Autumn is truly my time of year in the garden. The relief of making it through another summer with most of the garden and myself intact is palpable. I embrace Autumn with open arms, breathing in the freshness of the morning air and the anticipation of the evenings drawing in, summer days are so endlessly long.
The arrival of the bulb catalogues in February, though premature when the thermometer is still hitting the mid- forties, is always a signal to me that this too will pass and soon I will want to thrust my hands into the soil again, I can feel my sap rising! By March the vegetable garden is in full swing again after the zucchini and squash summer binge and once more I am a gardener rather than a mad woman with a hose.
Whilst the transition from hot to cold, which basically describes the Quilpie climate, is all too brief, I have planted trees and creepers to prolong that Autumn feel and the change of dress in the garden from March through to June brings me great joy.
We shear in May which keeps me outdoors and away from the garden and it seems to me at this time it changes every day. The grasses suddenly thrust up their beautiful seed heads, Ornamental Grapevine and Virginia Creeper blaze away screaming Look at us, aren’t we amazing… while the Liquidambar, Claret Ash, Tallow wood and Lagerstroemias look on with amusement, knowing full well that their exhibition will be just as breathtaking but at a gentler pace. They don’t scream into winter, rather they take a deep sigh and then on a cold day in July will shiver the last of their leaves onto the beautifully patterned leaf rug that was my lawn.
Autumn roses are sublime and I think far superior to spring when a hot wind can arrive at any time, blowing in dust from afar and shrivelling the buds so full of promise. Roses do surprisingly well in our climate and as I love the garden being inside the house as much as possible, providing something for the table almost all year round. Even in the heat of summer they will try and bloom though I whisper to them to wait for a bit and try again in March. I know that with judicious pruning and controlling the watering and feeding I could time their flowering with better precision, Mr. Moble would call it controlled joining but good intentions do not always translate to good gardening practices with me. Consequently, I often have a great flush of roses two weeks before the Race meeting when I am meant to provide buckets of them for the tables and then must scrounge around in a panic the morning before. I do try harder when there is a wedding deadline though. We bush women are dab hands at carting our gardens around the district, our motto should read: Have garden and kitchen… will travel!
Happy Autumn Gardening to you all,
The Moble Gardener.