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 October 2015

spring garden views


Although I try to make the garden look good all the year, I think usually it looks best in spring. I never know quite what will pop up, or in what quantities. This year forget me nots, borage, Californian poppies and other annuals carpeted the earth, hardly leaving room for mulch. After a few years of putting up with gaps between plantings, and insufficient heights, the garden was looking lush, romantic and effusive again.

Luckily I took these photos before the unexpected, record-breaking heatwave a week ago, that battered and challenged the garden. Also luckily, I mulched the garden the day before the searing heat started. I don't think anything has died - yet, but many plants no longer look so pretty. The garden can change very rapidly, reminding me of its transience, and that photos and descriptions are just a snapshot in time.

I think spring's over, and summer has come early. It's very confusing, and scary to think what a long hot summer is ahead of us.

Rosa Pierre Ronsard - old fashioned climbing rose
Echium Heronswood Blue 
Erigeron karvinskianus - Seaside Daisy
Myosotis alpestris - Forget Me Not
Baeckia virgata 'White Cascade'
Valerian officinalis - Valerian, All-Heal, Garden Heliotrope
Borage with its edible blue flowers delicious in salad
Cistus x skanbergii - Pink Coral Rock Rose
Bronze Fennel
Bright red leaves of Cotinus coggyria 'Grace' - Smoke Bush 
Geranium incanum - Geranium incanum
Ipheion uniflorum - Spring Star Flower
Euphorbia x martinii - Red Spurge
Bluebell among assorted hellebores with Rosemary in background
Clivea miniata - Natal Lily, Bush Lily
Camellia japonica
Camellia japonica
Clivea miniata Natal Lily, Bush Lily
Caninus Fluffius - Fluffy Canine
Helleborus x sternii - Helleborus Ashbourne Silver
Lavendula angustifolia - English Lavender
Echium flowers are spectacular and don't last long - hence I can't resist taking lots of photos
Spyridium parvifolium
Nepeta x faassenii 'Walkers Low' -  Catmint
 Echium flowers are spectacular and don't last long - hence I can't resist taking lots of photos
Arum Lily - attractive but noxious weed, pulled out after the photo.
Echium flowers are spectacular and don't last long - hence I can't resist taking lots of photos
Catmint and Lambs Ears (Stachys lanata)
Lavatera maritima - Tree Mallow


Eucalyptus pauciflora - Snow Gum flowers
Yellow Banksia Rose
Myoporum petiolatum - Sticky Boobialla

With this post I'm joining Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, possibly the most popular meme in the garden blog community. Hosted by Carol in her blog May Dreams Gardens, each month bloggers all over the world post pictures of their gardens.

Santolina and orange wallflowers
Brachyscone multifida

39 comments:

  1. Springtime is lovely in your garden! Yes, things do happen fast in the garden, don't they? That Natal Lily is wow! And I wish I could grow Camellias, but my climate just isn't right for them. Happy GBBD!

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    1. our climates are so different I am always surprised when some of the things we grow are the same. Happy GBBD to you too, Beth.

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  2. Love the caninus fluffius - she sets off the garden a treat!

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    1. and unlike most of the plants Potter is mobile, so she sets off different parts of the garden a treat!

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  3. What a wonderful selection of flowers you have, love your first photo, your garden looks a wonderfully peaceful place to unwind.
    Is your Echium hardy, I don't think they would survive here where the temperatures get too low in the winter. I wish I could grow them, they are so beautiful.

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    1. the echium is a shrub that gets a bit unwieldy after a couple of years, so I generally cut it back very hard and then it comes back. I think it originally comes from the Canary Islands, where the climate is like Melbourne and California. So I don't think it would like very low temperatures, but it's probably worth a try. I have lots of volunteers, would love to send you some but think it would be rather tricky to pack and post them. Wish I could deliver them!

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  4. Amazing spring blooms...lush and green I can't get over the variety of stunning blooms showing themselves all at once. I too wish I could grow gardenias here. We may be getting our first freeze this weekend.

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    1. thanks, Donna, I hope your freeze isn't too bad and doesn't last too long.

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  5. Your spring to early summer garden is very pretty. What an amazing world. Your garden is wide awake, and mine is getting ready to sleep for the winter. We are expecting unusually cold weather this upcomng weekend, maybe even a bit of snow. Sigh ...

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    1. Hi Jane, You are experiencing unusually cold weather and we are experiencing unusually hot weather. Extreme weather is tough for our gardens. Going to sleep for the winter seems preferable to plants dying through heat exhaustion, as I worry will happen here.

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  6. You have beautiful flowers in your garden!

    Greetings, Sofie #26
    http://sofies-succulent-beads.blogspot.be

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    1. thanks Sofie, I'll visit your blog soon.

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  7. I've learnt to remove the valerian as the seedlings come up. It has a frightening ability to blanket out our fynbos.
    The arums however are welcome to stay.

    Also delighting in borage!

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    1. the differences and the similarities between our ecosystems are fascinating. Valerian here is not rampant, just pleasantly enthusiastic.

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  8. Those Echium flowers are indeed spectacular. And so are your photos of them.

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  9. Your blue Echiums are so beautiful........and of course your fluffy canine too.
    Happy gardening!

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    1. Thanks Judy, fluffy canine is the best.

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  10. Looking at what you show us Sue, I am not surprised that Spring is your favourite time of year in your part of the world.
    Arum Lily, a bit of a weed, oh my. This plant struggled in our Aberdeen garden, was quite a picture this year in the front garden here in Cheshire, I love it. Hope your Summer turns out to be one of the cooler ones..

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    1. thanks Alastair, but I'm afraid this summer is shaping up to be horrible. I've never known it so hot in spring. It feels like summer and lots of plants are confused too.

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  11. I love the way you garden, Sue, with love and tenderness. That's not something that comes out in all the glossy gardening features, but really, it's what it's all about.

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    1. thank you so much, dear Faisal, I'm touched that you give me such a compliment.

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  12. I love the comment above! It's so perceptive and true. Your respect for nature and willingness to play gentle caretaker is so much more inspiring than gardeners determined to micromanage and force their way through their gardens. Your spring garden is a beauty. :o)

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    1. thank you for this, Tammy. I certainly don't micromanage. Sometimes I think this is through laziness when I see the lengths lots of other gardeners go through to get their plants to grow and flower. I really hate watering, not only because it uses water, but I just don't enjoy it.

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  13. How true, Sue, that the garden is so transient as it changes so rapidly, and I guess it makes the joys even more precious. Your garden looks lovely, with so much of interest , but my best favourite HAS to be Caninus Fluffius !!

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    1. Thanks for this, Jane. I applaud your choice of favourite. She's very precious and unlike the other plants I do water her prolifically.

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  14. Really gorgeous blooms - and Canine fluffus is an interesting specimen too!

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    1. thanks, Wendy - lovely to get back in touch!

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  15. Your pictures are amazing! I like how your garden and flowers look like they flow altogether having no beginning or no ending. Very uplifting :)

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    1. thanks, Natalie, I'm so pleased you found the pictures uplifting. I am always trying to achieve that flowing together look, but it certainly doesn't look like that all year round. I think it's like us - we don't always look the same either.

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  16. Oh my, your garden is looking beautiful. I especially love your echiums, such a beautiful color but my favorite is Caninus Fluffius!

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    1. thanks, Peter. She's my favourite too!

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  17. Oh those lavenders and lavender colour blooms, they are the prettier ones. Also those dainty seaside daisies, how pretty! Everything looks really natural, catmint. You did well (y)

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    1. thanks, Stephanie. I think they are mostly different to the ones you grow in the tropics.

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  18. You have an abundance of gorgeous blooms. Perhaps my favorite was Caninus Fluffius, though I would be concerned that this particular beauty could take over the whole garden!!

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    1. are you calling my dog a weed???(lol)

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  19. I don't blame you for taking lots of photos of the echium. It was spectacular. Would like to have seen a far away photo of the Smoke Bush. And the caninus fluffius was a hoot.

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    1. I'll take a far away photo of the Smoke Bush, but already it looks different. Like everything in the garden, including me, it's confused as to whether it's spring, summer or winter because every day is so different temperature-wise.

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  20. Well hello Catmint! Long time no see! I still blog occasionally but I am not really all that active. My blog is more of a photo album for me. It works pretty well. It's nice of you to stop by.

    Your spring garden is lovely. You have so many beautiful plants--many I have never even heard of. I hope your summer is not too awfully brutal. I know what is like not getting rain and having intense heat in the garden. Not fun. But for now--wow!

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