Recording Camellias

I grant you it may be a misleading title, however, I have been wanting to start this project for the last fifteen years!!!! Time flies…. But here we are in isolation, so there is no better time than to go around the garden and try to identify and/or record each species of flowering camellias. So, today I start with these which, as it happens, are basking in rare sunshine, here on the mountain.

Camellia sasanqua featuring large rose-form flowers. As yet, haven’t found a name for this gorgeous specimen which flowers in our cold, August winters.

Seven years

WordPress just informed me I have been blogging about my garden for seven years – that’s amazing! Thank you to all my followers and to those who comment and share their thoughts and ideas – it’s great to a part of your botanical community!

Mid-winter garden

It’s time I went back into the garden. Our rambling garden is never too far from my thoughts even when I am away. However, despite its low light and chill, winter is a special season here. It was during this time we found this garden – glistening in the late afternoon, beckoning me. That was twelve years ago, in July.

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During winter our mountain garden seems so still and silent. It sleeps, quietly now, nurturing its progeny. As the temperature drops and with the June winds abated, each garden bed is preparing to reveal its private secret.

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The mid-winter garden is always remarkable – it is a profusion of colours. Tall, pale pink and scarlet camellias arching their flowers to the sun. Short squat ones caressing the ground. Oversized faces turning to catch the light. The slow emergence of bulbs – tulips, narcissus, daffodils and the garlic. Nodding hellebores are now making themselves known, their burnt summer leaves gone, replaced now by new, vivid, green serrations.

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As the temperature drops, I can rely on three certainties in the garden: an abundance of colour, a stillness and peacefulness and, my favourite, winter rosella adorning the leaf-less trees. Mid-winter wonders, indeed.

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As the temperature drops, I can rely on three certainties in the garden: an abundance of colour, a stillness and peacefulness and, my favourite, winter rosellas adorning the leaf-less trees. Mid-winter wonders, indeed.

Spring Chicken

I’m not sure why this blog has been silent for six weeks, but I do know that in the blogging world, that’s too long. Maybe it’s been the short winter days, some busy weekends or maybe I’ve been chicken or just plain lazy but I’m back to chronicle our garden’s ever changing moods, here on the Mount. I’ll begin by reintroducing you to our chickens – our particular Plymouth Rocks – Long John Silver, his four girls and their Isa Brown and Australorp friends.

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IMG_4069.JPG At this time of year, our friends, the chickens, can scratch around their favourite camellias and hide amongst the hellebores.

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IMG_4067.JPG There’s more to come as we are invited to step into each garden “room” to experience the colours of Spring.

IMG_2735.JPG I won’t be chicken and you’ll see me out in the garden more often.

Winter Wonders #2

It always amazes and delights me to see so many plants beginning to emerge and flower in the midst of winter.

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Tunnelling tulips

The days here on the Mount are cold and yesterday was particularly foggy until lunch time. Today we had some bursts of sunshine enabling us to wander down and discover some new winter wonders.

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hellebores

Ten winters ago I was tending a tropical garden. Although I loved the bougainvilleas and the bromeliads, winter was a time to grow vegetables and trim the palms. Now there are so many tasks in winter – pruning, planting, planning for the changes and simply assisting plants to survive. However, these specimens need no assistance at all.
Colourful camellias

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Just plant and stand back – they will surprise you every day! How’s your garden surviving in the winter or, for my northern hemisphere friends – this summer?

Garden Gratitude Theme: Pink

No, not the popular female singer but the crimson colours of the camelias! On this unusually sunny morning and the walkways strewn with pink petals, it never ceases to amaze me how these trees push forth their abundance.

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In our decade here on the Mount, we have experienced drought conditions, heat waves, strong, hot northern winds and torrential rains. As a consequence, we have lost our fair share of important trees – a weeping cherry, the year we went to Italy; an established magnolia, the year of the drought and along with it, a magnificent pale pink rhododendron, odorata. With these significant losses we have tried to keep our mainstay trees alive during summer. Perhaps our lovely neighbours’ example of abundant watering makes sense! Our rewards are many.

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If you look carefully you can make out our rooster’s tail feathers in the background!

My gratitude really must go to the previous own of this property. She was a remarkable woman. Raising her four children alone and working as a nurse by night, she had a grand vision of the colours in a garden. Painstakingly planting camelias, rhododendrons, azaleas, lilacs and magnolias she created an English garden beneath a canopy of gum trees. In this season, however, it is the camelia which takes pride of place.

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Some of them only briefly make their appearance.

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Others linger to create carpets of petals.

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At least one of our weeping cherries survived!

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With this vision of abundance we marvel at nature itself: its glory, its veritable magnificence which reaffirms our own existence.

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Are you “pinked” out yet?

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The English poets knew their landscapes. William Wordsworth wrote of paths and country meanderings. John Milton wrote about “those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world”. For me these are all found in a garden.

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One last flourish before I go (pardon the pun) – happy gardening, contemplating and appreciating!