It is often pointed out to me that I must have one of the most enjoyable jobs that you could hope for. Well, on the surface, it certainly appears so, with my employment taking me to a multitude of great gardens around the world. With that, I get to see gardening “best practices” and design from around the globe.
However, there is a downside to this. “What downside could there possibly be to this?” you might rightly ask, and I know there are a lot of people who would love to fill this role. Well the downside is that, with all of this exposure to great ideas and inspiration and seeing gardens at their best, you never have enough time at home to turn inspiration into execution and apply some of the great ideas to your own green space.
Just this week I returned home to Australia after an extended absence of 6 weeks away from my garden to see not only the maintenance that needs to be caught up on but that I had missed some of the early spring flowering / plantings that I so much enjoy.
I am a real fan of daffodils and other early harbingers of spring such as the blossoms on the flowering cherry trees, along with the tulips and other bulbs planted for that early spring show. Unfortunately, for the most part, I have missed these this year due to an abnormally warm start to our spring in Melbourne.
One item that I was hoping to see in full flower this year in the garden was the new Daphne we released in Australia this year called Perfume Princess™. Most Daphne normally only flower for a short time but, fortunately due to the extended flowering period of this new release, I’ve still been able to enjoy their perfume in the garden and to experience first-hand why this plant is proving to be a real winner with gardeners and homeowners around the world. (Available in limited areas of the US in spring 2016 with more availability to follow in 2017.)
Perfume is a key element that we need to think about as we’re designing the garden space. It’s important to place fragrant plants in areas where they can be enjoyed – close to the close to the house or other areas where you can linger and enjoy the fragrance.
Spring has ‘Sprung’ here in Melbourne and although we have a long dry summer forecast, the plants in my garden are looking spectacular right now. Many of you will know from past blogs that I am not a big fan of natives but I have to say that looking at the flowers on this plant (the name escapes me and disappointingly, and contrary to good gardening practice, I didn’t keep the label or record the name) this is a stunning addition to any garden with the contrast in colour and beautiful bell-shaped flowers. It is also popular with the birds and butterflies locally so I have to assume the nectar is in demand.
Until next time – “Garden on Good People!”