First rose of the year

It has not stopped raining for about four days now: exciting for the garden but Giving Ideas to the Slugs I suspect. We drove over there after a great morning’s climbing. I wanted to show David the progress of the crops, and to plant out the six climbing French beans that were straining their pots here at home. We arrived in a drizzle, but it didn’t deter the intrepid tourist. He was duly impressed by the volume of crops in this year. And I had time to plant out the beans, and pluck the first rose of the season from the big pot under the apple tree. It’s a Madame Alfred Carrière, and a delicate whiteish pink. It is perfuming the room as I type.

On Saturday I had my first ‘go’ at the Australasian Plant Society’ away day. It was fun to meet like-minded gardeners keen on Australian plants. Mind you I was such a new girl when it came to plants. And a very junior gardener when compared with their astounding knowledge. But they were all very friendly and helpful. And Judy Clark was particularly keen for me to take lots of her little seedlings for the future garden.  I am now the proud owner of my first Australian garden plants:

Prostanthera cuneata (Alpine mint bush)
Callistemon citrinus (two little plants)
Banksia integrifolia
Grevillea barklayana
Plus a leuchadendron seedling (that’s an African protea) and a mystery plant which may or may not be an Arthropodium cirratum (a New Zealand rock lily)

I have high hopes for the mint bush; it’s meant to be a good ground cover plant and may do for Marsanoux. Judy did warn me that it may suddenly die, but hopefully I can get quite a few good cuttings from this one plant and build up a good stock.

The little Banksia plant is tiny, but it may grow well, and the grevillea is in sore need of the right compost. It is palely loitering right now in its pot. I have the formula for all these plants: ericaceous compost, plus John Innes Number 3 soil, plus grit. Shall do that this week. If I’m to get this Australian garden going in France, the propagating and potting on has to start now.