Monday, September 27, 2010

Tip toeing through the Tulips

From mid-September to mid-October Canberra, like many centres with cold winters, becomes a mini-Netherlands with several towns in the area producing beautiful displays of tulips in their public and private Gardens. Floriade, in Commonwealth Park, Canberra is renowned throughout the country for its massed gardens of tulips, hyacinths, pansies, and many other flowers.

The flower beds are cleared away, soil and all, at the end of Floriade each year, and then re-built and planted the following autumn in time for blooming the following Spring.

However, another display which is rapidly gaining prominence during this time is at the Tulip Top Gardens, a few kms north of Canberra. These gardens actually appeal to Richard and I more than Floriade does. We visited there yesterday and took just a few

Avenue of Snow Pears and Crab Apples. The latter are still only in bud so we hope to go out again in a few days as they will be magnificent in flower.

The Willows too will be more in leaf in a few days.

Japonicas and Flowering Peach trees add to the delight of these gardens.

Wallflowers and Forsythia

The flowering peaches were breathtaking, especially multi-coloured pinks and whites.

A few deep red Crab Apples were more advanced than other.

Wide pathways and grassed areas meant plenty of room to wander at leisure.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Going to extremes

This morning we visited a nearby garden as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme. I read about it in a local newspaper and thought it looked quite interesting, in an 'English Cottage Garden' way. The owners have won many awards over the years and are great plant collectors, which in my opinion, was the garden's downfall.
It was on a reasonable sized corner block and almost every centimetre of space was filled with plants - decidious trees, ornamental fruit trees, camellias, over 300 roses (not in flower yet), shrubs, perennials, bulbs, annuals and vegetables. In fact, if it can be classified as a plant, then I'm sure it's in that garden. All of the nature strip and the entire block - front, back and sides - had been planted with thousands of plants, with very narrow winding paths throughout.
There were some magnificent camellias, but the majority of trees and shrubs were so densely planted that nothing could be seen to its best advantage, and indeed, many were distorted and drastically pruned due to lack of space. The garden would be lovely and shady during the summer months, but overall I found it so disappointing that I didn't even take any photos.
I'm sure the owners love it, and they've certainly put in a lot of work, but I felt quite stifled and overwhelmed by it all. I did see many things that I would like to grow, but not crammed 'cheek by jowl' with everything else.
However, I better not be too critical as this afternoon, after mulching the most recent plantings in the new section of garden at home, I counted the plants. Excluding all the pansies, tulips, calendula and ornamental grasses around the edge of the garden bed, there are still 89 plants in there!!! I'm well-prepared to remove some of the in-fill plants as the shrubs grow (I, but it will be interesting to see how it looks as they begin to grow a little more.
Richard pulling up self-sown Sycamore Maple seedlings to repot on the deck.

Up the garden path...

and down again.

I decided not to turn the remaining dirt heaps into a 'wildflower meadow' of flowers and weeds and ripped the lot out yesterday.

HELP, please.......can anyone tell me how to reply to comments on my blog directly under a particular comment? Or do I just have to be lucky enough see a comment and reply before the next one appears? (Tanya - you seem to be able to do it very well, but I know you are using Wordpress. Perhaps it doesn't work with Blogger?)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Morning Stroll

An overcast morning seemed the perfect time to take garden photos - no shadows or overly bright sunshine to worry about.
I've not grown Dutch Hyacinths before and I'm so thrilled with them that I can't stop taking photos - as you will notice!

I probably love the deep purple best, but this blue fascinates me.

I can't remember the name of this plant but we bought two of them a couple of years ago, hoping they would climb and cover the trellis. They survived considerable neglect in that time and this year have provided a beautiful display of such pretty pink flowers. I need to tie them to the trellis to encourage them to climb or else the Chinese Jasmine will beat them to it.

These deep pink Dutch Hyacinths are my second favourite.


I love these daffodills with pale peach coloured centres. They've been there for many years but don't seem inclined to multiply very quickly.


Daisy shrub and Eriostemon

It's been a great season for the Leucodendrons.

Banksia (bottlebrush)

Tulips planted for the birth of our second grandaughter, Shay, nine years ago.

These wallflowers just keep coming back better and better each year.

I love the variety in colour, especially the depth of colour in the buds.

Pink Rosemary

Hyacinths again.

Pansies and Calendula


Our only Rhododendron for years, but we've planted another five recently.

Yet again !!!!

Worth a second shot, weren't they?