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Operation Dream Cottage Garden... begins!

OMG – I’ve just discovered gardening… and I think I’m in love!! (Is this another symptom of middle age setting in?? ;-) )

Well, actually, I’ve always looked wistfully at other people’s gardens – especially those cottage-style gardens… ooh, I’d always desperately wanted a quaint, romantic garden like that, with climbing roses and a profusion of colour & flowers…

I want a garden like this!

… the problem was, I usually killed every plant I brought home (yes, including the plastic ones! ;-) ) so I thought it would always be an empty dream.

Then a few weeks ago, I made up my mind that I would learn gardening! I didn’t have to live with the ugly dry & scraggly bush garden in our house – I could try to have the cottage garden of my dreams!

So I pulled up all the existing plants so I had a “blank slate” to work with… and then I headed out to the local garden centres and spent a couple of blissful weekends shopping!!

Muesli checking out the new residents…

I LOVE star jasmines (I think they’re called Confederate jasmine in the States) and I got 2 big ones to train up the wall… can’t wait until they start flowering – the scent is just heavenly!

I thought I’d start with planting in pots, as that didn’t seem as “scary” as planting things straight into the ground.

Here’s me with my very first container: sweet alyssum, bacopa and a baby blueberry bush! (this is a dwarf variety called “Bluberry Burst” which remains small but produces HUGE fruit – apparently 3 times normal size! Well, I guess we’ll see! ;-) )

Of course, Muesli did lots of “helping”! ;-)

I’d only intended to start with easy things like “potted colour” – pansies and stocks and salvias and daisies – but somehow, I came home one day with an impulse-buy: a Blushing Iceberg rose! I was worried that roses were too “advanced” for a beginner gardener like me but I suppose we all have to start somewhere! ;-)

Anyway, so far, the rose is doing great – the warm & sunny winters here in Perth mean that a lot of plants don’t go dormant like they do in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the rose has been blooming like crazy since arriving in our garden – and we’re supposed to be in the middle of winter!

It does have lovely faint flushes of pink painted on the white petals – really as if the rose is blushing! ;-)

Oh! The other things I’m very excited about are some ornamental cabbage / kale seedlings I got. I’m told they’ll grow into huge colourful monsters… well, I’m waiting with bated breath! Here’s me planting them into the garden bed…

(with Muesli helping, of course! ;-) )

The only thing is… gosh, I didn’t realise how “physical” gardening is!

After all that digging and lifting and squatting and watering… not to mention all the fresh air and early mornings… whew, we’re exhausted!! :D







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You’re going to have a lovely cottage garden, I just know it. Beautiful roses. ( :

Sariella Creeger

I loved seeing your beautiful garden and I’m especially fond of roses. That one is truly lovely. Muesli enjoys the camera Enjoy!


I have grown several David Austin roses over the years and have loved them. Too old to garden now and truly miss it. I will enjoy following your progress.

Elaine Hall

There is nothing quite so satisfying as getting down in the dirt, and helping things grow. My entire adult life every place I have lived I have had at least one rose bush. Having Musli’s help just adds to the pleasure. One small caution, since you are just starting out, try not to be too ambitious. It is so satisfying that it is easy to let our passion carry us away, and then it can become a chore instead of a love. You have made a beautiful start, and I am sure it is easier to grow things where you… Read more »

Mary Ann Worthen

Enjoy your gardening, but can you write faster so we have more tea shop books?

Have fun! Roses are really very easy to grow!


Your garden is looking great. I have lots of roses. For me they are the easiest to grow the heat of our summers kills a lot of my Spring plantingIf you are going to plant Plumaria my would not bloom in a container but once we put them in the ground they started blooming like crazy


Whaou, it’s awesome !! The jasmin fragrance is one of my favorite too. As soon as I’ll be back home (near Toulon), I planed to dig some fruits trees and jasmin flowers. I really like the smell :-) And I still have some citrus and orange trees that I like very much too. Anyway, I’m not sure I had told you. Finally, the Australians changed their mind and my internship is in Germany. Bayern is a very lovelly place, and not that far from France so my husband can come and visit me sometimes. We had great time last week… Read more »


I love the pink roses. Wow! It looks great! Muesli looks very content.


Gardening is such a lovely pastime! I love feeling the soil and breathing in the purified air that the plants provide…. have fun!
Oh, and you look about as middle-aged as my 30 year old niece :)


Missed you. Outlook delets e-mail and I don’t know why & when.
So you are gardening? Healthy activity. But please find out which plants are toxic for cats.


Gardening is a nice adventure.

Hm, tag blueberry bush. That’s for acid soils. If your garden isn’t, then put it in big planters and put the planters a bit in the shades. They live in the woods under conifer trees and so do the mushrooms which are red with white dots, the fly agaric.