Monday, October 20, 2008

Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Dancer, Do

I'm Half Crazy, All For The Sight Of You

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Here in Melbourne as we enter our third week in the six-month period of daylight saving, the weather is starting to hit the 30-degree mark (and we’re talking Celsius here). The long evenings are bringing out the best in the garden and with our severe water restrictions, I’m glad we planted wisely.

When we built this house, I spent hours happily sketching the garden out of nothing. I planned the sweeping, curved driveway to take in the gentle arc of a pathway leading to a gate that existed only in my imagination.

As the house took shape, so did my sketch-pad garden. Fortuitously, I chose hardy plants that would provide vivid colour but that would require little or no water. The northern perimeter of our property is a fairly long frontage and at the moment it is a riot of colour.

The first photograph shows the mature bushes of soft pink African daisies. The second shows the giant white daisies that are interspersed among the flower-carpet roses, azaleas and a mixture of ground cover.

You’re wondering what the background colour is, aren’t you? You’re curious about the intense scarlet splashes, right?

Here they are, up close. The distinctive colour that is coaxed by the sun into a wide, striking carpet is a simple little plant that we call "pigface". I call them PNF plants. That's not scientific jargon. If you want to know what it signifies, it's simply "plant 'n' forget" - because you smply plant it and then forget all about it.

At this time of the year, with the Spring Racing Carnival in full swing, the pigface is the gardening equivalent of a neon sign.

Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

38 comments:

Maggie May said...

OOOHHHH! Beautiful and such a sensible idea not to have plants that guzzle water.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

OH MYYY!! those pink african daisies....are enchanting!! Great pics..

Millennium Housewife said...

I forget that you're heading into summer, here we're wrapping the olive tree in gauze to keep out the frost and moving the patio furniture into the garage. How amazing is life and its many expressions! It exists in a dichotomy of its own making don't you think? MH

Kerri said...

These are beautiful! Glad you planted wisely :)

CrazyCath said...

What beautiful flowers.
Oh to be in the sunshine. *sigh*

Kahshe Cottager said...

I can see your beautiful vibrant garden in my imagination David and it looks wonderful! I like your term PNF ... that's how I am trying to plant here too. In addition to water concerns, I also have very poor soil except where I have amended it. Still, if the right plants are used, they grow! Enjoy your summer ... it was -3C here last night!

Craver Vii said...

"Pigface?" Oh, that's a terrible name. My apologies to pigfarmers for that last remark.

lime said...

lovely. i need the PNF variety of plants because i have the black thumb of death. the less a plant depends upon human tending (read mine) for its survival the more likely it is to live.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Those are such beautiful flowers David!
I should plant something like that here as my garden always gives so much work...
It's also the beginning of our Summer here in Brasil! Clocks went forward last night!

Yen said...

I like that first shot! Cosmos are really beautiful!~Mine is up HERE. Hope to see you there! Happy Today's Flower!~

Hilary said...

Beautiful! I need some of those plant n forget flowers. The only thing I grow really well are weeds (yes, with the s).

Rob Ripma said...

Awesome shots. What a great mix of color!

Seamus said...

Wish our spring were soon, but we've still got winter to go yet!

Gorgeous photos David!

Lee said...

Xeriscaping your yard was an outstanding idea, David! And what gorgeous colors! I'm absolutely enthralled by them. Reds and purples bordering each other are my favorites.

If you're having 30's Celsius then your temps are running close to ours. We had 86 degrees Fahrenheit today. Nice fall weather.

Cheers!

Maria said...

The colours are stunning

Arija said...

Nice post, you've used the pigface to good advantage.

Napaboaniya said...

Plant and forget..very interesting!
I like the colors in these pictures and the amount of DOF used.
Beautiful flowers indeed :)

dot said...

What gorgeous colors!!

lucy said...

They remind me of fireworks on the Forth of July! Beautiful.

Betsy said...

Beautiful! You are beginning to enjoy warmth and flowers just as we had our first frost this morning!

Ruth D~ said...

Gorgeous . . . just as my area turns to fall . . . also beautiful.

AirmanMom said...

I look forward to visiting your garden throughout our winter!


~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

krisuh said...

So lovely flowers!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

fantastic! Eye catching color

quilly said...

So, I'll be seeing my butterfly in flight soon, yes?

Brett said...

Wonderful colors, we are just on the edge of winter here its gray wet and blowing a gale outside and not even fully light 2 hours after the sun (supposed) rose.

RuneE said...

PNF - that sounds like my kind of plant.

PS 11 degrees C, 19m/sec wind, heavy rain - and we have still got daylight saving time...

Moannie said...

Beautiful colours to bring a smile to our now, wintry weather.

Any chance of a tour around the garden?

dulce said...

I love these last ones and it's name. I'm glad you have thought in flowers and plants that needed few water. Nowadays you have to have this tought permanently.

RiverPoet said...

Wow! I never would have thought a pig face could be so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your garden with us!

Peace - D

lisaschaos said...

I love daisies! Great flower photos!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

My dogs name is Daisie, I carried Daisies when I got married and when I am blue I love Daisies. And these are some beauties.

Daryl said...

Mums the word


:-Daryl

becky voyles said...

Beautiful flowers, David. Love the colors and the point of focus.

marLou said...

Nice series of flowers. Beautifully taken!

Denise said...

Great flowers, thanks so much for sharing.

Sandy Kessler said...

daisies are my favorite

Louise said...

I love African daisies. I couldn't find any last year.

Are the others (PNF) ice plants? They look like mine. And yes, you plant and forget, unless they die. If they don't die, they take over everything, and it makes me wonder why 2 out of 3 I plant die. Maybe it's the spot.