumed roses and perennials to a windblown saturated, flooded garden. Many roses lie in a sodden mess face down in ponds of still water. I love the sound of rain on our tin roof, but just now, rain is not what we want to hear.… Continue reading “The sound of the rain needs no translation.”

“The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms because She blooms.”

Winter has been here with a vengeance over the last few weeks with wild weather, heavy rain and devastating floods in Australia for the third time this year. It is cold and bleak outside, but the odd thing is there are hundreds of roses out in bloom. Some roses blooming have never really been in… Continue reading “The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms because She blooms.”

“The colour of spring is in the flowers; the colour of winter is in the imagination.”

As I walk through the garden now with winter well and truly here, I am surprised to still see beautiful rose blooms opening despite the cold mornings and nights. The tenacity of some of the roses is remarkable, refusing to give up and rest. When my eyes rove across the garden they don't see what… Continue reading “The colour of spring is in the flowers; the colour of winter is in the imagination.”

“Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which we a give our heart.”  

blue white and red poppy flower field

Drive, inspiration, enthusiasm, tools and plants at the ready-check. What is missing is fine weather? Incessant rain, cold, bleak and cloudy days mean few moments suitable for gardening, but not to be deterred; these days are perfect for more detailed planning. On days like these, the creative mind can endlessly design the ultimate garden on… Continue reading “Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which we a give our heart.”  

“Apprentice yourself to nature. Not a day will pass without her opening a new and wondrous world of experience to learn from and enjoy.”

Today was a real treat as I was able to spend three hours this morning involved in a Horticultural Symposium hosted by Michael McCoy, a first for me. Michael had curated a rich and diverse lineup of speakers, including Fergus Garret, Ed Flint, Sophie Thomson, Jimi Blake, Donna Somerville, and Casein Schmidt. To say it… Continue reading “Apprentice yourself to nature. Not a day will pass without her opening a new and wondrous world of experience to learn from and enjoy.”

“A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.” 

Ironically, the popularity of a dry naturalistic or wild garden is at its peak, just as we are experiencing unprecedented wet conditions from La Nina in Australia. The garden flourishes in this pre-winter stage with no frost and extra moisture. As I contemplate the garden feeling cosy, and warm inside, and view the countryside beyond,… Continue reading “A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.” 

The Painters Collection of Roses

“What I need most of all are flowers, always, always.”Claude Monet, 1840-1926 Impressionist painter and life-long gardener The Painters Collection of roses by Delbards France, are sensational and catch your eye in the garden with their unique colouring and happy disposition. This season my garden will be complete with the entire range of the Painters… Continue reading The Painters Collection of Roses

“Don’t think the garden loses it’s ectasy in Winter. Its quiet but the roots are down there riotous.”

With only a few days left before winter is officially here, we have tasted days to come. On cloudy days when the sun's warmth is missed retreating indoors to winter comforts, the fireside, cosy rugs and delicious hot soups are welcome diversions. "There ought to be Gardens for all Months in the year, in which,… Continue reading “Don’t think the garden loses it’s ectasy in Winter. Its quiet but the roots are down there riotous.”

“Wandering clouds— Short spells of rain, poetry!”

Is there any sound more lovely than the sound of rain on the roof after a dry spell? Although the coastal areas of Australia have had far too much rain further inland, it is still a welcome treat in most areas. Light rain showers to boost the newly planted crops and a holiday for gardeners… Continue reading “Wandering clouds— Short spells of rain, poetry!”

“A garden isn’t meant to be useful. It’s for joy.”

The garden landscape is taking shape and starting to look more like a "proper garden". Whilst working on mulching and preparing for next season, it is a delight to see the new rose blooms opening, probably for the last time, I suspect, before winter. Although it's not a mass floral display like the abundance of… Continue reading “A garden isn’t meant to be useful. It’s for joy.”

“Autumn has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

Autumn has been gentle this year arriving ever so quietly, bringing days that are sheer perfection; hardly a breath of wind, bright blue skies, crisp morning air with days of such clarity it takes one's breath away. April has been remarkable leaving me thinking how fortunate we are when nature offers days like these. The… Continue reading “Autumn has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

“I’m not a garden expert in any sense of the meaning, only someone who blunders about in the shrubbery.”

If we were playing the dinner party game where you chose people, past or present, that you would like to meet, then one of mine would be Mirabel Osler. From the moment I heard of Dame Mirabel, I was captivated. Her free-spirited approach to life, gardening, and travel hold many truths for me. In her… Continue reading “I’m not a garden expert in any sense of the meaning, only someone who blunders about in the shrubbery.”

“A rose, isn’t quite as beautiful as it once was, when after its thorn pricks you.” 

All rose blooms are beautiful, and some are so stunning they can catch your breath and bring feelings of awe. In contrast, the prickles can be irritating and a menace. When you least expect it, you can get a severe reaction from the mildest contact with particular roses. After a nasty encounter with a rose… Continue reading “A rose, isn’t quite as beautiful as it once was, when after its thorn pricks you.” 

“Seek to be the Purple Thread in the Long White Gown”

As I look around the garden this year, my eye is drawn to the mauves, lilacs, purples, lavender, and deep amethyst shades in the roses, underplantings and even weeds along the roadside. I notice the purple at home probably because the colours of roses, Love Potion, Twilight Zone, Dusky Moon, Vol De Nuit, Angel Face… Continue reading “Seek to be the Purple Thread in the Long White Gown”

“All gardening is landscape painting.”

My landscape dream is a charming, romantic, overflowing garden with a wide range of interesting yet not necessarily rare plants. Plants blend happily in the hot, dry, and sometimes frosty climate and impart an impressionistic outlook that softens the harshness of the rural Australian environs. To achieve this goal, in the beginning, I over planted… Continue reading “All gardening is landscape painting.”

“A garden is not a place it’s a journey”

There is nothing like needing space to put plants in to make one get cracking on challenging tasks and with cooler mornings of late, I've made slight inroads into restoring the garden after summer. My strategy has been to tackle the garden accompanied by a range of plants ready to go in the ground. The… Continue reading “A garden is not a place it’s a journey”

“It is always exciting to open the door and go out into the garden for the first time on any day.” 

Autumn is here, and I could not be happier for the garden loves Autumn in my region. There is a reprieve from the heat and an expectant air of cooler days to come. It is a time full of promise as we fill the gaps with plants after summer pruning, execute our plans for next… Continue reading “It is always exciting to open the door and go out into the garden for the first time on any day.” 

“A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of year.”

The weather is humid, and looking around the garden, it is undeniably late Summer. There are a few scorched leaves from the afternoon sun but not too many this year, thousands of spent rose blooms, a few signs of rose hips where I didn't deadhead quickly enough, plus a variety of salvias dancing in the… Continue reading “A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of year.”

“If you go, go in Peace it makes the flowers sweeter along the path”

The Peace Rose has soft yellow flowers that fade to blush-pink at the tips. The blooms are large and double and have a light fragrance. The Peace rose repeat flowers and is disease resistant and very easy to grow to be hardy, vigorous and a brilliant performer. "The Peace Rose is the most Famous and… Continue reading “If you go, go in Peace it makes the flowers sweeter along the path”

“The greatest piece of gardening in the world is a little staircase in the Generalife,”

The gardens of the Generalife, Spain in Arabic are 'Jinnah al-Arif' which means 'Gardens of the Architect'. The gardens are situated in a high area above the Alhambra's main Palaces in Granada, Spain. The gardens and the Alhambra Palaces have been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1984. These stunning gardens were built in the… Continue reading “The greatest piece of gardening in the world is a little staircase in the Generalife,”