Winter, it’s really here now as it’s past mid July, but a lot of the plants just don’t seem to know the date…some still feel it must be Autumn, now it’s finally rained a lot and it’s a bit colder. So the Salvias for the most part are still flowering away merrily, even those which go completely dormant in Winter! The Bearded Irises which usually repeat in Autumn ( I have about half a dozen repeaters) didn’t manage a second go this year, it was too dry even for Irises…but now, one by one, they’re making mid-Winter blooms! So along with the dianthus carrying on as they do and the roses still producing blooms, the garden does not look like a winter scene.
I’m still busy making cuttings most days, and this morning I went over to Banksia Lutea to collect some wood, as all the Autumn cuttings died. Lo and behold, she was covered in bunches of buds, many already open! The enormous Laevigata left behind in the chook run at Weiti was also sporting many blooms last week. That’s what I call really early Spring flowering!
Following another NE rain event scheduled for tomorrow there’s a wonderful long anti cyclone hovering in the wings for all of next week. I’m really hoping temperatures drop more than predicted and we can get a nice week of frosts to kill some bugs and fungi or we’re going to have a bad season next year.
So Winter tasks continue, with the added burden of having to continue with things that shouldn’t be tasks at this time of year…the lawns are still needing mowing weekly or close to it, the weeds are still sprouting and growing like crazy Spring weeds! Many more roses than usual are still having flowers, mostly just odd blooms, but the real grafters are still producing a show. Mary Rose is always one in this category. She out does the Chinas on continuity. She was introduced by the late David Austin in 1983 and to my mind, 36 years later hasn’t been surpassed. Sure there are much fancier flowers with much stronger scents and better shaped bushes, but when it comes to producing attractive foliage and flowers all through the year, she scores extremely highly in my books.
Some of our own homebred roses are pleasing in their non stop production of flowers also. Weiti Sherry is a Mutabilis cross and one can usually find a bloom or bunch on her in any month of the year. Like many of the Tea roses, her winter blooms can be quite unrecognisable colour wise. In Winter there’s no sign of pink In Sherry…
Another new girl on the block is Weiti Michele. She is obviously of Hybrid Musk origin and makes a large arching shrub with pleasingly few thorns. She is now getting more established in her new spot in my garden and this season is continuing to flower through the Autumn and now into Winter. Her sweet musk scent is so welcome on a foggy cold Winter morning!
Onward and upward…the sun has risen I believe as it’s now light outside so I must get outside to inspect the garden. The Spring bulbs are appearing with their cheerful faces, daffodils and erlicheer along with the first of the dutch irises. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds and whether the confused flowers will come again at their “right” time