After two weeks away, I was anxious to get back to the garden to see how everything had coped with the cold weather that has been occurring in Mudgee. I knew that there had been many frosty mornings, and in fact, two of those mornings had been around -7.5C, which is decidedly chilly. As far as the garden is concerned it was a somewhat dispiriting homecoming. A lot of it was looking much the worse for wear, with some plants leaving me to wonder if they will revive when the warmer weather arrives and quite a few seeming to have disappeared altogether.
Here are my six for this week; not all disasters, though.
ONE: My Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf' is looking very miserable indeed, even though it's under cover, and has managed in this postion in previous winters. It will recover, I'm sure, and I'll use the opportunity to trim it back into a better shape.
Two: A sadder story belongs to Coprosma repens 'Ignite' which was looking quite splendid, and is now but a shadow of its former self. I fear there's no coming back from this sorry state. Its leaves and stems have obviously been frozen and are squishy to touch. Perhaps there will be some new shoots right down at ground level. Who knows? I thought this was a really hardy plant.
Unfortunately, the flowers of the beautiful Hakea that I posted about in SoS on July 7 are now completely dry, grey and brittle, but the plant is fine. My lovely Geranium 'Rozanne' is a small pile of soft brown leaves prompting me to worry that she won't reawaken, and many of the other plants I thought would survive through the winter have been blitzed.
Three: No more sad stories now. Some bulbs are making an appearance: tulips, narcissi, aliums and crocuses are pushing their first green spears above the mulch. I know this as a jonquil and it's a lovely pop of colour in the winter sun; one of the first bulbs to flower.
Four: I don't grow a lot of vegetables, but here there are cabbages, beetroot, broccoli and broad beans, and they're doing really well, even though they didn't get watered for two weeks. Sweet peas (with weeds) are climbing up the frame.
Five: This succulent of no particular ID has thumbed its nose at the frost and is pretty in pink, as opposed to its usual grey: an improvement, in my opinion.
Six: Red rumped parrots, slightly fluffed up against the cold, are sunning themselves in the branches of the silver birches. In the photo below, an Eastern Rosella is remonstrating with them: perhaps they invaded his territory.
And that's my six for this week. To see what other gardeners from all over the world are doing in their plots, don't hesitate to pop over to The Propagator's site and join the fun.
Rain is forecast here today, and everyone has their fingers crossed. It's so dry that kangaroos have moved into the showground to feed on the grass in the big oval.
Happy gardening, everyone.