It has been a busy month in the garden, and I am certainly happy with the progress that has been made this year, despite the weather. It is funny because every day when I look at how much progress I make and I am disappointed. But when I look back over a month or two, I am amazed at how much I accomplished. To think that the work area out front, the Winter garden and the Mediterranean garden are all completely new this year (cleared from native undergrowth) and lots of progress in the Fairy garden, plus the Fuchsia wall. Some of the Fuchsia have just started to bloom, but I will wait until next month to feature what I have done there.
The front working area is now finished. All benches have been constructed, the coldframes are finished and the paths laid. While I know there will be tweaks over time, I am very happy with the way everything has turned out and it is far easier to work on the plants now, rather than having to bend over all the time. There has definitely been less damage done by deer, as they trample over the plants hey don’t like to get to the ones they do.
The pedestal for the sun dial in the Mediterranean garden has been built. We took a trip to the rock shop and I chose a large crushed rock which has very sandy colors as the mulch for this area. We just bought one back so that I could see how it looks and I am happy with it. The stones are about 1″ to 1 1/2″ and contain no fines, so hopefully it will act as a good mulch. I also think the colors pick up the ‘rust’ in the basalt used for the walls and to retain the slope, and yet still provide a contrast. Many more bags are required, next time we are in town.
We also picked up some cut slabs of grey rock. This was also for a defined need and an experiment. The defined need was for the bridge in the Fairy garden. It has meant that I needed to get the bridge sides in and the waterfall liner put in before much of the waterfall has been constructed. That may be something I regret later.
I also tried replacing the slate slab on the top of the pedestal with a cut slab and it certainly did not look right. The rough slate is back, but that cut slab will not go to waste. These are the prime candidate for the paving material through the contemporary garden. With the front finished, demolition of that area will probably happen later this year. While I have plans, I also have some trepidation about how to deal with the terrain in that area.
What’s in Bloom
With so much in bloom this month, it is tough to know which ones to highlight, so I tend to favor plants that are new to me. This is the first year we had the native Iris douglasiana bloom and it certainly put on a good show for quite a few weeks.
Cistus have loved the weather this year and they are now full of blossoms. This is a new one to us and is a solid pink/magenta – Cistus x pulverulentus ‘Sunset’. It has more silvery, fuzzy leaves and the colors together make a very nice contrast.
An existing plant that is doing very nicely this year is Fabiana imbricata. The long, swooping branches are filled with tiny blue trumpet flowers. It is an absolute picture.
But the most favored bloom has to be the Banksia ericifolia ‘Compact Form. This is the first Banksia to bloom in the garden, and one of the few that survived the cold this winter. Half of the floral cylinder has been blasted by the cold, but the bottom half has fully opened. Glorious!
At last, a weather month that behaved almost as it should. It was a little wetter and colder than last year, but not by a significant amount. This year, the high was 90, the low 45 and the average 56.6. Last year it was 101.8, 46 and 58. This year’s rainfall was 6.88″ compared to 1.93″. I will take that any year. The garden is certainly getting to the dry stage where water runs off the sand rather than penetrated into it.