Early October in the Garden

To my mind, October is really when the first stirrings of spring start to become that all-out marathon as most shrubs and trees get in on the act to peak between now and November.

At this time of year in the mountains, the weather is incredibly variable: for the last two weeks we had really cold, wet and blustery conditions (including frost, sleet and even hail) which damaged a lot of flowers – this weekend we are forecast to have a nation-wide El-Niño five day heat wave….yuck 😦

So I do apologise in advance that the pictured flowers aren’t ‘perfect’, but no garden should be perfect anyway…

The cold period has helped prolong the winter and early spring flowering plants:


In the shadier areas of the garden, it is still winter. L:R Primula vulgaris ‘High Tea Drumcliff’, Cyclamen & Pulmonaria

Daffodils and early tulips are still giving a nice display, but the petals of the poppy took a beating with the sleet/hail:


L:R Narcissus; Tulipa sp. & Papaver nudicaule; first spot flowers of Rosa banksiae in the hedgerow.

Azaleas and more Narcissus:



L:R Osteospermum & Tulipa bokassa ‘Baby Doll’ ; Nepeta and Hyacinthoides hispanica; Anemone nemorosa

But the foul weather has made a lot of the azalea flowers rather tatty:


The flowers of the red and cerise azaleas look a bit bedraggled with the sleet and frost; a De Caen anemone contrasts with the saturated cerise of the Kurume azalea


More battered flowers – but the pale pink of Azalea ‘Inga’ seem to do just fine


Rhododendron ‘Robyn’ is still putting on a great display – this is now its sixth week. Primulas against the flowers of Rhododendron ‘President Roosevelt’ and the beautiful new foliage of Heuchera ‘Purple Palace’

Still, there’s warm colours:


L:R Erysimum; Eschscholzia californica hybrid; Indica Azalea ‘Goyet’

And cool:


L:R Dutch Iris; Anemone coronaria ‘De Caen Hollandia’; Viola labradorica

And of course, the big jumble of colours thanks to the ever-popular ‘mixed’ collections that are always offered:


Lastly, now that parts of the garden are a year old, it has finally started to fill out…don’t get me wrong, because I am using cuttings and tube-stock (plant plugs) there are still plenty of itty-bitty plants everywhere, but for the first time, I can start to appreciate more of what the garden will start to look like as it matures:


Front Garden looking east this fence will eventually be removed as it isn’t the actual property boundary; Part of the newly-laid terraces in the back garden…this represents only a tiny portion of the garden – there is still much to do!!!!

Happy Gardening 🙂


49 thoughts on “Early October in the Garden

  1. Everything is coming along. I especially love all the poppies and I’m introducing more of them here too. Luckily, there was one already here and it was prolific in the seed-casting department. With all the earth moving that has gone on, the seeds were introduced to many different beds by accident, but a happy accident!

    You might want to try lifting some of the mixed specimens and placing them were you think they would be better suited, now that you know the colors, etc. I’ve had to do the same and everything was fine and wasn’t harmed from the transplanting. GL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kate! I’ve had so many poppies and they are such good value – just a couple of dollars for a 1000 seeds. It’s amazing that I’ve had the second year from what should normally be annuals (except in places like the arctic circle) so I am grateful! With the mixed tulips, I am trying to see which ones will naturalise here (wet summers and tulips don’t really work well) If I get any return/multiply next season, I will start moving them to their new homes

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is a nice time of year, especially with all of the trees beginning to leaf out and flower. Surprising as it sounds, it’s lovely to be in the garden and have insects return after they have been absent for so many months…they are almost as much a part of spring as the flowers!


  2. I love this stage of a garden. My favorite! You aren’t kidding when you say extreme weather..wow. Hail and sleet in the spring is a pain, lol.
    Everything is looking real good. I agree with you wholeheartedly.. Gardens should not look perfect. I imagine you wandering around looking at everything and checking on how much things have grown and how things are coming along and envisioning what it will be like if things go according to plan, (which, as all gardeners know, it won’t). Best time of the year

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cynthia – that’s exactly right! I do take a look at the garden each morning with a cup of coffee & a banana (the banana skin goes onto the plants as does the coffee grinds)…but spring is just an amazing time of year 🙂


  3. I hadn’t realised your garden was only a year old Matt, despite the hail and sleet, it still looks joyous and bountiful. 6 weeks flowering with your Rhodo is really good going, I hope the forecast heat is kinder than anticipated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Julie! Yes, it was all a horrible mess of weeds when I bought (much of the garden still is a mass of weeds, I chip away at it bit-by-bit!). I suspect 5 days of mid-twenties heat will stop the Rhodo’s in its tracks! 😦


  4. Everything looks good, despite your various trials and tribulations, courtesy of the weather. El Nino is bringing you heat? We’re still waiting for the rain , from the same El Nino. Toes are tapping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tina – El Nino for Australia brings the opposite to the US. We get giant high-pressure systems that stall and bring days of hot winds from the equator…hopefully this isn’t a precursor of summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your garden is looking cheerful despite what it’s been through. I must get a few more flowers in my garden. 🙂 The heatwave here will be below mid 30s but will be near 40s in western Sydney. My garden likes the heat and fortunately I can water.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Perfect or not, your early spring blooms are still plentiful and pretty. So El Nino has definitively shown itself in your area already? It’s not predicted to have an impact here until later in the year but I still fear we won’t get the rain we’ve been promised – El Nino has fizzled here before. Of course, the last significant El Nino also brought floods, mudslides and some $500M in property damage so I’m mindful of the dangers of getting what one wishes for too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kris…yes, this El Nino is shaping up to be a doozy – an area the size of New York to Georgia and across to the rockies is baking in prolonged heat, and it has already set a record in Melbourne with the hottest grand-final (football) day ever recorded. Hopefully it will deliver the rain that you guys desperately need, rather than just pushing more of the planet into drought


  7. Matt you have such a lot in flower and it is only the start of the season, they all look lovely, your weather really swings from one extreme to the other, it must make it quite difficult for plants and the gardener, anyway, have a good weekend, Frances

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Frances – it’s normally not so warm…you get the odd day or two, but not prolonged hot weather…it got to 23C today (normal is 15C at this time of year) so it’s quite a shock! Thankfully the plants cope better than the gardener 🙂


  8. I adore pulmonaria. I think I need to grow a few of them in a sheltered spot (where Earl and the chooks can’t dig them up) of the garden. We seem to be on a similar latitude when it comes to temperature and nature. Our yellow banksia rose is coming into flower now as is the Clematis montana. Azaleas are flowering and the camellias are going mental. We had our first 24C day yesterday. I let Brunhilda (our big wood stove) go out and it is back to baking in the covered BBQ for the duration of summer. The garden is happy but dry. I can only begin to imagine how sad it is going to look by February but I am shoring up our “hot” futures by putting in geraniums and pelargoniums everywhere it looks like I have some bare soil. That bank of osteospermums just made my right eye twitch and that little ‘Purple Palace” heuchera reminded me that I have a dwindling time-frame whereby I can plant out all of the ground covers that I collected from the lady up the roads $2 plant stand. Good reminder! I really love checking out your garden. It feels like a space with very similar conditions to mine and that gives me a lot of hope and heaps of ideas whenever you post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! We hit 24C too. It was quite a shock to the system after so many months of either single-digit days (and it is supposed to be hotter again on Monday/Tuesday).
      It was good to wash all of the winter blankets/jumpers and get them dried in no time, though – and it looks like a similar day today but breezier….definitely a spring cleaning day!
      The pulmonaria is lovely – but it does sulk in dry warm weather…but if you have a damp, semi shaded spot it should do really well

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t thin I ever realized the scale of your garden until this spring, wow it’s going to be nice as things fill in! Of course it’s already quite a show, but when I look at all your little goodies and the terraces and how things are growing, there’s just so much to look forward to. It must be a great feeling to see it begin to come together!
    I hope the heat wave doesn’t rush everything on too much…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – it will get there, as long as the weather gods play nice 🙂 The block is about 1/4acre, but has a very odd shape, with little annexes and rights of way which will let me make garden rooms when I eventually get around to doing them – but for now, those parts are mostly weeds!


    • Thanks Peter. I know, the stems on the ‘Baby Doll’ do have lovely dark tinges when they first appear – it’s really dramatic. I hope they naturalise, as these are one of my favourites


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