Friday, October 31, 2014

a few new leaves

Every winter, my curry leaf plant yellows and languishes like the poor subtropical darling it is. And every spring, just as I'm wondering if I should do something drastic to rescue it, it puts on an amazing spurt of coppery green new growth. This year I think it may even have flower buds!

My namesake, the bay tree (Laurel nobilis, I think) does the same thing. I'm usually considering purchasing dried bay leaves to prevent defoliating the poor love completely when all of a sudden, there's a flush of big new leaves, bright green, floppy and impossibly soft, which gradually toughen over summer into the deep green adult foliage, the ambiguous flavour of which is strangely essential to soups and stews.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Op shop vase with love in the mist, calendula, parsley (the world's most underrated cut flower), coriander, sweet peas and perennial peas. Grabbed in a rush from the garden, on the way home from the vet. So much loveliness.

Friday, October 24, 2014

five minutes of flower photos

It's been a dry and dusty few days here. Not unpleasant, but not much rain. We were on our way out for an early morning shop and as we left the house my handsome husband pulled on the windscreen washers to remove the layer of grit that was obstructing his vision. Only, after a wipe or two, it ran dry, leaving the windscreen a smudgy mess. He pulled over, fortuitously, outside the garden and while he refilled the windscreen reservoir with a watering can, I ran around taking flower photos. I couldn't help myself. Best pit stop ever.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Le Printemps

Well, the blossoms are all blossoming, spectacularly so. Sadly my phone went flat before I managed to snap a pic of the weeping cherry, finally in flower, but I did get some pics of the magnificent pom pom poppies and the apple blossoms in full flight. Teensy baby fruit are appearing on the quince, as was a graft of an old French variety, thanks to the garden's grafting guru, Don. 

Oh, and we had a lovely baby broad bean and apple salad for dinner. Thank you, Spring.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pretty as a Picture

'I must have flowers, always, and always.'
Claude Monet

The profusion of colour down at the garden at the moment makes me think a Monet painting. Splodges of brightness and darkness and multi-hued greens that fill the eye to brimming. Every view shows a different palette, a slight change in angle reveals an entirely different combination of flowers and colours, every shift in the light is a completely new canvasMy hurried photos don't even begin to do it justice.

Interestingly, the brightest, boldest blocks of colour in the garden at the moment are provided by flowering opportunists - none of them were planted to deliberately create a flowery show - in fact most of them weren't planted at all. The glowing orange calendula are naturalised in the garden, they come up wherever they please and are easily pulled out when not welcome, or, as is often the case, left in as colourful place holders, simultaneously suppressing weeds and putting on a show (also, the petals are edible). The same goes for the misty blue banks of borage, which the bees adore. The pale lemon yellow of broccoli gone to flower are all over the garden at the moment. They could be viewed as a missed crop but I think they're brilliant - well worth leaving in. Besides, they taste lovely in salads. And the delicate, brighter yellow blooms are a wild broccoli ancestor, I call them brassica weed, growing on a neglected plot. Apparently they're also edible but I've only ever picked them for flower arrangements, they add a wonderful subtle splash of gold, they were even in the table decorations at my wedding.

At the risk of sounding wanky, I kind of understand why Monet felt the need to develop an entirely new approach to painting in order to capture the beauty of the natural world; dabbing at the canvas, layering light and shadow, painting the same scene over and over. It's a far cry from the gardens at Giverny but it would take many canvases and millions of brushstrokes to capture the glorious spring display of our Merri Corner floral opportunists. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

String of pearls

A new addition to the succulent collection, already among my faves. Round, bobbly leaves, sweet, intricate little flower with two more buds on the way... what's not to love?

And it's not as if it doesn't have some stiff competition, including another trailing beauty whose name I don't known and a a snappy little guy in a pimento tin. I haven't really captured their full loveliness here but every time I walk outside, my heart just melts. What can I say, I heart succulents.

Monday, October 6, 2014

and so it begins...

This time last year, my true love and I were packing for our honeymoon. We had originally hoped to be wed in the community garden but space restrictions and a growing guest list meant we moved the ceremony across the road to the velodrome (arguably an equally wonderful venue) and settled for post wedding champagne in the garden instead. 

As a result, I spent the months leading up to the wedding, beautifying our plot in particular and the garden in general. And I think now I will always associate the garden in September with the lead up to the wedding; planting, pruning, watching and guessing what would be out when.

Magically, the weeping cherry at the garden entrance burst into bloom just a day or so before our big day. Interestingly, this year it's not yet flowering. I can't however, recall what the sweet peas were doing last year on my wedding day. I had a sweetpea from the florist in my hair and they were in the bouquets and in the table arrangements but strangely, I can't remember if they had started flowering in the garden or not. This week, however, exactly one year on, I noticed the very first of them, waving sweetly in the breeze.