What to do with all those roses?

What to do with all those roses? And I keep needing more and more stones. I have gone stone-edge crazy.

 I think that my artistic son is making fun of me here. These stones are just resting!
A Country Garden Rock Sculpture (Not a Ghastly Tree Stump)

Sunday 12th November

I got more stones today for the edges of the Jelly Bean Border, and created a new path round the back of the pump house. I think that I am a bit happier - the pump house path has definitely helped.

I have to remember that the borders over the water race are only one year old. Of course they still look a bit fresh and new, and of course the plantings have not settled in yet. In other words they look totally stupid.

Thursday 16th November

I have two extra days off this week, and today the borders over the water race are getting newspapered, mulched, and lucerne-hayed. Then I will stone the edge of the Pond Border and clear grass from part of the Pump House Garden. My lovely lovely son with the guitar is back from Germany. I could get some jetlagged digging out of him maybe...

The garden MUST IMPROVE in order for me to have any garden credibility. I need more sneaky things - far too much of the garden is visible all at once. Two friends came out to visit the garden yesterday and all they said was how much do I spend on plants? That was NOT the reaction I wanted...

I wish to go on record to say that the bare root rose sale was GIVING AWAY its final specimens yesterday, and I filled the back of my car up. Most look like they will survive (they spent the night in the bath and the laundry tub). They are going, with me, to the Dog-Path Garden right now.

Friday 17th November

Yesterday I didn't do anything I said I'd do. I went out early to look at the gunnera, decided that my day's destiny lay in the Pond Border, and started by digging out a Toe Toe which was ill-placed (I'm disenchanted with the cutty grass of these plants, they are banished to far boundary fences here). I brought in the stones, newspaper, mulch and lucerne hay, and then ignored them, proceeding instead to dig like a lunatic. Sometimes I think I'm just a natural born rebel...

 A view from the small ram paddock.
The Pond Paddock


But something nice happened at dusk - friends of Stephen's arrived to look around the garden, so I tested the new sneaky path out on them. It worked! Today (Friday) I've been outside in the drizzle for a couple of hours, finishing the Pond Border. I only came in for a coffee, but then discovered that I was pretty cold and wet, so I am writing instead of gardening.

I had a good idea for some of the 16 (TOTALLY FREE!) roses - I could plant 3 or 4 in the old bath which sits outside by the garage. Might do this.

 Possibly Gertrude Jekyll.
Pink Roses

2 hours later...

I went back out to continue my weed assault, and instead got completely sidetracked - raced around everywhere else pulling out forget-me-nots. Then I got lonely (why? I give up!) and came back inside to bug Stephen. I am definitely losing all self-discipline. Perhaps a list is needed, with severe penalties for defaulting... what about those weeds over the water race? What about those poor (FREE!) roses gasping their last breath in the outside bathtub?

Saturday 18th November

I did go to work in the glass-house in the rain and potted up the worst of the (FREE!) roses. It's rained almost all night. In my present mood all lists are ignored, so I'll try the vague, free spirit approach...

Today I plan to do a lot of things.


It worked! I did all the things that I would have put on the list! I weeded the Dog-Path Garden and planted 4 of the TOTALLY FREE roses. I laid paper and lucerne mulch on the Pond Border. I weeded the new rose garden and planted annuals in there. And I totally weeded the vege garden and planted (finally) the Jersey Benne gourmet potatoes. Next step is to find those purple beans...

Sunday 19th November

It's supposed to be nearly summer. I've been weeding the Rugosa border dressed in thermals, it's about 8 degrees, and I've been driven inside by hail. This is just not good enough. And we lost the rugby to France.


Finally at 5 o'clock the Antarctic winds dropped and the sun started to work properly. I've been dealing to the Dog-Path Garden, with layers of wet newspaper, mulch and lucerne, and I'm too tired to stay out there any longer.

Saturday 25th November

November rushes past too quickly! I shouldn't ever have to go to work in November. I drove past a strange large maroon iris on Tuesday, past the rose Compassion (which is out in bloom) on Wednesday, noticed the yellow and red rose in bloom on Thursday, zoomed past the blue geraniums flowering on Friday...

 Just the beginning...
2003 Willow Tree Garden Plantings

Today I am up very early (5.30 am) because Jerome brought a live mouse into the bedroom and then promptly lost it. It's hard to stay sleepy when a cat is zooming around your bed chasing a mouse. So I rose, moved elegantly to the balcony to survey the dawn garden, and trod on a dead bird. Cats...

 Foxgloves are rewarding plants.
Foxgloves in Septic Tank Border


I am ashamed to say that I have come inside - it's only 3 o'clock - I've just run out of oomph.

I want to mention the foxgloves. Every year I worry that I won't have enough - I used to plant out seedlings, in my subtle white/apricot foxglove phase, which is in the past. The foxgloves this year are so beautiful, mixtures of dark pink, white and apricot, and in the most appealing and suitable places.

Sunday 26th November

The foxgloves have appeared from nowhere! All through the house gardens there are armies of foxgloves. The garden certainly has a vertical element, even if it looks rather ECG (English Country Garden).

I did return yesterday and worked a further 2 hours pulling weeds and laying mulch (lucerne hay). Today I have some important things to do, which require two lists.

Primary List (Things to Do First)

Secondary List (Things to Do Next, or Later)

There will be a substantial REWARD if I do everything on my list without grizzling.

Evening Time...

I didn't even do half of the things on the list. I did totally different things, like weed the paths by the Hen House. I moved three hay bales. Hopeless.