May 26, 2012

A Walk in the Autumn Garden...

As the last days of May bid us farewell,
we say goodbye to the delightful autumn season in Melbourne.
And with the crisper nights,
with their promise of cosy dinner parties
and roaring log fires,
come the beautiful Indian Summer days,
perfect for spending time lingering in the garden.
In any season, 
this garden just keeps on giving,
with different plants shining in the spotlight
in the changing weather.
So come for a walk in the garden with me,
to see what we can find in the soft light of late autumn...

Japanese Lanterns adore this time of year,
and happily produce dozens of these beautiful bell flowers.
Not only do they open during the day and close at night on the bush,
but as a cut flower they do the same. 
Rather fun.

This rocket self seeded from last year's plantings,
and it would hardly be an exageration to say 
there are over a hundred plants.
What luxury!
And delicious tucked into a salad with juicy pears,
walnuts, freshly shaved parmesan, walnut oil & aged balsamic vinegar.

Rosehips, with their globular shapes,
look a little like a persimmon to me.
These will get redder and redder,
turning the most glorious shade of vermilion,
before I pick them to give to Rumbah
and to arrange in bouquets in the house.

 I finally worked out why we don't get lemons.
Because the pygmy ringtail possums
apparently adore the lemon blossom.
Well, I can't growl, because this tiny local species is quite endangered,
so I just have to keep buying lemons instead.
The flowers do look good - while they last!

 This late into the autumn season,
most of the deciduous trees have coloured and lost their leaves.
But the Mt Fuji cherries,
which grace the alfresco terrace,
are the very last to say goodbye to the warm sun,
treating us with one last blast of orange before they sleep.
They are the first to wake in spring,
and will come to life in just a few short months
with spectacular blossom.

Yet another variety of my beloved pig face creeper.
It will erupt in masses of white flowers in spring,
but all through winter it will keep growing these succulent leaves,
which are quite delicious lightly stir fried with ginger and bok choy.

Mondo grass, growing between old bricks which I found in the back garden
and relaid as a path to the front door.

A grevillea of creamy white brings in the colourful parrots, 
to feast on the pollen and nectar.
You can imagine how much Rumbah likes this plant too,
when I arrange the fabulous flowering branches in vases in the kitchen.
He sways about, hanging upside down,
drinking as if it is the finest Champagne.
I love the spiky architectural leaves of this very Australian plant,
with their dramatic form.

Even in the middle of winter,
there will still be plenty of things to pick,
like the Artemisia with its silver grey lacy leaves.

I feel incredibly lucky to have a garden such as this,
which gives endless beauty in return for just a little care.

And that's the thing about a garden,
the outcome is definitely weighted in our favour :
we put a little in, but we get so much more back out.

images :: blue fruit,
on my new camera : YAY!!!
warning : this camera could become addictive...


  1. Virginia...I enjoyed the stroll through your garden so much. Thank you. It is a very beautiful, special garden. I can why you enjoy it so much. The in laws' farm near Perth grows organic rocket and it is like nothing one buys in the shops. So peppery and 'green' is the best way to describe the taste! The new camera is fab - what did you get? Annie x.

    1. Hello Annie. Oh indeed, i can't believe the difference in the taste of the homegrown. My garden is all organic too.

      In the end, i bought a canon 550d with a few different lens and so far - for the 3 days i have had it, am loving it. But there is much to learn, and these first shots of the garden were part of that learning! I got a 10-20mm wide angle lens to solve the problem of the bathroom/ small room frame which we both know is so troublesome.

  2. Virginia,
    your garden is fabulous.
    Yes, enjoy this beauty as much as you can.
    Have a splendid weekend .

    1. Thank you Tereza. And wishing you a beautiful, warm weekend filled with all the delicious soup which you love, and perhaps a roaring log fire or two as well!

  3. Oh my goodness! Your garden is amazing! Beautiful autumn colours. I love your weathered outdoor table and chairs, too.

    A happy weekend to you!

    1. Ah, now that's interesting that you picked up on the weathered furniture. I adore it like that - love the patina of real life and age - but my husband thinks it looks terrible and should be used for firewood! Each to their own, which makes design all so much the more interesting.

  4. I love how you're heading into the beauty of autumn while we're enjoying the beauty of always amazes me...every year!
    Thanks for stopping by 24C...
    xo J~

    1. I get such a kick out of that too. And until the world of instant communication, I guess it never really struck us before in such a "real" manner - it was just more of a concept. But when I talk of swimsuits in January, and my followers in the northern hemisphere then say they are shivering, as they look at the images, it really strikes home!

  5. The beautiful gardens of Melbourne. I remember them well. Yours is divine! Thanks for the peek.

  6. Heeheehee...far before I got to the tiny print I knew!!! Wow. What a giant leap forward in your photography, Virginia. And just in three days! :O Incredible.Gorgeous composition--it is great to see your eye.
    Yep, it is addictive. Be prepared from groans from your family "Mooom, not again! Let's go already!"...
    Super happy for you! Hooray!

    1. Funny about that. At Henrietta's dinner, on Friday night, (day 3) when I was snapping everything, they were saying exactly that. "'re being embarrassing! "

  7. Hello Virginia:
    So much colour and so much of interest in your garden at this late season. We imagine that it continues to give you much pleasure on a daily basis. We particularly love the inter planting of the grass in the brick path, itself a most attractive feature.

    1. Indeed it does Jane and Lance. In fact, no matter the weather, simply just looking out of the windows onto the garden brings complete joy and pleasure.

      The mondo-grass woven brick path brings much amusement from first time guests, as it curves around a 90 degree circle, so is rather fun.

  8. Lovely photo, and from Heather's comment, I deduct you must be learning photography - as I am? Well, from the looks of it, you are one gifted students. Magical garden. Thank you for sharing your private space with us. Bon weekend. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    1. Why thank you Veronique. Yes, indeed, the world of a DSLR is new to me. I had a SLR many years ago, but have got increasingly frustrated with my point and shoot digitals over the last few years, so taking the plunge was the logical step. And, such fun!

  9. helloo Virgina! Its been a while since I've visited but I could tell instantly that something was different - its the photography!!! Wow you certainly have found your way around your new camera quickly, well done. Your garden is absolutely beautiful and you've captured it so well. Since October (fall) is my favorite month in North America so May must be my favorite month in Australia. : ) Hope you are well! I was in Fishes Eddie last week and thought of you. ~ C

    1. Oh Carol that is gorgeous! Thank you for the lovely words of encouragement.

      I would give anything to jump in a travel/ time machine and spend a happy hour pottering around Fishes Eddie. To say I am jealous of you being there last week is an understatement.

  10. Wow Virginia, your a natch! Beautiful shots, so glad your having fun with your new camera, it is terribly addictive and fun isn't it!

  11. HI Virginia - Aren't the autumn colours just gorgeous, and your photos are stunning. Nothing better than getting a warm autumn day to meander through the garden taking photos and picking a few branches to take indoors... Mount Fuji is my very favourite Prunus - and I've lost track of how many I must have been responsible for planting in client's gardens!! Yours look stunning in the gravel courtyard. Love the big ball.

    Enjoy autumn while it lasts!!! Regards, Rachel

  12. Virginia - your garden is AHmazing - loved this walk - almost as if I'd been there myself. Thanks for sharing sweets,


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