High Summer: SoS February 20, 2021.

It has been a gem of a day, beginning with a perfect sunlit morning with dewy grass and cool air, followed by a splendid summer’s day: a few cotton-ball clouds, an aquamarine sky, and best of all, an absence of the strong breezes that have plagued the garden for much of this season. It’s a day that really does feel like high summer, even though autumn is just around the corner.

It has been a strange summer here in the Central Tablelands of NSW, dominated by grey skies and brisk easterly to southerly winds. La Niña has brought us a lot more rain and wind than would be normally expected here at this time of the year.

Today is a breath of summer and I’m welcoming it with a few pictures of the garden. I’m joining in with the Six on Saturday crowd, a growing group of gardeners who share what’s happening in their gardens each Saturday. You can peer over their garden walls by visiting the blog of Jon the Propagator (and runner extrordinaire) here.

I’m beginning (above) with a photo of a group of pearlescent Zephyranthes candida which have relished damper and cooler conditions. I think they have flowered much earlier this year. They’re often called Autumn Crocus here, leading to confusion, I’m sure, in Australian gardening circles – for me also, until I was enlightened by a fellow blogger.

Next, at number two, we have Pierre de Ronsard, a blushing tourmaline with his head up – unusual for Pierre. Black spot, which can be seen here also, has been rather a problem this year but let’s not dwell on that. The roses are putting on some growth ready for the autumn flush.

At number three, we have a garden corner, splendiferous in this morning’s sunshine. The juvenile Chinese tallow, Triadica sebifera, on the left has been growing before our eyes this year. Shade is something we don’t have a lot of in this garden, so we’re looking forward to the tallow providing some.

At four, another view looking from the opposite direction. This time the Chinese tallow is on the right.

It’s Zinnia time again, and Number Five is a gallery of these long-lived and durable annuals: it’s always a pleasure to see them arrive, although they seemed a little late this year perhaps due to less-than-sunny conditions.

Number six: The RSL rose has featured here before, but with her garnet velour petals I think she deserves another airing. Only one flower at a time on the plant, but it’s still young and I’m sure there will be many more to come.

Those are my six for this week. Happy gardening, everyone, and stay well.

Weather today: Glorious sunshine, 15 – 30 degrees C.

60 Comments Add yours

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    Love the orange zinnia and the gorgeous velvety petals of your last rose!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, yes, the RSL rose is a particularly beautiful one, I think.

  2. Oh my, your garden is looking wonderful! I am literally dribbling at the sight of those zephranthes. Fabulous.

    1. Jane says:

      The Zephyranthes have been particularly good this year. Not a long flowering period, though. Thanks for your comment, Gill.

  3. Lovely weather you’re having! I never have much luck with Zinnias – yours look fantastic. I suppose the heat helps them along.

    The wider shots of the border look great – lots of colour and interest 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. I’m trying to fill the borders with as much as I can…less room for weeds!

  4. Paddy Tobin says:

    How wonderful to see sunshine and flowers in bloom – and Zephranthes!!! Wow! I have a potful in the glasshouse here (Ireland) and love them but couldn’t manage them in the open garden.

    1. Jane says:

      I’m wondering why they wouldn’t be happy in your garden? They seem to like rain!!

      1. Paddy Tobin says:

        Perhaps, our climate is not quite hot enough.

  5. fredgardener says:

    I didn’t know the autumn crocuses that you presented to us this week, they are very pretty and flowering!
    Another plant that I didn’t know is the Triadica sebifera: I had to google to find out more. Thanks for sharing it.
    To finish, a magnificent rose #6 with a very distinctive velvet on these pretty petals.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks for your comment, Fred. The Triadica is considered a bit of a weed here, but I love it. It’s just about my favourite tree.
      The crocuses are pretty, but the flowering period is short. Never mind….plenty of other things to take over!

  6. Jane, I always love reading your post and seeing the pictures of your lovely gardens. Thank you for sharing your little piece of paradise.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Victoria.

  7. Your garden looks lovely. Pierre de Ronsard is a beauty. I had no end of issues with my zinnia last year and they were late to flower too. I wouldn’t be without them though for adding late summer colour.

    1. Jane says:

      I agree about the zinnia. They just keep on giving, and are wonderful for vases as well.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I like your Zephyranthes shining in the sun, I wonder if I could grow them…maybe I’ll give it a try. We have a Chinese Tallow tree, and it is very colourful in autumn…we absolutely love it. I also love your RSL rose, it really does look like velvet. (We have had trouble with black spot on roses this year, perhaps all the rain.)

    1. Jane says:

      I’m not sure where you are, but I think those Zephyranthes could grow almost anywhere. They seem to be very hardy and also uncomplaining.
      Black spot has been the constant companion of my roses this year. Grrr!

  9. Lovely summer colours, again. That rose is beautiful. It seems a long way off for us but it will happen.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Granny. Not long now and you’ll be enjoying sunshine and flowers.

  10. I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful blooms. We got record breaking days of freezing temperatures here on the Texas Gulf Coast and all my emerging plants have turned to mush.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, we’ve seen news of your terrible weather on TV. I’m sorry to read about your plant woes. I hope there will be some that manage to survive. That’s one of the things about the weather..one’s hopes are up for a majestic spring, and then there’s a calamity. Stay safe.

  11. Heyjude says:

    Thank you for the deep breath of summer heat that I got from your post. Those Zephyranthes are a delight. I once grew Zephyranthes robustus – Argentine rain lilies – in a container and they were lovely, but after I planted them in the ground I never saw them again! Yours definitely look more like crocuses. Perhaps I will give them a go.

    Pierre is a beauty, but the RSL rose wins hands down for voluptuousness.

    1. Jane says:

      I had to do some research on Zephyranthes robusta, and I don’t think they’re readily available here. It would be nice to source some, though.
      The RSL rose is an absolute winner for me. It doesn’t have many flowers and I’m hoping it will grow into a stronger plant. The flowers are so beautiful, they’re worth waiting for.

      1. Heyjude says:

        I have put in an order for some of each type, just a few to see if they will grow.

        1. Jane says:

          Oh, good. I’ll look forward to seeing them.

          1. Heyjude says:

            Fingers crossed 🤞🏻

  12. Katharine says:

    Oh my goodness, your garden is looking so lovely right now and you’ve got some superb flowers. Thanks for giving us a taste of your summer.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s my pleasure Katherine. All too soon the tables will be turned and I’ll be looking enviously at NH gardens – and probably buying unsuitable plants because I’ve seen them on SoS and ‘just have to try them’!

  13. Kris P says:

    I love seeing your garden on a “gem of a day,” Jane! Your mass of Zephyranthes is impressive. My own (never as robust as yours) have failed to make an appearance thus far this year. They’re commonly known as “rain lilies” here but, as we’ve had less than 3 inches of rain since the start of our so-called rainy season in October, our dry conditions are probably the problem. I love your glorious roses too. We’ve also been getting a lot of wind – it never seems to stop – and, on the cusp of spring, we expect our tempertures to be soaring to summer-like levels next week, contrasting dramatically with the blizzard conditions in much of the rest of the US. The weather extremes are clearly getting worse.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Kris. We have been exceptionally lucky with the weather for approximately the last eight months. I have complained about the wind and I did get tired of it, but we’ve had plentiful rain. It won’t last, of course, so we have to enjoy it while we can.
      I am always amazed at how wonderful your garden looks despite adverse conditions. Kudos to an exceptional gardener!

  14. So many gorgeous flowers this week.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you!

  15. Beautiful as always, Jane. Yes, it’s been an odd summer, very mild but not as much rain here as was forecast.

    1. Jane says:

      It won’t last forever, Carol. Something to be enjoyed as much as possible. We have more rain forecast at the end of this week!

  16. I love seeing the progress in your garden Jane. Apart from the blackspot, it is looking particularly lush with its vibrant colours and greenery. Is the Chinese tallow a fast growing tree?
    This sun is the life, isn’t it? I’m loving it.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, the tallow does grow quickly. We have had it for approx 3 years, and when we planted it, it was, in the words of a very old song ‘just a twig’. Showing my age here.
      I’m loving the sunny days…that grey with no rain is a bit of a downer.

  17. Gerrie Mackey says:

    Hi Jane, your anonymous comment was from Gerrie in Canberra! I ended the comment in a hurry! So if you can grow Zephyranthes I should be able to as well. The society garlic I planted after seeing yours, is thriving, except for one which gets too much shade I think.

    Happy gardening!

    1. Jane says:

      I’m glad you identified yourself, Gerrie, and thanks for your comment! I’m glad to know your society garlic is growing well, and yes, I think it’s worth trying Zephyranthes where you are. They multiply like mad, though mine probably get a bit hot in ‘real’ Summer weather. Perhaps some in the shady spot you mentioned?

  18. pommepal says:

    A lovely sos selection Jane.i think your grey, rainy weather arrived here. It poured down all last week. But is now fine again, the garden loved it. I particularly like your garden corner, so colourful, and that beautiful, velvety RSL rose

    1. Jane says:

      Glad you received some rain, PP. I love it, can’t stop looking out the window and enjoying. Hearing the crickets chirruping in the evening and watching the garden soak it all up.
      I would say the Zephyranthes have grass-like leaves. I reckon they’d love your climate.

      1. pommepal says:

        Yes just love that rain, but now there is a marathon pruning session coming up.

  19. pommepal says:

    Btw I know those white flowers as storm Lillie’s, never knew their botanical name. Do they have strappy leaves?

  20. I can almost feel the warm rays of sun, looking at these photos. The rose at number 6 is such a beauty, so velvety. RSL? I need to look that up.

    1. Jane says:

      RSL means Returned Services League and the rose was bred to support them. A small amount of money from each purchase goes to the RSL. It’s an uninspiring name, but a good cause.

      1. Ahh, I see. A good rose and a good cause, super.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Jane, Tallowtrees are considered weeds in Florida, I love them too and for quick shade it can’t be beat. I have Zephyranthes here – mine are pink and reseed prolifically.

    1. Jane says:

      They’re not a preferred tree here either, but fall short of being illegal, luckily. I haven’t seen pink Zephyranthes here, but will keep an eye out for them.

  22. bonnie groves poppe says:

    Here in Provence we are exactly opposite, and I love seeing your summer garden. Oh dear, Pierre de R. — such a lovely rose, we have two that were here when we arrived 5 years ago. They are always hanging their heads, such a shame. And yes, black spot. I would not plant this rose, but I won’t remove it either, I will just complain.
    bonnie in provence

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, I don’t think I’d plant Pierre again…lesson learnt. But the flowers are always lovely to see, and because of the rain we’ve had there have been a steady supply. I have a Crepuscule rose right next to Pierre with not a sign of black spot. Strange.

  23. love the Zephyranthes, I have the pink ones in my garden, they reseed everywhere and I move them around – wonderful cheerful plants. Tallow trees are considered invasive here and illegal to plant in some places..I like them, too! The roses look wonderful.

    1. Jane says:

      Purists would prefer gardeners to plant something other than Tallows here too, in fact they appear on a website entitled ‘Plant me instead’, but I wanted something quick and deciduous so I made my decision. Pink Zephyranthes would be nice to have but I don’t think they’re readily available here. I’ll keep a lookout for them though.

      1. I’m not a purist by a long shot..the pink one is a bit bigger and like a daylily.though they don’t form drifts like yours.

  24. lisinmayenne says:

    Your garden is delighful, Jane. I can almost smell summer from here! I’ve just started planning our new flower garden from scratch so your border photos are a complete inspiration, just the fullness and beauty I’m after. It will take a long time but in the meantime, I have at least bought some cosmea seed! Enjoy the sunshine. 🥰

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Lis. A full border is my aim – I’m not quite there yet. It certainly does take a long time but to me the best part of gardening is finding and planting new plants. I’m taking cuttings and repeating the things that have done well; also a slow process, but very satisfying when it’s successful. I will enjoy seeing your garden develop from a distance!

    2. Jane says:

      Thank you Lis. A full border is my aim – I’m not quite there yet. It certainly does take a long time but to me the best part of gardening is finding and planting new plants. I’m now into taking cuttings and repeating the things that have done well; also a slow process, but very satisfying when it’s successful. I will enjoy seeing your garden develop from a distance!

  25. Cathy says:

    Thanks for sharing all of those gems – as well as the long shots of your lovely borders. But particularly those spectacular Zephyranthes and scrumptious RSL rose – may you have lovely weather (and more Zinnias!) this week.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Cathy. I’m glad you enjoyed the borders: they give us a great deal of pleasure. A morning inspection always reveals something new. Sadly the Zephyranthes don’t last long, but more rain, which is lovely weather for us, even though I’ve complained about grey skies a bit, is forecast later this week so maybe there will be some more!

  26. Your garden is looking good, and the borders look lovely and full. It ever ceases to amaze me how fast some of the plants grow in a year. It is just incredible. The RSL rose is a beauty. Does it have a perfume? I spent a lot of time during the last couple of days just pruning back and tidying up all the excess growth. Next task is to weed.

  27. Pádraig says:

    I’ve never grown zinnia, but they’re on my list for this year. Yours look terrific!

    1. Jane says:

      They’re wonderful, uncomplaining, tough annuals that seem to deal with any kind of weather. I hope yours do well for you.

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