1 Jan 2009

Garden Diary

** 06/05/09 Placed here for storage until I get inspired to write once more!**


The spring bulbs are in. Daffs, muscari, white tulips and hyacinths for the children's garden. Need to order roses before we leave on hols though.


The lack of posting here shows my level of apathy, I'm afraid. Still, that's about to change - the rose catalogues have started to arrive. I am passionate about my roses. I'll let you know what I order.

In the kitchen garden, the coriander is looking fantastic. We've been making bucket loads of basil pesto, and enjoying the thai basil in my favourite thai chicken with basil dish, amongst others.

The autumnal flush of roses is magnificent. Ballerina and Pierre de Ronsard put on a beautiful display together around Easter. I'm so glad I planted them together.

40 points of rain last night (9mls) has made everything look fresh and clean outside. I am feeling inspired about the garden for the first time in weeks (as evidenced by the paucity of Garden Diary entries recently. I haven't even ordered my spring bulbs...today, I promise!

I picked a couple of perfect red roses - one for my best beloved and one for Jemimah to tell them in the language of flowers that I love them both. I've placed the one for daddy in a red bud vase on his bedside table as a surprise when he gets home tonight.

Took advanatage of my renewed interest to cut the finished blooms from the lavender. They've been magnificant all through the hot dry summer but it's time they were gone now. Gave the topiaried lilly pillies a haircut as well.

We've had a few casualties with the hot summer. Surprisingly, most have been in the native garden. We'll need to replace a couple of grevillias from the hedge - always a pain because the sizes are wrong. The star performers here are the new wattles and the boobialla. The latter has grown exponentially over the last few weeks.

In the kitchen garden, the thai basil is now ready to eat. We'll be having it with chicken some time very soon!

The second crop of figs is starting to ripen. They're quite small and a bit dry because of the extraordinarily high temperatures over the last few weeks, but are delicious grilled with butter, brown sugar with a piece of Cadbury's Dairy Milk melted on top of each. We be having some with vanilla ice cream for dessert tonight. Yummy - my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

We cut off the dried out agapanthus heads today - quite a job. They'd been finished for quite a while, but we left them to protect the strappy leaves from the wrost of the scorching sun. It seems to have worked okay.

The New Holland Honeyeaters have discovered the tomatoes! It is so tempting to leave them there - they are such such amusing little things - but Jemimah the Tomato Queen has been diligently chasing them away.

After a week of temperatures in the 40's and up to 49°C on Friday, we've had a number of casualties. Even the agapanthus struggles in that heat.

Amazingly, the gardenias have started flowering again! I've picked a small bunch for my bedside table. I just love the fragrance of this beautiful plant.

The silver-eyes have been visiting the birdbaths en mass. They are such sweet little things - so funny!

Nothing much to report on the garden front. When it's 46°C (115°F), nothing looks very good.

We're just keeping up with the bucket watering and refilling the birdbaths several times a day. I'll let you know what survives!

Still harvesting and eating tomatoes, coriander and basil though!!

The nectarines are ripe!! To me there is nothing more evocative of the long hot days of summer than eating nectarines warm from the tree, juice dripping down your arms!! Think of us now!!! Yum!

We'll be poaching fruit tomorrow!!

With temperatures of over 43° forcast for the rest of this week (that's 110°F!), the garden is looking a little parched...okay then, quite a lot.

Still, the tomatoes and basil are looking and tasting absolutely wonderful at the moment. We had delicious Tomato and basil bruscetta for the birthday lunch today...my favourite summer meal!

The roses are well into their glorious summer flush, and the nepeta still looks fantastic.

I am please that so much looks so good after three weeks away on holidays!!

With the temperature soaring well into the 30's today and 40° predicted for later this week, we took a few minutes to clean out the bird baths as a Christmas present for our feathered friends.

We replace the water on a daily basis right through the year, but this morning we gave them a thorough scrubbing before their top-up. We also popped some small stones in the bottom to ensure that small birds don't lose their footing and drown while we're away.

I don't think the Christmas lilies will last much longer in this heat, but the lavender and aggies revel in the warmth!!

27mm of rain over the weekend - more than an inch! There are still puddles on the ground!

The agapanthus are absolutely perfect!

We have a froth of blue agapanthus down the side garden; lavender in the front and nepeta in the English garden! The cooler spring-like weather of the past few weeks has been wonderful for our garden!

The dainty swallowtails, Papilio anactus, are having a lovely time in the Valerian in the English Garden. The three baby buddlea are just about to burst into bloom; I wonder what butterflies will be attracted to this so-called Butterfly Bush?

Wes has come to give the privet hedges their early summer prune. They always look wonderful with a short back and sides!!

A large limb has come down on the 70 year old pear tree in the courtyard. I wonder whether it was the weight of the abundant fruit or stress from the ongoing drought?

Bit sad.

I am so loving the hundreds of Christmas lilies flowering in the White Garden!

Take a look here!

We picked basil for a tomato, chèvre and basil salad with our BBQ lunch - is there anything more evocative of long summer days than the taste of this beautiful combination?

Gathered a big basket of delicious looking mushrooms from under the Cootamundra wattle.

Pasta with a creamy wild mushroom sauce is on the lunch menu. Yummy!

I wish you could smell the fragrance of the English lavender hedge along the path leading to our front door. It is in full bloom and looks - and smells superb!

In the Kitchen Garden the bok choy is ready to harvest. We'll have Thai style chicken with ginger, bok choy and cashews for dinner tonight...yum!

The first of the Christmas lilies, lilium longifolium 'Snow Queen' have opened their waxy white trumpets releasing their lovely fragrance into the air of the White Garden.

The native boobialla Myoporum parvifolium is covered with white snow.

Christmas is coming in the garden as well!

In the week we've been away the hippeastrums have burst into their glory. The first gardenia opened today - a harbinger of Christmas.

The agapanthus and lavender are only days away.

5.5 mm of rain!!

The musk lorikeets and the wattlebirds continue to torment each other. We will submit the Birds in Backyards "Backyard Biffo" survey about their behaviour later today.

Started dead-heading the roses - one of my least favourite summer jobs.

The delphiniums are flowering beautifully.

Rain - 8.5 mm! Praise God!!

We planted Thai basil and put straw under the ripening strawberries to keep them up off the ground.

A hawk hovered overhead watching us.

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