What a beautiful month this is in the garden; one of my favourites. The herbaceous plants have perked up again after their midsummer cut back, temperatures are softer, and the sun is gentler. It is the introduction to the winding down time of autumn, and time to be thinking about which bulbs to order for autumn planting.
This year I decided to close the garden to visitors between Christmas and the end of February. What an excellent idea that was, as it is so hard to keep the garden looking in good form immediately after the Christmas festivities, and many Januarys are occupied with moving hoses.
My husband has relined the ceiling of the garden shed. I have been thinking about this for over twenty years, as the shed was left at the stage where insulating foil was the surface material on the inside of the roof, not aesthetically pleasing for this gardener. The finished work is perfect, and I will be very happy for a long time.
Photo 1: One third of the rock garden has been cleared of plants, ready for the placement of the new rocks. M. Long
Photo 2: Last month’s peaches, ‘Golden Lady’ sitting alongside Tovara, or Persicaria virginiana ‘Painter’s Palette.’ M. Long
Recent visitors to our garden are creating special memories here. This couple married in our garden last year, and returned for a visit to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They plan to return next year with their new daughter who is expected to arrive in June. The continuation of events and seasons contribute to the many layers that are evolving in this garden.
A delightful piece came through recently from David Glen at the Lambley Nursery near Melbourne:
“My great aunt Lizzie would bring a thick jam sandwich wrapped in newspaper and an enamel mug of hot, strong, sweet milky tea out to the field where we were working. We didn’t wash, this would have meant wasting time on a long walk back to the sheds, but the newspaper protected the sandwich from the mud and soot which caked our hands .”
Photo 3: Rosa ‘Café’ and Nicotiana langsdorffii in the summerhouse garden. As the summer progresses and the sun gets softer, the colour of the rose ‘Café’ becomes more intense. M. Long
As we have had quite a bit of rain and temperatures have been cooler, we are moving plants and planting out things which have been sitting in pots for some time. This part of the gardening work is very rewarding. Some plants are being moved from places where they are not doing so well, or to places where we think they will be more aesthetically pleasing. This is one of the aspects of gardening that I enjoy the most.
Beetroot and Cranberry Relish: M Long
I made this recipe recently and we have been enjoying it with cold meats and cheeses.
- 2 x 425g cans sliced beetroot
- 2 large Spanish onions, sliced
- ½ cup castor sugar
- Pure vanilla essence
- ¾ cup cranberry sauce
- 1 large apple, grated
- 2 tsp mustard seed
- ¼ cup white vinegar
Drain beet, keeping liquid, slice thinly. Mix all except beet. Bring to boil, simmer uncovered for 10 mins til liquid reduced by half. Add beet, simmer uncovered 20 mins, stirring until it thickens.
Seal in warm jars while hot. Keeps 6 months.
Our relaxed country garden started twenty nine years ago. In the early days I had very little gardening experience and no vision for the site, but an interest in plants was quickly developing. Over the years, with much trial and error, a garden has emerged which we and our visitors do enjoy.
© Frensham. All rights reserved.
139 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch 8025, New Zealand
+64 3 3228 061