Tag Archive | olive farm

An Iceberg

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Iceberg roses are found all around Australia, often in their standard form, gracing front gardens. I have inherited two in my front garden on each side of the door, standing sentinel like Hans Christian Andersen's Steadfast Tin Soldier. And constant they are, flowering for many months of the year, and requiring not much more than a feed and a water even in the harshest summer. They flower prolifically. The flowers tend not to be very big, but what they lack in size, they make up for in abundance. I find that  once the current crop of flowers is spent and I cut the rose back into the shape of a large cob loaf, new growth will spring up and before too long another white blizzard appears.

This rose is one of my favourites. Some people think it's over-represented in gardens, but I think its reliability puts it right near the top of the list. It's quite resistant  to rust, for one thing, and I don't think I've ever sprayed mine.  The Iceberg was developed in Germany in 1958, and also comes in pink and burgundy these days.  I've grown the burgundy iceberg and it's just as hardy.  

When we lived on our olive farm we had iceberg roses in the garden along the front of the house. They also performed well and it gave us much pleasure when we arrived late on a Friday after a long trip from Sydney, to see them there. Better still, kangaroos seemed to disdain them, although they would eat plenty of other plants in the garden especially if they had grass-like leaves.

Recently, my husband penned this:

We are townies now, but
the Icebergs at the front door
are redolent of another time and
bring to recall those white orbs
that bobbed in the headlights as
we pulled up at the front of our
farmstead late at night after
the four hour drive from Sydney, at
last returned to our ancient narrow valley
to be greeted by the curtsying of snow-coloured
roses, (an introduced species) which had
patiently waited a week for our return
as we less patiently had for our reunion.

Do you have a favourite rose?  There are so many beauties it's almost impossible to choose, but I'd  love to hear about yours.

Garden March 2014 056 (2)
Garden March 2014 006

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Thanks for the Memories

Hibiscus Syriacus
Hibiscus Syriacus

Some years ago,  when  we lived on our olive farm beside the  Cudgegong River, we spent many pleasant evenings with neighbours further along the river, often sitting around a campfire, talking well into the night, solving the world's problems, or not, as the case may be.  It was a particularly agreeable place to be with soft grass and lofty she-oaks highlighted by the fire's flames.

Often we would see the resident geese, escorted by their gander, waddling their way down to the water to spend their nights away from the mischief of foxes and if we were lucky, we might see a possum tucked away in a tree's hollow.  Around us were the sounds of  night animals; kangaroos and wombats and the last notes of birds as they settled down for the night.

A sweet memory from those times was the sight of the flowers of a nearby small tree, like crisp white butterflies quivering in the reflected light of the fire.  They seemed to rival the stars in brightness.

This small tree is called the Hibiscus Syriacus, named so because it was once collected from gardens in Syria.  It has a smaller, less showy flower than other hibiscuses and it comes in a variety of colours.  It's the white one I prefer, and the one in the riverbank garden was a double one with a touch of red in the centre.  It flowers prolifically and for a long time through the warm weather, and it's deciduous, which is perhaps why it can survive our cold winters here in the Central Tablelands where we sometimes have frosts down to -7 degrees celsius.

Eventually we riparian dwellers all left our beautiful riverside for various reasons and moved on to other destinations, other chapters of our lives.  But before we went, I took a cutting of that old white hibiscus, struck it, and it's growing in my suburban garden now: a plant of  dreams and reminiscence.

Good times, G&R, thanks for the memories.

Postscript:  An observant blogger pointed out to me that I had misidentified this plant. I originally thought it was an alyogyne, also a type of Hibiscus, and  I have corrected my error.  It's nice to know that someone reads my blogs so carefully!

Amongst the she-oaks, by the river
Amongst the she-oaks, by the river
The Hibiscus is there, just coming into flower
The Hibiscus is there, just coming into flower
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