18 October 2012

Colours of Spring

A vast sea of yellow signifies spring in this part of the world.   The bush land and rolling hills come alive with yellow wattles.  The deep purple of hardenbergia interlaces the egg and bacon faces of eutaxia, pultenaea and dillwynia . 

In the garden, I have achieved my dream of a sea of daffodils - fields of yellow and white trumpets.  However, as I am learning, there is a fine line between tasteful clumps and rampant excess.  As the bulbs have increased, I’m getting fairly close to overkill!  “All that yellow!”  A friend said.  “It’s disgusting!”   

My vision of wandering free as a cloud amongst my sea of daffodils has some potentially major visual flaws.   It’s not at the disgusting stage from my perspective, but there are some alarming garden moments when yellow dominates the scene.  The daffodils coincide with a joyous display from the forsythia.  At the same time, in the corresponding garden bed, an outrageous burst of lolly pink on the hakea macraema and pink-mauve of a wallflower, clash with the adjacent butter yellow.
This all settles down  with time as flowers fade and the subtle greens of new growth intervenes.

Daffodils can look deadly boring.  Rosa Stepanova, in her book “The Impossible Garden”, abhors the rigid plantings of daffodils so often seen in municipal gardens, engendering in her an emotion “bordering on hatred”.   There is nothing rigid about my plantings.  They are placed as randomly as Edna Walling would recommend, more or less where they land if thrown in the air.   The hybrids are beautiful, but one must take care, for as Stepanova says, some have an uncanny resemblance to “fried eggs on stilts.”

With bulbs, there is also the problem of that end-of- season look.  Will I have a sea of yellowing foliage and shriveled leaves in December? 

Jill at Greenlion

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