Just enjoying the views in my garden...
I'm on my lunchbreak and I have driven across the bridge to visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (it takes less than ten minutes to get here). Coming over here mid-week is wonderful, because I have the place almost to myself; just me, the gardeners, and a mere handful of frost-hardy tourists braving the cold. Oh, and the birds; all the warbling birds. I'm writing this near the main water pond (above), and the solitude is enhanced by the different bird calls and the wind groaning through the towering conifers around the garden's boundary. I can identify (if I can't see) ducks, blackbirds, blue wrens, new holland honey eaters, and little red-faced parrots.
All the camellias are in their full winter glory: fat, decadent blossoms; stark white and pale fairy pink and deep sultry red; and splattered varigated pink ones in between. When I visit the gardens and see these camellias, I try to pick a replacement for the old one near my front door, but I am defeated by the beauty of each different flower. Choice is impossible.
It is reassuring to see that, apart from the camellias and the equally vibrant rhododendrens, there is not much else happening in the gardens. I get a little depressed when I see my ornamental garden in the winter (and it is still winter here in Hobart), bare and hunkered down against the cold; so to see the gardens here equally dormant - well, it happens to the best of us!
So while it is still cold, the last couple of weeks of August have been promising - if only because my early morning walk is no longer a dark one! I can see the first glimmers of light on the horizon as I head home to get ready for work. The sunlight at the other end of the day is invigorating, too. It is, as I said, still cold - there has been frost and snow-on-the-mountain and rain (the tanks are still full!) - and spring doesn't really start here until October or more likely November. But the lighter days are truly inspiring.
So I've been buying seeds:
And sowing some, too: sweet peas for flowers to hide an ugly fence; marigolds to edge the garden for colour and companion planting; and broad beans, my first time ever. This way I'll be able to eat them small and tender like a little green pea, not tough and large and greyish as my dad prefers them. I have sown them around a central stake; the lady at the garden centre told me an old Greek gentleman told her this was the best way to do it, so you could then wrap string around and around to gather them up. Who are we to argue with old Greek gentlemen?
I've also been reading lots of library books, and by reading, I mean looking at the pretty pictures and noting down names. I received a Diggers Club annual recently, so this has also created a lot of desire too. I've decided to introduce more flowering plants around the vegie patch that will attract good insects, such as the tagetes, california poppies, yarrow, bergamot, coneflowers. They are on the list, anyway. If I only get additional colour in the yard, that would be lovely.
To do this coming month:
- Put my pea and bean trellises in place so I can sow these. I love growing (and eating) peas and beans. Dad has had peas in for months!
- Fill some grow bags and plant beetroot. Like the garlic, I'm trying my subterranean things in bags, to prevent rot and enable them to grow unimpeded by any obstacles in the soil.
- Plant the rosemary sprigs (taken last month) that have sprouted little roots.
- Have bought the passionfruit vine! Panama Red, apparently good for Tasmania's cooler/frostier conditions. Just need to plant it now, with some frost protection.
- Keep waiting patiently for the warmer weather.
One last view of my dream garden...