Last of the year: December 19, 2020.

In truth, these photos were taken on Friday, as writing a post on a Saturday isn’t possible this week, and as the last Saturday of the year is Christmas Day, also a day when posting isn’t likely to occur, I’m cheating a bit to get one more post in before the end of the year. As ever, I am joining with the Six on Saturday crowd, and other sixes can be found here.

We endured about ten days of windy weather during the beginning of December, which was a less-than-ideal scenario for gardens.

Returning from a trip to Sydney last weekend, we found the garden looking decidedly unhappy, so out came the hoses and a watering campaign began, despite the weather report looking promising. Then it rained and has continued to do so for days. The sky has rattled with thunder and the gutters have overflowed but am I complaining? Not at all. I just wish I had believed the weather report this time!

We are experiencing a La Niña event and whilst an astonishing amount of rain has fallen in the north, here we have been very lucky. The snails have enjoyed it too!

Here are my last six for 2020:

One: Above, Hibiscus syriacus is just coming into flower. It will flower well into Autumn, and is a shrub that brings pleasure no matter what the weather, even the hottest and driest.

Two: Day lilies are doing what they do: new flowers every day.

Three: Alstroemeria ‘Katiana’ rescued from the Ailing Plants Table at the nursery. I haven’t had an alstroemeria in the garden before and don’t know if it will be happy here, but it was calling to me, and I couldn’t ignore its cries for help.

Four: Julia’s Rose, a favourite of mine. I love her pale caramel/peach/honeyed tones. The flower on the right is delicately cradling recent rain in a scooped petal.

Five: Achillea ‘Terracotta’. I purchased two Achillea plants. Terracotta is quite well behaved, but ‘Salmon Beauty’ (not shown) is behaving like something a friend suggested could be ‘pruned with a spade’.

Six: Helichrysum petiolare is putting on a fine show in the front garden: flocked lime-green foliage, petite creamy flowers and a faint perfume of liquorice.

Those are my six for this week and for the year. To those of you in the northern hemisphere who are locked down, I hope Christmas is a peaceful time albeit one probably without your nearest and dearest.

May 2021 be a much better year for everyone, and happy gardening.

Weather today: Cloudy 16-24 C

51 Comments Add yours

  1. Magdarae says:

    Liking the hibiscus and love day lilies. Beautiful bunch of colours Never tried Alstromena might need to buy one in the spring. Rainfalls? We get it every day, a typical winter’s day here in England, that’s why we get excited when the sun finally comes out. 😁 Have a Happy Christmas.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Magdarae. We are loving the rain- a Christmas bonus for us! Happy Christmas to you too.🎄

  2. Good planning

  3. Your garden is looking great despite the weather. I like the term “Ailing Plants Table”. It is rewarding to save a plant.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. I think the garden is looking good *because* of the weather! Rain at this time is very welcome for us. Yes, I love saving plants and it’s always rewarding if they can be nursed back to health.

  4. fredgardener says:

    The Alstromeria ‘Katiana’ is very pretty and original with this white edge. I can see that it has rained a lot in your part of the world but the temperatures announced at the bottom of your Six are much more pleasant than those of our European winter… ( abnormally mild this year though)
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and I’m looking forward to reading your blog in 2021.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Fred. The rain accompanied by warm weather has ensured wonderful growth so far in this Spring/ Summer season.
      I was very pleased to find the Alstroemeria as they aren’t so cheap under normal circumstances. Interestingly, Jim of Garden Ruminations has posted a very similar one in his six!
      Have a very happy Christmas, and I also look forward to posts from northern France next year.

  5. Lovely, summer colours. Cheers everyone up. Have a good Christmas, I imagine quite different from ours in the northern hemisphere.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, Granny. Yes, Christmas will be quite different here, although with a new outbreak in Sydney, our children might not be able to come and spend it with us. If that’s the case, it will be seafood and champagne on the back terrace for just the two of us!

  6. Paddy Tobin says:

    Plenty of colour!

    1. Jane says:

      Indeed! Thanks, Paddy.

  7. Your hibiscus is a great beauty. It is interesting that the “water and garden and then it will definitely rain” scenario also works in the southern hemisphere. 😀 Have a wonderful Christmas! x

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Gill, and all the best to you. 🎄

  8. That hibiscus is a stunner and the rose is lovely. I wish I could grow Achillea but it never does very well in my garden for some reason. Wishing you a very Happy Christmas.

    1. Jane says:

      It did take my Achillea quite a while to establish itself. I chose it because it always looks wonderful in Piet Oudolf’s gardens, but now I think it’s going to be a nuisance! I’m so thrilled with the hibiscus. Because it’s deciduous, it isn’t affected by frost, so it’s a top plant IMO. All the best to you for Christmas.

  9. John Hric says:

    Lovely flowers Jane. Even though they cannot beat the snow, they do indeed beat looking at the snow. Best wishes this holiday season.

    1. Jane says:

      So true, John.
      I don’t have anywhere near as many day lilies as you do, but I’m enjoying the ones I do have. They’re so tough, and yet they produce such gorgeous blooms. Best wishes to you too.

      1. John Hric says:

        Jane – it is not how many you have. It is the enjoyment you derive from them. Thanks

  10. Heyjude says:

    Lovely hibiscus and day lilies and Alstromeria ‘Katiana’ is very pretty with the interesting leaves. I ought to have “Julia” as my daughter-in-law is named such and the rose is very pretty. But for now I am remaining indoors with all thought of gardening put aside until spring! Enjoy your Christmas. We will be on our own, but we like it that way, peace and quiet rules 😁 and hopefully we will see the family next year, though not the Aussie branch I suspect.

    1. Jane says:

      Thanks, Jude. We are expecting our daughter and son here for Christmas, but Sydney is on the verge of a lockdown due to a new and concerning outbreak of covid, so we may well be on our own too!
      Enjoy your peaceful Christmas.

      1. Heyjude says:

        My son told me that Sydney had gone into panic mode. It’s all still very worrying. We’ll continue to keep our heads down 😊

  11. Katharine says:

    It’s lovely to see all your flowers down under as we’re in a cold damp UK winter. The peachy rose is just lovely – I love that colour. Happy Christmas to you!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you Katharine, and the same to you!

  12. rusty duck says:

    Oh gosh your garden looks so lush after the rain! A beautiful reminder of summer.
    A very Happy Christmas to you both. Forecast 6C here, if we’re lucky. When can I come back?!!

    1. Jane says:

      I’m afraid it will be rather a long time before you can return to these (mostly) sunny shores! I expect you have a few projects going to keep yourselves busy during your cold weather! I’ll look forward to reading more about events Chez Duck next year.

  13. Kris P says:

    That’s a lovely Alstroemeria and a good catch on the sale rack! Congratulations on the rain, even if you got a bit more than you might like. In Southern California, La Nina means we’re likely to remain as dry as dust. October through March is generally our one and only rainy season but, thus far we’ve received just one-twentieth of an inch (0.53 cm) of rain for the season to date with none on the horizon through at least January. It’s looking like another drought year for us.

    1. Jane says:

      So sorry to read about your serious lack of rain, Kris. I don’t think I realised that La Niña means exactly the opposite for you over there in California. You have chosen plants that really suit your climate though, so whatever the weather your garden always looks wonderful, tho’ I know it’s hard to keep it all going in drought conditions. All best to you for the festive season.

  14. Yes, I love Julia’s Rose too and have one in my garden. It’s such a beautiful flower.

    1. Jane says:

      My Julia has taken a couple of years to really get going and this is the best it has been. I wonder if you’ve had a lot of rain up your way or if you were on the edge of the system.

      1. We got some but not anywhere near as much as those on the coast. Still, anything is better than nothing and the grass is looking nice and green. There’s more forecast for this week.

        1. Jane says:

          Yes, we have up to 40 ml forecast for tomorrow!

          1. We got 30 ml in a big storm last night. 🙂

  15. I love hibiscus! All the best for 2021.

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you, and the same to you!

  16. Glad you are getting some rain where you are. It is most welcome!
    The Alstromeria ‘Katiana’ is really pretty, and I like its variegation. The flowers are a lovely colour too.
    I to have Helichrysum petiolare in the garden, and love the way it grows, enjoying the foliage but loving the flowers when they appear. Mine has quite a dense growth, which is welcome in my garden.
    Wishing you very a Happy Christmas!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you for your comment H&M. I think Alstroemeria would grow very well in your garden too, and it comes in a wide variety of colours. If mine does well, (it hasn’t been tried in really hot weather yet) I think I’ll look for some of the other colours.
      Happy Christmas to you too.

  17. Pádraig says:

    Is there really an Ailing Plants Table? That’s very apt.

    1. Jane says:

      Yes there is often such a table but the nomenclature is mine.

  18. Jim Stephens says:

    If that Alstroemeria was on the ailing plants table I’d have loved to have seen the good ones. In our local nursery ailing = nearly dead, I’ve rarely bought stuff from their left-overs. It’s a beauty, I must see if I can find it over here.

    1. Jane says:

      It’s very similar to your SoS Alstroemeria, Jim. Yes it was in good condition, and there were a lot of others there. I probably should have bought more!

  19. I know the dangers of plant rescue, Jane, but as you say, who can resist? It looks like it is doing really well. Your selection is lovely. It is so nice to have some colour at this time of year.
    PS. Good timing for your return home, Jane.

    1. Jane says:

      There’s a lot of colour in the garden which is now waterlogged after a day of rain…hope you received some.
      Our two are supposed to be driving up from Sydney on Christmas Eve, but it’s anyone’s guess at the moment whether they’ll be able to or not.
      I wish you a peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021, Tracy.

      1. The rain started about an hour ago, Jane. We need it.
        It seems to be looking less likely, but who knows? NSW is always a bit different. Whatever happens, I hope you have a good one.

  20. shoreacres says:

    It’s always such fun to have a peek into what’s happening on the other side of the world. Your flowers are gorgeous. I don’t garden, but I adore alstromeria, and often buy them as cut flowers at the market. I’m always pleased by how long they last, which makes the expense more than worth while.

    A happy Christmas to you, and every good wish for the new year. Of course simply moving into 2021 won’t bring dramatic or magical changes, but with luck we’ll begin moving away from the chaos of 2020!

    1. Jane says:

      I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to answer your generous comment and hope you had a happy Christmas also.
      One of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging for me is being able to see what people are growing in gardens in so many different places, and of course getting ideas for my own garden. I’ve planted quite a few plants on the strength of that!

  21. annamadeit says:

    How wonderful that you got some rain, Jane! With our dry summers, I try to not complain about the rain, even when it’s coming down in buckets. I totally get why you brought Katiana home – she’s a beauty! Have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Jane says:

      We’ve had rather a lot of rain, Anna. And I never complain about it either! So far it’s been a very mild summer, completely different from the last one. A wonderful Christmas to you too.

  22. Anonymous says:

    So lovely to see so much colour. It reminds me of what is to come next year, if this rain ever stops!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you!

  23. Jayne says:

    Truly enjoyed seeing your blooms. We begin a quiet time in the garden now, so it is lovely to see what you are growing in January!

    1. Jane says:

      Thank you. We have had a lot of rain, so the garden is growing beautifully just now.

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