Anzac Day. April 25, 2020.

It’s ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. Usually there would be dawn services and a little later in the day, marches in cities and towns followed by drinks in the pub with old comrades and even a few games of two-up, today being the only day of the year when this game can be played with impunity. But this year it’s different, as we know, and people have celebrated the day in different ways. A walk around our area this morning demonstrated this with children’s paintings and home-made poppies, probably the result of home schooling, dotted around front gardens. Here are some poignant photos of Iso Anzac Day commemorations from the Guardian.

I’m starting my six today with the RSL rose. I love the contrast between the upper and lower surfaces of the petals: burgundy on top and amber below. This rose was developed to raise money for the care of veterans and their families, so it seems appropriate that it should head up my six today.

Here is the RSL rose before it unfurls.

Two: I’ve decided to try and grow another Camellia after a dismal failure a couple of years ago. This one, Camellia sasanqua ‘Bonanza’ is in a large pot, and so far it’s doing well. Only about 50 cm tall, it’s producing large double peony-like flowers in profusion.

Three: Here are the seeds planted three weeks ago. I can’t help feeling their progress has been rather slow, given the good rain we had and the glorious sunny weather that followed it. It will be a long time before we are eating these greens, I think.

Four: I managed to carry this Dahlia over from last year. It’s the only one that has survived from a bag of tubers given to me by a friend. I dutifully lifted them after they flowered, but my storage methods must have been less than adequate, because most of them were so shrivelled it wasn’t worth planting them. This one though, has given weeks of pleasure: it is more than a metre tall and covered with flowers much loved by bees.

Five: During the merciless summer we endured I was quite worried about the lack of insects in the garden, but more clement weather has brought out a profusion of six-legged creatures intent upon living their lives to the fullest in the short time they have. To stand next to highly floriferous Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’ and hear the gentle thrumming of bees going about their business is a joy, and watching butterflies in profusion a pleasure, although they frustrate me with their propensity to close their wings as soon as they land, thereby depriving me of a photo opportunity. Above, some kind of lady beetle has a dalliance with a Zinnia bud. I have tried to identify the beetle, but there are rather a lot of yellow and black lady beetles to choose from and I hesitate to commit myself. Perhaps someone else will know.

Six: I took pity on this Heuchera which I spotted on an Ailing Plants Table even though I didn’t really have anywhere that I thought was suitable to plant it. It stalwartly survived the summer heat with a few crisped leaves, but now the temperatures have dropped it is growing very quickly and looking healthy, although it’s yet to live up to its name – ‘Caramel’ – or have any flowers. I would like to complement it with one of the burgundy leafed Heucheras.

As always, I am joining in with the Six on Saturday crowd, led by the admirable Propagator who can be found here along with many other SoS bloggers.

Stay safe everyone, and happy gardening! Goodness knows, we have enough time for it.

Weather today: Gloriously sunny and calm. 5 to 23 degrees C

46 Comments Add yours

  1. Lis says:

    What moving pictures in the Guardian, Jane, they seem particualrly poignant in these strange times. Thank you for sharing. Your RSL rose is an absolute beauty, it’s like crushed velvet – what a glorious dress it would make! 🙂 So good to see a profusion of insects enjoying your flowers, too. We have noticed increased numbers here (and swallows also), I’m wondering if the lack of road traffic and planes overhead is making a difference? Stay safe and well.

    1. Jane says:

      The lack of traffic and planes would certainly be making a difference to our ability to hear the insects, Lis, if not to the numbers around.
      I’m glad you followed the link to the photos as I thought them to be particularly evocative considering the situation we are all in. You stay well too.

  2. Gill Heavens says:

    What a beautiful rose, and for such a great cause. Hopefully next year’s Anzac Day will make up for this year’s low key affair. Very interested by the game, must check it out. Beautiful coloured dahlia, that colour really appeals to me. Have a good week. 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      I’m not sure the photo is a true as I would like. I seem to have a lot of trouble taking photos of red flowers, being a point-and-click person and not at all au fait with the intricacies of a manual setting on a camera. The colour of the dahlia is much denser in real life. The rose colour seems quite correct though, so it’s all a mystery to me.🤨

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful rose. I prefer them before they unfurl. Your garden has done well to survive the heat.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, they seem to be at their best then.

  4. John Corden says:

    I’m not a great fan of roses. I know they are beautiful but there are others I prefer. But that rose is truly magnificent.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, John. I have mixed feelings about roses owing to their problems (black spot in particular) but when they cluster magnificently on a bush, well, it quite takes my breath away.

  5. I must look up the RSL rose. It’s a beauty and I have a couple of spaces in my rose garden to fill. It was a very different ANZAC Day for us too, as Mr ET is a retired serviceman and he would have normally been catching up with friends in and after the march.

    1. Jane says:

      Mr E T would have certainly felt the difference in this year’s Anzac Day but I hope he was able to make something of the day. Roses probably do very well in your area, I think, and a spot for a new one can always be found!

  6. Fred says:

    What a beautiful rose and I am happy to see the dahlia in bloom. We won’t have much to wait before seeing them here… Take care.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred. I’ll look forward to seeing your Dahlias when they flower.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Both the Camellia and Dahlia colour are gorgeous. I’m not familiar with the beetle, but I’m sure one of your followers will be. Good to see your flowers are blooming 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      No thoughts on the beetle so far!

  8. Nature’s ability to survive – as does the memory of your ANZAC forces so cruelly sacrificed

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your thought, Derrick.

  9. Lora Hughes says:

    Yet another one here who really likes that rose. I’m surprised you have to lift dahlias in your climate – is it because of wet winters? Hope the heuchera earns its rescue AND gets a friend.

    1. Jane says:

      I don’t know that I do have to lift the dahlias, but at the time I thought that was the right treatment for them. I won’t do it again.
      We used to have quite a lot of reliable rain in winter, but that hasn’t happened for some years now that the climate has changed so much.
      The Heuchera seems very comfortable where it is despite extreme heat last summer. I’m looking forward to some flowers. At some stage.

  10. bonnie groves poppe says:

    That camellia looks just like my tree peony flowers!
    bonnie in provence

    1. Jane says:

      It is quite peony-like, and in fact, that is the description on the label.

    2. Megan says:

      The RSL rose is beautiful. Does it have a fragrance at all? I have three dahlias now and I have to confess that I don’t lift the bulbs at all, and they seem to come up again. Mind you, this is only their second season with me., and I’m no expert! The Heucheria is lovely, and it will contrast beautifully with a darker leaved variety. I have 3 different ones in a huge pot, and they do better there than in the ground. (Hairbells & Maples)

      1. Jane says:

        Sadly, the RSL rose doesn’t seem to have a perfume, but I’m happy for it to simply spread its beauty around.
        I lifted the dahlias because I thought that was how you were supposed to treat them, but I won’t bother to do it again as I lost some really nice ones doing that. I’m planning to add some more to the garden because they are certainly a show when they’re in flower. 😊

  11. Kris P says:

    I’m glad that you’re enjoying a spell of pleasant weather, Jane. You deserve that after your long summer siege. There’s no better evidence of the garden’s resilience than to witness the return of busy bees and bugs. I hope your Camellia thrives. I inherited a group of Camellia sasanqua with my garden and they are tough, much more so than the fussy C. japonicas.

    1. Jane says:

      Camellia sasanqua always do so well in Sydney and we had a beauty in our garden there. They are a bit touchier further west which is why I’m keeping mine in a pot. I think it’s the soil, or maybe it’s just too hot here. We have no room on the eastern side of our house which would be the best spot for it.
      We are hoping for rain again and some has been forecast for later this week.

  12. Jim Stephens says:

    Camellia ‘Bonanza’ is a great variety though I’ve never managed to take a photo that does its colour justice. Are Bob Cherry’s sasanqua varieties readily available where you are? He’s only a skip and a jump away at Kulnura.

    1. Jane says:

      I know what you mean about the colour being not quite right in a photo. I don’t think it is in mine either, but my photography skills are not so great.
      I had to find Kulnura on a map as I didn’t know where it is. So impressed with your knowledge of Australian geography!

  13. I’m another one who’s a fan of that elegant dark rose.
    I liked the Anzac day photos. I hadn’t known that your commemorations took place at dawn, which seems very poignant. Our remembrance day events are held at 11 am.

    1. Jane says:

      I think the service is at dawn because it’s the time the soldiers approached Gallipoli. We also have a moment’s silence at 11 am on the 11th November for Remembrance Day, but Anzac is the main commemoration in Aust and NZ.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the Guardian photos.

  14. Catherine says:

    On Anzac Day 2018 my husband & I were in Perth Australia while visiting my youngest daughter & her family. We watched the marches in the city centre then went to Kings Park to see the Memorial, and finished the day with a long, leisurely walk in the park. It was good to see so many people observing the special day of remembrance.

    But to you Six! A perfect rose for a special day. It’s such a beautiful colour, and the dahlia too is lovely. The Heuchera looks quite large, and there’s a hint of caramel coming to it – I’m sure if you continue to give it some TLC it will reward you well.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Catherine. I think the Heuchera will do well. I also think I might have to divide it before too long. It must like that spot because it has grown a great deal since I planted it there.

  15. Barbara says:

    Some really gorgeous flowers there, especially the dahlia. Yes…Anzac Day was strange this year. Our Prime Minister stood out on the street with her neighbours down the road from us. Lots of teddy bears here holding home made poppies too.

    1. Jane says:

      Something about your posts made me wonder if you live near there! I saw Jacinda on the news. So many people over here admire her, me included.

  16. Tracy says:

    Your rose contribution to the ANZAC celebrations is very beautiful, Jane.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Tracy.

  17. Jude says:

    I’m not a huge fan of growing roses (they are too fussy about conditions and Cornwall is not noted for roses) though I do like to visit a rose garden and I love the old-fashioned deeply scented ones. Is your RSL rose scented? Pretty dahlia too, but my brief sojourn into growing dahlias last year has ended as mine was riddled with earwigs! You’d think I could grow them since there is a dahlia farm not 6 miles away! Gardens are funny things!

    1. Jane says:

      Roses really grow well here, Jude, and they don’t seem to be bothered by clay soil which is an added bonus, because there certainly is plenty of that. I have no sense of smell at all ( bit tragic for a gardener) but Mr MG tells me the RSL rose doesn’t have a scent. Never mind, it makes up for lack of perfume with its beauty.
      Gardens are funny things indeed. One can never truly predict what will be a success and what won’t.

  18. carole says:

    Your Camelia is beautiful. I can imagine it in a few years time when it is triple that size and filled with a profusion of blooms. I am so looking forward to going to the garden centres (if they survive) and treating myself to some new plants.

    I feel your pain with the greens ‘cabbage’? Mine has been growing for six weeks and out of 24 seeds, three have germinated and they are not even as big as yours.

    1. bonnie groves poppe says:

      Hi Carole, not sure what country you are in, but here in the south of France (Vaucluse in Provence) the garden centers have been open for a couple of weeks now. Considered essential, like wine and cheese!
      bonnie near Carpentras

    2. Jane says:

      I’m tempted to purchase some more camellias, Carole. Now where shall I plant them……
      Not sure what the seedlings are. I planted cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli but neglected to label them. Sigh.

  19. Lovely flowers Jane . It’s always hard for to to figure out what part of fall you would be in compared to our spring. You seem to have a lot still blooming and keeping you company.
    I think your heuchera looks wonderful considering it had a hard start and hot summer. It looks far better than mine ever do. I love all the varieties the have come out with, I only wish they liked my climate or soil better so they would look as nice as yours.

    1. Jane says:

      Hi Cindy, we are about halfway through autumn here, and it won’t be long before we start seeing a few frosts in the morning. Until they become more severe, we should still have some colour in the garden. The dreariest times for us are around July and August.
      I’m pleased with the Heuchera, and amazed that it survived in such a hot spot with afternoon sun in the summer. I’m keeping a lookout for other colours.

  20. Chris says:

    I too really love that rose – the inner petal looks like dusky velvet to me, and the whole thing seems so regal. I think the Heuchera foliage would look good with it…

    1. Jane says:

      You’re right! I should keep a lookout for some more now that I have a better idea of how they perform. Thanks for the suggestion.

  21. Looks like a perfect rose and a stunning dahlia. I’ve had lots of issues with my roses and removed lots over the last few years but it looks like my climbers are set to put on a good show.

    1. Jane says:

      Black spot is certainly an issue here, and I really must try harder to treat my roses in good time so that they are more able to withstand it. I’ll look forward to seeing photos of your climbers!

  22. @cavershamjj says:

    I had almost forgotten what a healthy heuchera looked like, mine seem to get eaten from the roots up by vine weevil grubs.

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