My spring garden

In usual fashion, just as my garden is starting to look lovely, we are pulling up our roots, and moving house. The wrench is not too painful this time: I am glad to be heading home. But among the sadnesses of leaving Adelaide is the loss of our garden.

It took me a long time to get into gardening mode here. Gardening is soul restoring, but I have been rather unhappy during my time here, and that unhappiness has made it hard for me to push myself to get started on anything much. But the girls and I got a few things established, and this spring has been a delight, as we have watched a succession of blooms appearing.

I planted a quince tree late in winter 2009, and tended it through summer and autumn. I watched it through winter, hoping that it would come into leaf. And it did! Not just leaf, but flower too. It had a sprinkling of delicate blossoms, five simple white petals faintly tinged with pink.

Small white flowers, five round petals, against green leaves

Quince blossom

The bees clustered around them, and to my delight, this morning I counted 11 little greeny gold promises of autumn preserves. I won’t be here to pick them, but perhaps the new owners of this house will use them, or pass them on to friends.

Two small goldy-green fruit, about the size of a quail's egg, among green leaves

Baby quince!

I have had a succession of irises, first a cloud of white irises under the bare rosebushes, then purply-mauvey-goldy irises against the fence, and then brilliant blue ones. All the soft petalled bearded irises which I love. I wish I could take some of the corms home with me, but MAF would object. In any case, my mother has irises waiting for me.

Mauvey-goldy irises

Mauvey-goldy irises

In late spring, the iceberg roses along our front path have exploded into a profusion of flowers. We have an arch over the path, and over the arch, more roses – many petalled pink and white roses. The effect is very frothy, almost too much like coconut ice for my taste. But exuberant.

White iceberg roses to the left, pink roses climbing over an arch, house in the background

Frothy white roses and frothy pink roses

I planted nepeta – catmint – under the icebergs. I love its soft grey-green leaves and its dusky purple flowers.

Nepeta - catmint - under white roses

Nepeta

Out the back, the girls’ gardens have flourished. We started from this:

Bare earth with old irrigation system, scraggly irises down one side

Bare earth

…..and cleared it out to create this:

Earth dug over, brick paths being laid, girls working

Marking out gardens

…..and now, they look like this.

Gardens, with roses and herbs

Roses and herbs in the girls' gardens

Each girl’s rose has bloomed beautifully this spring. They have strawberries and herbs and tomatoes tucked into their gardens, as well as flowers that they just like.

My herb garden has flourished. I asked for advice about what to put in the centre a couple of years ago, and eventually, I settled on one of my favourite roses, Mutabilis. Each flower comes out a soft apricot colour, but as the days go by, the petals turn crimson, and gather themselves into a butterfly shape.

Apricot and pink five petalled roses

Mutabilis

For all that I will be sad to leave my garden here, I’m looking forward to establishing new gardens. We have been looking at houses in Greenhills on-line, and each time we have found one that looks promising, the girls have asked anxiously if there will be enough space for them to have their own gardens. Of course there will be! It’s one of our key criteria for a new home. Even Mr Strange Land wants to have his own garden, in which he says he will grow turnips. As for me, I’ll be planting another quince tree, and a crab apple, and irises and roses.

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8 responses to “My spring garden

  1. I think there’s a muddle in the first sentence of para 2… but I get the meaning. Your Adelaide garden looks lovely, and I hope you will have as pretty a one at home. And I’m looking forward to seeing it, and seeing you in it.

  2. Fixed! Thank you.

    Me in my garden… I always get quite mucky gardening. Especially because I like gardening in the rain, which will be plentiful in Greenhills.

  3. You’ve created wonders – obviously a Proper Gardener (wish I had you on hand as I stumble cluelessly around in mine). Beautiful – no wonder you’re sad to leave. But of course you’ll create an even better one in Greenhills (lovely name).

  4. It looks beautiful, Deborah! I’ve only just started with my first little tomato and cuke plants this spring. How wonderful that your girls are excited about gardening. I imagine that will be a great family project as you settle into your new home in Greenhills.

  5. Looking wonderful deborah!

  6. Well done, I do not imagine it is easy to garden in Adelaide
    I too have left a series of quinces behind as we have moved from garden to garden
    Unfortunately the latest snapped off at the graft (a small thread had ring barked it) so there has been a gap in our supply chain although we did sneak back to the last garden to help with that
    The new one flowered this year, as did the root stock of the ring barked one so we have great hopes for this season

  7. Garden looks great. My garden looks surprisingly good atm too given I’ve done nothing to it except pull out the odd weed. We’ve had so much rain tho, everything has gone ‘boom’!