Winter arrives: SoS June 8, 2019

It’s officially Winter here in Australia, and after an Antarctic blast during the week, the weather has settled itself into the more common pattern for us: frosty mornings followed by beautiful sunshine and warm(ish) days, although it is, in fact, cloudy today.

We’ve been away for a couple of weeks south to Victoria, and I was pleased to find all was well in the garden upon our return, apart from an abundance of weeds which can be dealt with at leisure.

Here are my six for this week, beginning with the photo above which isn’t of anything in particular just the last leaves and catkins on the silver birch, with Salvia ‘Amistad’ in the background. I do enjoy this combination of colours and textures and the kind of marbling effect they create.

Two: This Nerine has been in the garden for several years and it’s the first time it has flowered…now to keep those snails away.

Three: Ceratostigma plumbaginoides which has cerulean blue flowers during the summer, flaunts leaves that turn a dark magenta in the cold weather – a plant with year-round interest.

Four: Correa reflexa (native fuchsia) ‘Jester’ is getting into its flowering stride. It’s a new Correa for me and this is the first flowering. I’m charmed by its bell-like flowers.

Five: My infant Chinese Tallow, Triadica sebifera is just hanging on to the last of its leaves. They don’t always have such beautiful colour, some of them hardly changing at all so I’m lucky to have one with this intensity of colour. A Tallow I had in a previous garden went brown in the Autumn which was quite disappointing.

Six: Cerinthe major, with its funny mottled leaves, planted from seed for the first time last year, is thrusting itself out of the soil and making its presence felt in a very conspicuous way. I think it might become a nuisance, but it’s easy enough to thin out- which has already been done in this part of the garden. The remaining plants soon bulked up to fill the space.

Those are my six for this week. To join in Six on Saturday or to see what other gardeners are up to in this runaway meme that has captured the interest of people from all sorts of places, do pop over to the Propagator’s blog and take a look.

Weather today: 5-14 C and cloudy.

40 Comments Add yours

  1. Margaret Campbell says:

    Glad the Tallow is so colourful!

    1. Jane says:

      Thought you would be!!

  2. Tracy says:

    The garden is looking lovely for this time of year, Jane. How is that you correa is flowering now? Just lovely.

    1. Jane says:

      I have three Correas, one of which is several years old and always seems to flower at this time of the year so I assumed that’s their time for flowering. I’m grateful to see them putting on a show when other plants are winding down.

  3. Your idea of winter and mine are quite different. I’ll take yours, as in our winters, absolutely nothing is blooming. If it wasn’t for the snow, it would be quite ugly. It is a treat to have flowers any time of year.

    1. Jane says:

      I think we are lucky, but I don’t always realise it. It takes a comment like yours to make me think about it. We have some natives that like to flower in the cold weather, and pretty soon violas, which are just beginning to pop up, will be flowering.

  4. Is the nerine a lily? I think you have a great selection of plants that keep on keeping on! What a bonus for your garden! The Chinese Tallow is stunning!

    1. Jane says:

      The Nerine is part of the Amaryllidaceae family- I had to look that up- and sometimes called spider lily, sometimes, so, yes it’s a kind of lily. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Lis says:

    Well, winter’s not looking too bad so far, Jane! I love the colour of that tallow but it’s your first photo which has really captured my imagination, it’s like a beautiful, abstract painting with those gorgeous colours and textures.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks Lis, I felt like that about it too, even though it isn’t of anything specific.

  6. Lovely variety of plants. Our silver birch is almost bare now but its leaves are giving colour lower down amidst the mulchy soil.

    1. Jane says:

      The silver birch is a tree I sometimes regret planting as I don’t think it’s really suited to our climate. I have two and they’ve had a bit of struggle in their short lives, but their leaves make a nice contrast with other plants around them.

  7. The Correa is really lovely. If it were a North or South American plant, I’d be sure it was hummingbird pollinated. Do you have nectar-seeking birds that fill the same niche as hummingbirds?

    1. Jane says:

      We do have honeyeaters, quite a lot of them: https://www.australiaswonderfulbirds.com.au/honeyeaters, though only some of them visit my garden.

  8. Wasn’t it cold when that front moved through. Even up here in Queensland we felt it. Your garden looks like it is flourishing beautifully.

    1. Jane says:

      It was definitely a time for sitting inside by the fire!

  9. Sophie says:

    The Correa is really pretty. Nice to have so much colour in the garden in winter!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you! We are lucky to have some natives that like to flower when other stuff is dormant.

  10. Jim Stephens says:

    There’s a house down the road with a similar Correa in the front garden which has come through several winters unscathed, we’d regard them as borderline hardy at best. I keep meaning to knock the door and ask for a cutting, or at least an ID. Winter flowering here too.

    1. Jane says:

      Sounds as though your neighbouring Correa has a proven ability to cope with your winter and would be a good choice to take cuttings from.

  11. Jude says:

    Your winter garden is looking lovely and still colourful. The Correa is a beauty, I keep on meaning to find one to plant in my garden. And the Tallow is a very pretty colour. Your top winter temperature is not far off our summer one! It has been windy and rainy here too this week.

    1. Jane says:

      It must have been that frost which suddenly turned the ornamental pears a beautiful colour (they don’t show in this week’s six) so there’s still colour to enjoy for a couple of weeks. Once those leaves drop, I’ll have to look more carefully, although as you said last year, ‘Green is a colour too’. And you were right about that. 😀

  12. Your Correa is looking lovely, we have three in our front garden (which gets hit with the frost and the extreme heat) and they have survived everything so far. After seeing your Society Garlic I bought some at an Open Garden sale here in Canberra, and so far it is doing well.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes Correa seems to be a very uncomplaining plant. I’m glad about the Society Garlic. I had to thin mine out and it was very difficult to dig up. It certainly does get a hold on the ground.

  13. That’s exactly what my husband (Paul) said when I planted them…they’ll be difficult to dig up! However, we need them for a tricky pathway.

  14. Tim says:

    I just planted some Ceratostigma, but it does not look as good as yours! I think it may be in a slightly too wet environment to do well, so I might have to move it.

    1. Jane says:

      My Ceratostigma is in quite a dry spot (well most of the garden is like that unless I water it) so maybe that is your problem. Mine is very small as it’s only been in since last winter and I’m hoping it will spread itself around a bit.

  15. @cavershamjj says:

    More going on in your garden than there is in mine at the equivalent time of year! My cuttings raised s. Amistad are not yet in flower, but soon, I hope.

    1. Jane says:

      Soon it will all shut down for the really cold weather (July and August) Jon. I’m sure Amistad will perform beautifully for you.

  16. Gill Heavens says:

    Beautiful nerine, keep it safe! Love correa, and yours is full of flower, really pretty. Happy winter to you. 🙂

    1. Jane says:

      Hi Gill, thanks for the winter greetings. Happy summer to you, and I hope the rain clears up and you get some warm weather soon. 22degrees here today!!☀️

  17. Lora Hughes says:

    I love the colours in your garden at this time of year. The first photo is so different from the rest, but it’s got that Impressionist feel, as someone else this week had in their garden. That Chinese Tallow is spectacular. Do you know why some have winter colour & others don’t?

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Lora. The first photo was a fluke as I was just in the garden at exactly the right time for the light etc. I don’t know the answer to your question about tallows. My previous garden was only 20km from where I am now and the soil climate etc very similar, and yet the tallow had dull brown leaves every Autumn. Strange. I think they tend to colour more often than not.

  18. Kris P says:

    I was interested to hear that your Nerine took several years to bloom, Jane – I hope that mine are also just working up to that event. The Chinese Tallow is a gorgeous thing. It’s not a plant I’ve heard of before but then fall and winter leaf color is relatively unusual here. As I recall, you get a lot colder than we do during the winter months. Best wishes with the change of seasons. Summer has finally arrived here with what we hope will be a short heatwave.

    1. Jane says:

      Hello Kris, the Nerine now has five buds open or ready to open! Very exciting. I read that Chinese tallows are ‘noxious invaders’ in southern US. (Thanks Wikipedia) They are trees that are known to colour well in milder climates so might be good in your garden if you have room. Quite fast growing too. I hope your heatwave is indeed short, and not damaging.

  19. John Corden says:

    I love the correa. But I learnt from a friend a great trick about snails. Grow some horse radish close. The seem to prefer it to anything and you go out in the morning and they will be all over it. You just pick them off and do with what you like and the Nerine is left alone.

    1. Nice – thank you for the great tip! Storing that one away for future use! 🙂

    2. Jane says:

      Great idea,John, and you can still eat the horseradish root- if it survives.

  20. Going into a heatwave over here, it’s quite refreshing to see the cool colors and soothing textures of winter! I too am a big fan of the yellow leaves of birch in the fall. That Correa is something else… totally lust worthy!

    1. Jane says:

      I hope your heatwave doesn’t last too long Anna. We are hoping for some rain today, but I don’t think it’s going to be very much.🙁 The Correa has been admired by quite a lot of people and deservedly so. It’s only small yet: I have an older one that’s a mass of flowers and it will go on blooming for many weeks.

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