I am basking in unabashed admiration for my garden; not because it is my garden, though being me, it could be enough reason to admire it. No, I am in awe of Mother Nature.

By day I stand in gob smacked appreciation of the sheer beauty that Spring and the recent rains have created in the garden. From many point in my house and in fact even standing outside my front door looking in I can see the star jasmine in all its bounty, flowering over the arbour in the back yard. The arbour is just off the patio and is a thing of beauty to behold.

my arbour veiled in jasmin

In the evenings we can smell jasmin fragrance throughout the house. It makes watching television a more pleasant experience as one reaches a higher level of calm due to the fragrance lofting in on the night air.

scented gardenias and lush green leaves

The front garden is a wash of white at the moment. White gardenias, white lilies, white daisies. Lush green leaves and crisp one flowers; what says spring more than that? The scent of the gardenias is on the air and greets anyone walking up the driveway to our front door. The mock orange  (murraya paniculata)  plants are a week or two from flowering and will then add the perfume to the mix. This morning I gained a sense of spirit renewal dead heading the gardenias encouraging continuing flowering.

gardenias, lilies, murraya

The birds nest plant (Asplenium australasicum) that my father gave me from his garden in the first weeks of my marriage, 33 years ago and I have carried to 6 different homses now and fed banana skins from time to time, grows lush and green in the side garden under the palm trees and I can see it from the living room window and it lovingly links me with my Dad, gone 10 years now.

There are little violets of white and purple sneaking out from the garden and into the lawn and along the edge of the pavers. Sword ferns have also escaped and are growing in cracks between paths and the house and are creeping between the patio and the house. I let them have their way.

In the back garden there are flashes of colour. Red from the potted chinese lantern growing under the arbour, tropical red hibiscus flowers, dark red Canna lilies and the soft mauve of a potted lavender plant.

Chinese lantern hiding under the arbour

That Australia touch of geraniums of mauve and pink and white and red growing in pots on the small rain water tank stand near Mr FD’s study window . Our salute to Australian culture of eras past, when everyone had geraniums growing in tins on tank stands never ceases to make me smile as I hang the laundry on the clothes line to dry in the warm sun.

Bees, dragon flies and butterflies are flying and dancing and twirling in all corners. Garden spiders spin their pretty webs. The neighbour’s cat sleeps under the dappled shade of the lime tree.

A black crow helps himself to one of my just ripening tomatoes (again!) and I go out and chase him away, coming back in to complain to Mr FD about the birds getting fat on my vegetables. He tells me that they follow him when he mows waiting for the worms to come to the top of the grass. We decide we can’t beat them and laugh that at least we are feeding something if not ourselves, but I make a mental note to gain the upper hand someway, someday. I do not expect to win but every gardener knows that from the outset. It does not deter us from our quest though.

My garden renews me, restores me, and brings me peace, escape and solitude. Serenity grows in my garden.

29 thoughts on “

  1. Gorgeous! I am amazed at your arbour veiled in jasmin. It looks like a fairytale to me.

    I like the wooden chair and the flowers next to it. Also, the closeup of the white flower is lovely.


    • The vine is weighed down by the weight of the flowers, but it has been a bit rampant this year. I shall have to prune it severly once it ceases flowering. I think it has found it way over the fence and into the neighbour’s garden too!


  2. FD, that was the most beautiful post I think I have ever seen my dear lady. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and you wrote it so beautifully it actually lulled me to a state of calm after a long day.

    I had goose bumps as I read about the plant that your father gave you and total admiration for your steadfast dedication to carry it from place to place and keep it alive and beautiful.

    Serenity does indeed grow in your garden, not only for you, but for those of us who are lucky enough to have you as a friend to share it with us.

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post. What a great way to end my day.


  3. BEAUTIFUL. I thought jasmines grew only in India. We (at least South Indians) are addicted to jasmine. You won’t find too many women without jasmine in their hair during the season (which is summer, for us). The fragrance is simply hypnotic.

    “Serenity grows in my garden.”
    I agree.


    • jasmine in their hair – how lovely. I was bridesmaid for my cousin when I was a teenager and we wore lavender wisteria in our hair and I felt so elegant. The scent really is hypnotic, absolutely. I can smell it now as I write this to you!


    • I do and I appreciate it every day. Hence my reluctance to ever leave. Wherever I go I have to have a garden – we created this one from rock as there was no topsoil on our allotment when we built the house – it is situated on the top of an old quarry!


  4. Love walking by Star Jasmine. But. If I were to sit under it I think I would be knocked out cold. That stuff is powerful. They have it in huge planter boxes at my childrens’ middle school. ( to hide the odor of adolescence? )
    Love, Love, Love the garden pictures.


    • to hide the odor of adolescence – especially the boys!!!!

      I often worry about whether the neighbours have allergies, but no one has complained. I suppose they might not dare being Flamingo Dancer and all! Maybe they are suffering behind closed windows!


  5. Wonderful. That’s kind of a garden I dream of too.

    You describing all those scents kind of gave me a wacky thought again. If every body could be around so much scent especially us city folks, and we wouldn’t be surrounded by so much concrete… would we be all more calm, relaxed and centered creatures?


    • I certainly think so. I know I respond very strongly to certain scents, especially rose and lavender. Maybe they should place big scent puffers on the top of buildings to rain down scents upon the city!

      I have always believed that we humans are very sensitive to all the elements. I know I am calmer in a house that has lots of natural elements.


  6. Nice to have a such a lovely haven to retreat to, FD. A bit better kept than my back yard, I might add. Still, I’m working on it. We plan to plant more grevillea for the birds.


    • I do love the birds in our back yard, they in turn love my poor excuse of a veg patch. I come from many generations of gardeners, I am not happy without some form of garden to tend. I wish I had more time and energy to do it though!


  7. Goodness, that’s beautiful! We’re deep into fall here, and the usually brilliant colors were muted because of all the warmth and the rain. There are a few “burning bushes” here and there, but the leaves aren’t doing much more than falling from the trees.


    • That was the plan, but I rarely get the time – I do sit there though when the little nieces and nephew come to visit as they love to pay out there and have adventures so we adults tend to follow them


  8. Oh, I am jealous of your garden with gorgeous jasmin and lily scents! We are getting into a cold season in Japan now.

    I have been thinking of clouring my garden only with white flowers and blossoms. Thank you for showing me a good example of one.


  9. Here in mid-America, I have just ripped out the dead tomato vines. We unhappily share ours with squirrels who take a single bite, only from the ripest ones, and then throw the rest on the ground. Managed to get the green tomatoes before the freeze and made mincemeat by adding raisins, pineapple, and spices. Wonder if star jasmine would grow on my trellis. It is under the eves and gets very little rain. Lovely garden and I don’t see the gnome.


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