The photo above is a dream of mine, as a visual person I fall for a beautiful green lawn, a back drop of large trees for shade and protection, smaller shrubs that flower through out the year for a continual view of colour and fragrance. The sound of birds singing their own songs, the buzzing of bees in amongst the flowers and sharing the bird baths for water and hydration. I have always had this kind of fascination for as long as I can remember.
I live in a climate of hot summers (40 degrees Celsius) and mild to cold winters (14-16 degrees Celsius) with some winters being wet and others not. Summer is very dry. So my dream of a lush green garden doesn’t really fit my home location. We do have the large trees in the yard for shade, amazing gum trees of great heights. Callistemon trees that have draping branches with long red flowers on the end, a couple of hibiscus’s that have stunning double pink flowers that make an arch way through to the back of the yard. There is a lot of open space, that over the past winter was infested with weeds, but with some slashing with the whipper-sniper there is now plenty of spaces to plant new plants and fill the gaps. Now here is the issue I have, we live in such a climate that my love for the delicate cottage plants won’t survive in the harsh Australian home garden unless we have large water usage. As we are on water restrictions of only watering with sprinkler systems twice a week, it makes it very difficult, though I do have on my patio in pots hydrangeas, roses, chrysanthemums, gardenia, snapdragons, spring flowering bulbs, a grevillea, hoya, port wine magnolia, chives, and a wisteria. So for me that is my cottage garden, my goal is to build my gardens (half an acre) with a mix of roses, buddleias, bougainvillea’s banksias, salvias, jacaranda trees, and more. With a mix of Australian natives to attract the birds and cottage plants to attract the butterflies and bees my garden will have parts of my dream and the practical side, for the weather conditions that we have.
I love the fact that I can sit here at my desk and write with a view of my back yard, and the vision of what it will look like in the coming months. You see Summer when its 40 degrees C, is not the time to be planting cottage plants or any other plant, including natives, in my experience. I usually pick the cooler days, or times when the weather for the coming week is going to be cool enough for the plants to take a hold and not get fried.
I love that yesterday, as I was writing my novel, two small birds caught my eye and distracted me from my writing, playing in the native bush I have directly across from my window, that happened at different times of the day. I would watch the bees playing in the bird bath. Even my first fictional novel I am currently writing has a garden theme to it, in England, Australia and America. With my characters using gardening in their lives for their own reasons. As much as I love summer here in Western Australia, I do look forward to the cooler months of Autumn and Winter to fill the garden beds, run the climbers across the back fence, and for a new flush of colour and the waft of mixed floral fragrance circulate my garden and home.
Until next we meet…have a love day.