Twenty four degrees Centigrade and it is not even spring yet, here in Adelaide in South Australia. I know it does not sound like much, especially when I think of what the gardeners of the Mediterranean regions of California have been going through. But this is also the sort of windy day that sucks the winter moisture right out of our seriously dry soils and leaves the door open for garden plants to perish and bush fires to start from the slightest spark.
Another reason this temperature so early in the season annoys me is the way I know it will cut short the show of bulbs in the garden here. A couple of weeks ago it was hail turning the delicate flowers on the early bulbs to mush. A couple of days like today and the bright blooms of daffodils and tritonia will be faded by the sun and the photos on my phone will be the only reminder that they had bloomed like so many stars.
I planted a lot of anemones and ranunculi in the beds as well. They are providing iridescence under the chopped back salvias. The arctotis daisy has filled the bit under one of the olive trees. In the last couple of weeks little fuzzy buds have been raising their heads out of the mass of leaves and going through a shepherd’s crook phase before throwing their faces to the sun in cerise exuberance.
Flower stalk on Aloe maculata:
The last photograph is of an Aussie native. This has done so well in the garden that I am sorely tempted to buy a few more, both of this kind and the species in general. One of these days, definitely!
Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum. Click https://flutterandhum.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/wednesday-vignette-what-does-drought-tolerant-mean/ to see what caught Anna’s attention this week.
It has been a while since I have blogged about the garden but I have kept up on Facebook with the garden photos and descriptions. Hopefully I will be blogging a lot more regularly once I make this start and join all the people across the country and the planet in recording what it is that we do in the garden to make ourselves mostly happy and occasionally a little anxious. So here goes my post for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!
It is not winter without a pot or three of white Primulas
In the mostly happy category today was the discovery of the first flowers from the daffodils that I had planted last year in pots. Five bulbs to a terracotta pot, labelled with strips cut from the three litre milk jugs that I bought only for their recyclability (is that even a word?), eight pots in all. Unfortunately, some of the labels have disappeared and the writing on a couple of the others has all but faded in the sun that blasted down on them all through November, December and January. Actually there is a new bulb on flower wherever I look in the garden in August and as always, the plants are sensing that warmer days are only a month or two away. We had a perfectly sunny day on Tuesday and another one today. Although it looks like that might be about to change. Or not.
Split corona daffodils
Tete a tete daffodils
Grape hyacinths by the front door
The other happy thing is the return of the perennials like Monarda and sedum Matrona after the winter chill.
Rosettes of sedum and a couple of self seeded Cosmos
Jonquil Erlicheer is always the first bulb to flower in this garden
In the anxious category, I have so many things that there is little point listing them and developing a deep funk. But a large part of the anxiety centres around the voracious appetites of the local snail population. They seem to be able to zero in on the most recently acquired precious thing and then proceed to denude it of all green bits. The latest victims of the snails are a little yellow flowered chrysanthemum and a salvia. And a Artemisia Oriental Limelight. And…..and…you get the picture. Or what is missing from it anyway!
I am also loving the new growth of these broadbeans, which are seeing a lot of bee action at the moment. I had the first baby bean yesterday, wrapped in a bit of nasturtium leaf with a fennel stalk for perfume. Yes, I am a grazer!
Broadbean flowers and Japanese red mustard with bee on the right hand pic
And that is what is happening in some parts of my garden in mid August for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Hope you liked looking at it! A very special thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens without looking whose post I would never have thought of writing a blog post of my own today.
So many plants and flowers have patterns and colours that the garden is never short of something interesting to look at. Some may lack bright pinks and purples but they compensate by having the most wonderfully geometric patterns and textures if one looks closely enough. Have a look at some of these!
A Flanders poppy in bud and then fully unfurled to reveal a sheen like silk and the most incredible boss of stamens!
Succulents such as Aeonium have colourful fleshy leaves arranged geometrically.
The herbs are not to be left behind either. Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis, has insignificant white flowers but its leaves are beautifully veined and shaped.
Lemon balm leaves
Another succulent which is strikingly patterned is the Haworthia. Members of the lily family, they are from South Africa and are commonly called Zebra plants. The colour is brightest in strong sunlit positions.
Then there are of course the real flowers, the parts of the flower that are meant to assist the plant in propagation. Some of these are highly coloured and unusual and none more so in my garden than the flowers of the passion fruit vine. They have been called passion flowers as they are thought to illustrate the passion of Christ; the pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance, the tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ, the ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot).The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail. The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).The blue and white colors of many species’ flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
The end stage of the plant is the seed head. These are often weirdly and wonderfully shaped. The poppy seeds we put on cakes and breads are held inside the seed cases below.
Pepper pot seed heads of poppy Papaver