...to Love a Summer Garden
It is the holiday season in Sydney, a time when we can relax and reflect. For most of the year we return home from paid work and invest many hours in the maintenance of the home garden... planning, sowing, potting, planting, weeding, feeding, watering, staking, pruning, researching. So,why do we garden? It takes so much time...
Gardening is a creative and productive labour, an expression of one's values. Can we achieve a semblance of self-sufficiency and self-reliance in a small suburban garden? Can we sustain some of the original local wildlife with considered planting? Can we juggle many elements - site considerations, access, safety, privacy, aspect and orientation, personal theme - and create an attractive but functional 'canvas'?
Or is it more important that the garden be a 'haven', a place of refuge from the weekly working routine? It is a place for 'strenuous' relaxation... Work hard, worry little?
After two days of persistent rain, a break in the showers provided the opportunity to start up the camera and enjoy the vibrant colours and fantastic forms of our Asian-style 'canvas'.
Below are twelve reasons to love our summer garden. Only twelve! There are many more!
1. The tiny blood red colours of the Winged Pea.
2. The striking colours of Amaranth... and it is a very tasty addition to the dinner table.
3. A fullsome bunch of Pea Eggplants. Due to their abundance we have made a first attempt at pickling the overflow for winter use.
4. A burgeoning pink pomelo, our first. Here's hoping!
5. The vivid variegations of the Fish Chilli.
6. Purple hues of a young Aniseed Plant.
7. Tall Marigolds. Our front yard has been a problem area with most of the topsoil removed after the building of the home. At the end of the season the marigolds will be harvested in situ as mulch.
8. The deep blue berries of native Dianella caerulea.
9. Vivid red of Chinese Lanterns, Abutilon, light up a corner of the garden.
10. Graceful lines of De Arbol Chilli. Some chilli plants are as eye-catching as flowering annuals.
11. Beautiful and wonderfully fragrant... a white 'chempaka' flower. The tree welcomes us with its perfume every day in summer and autumn.
12. Very, very beautiful... but I suspect that left unattended it will destroy our garden seat. I wonder whether this is an Orange Jelly Fungus.
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