Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Here I am again back in the blogosphere! I ended up being away for longer than I thought and probably won’t be blogging as much or visiting you all at your blogs as much (at least in the short term), but I will try and peek in and say ‘Hi’ when I can.

'Mother Maple' waiting for spring

You know what the great thing about this blog is?Β  Well, it’s great that I can record what is happening in my garden and what I’ve learnt through trial and error (or what I haven’t learnt despite having done the same thing over and over), but best of all it can remember things for me!

I swear that I live life like a goldfish. Every baking hot february with the temperature stretching toward 40 degrees centigrade, I forget that it gets cold in winter. Well, yes I know it gets cold, but I forget that it can get toe curling, steamy breath, frozen windscreen and above all chilly toilet seat cold some days.

Tiny native violets are in flower now.

Likewise in July I have completely forgotten about days that can be so hot they can clear kill a tender green plant in one go. I forget sleepless cicada buzzing nights and sunburn under 5 minutes without a hat. The height of the seasons always come as a bit of a shock.

So, for posterity’s sake, things to remember about mid-winter in the Gippy Garden are:

1. We do get occasional hard frosts, enough to kill the new growth on the lemon tree (but the lemon tree is fine) and the Jacaranda sapling (which isn’t so fine).

2. In July lots of little self sown pansy and viola seedlings start to emerge. I read somewhere that some consider violas a weed, but nothing cheers me up in the garden faster than a little self sown ‘Johnny Jump Up’.

3. In July many of my camellias are coming into their best, especially the japonicas.

My favourite camellia 'Brushfield's Yellow'

Lovely 'Desire' camellia

4. Clay mud is not so much fun to garden in. In summer I had visions of lots of cool but dry days to garden in. It has been a wet winter and digging around in the mud is a bit different to what I was anticipating!

5. Nothing sleeps for long. It is not that long since the trees lost all of their Autumn colour and yet there are signs of new life already emerging everywhere I look.

The first Hellebore well underway.

6. Earlicheers and Paperwhites are up and blooming (along with my first ever little crocus), hyacinths are almost there and many more daffies are on their way.

7. Our heating always breaks down in June/July. That is a very important note to myself!

What sticks in your mind most about your opposite season?


Comments on: "Things to Remember About Winter" (23)

  1. Well, the chilly toilet seat is a good one, that sticks not just to my mind, but my bum, lol. For me, it is the cold crisp days, when the air is so fresh it almost hurts to breathe and the glare on the snow dazzles the eye, to me that is winter.
    Good to have a new post from you Heidi, hopefully it won’t be so long till the next, the season is just starting for you.

    • Hello Deborah!

      Well, I’m glad that the toilet seat is not so cold it sticks to my bum…that is probably more what happens with the kind of cold you get in your part of the world!

      In terms of the garden, we have had an early burst of strangely warm and spring like weather these last couple of days – reminding me it’s time to get a move on before spring is really underway!

  2. Despite everyone in the UK who grows stuff moaning about the dry weather, it’s the short gloomy days of winter with leaden skies, storm clouds spreading like a bruise, that I try to forget.

    That said, it’s a good excuse to sit indoors and watch sport!

  3. Elephant's Eye said:

    It’s the in summer looking at a closed combustion stove in the living-room, and thinking – why do we have that? And now in winter revelling in blue skies and sunshine – and we don’t have to dive into the shade, or lurk indoors.

    • Hello Diana,
      Ah, your winter always sounds that bit kinder than ours. We do get mild blue skied days, which are just lovely…but we get plently of leaden skies too!

  4. Dear Heidi, How good to hear from you. I love your winter pictures and think that the camellia is particularly beautiful.

    For me, it is the wall to wall grey of winter in England which is so dreary. I much prefer the achingly cold [-20C] of Budapest with snow like washing powder and wall to wall blue skies.

    • Hello Edith,
      I cannot even imagine -20c, let alone think that I might prefer it! We get the odd night here and there that will slip below 0c…but it warms up to at least 8 to 10 degrees during the day!
      I must admit that I do like the image of washing powder snow against a bright blue sky, it sounds spectacular!

  5. Welcome back to the blogosphere Heidi! I love your ‘Desire’ Camellia, she’s absolutely beautiful, and congrats on your first crocus! In winter, planning for spring, I forget the temperature here can leap past the century mark, and turn the garden to a crisp. In summer, like now, I’m thinking winter here isn’t so bad. That’s until I remember that it can, and does, sometimes rain hard enough here, that the mud starts to flow! Thankfully, most of the year, the weather here is just darned near perfect though, and I’m very grateful for that! Have you considered a heated toilet seat? They make them you know πŸ˜›

    • Hello Clare,
      Our seasonal cycles sound like they are not too different really…although yours might hit the extremes a bit more ofther than mine.
      As for the heated toilet seat…it sounds like it would be just the thing, until I get to summer and throw it away because I can’t imagine why a person would want such a thing πŸ˜‰

  6. Yay! You’re back — even if only for a peep in. I’ve missed you, dear Heidi. That ‘Desire’ camellia is so demure and pristine. But of course my heart really goes out to your native violets and the wee Johnny Jump Ups!

    It is hard for me to remember winter now. It seems a world away. (I guess it’s about half of one, actually.) What I’d tell myself to remember here in the dog days of summer is how the rain sometimes doesn’t last long enough to do more than steam up the landscape and make it impossible to work among the plants without spreading disease, and so wishing for it can be counterproductive. Also, that any physical labor chores I’m doing now because I was *too lazy* to do them in spring… well, I’m paying the price for my procrastination. Whatever it is, it’s doubly hard to do when sweat is dripping into your eyes and the mosquitoes think it’s feast time. And last but not least: remember to cover the paths in twice the thickness of mulch that I imagine is necessary. Weeds grow so fast in this high summer heat, and I don’t have time to work a hoe over more than the garden beds, where the plants are growing (and even for that I have to get up at 5:30 a.m.)

    The funny part? With our temps up above 100 degrees this week (about 38-39 C?) I think I’d take a chilled toilet seat right about now. πŸ˜‰

    • ((((Meredith)))) It’s nice to be back and reading your friendly ‘voice’ πŸ™‚

      Yuck! Mosquitoes! And yuck! Humid days becoming even more humid after rain! I had forgotten about these summery ‘delights’, although I suspect that we don’t suffer either of them as badly as you do. What we call humid this far south is not properly tropical humid and the mozzies only pounce in the evenings here.

      I will take your words of mulching and battling weeds as a timely reminder in this pre-spring lull to get out there as much as I can before everything takes off!

      As for the toilet seat, I’ll swap you for a nice warm one πŸ˜‰

  7. Elephant's Eye said:

    Thanks for your comment. I have copied and pasted it in. This post reminded me to get some Australian violets from my mother’s garden. She has been growing it since I was a schoolgirl πŸ˜‰

  8. Hi Heidi: Good to see you back. Take time and enjoy your winter gardens.

    Have a wonderful day,

  9. Heidi !!!!!! Hidy Hoe!

    Your Camellia ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’ is just beautiful! Great photo. So glad you are back online. πŸ˜€

    Welcome back!

    • Hiya Shylene πŸ™‚ I’m glad you like ‘Brushfield’s Yellow’ too, it’s not as showy as a lot of other camellias, but I like it’s subtle colour.
      Finally got off my tail and visited your place too πŸ™‚

  10. Hi, Heidi! Good to hear from you again. I agree…blogging is the best log there is! I find it amazing to see the history of some bloggers…back to 2007. Your camellias are really pretty…like paper roses. Lovely!

    • Hello Kimberly! It will be great when we have a few years of blogging history to look back on too won’t it? It will be great to see how things have grown and developed!

  11. I had to take a break from blogging (and a lot of other things in my life) but I am back now too. I hope all is well with you!

  12. Jess! I’ve missed you!
    Great to see you back about too and I’m looking forward to more of your wonderful posts!

  13. Hi! I think my camellia that I blogged about is your Desire one… I had no clue what it was … but then saw your pic.
    Glad you’re back!

  14. Hello Em and thanks for the welcome back!

    I’ve had a peek and I think you have a different, but every bit as beautiful camellia there. There is one like yours in a garden down the road from me and I have been secretly coveting it for some time! Sadly, I’ve no idea what the variety is called 😦

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