Top ten list of garden plants

  • Abutilons of all kinds
  • Buddlejas old and new
  • Epiphytic orchids and ferns
  • Gordonia species
  • Heliotrope, Lemon verbena, Fennel and herbs
  • Michelias of all sorts
  • Perennial Salvias large and small
  • Species Camellias
  • Tea and China Roses
  • Weigela of all types

Montville Rose

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn to Summer

With open gardens etc. behind us and with a very good rainfall so far this year the time has come for some subtraction and alteration at 'The Shambles'.
At least 6 different Coleus, some Stenocarpus or nodding Violets, Salvias, Pelargoniums and Buddlejas from cutting have been going in.
Garden beds have been extended either side of a winding asphalt front path by layering cardboard, newspaper, straw and mushroom compost. These beds are waiting for a little more maturity from our cuttings grown roses acquired from Kate Stock. Into this space will be planted Perle des Jardin, Perleno. 2 (?Etoile de Lyon), Mme Joseph Swartz and Alister Stella Gray. We have several pots almost ready with Comptesse de Labarthe, Professeur Ganiviat and Homere.
Also waiting for a climbing space are Alice Garnier, Altissimo and Buff Beauty.
Potted roses who will be kept in large ceramic pots (with an inner plastic pot) for the summer include Harry Wheatcroft, Julias Rose, Camille Pisarro, Graham Thomas and Mr. Lincoln.
That's all process, but to outcome Wendy Lonie has taken away 5 buckets of roses for her daughters wedding tomorrow, all old fashioned roses of many colours.
As summer heat has not affected us at all until so late the gentle flowers of so many perennials and delicate things have had a chance to display without wilting away unlike last year.
Salvias, Salvia macrophyum, S.coccinea, S.guaranitica, S.iodanthe, S.mexicana, S.miniata, S. uliginosa along with shrubs such as Brillantasia, Pentas, and all the species and varieties of Abutilon are flowering in a blaze of colours. Violas, Verbena, Linaria, Dianthus and Golden Rod are in full display as are Plectranthus.
Sadly we have arranged the removal of a large healthy Cupressus leylandii which now (amongst our othe conifers) projects too much shade into the middle of the garden. In the space (still protected) created we already have Hydrangea , Pieris and other such ready to go in.
Also sad, it would appear that our dreams of Clematis are coming to nought, although transplanted Acanthus mollis and Plectranthus ecklonii 'Hawthorne Pink' are powering on.
May it stay cool and even wet this year. Just can't stand the heat.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Party is Over. Free at Last

During the last week we have had the National Tour of Heritage Roses in Australia visit us on Tuesday, and an Open Garden through the Australian Open Garden Scheme on Saturday and Sunday. Firstly let me say thankyou to Margaret and Laurie Jeays, James Simpson, Martin Leonard, Isobel and Gary Tynan, our son John Simpson and everyone else who helped us with the physical work of preparation for these events.
Picture: Brunfelsia latifolia & wishing well.

Kyleigh and I have worked hard for at least a year introducing new plants, supporting our large inventory of plants with fertilizing , pruning and pest control and building new structures.
The roses were pruned late July and brought forth beautifully for the Tuesday event.
A wonderful range of old fashioned roses, grown from cutting, was available prepared and beautifully labelled by Kate Stock. Apart from helping to prepare the lunch for the Rose conference delegates, members of the Hunchy Community Association prepared a fantastic selection of plants for sale, and of course many were sold
Just as we leave these unseasonally cool,wet spring conditions behind I noted today that flower buds are ready to burst on Tibouchina 'Noelene', Rhodomyrtus tomentosa and on the Amaryllis and Lilium longifolium.
Ornamental Salvias such as S.guaranitica, S.uliginosa, S. megalophyllum and Brillantasia are coming into flower to augment the colourful Salvia miniata, Salvia splendens (many types) and ever present Salvia coccinea.
It's time for us to have a rest and enjoy it
Michael Simpson

Friday, October 1, 2010

A week of Open Garden and Visitors ahead

Image Abutilon hybrid (double pink)
Why does anyone open their garden to friends and strangers? The answer is not that straight forward. In our case it has been; because we were asked to, or because an organization we belonged to was fundraising, or to support other gardeners in a garden festival. This coming week we are open on Tuesday to the National Tour of Heritage Roses in Australia because we were happy to open our garden and especially the rose gardens for people of a similar interest.
They won't be at our garden for very long, and after providing them with lunch, we hope that they remember a favourite rose or at least a well made sandwich.
When we build gardens, we create not a snapshot 'picture' but a whole story written in the form, colour, scale and even scent of an artificial landscape. Most people love to visit other peoples homes and gardens to see how things are and perhaps make comparisons. However, without realising it , while walking around, hands behind the back and a critical eye garden visitors will be reading the story of a garden.
Some of us visit gardens to discover new and interesting species, but we all will leave with a sense of the place and it's story. Larger, established and complicated and even run down gardens will always give the visitor a more interesting story than a newly built , perhaps contrived and overmanaged garden.
Hopefully the story our garden tells to visitors is one of a cherished family space, full of variety and robust colour as a nod to the Victorian era and style. More art than science and more luck than good management.
Michael Simpson