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?

Deep Winter Blooms

Up here on the Mount, winters are very interesting indeed. While the rest of the surrounding area is bathed in sunlight, here we wallow in mist and cloud cover. It’s not so bad really. I love the cold and especially the distinctive half-light of the mountain. Ten years ago it was during July when we first saw this house and garden. It was the the shimmering droplets of rain on the trees and winding pathways which attracted us the most.

However, the mountain is ever changing. Just when we think it cannot get any greyer, the garden invites us to admire its unexpected colour. In deep winter, bursts of colour illuminate the low light.

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This little begonia has been flowering for months. However, apart from this. The natural cycle from dormancy to delight begins.

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The weeping apricot which we see from our lounge rooms window has begun to transform itself.

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Further down the path, this giant, pink camellia has burst into bloom.

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Yes, it’s all pinks at the moment!
Hellebores are coming to life. They are the true winter rose!

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More pink camellias.

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But wait – I spot a red one!

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Tulip bulbs are ready of go!

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The view from the back yard deck in winter.

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Despite the lack of sun shine, the vegetable patch seems to be thriving, albeit it, slowly.

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To our northern hemisphere readers, enjoy your wonderful summer. As we keep the heaters running and the wood chopped here on Mount, we can glimpse the preludes to Spring.

How’s your summer or winter experience?

The Bush Beckons

Why do we enjoy living here? This is the question I alluded to last time. I’ll give you four reasons.
1. The four distinct seasons
Having grown up in the sub-tropics, moving to a cold climate, seven hundred metres above sea level, has been an intriguing experience. One of the advantages, and there are many, is that the seasonal changes are so noticeable. Compared to hot and humid, here Winter is cold, Spring is wet, Autumn sees the leaves fall and Summer can be a varied experience, hot, cold, and mild.
Earlier today, for example we took advantage of a superb Spring morning to burn off our increasing pile of bush debris. Colin repaired some of our pathway steps, while I raked and trimmed. Our neighbours too joined in the seasonal clean sweep.
The rhododendrons, azaleas and hellebores are out and the kookaburras could be heard overhead. This brings me to the next reason why we live where we do? The wildlife. Stay tuned.

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