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Our Australian Winter Garden...

We are in the midst of winter.
Look around...
You will not see many signs of life...
The Last Rose of Summer has long gone...

It has been a strange winter.
The other week Melbourne had the hottest July day on record, then the coldest weekend in 13 years!
The garden doesn't really know whether it is coming or going...
Some plants are optimistically showing signs of budding,
Others are steadfastly ignoring the freak warm weather.
All have enjoyed the extra rain!
A purple native hibiscus
We have always been attracted to houses with well loved gardens. Those gardens where it takes a whole year to really get to know what's there. Each season bringing new surprises, as a previously unspotted plant burst into life. Our Melbourne garden, has been well cherished over the years, it is one of the great joys of the house. If you hunt around hard enough there is always something interesting to admire, even in winter!

We have a brilliant gardener, our Florence Nightingale who tends our plants with love and care. She designed us a woodland garden to replace a sick front lawn. The old lawn had struggled from a lack of water during the recent Melbourne drought (1997 - 2009) and from being under the Silver Birch trees.

To make the garden our own, we have added a few Asian touches, which remind us of our travels and previous life. These posts above are Indonesian fence posts. I wanted some Asian interest for the front garden, without being as obvious as a Buddha, the fence post fitted the woodland theme perfectly.

We inherited a small army of terracotta warriors at the beach house, which by chance match the life-size warrior we'd bought back from Xian, China. Our warriors are on duty dotted through out the garden, my version of the garden gnome!

Because of the China influence, I also have a love of Bamboo, all things red and can you see the mirrors?
Mutt & friend
I love mirrors in gardens, our garden is pretty small, so I love the extra feeling of space that mirrors can create...
Mirrors, reflect and open up the garden
We have a few other treasures which I will save for spring! Despite the deluge of rain this week, we are hoping that spring is on it's way. There are some tiny buds appearing...
The lemon trees are doing well, Tim's lemon curd production is in full swing, and this weekend we even have a lemon tart on the menu!
It's a bumper lemon crop this year!
We do have a problem with a few pests! One is the gall wasp which is ferociously attacking the established lemons, but more importantly is wreaking serious havoc in the newly planted lime tree...
Our other problem are the possums which take great delight at eating our various shoots and are especially partial to the camellia hedge. Possums are protected animals here in Victoria, so there is not a lot that we can do. We have tried everything as a deterrent from installing a large plastic owl with solar eyes, to the current system of wire netting... Our Possums are not at all concerned by any attempt we have made to stop them having a good feast.
Mutt will go banana's if he finds a possum, or worse still, two in the bushes. They are not even especially worried by his barking, and always keep themselves just high enough to be out of harms way...Such cute looking animals, but boy do they sadly eat a lot!
Wire netting over Camellia's in an attempt to stop possums
This last photo is of the front verandah which later in the year will be covered, when the wysteria goes wild. The white roses look a tad sad at the moment, but hopefully they are resting now for another blooming good year!
The porch is pretty bare at this time of year

What do you love about your garden? Do you have anything wacky like warriors and mirrors? Do let me know, I'd love to hear from you!

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