A week of planting...

This will be a week of planting. New climbing roses, a cluster of native New Zealand plants for a small new garden, a couple of new specimen trees - and one rather blobby conifer, for which a subtle place must be found.

 A small but thoughtfully designed garden - I hope!
Ready for Planting - New Zealand Natives by the Water Tank

Monday 10th October

I've been in the drizzle, planting the climbing roses in the Hazelnut Orchard (the pruning of which I finally finished in yesterday's sunshine). One of the thirteen archways in the rose avenue is bare (its designated mail-order roses, a pair of Awakenings, were sold out).

Phyllis Bide :
Two of these lovely fluffy old-lady roses already grow on an archway at the side of the house. Their growth has never been all that good.

I have one spare rose - Phyllis Bide - a free gift. Perhaps she could go up one side? Worth thinking about. I'd like to experience a robust Phyllis!

Then, getting wetter and wetter, I wheeled all the New Zealand natives in to the freshly dug Water Tank Garden. Triumphant photographs were taken, at which stage 'wetter' turned into 'colder'. So I have retreated inside, still full of good garden intentions, but warm and dry again. Puppy (who loves the orchard) is bright orange (wet fur) and is squashed into his chair, and Stumpy the cat is warming up my legs. I am enjoying a hot cup of tea in my Chelsea Flower Show mug - and ironically the rain seems to have stopped. Oops. Don't look! Keep writing!

 A photograph taken just before shearing - what woolly faces!
Two Sheep

Sheep Shearing Time

Will the sheep get shorn today? I miss them, if this is possible. Eighteen ewes plus George the wether - our ex-pet-lamb, the ugliest of all the merino sheep - waiting in the shearing shed down the road. Ha! I just peeped out the glass doors - rain is pelting down! Very wise to come inside. A hot cup of coffee might be nice. If I get bored I could draw out a plan for the Water Tank Garden - or write out a list of the new plants to be planted therein.

Conifer Control

Darned if I'm going to let Mr Blobby the conifer loose in this new native garden area, though! The purchasing of at least one conifer with my recent birthday money was compulsory - webmaster Eggy's little private joke. And I have found the perfect spot for him (the conifer, that is) - he can lurk next to my garden gnome in the Dog Kennel Rockery. Conifers (and gnomes?) belong in rockeries!


It rained, and it rained, and it rained some more - lucky our soil is so free-draining. No chance for flooding in the Moosey Garden!

Tuesday 11th October

Oops. No gardening today. We went and picked up the shorn sheep. Then I went to work. So the New Zealand Natives (freshly watered) wait patiently by the green water tank, and rose arch number five sits forlorn, with no partner, a wallflower (what?) in the dance of the rose archways...

Thursday 13th October

A gentle day yesterday - decided (perversely) not to plant the new natives, but get the conifer firmly in place instead. Naturally, being a perfectionist, the rockery had to be weeded first! Then I planted one of the new trees in the semi-ellipse (ha! a mathematician-gardener!) of grass which hugs the ends of the Dog-Path Garden and the Willow Tree Garden. It's a Cornus - Controversia? I'll check the label. The other new tree, a flowering Crab-Apple, is going in the back of the Willow tree Garden near the water. Its proper label name is Malus Catherine. Blossom by the water sounds nice...

 The Clematis is running riot through the Septic Tank Garden.
Spring From the Balcony

Today I have to go into work. Blast! Puppy will get so bored. Poor puppy!

Friday 14th October

The Water Tank Garden is planted! I have collected the labels, some of which I will now list in this journal. I will also include selected phrases from the labels. Be very impressed with this archival organisation!

Some of the Native Plants in the New Garden

Dodonea Viscosa (both green and red) - Ake Ake
'Handsome...Tough plant requiring little in the way of soil conditions...'
Hoheria Angustifolia
'...Very hardy tree suitable for all conditions...'
Pittosporum Tandara Gold
'...Neat compact bushy grower...Sun/part shade...'
Lophomyrtus Red Dragon
'...Easily grown...'
Phormium Cookianum - New Zealand flax
'...Tough plant...Attractive seed pods...'

There is also a small pittosporum hedge, a red flax by the concrete pump cover, and a lone, brave beech tree (which would prefer a forest location - oops). Welcome to all these new plants, and good luck!