about this blog

I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

end of spring garden november 2012

I've been practically drunk on looking at and photographing the spring garden. I don't remember the garden ever having been so lush and lovely. It's to do with the weather, all that rain, for sure. But also it's because finally, after decades of fumbling, I'm getting surer with my gardening touch, understanding  what plants need, learning what I like in the way of design and knowing what to do to achieve it.

Although I mustn't get too confident, because today it is definitely the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, or something, but already the garden is not looking so spring-spiffy any more.

I'm joining in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day meme, hosted each month by Carol from May Dreams Gardens.  It's is definitely worth checking it out, to see what's happening each month in gardens all over the world.

Many of the spring wildflowers are self seeded annuals. The seeds were thrown onto the garden 10 to 20 years ago. Each year I never know whether, when or where they will turn up. Each year is different. I let them do their thing and drop their seeds where they are when they're ready. Or I might tidy them up and put the dead plants, still with their seeds attached, into the compost.

Top row (l to r): Crabapple, Echium candicans 'Heronswood Blue'
Middle row: Lavatera maritima, Salvia gregii 'Iced Lemon', Sage
Bottom row: Leptospermum morrisonii 'White Opal',  Valerian

Top row (l to r): Echium wildpretti, Nasturtium
Middle row: Cistus monspeliensis, Crabapple buds, Blue Fescue Grass
Bottom row: Love in the Mist, Wallflower

As well as showing off individual flowers, I'm including some garden scenes, with plants numbered, to help people identify the plants and their place in the picture. The pictures, like the garden, consist of a basic structure or skeleton that doesn't normally change much: trees, shrubs, paving. The remaining parts of the pictures are composed of perennials and annuals.

1. Eucalyptus pauciflora Snow Gum  2. Crabapple 3. Leptospermum species
4. Love in the Mist  5.Valerian 6. Echium wildpretti 7. Borage
 8. Alyongyne heuglii 'West Coast Gem' (Australian Native Hibiscus)
9. Californian Poppies
1. Leptospermum brevipes 2. Valerian 3. Love in the Mist 4. Calirfornian Poppies
 5. Nasturtium 6. Catmint 7. Forget Me Nots 8. Parsley
Opium Poppy

Some body's sleeping in the nesting box

Derwentia perfoliata (Diggers Speedwell)

Lomandra longifolia (Spiny Headed Mat Rush)

Echium wildpretti (by now it's continued its lean and is lying down)

Front row: Seaside Daisies
Middle row:  Santolina
Back row: Orange Wallflowers


  1. That sleeping picture is so fun! Is it a squirrel? It's so strang that you're having spring, such a fine time of the year. We're having autumn, no leaves and it's so dark!

    1. dear Satu, It must be a possum, no squirrels here. As well as being opposite, our climates are so different, aren't they? Take care. cheers, catmint

  2. Lovely shots of your garden, I do love to see long shots to get an idea of how gardens are formed, love yours!! Your Echium wildpretti is gorgeous, must try and grow it, even if it has to be in a pot to come in for the winter!

  3. Catmint, it's a really lovely garden, like a seashore, where things come and go, but where there's always a sort of fitting together.
    It's not an 'in your face' garden, not a show-off garden, but one that could have just happened. Life there, in it, looks like it is content. That's a feature many gardeners forget, in their chase for something sensational. Gardens need to be able to breathe and grow and fall apart according to their own rhythms. And they need to feel good or right, as yours does.

  4. Hi Catmint, i smiled at your descriptions, as if you are referring to graduation "end of the beginning and vice-versa", LOL. Your flowers are definitely lovely, i love most that blue spike Echium. I always love spikes in temperate plants, although of course they are non-existent here.

  5. Hooray for the end of spring. Summer is my favoirte season! However, your summer means our winter and I'm not fond of that but it'll be fun to experience the warmth through your blog! Our echiums (if we can keep them alive) bloom later in the season here. Your garden, as always, is gorgeous!

  6. We all get lucky when a good gardener is also a good photographer. Wonderful post.

  7. Oh, I'm so envious! Spring is my favorite time of year, but now we're in the throes of autumn...boo. Your blooms are just spectacular. The landscape shots show what lovely combinations you've designed--very inspiring! Happy GBBD to you!

  8. Echium, Pride of Madeira? I often see that in gardens here, would fit my mediterranean climate, but I'm daunted by their HUGE size. Dramatically beautiful flowers!

    1. Hi Diana, you definitely need to find a place where they will fit in. I only use the smaller forms, still dramatic and not small, but nothing like the common giant.

  9. Dear Catmint,
    What a lovely garden you have. A comfortable easy chair of a garden where everything looks relaxed and a peace. The flowers compliment each other and everything looks as if it belongs.
    I hope that when we have a garden it looks half as nice!
    I do like Love-in-the-mist.

  10. OMG...your garden is the picture of Spring Loveliness...love everything!!!

  11. Your garden is just lovely and so natural looking. I really like the wallflowers with the santolina!

  12. Although I am looking forward to the rest of winter, looking at your beautiful spring garden is wonderful. There is so much blooming and growing. It is a real treat.

  13. Sigh...your spring garden is glorious! That last photo with the waves of plants made me swoon.

  14. Looking great! Enjoy the spring before the onslaught of summer. Love that birdbath of yours:)

  15. A lovely, relaxed atmosphere.

  16. Wow, your garden is looking A-Mazing right now!! How beautiful your planting schemes are. Lovely!

  17. What a lovely, meadow-like garden you have, some of your plants are completely unknown to me but some are reassuringly familiar for me who gardens in London. I wish we were about to have summer right now (sigh)...we didn’t have much of a summer this year, not much of a spring either. Wouldn’t mind just skipping the whole winter and most of spring and go straight to summer :-)

  18. It is like going into a dream...your flowers are just beautiful and you know I love the free wildflower meadow look of a garden...I adore yours!!

  19. The garden looks just lovely. I love the echiums, and the colour of the opium poppy is just beautiful.

  20. You make me dream of spring, even as our winter approaches! Your images of the wildflowers are gorgeous. I would love to explore the path in the first photo!

  21. Me encanta el Otoño!!!!

    He descubierto tu blog y me ha encantado su contenido, desde hoy lo sigo. Si lo deseas te invito a visitar mi blog By Nela y si es de tu agrado me gustaria tenerte como seguidora y asi seguir en contacto.
    Un saludo muy cariñoso.

  22. thank you, dear cyber friends, I so appreciate your visits and comments. cheers, catmint

  23. I love visiting Aussie gardens. I think I could live there with all the unique flora and fauna. The garden looks so free and natural. I love your plantings, they work so well with one another dancing where they will.

  24. Catmint, what you have in Spring is what we thrive to get in Summer here in Scotland. I was determined to get to grips with gardening many years ago when our next door neighbour told me ever so nicely that the plants being tended by myself so carefully were in fact weeds.


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