Winter Chills and Spring Thrills in the Garden

spring flowering trees

Fairy Magnolia in bloom – one of our first signs of spring here in Australia!


This season spring seems to be running a little later than normal in Melbourne, Australia and, like many gardeners, I am impatient to see it arrive and for a burst of color to explode in the garden.

early flowering magnolias

Felix magnolia in bloom

Fortunately, the colder-than-normal start to spring has allowed me to enjoy extended blossom times on the flowering trees that I would normally miss due to business travel – but there is nothing like the start of spring to raise the spirits and make each day that bit more enjoyable.

On the occasional warmer days across the weekend you can hear the sound of lawnmowers in my suburb. The smell of freshly mowed grass is like a harbinger of the months to come – another reason why this is one of my favorite times of the year to be outside.

As a gardener, it is also one of the times when you see the successes (and sometimes failures) of winter work efforts and planning. This is especially true when trying to create a specific color scheme or effect only to find that bulbs you believed would flower one color have emerged different to your expectation. (I know this is a bit pedantic and the fact they have emerged at all should be celebrated; but sometimes we can focus on the negatives instead of enjoying the flower!) The remedy for this situation is to cut the flower and display in vases inside. For instance, this year I had a really nice vase of Freesias, which have looked great on the table but were not quite what I was looking for in the garden, color-wise.

Spring is the time that most of us are really enthusiastic about the garden – weather is fine for working outside; all plants – no matter how poorly treated – seem to want to grow; the boring maintenance aspects are at a minimum and the promise of summer is around the corner.

It is also the perfect time to add plantings to fill in the winter losses, extra space in the garden or to expand on the plants we have enjoyed previously.

For me it has all been about planting some of our new releases:

fragrant plants

New Daphne Perfume Princess™ was awarded the prestigious honor of Plant of the Year at the 2016 Australia Nursery and Garden Center Industry Association’s National Conference

Daphne Perfume Princess™ which I have had in a container near the door to maximize the enticing fragrance each time I go in and out of the house – is now making the transition to the garden, positioned of course, near an area where the fragrance can be enjoyed.


easy to grow container plants

New Coprosma Pacific Sunrise and Pacific Sunset are ideal as container plants

Coprosma Pacific™ Sunset and Pacific™ Sunrise (which were also in containers over the winter so that I could watch the change in color) are set for mass planting as low hedges (or edges) in a semi-shaded area that currently looks a little dull. I know they’ll look great as they start to fill out.

There is no doubt much to do over the next few months before of the heat of summer arrives but, with the promise of ever improving temperatures, more daylight hours with daylight savings now in effect (plus Aussie football season being over thereby freeing up more time) and the satisfaction of seeing the garden continue to develop, I look forward to the months ahead.

easy to grow magnolias

Magnolia ‘Burgundy Star’ reaching for the bright sunlight of spring!

Garden on Good People and hope you are enjoying the promise of spring in your own garden as well.



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