Spring warmth after frost and snow is one of the joys of nature.

A sprig of wattle for spring!
Maud sports a sprig of wattle for spring!


 It was that period in the vernal quarter when we may suppose the Dryads to be waking for the season. The vegetable world begins to move and swell and the saps to rise, till in the completest silence of lone gardens and trackless plantations, where everything seems helpless and still after the bond and slavery of frost, there are bustlings, strainings, united thrusts and pulls-all-together, in comparison with which the powerful tugs of cranes and pulleys in a noisy city are but pigmy efforts.   THOMAS HARDY ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’

Daffodils thrusting through autumn leaves.
Daffodils thrusting through autumn leaves.







I have several rhododendrons in my  Blackheath garden called ‘Volcano’ and they are aptly named.  As spring arrives, fissures are appearing in their buds, revealing deep red flowers that seem ready to erupt – like Mount Vesuvius.


Stand back, they may 'blow!'
Stand back, this could be dangerous!

All my previous gardens were in Sydney, where winter slides into summer before spring gets a look in.  Since moving to the Mountains I am acutely aware of the garden stirring and swelling around me.  The cinnamon and cream buds of the Michelia  are so delightful I can’t resist stealing some. Now that we no longer need a wood fire I can put a vase of them on the stove.

Michelia buds
Michelia buds splitting to reveal the fragrant cream blooms.
Apple tree in bud
The birth of an apple pie.

I ordered  two cubic metres of rotted cow dung recently , and noticed that internal combustion had raised the temperature of the pile. The manure was steaming in the cool air, and  I stepped back  fearing the whole pile  might ‘blow’.

It’s such an exciting time of year. Shrivelled leaves on the maples are being forced off by new growth.  Azaleas and ajuga  begin to  flower. ‘Dead’ sticks are showing signs of life, and long forgotten bulbs are appearing everywhere. The garden looks fantastic, though I say it myself!

Spring glory.

Of course, the news is not all good. I spent the winter ruthlessly destroying montbretia bulbs, but they are coming back to life. I watch with horror as they emerge from  crevices in  dry-stone walls and lift flagstones. They remind me of Dracula, pushing aside the lid of his coffin.

The bowerbirds are stealing all my blue flowers, even though I generously supply them with bottle tops.

Spring, and a juvenile bowerbird  is about to steal blue treasures,
I’ll take these…then I’ll  go back to stealing Pauline’s flowers!
Adult male bowerbird in spring.
Adult male bowerbird setting a bad example!

Meanwhile,  cuckoos call, and  sneakily lay their eggs in other folks’ nests.

Tiny birds might find a monster in their nest!
Tiny birds sometimes  find they are the parents of a monster !
Currawong feeding a cuckoo
Oh, good grief! Can this be my child?

Grey fantails are unnerved by  the  sudden surge of growth. They constantly spin on their perches, as though afraid of being seized from behind by twining clematis, or an errant hardenbergia vine.

Aussie Fantail in spriing/

I really have been seized; not by vines but by manic energy. Like the fantails, I cannot sit still for a moment. Friends watch in awe as I attack giant agapanthus clumps with a crowbar. My mattock wielding has been described as frenzied. When I visited the doctor for what I thought was a routine check-up he took my blood pressure  and ordered me to rest. I think he fears I have spring fever and that,  like the  manure pile,  my temperature  may skyrocket, with disastrous results.

My associate Editor Des is rarely energized, but he does haul out his picnic basket when the azaleas and camellias  bloom.

Editor Des in his spring bonnet!
Editor Des in his spring bonnet!
Honey bee on a camellia.
Heaven for a honey bee.
Bee on hakia
Hakia, too spikey for anything but spinebills and bees.
Bee on grevillea bloom
Nectar rich grevillea.


For another story about the Blue Mountains, click HERE

  1. Spring seems a long time away as we enter autumn here in the UK, but although I love all of our seasons, spring to me heralds signs of hope and new beginnings. Especially special to me are those brave snowdrops, pure white, unspoiled and so fragile looking, but which will pierce frozen soil in the garden to bring joy to those who love them.

    • Pauline

      Beautifully put Marcia. I love spring because it’s warm enough to enjoy the garden without mosquitoes and flies… and the threat of bush fires!

  2. Lovely to see the Fantail flitting about.
    And I do like the “Maud” in your garden – quite cheerful!
    I think Spring is a time of hope, when I check the garden eagerly each morning to see what has popped up after surviving the harsh Winter we’ve experienced.

    • Pauline

      I agree Christine…doing ‘matron’s rounds is a total joy in spring. Things pop up that I’d forgotten all about.

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