Pink heralds pretty Spring garden

First new iris in the garden

My new garden is a picture of pink blooms in its first Spring.  Pink roses flower prolifically, countless pink field carnations, chorus-like, nod in the wind and a border of pink daisies form a splash of colour against the pittosporum hedge.   I pinch myself each morning that somehow 12 months after this plot of land was a building site, today I see such a pretty scene. It reflects  why our home is named “Belle Vue”.

The new wisteria heralded the first stirrings of warm weather with its gorgeous display of racemes of pea flowers in lilac followed by sprays of lime-green leaves and colourful pansies – planted in the cold earth of winter have been bobbing their bright little faces around the perimeter of the lawn since.

Now  something new and exciting has happened to add to my joy.  The frilly irises are bursting into flower and this morning I pick the first – a frilly yellow iris, with two other exotics – an ice blue iris and a splendid orange specimen – about to flower tomorrow. These are the first of a dozen catalogue irises given by my friend Gwen. Back in the depths of winter when I planted them, I never imagined they would flower this season.  Watching them come into flower was a delight.

Beautiful borders of lavender await a few more warm days  and I have begun to focus on expanding the herb garden and experimenting with tomatoes dotted amongst the flowers. It seems I am metamorphosing into a serious gardener.

Of course, I am driven by the desire to create a memorial garden for my late husband Olivier, who had natural green thumbs and who loved his garden passionately.   Before he died, we established the “bones’’ of our garden – the pathways, paving, retaining walls, dripper system and steps.  The initial plantings were the landscape designer’s plan who left plenty of space for our selection of roses, irises and other favourite cottage garden plants.

However, my inspiration has been also driven by a new-found friend and prolific gardener Jan Whitford and our mutual friend, Jayne McLaren, who have both held my hand in case I fainted at the awesome prospect which lies ahead of me.  Both women have established beautiful gardens and have descended upon the garden with many tools, herbs and quick-growing ground-covers for a working bee.

“I can sense you have the makings of a gardener,’’ says Jan, with her arms full of baby spinach, rocket and salad leaves, oregano and sage.

It had me reflecting on my past, when I have indeed established a beautiful rose garden and landscaped grounds elsewhere in Belair  and after that I restored my mother’s garden in Broadview in Adelaide’s inner suburbs when I bought the family home in 2000.   However, those were the days of full-time paid work and competent hired gardeners did the hard yakka. In my new reality, there is me and my enthusiastic friends who are there to help.

Roses and irises in my garden

Unexpectedly, also, the Open Garden Scheme has become an inspiration as I visit the gardens open on the weekends in Adelaide. Elsewhere I will show photographs of these gardens, which include the water-efficient garden of Nancy, my neighbour across the road.

But first, here is my beautiful garden in Spring.