I’m nearly over my first Winter in Kandos. I’ve been told it was very mild and I believe that. It was particularly kind to me given I don’t have proper heating organised. I’ve learnt my lessons about the frosts and will be better prepared next year, and anticipate my plants will be better established and more protected by surrounding growth (I will not prune until the end of Winter).
The bulbs have been incredibly rewarding. I’ve been really happy with all of them. They certainly respond much better here than they do in my North Shore garden with barely a failure (well, maybe the Nerines were a tad disappointing. Bugger! I just checked and bought 18 but only had two flowers). The deep blue Hyacinths (Delft Blue) have been the highlight – I had no idea they would be so deep and vibrant. I’ll get some more of these next year, as well as Bluebells which for some reason I didn’t buy. I’ll also try to buy more of the Saffron Crocuses which are a bit on the expensive side, but I like the thought of growing my own saffron. Strangely enough these are all blue flowers! I’m yet to see the Freesias flower but they look as though they won’t disappoint. I’m not tempted to try tulips – just yet. Most of these bulbs came from Tesselaars. I’m also hoping they multiply happily from hereon.
The side bed near my bedroom verandah seems to be a success and the blues work well with the white primula (which I am loving – cheap cheery plants that go on forever with such pretty little flowers) and the lovely groundcover Fairy rose which is becoming a firm favourite. So much so that I am extending the bed right down the side of the house and repeating the colour scheme of pink, blue and white with the Fairy rose being a constant, combined with white ground cover camellias and filling out with bulbs and perennials for colour, including Acquilegia’s (another favourite), salvias, primulas, blue sages … I just thought – I should move some of the Cornflowers that are totally overcrowded from me tipping way too many seeds in near the Grotto and circular garden bed!
The Front Wall garden bed is making gradual progress. The wall runs maybe 40 metres long and I’m making the bed several metres deep so there’s a lot of digging when it’s all covered in weeds and grass (Kikuyu!), but each weekend I make a bit of progress, plant an area and cover with mulch. The old railway sleepers have been ordered so should provide some much needed structure. The wall has a Southern aspect so I can plant more shade sympathetic plants close to the fence but also climbers to scramble over the top, which is the job of the roses. The Wall is very plain and stark at present from the street (not even a tree in front although the Council are providing three pink prunuses to match the rest of the street). Camellias, Azaleas, roses and ornamental Maples as well as two Lilacs are dominating at present.
I’ve commenced tidying up the Church side of the back wall with two rambuctious Mr Lincoln’s being added with at least one more to come. The bold red should work well with the incumbent Ivy. I’m endeavouring to wind back the rose planting, although am tempted to add a few more Saint varieties.
The old pruned roses are starting to shoot already. Hopefully I get some good strong new branches to kick them along and put a bit of life back into the old bushes.
The garden veg are great. Lamb shank casserole this weekend with all homegrown root veg – baby carrots, parsnip, turnip, swede, celery, parsley as well as broad beans. The broccoli and beetroot have been topped up with a second planting. I also was shown “where the wild asparagus grows” and hope to get some in the next few weeks. The thought of fresh asaparagus from the garden is too good to resist.
All in all, we’ve survived Winter well and the garden is in good shape for the Spring.