The sap is rising… August 31, 2019

The weeks are hurtling by with the swiftness of an arrow from a bow, it seems. No sooner has one weekend finished than another looms.

Spring is upon us here in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. Each day more leaves and blossoms appear: growing things are doing what they do in the predestined round of the seasons. Earlier today I noticed that the poplars at the end of our street were suddenly in leaf and I hadn’t even noticed it beginning to happen. Tomorrow is considered to be the first day of Spring in Australia despite the equinox being three weeks away, and indeed, folk could be forgiven for thinking so as highs of 28 degrees are forecast for later in the week! No rain though. I’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like to see a shower.

Without further ado, here are six things from the garden as I’m joining in with the Six on Saturday crowd all coordinated by the Propagator on whose blog you will find other gardens.

One: Above is a photo of a sweet iris which makes an early appearance every year, its delicate petals concealing the stout heart beneath. Frost (still occurring) and drought seem not to faze it in any way.

Two: A voluptuous Matthiola longipetala, which I’ve only ever known simply as Stock, arrived in a punnet and along with five others is putting on a dramatic display in my embryonic cutting patch. Below is a photo of a vase of Stock.

Three: Euphorbia martinii ‘Rudolph’ is in flower. The flowers are only tiny but they pack a punch with those chartreuse bracts holding them close.

Four: Narcissus ‘Victorious’, new this Spring has three winsome flowers.

Five: This is what 4 cubic metres of mulch looks like, minus the half dozen barrow loads that had already been put on the garden. Four hours later it was all spread, and Mr MG and I were walking around doubled over with the effort of it all. It was worth every load as it has kept the dampness in the soil really well ( we watered before we spread it) and it should be good protection for when the weather gets hotter as it inevitably will. I was worried that precious plants might disappear under a mulch mantle, but they are popping through the mulch, as are the weeds of course.

Six: Crested pigeons which have become common visitors to the garden since I began putting out bird seed. I wonder what the conversation is that’s going on here? “I can see something large looming over your left shoulder. Shall we make a run for it?”

Weather today: 2.7 – 19 degrees C. Sunny

33 Comments Add yours

  1. Lis says:

    Wow, spring beckons already – your August narcissi always make me smile, Jane, because as a dyed-in-the-wool northerner, I simply can’t imagine them! Gorgeous stocks, they are so pretty and I assume have a beautiful scent, too? Good work with the mulch, it will definitely be worth the effort. it must be a weird gardener thing but I always feel a flutter of excitement about a big brown pile like that! 😉

    1. Jane says:

      I was very excited about the mulch, Lis…felt as though we were really doing something worthwhile, like putting a warm blanket over a sleeping child on a cold winter’s night!
      I have no sense of smell (sadly) but I’m assured that the stocks have a lovely perfume.

  2. Yes, spring is definitely on the way here too. We actually got some rain this week, only a few mm but better than nothing and it will put a bit of water in the tanks.

    1. Jane says:

      Oh lucky! I kept hoping some of that Sydney rain might find its way here, but there was nothing more than a few spots. We could count them!

  3. Margaret Campbell says:

    Spring is certainly around the corner! Let us hope we receive some welcome rain.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, let’s hope, Marg. None for the next week, I’m afraid.

      1. Chloris says:

        How exciting that spring has arrived in your garden. Stocks smell wonderful. Well done barrowing all that wonderful mulch. What pretty pigeons.

        1. Jane says:

          These pigeons are native to Australia, Chloris, and are found all over the country. They have some pretty colours that are not showing quite as much as I’d like in these photos.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was going to ask about the scent of the stocks – and you’ve already answered! I tried sowing stock but none of the seeds germinated. Hope you get some much needed rain soon.

    1. Jane says:

      Having no sense of smell is a bit tragic for a gardener! Thanks for the rain wishes.

  5. Your usual good combination of photos and prose. Your temperature is about the same as ours. I like the pigeons’ topknots

    1. Jane says:

      High praise from a cruciverbalist such as yourself, Derrick. Thank you.

  6. Fred says:

    I also experienced a huge pile of mulch and moved everything to places where I wanted to eliminate weeds … It gave them strength!
    I didn’t know the Matthiola longipetala:do you grow them from seeds ? Pretty flowers though. I read it smells divine at night

    1. Jane says:

      Hi Fred, the other name for Matthiola is Night Scented Stock, so I think it smells beautiful at night. I bought seedlings from the local nursery, but I think they self seed quite easily which would be nice. Weeds are pushing up through my mulch…at least with damper soil, they are easier to pull out. 😏

  7. How strange it seems to be seeing daffodils for us who are winding down summer. I’m sure they are a thrill to you who are coming out of winter. Ugh, that is just around the corner. Thank goodness, there is Christmas, New Years, and poinsettias to brighten it up. Enjoy every beautiful day coming your way and the flowers it brings!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Cindy. I always enjoy seeing evidence of the opposite season on SoS! I certainly will enjoy the spring. Each day there’s something new to see.

  8. A pretty mix. I’m looking at bulbs to combine with my hosta pots. I’m leaning towards more irises. Your are looking nice.

    1. Jane says:

      Bulbs and irises are such great plants to have in the garden except for the threat of SnS. I have my beer traps at the ready!

  9. Tracy says:

    Your garden looks great despite its lack of water, Jane. The crested pigeons also add to the colour. My favourite? The vase that you have your stock in. I hope that’s allowed. 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      It is allowed Tracy! I love that vase and wondered if anyone would notice it. It’s an old French vase, a well-known design which I’ve had for many years.

  10. That’s a lot of mulch and mulching! I tried mulching for the first time last autumn and in the spring and it has made a difference. Always nice to see some daffs.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s quite amazing what a difference mulch makes, not only for conserving moisture, but also, to me, it makes a garden look cared for.

  11. Jude says:

    Ah, Stock, night-scented? Or are there other kinds? I’m sure there must be, nothing is simple these days! Another old-fashioned plant and one I shall look out for. It’s funny to see your spring flowers appearing just as I am thinking about planting mine. I have ordered several irises as I find they last for a while and have the most beautiful faces. And ‘Rudolph’ is very pretty. I think I have managed to kill one of my pretty Euphorbias, sadly 🙁

    1. Jane says:

      Irises are almost my favourite, Jude, as they seem to be so tough despite the delicate flower. I’m slowly building up a collection of various species. I don’t know exactly what my stocks are and have to admit I took a bit of a guess at the name.
      Sorry about your Euphorbia. Perhaps your climate was a bit too damp for it?

  12. I love your photos. The crested pigeons are wonderful!

    1. Jane says:

      The pigeons are a very common bird, but rather pretty, for a pigeon. They are welcome visitors to the garden.

  13. Lovely to see your spring flowers, especially as our climate is almost identical. We have not had rain for a while now and everything is looking very dry, however, daffodils and irises bravely arrive on time! I will look out for Matthiola longipetala, it looks very pretty. We have a couple of crested pigeons who insist on running up and down on the deck, pecking at the windows to get in…heaven knows what they are thinking!

    1. Jane says:

      Brave is just the word to describe irises and daffs, Gerrie. Funny you should mention the pigeons pecking at the windows as I’ve seen a pair marching up to ours with a gleam in their eyes. Once we had a Peewee doing that too. It was an awful nuisance.

  14. Kris P says:

    Kudos for jumping in to get mulch spread before the heat arrives! Zipping up to 28C will be a shock I bet. I’m longing for fall and cooler temperatures but we’re having a summer relapse at the moment. Although we’ve thankfully avoided any significant heatwaves thus far, summer tends to hang on well into October here so we can’t count ourselves safe there yet. I love Matthiola and I hope it does well in your cutting garden – it has a heavenly scent.

    1. Jane says:

      I have no sense of smell, so I can’t tell what the Matthiola scent is like. MrMG who has an excellent sense of smell, says the perfume isn’t very strong, so perhaps I’ve incorrectly identified it and it’s another less scented Matthiola.
      I’m so hoping the mulch will go a long way towards ‘drought-proofing’ my garden as the forecast is not at all promising.

  15. cath says:

    Well obviously Spring has arrived earlier in Central NSW than here in Tas… it still feels like the dead of winter! have a few snow drops and Hyacinth but everything else is taking it’s sweet time…Lovely SoS and hope you get much needed rain soon! Cath@Home

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks for the rain wishes! Spring will be along in all its glory before you know it….all the better for having to wait a little longer for it to happen.😊

  16. Hairbells and Maples says:

    Gosh! I haven’t seen stocks for years! I’d a;most forgotten about them! Yours are a lovely colour. What a load of mulch to spread around! But well worth the effort with the start of the summer heat. My irises are not showing any sign of life yet. Lovely photos and post!

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