Ignoring my roses...

This is the continuation of my Spring Rose Garden Update. The roses have never looked so good, and all I've done is ignore them.

Sunday 23rd November - Tea Time

I have very sore hands from pulling weeds. I have been rather over-energetic today, and have raced here and there trying to make a huge difference in less than half an hour per chosen spot. My edge clippers have been disappointing (i.e. they don't work well anymore - one too many evenings left outside for the dew to rust their blades probably). I am very tired, but feel refreshed with seeing all the lovely things in the garden.

There are definitely parts of the borders which are - perhaps - overgrown? - not with weeds, but with plantings which have bulked out so much. Several paths have got lost. Ooops. Some areas are very dry - for example, the lawn over the water race has browned off and doesn't look as it should. So I am hoping to persuade Stephen to have the irrigation on tonight, as long as the wind dies down. There's a lot to do but I feel better about it than I did first thing this morning. It doesn't take too long to tidy things. The roses are beautiful, and I really have nothing to be panicky about.

 This is the fourth summer for this pergola rose, and again the best ever flowering display it's given me.
Crepuscule Rose

Saturday 29th November

I have been a good gardener today, clearing around the Big Gum, moving new pots into place, clipping edges and digging out unwanted plants. I've pulled out several more barrow-fuls of forget-me-nots, picked irises, roses and peonies for the house, and left the hoses running to get some much needed water onto the drier borders. The roses continue to amaze, and the peonies this year are huge, strong blooms - and they seem to last for ever in a vase inside. I've planted the pots of Canna Tropicana in one of the house borders, and started to get the backlog of annuals into the ground. I keep thinking that soon my attitude can change - I get really tired rushing around like a mad woman, knowing that I only have the weekend. There are now only EIGHT working days to go until I am officially retired. Wow!

 These roses are the hybrid musk Moonlight and a climbing version of Masquerade (which gets very rusty unless carefully checked and sprayed).
Climbing Roses around the Sleep-out

Sunday 30th November

I got so tired last night that I went all sad and took myself off to bed at 7.30. I guess I hadn't spent such a long physical day working in the garden for a while. Anyway, today I am up rather early (funny that!) and have just sorted out my diaries and photos and am about to lurch into a second cup of tea. Then I will fling off my dressing gown (purchased for morning elegance in my retirement) and replant more of the ex-daffodil pots. There's lots more things to do - some daisy cuttings have weathered the storms of October and November indifference, and are straining out of their pottles.

And what about the vegetable garden? I haven't even put in the potatoes. Eek! Every year I make huge statements that this will be the year of the vegetable, and every year it turns into false promises. Gourmet lettuces, and two sad tomato plants which are not even staked, do not make a productive vege patch. I must make this my first priority.

12.00 midday...

Right. I have started to become the boss of the vegetable garden, planting carrots and courgettes and the remaining lettuce seedlings. I have located the beans and the potatoes - both are going in as soon as I have cooled down (I need to put on the hoses and find a shady spot to drink my cup of tea). I am covered as usual in biddibids from the forget-me-nots, so it is risky to sit anywhere inside. My vegetable organisation is lamentable - where are my peas? Where are my parsnip seeds? What else can I plant at this very late stage of the year? Spinach? What else do I like to eat? (apart from peas)...

I should also be brave and venture through Middle Border to see what the Golden Hop is up to - I must wear gloves if I go anywhere near that dreadful vine (I am rather scared of what I'll find). What state will Middle Border be in? More lost paths? Strangled rhododendrons? A thousand and one gorse and broom seedlings, 2003 models, ready to be pulled gently out? I should nip the seed-heads off the rhododendrons, leaving them tidily cared-for. Oh well, here goes.

 This rose has a faint fragrance of apple blossom.
The Wood Shed Rose


I was too scared. Instead I passively shifted the hoses, gazed at the roses, watered the pots and pulled lots more forget-me-nots out of the garden near the glass-house. I also cut some more roses for the house. I did plant some blue beans, but have not found any peas or parsnips. Since these are my two favourite vegetables, this is rather sad. Now I am inside, again covered in biddibids, and am about to relax with a glass of very cold milk. There is a squeaky little voice inside my head saying  EIGHT days to go ... Goodbye, November in the garden.