All through winter, keen gardeners wait for the onset of Spring and long for it even if the coziness of winter is enjoyable. The change of season always brings renewal and vitality to garden growth in the early days of Spring, and it is an exciting time. Eagerly watching for signs of new buds and… Continue reading “It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”
There's nothing quite like a freshly picked rose from the garden. Still stunning but not comparable are the perfect roses grown for the cut flower market that sit outside florists to entice customers. Almost appearing too good to be true, commercially grown roses often lack perfume, whereas garden roses are intoxicating visually and in their… Continue reading “And the roses—the roses! —they came alive day by day, hour by hour.
Spring arrived so abruptly this year, with typical unsettled, windy, changeable weather. The early morning is cold, with sunny days at times then followed by frost and cold winds reminiscent of winter's depths. It is Spring, and as long as one remains flexible to the moods of nature and mindful to wear layered clothing, it… Continue reading “The more help you have with your garden, the less it belongs to you.”
The anticipation of the first day of spring has a sense of urgency, and although the warmth of sun-filled days is a comfort, there is still a frenzy of activity and long lists of tasks to be worked on in the garden. I tell myself daily that gardening is for joy, and there is plenty… Continue reading “Blossom by blossom the spring begins.”
The essence of gardening is doing, digging, shaping, moving, and fine-tuning. After weeks of work, it is time for the best part, the planting. The bare-root roses have arrived; half are planted already, with the remainder soaking in buckets waiting for the welcome rain to stop. It is a heady time of year that culminates… Continue reading “If you have never had a garden you cannot understand, and if you have had a garden you will know that it would take a whole book to describe all that came to pass there.”
Chaos reigns in the garden this week, and it is time to take action even though the experts' view is to leave pruning until all risk of frost is over. After a week or so of warm weather, too hot for August, the plants in the garden are confused as many have come out of… Continue reading If you want good roses, sharpen your knife and harden your heart.
In anticipation of Spring, my hands have been deep in the dirt lately, pulling weeds and digging out grasses that are so prolific and thick on the ground. I'm also trying to resist the urge to prune the sad-neglected-looking roses, as the experts say in cold regions, to wait until after the last frost for… Continue reading “[Gardening] is a means by which you can attain many valuable hours of solitude without being thought unsociable.”
Unfortunately, the garden is unsightly and tired now that winter has settled in and the frosty conditions have begun. The leaves on the roses are falling or going yellow and many blooms have balled up in the wet conditions. The Pelargoniums continue to look fantastic, and it won't be long before Clematis and Daphne are… Continue reading In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.
The essence of a garden is all about generosity, as Vita Sackville West confirms in today's title quote. Garden, generosity is not only about the blooms and plants but also the space, the size and the scale of a garden and its location; the width of the paths, the height of the trees, arches, pergolas… Continue reading “I like generosity wherever I find it, whether in gardens or elsewhere. I hate to see things scrimp and scrubby. Even the smallest garden can be prodigal within its limitations.”
In anticipation, I wait for nature to bring more cold days to give the roses the silent nod to sleep. After only a few days of chill, the garden is showing signs of slowing down, and moving towards dormancy even though many roses remain in bloom. Some are brilliant, almost perfect whilst others are lovely,… Continue reading “Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.”
The garden continues to flourish with an array of wonderful roses out in bloom. It is heartening to see the splashes of colour as the temperatures turn cold and the skies grey, and all are a welcome treat. Some roses appear to enjoy the more northern hemisphere climate of the past… Continue reading It is always exciting to open the door and go out into the garden for the first time on any day…..
After considerable time tending roses, I now realise first-hand that Mirabel Osler's statement is incredibly accurate. The research before purchasing roses has meant that most roses have been a dream to nurture; upright, generous and elegant. Their prolific blooms in gorgeous colours are amiable even with the prickles, but on occasions, after the arrival in… Continue reading “The intransigence of roses is something we have had to accept, and now … I know which are docile and benevolent from those which are headstrong; those that are pliant from those which are pig-headed.”
It is a beautiful Autumn day again this morning spent in the garden planting out a few Salvia leucantha, Mexican sage bushes. Before I knew it, I had taken the irreversible steps in removing the supposedly 'weeping' rose that has annoyed me for so long, with its belligerent attitude, and refusal to weep over the… Continue reading Gardens have a way of coercing you into an undertaking or doing things you never intended to do, and when you have, you wonder why you waited so long.
The weather of late is glorious and the days so clear. It is fresh in the mornings with the warmth of sunny days followed by the grandeur of an empyrean night sky.Nothing is more spectacular than the inland domed sky on a cloudless crisp cold night. At times like this, it all seems worthwhile living… Continue reading Just step outdoors, see the light on the hills, the stars at night- that’s enough.
Now that the flurry of Easter and all that goes with preparing a house and food for the family is over, our rural location seems deserted, and the sounds of children in the garden have quietened. Yet, the garden remains full of excitement and activity as if, by magic, hundreds of roses are in bloom… Continue reading ‘A garden is a friend you can visit anytime.’
The glow of ambient light in Autumn is so atmospheric as the cooler temperatures and changeable weather create a season of dewy mornings, and the dramatic light stays golden all day around the late-flowering rose blooms. For some time now, I've wanted to replace the overgrown French lavender and the two Princess De Monaco roses… Continue reading “Golden Yellow; the Colour of Joy.”
Time outside gardening and growing roses is a favourite pastime, and the garden is where I spend many happy hours, although there are times when a retreat indoors is the preferred option. Today was such a day. Eager and energetic, I headed out early, only to find a short while later, I was rushing towards… Continue reading I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order
Nature has gently eased us out of summer with hints of what's to come; the mornings bring cool fresh air, but the high temperatures along the coast and inland last week tease us back into summer mode. So the bees in the garden are still very active. Throughout the garden, some roses have tell-tale signs… Continue reading “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
Many hours have been spent in the garden this week. I'm taking advantage of the cool mornings that allow at least five hours of gardening before the sun's intensity becomes too hot. It is cathartic, cutting back summer growth and pulling weeds so tall in some spots they were up to my shoulders. The word… Continue reading Life In The Autumn Garden
Autumn, the crème de la crème of all the seasons, in my view, has arrived. I suspect the hot days may continue in the afternoons for several more weeks. Still, the hint of Autumn days' freshness, clarity, stillness and beauty is apparent every morning, and it is magic. Autumn's arrival may appear disappointing as summer… Continue reading To everything there is a season.
Early morning this week was slightly cooler, creating perfect gardening conditions. As the sun came across the lawn, it still felt like summer but not so intensely hot. It's a small sign but very welcome and reminds me that Autumn may not be too far away after all. Usually, garden work is brief or… Continue reading “Gardening is a work of a lifetime: you never finish.”
The days spent in New Zealand and Tasmania were primarily overcast, but we are now in full swing of late Summer back in the garden, with temperatures reaching 40-41 degrees C and little to no rainfall. The only time to comfortably garden is in the early hours of each day. Summer gardens in Australia demand… Continue reading Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Now that I've had time to reflect on all I've seen in recent travels my favorite Botanical Garden is in Tasmania? The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens ( RTBG ) has a wealth of specialist collections ranging from the Lily Pond, the Japanese Garden, the Historic Wall, and the Gate Keepers Cottage to the Community Food… Continue reading “Garden design is all about concealment and surprise.”
As I write, I am on board the Cunard line 'Queen Elizabeth' Ship as part of the Inaugural Australian Gardening Journey 4-11th February 2023, which has been excellent. One of the highlights was visiting more of Australia's Botanical Gardens when in Port. However, the inclement weather made visiting the Melbourne Gardens impossible, but it was… Continue reading “One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people’s yards.”
Today is a serene and beautiful clear sunny day, peaceful and still after the early morning cool and not a cloud in the sky. The sun shines, and the day is expected to be hot, a perfect summer day. Alas, like all things in nature, just when you thought it was time to enjoy the… Continue reading “Despite the gardener’s best intentions, Nature will improvise.”’
Summer in the garden is all about doing as little as possible; it is a time to enjoy the roses and soak up the sun and summer breeze whilst thinking of all that needs to be done- watering, weeding and deadheading. Only a few gardeners can sit idle when deadheading needs doing, and most are… Continue reading “ The most productive time in the garden is not spent digging and working but sitting and contemplating. ”
Recently I visited the Botanical Gardens of two New Zealand cities, Dunedin and Christchurch. It was an uplifting experience to wander in the gardens and see a snapshot of the plants and trees of New Zealand's South Island and especially the roses bred here. As the quote above states, I left feeling at peace and… Continue reading “As I leave the garden, I take a renewed view. And a quiet soul.”
My rose garden began with my desire to play with colour. Like an artist's palette, the colours and hues available in roses are endless. Colour is everywhere; we see colours, feel them, taste, touch, and smell them and they have a profound effect on us in natural and numerous ways; moods, behaviour, circadian rhythms, motivation,… Continue reading I’m having a Magenta day. Not just red, but Magenta!
The dawn of a New Year is nearly here - a fresh start full of life's promise, a time when we celebrate new beginnings and plot new year's resolutions to be more mindful in our lives. For the garden, though, the new year is springtime in the southern hemisphere. By year's end, the delights of… Continue reading “And now let us welcome the New Year, Full of things that have never been.”
All the new roses are transforming the garden landscape, and I am loving the changes. There are small glimpses of the colours and style to expect as the roses settle in and become more established. They blend beautifully with the older roses that are the garden stalwarts having triumphed and endured the last few years… Continue reading “The secret of landscapes isn’t creation…It’s maintenance.
The names of roses, the history, and the romanticism of the names of roses are aspects, along with playing with colour, that I love about growing roses. Nowhere else could we find so varied a selection of people linked only through a rose name. Indeed, what else would the painter Auguste Renoir have in common… Continue reading “Yesterday’s rose endures in its name, we hold empty names”.
Today, the open windows on the first morning of summer bring a more profound joy because our Spring was so cloud-covered and wet. At last, the sun shines, it is wonderful and the garden looks and feels like summer. As if overnight, Spring undergrowth has dried and is, in part, ready to cut back, masses… Continue reading “It is December, and my world smells of roses.“
A tousled abundance of roses and perennials was my intent on creating a garden; sure enough, a profusion of roses and other florals now permeates the garden as spring nears the end of its reign. Copious roses hang from arching canes and interweave amongst the lavender, herbs and geraniums. Some stand upright with the sky… Continue reading “Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.”
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.”
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.”