“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

“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.” 

“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.”

“Who has learned to garden who did not at the same time learn to be patient?”

I spoke too soon last time, and now that drop of rain has continued for days. Not a deluge, thankfully, but enough drizzle, fog and dampness to prevent working outside. The timing of recent rains was perfect because I'd almost finished applying compost and mulch, so the extra water would well and truly have soaked… Continue reading “Who has learned to garden who did not at the same time learn to be patient?”

“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.”

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.

Hamilton Island My love of travel and exploring the world is quite a contradiction to that of growing a rose garden. So how can I bring them together in my life and enjoy both to the fullest? I love my rose garden and want to see all the roses in full bloom and to enjoy… Continue reading “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.

“Colours are the Smiles of Nature”

When I first began growing roses, I was like a child in the lolly shop, unable to decide which ones to choose from all the beautiful colours and styles. My choices were not always suitable, and I could not resist the enticing rose names so I often overplanted. Some didn't survive, but most have flourished,… Continue reading “Colours are the Smiles of Nature”

“You must fail at gardening to master it.”

Nature wins this week in the garden. If ever there was a time one needed some inspiration to garden, this is it. Forget the heat and typical summer weather; the number of mosquitoes since our floods and storms are extreme and make being in the garden almost impossible. I usually head out in summer with… Continue reading “You must fail at gardening to master it.”

Le Pigonnet -A garden where Cezanne wandered…

Le Pigonnet is a beautiful Hotel in Aix en Provence, France, tucked away from the town centre, albeit not far away. Le Pigonnet is from the French word Pigeonniere ( Pigeon House). As you enter along a magnificent tree-lined avenue to view the hotel, you would be surprised by the humble entrance. Le Pigonnet was… Continue reading Le Pigonnet -A garden where Cezanne wandered…

Carla Fineschi Rose Garden, Tuscany

It is time to re-post my story about the Carla Fineschi Rose garden in Arezzo Tuscany because it has been renamed "Gianfranco and Carla Fineschi Botanical Rose Garden Association" according to their website. "The ROSETO BOTANICO GIANFRANCO AND CARLA FINESCHI ASSOCIATION, commonly known as "Roseto Fineschi" since 2015, has replaced the "Roseto Botanico Carla Fineschi… Continue reading Carla Fineschi Rose Garden, Tuscany

“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.”

I have few words left to describe 2021 so instead, I have a collection of my favourite shots of the roses in the garden this Spring and early Summer. The garden has had a fantastic year and the roses are wonderful due to the unseasonal weather. Like the rose and the thorn, life has two… Continue reading “Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.”

The Perfumed Garden

Today is about the perfume and scent of roses.... It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. Robert Louis Stevenson Did you know that rose perfume is at its most intense very early in the morning and the scent will gradually become less… Continue reading The Perfumed Garden

“One who plants a garden plants happiness.”

Today brings a sense of déjà vu, I'm inside again due to more rain. We've only had a few days of fine weather that lasted long enough to be out gardening recently. Surprisingly, at the end of the day last time I was out in the garden, despite the aches and pains after heavy work,… Continue reading “One who plants a garden plants happiness.”