It is spring, it is warming up, we have had some rain. We have camellias – lots of camellias – still flowering. This is late for us. Lots of reticulatas, and walking around the garden today, there are flowers on a hundred or more japonica varieties. Tamzin Coull, a late flowerer, is loaded with flower, Adorable, Grand Slam – Margaret Davis has more flowers than it has had all season – and so many more.
The azaleas are the best we have seen in years. The dry, cool weather leading up to early flowering has been ideal, and there is very little botrytis (mushy brown flower petals). And remember, when folk say it’s ‘petal blight’, this is often incorrect – it’s ‘botrytis’ – for us anyway.
Michelias – Port Wine magnolias and Coco are flowering, giving off that intoxicating fragrance that we absolutely love. Other michelias are in flower; All Spice, Mixed Up Miss, with others still coming. This is the first season that we have seen our new magnolias flowering – Butterfies, Felix, the girls, Susan, Jane, Ricki; Vuncan, Galaxy, Black Magic, Picture, Brozzoni, s.Rustica Rubra, Elizabeth, denudata, and I’ve missed some. We have been very pleased, and pleasantly surprised, that they are doing so well – we have about twenty now and while still flowering (they have been flowering for months), some have put on 20 to 30 cm of new growth.
Fragrance from the citrus trees, full of flower and fruit. Even the osmanthus fragrans (sweet olive) are flowering, giving off their sweet fragrance. Brush past the lavender, also in flower now, the foliage giving off the lavender scent. Past the pool – time to start swimming again – the star jasmine in covered in flower and full of perfume.
What a wonderful time to be a gardener!