Friday, 20 January 2017

Moonlight Garden

Ambivalence is my middle name.
Only 6 weeks ago I was calling for more deep yellow roses (and wondering why my (usually) glorious gold `Graham Thomas' (see post 2/12/16) and more recently planted `Golden Celebration' are so shy this year) but now I'm thrilled with my garden of moonlight and lemon colours just outside my big window (and its occasional blue flowers too). Moreover, seriously, every 5 minutes, there's a visiting honeyeater, landing on soft yellow Phygelius capensis (below), supping the nectar, so the plant waves about like a crazy clowning acrobat...and draws the eye to the neighbouring moonlit roses, primrose yarrow (Achillea), apple-white Hydrangea quercifolia `Snowflake', and sublime lemon lilies (descendants of the Golden-Ray Lilies of Japan (Lilium auratum, above), with fragrance redolent of cloying lipstick oils, alas).
Some of the lilies are the perfect height - about 1.2m - but others are twice their advertised heighted (which annoys me intensely - I'm creating a picture here!) and, rather than have odd triffids here and there standing high above the mixed border, have been picked for a vase.
The anthers need plucking from lilies in a bouquet, of course, to avoid staining clothes and furniture. Recently I was stunned to learn that one of the chores of the many gardeners  employed by a British estate pre-WW1 was to remove anthers of Lilium - in situ. Good Lord! (So that's why they needed hundreds of lowly paid staff!) And yet...the deep russet-brown of the anthers match perfectly a garden ornament I have here, a large rusty treble clef. I like that. Otherwise, the colouring sounds very cool, and maybe too gentle, but as always there's lashings of green (too many flowers induce nausea).
There's jade leaves and apple; booms of chartreuse, moonlight, lemon, soft amber, palest topaz (`Crocus Rose', below), and butter-yellow. Summer has just arrived (after that longest-ever spring) and with the warmth I like the cool colour tones and narrow band of colour.
Très Chic.
And by chance!
Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, writer, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (


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