The Colours of Winter
Winter weeks in the garden at Mooseys are spent weeding in the gloom and wistfully imagining the shining colours of summer. It's a bland time of the year for gardening eyes and camera, and I long for bright blues, rich purples, fire engine reds...
Subtle Shades of Red - New Zealand Flax
My New Zealand flaxes try hard to liven things up, but I'm impatient - their stripes are subtle, and colour in foliage isn't quite what I want to see. My poor, wintry eyes long for some real flower colour - I want to see shocking pink, bright magenta, and I want to see lots of it.
Hunting for Colour
Every day I take puppy on a colour hunt, hoping to find some razzle dazzle somewhere. On our return I take deep breaths and try and feel lucky - after all, my lovely Australian Wattle Trees are in full citrus yellow flower, the sky is more often blue than grey, and there are some lovely shades of green in the Moosey Garden. There's light green, mid-green, dark green, olive green, sage green, yellow-green...
Yellow Australian Wattle Flower
When I'm in this ungrateful mood, it's a big mistake looking at real, summery photographs. I can't believe that the Moosey borders are so drab, and I know I've taken the colours of the warmer seasons completely for granted. Photographs of roses look totally unbelievable.
Flower Colour Indoors
The brightest flowers I can find are those painted on my special gardener's cushion (hand-painted by my gardening friend Astrid). I miss these big reds and bossy blues in the real garden!
My Colourful Gardeners Cushion
Let me record some of the (non-bright, naturally) colours I have managed to find. Take pinks and blues. My first flowering Camellia is a pathetic pale washed-out pink, and my blue pansies have just not come to the colour party yet - I've found just a few lone unsociables looking bedraggled, faces in the mud. It must be too early for my self-seeding blue pansy growing programme to be showing any colourful results.
Shrub-lovers would argue that there's heaps of lovely shrub colour around - after all, the Ericas are in bloom, and the Leucadendron Safari Sunset is trying hard to do its exotic name justice. The Viburnum Tinus is generous with its pinky white flowers. But I want big bright splodges of vibrant colour - not cute little dull mauve flowers, creamy watery reds, or starry little dull whites. And the same goes for my biennial Honesty plants - they are starting to show lots of nice white and purple flowers, but they're just not strong or noticeable enough.
Subtle Red - Leucadendron Safari Sunset
At such times I despair of ever seeing shocking shades again. Perhaps I could buy in trays of garish big-headed pansies from the nursery, and place a hundred indoor pots of brightly flowering Chrysanthemums outdoors. Or maybe I'll just have to make do with subtle, and be ever vigilant - after all, those lovely Rhododendrons will soon be in flower!