This is the time of year for walking in gardens, when they’re often at their most beautiful. They’re also the most work if you want to choose a particular look, rather than just take what comes.
Out on the hills, “what comes” is pretty good right now.
I’m particularly pleased to see flowers on the Daviesia and Indigofera that I’ve planted in various revegetation areas, but also the bulbine lilies in three previously unknown (to me) places along the creek, clinging to the rocks, and Early Nancies (wurmbea dioica) scattered through the pastures.
It’s still fun to try and create an effect through planting around the house, though. Trying to one-up nature, I suppose. Or work with it as best we can. It seems like ages since my new hardenbergias were flowering for the first time along the top fence. I thought it was a great idea to cover the ugly wire fence with blossom. Unfortunately when we let the sheep in to eat down the grass in the orchard, the problem with my fence-covering vine concept was clear. The chomping left them in tatters. Oops. I’ll have to think of some sort of barricade for next year to stop that.
Other parts of the Esdale garden are a snarl of weeds, as I’m a fair weather gardener and there’s been lots of rain this season. Luckily we were able to get the dead claret ash tree down without Evan and his tree-choppers getting bogged. It’s still a project to move the timber somewhere to dry for future firewood. I racked my brains to think of a native that would be as spectacular and grow big enough fill the space it has left. I’ve finally decided on a silky oak tree (grevillea robusta) which has spectacular flowers in season and beautiful foliage all year round. While my garden is rampantly out of control, just over the hill from Esdale is one of the most beautiful country gardens in this area, or anywhere. While my friend Katherine Michael was visiting from Brisbane, we had a wonderful walk around Leonie Leonard’s beautiful garden at Mulliondale. I was too busy oohing and aahing as usual to take pictures that do it justice.
Leonie always has some flowers going somewhere in her garden, as well as lots of fascinating textures and interesting artworks scattered around. There are so many different walks and corners – the bluebell walk under the silver birches was spectacular that day. The setting of the garden is stunning, perched on a rocky outcrop above the creek, facing a dramatic cliff. A little world of its own, or several of them, a new one whichever way you turn.
So take a deep breath and enjoy the spring while it lasts…