After a day of warm but sad remembrances yesterday, I thought I would post something that made my heart swell..... MY GARDEN!
Although my broken wrist is making it difficult to continue with my garden building and maintenance, I was very lucky to have done a bit of preparation in the weeks preceding my accident, so I am getting some results.
BUT, these photos are from last year, as I broke my card reader last week and am waiting on a new one via eBay. It's a bit complicated to download photos without it. I have to lug my heavy laptop upstairs, crank up my old computer, connect my USB umbilical from one to the other, then copy and paste all my pics across. That ain't easy with a broken arm!
My camera is a seven year old Nikon Coolpix 880, which has taken over 12,000 photos, and sustained a break after a heavy drop from a motorbike. It's never missed a beat apart from then, even after repairs, and takes wonderful shots. My man says, "I'll get you a new camera", but I say, "Why, when this one is so good still?".
This has been a cold spring, with icy winds and not the usual level of rains that inspire spring growth. Having a burgeoning flock of ewes and lambs, we want more sunshine....... and a shower at night, please?
My garden is only about 4-5 years old and is finally developing some nice corners. We have HUGE winds as we are exposed on all sides, so plants must be chosen carefully for wind tolerance and exposure to very hot and cold conditions. Most need to be fairly ground hugging, or they just snap off or fall over. Any shade or sheltered areas are jammed with plants.
Last year was a cacophony of colour.... almost too much, and it stopped early in summer, with fewer flowers coming as it warmed up. This year I have moved a lot of pieces around in a bid to get colour well into summer. I am waiting for those to establish and perform how I want them to.
But, for a short stretch, I have a huge carpet of blooms .... diosmas, gazanias, and a huge cream prostrate grevillea that the bees LOVE and holds the banks together. I struggle to keep the bunnies from nibbling my rose shoots, but I really love my 'Julia's Rose' with it's antiqued apricot.
I have planted more .... purple and red, but the drought has been harsh this year and some won't flower. There's always next year.
I love the total luxury of the glorious flowers and have done quite a few pastels of Rhododendrons and sold them.
This is a large framed pastel, a multi prize-winner, and is available for sale.
We went for a photography stint a few years back up to the National Rhododendron Gardens at Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges. There are a huge number of glorious bushes spread over many acres, and is well worth the visit in October/November for those in Victoria.
We grew up visiting my grandmother who owned an historic property at Olinda, which was filled with banks of hydrangeas, camellias, rhododendrons, and a walnut grove. I have many wonderful memories of our times spent there.
"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas."
....... Elizabeth Murray