Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Rain, Hail and Shine

Easter is upon us and 2015 is flying by. Its been awhile since my last post so I thought I`d treat you all to some photos from over the years of some dramatic weather we`ve experienced here. Gardening is always a challenge at the best of times but when mother nature strikes an angry pose, all you can do is run for cover and wait it out - which is what we did when she opened the flood gates.....

When it rains this hard, gutters overflow, rain tanks spill over and garden soils wash away. And those rotten pencil pines flop open with the weight and never go back up! Urgh I hate pruning from high ladders - in fact I got so sick of them opening up we pulled em out! That`ll teach em. Ive got a nice rose arch there now.
So, lots of rain is one thing, but when it hails IT DOES DAMAGE!

And of course it always comes out of the blue so you have no time to batten down the hatches or   save the cushions. How can something so pretty create so much damage - lucky my car was in the garage - not so lucky for the tomato bushes and shredded vegetation throughout the garden

The whole garden looked like this - shredded to ribbons. It was heart breaking.

And then there was lightening......poor old Mulberry tree

No really, poor old Mulberry tree :[  If it wasn`t enough to be struck by lightening and survive, along comes a mighty gale that blew it over! Strongest 100 knot winds we have experienced here. Check out the blog `Saving the Mulberry tree` believe it or not it`s still going.

Some weather is tougher than most on gardens and drought and bushfires are one of the worst. This was only two years ago. We had no rain throughout winter and went straight into hell, missing spring altogether. The tanks were all dry and no amount of hand watering made any difference. All we hoped to achieve was to save trees and shrubs - the smaller stuff was more replaceable, but sad to lose collections of delicate plants. These photos were taken on another device and are a bit grainy.

And if that`s not enough there is always Frost

Lucky the cabbages don't mind

But, at the end of the day, the frost melts, the hail damage grows out and the rain drenched soils
bring forth new life .... and gardening goes on

I hope the weather has been kinder to your little patch of the earth. Leave a comment on your worst weather event - It would be nice to know I don't suffer alone.

Oh, now that`s just pretty.....

After such a bleak hot summer, the rains have finally come, bringing masses of lush growth and a burst of flowers everywhere. So this post is just about some much need soul soothing. Nothing makes me feel such a deep sense of peace and joy as when I wander about the garden and see so many pretty scenes, the earth damp under foot and the smell of rich soil bursting with life. This is when gardening soothes the soul and you know it`s all worth it.

I shouldn`t be amazed, but I always am, at how the garden comes back to life in such a short time after good rains. Here in Sydney our late summer rains come with a heady mixture of thunder and lightening. This rain, full of electrified ozone is incredibly effective for reviving the garden, as it fills the air with nitrogen! And before your very eyes, pretty scenes appear throughout the garden.

Because I have basically a cottage style garden,  many flowers self sow themselves into great little pictures. Nature knows how to get it just right. We humans always tend to plant in patterns and rows that, while might look neat, always looks contrived. I must confess that my compulsion for neatness does tend to temp me to rearrange seedlings that come up where you don't want them, but it`s usually these random escapees that look the best if you let them go.

The roses have picked up and are all showing off as only they can. This is `Duet`.

A large bowl of petunias and self sown lobelia are making a good show.

If only you could smell the Brugmansia at dusk - heavenly

Dear little `Calabrachoa` have also perked up.

This huge Solanum Royal Robe has grown through the pot and stands over two metres tall. It hasn`t stopped flowering for months - what a great display.

I thought I`d lost these verbena during the hot dry weather, just a few slicks left. They are so vibrant when you drive past them now.

So I`m feeling much better now the garden is smiling and the tanks are all full.

Please leave a comment if you visit this blog...sometimes I feel like I`m talking to myself!

Bloomfield Cottage Open Garden - two weeks to go....

It`s not every year that we open our gates for a weekend to share our amazing garden and lifestyle with the public and garden lovers alike. Thank goodness, because it`s an incredible amount of work for about five months. In fact, we only do it every 2 or 3 years, so this is going to be a great opportunity to see just what 18 years of dedicated gardening has produced.

`Bloomfield Cottage` is named after a massive climbing red rose, too big even for here! Roses are the main feature of the garden at the end of October, and are budding up with great vigour at the moment. There are three huge diamond shaped `show` beds - one a red rose bed, one a pink and white bed and the last is a mixture of apricot and purple. Here, Roses are used extensively in the landscape. Arbours and archways adorn roses, making walkways a fragrant experience.  Ballerina rose, drapes a chain and post fence along the driveway, while Crepuscule and New Dawn hang over tall rose wheels. Pillar roses are also used for effective upright height. Clair Jaquier is showing off at the moment, hanging from the branches of a dead tree - the home in fact of our beloved bee hive!

You will find many `Heritage` roses throughout the garden and an extensive bed dedicated to David Austin roses, so very English and so very fragrant, under-planted with loads of salvias and colour.
The massive undertaking of planting enough colour to keep the gardens interesting is helped, no doubt, by the fact that I work in a large plant Nursery. Urns, quirky statues, bird baths etc. are also dotted about the place for interest.

So, what else is there to see? If you stroll around the verandah, which is cool and covered in wisteria - just finished flowering, you will find lots of tender pretty shrubs and flowers all in pinks flowing into the gold/orange bed and around to the blue and purple garden, full to the gills of colour.
You may also like to investigate the cool greenhouse and potting area or the newly built glasshouse.
Of course it wouldn`t be an experience till you`ve said hello to the chooks and rabbits or Hunter, our very spoilt miniature horse.

In this part of the garden you will come across the vegetable gardens - six of them in fact. People are always fascinated with healthy looking home grown vegetables, so I have been busy planting all our summer crops in my spare time. That`s right, when I`m not shovelling mulch, planting shrubs and potted colour, pruning. hedging, fertilizing - oh, you get the gist. Have a look at the collage of garden pics I took today. So, two weeks to go till showtime...we`ve had some rain, now we need some sun...

I`ll post some pic`s and perhaps a video, when Bloomfield Cottage has its open weekend, to show you what the visitors will see. Oct 25th and 26th, 2014

Sunday, 30 October 2016

How do you say goodbye to all's gonna be tough

Yes folks, Bloomfield Cottage is up for sale.

After 20 years of passionate gardening, creating, and nurturing, we have decided it's time to move. My adult daughters were shocked, as are many of our friends and community but it's time for a change - you guessed it, a sea change.

This will potentially be the last spring here, and everything is looking amazing, so I thought I would just share some of the beauty that is Bloomfield Cottage at the moment. Each time I take a photo now, I think, 'This is the last time I will see how gorgeous this is' - I'm gonna miss it, even though I'm excited to embark on a totally different lifestyle on the coast!

The incredible flowers of my Macadamia tree - 'Pinkalicious'

Till next time ......hope you enjoyed my garden :) and er, I guess I'll let you know if it sells.....