Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December in the shadowy garden

 The garden in December always reminds me that Christmas is just around the corner. The Agapanthas send up long spikes and the flower heads slowly emerge from their cocoons with an explosion of vivid blue stars.
 I love the richness of their glossy green foliage, the profusion of purple-blue spears, the lush feeling they bring to an otherwise dry bushland garden. The summer has well and truly begun here in the Blue Mountains, the cycle of warm to hot and humid days with little or no rain on the horizon has come into play.
But my front garden is quite lovely today, adorned not only by Agapanthas, but also the waxy white heady-scented gardenias. They flourish and bloom under a canopy of Australian white cedar trees and tall hedges of beautifully perfumed Jessamine.

  Thick clumps of Dietes flower along the perimeter of the picket fence, their blooms delicate and iris-like in formation. The garden, largely protected from the heat of the day by the boughs overhead and the leaf litter of seasons past, is abuzz with insects and crawly beetles. Cicadas are singing in the huge gum trees across the street, and native birds fly in and out, finding refuge in the shadowy bower.
There is a fledgling crab-apple tree by the front gate, and my little crochet birdy has taken up residence. It's quite close to the letterbox, so I am hoping that it makes the post-man smile every time he slips some mail into the slot.
I have been upstairs sewing Christmas presents for days, and so it was lovely to take time out to wander through the garden in the late afternoon light, taking in the scent and the sounds of my bushland home.
The boys have planted out the veggie boxes with great hope, and it seems to be struggling along, subject to marauding possums and possibly some caterpillars. But at last the tomatoes have set fruit and I am hopeful that the wildlife might be considerate enough to leave enough for a small harvest. The passionfruit vine has gone crazy in the last few months, happy in it's warm spot on the side fence, and it is now dripping with fruit. I love to slice up big fat strawberries and Pink Lady apples and Queensland bananas with plump green grapes and spill tangy sweet passionfruit pulp over the whole.
 And last of all, I went to have my daily debrief with the chickens, dropping the outer leaves of a fresh butter lettuce into the cage as a pre-dinner treat. They are so tame and friendly, and really quite bold. When they are out free-ranging they come up to my back door and peck on the glass. Doris and Doreen are a pair and Augusta is the boss-lady. She lays a double-yolker for me most days (and she is secretly my favourite) ...
 Tomorrow will be another warm day, and there is much to be done before the heat sets in. I still have a mountain of Christmas sewing to get through. Soon I will share my brilliant girly Christmas stocking project. I am sure you will love it :)


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