Monday, 23 February 2015

Waiting for the word.

Our container should have arrived this week in Melbourne.  We were told the ship would dock last Thursday but we haven’t heard anything yet.  

We are hopeful.  

Mind you, it will be at least another two weeks before we get our hands on our stuff because quarantine officers will be giving them the once over.  Australia is very strict when it comes to importing anything into the country by private individuals and so all of our beautiful things will sit around somewhere waiting to be checked; and it isn’t cheap either.  $750 up front just for the normal processing.  I hope they don’t kick up a fuss about our thirty-five clocks, or the mirror collection, paintings, books, teapots . . .

Of course, there is nothing that can be done to expedite matters and so one is forced to sit tight and wait to be contacted.

And so while we are waiting, why not grab your sun hat and come with me for a walk around our garden.

I purchased this house in partnership with my mother (Mme. O) a little while after my father died. We did not want a big garden as we both had busy lives but we did want somewhere to grow roses and a place to create a terrace for outdoor dining and general lounging about.
That was then but all these years later I find that thanks to AGA I have grown to love gardening and this is one of the reasons that AGA and I will be buying land upon which to build a new house and a new much bigger garden.

But anyway . . .

The roses are looking lovely:

When we moved to this house I planted the roses along the driveway and up to the front door.  The recent rather hot summer days have burnt some of the petals but all in all it has been rather a good year:

This rose, which we believe is 'Queen Elizabeth' was presented to my parents by a neighbour when we first arrived in Australia.  Do you think that this is the correct name? On moving house I made sure that part of it went with us:

I do like French marigolds.    We have a lot of them at present.  They always put on a good show.

Now this is a pineapple lily.  I have to say that I don't like it.  AGA on the other hands, loves it.  I have promised faithfully not to kill it as I did (accidentally) his Mother-in-law tongue plant while we were in Germany . . .

Foxgloves are always so lovely.  This was a self seeded one that popped up one day.  My grandmother used to say that it was wrong to bring foxglove into the house because it would make the fairies angry and the milk would always curdle.  In the corner of this photo you will be able to spot some 'Johnny Jump up' violas.

A cherub who in the dim and distant past suffered a French revolutionary accident, having his head accidentally knocked off.  Luckily it was able to be reattached.

The Meyer lemon is enjoying itself in a large terracotta pot and I must say that the perfume from the flowers is heady to say the least!  Given that lemons are sold for $1 each in the supermarket I can't wait for own ones to get a move on and grow:

This rhubarb was termed 'French' when I purchased it at the local Farmers' market the other week. My father grew champagne rhubarb and as a child I hated it!  As an adult my tastes have changed and I like it a lot.   I do not know why this is called French Rhubarb.  Perhaps they put the word 'French' on it to attract people like me!  At the moment it remains in the pot while it acclimatises to the garden.  I went to a website called Rhubarb Central to see what varieties there are but the term French Rhubarb was not to be found.  Perhaps it is an old name...  When my old gardening books arrive I shall look it up and see.  That wilted leaf stalk has been removed.

This is a stone pine.  It is only a baby at the moment but it is part of the group of plants destined for the acreage we intend to purchase.  It is a plant that reminds me of the South of France and Italy.

We are able to grow bougainvillea in Victoria although it is not as prolific as it could be.  I do enjoy this plant.  I have seen them grown as hedges.

The garden in full swing:

The man-next-door gave my mother (Mme. O) this dahlia.  Under the care of AGA it has blossomed and looks lovely!

The bijou herb garden is coming along nicely.  Basil, Mint, Apple Mint, Tarragon, Chives, Rosemary, Flat-leafed parsley, Curly leaf parsley, Mme. O's tomato plant; all presided over by Apollo, basking in the sun.

I hope you have enjoyed having a poke around our garden!


  1. Your garden is indeed growing beautifully. Normally people only worry that their plants are a) fruitful and b) colourful and attractive to look at. But the hero of your garden is the Meyer lemon... The scent is gorgeous.

    1. Dear Hels.
      I agree with you 100%. The scent of lemon flowers is wonderful. Some time ago I was watching a television show about Amalfi and the lemons they grow there that are considered to be amongst the best. I have a desire to own one of those although I don't expect them to be available in Australia.

  2. Indeed I did enjoy a poke around your garden. What a contrast, Germany to Melbourne. Bougainvillea grows pretty well in Victoria, in my experience. A little bit too well at times. Retail prices for lemons are a disgrace. There should be an ACCC investigation.

    1. Dear Andrew,
      Germany to Melbourne has come with a small degree of culture shock however we are acclimatising - slowly. I agree with you regarding the price of lemons. Mme O tells me they come overseas which surprises me as I would think we would grow plenty of them here in Australia.

  3. Hello Kirk, I have gone through that kind of red tape for small shipments, and I can only imagine what it would be like for such a large and complicated one. I wish you the best of luck and fewest delays in getting it through.

    It must be cheerful moving to your established garden, with so much color and variety, rather than to some barren yard. I am envious of your growing rhubarb, long a favorite of mine, and not obtainable in Taiwan (it is even difficult to describe it here!). I just was looking at an 1851 New York seed catalog for sale, and the only rhubarb variety it mentioned was called Victoria. Let us know when you solve that mystery.

    1. Dear Jim,
      Thank you for your good wishes and may they come to fruition!
      I wonder why one cannot obtain rhubarb in Taiwan. It says in Wikipedia that it originated in China. I love finding out about the origins of things so I am going to check on that in my own books when my library arrives.

  4. Your garden is beautiful, Kirk. We love many of the same flowers. Foxgloves are one of my very favorites and I wait each year to see where they'll pop up.

    The rose certainly looks like Queen Elizabeth, My uncle (by marriage), Dr Walter E. Lammerts, was the hybridizer of Queen Elizabeth as well as Chrysler Imperial, Blaze, and many others. His work caused the A.R.S. to create an entirely new class of rose, the Grandiflora. If I'm not mistaken, Queen Elizabeth still holds the record for most awards ever given a rose.

    1. Dear Adrienne,
      Thank you for your visit and your kind comments. It is always good to 'see' you, and thank you for that information which I have passed on to Mme O. We used to make huge bottles of scent out of the petals when we were children!

  5. How lush and beautiful! The roses....heavenly! I enjoyed the tour, especially on this frigid (20 degrees at the moment....and dropping) day in DC. It's been a cruel winter for our region. Good luck with the container! Look forward to seeing your clocks again.

    1. Dear Loi,
      I love roses. I can't wait to have more space to grow them. I also like growing Chrysanthemums.
      I am sending you warm thoughts from Melbourne. It is a little cool today being only 18c today but then that would be a balmy day over there in DC at the moment!

  6. What a lovely garden you have Kirk! I enjoyed have a poke around very much indeed. Your roses look exceptionally good considering the heat.

    Hope your garden stuff and other things will arrive soon!

    Have a good week!

    Madelief x

    1. Thank you Madelief,
      I will admit that I like looking at gardens rather than doing the actual work - especially digging - but that's where AGA comes in!
      I hope you have a good week too!

      Kirk x

  7. Dear Kirk,

    Your garden is lovely, and I am reminded by your posting that you are experiencing summer as we are experiencing winter.

    The photo of the marigolds reminded me of an American senator from my childhood, Everett McKinley Dirksen, well loved for his humor and passion. Every year he would stand before the Senate and make a speech extolling the virtues of the marigold, and propose that it be made the national flower. That never happened, I think in part because the other senators looked forward to the next year's speech.

    1. Dear Mark,

      Senator Dirksen seems to have been an interesting chap (as I have now discovered). I see that the national flower of the United States is the rose. That is also the flower of England. I think that the US national flower should be something like Quaker Ladies because the rose isn't an American plant but then it is isn't a native English plant either . . . Australia's national flower is the golden wattle. It is a lovely looking plant but I am allergic to this!!

  8. Oh wow. Those pictures are amazing. Waiting is not easy, but I'm sure it feels better being surrounded by such beauty!

    1. Dear Julie,
      Welcome to my blog! Thank you for your kind comments. Waiting for our 'stuff' is certainly giving a new meaning to the word 'patience'.
      Bye for now,