“It is December, and my world smells of roses.“

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.“

“Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.”

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.”

“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.”

“It takes a loyal gardener to tend roses.”

  The garden is buzzing with life, and the roses are spectacular in every direction. The best news is that the roses have only just started to open, which means many more weeks and months of blooms are yet to come, Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. One of the… Continue reading “It takes a loyal gardener to tend roses.”

“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

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

“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.”

“In the garden as in writing, punctuation is needed to clarify structure and meanings. A garden without punctuation is like prose without full stops or music without a beat.”

Spring is in the air and there are signs that the garden is coming together. Over the time I've been gardening, the climbing roses have been the trickiest to get right. I initially envisaged an abundance of rose blooms cascading around the front door and verandah posts of the old Australian farmhouse (1910 ) where… Continue reading “In the garden as in writing, punctuation is needed to clarify structure and meanings. A garden without punctuation is like prose without full stops or music without a beat.”

“Spring: The music of open windows.”

Spring is here, and good times in the garden are coming. Don't you just love the first days of early Spring when the windows can be flung open, and the breeze can blow through the house after all the rain and cold of winter? It enlivens the senses and makes you feel good, especially on… Continue reading “Spring: The music of open windows.”

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”

Today is crisp and beautiful; the sun shines after yesterday's wet day. Sheep graze in the long grass and the new roses that were 'heeled in' are now all planted. The days after rain have an allure all their own that no amount of watering can replicate. It's like waking up to a promise of… Continue reading “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”

“Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.” 

Claude Monet in his garden Many great painters from the past were also avid gardeners who chose to paint their surroundings and families enjoying the garden. Why not? The garden is so full of colour through the months of spring, summer and autumn, with beautiful spaces to view and capture in paint. At this time… Continue reading “Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.” 

“Just remember, during the winter, there’s a seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes a rose.”

Frost on Lamb's Ear As the light came across the horizon at dawn on several mornings this week, a white landscape of thick frost was revealed, all is motionless, and it's bitterly cold. Although I noticed yesterday that the surrounding paddocks of canola are coming into flower, a sure sign we are heading towards Spring,… Continue reading “Just remember, during the winter, there’s a seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes a rose.”

“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.”

“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.”