The joy of summer can quickly turn into the dread of the hose. I’ve spent weekends getting tied up in hundreds of metres of drip irrigation hose and months trying to find just the right settings, but automatic systems just don’t give that even soaking that we need. And whilst it’s fun to water by hand, closely examining all your lovely plants as you go for the first few times, the novelty can wear off when you have client deadlines, an assignment due, no food in the fridge and worst of all, it is lightly drizzling.
I find myself watering in the rain reasonably often. It is most irritating, but Australian gardeners will understand. When the garden is parched and you are forecast 1mm of rain, it’s just not going to cut it for another day.
And so over time, I plant more and more drought hardy plants. I get excited that they actually want to be in my garden. They don’t complain, resist or wilt on me; they just happily grow away and flower contently.
I buy many of my drought hardy plants using Lambley Nursery’s postal service. And so when we were recently in Victoria, I thought it would be great to pop in and see them.
Lambley is located in a very dry part of the country, which also suffers both from frosts and temperatures in the 40s. The myriad colour on display here is all the more refreshing for it.
Most production nurseries contain lines and lines of identical green shrubs, but Lambley feels like an allotment filled with cutting flowers. Each plant is carefully labelled and in fantastic condition – you would struggle to do better if you wanted to view ideas for drought tolerant, colourful, flowering plants.
There are also a few ornamental gardens here, although the nursery is a long way out in the middle of nowhere to visit for this alone. The Dry Garden is their jewel in the crown and gets watered no more than four times a year, which is quite an inspiration if you are keen to put down your hose.
Lambley are very big on salvias, and the formal garden is quite striking with its bright blues and whites. They currently have 16 different salvias available, some shrubby, some subtropical, some more Mediterranean in style and it was great to see all the different shades of blues, pinks and reds. It is so hard to get an accurate idea of colour from a photo and a couple of them quite surprised me. They are such a great plant for dry climates.
If you are after ‘dry colour’, this nursery is one of the best we have and if you happen to be in the vicinity, it’s worth popping in to see the biggest cutting flower garden you will probably ever see. If you are further away, fear not, their website has an extensive catalogue just waiting to inspire you!