A successful gardener?

 The bud and flower colours are quite different.
Pretty Rhododendron

The garden is looking very beautiful - perhaps I am a successful gardener after all! I love the shape of the borders, I love seeing the first roses, and I love my new rhododendrons - even if they are a little small.

Tuesday 26th October

Canary Bird (my first rose flowering) should inspire me to be ready for aphids - and rust. It's not very romantic squashing aphids, though - a bit of Neem Oil spraying is required.

I am also going to try and grow some tomatoes in the glass-house again - whitefly beware! Now that I have so much time to attend to the little things in the garden... But will I remember to water the pots in there? Hmm... It's easy to get carried away with glass-house plans in the cool light of a late spring day.

Wednesday 27th October

I didn't write any more in this diary yesterday. That's because all I did was weeding. Today may be no different. Hmmm... let's see... I could go to the nursery and buy lots of new plants. Then I could weed AND plant - much more satisfying...

Thursday 28th October

Then all I did yesterday was water the glass-house seedlings, and sit underneath one of the big flowering cherries in the pond paddock reading my book (look in the photograph above and imagine ME under the ceiling of hanging blossom). Oh well, this makes up for the hours of wheelbarrowing and burning. And it was a gorgeous day!

 It is a peaceful and beautiful spot to sit with a book.
Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree

Today I have small plans, which include a walking visit to some local botanic gardens (at an old homestead called Mona Vale). I'm sure the ducks there will be friendlier than the Moosey ducks, and it will be nice to enjoy some mature rhododendron ambience (without the persistent crowing of the Moosey resident rooster). Unfortunately the white hen is still 'busy' sitting on a nest of nothing under the flax bush - I think this is why he is extra noisy - 'Honey I'm home!... Honey I'm home!... Honey I'm still home!...'

 My first new rose of 2004.
Benjamin Britten is Planted

New Plants

There are new plants and garden flowerings to report. The Choisya shrub is now flowering madly in white, and there are lots more flowers at the top of the rose Mutabilis. The pink driveway rhododendrons are starting, and Canary Bird rose looks beautiful. And I love Clematis! Eeek - to think I zealously tried to cut and remove all the driveway Clematis last autumn!

Saturday 30th October

Eek! This is the last weekend in October - I am up early full of the warmest gardening thoughts. Unfortunately the weather isn't - it's grey and coldish out there, and the forecast promises rain on the coast all day (How far are we from the coast? Possibly not far enough.)

I may, however, be extremely glad of my litres and litres of potting mix, as I squeeze into the glass-house and spend hours mass-producing summer annuals, sheltered from the rain. If I was a really professional gardener I would also be able to pot up thousands of cuttings which would have struck by now. As a semi-gifted amateur I will just have to do my best with what I've got.


What I've got is far too much potting mix! I have spent nearly four hours in the glass-house, I have rows and rows of seedlings in pottles, and pots of perennial cuttings - and I have hardly used one litre of the darned stuff, let alone one thousand!

Out in the garden my peonies are fat with buds - and Fruhlinsmorgen has started to bloom. There's a beautiful subtle fragrance to this lovely rose. My multi-coloured pink rhododendron continues to produce huge flower heads (and I continue to take even more photographs of them). There are Aquilegias absolutely everywhere.

 It’s been flowering for weeks.
My Much Photographed Pink Rhododendron

What else is happening? I'm missing important things, stuck as I am in my glass-house trying to use up a mountain of potting mix. Tomorrow had better be sunny!

Sunday 31st October

It is sunny. It is also quite early. Thank you, rooster, for crowing underneath my window - the charms of free-ranging character-filled poultry. So let me take a breath and centre myself - what do I want to accomplish today? Oops - mental silence - I haven't a clue! Perhaps I need a new exciting digging project?

 I love yellow flowers.
Yellow Pansy Flower

Hebes and Roses

Later today I'm off to acquire some free hebes and roses (I have to dig them up). Son's flat is going under the bulldozer soon. Actually they were from me in the first place, so they are technically free - well, the roses were my birthday present to son, so I am technically in debt! I really don't know what I feel like doing first. There must be something expansive (like spraying the roses? Eeek!) or seriously overdue (burning my rubbish pile?) that I can do, other than zooming around like a lunatic photographing flowering things and time-panicking (that silly feeling that things are changing too quickly and I'll get left behind).


I didn't even get a choice. The flow was down in the water race - time to weed the banks and collect stones off the bottom without getting soaking wet. I'm placing the stones along the edge of the Frisbee Garden, weeding as I go. The visiting pheasant has been shrieking from the Hump, rooster has been ridiculously dust-bathing (squirming from side to side in the dirt flicking dust over himself with his tail feathers). Cats are nowhere to be seen, dog is lying in full sun on the lawn, and both hens have disappeared. Oops - my poultry management plan (which never gets put into practice) is needed again.

Later, Apres Gardening...

A friend arrived with a car-ful of flaxes, plus one wilting hydrangea bush. I tipped them all into the old bath (full of water) in the Dog Kennel Garden. Then we went into town to dig out the Hebes and roses. I spent an hour potting these into large pots. I mean - I have SO much potting mix, it was no problem! Now I am really tired. The edges all need doing but I'm going for a short walk, then bed. A most satisfying if completely random gardening day! Goodbye October.