I was meaning to do a post on Autumn in my garden... but then things got away from me and the photos languished. Having spent most of this past weekend in the garden, I thought I'd take photos of it in its current, skeletal and dormant Winter state... and record it for posterity before Spring hits in just a few short weeks.


So rewinding to Autumn, here is the back corner of the garden in the late afternoon sun, the Manchurian pears were starting to colour up and the perennial grasses were in their full glory waving gently in the wind before being cut back for Winter.


I love the textural contrast between the pencil pines and the grasses


The back veranda with Wisteria starting to get going across the wires on the posts, and another Perennial grass with Westringia balls beside it.



This was a few weeks later as the Forest Pansy in the back corner started to clothe itself in bright buttery yellow. 


It's full of buds now, and about to burst into tiny pink flowers - this was it last Spring.


 Truly the ornamental tree that keeps giving - I love how the heart shaped leaves change colour throughout Summer from dark Burgundy to green.

Early Summer last year



My roses along the Petanque court in Autumn, above, which I'd transplanted from the front garden. These are mainly David Austin's Heritage. Mixed in are bearded irises and ratty looking lambs ears (caterpillars galore) 


 The last of the Sweet Peas in Autumn, which I grew from Seed from the Diggers Club. They were white and looked as if the ruffled edges had been dipped in the palest of lilac watercolour paints. Sweet Peas remind me of my mother - she always grew them in her garden, and we'd have huge bunches inside when I was a child.


One of the project we've had done in the garden was fixing up the last of the front garden projects. When we finished the extension there was a small section of garden that was uncultivated (above) outside the children's Playroom windows. It had a Crabapple that we'd planted around 5 years ago, but aside from that I ignored it - it also had the Plant (as I call it), which contains the air conditioning units, the boiler, the hot water storage, the water softener, and the watering system control pad. None of it attractive, and it was all full of weeds.


 Finally we finished it off by paving with bluestone around the crabapple. This is sloped away from the house, and is keeping our cellar dryer (we have an original cellar, so it doesn't have a modern damp proof coursing, and when this area was unpaved and sloping toward the house, the water was draining down into the cellar keeping it fairly damp).



We also had a screen built with sliding doors for access to the plant. This is the view that my youngest child's bedroom looks out onto, so it's been much improved, and is actually a really nice area now.


I've also been busy planting more plants in the garden beds. There were some maples and camellias that I planted 5 years ago, but it's dry shade here (there is a large Liquidambar tree) and it's been tough getting other things to grow.


In the front garden I've done a big tidy up/ cut back over the past few months, and planted more things too.


Today I added some more Agave that I had left over, and added a couple more succulents which I snapped off the other plants and shoved in the soil. They'll send out roots fairly quickly as the ground is still so damp.



In the side garden it's all bare of the pear tree leaves, and the structure from the box hedges, virbunum topiary balls,  and the olive trees keeps it looking neat


Back to the back garden the structure plantings are really the only thing of interest at the moment. The hedges grew well last Summer, and they now prevent the garden from looking too bare when everything else is cut back.


I particularly like the planting up against the back veranda - the box balls, star jasmine ground cover and cycads contrast nicely to each other.


I've planted 25 more roses in my beds around the Petanque court. All David Austin, and a lot of pinks and reds- Brother Cadfael, Woolerton Old Hall, William Shakespeare, Munstead Wood... you'll be bombarded by rose photos in October, so be warned!


 And lastly, here is the Echium Giant that I grew from seed a couple of years ago. It's living up to its name and starting to put out its white flower head. I've planted a few more of these in the garden (all still babies), and can't wait to see it in all its glory (the flower head grows about 2 metres high).

In preparation for the upcoming Summer, I've finally got around to ordering the sun lounges for around the pool. I ended up, after an exhaustive search for something contemporary, but that also suited the Victorian front of our house, settling on two of these:

Costa chaise from Restoration Hardware

Now I just have to wait the 3 months until they finally arrive down here after the lengthy shipping process. But as it's still pretty cold, there won't be any Pool action for at least a few months.

Happy gardening!

46 comments:

  1. Your garden is looking amazing! Well done, you clearly have a green thumb. You've really transformed The Plant, and I find it interesting that the mechanicals for your house are in fact outside. We have an air conditioning unit outside of the house but our hot water heater and water softener are in the basement, I've never seen them outdoors before. Well it gets too cold here to have them outside of course.
    The screen you created to conceal them is just brilliant and I love the paving stones too.
    I'm looking forward to those rose pictures, they sound just lovely. xox

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    1. You know that is one thing I find kind of fascinating about watching UK/ North America and Scandinavian house renovation programs - the house mechanics. It's so different from here. We all have so many air leaks in our houses that we have no concerns with having to bring fresh air in from outside, for instance, as you seem to have to do in Canada in Winter (I gather from these programs!).
      I can't wait for Spring now. I don't mind cutting everything back, but after about a month I start to itch to see it all growing again. We did have a few warm days at the beginning of the week (22C! in Winter!) and a few things are almost there... and you'll be seeing leaves changing colour soon I guess. xx

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  2. Fantastic! Never heard of the Forest Pansy..must get one. Thank you

    Linda C.

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    1. It's the best tree Linda - only a small one, so could fit into most gardens, but the change through the seasons is like no other I've seen before. x

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  3. Love your gardens. It's amazing how much everything grows between your garden posts. I love a sun lounge and think your choice is perfect. I'm ready for the cooler weather to hit here. It's been horrendously hot and humid. But not all bad considering how wonderful all the produce has been. It is interesting about the mechanicals. When you say you don't worry about bringing outside air in-do you mean it's not much of an Aussie thing to have the windows and doors open with screens during pleasant weather?

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    1. It's grown so much! I can't wait for this Spring/ Summer as I think it will really start to look mature.
      I think August in the US is the equivalent of our March. You're just over the heat, and it's probably the worst month for it too.
      We do have windows and doors open a lot - I have friends that will have their heating on, and windows open elsewhere in the house... what I meant was like in northern Scandinavian countries where they have to have the house completely sealed when windows and doors are shut, and it's all very insulated. They do some sort of air pressure test to measure air leakage, and have some sort of fresh air exchange pump as they are so well sealed up, but this is because it's so cold outside you don't want air leaks. We're not exactly prone to extreme cold, so most houses have draughts in winter from small gaps around doors and windows. But yes, we have fly screens on windows and doors, and in pleasant weather I'll have them all open.

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  4. I adore those pencil pines but they don't do well in pots do they?! I grew sweet peas from seed this year too and next year I plan on doing my whole railing with them too. I also like those screens - those necessary bits are always an eyesore so it's good to cover it in such a way too. Bring on the roses H! xx

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    1. Not sure about pots, but they're a type of conifer, and they do ok in pots, so think they'd be ok? You could bonsai them a little too by snipping them off at the top. Mine are all trimmed along the side and will gradually thicken out over the next few years.
      I think your sweet peas will look fabulous over your railing. I had a railing on balcony in the flat we first rented in Melb. I grew a wisteria over it. It gave great privacy, and I loved the purple flowers in the Spring. When we moved I just gave it a real trim back, and as it hadn't been there terribly long it hadn't done anything to the rail (they can become monsters and warp railings, so beware if you consider it!). xx

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  5. Everything looks fabulous, and your screen is a work of art.
    I keep seeing Restoration Hardware named as a great source for all things house related, but do they just deliver to Australia? Does the shipping make buying items incredibly expensive?
    Kathryn.

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    1. No they don't deliver to Australia, but they will accept an Australian credit card, so it's easy to organise reshipping. If they're smaller items you could use an air freight reshipper, but larger ones I'm using a sea freight. The postage is fairly expensive, and you do have to pay duty once they arrive here, but I figure they're on sale at the moment, so that is pretty much the difference with the postage. Plus I've looked at local ones, and they work out about the same in price. The one thing to consider is that freight within Australia is quite high so even if you're buying locally you're often hit with that. I frequently have things that come from Melbourne or Sydney for clients or me, and the freight is often the same as what you spend getting something from the UK or US.

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  6. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. it looks so beautiful Heidi! So much texture and contrast, can't wait to see the roses x

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    1. Thanks FF! I can't wait for the roses too. The sun is out today, and it's warm so hopefully all those twigs will start shooting out little leaves. xx

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  8. The garden looks so lovely. You have certainly put a lot of work into it. Looking forward to the pics of the roses. Love David Austins roses. I have never tried star jasmine as a ground cover, great idea as it is so hardy. Best wishes Lillian

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    1. Hello Lillian, I can tell you that last night I certainly felt like I'd put a lot of work into it!! My back was so sore. But I do find it so rewarding seeing how much it's all changed in just 3 years. The star jasmine is lovely as a ground cover, just have to snip it back when it manages to start climbing up something! x

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  9. I just adore the first picture you posted! So beautiful. Are they your olive trees with the leaves still on them? Love the blue stone paving the screens for hiding essentials. I too can't wait to see the roses.

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    1. It's a scene of greys in that first photo! It was a little overcast for most of yesterday. Yes to the olives. I keep thinking I should try harvesting them in Autumn, but I gather you need to do a lot of brining, and I'm not sure I have the energy for it all!! x

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    2. Spectacular garden Heidi.
      If I lived near, I'd come & harvest your olives for you (if you wanted). My mum used to harvest their olives and dad now does it. The children eat the olives like lollies. The last few harvests have been fantastic. Well worth it & I promise the brining isn't hard. Den xx

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    3. Now that would be great if you could Den! But now you're making me think this might be a good option for child labour next year. I might go and youtube brining olives to see what is involved, and maybe start up production! x

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  10. Heidi,
    Your garden has matured beautifully- you must be so thrilled. I certainly love what you did with the side garden and love your screen idea- may have to steal that idea for my garden.
    Continue to look forward to its progress
    Marilyn xx

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    1. I'm so pleased with how quickly it's all coming along Marilyn - to think this is only 3 years old in the back and one in the front is pretty incredible. xx

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  11. It looks fabulous! I love the Plant screen - genius! And the pool loungers are so chic, unlike many of the monstrosities on sale here!

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    1. Thanks Ruth! I know - who would've thought a sun lounger would be so difficult to buy. But they're all either faux heritage, or woven wicker modern style, or just uninspired teak. I so wish RH would open up here as they're full of good stuff. x

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  12. Heidi, Congratulations!! Despite the chills and frosts which usually make gardens look drab in winter, yours looks wonderful. So well designed and executed - and all that soil preparation has made a lot of difference. Just think what it will be like in a couple more years! My favourite thing is your forest pansy - so beautiful. How tall will it grow? Love the way you've discreetly hidden "the plant".
    Can relate to the sore back syndrome. We've had a couple of sunny clear days (though still fairly cold) so I've been out trying to deal with at least four months of weeds that still managed to grow when the plants were dormant. One bed is full of old couch grass another has heaps of onion weed appearing. Afraid it's fighting a losing battle. But the roses are pruned and fed. The white lilac planted about 15 moths ago is covered in tiny buds, and the new plum seedlings are beginning to bud up too. I can hardly move though. Sat with a hot water bottle on my back for the last puzzling episode of Kettering (does anyone understand it?)- with a hot pack on the back of neck also. Have been enjoying some of the films from the Cine Latino festival at the Palace - one on Neruda especially and also a biopic on the life of Pope Francis. Pammie

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    1. PS Saw the beginning of one of the most boring Film Festival movies ever this evening - called "Solos". Don't even bother. G chose it! Because it was supposed to be inspired by "Waiting for Godot" - didn't know that when he booked. I studied that play and have seen it performed live several times over the years. Enough already. I'm so over it. G stayed in his seat but I took off for a coffee in the Palace café and only went back for the end. Next time I'm going to examine his movie choices more carefully (we each get half picks for Film Festivals)! He is not popular this evening. Pammie

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    2. I think the Forest Pansy only grows to around 5m, so its only little. I can't believe the change in the garden since you visited last and saw it with dirt all over the lawn and very little planted in the garden beds.
      That's not good with couch and onion weed. I've had an ongoing battle with it, and the only thing I've done is to carefully spray round up on the onion weed. Couch I've used a selective herbicide on, and dig up as much as I can. It's so hard to get rid of though! But just digging up all of them doesn't seem to be effective at all. I dug up a whole bed of onion weed and carefully eradicated it. Two weeks later it was all back up!! So frustrating.
      How annoying about the bad film! What a disappointment. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks xx

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  13. Heidi your garden has grown so well... I love your plant choices and especially love the Forest Pansy bed with the tall pencil pines adding vertical interest. Your screen idea to hide the 'plant' is so clever. I can feel your passion for the garden - here's to a wonderful Spring and Summer and hopefully, not too much heat! xxx

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    1. I owe the whole garden to my very clever landscape designer. I don't think it looks too 'designed' and that is her genius. I'd never have achieved this on my own. I know you'll be eagerly anticipating Spring too, hope all is well in your garden Jenny xx

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  14. Your garden looks amazing! It gives me hope when looking at my mostly bare block of ground (we started landscaping ie. earthmoving, last weekend) - a long way to go yet! May I ask what type of turf you laid? We're trying to decide whether to lay Couch or Sir Walter this weekend. Decisions, decisions! Thanks, Denita

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    1. Thanks Denita! I really loved reading The Garden at Bronte because the before and after photos gave me hope too. Your bare patch will be green in no time. We have Kikuyu in the back garden. Couch browns off in the Winter, so we decided against it. It also is very drought tolerant and hardy. We had Sir Walter in the front garden originally before redoing it, and it was fine, but frankly I couldn't see the difference between the kikuyu and it, and the kikuyu was recommended by our landscaper and designer.

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    2. Thanks so much Heidi! I haven't looked into Kikuyu but now I will :)

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  15. I love the Edna Walling sense of manicured wilderness at the back. It's very difficult to do well. I'm jealous as I've never managed to get the balance right!

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    1. Thanks CD - I don't either, and I owe it all to my Landscape designer. She is very clever and does a fantastic mix that doesn't look too designed, and is lush and textured. I've learnt a lot from her through the process. x

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  16. I love your garden. It is all so beautiful.
    Can you tell me where you sourced your terracotta pots? I have been trying to find large ones but have been unable to do so. Thankyou
    Robyn

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    1. Hi Robyn, thank you for your compliments. The pots came from Scammells auction house, complete with the plants in them. I think they were excess stock from a plant hire company, and I haven't seen any more like it since. You could try The Conservatory on Unley Road (if you're local) for similar. They usually have large terracotta pots.

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    2. Thankyou Heidi,
      Your reply is much appreciated.
      I live in Brisbane and shall have to keep my eyes peeled as they seem to be very difficult to find!
      Robyn

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  17. Heidi, this all looks fantastic. You have made a truly beautiful and functional space that works all year round. I had not seen so many photos of the front garden before and it looks great (esp. the fountain). The screens for your plant look really good too. Love restoration hardware. I'm back online now and enjoying catching up on your blog posts with a coffee whilst the baby sleeps. I must take some photos for Instagram of our outside space - it is very busy here at the moment with the vegetable garden being finished off, some new driveway going down and a fountain being installed. xx

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    1. I thought I'd put a bunch up! I guess I see it all the time, and think I photograph the same things all the time, so maybe I hadn't!
      Your garden improvements sound fantastic Charlotte - I've so enjoyed seeing the little glimpses of what you've been doing to the house, and the garden is just beautiful to start with, I'm sure you can't go wrong. It looks an awful lot bigger than what I have to contend with as well, so it's a big commitment. Hope the little man is behaving and settling down now, although I did think with number 3 that it took more like 6 months to get things under control, rather than 3. But then again, I did embark on a large project with the current house the week he was born, so it seems we're slightly in synch if you're also busy feathering the nest! xx

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  18. Hi Heidi, your garden is just beautiful especially considering it's wintertime. Would you mind sharing who built the screen for you please? We have a similar area that needs concealing and I'm also in Adel.





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    1. Hi Jude, our landscaper Stuart from Garden Partner did it. He has done a fantastic job with the entire garden, and I can definitely recommend him and his team. Mobile number is 0403 298 714.

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    2. Thank you Heidi - so great to have a recommendation.

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  19. Your garden in stunning Heidi, loving all the action! I cannot believe how fast it has grown. The Forest Pansy is a beauty and the screen covering "the plant" is also a great idea. The pool chaises look very comfy and a good place to relax with a G&T or similar when it gets a bit warmer. In studying news I have now finished my course (six month course in nine weeks - just about killed me). My 20 year old son is glad I am finished as he feels I neglected him too much whilst I was studying ... poor baby!! I have actually read two books and caught up on some pre-recorded television - it has been wonderful, but short lived as time now to do the tax and SMSF stuff. Enjoy the rest of the week. Jo xx

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  20. Well done on finishing the course Jo! That's an incredible effort. But I bet your son is not the only one glad it's over... although it did make me laugh that the 20 year old was feeling neglected!! I hope you do get a chance to relax now, although all that SMSF stuff is such a pain. And as for tax.... urgh! xx

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  21. I'm so sorry but my phone won't let me post a comment on your new post. But oh my god how stunning that property is! I can't believe this is Australia!! I love getting to know Australia through your and FF's perspectives. What diversity there is. Glad you had such a lovely weekend in the country! I want to go!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post Stephen! I always think that there are such stereotypes of Australia portrayed around the world, and we are a pretty diverse country. We would love for you to come to Australia! I'm meeting up with FF this weekend, and we will raise a glass to you, our imaginary friend in the US xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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