Winter has arrived! During the week we had some longed-for rain and on that day, the top temperature was only 13 degrees. Let's not become over-excited though, the rain gauge measured only 14 ml, but we were very grateful. Nothing refreshes the garden like the water that comes from the sky, and the recent rainfall means I won't have to water the garden beds for some time. A well mulched garden will stay damp for a while when the daily maximums are so much lower.
Six on Saturday is the forum where gardeners share six things from their garden with other enthusiasts from all over the world. If you would like to see what other people have growing, do pay a visit to the Propagator to find out.
Here are six things of note in my garden this week:
One: The rosemary hedge has been needing a trim for a long time, but it has been flowering for about two months and the bees love the flowers. Each day the hedge is full of a variety of humming bees going about their business while the hedge grows more spiky and disreputable. Rosmarinus officianalis 'Tuscan Blue' is the rosemary I use for my hedge because of its upright growth habit: it has a much stronger colour than this early morning photo shows.
Two: Bay trees. Despite warnings from a couple of concerned sixers, Mr MG (Trevor) and I went ahead and released the two bay trees from their imprisonment. The hole-digging exercise was tiring in the extreme as although the ground had been dampened, it was still of a concrete consistency, requiring a crowbar and back breaking stints on the business end of the shovel. The plan is to keep these bays trimmed and not too tall. I may live to regret this decision. Time will tell.
Three: Iris cretensis 'Starkers Pink' purchased from Lambley Nursery has its first flower. I have to confess that I'm a little disappointed with the slightly pallid colour, but if it has quite a few flowers out at once (when it gets a bit more established), I'm prepared to forgive it. It's supposed to a very hardy plant that can deal with extended dry periods. You wouldn't think so to look at that dainty flower, would you?
Four: Viola tricolor also known as Johnny Jump Up, amongst other names. There are little seedlings emerging in many places in the garden, but this is the first flower to appear. Soon these will be flowering everywhere and will make a splash of colour during the wintry days. I think I should call this one another unsung hero.
Five: A garden view with the last of the Autumn leaves. The weeping silver birch behind the seat was attacked by borer early in its life. It lost a leading branch on a very windy day, and has refused to grow any taller. It’s a striking colour just now, but may be living on borrowed time.
Six: Two Eastern (white cheeked ) Rosellas have found the last of the seeds on the Crepe Myrtle. It's such a privilege to have these colourful birds visiting the garden, and I never tire of seeing them.
The outcrops in the photo at the top of this post are quite typical of rock formations around our local area. Large, smooth boulders, some of them quite monolithic, jut out in paddocks and create lumbering shadows and intriguing shapes. You can see how dry it's been- there should be green grass where that grey ground is.
Weather today: 1 degree to 16 degrees C; frost and then cloudy.