Climbing roses...

I'm gradually acquiring pairs of climbing roses for the new rose avenue in the Hazelnut Orchard. Which should be 'planted' first - the archways, or the roses which will twine up and over? Hmm...

Wednesday 6th July

I'm home from work for a short lunch break, but because of the clean-fingernail condition I won't be doing any gardening. Earlier the orange animals (cat Smoocher and dog Rusty) and I did our daily orchard wander (we must look so funny). Tiger comes with us as far as the Stables, where she waits, miaowing loudly, for us to return.

 The first photograph of my rose plans!
The Site of the Avenue of Rose Archways

All the garden borders are definitely in snooze mode. Still the coloured flaxes are amazing - all are bulking out (eek!) and look bright and beautiful in the winter gloom. In just one week's time we fly to Samoa for our 'turn winter into summer' holiday - I wonder how much I'll miss the Moosey winter garden?

I'm also wondering about the tropical vegetation and flowers - how colourful will they be in July? And will there be bugs? And why don't I just stop asking all these questions and read my Lonely Planet Guide to Savai'i instead?

 She is a beautifully natured addition to the Moosey Animal Farm.
Tiger the Tussock Grass Cat

Lamium Let Loose

There's nothing more to report - except on the subject of ground-covers. That invasive Lamium (which I didn't plant - honestly!) seems to be turning up in other garden areas. I need to confine it to the one house border - the pale lemon flowers are rather lovely - and let scraps of it loose in the Hump, underneath the pine trees. It is welcome to be as invasive as it likes in there!

Horrible Hypericum

And I must, must, must dig out the ground-cover Hypericum. I dislike it intensely (it won't flower for me, and keeps racing off into the lawn) - I want to get rid of it for good - Hmm... Chemical possibilities? Don't tempt me!

Thursday 7th July

Aargh! I'm just home, it's a mild and sunny afternoon, just perfect for winter gardening - and I have to go back into work at 3:30 pm. It is going to take extraordinary self-discipline to race into gardening clothes and zoom out there. I have a fresh hot coffee to drink, and puppy to take for a walk - I can think of letters to write to patient gardening friends, rose books to read, even lists to write. Then I could read a book in the sun, or play with the cats. All these non-gardening things are very appealing, snatching as I am a quiet couple of hours maximum.

Rose Archway Success!

Today the bender of the steel pipes for the rose archways will be contacted. Yippee! And tomorrow I will officially be on holiday. Yippee squared!

Friday 8th July

The garden is calm and quiet. My cats and dog are fed (today the Moosey menu offers Fresh Diced Chook, dipped in Tin de Jour, which is Chunky Liver and Pate Feast). The two orange animals (Smoocher and Rusty) have accompanied me on our morning orchard walk. I've also talked to the Moosey London Team, heard their voices - all the good things in my small world are reaffirmed. Why was there such a public display of evil in London? I just don't understand the way this world works. There will be no fierce gardening done today - just some quiet reflections on the meaning of life, and love, and that dreadful random element called luck.

 Please get better, Smoocher!
Orange Cat in the Ginko Tree

Monday 11th July

I am back from a short family-reasons journey to Nelson. Thus this morning is technically the first day of my great winter gardening (and visiting Samoa) holiday. Hmm... There's a fearsome frost! In the bay window (near where I write) there's ice on the inside of the windows.

We (the orange trio - cat, dog and gardener) have already been for our habitual morning walk through the Hazel Orchard. Rusty the Red (collie that is!) is actually the same colour as the frosty grass - like the Moosey version of a scenic snow-fox. Bouncing over the junior Hazelnut trees he is rather a threat - it's surprising that none of their stems or suckers have been broken off! This spring the trees get their first major prune.

A slight worry - the orange cat, though purring loudly, was slow and rather subdued. Hmm...

A Rosarian on the Rise?

How I have risen in the rose world! While I was away I visited a specialist rose nursery in Motueka called Tasman Bay Roses - accompanied by the Moosey Cousin (a patient non-rosarian). I talked to a very knowledgeable blue-eyed rose man who has just returned from working at the world famous Peter Beales Rose Nursery in England. Together we looked at pictures from his latest Peter Beales catalogue (I want one), and I made many wise, well-informed choices.

I've ended up with a selection not unlike the shopping basket I filled on my second internet visit (but didn't order). There's still something far nicer about ordering from a real rose-grower who quietly nods and suggests, and warns about mildew - sorry, Kathleen Harrop!

 So pretty...
Phyllis Bide Roses on Archway

I now proudly present my list of purchases (including my supermarket specials) - with the mail-order roses arriving in three weeks by courier:

New rose bushes

  1. Gloire de Dijon
  2. Ghislaine de Something-or-Other (supermarket)
  3. Parkdirektor de Riggers
  4. Awakening
  5. Eastleas Golden Rambler
  6. Souvenir de la Malmaison
  7. Alchemist
  8. Lady Hillingdon
  9. Mme Caroline Testout
  10. Chevy Chase
  11. Uetersen (supermarket)
  12. Etoile de Hollande
  13. Celine Forestier
  14. Meg
  15. Sombrueil

You'll notice a slight numeracy malfunction, as there can definitely be only thirteen archways. Oops! But the first thirteen on the list are definitely written in order of archway, so Celine Forestier gets the archway furthest from the house - and a proposed destination seat (with a comfortable back) for snoozing and enjoying the fragrance. I even have drawn a paper plan (minus Meg and Sombreuil)! This is very serious.

Right. It's time for a cup of coffee, then I'll go back outside and find something sensible to do until the soil thaws. Naturally the only thing I feel like doing is digging more garden behind the Stables. This area is fully frosted, and I suspect an evasion tactic.