A Change in the Weather, SoS December 10, 2022.


La Niña, it seems, has decided to leave. It isn’t official yet, but the weather we have been experiencing for the last three weeks indicates the departure of that famous lady. Although it hasn’t been hot, not at all, it has been dry and windy.

Parts of the garden look sad. The lawn has lost its beautiful green. Some plants are dying. Dianthus Doris, for example, turned up her toes almost immediately as soon as the days became warmer, and even the sad little cuttings I managed to retrieve look like they won’t survive. Antirrhinums which looked beautiful for five minutes developed rust, bowed down in the wind and gave up, their leaves and flowers shrivelling. My theory is that incessant rain coupled with clay soil has caused roots to rot (despite built up beds) and now many plants can’t take up the water they need.

Anyway, I’m joining in with Six on Saturday coordinated by the knowledgeable and hard working Jim from Garden Ruminations. Pop over to his site, why don’t you, and read about other gardens in other places.

Last time I posted, I included a photo of some alliums getting ready to flower. Here they are now, unperturbed by the weather, nodding happily in the sun.

Next, some Flanders poppies which have been flowering for weeks and delighting us with their redness. This is a self seeded plant, but I don’t mind how many more appear as they are cheerful and robust.

Lilium ‘Eyeliner’ is another stalwart and doesn’t seem to mind any kind of weather. It flowers every year without fail and although it has appeared many times on this blog, I couldn’t resist adding it again.

Number four is Hollyhock ‘Black Knight’ the seeds of which were sent to me by John from Ballarat a couple of years ago. This year I’ve managed to grow some to flowering stage. What beauties they are. Being in a very well built up bed, they seem to have withstood any problems caused by too much water, although rust is present on the leaves.

The roses have pretty much finished flowering (and are suffering dreadfully from black spot) but I managed to get a photo of one of the last Julia flowers complete with passenger.

Lastly, thank goodness for Gaura. This one is ‘Rosy Jane’ , not really rosy, more an insipid musk, but flowering strongly all the same and I’m thankful for it.

Those are my six for this week. Happy gardening everyone.
Weather today: Sunny. 9 – 24 degrees C.

34 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    What pretty colours and what pretty summer flowers you have ! It’s nice and it warms the heart. It’s 24° for you and here … you have to add a comma between the 2 numbers to have the maximum temperature of my day.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred, I’m happy to send you some warmth during your cold weather! I hope the days warm up a little after the frost as tends to happen here.

  2. Your garden looks wonderful. Gaura is one of my favorites.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Lisa. Gaura is such a reliable and long-flowering plant it deserves to be a favourite. I have to pull up a lot of little seedlings, but it’s worth it.

  3. I feel warmer already! Oh my that hollyhock is a beauty, I love how the pollen has dropped onto the petals. And you just can’t beat a flanders poppy.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Gill. I’m happy to send some warmth your way! I’m loving the hollyhock too, and it’s the first time I’ve had any success with them.

  4. Rosie Amber says:

    What a lovely Hollyhock, I do like its deep colour.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes, the colour is a lot more dramatic than the paler ones.

  5. You do have many plants that are doing well. Those lilies are spectacular.

    1. Jane says:

      The lilies are favourites of mine, Judy and they are so reliable. They sleep for such a long time and then suddenly make their dramatic appearance.

  6. Kris P says:

    The Alliums and lilies are particularly pretty, Jane. My snapdragons usually suffer from rust the moment we get warm too; however, I’ve found that those in the ‘Chantilly’ series are resistant. They’re not easy to find but might be worth keeping a lookout for in your area. Hollyhocks are a lost cause for me.

    I’m looking forward to the departure of La Nina as well, although she hasn’t released her hold on us yet. Of course, the impact on the Southern California coast is the opposite of its impact on you – we get severe drought instead of relentless rain. Some climatologists are saying that La Nina will move along at last in 2023. My fingers are crossed.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks for the advice on snapdragons, Kris. I grew them quite successfully last year, which is strange considering what has happened with them this year. I’ll keep a lookout for ‘Chantilly’. I hope La Niña leaves you and you get some rain. What a shame we couldn’t all have a neutral situation instead of swinging so dramatically from one side to the other.

  7. pommepal says:

    A beautiful selection. The weather is no longer a problem for me, but I help look after my son’s garden and it is suffering from this dry spell. He’s gone for a week away so we are going round to his place to water every second day. It is good to get my hands and heart back in a garden.

    1. Jane says:

      Best of both worlds, Pauline! I find myself wishing for rain again. Who would have thought!

  8. The joys or gardening. Still, that’s a lovely Six and wow to the Lilies. I used to grow Antirrhinums every summer, no trouble at all, but the past few years they done very poorly, developing that rust, apart from the self seeded lot growing in the crack between the driveway and the house.

    1. Jane says:

      Funny how self seeded plants so often do better than the ones you plant yourself, isn’t it. I wonder if the rust problem is something that builds up over time, as last year, the first time I ever grew Antirrhinums, I didn’t have any trouble at all. Kris, from California, recommends ‘Chantilly’. You’d probably be more likely to get them there than I can here where there isn’t so much choice.

  9. Wonderful summer flowers, I love the deep hues of the hollyhock and the lilies are fabulous. There is a lot of talk about La Nina here in Florida, bringing us a dry and warm winter, I never know what to believe!

  10. Jane says:

    Weather is certainly confusing, and as scientists discover more, it seems to be even more so.
    I’m very pleased about the hollyhock, but I have to keep a lookout for snails, which love it even more than I do!

  11. Heyjude says:

    Oh how nice to see Julia again, I’d forgotten what a beautiful coffee-pink colour she is. What with rust, blackspot and the weather it is a wonder we gardeners don’t just give up! But then you give us that last photo which looks delightful. Unfortunately Gaura won’t last in my garden and I do like them a lot.

    1. Jane says:

      I did find myself thinking recently that I need a smaller garden so I would worry less about keeping it going. It has been a shock in these last few weeks to have to think about that after three years of regular rain.
      It’s hard to choose, but I think Julia might be my favourite of all my roses. I too love her soft gentle colour. Pity about Gaura, such a no nonsense plant.

  12. Noelle Mace says:

    What a joy it is to have bloggers from around the globe join in weekly. From a frosty and cold UK, viewing those lilies brought on a wide smile. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jane says:

      I feel the same way Noelle. I have also learnt a lot and many of the plants I have are thanks to Northern Hemisphere gardeners.

  13. Our lawns were nearly ruined by lack of water in the late summer but have recovered and are under the snow today! I am a big fan of Gaura, I grew some from seed at least 10 years ago and they come back every year. They are rather leggy but worth growing since they last from late May to November.

    1. Jane says:

      Gaura sure does come back year after year! I’m forever pulling out seedlings, but I don’t mind as it’s such a hardy plant. I cut mine down fairly severely half way through the season, so they don’t get quite so untidy.

  14. Pauline says:

    It’s lovely to see your beautiful summer flowers while we are having freezing fog and snow! Love your lilies and the rose, both gorgeous!

    1. Jane says:

      One of the good things about SoS. We can vicariously enjoy gardens from all over.

  15. It warms my heart to see your lovely colourful plants. I adore poppies, so it is great to see some flowering now. The gaura/verbena combination in that last shot is inspiring (and will be copied).

    1. Jane says:

      The Gaura and verbena are two plants that keep on keeping on, bless them. And yes, I love the poppies. I’ve tried unsuccessfully, for some time, to introduce them to the garden and will be happy if they spread themselves around.

  16. hb says:

    Beautiful six; the lavish lasciviousness of that Lily most especially. What a companion to the moonless night mystery of the Hollyhock.

    I’m trying to figure out root rot. Here it’s been so dry for so long, “too much water” has become an alien concept. A nursery worker told me it was roots that were dry for a while suddenly over watered, which seemed counter-intuitive, though she seemed to know what she was talking about on other issues.

    1. Jane says:

      What a great idea you’ve given me, hb. I’ll plant some holly hock seeds amongst the lilies and look for lascivious moonless mystery this time next year!

  17. germac4 says:

    Our garden is exactly as you have described yours, everything looks a bit the worse for wear after the perpetual rain. However, I started to worry when we had about 10 days of no rain! However it is raining again this morning. Good luck with your garden for summer… such erratic weather!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Gerrie. It rained here this morning (Monday) thank goodness. The benefit won’t last long as it’s windy too, but things in the garden are looking happier.

  18. n20gardener says:

    I’m envying your gaura. We’ve just had a cold snap here with snow. I was overwintering some gaura inside a greenhouse it’s so cold I may loose them. I love those dark hellebores

    1. Jane says:

      Gauras have almost stolen the show this week, and I tend to think of them as not much more than weeds. I’m constantly pulling out seedlings! They seem to put up with anything here, which makes them a great standby.

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