We cooked here two weekends ago on rather a large scale. Mrs. Hughes was an inspiration, patiently guiding us through an Asian Banquet for dinner and a Mediterranean Feast for lunch. The garden was filled with laughter, chit- chat and hats, all played out with a backdrop of brightly set tables and the ambrosial aromas of superb food. This is just why we love our gardens, so we may gather and share.
Hats were a must, as the first green shoots of spring are only just emerging and the Moble trees are still laid bare. I always think the warmth (heat) of September outruns the pace of early Spring, though I know in a few short weeks she will have caught up and will always win the race. Yesterday I noted the ornamental grape, the White Cedar Tree Melia azedarach (all decked out for a ball dripping in her yellow seed pearls), the Manchurian Pear, green leaves and a sprinkle of white flowers, the Celtis in the faintest of green… a mere breath of colour thus far and the Lagerstroemias too are all bursting into leaf. Not to mention the Polyanthus jasmine on the back verandah, which was subtly fragrant on Monday and is now filling my lungs until my eyes pop. I imagine it could even make your feet smell wonderful as it blows your socks off.
The excitement of these spring days is always tempered by the bluster that comes with the first heat. She gives and she takes away. A few wilting reminders quickly return us to the watering regime that will now be our rhythm for the months ahead. I will add clean the sprays and drippers to my ever- increasing job list, indeed the watering system always needs a good check-up this time of year. Then it will be mulch, mulch, mulch, the mantra of summer gardening.
Interestingly, the Tabebuia palmeri has not flowered as yet this year. The leaves are all yellow and still falling, however the usual pink haze of August simply did not arrive. I am still hopeful they might have a late burst; I do hope so as they are such a pretty tree and have always filled in a patch of blue winter sky with their welcome winter blooms. Well, I have just looked them up and they will bloom into September, so maybe our cold winter this year has put them back. Fingers crossed.
The apricot tree is the last of the stone fruit to flower here and it is sublime this week. Still bursting out of the buds, its pale flower is so ethereal against the robust backdrop of this garden. I love the russet colour of the stems, a perfect foil for the pale pink blooms fading out to white. A lesson in how to age gracefully. I am resisting thus far from cutting great stems and bringing them in to the sitting room. They would not last long in the warmer weather but would look sublime all the same. I love interesting stems and sticks in jugs and will miss my Mother’s beautiful arrangements now she has headed east again. She has been filling jugs with Boobialla, boughed down with lime green buds all the way along its stems, quite incredible.
The vegetable garden has had a massive clean out with all the salad greens bolting, their flowers have been featuring in arrangements as well. The bees are humming inside and out at present. The zucchinis and squash will go in shortly, as will some beans though the snow peas et al are in full swing, there are even enough for the picker and the pot. I popped some egg plants in last week, they are tough enough for the summer here and add some colour to the bowl and plate.
Hope you are on the hop and humming like a bee,
The Moble Gardener
Wonderful photos below taken by the clever Lauran Gilligan