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This gardening blog is written in Bathurst, NSW, Australia.





Friday, March 2, 2012

End of Month View: February 2012

The "End of Month View" meme is hosted by Helen, from The Patient Gardener's Weblog. You'll find lots of inspirational gardeners there, reviewing and improving their plots. 

I'm also linking this post to the Garden Lessons Learned meme hosted by Beth at  Plant Postings.


So, Summer is over. A few months ago, I certainly didn't expect my February End-of-Month-View post would look like this. I expected everything would look dry and a bit tired after months of hot weather and little rain. Instead, everything is lush and growing and wet.

So what have I learned this Summer? When it comes to weather, I shouldn't assume anything. And also, although things may not turn out as I planned, there will be some nice surprises to make up for the disappointments.

I've only focused on a few areas, and days of heavy rain has meant I had to dash out between downpours to get photographs, so I don't have many to show.


Potted Garden
I can't believe how few flowers I've had from these pots this summer.  Finally the Oleander is showing some buds.


Nothing else is flowering here, and next spring I'm going to add a few pots of reliable annuals.  One thing I've been really happy with is the group of Coleus plants in the garden behind the group of pots. They have been brilliant, adding some much-needed colour. Conditions here are usually too dry for Coleus to thrive, so their healthy growth has been one of the compensations of this dull, wet Summer.


The yellow daisy in the pot in front of them has hardly flowered, but I did cut it back very hard to rejuvenate it in early spring, so I'll give it another chance next summer. And it does have nice foliage.



Honeysuckle Bed

From the driveway, this bed is dominated by the two plants of Salvia "Wendy's Wish"




and it is a marvellous bloomer, with colourful bracts staying on the plant long after the petals have fallen.



But I'm also really happy with this whole bed, considering this has been its first season. The Convolvulus is on the way to covering the stump, the Gaura seedlings are flowering well and the Artemisia "Valerie Finnis" is looking great despite all the rain.  I was afraid it might rot in this heavy soil, but so far it's just growing away happily.




The sturdy rose legs you can see in the above photo belong to the rose that I think is "Mr Lincoln" and it has been wonderful.  It's on its third flowering and the rain isn't bothering the blooms at all, although it does have blackspot lower down. I love its flowers whether they're half open


or fully open.



Looking down through the front window of my kitchen, I'm pretty happy with this bed on the whole, although pink does dominate more than I originally intended. I have some thoughts on making this area even better next summer, but I need to think them through a bit more. The lush green growth to the left of this photo is also due to the amount of rain we've had, and I like it a lot.




Experimental Group

This doesn't look very different to last month, except the groundcovers have filled out quite a bit, also thanks to the rain. I normally would only see this kind of  quick growth in Spring.



I wanted to get photos of each of the new plants, because you can't really see them in this shot, but the rain came down and hasn't stopped, so it will have to wait until next month. The "Purple Rain" ground cover rose flowered and has new buds again, so I think it's settling in well. I took this picture two weeks ago.


Hopefully, next month's EOMV will be sunnier and drier! But, as I've learned, you never can tell.

28 comments:

  1. So lovely to look back over a season in a flower bed. Beautiful photos xx

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    1. Thanks, Jane. When I think that this bed was empty except for the rose just a few months ago, I'm pretty pleased.

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  2. Loved this walk through your garden. I especially like the "experimental" bed - the drifts of plants look so natural, as if they arose spontaneously, yet also artistic. Very cool foliage on that daisy!

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    1. Thanks! I hope to see lots of growth in the Experimental bed (there are four shrubs in there, very small yet) but I like it just now, too.

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  3. Beautiful photos, and you've got me scanning the seed sellers for Wendy's Wish - what a performer!

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    1. That plant has been amazing. I bought the two small potted plants in Spring and they haven't stopped growing and flowering. I don't know if it's available as seed, but it's a quick enough grower to succeed that way.

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  4. I'd call it a successful summer of gardening! I love Gaura, and the Mr. Lincoln rose too. The view out your kitchen window is charming but beckons so--I wonder you ever get any cooking done.

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    1. I suppose I'd call it successful too, but very strange. No watering, lots of weeding! My kitchen is the narrowest point of my house, and this window to the north is matched by an opposite one to the south that looks out into my backyard. It's the most tempting one, actually, and is just over the kitchen sink. I only cook at night, so I can't see out!

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  5. I can't believe your summer is over Lyn but I suppose I could say the same about our winter (I hope). I really like Oleanders. I would have thought it would have been flowering profusely all summer. I keep ours in the greenhouse until the flowers open and put it outside.(a bit of cheating!)
    Your vivid "Mr Lincoln" rose seems to leap of the computer screen. And the soft colours in your header are lovely.

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    1. I'm not sure what's going on with that Oleander. My others in the garden have been flowering all summer, as you say. They are full size, though, and this is a dwarf one, so maybe it's later? Or is it because it's a double? Or apricot? I'm glad you like the rose and the header. I love those colours too.

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  6. Your Honeysuckle Bed is absolutely gorgeous!! Love it. I also love the Purple Rain rose, its lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Christine. If that rose does well, I'm going to try a few more, because I love the colour and the shape. I only discovered it this year and it's such an unusual colour for a rose.

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  7. I didn't realise how much I've missed roses until I saw your lovely photos of Mr Lincoln x

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    1. I love that rose, but it's frustrating to photograph because the colours change so much with the light. It moves from almost pink through blue-red to deep, dark red and everything in between. The colour I used isn't exactly how it looked to the eye, but I had to take what I could get between thee rain. It is a beautiful shape, though and the colour is always intense.

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  8. It's looking amazing for this time of year isn't it? Well done to you! I think I will have to get myself a Mr Lincoln. My roses have been absolutely decimated in the rain...

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  9. I can't remember a February like this, Alison. Last year it was bushfires, this year floods. Bathurst is flooded and some roads closed but we're high up. My roses have stood up well to the rain but I do have a lot of black spot.

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  10. Your garden looks very lush at the end of summer! This would be a great post to link to "Lessons Learned," too. I agree that Coleus plants are great additions to the garden. Happy fall!

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    1. Thanks, Beth, I will link it. I wasn't sure what to write for "Lessons Learned" so I'll accept your suggestion. Summer is usually too dry here for Coleus to flourish, so I was lucky this year.

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    2. Hey Lyn: I posted the meme wrap-up late last night with a link to your blog. Thanks for linking in. Any trip to your blog is a treat! I hope all is well with you.

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  11. That salvia is wonderful!! It's similar to an ornamental oregano I grow. I hope my garden looks as good as yours does at the end of our summer! I'm adding gaura this year but it's going in a pot. My soil is too heavy for it.

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    1. Yes, the bracts are similar to some ornamental oreganos. Are you sure your soil is too heavy for Gaura? My soil is very heavy clay (Lavenders die after 2 years) but Gauras don't seem to mind.

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  12. You are so right, the seasons are actually never quite what we expect. Some American friends have taken to calling it 'Global Wierd' rather than global warming and I think that is a better definition. You have obviously had the rain we should have had here in Europe. Where I live in central Italy we've not really had any rain since last September and I don't think the snow melt will be enough to compensate. The growth in your experimental bed really does show what a difference some rain makes especially if the temperatures are still high. Christina

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    1. I'm sorry we took your rain, Christina! I hope you get some soon. There is really no fertiliser or watering programme that gives the results that rain does in plant health and growth, as you say.

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  13. What a wonderful display of colour you have in your beds, your salvia is fantastic, what a super pink! Reading your comments re. Gaura makes me want to try again on my heavy soil, hope it works this time! Your experimental bed looks so natural with a lovely contrast of colour, shape and texture of the foliage as well as the flowers, a great success!

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    1. Yes, that Salvia is now a favourite, although it's so bright that I don't want to over use it. I need to see if it will live through winter or if I'll have to start new plants each spring. Do try again with the Gaura, even if you have to grow them as annuals, they're worth it.

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  14. I'm looking out at a 15cm blanket of snow on the backyard so it was comforting to have a "walk" in your garden. There is a saying on the prairies, "roses are difficult here" which I've tried to ignore. I have a rose bed up against a south facing wall, all shrub roses developed specifically for this area. They are under planted with a carpet of violas. I also have grape hyacinth in there for a spring showing. I am a bit worried about them as our long warm Fall last year triggered them into trying to bloom again. I wonder if our weather will settle down into some kind of new pattern or if we are going to have to cope with unpredictability for years to come.

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    1. I hope your roses come through the cold okay, Susan. We always want to grow the plants that are "difficult" for us, don't we? For me it's acid-lovers, and also plants that need "perfect drainage", but I have finally stopped trying (I think) and decided to concentrate on what works. But I wouldn't want to be without roses, no matter how difficult they were. I don't think our weather is going to settle into any kind of pattern any time soon, but I'm trying to have the attitude that every season will be a nice surprise (instead of a rude shock!)

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  15. This was a lovely walk through your garden. My favorite was the experimental bed and inspires me to have such a bed for my experiments.

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