In the Garden: Tempted by Australians

After a gardening hiatus for moving and hostile weather, my monthly garden update is back! Thursday dawned bright, warm, and beautiful, and I really needed an excuse to spend a few hours outdoors, so I decided to plant some ornamentals. I’m trying to slowly take over the expanse of grass at the front of the house, both so I have less to mow and because I like looking at plants.

I headed to the nursery armed with a list of native plants, but something bad happened, gentle readers. As soon as I stepped through the gate, I was seduced by an intoxicating scent. I can’t quite describe it. Rich, slightly sweet, intense. So intense. I went hunting through the nursery with my nose until I found my target.

Boronia megastigma, a flowering evergreen plant. The leaves are dark green and needle-like, and the flowers are brownish-red and bell shaped.

Meet Boronia megastigma, an Australian native that packs one heck of a punch. This evergreen shrub is supposed to grow to around three feet (one meter) tall, and it is allegedly deer resistant. We’ll see about that last. People, this plant smells so good. I wish I had smellovision or that you could all come over to smell it, because, seriously, it is delicious. So I bought out the nursery’s stock (don’t look alarmed, they only had two plants). It is a low water and low maintenance plant, which suits my gardening needs rather a lot.

Chastising myself for being tempted by a scented exotic, I firmly reminded myself to stick to my list of native plants, so of course I ended up with this:

Grevillea lavandulacea ‘Penola’: A flowering evergreen plant. The foliage is silvery grey and needle-like, the flowers are spiky, red and pink.

Damn you, Australia! This is Grevillea lavandulacea ‘Penola’, another Aussie. Also supposedly deer resistant, with moderate watering needs. It legs out if you don’t trim it regularly and I will probably let it do just that because I like a garden with some sprawl. People, I love this plant. I planted it right in the line of sight of the front door.

I also planted some lupines and I am thinking about planting some torch lilies opposite them (yeah…I really threw out this whole only using natives plan) because I like spiky plants.

Also planted:

Primula vulgaris: A peach and pink primrose, sparkling with drops of water.

These primroses I mainly threw in the front bed to get some colour in the garden. I’m not sure they will stick around, and that’s ok. I was just tired of looking at frost-nipped things (the salvia got worked in the cold weather in December, and while it may come back, it’s looking rather grim at the moment). These primroses also smell delicious. I like gardens that smell good.

While I was weeding, I spotted this little dude:

Grape Hyacinth: A tiny grape hyacinth peeping out from thick green leaves.

Someone planted grape hyacinths by the path at some point. If I beat back the grass, they should be very happy!

The bulbs I planted in the fall are coming up robustly, although not yet blooming. There are also a ton of amaryllis, which I plan to divide later this year because they are extremely tightly packed. I love their foliage, especially because it comes up so early, but I wish they didn’t look so haggard for most of the year.