After many months of no rain, we have had a number of days of good rain over the last few weeks, much to the relief of the farmers. The garden is responding by leaping to life. I understand now much more clearly how watering just keeps gardens alive but rain makes them grow.
The lawns are truly grass green but the most rewarding part is the front wall garden bed which was mainly established the last quarter of last year. I’m just starting to see plants peek over the wall from the front footpath, as is the grand plan. The roses are flourishing, they just need some serious training to get them to go over the wall as they seem intent on reaching out the other way and sprawling across the ground to the grass. The Salvias are now hitting their straps as well, particularly the vibrant blue species.
The front circular garden bed looks so much better with the white Cosmos which can be clearly seen from so many angles, including from the street. They provide a soft contrast to the Convent and are always swaying with the breeze. There are some other interesting plants in there as well for anyone looking around the garden. With the rain, I seem now to have millions of baby Cosmos springing up.
Popcorn is making his presence felt – particularly as he loves to race up and down the front wall, taking breaks to jump up and look over. A few plants have felt his momentum and are no longer garden residents. He seems to have a set racing and turning track now that I just avoid planting. Once the roses kick in a little more, I’m sure it will limit his movements.
Other than bulbs, I’m now dialling back more ornamental plantings as I need to concentrate on the veg beds – cleaning out and replanting in preparation for Winter. In the meantime, I’m benefitting from what is currently ripening. In many ways this Summer has been disappointing as my first full season here, but one of the locals pointed out that it has been the worst growing season ever here in Kandos – two rounds of heavy hail that wiped everyone’s veg and stripped the fruit trees, an invasion of micro bugs that sucked so many veg dry and months of drought. It seems like I haven’t done that badly on reflection.
It’s been barely a year since the first plants went into the garden (which was many months before the property officially became mine) and after all these years, I’ve still astonished and delighted by how a garden changes with the seasons.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be clearing out some of the shaggy growth – predominantly the sweet peas, which will give the salvias space to come into their own, and the cornflowers which are now all over the place and looking worse for wear.
Two harsh hail storms in less than a week have done their damage, predominantly with the leafy veg. I’m removing damaged foliage as well as some of the plants that are now pretty much finished – the broad beans (after freezing over 4k of beans) have been replaced with heritage carrots and leafy greens. The fennel has been removed (it was like uprooting a tree!). Next on the agenda is celery, which was a tad disappointing.
The cherry tomatoes, which I now have so many varieties of now, thanks to supplements received via Diggers, seemed to have survived the hail onslaught and are being tempted back to growth with spray supplements of Seasol, Powerfeed and Charlie Carp. The Salvias all look like being the next series of stars as it appears to be their “time in the sun”. The berry bed is going crazy with new growth and the begginnings of berry crops. These are currently being collected for a mixed berry sorbet. This bed was fortuitously protected from the hail by the bird net that had been erected a day earlier.
The garden appears to be enjoyed by all the dogs. Roxy has always joined me whilst Tango has has her frequent “visits” with us. Popcorn loves the space but at present also needs company, so having me in the garden is best of both worlds for him.
Anyway, we are close to saying farewell to the first Spring at the Convent, and it has been an enormous one, with participating in the Kandos Gardens Fair and permanently moving our lives here to Kandos.