Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Melbourne Spring Garden


 Spring is delayed by a month!

Our Melbourne garden has endured plenty of unseasonal weather conditions this year. Spring, (September to November in Australia) has been no exception. We've just had the slowest build up to summer that I've know in nine years living in Australia. Meteorologists reckoned that our spring has been delayed by a month due to the cold, wet conditions.

A few years ago we were in a drought, which the poor farmers in Queensland are still suffering from. Many gardens in Melbourne were dug up and replaced by more drought tolerant options. Traditional cottage gardens, replaced by more native style gardens. We held our nerve and our plants, and installed a grey watering system. This puts all our shower water directly onto the garden. Today our cottage garden is flourishing.

Whilst the garden was grateful for the heavy rains in September and November, it was the strong winds in October that swept the state causing havoc that had the potential for the most harm at home. Luckily our garden damage was minimised to a broken branch and some battered plants and picking up the roses which had been flattened. 

Back garden in Winter - wild storms cause damage
Our front garden has a woodland theme. Well, what else can you do when three silver birch trees dominate and everything underneath competes for light and water and a rootless area to grow?! At least the Silver birches remained standing... 

Spring arrives and the garden begins to renew (with blue ajuga reptans)
I am used to European gardens where spring is all about the first snowdrops poking their little heads through the hard frosty ground, or daffodils defiantly and cheerily emerging from their winter hiding. Here the bulbs that emerge always seem so exotic...

To make the garden our own, we have added a few Asian touches, which remind us of our travels and previous life. These posts below 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.

Spring sunshine in the front garden (with red heliconia parrotica)
Below is the picture from my previous Winter Garden blog, we have done a bit of weeding of the path since then...

Front garden in Winter
On the rare days that the sun peaks out, the crazy poodle takes a quick snooze. He loves the way the sun, even in spring, has enough strength to warm the boards beneath his tummy, like an outside heated blanket. He takes time out from his busy schedule for a rare bit of spring sunbaking, as it is called here. Occasionally his ears will flop down into the water and be nibbled at by the fish in the pond!

Sunbathing by the pool
Back garden in Spring  - A wet spring, causes everything to grow wild!

Our Japanese Maple springs into life, it's rich red leaves a warning of the hot summer days ahead and makes a nice contrast to all the greenery. I told you everything went wild with all the rain! 


Our lemon trees once so full of fruit, have been picked for Grannie's famous lemon curd, which my husband takes great delight in making...His contributions on the culinary front now largely over until the summer BBQ season! 

Well actually that is a bit of a fib. Australian's cook on the BBQ throughout the year. We too, have taken to cooking a lot of our meat outside on the Barbie all year long. We have a gas BBQ just outside the back door, here is breakfast at the beach house a few weeks ago...

Any Aussie Garden needs to include a BBQ
On the roof of our house our solar hot water panels are just visible, waiting patiently for the ferocity of the summer heat, thank goodness for the gas booster ensuring our warm showers throughout winter and spring!

Daisy's enjoying a rare day of sunshine, lemon trees now all bare
Winter lemons have all now been picked

We found these old Chinese doors in deepest China and had them restored. They now sit as a feature at the back of one garden, one day I will tell you all about this, but not right now... 


This last photo is of the front verandah which later in the year will be covered in a mass of wysteria flowers. For now we are happy with the spring roses. The Last Rose of the 2012 Summer has now been replaced by a mass of  first roses of the 2013 summer. With a bit of luck, and water, they will bloom until autumn as a cheery greeting for anyone coming to visit.


The seasons move on, spring is a season of growth, renewal and endless weeding...

Front Verandah bare in Winter

Hooray, we are now into Summer. 
I can't wait to see what the garden has in store for us this summer. 
Anyone seen the garden umbrella... 
I think the sun is just about to come out?!

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