The summer garden – there is perfume everywhere

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Here are some of my treasures.  Mostly roses with some lilies thrown in for good measure.  The garden does look rather good in selected spots.  As you walk down the path you have to avert your eyes a little over the ‘works in progress’ but it is certainly coming along as it matures and there are more areas which lure you in to grab a drink, sit down and enjoy a quiet moment in the sun or in the shade depending where you are.


White lilac, it’s white – and it’s lilac

Lilac (which looks weird when you type it) is lovely.  This is a double white one which was given to me.  They sucker madly all over the show so it is fairly easy to snaffle one from someone else.  Last year this one did not have a single solitary flower, this year however it is currently smothered in fluffy scented whiteness.  This is in stark contrast to the lilac lilac which is performing much as this one performed last year.  Maybe they are taking turns about?

I have strategically placed this one (in other words a happy accident) next to rosa Blackberry Nip which  is the most beautiful shade of purpley plummy goodness and smells fab too.  Their flowering times are just slightly off but I am hoping that the  buds on Blackberry Nip will burst forth while the lilac is still in its full flush of whiteness.

First harvest of the year

Mustard Greens.  Don’t they just look luscious!  This is my first leafy harvest of the season, and looking like they will provide plenty of delicious extra flavour to leafy salads all spring long.  I grew them last year but they went in too late and then bolted at the first hot spell, I think the trick will be to pick and pick and pick them.

I served them with a bunch of other leaves – not from my garden with some feta cheese over the top to accompany a baked potato and a half chicken breast pan fried with seasonings from the mystery collection in the drawer in my kitchen.  Delicious.  And you really can’t go past the “I grew them myself” moment.

Rhododendrons Rockin Dunedin

October is Rhododendron Festival time in Dunedin.  The botanic gardens here are one of the primo sites to go and see them, but all over town they are amazing right now.  So, with this understanding I went out and purchased one for my place.  Her name is Rubicon and she is a brilliant red.  I took her photo but it isn’t showing her in her best light, she has lovely little black dots in the throat of the flowers which look rather fetching.

Below is last years new rhodie.  She is Princess Alice and I bought her because she is scented and I had been so impressed with the smell of the one in my friend’s garden every time I walked past it.  She is white with a pink tinge when in bud.  Lovely stuff. Again the photo is a bit rubbish, will post a better one if I can get one while she is still enveloped in blooms.


I’m rather pleased with the trillium this year.  Especially because I have one that is in full bloom for the first time.  It is the white one.  It has lighter green leaves and the flowers are a creamy white.  The purple one is a stunner and is brilliant every year.  I’m going to divide it when it dies down in the hope of having more.  Trillium are so good, but only lovely for such a short time but so satisfying when they do their special thing.  I saw another one that I am lusting over now which has very pointy white petals and lighter green leaves.  Have added it to the wishlist.



Purple trillium and geum rivale

Purple trillium and geum rivale



Creamy white trillium

Creamy white trillium


Spring has sprung

Little tiny daffodils

I get a terrible hard time about the leaves on my garden which are actually mulch.  They were gathered in autumn and are spread all over the beds and the place where the soil was really ruined from being under a load of plastic and pebbles all along the side of the path.  Eventually, when all the mulch has rotted down – and it is happening fast now that the weather is warming up – there will be lovely rich soil there.  I have added lots of horse poo an potting mix and compost so I’m hoping that it will all turn out fabulously, and I will end up with deep rich soil and healthy plants.  In the meantime the nasty boychild and his friends don’t ‘get’ my leaves.

In other areas of the garden there are major signs of spring.  The tiny daffodils I always forget I have are giving a great show and matchheads are up, even the tiny little light blue I am so proud of.  Below is a photo of the only camellia which has decided to flower, it has had a finger wagged at it and been told to perform better next year or be removed.  The other ones have lots of lovely growth on them but not a single flower.  Again, warnings have been issued, in writing.  Lets hope next year is the year of the camellias.  Watch this space for more pics of the treasures as they emerge from winter.

One of my very few camelia blooms

Compassion struggles on despite the odds

My poor neglected garden – buried under a coat of leaves collected from school.  The kindly groundsman delivered me two brim full to the top of the cage, trailer loads of already partly decomposing leaves.  They have been spread on to the garden beds, I’m hoping they will do the job of peastraw.  They must be breaking down as the lovely Raisin cat is making beds in them all over the place seeking warmth, as indeed here in Dunedin everyone is this weekend.  I haven’t quite gotten to the autumn clean up yet but I’m hoping the leaves will suppress some of the weeds until I get to getting it sorted.

In the meantime Compassion and a couple of other lovelies continue to bloom on despite the miserable weather.  this old rose is about the same age as my house.  She was probably planted when the house was built as her stems are old and gnarly.  Last year I was complaining to a professional gardener about her lack of good fresh growing stems and he suggested I take to her with a wire brush.  Well, it is amazing.  She has sprouted all new growth from her base and although the season for roses was terrible last summer she has started to look really healthy.  I don’t expect many more blooms on her but she is always surprising.  Her scent is just delicious.