One: The sky is the colour of the inside of an oyster shell, much paler than it appears in my photo, for reasons that I don't understand. It isn't fog, or mist, it's dust. Dust which has been present for two days. It couldn't be called a dust storm, more a dust drift. Australia's topsoil is drifting away. Off to new Zealand. Mudgee town and the hills it’s renowned for are in the background of this photo, but they're covered in a parchment shroud, and the hospital is busy with people experiencing breathing difficulties.
The dust drift follows a few days of most welcome rain (45 mm and a Christmas beetle in the gauge), although some folk nearer the coast received more than they wanted. My garden gratefully absorbed all that it could which is good, because the next week promises highs in the low to mid 30s.
Two: How have I not admired this plant, Ballota pseudodictamnus, before? It has been thriving in the garden for at least three years, through heat and drought, and I have callously ignored it. I gathered some for a vase last week and examined it properly, noticing its felty calyxes with their central buttons which look like something an aspiring milliner might attach to a hat, or an upholsterer to a button-back chair. An insouciant topknot completes the picture.
Three: A new rose, the RSL rose, bred by Meilland International, with its deep burgundy and amber petals. Some of the proceeds from the sale of this rose go towards supporting veterans and their families.
Four: Ornamental pomegranate flower; frou-frou worthy of a prima ballerina’s tutu. I took this as a cutting from our previous garden and was very pleased when it grew. It's another plant that wants to be a shrub, and I want it to be a small tree. I'm not really winning that battle, but I'm quite happy to keep removing the suckers.
Five: Figs. Will they be ready by Christmas? I hope some will, at least!
It will be a problem keeping parrots and bats away, and although I dislike the look of nets and know they impede the growth of the tree, I’ll have to cover this tree soon, or there’ll be no figs left.
Six: Another plant that deserves a closer look: Scabiosa stellata 'Drumsticks'. It's new to the garden this summer and although it has rather insignificant flowers, its papery seed-heads are ping pong ball sized spheres with purple starfish inside patty pan cases. The sunlight is catching the trace of a shower in this photo.
That's my six for this week. Gardeners from all over the world are joining in Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator. Do join in and see what they are doing in their gardens.
Weather today: 16 - 30, and it would be sunny if there wasn't so much dust.