The essence of spring is its unpredictability. After a brilliant start to September, we endured the coldest September day for over seventy years on Saturday (6 September) at a maximum of just over 14°C, and we recorded 80mm (over 3 inches) of rain here over Friday and Saturday. Fortunately, Fathers' Day today was a beautiful sunny day! The rain was very welcome, and should do our gardens the world of good over the next few weeks.
My shaded spring border, full of hot coloured flowers, continues to glow, undaunted by the wet weather. A very dramatic bulb - called the paintbrush lily Scadoxus puniceus is nestled amidst the clivia flowers: an enormous red brush with luminescent orange bristles on a thick stem. It opens from a tight bud over several weeks and blooms for a long time. Corms and bulbs from South Africa are some of the most useful for Sydney gardens, as they do not require a very cold winter to bloom, as many other spring bulbs need, and they survive our hot, humid summers without complaint. The beautiful perfumed freesias are already flowering and will soon be followed by other South African bulbs, bringing that sparkling freshness to our gardens that only bulbs seem able to convey.
18 Oct 20
Although my garden is semi-tropical in nature now, I still have some vestiges from my cottage garden days!
11 Oct 20
Consider training a shrub into a small tree.
04 Oct 20
October is iris time in Sydney gardens: the best are the tall bearded irises and Louisiana irises.
One crowded hour
27 Sep 20
Much can be achieved in regular short stints in the garden.
20 Sep 20
We may not be able to grow massed displays of tulips in our climate, but try some of these South African corms instead.