Every time spring rolls around, I feel it is my favourite time of year...but then I realise I feel like that about summer and autumn as well. I'd like to wax lyrical about winter as well but in truth, my intellectual appreciation for this dormant period is tempered by the fact that the Blue Mountains are just so bloody cold. No matter how many layers I put on, winter gardening is cumbersome and often brutally windswept. I know that winter is the perfect time to consider the form of your garden, to prune dormant plants and remove any dead limbs, and improve the quality of your soil. So yes, the garden maintenance jobs have all been ticked off the checklist but for some reason, it just isn't as rewarding as other times in the year. Put this down to my issues with instant gratification, I guess.
One thing I have done this winter is workshop my plans for Magic Garden's reorganisation - once we put the barn in the back corner, we'll need to create a driveway from front to back. The need for this structure is entirely my husband's and I've known it was coming, since the purchase of Magic Garden was contingent on there being space for such a barn. Now that we've had a survey done and discussions with our architect proceed apace, I'm actually in a position to start planning where the new drive will go, how the garden beds will be positioned, what plants will be retained and how I want the space to look.
Which isn't as easy as it sounds - there are so many factors to take into consideration - not the least being the desire to manipulate the layers of the planting and the landscape so that there is always something in flower and providing a focal point and a sense of depth. However, I'm proud to announce that I have come to one solid conclusion. I have some lovely lavender that will need to be relocated when we renovate the house, and I think it'll provide the perfect backdrop to a display of red tulips, much like the example shown above. The lavender is in flower pretty much all year, as I'm a conscientious dead-header and the tulips will create a pleasing contrast in the spring. All that remains is to decide on a suitable planting scheme for in front of the tulips, as they don't last particularly long and look very messy as they die off. Some type of clipped hedge should give lend a sense of formality, in contrast to the lavender's feathery branches and would neatly hide the tulip's brown foliage once their time has passed. How's that for a plan!
My tulip inspiration shot came from a divine garden in South Leura, Cherrydell North. I love gardens that have names and I'm especially tickled by the signage on the Cherrydell North gate. This is the sort of metalwork that you rarely see anymore, it speaks of another time and place, when having something made by hand was the only way it would get done.