The rivulet’s brief Jekyll/Hyde switch from tame stream to roaring torrent in May that did so much damage in the Hobart CBD just failed to reach the lowest bed in the creek garden, although it did undermine the retaining wall a little. There were two positive outcomes, the huge messy pile of fallen willow branches and debris that had built up into a beaver dam beside my boundary was swept away and the swirling water laid bare a lovely layer of rocks that I’ve been picking over for my garden edges
Two days after I noticed the blocked boulder trap while walking the spotted dog around the ridge I heard the clanking rumble of heavy machinery, overlaid with the intermittent beep beep beep of reversing earth movers coming from that direction … I’m assuming it’s all been cleared.
All deciduous trees are bare now apart from the last tattered leaves clinging to the pear, this allows the lively stems of the golden ash to gleam from the gloom of the arctic zone, unfortunately it also reveals the less than attractive gardening flotsam hidden behind. That all will be dealt with, one day…
Malus ioensis doesn’t have colorful winter stems to parade but I like the way the rain drops hang from the shiny tangle of branches.
Salvia karwinski is waving its long brittle branches in the wind, dark pink buds just begining to open, hopefully there will be some time to enjoy them before the 10 foot canes snap in the wind but it’s a beautiful thing to have flowering in winter. A single white Dahlia imperialis bloom is struggling with them but will probably succumb to the weather, a move to more sheltered spot is on the list.
Salvia Costa Rica blue is still producing large racemes of incredibly beautiful deep blue flowers but I failed to do the critical pruning again, so brittle stems are also being broken by the wind, and by me as I walk past. It’s such a worthwhile plant I should strike cuttings for planting in a more protected position, and remember to nip new growth back, seems odd that these two big salvias with their flappy felty leaves aren’t bothered by the frost. The other salvia that that continues to flower happily is Salvia mexicana, although it’s being crowded by a slightly too willing Philadelphus coronarius, one of my nostalgia plants. Its delicious scent takes me straight back to childhood Christmases, my mother had planted a large shrub by the verandah at the front door.
A bright yellow early narcissus, one of Rod Barwick’s delightful Glenbrook Cedrics, came and went, both accompanied and then followed by a range of exquisite white and creamy yellow potted Narcissus romeuxii.
and this deep yellow unnamed seedling that I think is especially nice
Another favourite, the delicately ruffle edged Ta Julia hybrid narcissus purchased from Glenbrook a few years ago
A few odd muscari have popped up but I think it will be a couple of years before they settle into a consistent flowering pattern. Also the recently planted pot full of Tulipa saxatalis are already poking through and pots of still sleeping tulips line the steps down the mountain side of the garden.
The superficially similar winter flowering Crocus melantherus and Crocus nubigena (the species from Turkey that has remained nubigena) have been flowering for a couple of weeks. Crocus nubigena has wonderful crisp white petals with startling black anthers and orange style, it has a stylish edge that melantherus lacks and is a favourite of mine.
First of the rich purple Crocus sieberi ssp atticus has just opened along with Crocus imperatii with its lilac centre and striped buff exterior.
Cyclamen coum have been happily flowering for weeks
Cyclamen coum f. albumisium in a tiny pot, the chubby pure white flowers are set off nicely against the plain dark round leaves, I’m really pleased with it, but then I’m pleased with most of the tribe (more notes to self, must repot).
Early Galanthus are already flowering , Eric’s choice, Richard Ayres, Wendy’s gold, plus some lovely random elwesii.
Cute chubby double flowers of Galanthus Richard Ayres together with a golden crocus that is labelled Crocus cvijicii but it seems a little early
Many more are pushing through, giving me a compelling reason to head down to the arctic zone to check progress, and contemplate the necessity of relabelling before the current labels become completely illegible. Galanthus ‘Wendy’s Gold’ is looking better this year but definitely needs either repotting or planting out, possibly some of each, I like to have these growing in two different places as insurance
Hopefully sowed seeds of Lilium mackiniae, I suspect the seeds may be a couple of years old so fingers crossed for decent germination. I accidently broke the single shoot that dared come through from my only bulb last summer when I was bumbling around cleaning up and removing excess dianella that was claiming exclusive rights to the garden bed. I originally transplanted the dianella from a patch across the rivulet so it’s extremely local and very happy.
Finally moved long suffering Cardiocrinum giganticum bulbs from the shallow 8 inch boxes they have been in for at least 8 years to good deep ones that will allow a decent root run and hopefully some flowering stems. There are still more to transplant beside the rivulet where two flowered last year, plus a box of Cardiocrinum yunnanence begging for better living quarters. Two years ago one bulb flowered from its shallow home so they are surprisingly willing.
Gordonia axillaris is loaded with fat buds and just begining to open its stunningly careless white blooms with that massive boss of chrome yellow stamens. This plant died back badly a couple of years ago and I nearly removed it, fingers crossed that the recovery continues as I’m not sure what the problem was.
Meanwhile the spotted dog remains stoic