I’m not able to type as I am suffering from tendinopathy in my right arm. More of that when I am recovered – I’m trying acupuncture at the moment. Everyone I talk to – neighbours, former work colleagues, friends even the window cleaner this morning – gives me a dire prognosis! So it’s mostly photos here, in my update since my last garden blog on 5 August 2020 which you can see here.
Here’s a picture giving an overview of the garden in September.
Our biggest change has been the removal of the Chinese Pistachio tree which was one of the earliest things we planted in our garden – over thirty years ago. It took me a long time to find a photo of it in full leaf as all this year it has been been dying of a fungal disease. A tragedy.
This is picture was taken at the height of its splendour. It shows the possum box which has now been removed; a good thing because we have no longer have possums eating everything. This shows how dense the foliage was.
As does this one, taken at Christmas; though we still needed umbrellas to shade our tables fully.
Here I am modelling new clothes with the tree as backdrop, in January this year.
We got an arborist in when in summer its leaves were drooping despite lots of watering (maybe too much?) We were told it was likely a fungal disease and to stop watering pronto. Then to wait and see whether its natural defence system could kick in and help it overcome the disease. I’ve been taking pictures all year; all showed recovery was unlikely. The bare branches were striking.
During winter it looked much as it ever did along with the other bare leafed trees. In this photo you can see how lovely our hyacinths were all through winter.
But by Spring as the trees burst into leaf , we knew that the fight against the disease was lost.
So here it is coming down at the first opportunity when garden maintenance was finally allowed under our stage four lockdown restrictions. Tony recommended Orlando Paladino and he was terrific. This is his assistant removing some branches. Orlando was in charge of the chain saw. They did a remarkable job getting the tree down and all traces of it removed from our tiny backyard in the space of about four hours.
We were quickly able to fill the space with existing plants. A couple of camellias removed from the near the fence closer to the house and two standard fuschias in pots. also two roses, one transferred from the front garden where it has struggled and one from near Patrick’s lemon tree where it was squashed. The big round pot is sitting on top of the remains of the tree; won’t be a permanent feature but my transplanted hellebore has done well.
And I did get more hellebore flowers as I’d hoped.
Just when I was convinced it was dead the peony rose Mum gave me started showing signs of life.
As happened last year I’ve had a beautiful flower. I love the antique cerise colour. It doesn’t last very long but is quite spectacular while at blooms.
Here it is a little later.
As always I was delighted when this wonderful standard Azalea burst into bloom. I’ve had it a long time, re-potting it every couple of years and am pleased it continues to deliver this block of colour every year.
It is really magnificent and looks to terrific against the lilac wall of the garage.
I’ve already had a few ballerina fuschias, with lots more coming. They’re glorious.
And my lovely two toned variety is just starting – here’s one from one of my self pruned standards.
It’s been a great year for roses. I fed mine earlier this year and as a result have lots of buds coming on nearly all of the eight bushes I have crammed into my tiny garden. I can’t remember the names having managed to lose their identifying tags. This one has the most beautiful perfume.
Here it is again a couple of days later when the scent is stronger. I also love its form.
Here’s another with a similar shape although the bush is hard to manage – very droopy. I love the apricot colour. It’s also quite strongly perfumed.
Here is tried and true Just Joey. As you can see, just after rain. Our heaviest fall in Melbourne for ten years. Great for roses (and lemon trees).
And a little later. I love the blowsiness of these roses; they open up so much.
Given the absence of the tree, my good old Graham Thomas (the only rose name I can remember) has really taken on a new lease of life. This has been in the garden ever since we came here and I’m looking forward to these buds opening out into beautiful yellow blooms.
We don’t think we’ll replace the tree. Though this may change. We have a baby smoke-bush tree against the fence and will see how that grows. I love the leaves and flowers (which we haven’t had yet). But they are very straggly growers and also get very large.
I’d better stop – the deadly thing about tendonitis is you don’t feel the pain while you’re possibly aggravating the condition. Thus far I have impeded my recovery twice – once doing my blog on Thomas Mann’s novels and once exercising with my roller. So just quickly here are pictures of some of our hanging baskets which I continue to keep looking good – regular watering! Pansies are coming good.
And I love these strings of beads; don’t know what they’re called.
Our geraniums are also starting.
And I end with a picture of my garden owl, that I’ve retrieved from being lost in the bushes.