When we bought out house almost ten years ago the garden had been laid out and we inherited 80 rose bushes, three 40 year old camellias, a rhododendron and azaleas. The drought had broken so everything thrived for a few years but for the last three years we’ve had serious water restrictions and we’ve kept the garden alive with grey water and tank water. Pretty soon you work out what is going to make it and what isn’t. Roses are tough things but even last summer they took a beating. I really don’t know how long the north facing camellias will last as each year they get thinner and thinner. Amazingly we have kept the standard azalea alive and damn it we have to as due to a massive misunderstanding it was the most expensive plant I have ever bought in my life!! Here it is looking like a bride which it does every September/October, complete with the water-wally behind it to keep it watered
Slowly as water-hungry plants die we replace them with more drought -resistant things like Hebes and Lavender and Kangaroo-paws but the one thing that amazes me each year are the bulbs. They just keep dividing and coming up and flowering! Between the bulbs and the roses, azaleas and the rhododendron my garden looks lovely in Spring. I have learned to accept that beds of summer annuals are just not going to happen anymore and am starting to see the beauty in the variegated leaves of sturdier plants. It’s tough though as I love flowers so that’s why I really enjoy my garden in spring!