Winter settles in...

Winter settles in. Gardening before ten o'clock in the morning is seriously difficult, and the trees in the Hump are starting to block the sun. Both of my sons' birthdays are in June.

Raindrops on the Patio Rose Arch

Saturday 3rd June

I wasn't in the garden last weekend. I was in the house sewing for the school dance production - seriously sewing for 20 plus hours. The Canterbury Crusaders won the Rugby Super 12. And then younger son left on a plane for Germany.

Now I'm back, in body and in spirit!! Sitting outside, cup of tea steaming, low winter sun in eyes. What shall I do first? I have made two lists.

List One - The Wishing and Hoping List

List Two - The Winter Morning Three Degrees (Celsius) Reality List

I have a small problem - my garden is a country retirement home for old (i.e. unwanted) roses, and last week two such arrived in a green bucket from a teacher friend. Next weekend my pergola friend has six coming to retire here. Where can I put them all?

Sunday 4th June

Knowing that I have to find homes for eight new roses, I have just visited the local nursery and deliberately, rebelliously, bought seven more (Transcendant, Glamis Castle, Pat Austin, Reine des Violettes, another Mutabilis, Henri Martin, and a stripy one). This will force me to take the rose problem seriously. Crazy!

 Crazy rose, still flowering.
A Late Autumn Stand by an Unknown Rose in the Septic Tank Border

Later that day...

Apres-gardening... I will move Taj-dog's kennel and dog-run, and widen the garden on the fence-line, creating rose room. Also, the Apple Tree Border will be widened. The NEW PERGOLA can take the biggest ones. Ha! The rose problem is solved. And there is less lawn to mow. Actually I went out twice today in the cold wind and rain. I must spend a lot of time like a duck with its bottom up in the air, because that part of me got very cold and wet first!!!

The trick is to have log-burner going and dry clothes laid out ready. The apr├Ęs-gardening shirt must, of course, be ironed.

Monday 5th June - Queen's Birthday

Ha! I have an extra day. I was going to shift some scruffy Cistus shrubs. Then I read up about them, and their credentials seem suddenly desirable. So I went out to inspect them. Their foliage for me is unmemorable, and I can't even remember if they have flowers... Is there enough sun? Did I do an untimely prune? (this is turning into a guilt trip of mother proportions). I will have to move them to an amazingly sunny spot where they can scruff memorably and flower beautifully and prove me wrong.

So instead of dithering over Cistus shrubs, I will plant all new bulbs from bulb sale, and build new rose garden by the wood shed. This will be most virtuous.

Friday 9th June - Leroy's Birthday

I Love Leroy, my youngest son. He turns 20 today (I think he's 20) and is going to a music concert somewhere in Germany with Ines.

Saturday 10th June

My hands are so sore - I have been cutting back, pulling out weeds, and planting another lot of sale price bulbs (oops!) under roses. I have lost two pairs of British racing green secateurs. Hope that the lawnmower doesn't 'find' them!

 I love watching the birds eating the crab-apples.
Early Autumn Crab Apples

Sunday 11th June

It is a SERIOUS ROSE DAY. Roses have to be planted, moved, collected, etc. 100 snub-nosed daffodils have to be planted. The Mary Rose and attendant white Nicotianas in bay window bed continue to bloom their hearts out. The crab apple tree is covered with fat red apples, looking like they've been stuck on, the branches invisible. The euphorbia underneath is a large bluish frill around the base of the trunk. I think this is a tableaux.


it was a serious Antarctic wind day!!! Roses plans are on hold.

Saturday 17th June

My garden is waiting! This weekend I need to get mentally lost in it (work is a bit overwhelming at the moment). Tomorrow the retirement roses get picked up. Later... My local nursery lady had a trailer load of old shrubs for me, and I also went and bought 5 more roses. I am feeling terribly naughty, like an irresponsible garden delinquent, and enjoying it too!

Sunday 18th June

I would like to employ a weeder, to pull out the little gorse and broom seedlings, and maybe pay them $5 per 10,000. I am still reminded of the dreaded hundred years' worth waiting to pop up each season. Will I be tempted to think about using anything nasty and chemical???

There were a lot more retirement roses than I'd thought. Hee hee! They are firmly in place - actually very very firmly, in the new third of the potager (just recently dug and dedicated to cooking healthy fresh-vegied meals). They are mulched and under-planted with a few bulbs and bits and pieces. Oops! Wonder if I'll get away with this.

Noisy windy nor-wester today, but 16 degrees!! Not bad for one week before the shortest day.