A gardener can be sometimes pleased………but never satisfied

Are you ever satisfied with your garden?

I’d say, occasionally I feel satisfied, but most of the time I end the day with a new list of jobs.

Our front garden is a challenge because it faces west….so it receives hot weather most of the day in summer, hot winds, and then frost in winter. We looked for drought resistant plants and decided to grow Agapanthus praecox orientalis. They grew tall with beautiful blue flowers in summer, and they persisted regardless of weather conditions.

Some time later I saw some Agapanthus with white flowers in a neighbouring garden and thought it would be lovely to have white and blue. So now we have both. Am I happy about this? Sometimes, but I’m now concerned that the blue ones will multiple and take over the white ones.

Fortunately I recently read a comment made by the wisest of all gardeners, Monty Don. (his book is called My Garden World – the Natural World ) and he said

The whole point about gardening is not to learn how to garden, but is to find solace, to be happy, to make beauty, to have a spiritual connection, to have fun, to muck about..

I decided to take Monty’s advice, so I’m just relaxing in the garden and paying attention to what I can see; there is so much colour and beauty in the garden, even during our hot summer days.

this lovely Dahlia is growing well, and loving the rain we have had this year. The Dahlia is tied to a stake, and heavily guarded against Cockatoos, who love to nip the stems of flowers.
Agapanthus Silver Baby

This is my new favourite, miniature Agapanthus, Silver Baby. A long flowering pretty white shrub with blue fringes.

Agapanthus Snowball

We put this Agapanthus Snowball in a pot outside our bedroom, so we can see it in the morning and evening light.. it is a delight!

A Grevillea called Crackles flowering earlier in summer.
By the way, there is a blue soaker hose running through this part of the garden, it is not an exotic snake!

Here is a Crimson Rosella checking for the very last of the Crackles Grevillea flowers. Grevilleas are very popular with native birds, and vital food source especially as they flower from autumn through to the beginning of summer.

The flowering cherry tree is only three years old, and is taking over a corner of the garden. It has small cherries, very tart to eat, but delicious! I must look up some recipes for next year.

The flowering cherry tree , providing shade and fruit…mostly for the birds.

One afternoon, while sitting quietly in the garden with Charlie (who is seldom sitting quietly) I noticed a Blackbird in the cherry tree. He scurried along the branch and picked off cherry. He struggled to eat it, but finally got it down! The Blackbird has not visited our garden for a while…too many noisy cockatoos and then a dog… lucky me to be sitting still for a while to catch the elusive Blackbird feeding. A first for me.

Speaking of Cockatoos, here is one in our neighbour’s apple tree…

When I took his photo, he flew over to the wires (between the gardens). I have read that male cockatoos have black eyes, so I think he is young male, with just a hint of apple left on his beak.

Recently a small group of cockatoos have moved into an enormous eucalyptus tree in the neighbouring garden ( a mixed blessing). This enormous tree provides food and shelter for many different species of birds, and hopefully the smaller birds will not retreat!

The best part of summer for me, is having breakfast on the deck, watching birds in the garden, and in the surrounding neighbourhood trees.

Another part of summer I always look forward to, is eating the fruits of my childhood.. (I was brought up in Zambia, Central Africa). I love, mangoes, pawpaw, and corn. The taste of each of these, takes me right back to my childhood…

The deck now has a child proof gate, a very tricky one to open, even for those who are not children.

This recipe ( Bruleed mango pavlova) can be found on the Delicious website. There is some disagreement as to whether Pavlova originated from New Zealand, or Australia…or elsewhere.

Pavlova is an almost fool proof and delicious summer dessert. But for me, just the taste of a ripe mango, will do.

Bruleed mango pavlova

Paul and I have always enjoyed gardening, however, during this last turbulent year, the garden has been an incredibly important part of our lives. (especially when we were quarantining)

Now during our hot summer, we are relaxing in the garden, and I think, for once I am satisfied!

Many thanks for visiting, and happy gardening, and/or ordering seeds for planting time if you are in the northern hemisphere.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

24 Replies to “A gardener can be sometimes pleased………but never satisfied”

  1. What a wonderful post! I loved the visit to your garden and those amazing birds. I am not familiar with those plants so googled them. They look like jewels for sure. I tried my hand at Dahlias last year and wasn’t very successful so I certainly enjoyed seeing yours. Your recipes, of course, look delicious also. Charlie looks like a perfect gardening companion. 🙂 Every year, I prune, move, add, step back and say, looks pretty good. Then the next season rolls around, and I start the process all over again. 🙂 I guess that is part of enjoying working with plants. Thank you for taking us around your garden, and thank you again for that Kaola post last month because it still brings a smile.

    1. Thanks Judy, I think most gardeners are continually moving and changing the garden, although it is hard work, it is worth it! Glad you still like the last post with koala attaching himself to a Christmas tree, what a story!

  2. Flowers, a dog, birds, then a mouth-watering dessert. This post is an utter delight. And Monty Don is exactly right. Still, few of us are ever really satisfied with our gardens, as you noted.

  3. The agapanthus are beautiful. They are not quite hardy here. I’ve been reading some novels by Australian writers and seeing references to pavlova, which I’ve never heard of . Looks delicious.

    1. Pavlova is so simple to make, because it is just meringue and cream or whatever you want to put on the top! In the supermarkets here you can buy the meringue base, and so you only need to add your own cream and favourite fruit and/or sauces (caramel sauce is lovely). Best wishes to you both, we enjoyed watching the Inauguration Ceremony.

  4. We have both blue and white agapanthus growing beside the steps to the house. They are considered a weed here, but they are so pretty! Love to see all the birds too – hope we can get to Australia again this year.

    1. Yes, I think agapanthus are like weeds…. someone told me they are the ”bully boys” of the garden, and that is true too. When they multiply it is incredibly hard to dig them out! I’m sure your soil is better and softer than ours!

  5. Your garden looks like a veritable paradise, Gerrie. The birds obviously love it there. The Agapanthus Snowball is so pretty and your mango Pavlova looks delicious. I looked up the recipe and may try it. Thanks for a delightful post as always. 🙂 xxx

    1. Thanks Sylvia, the Pavlova is simple and you can add (or leave out)what ever you want, that is what I like about it. I think you would get Agapanthus in some parts of South Africa, the big ones are like weeds, but I’m going to get more of the Agapanthus Snowball.

  6. What would we do without the joys of gardening? I so enjoy seeing the seasons play out at your place. I am near the end of a massive pruning session as tropical sun multiplies foliage at a great rate, but oh the the hidden colours that lie beneath. I am seeing my garden from a whole new angle today. Happy gardening G!

    1. I was thinking of your garden and the bird life, I really loved what Monty Don had said about enjoying our gardens, good to be reminded by someone wise!

  7. The tall Agapanthus need summer rain, or irrigation – my garden achieved one flower this year.
    But our lady finger bananas are ripening, and at long last the next sprout is coming up.

    1. Yes, our Agapanthus are tall and flowering beautifully this year, all because we’ve had good rain this year. Lucky you have lady finger bananas!

  8. I’m glad you are satisfied and enjoying your beautiful garden and the wonderful wildlife. I have sour cherries each year which the blackbirds devour, this year though, a friend collected some cherries and made an utterly delicious jam. Oh….loving all your agapanthus, delightful, as is Charlie. Enjoy your summer.xxx

  9. I have had reasonable success with agapanthus. They have good years and bad years. Not invasive here but they grow slowly and I’m gradually dividing them and moving them about.
    Glad to hear you’re having a good summer, I can’t wait for spring!
    I remember hearing a blackbird on Lord Howe. I couldn’t believe it at first, so out of context in such an exotic place (to me anyway – they are everywhere here!) but always a delight. Your cockatoo photos are wonderful, as always.

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