Shrubs - I love you all!

 It's Crepuscule the climbing rose's flowering time again.
Crepuscule on the Pergola

Goodness me, my summer flowering shrubs are making their colourful mark. Shrubs - I love you all! My roses may seem to get all the attention in November, but it's thanks to you shrubs that the roses look so grand!

Tuesday 14th November

The apricot climbing rose Crepuscule on the pergola is now at its very best, and the pink woodshed rambler nearby has been joined by a creamy white rose. I grew it from a cutting, and I lack the confidence to name it properly - thugh I suspect it is really well known. Eek! So the woodshed roof is covered with a mixture of apple blossom pink and creamy white. It looks beautiful - there's no other word.

Continuing my love affair with pink, I have ordered some pastel ballet-ribbons pink irises. Many mature lady gardeners were little budding ballerinas forty - or fifty? - or even sixty years ago? Now we have those lovely pink colours in our garden to connect us with childhood dreams. Ha!

I know I've been on a bit about it, and the writing might dribble on a bit, but I absolutely love the new section on New Zealand Journeys. Alas, I am not a botanist, nor am I any good with angles of incline, metres of track, and heights of mountains and such. And my knowledge of the historical significance of anything I walk through (or over) is minimal. But my days off from gardening are irresistible - such complete fun!

Potential Pond Plans

The local contractor, who has diggers and dozers and is available to excavate my second pond, is a member of my walking group. Naturally, while trekking on the trails we - ahem - discuss my little plan, and he is - ahem - very encouraging. It would be no trouble - the second pond could be done in a day. In fact, it could be dug out, and pipes for the water laid, on a walking day. Hmm...

 I have incorrectly identified the honey yellow rose as Windrush. Sorry about that!
The Stables Garden Extension

Today there are gusty winds - it might be a good day to finish planting out the flowering annuals and vegetable seedlings, as rain is forecast for later. I am impressed with spinach - this is the first year I've nurtured seedlings rather than just sown direct, and the results for me are a great improvement. The area by the rhubarb patch has been taken over for excess lettuces (for my lovely chooks). Now if I could produce half decent tomatoes...

OK, wind. Just don't you blow anything down, right? Hopefully my chooks won't blow away or lose too many feathers. And let's keep the gum tree leaves on the house lawns to an absolute minimum.

Late Lunchtime...

Blast. It's furiously windy - the chooks are hunkered down out of the wind. It's raining, too - and most unpleasant. I have been nervously gardening with a risk management plan - what should I do if I hear a cracking sound from the trees? Run? Look first, and then run? My annuals are planted, my Rhapsody in Blue rose has heaps of new flowers, and lucky for me I staked the standard Blushing Pink Icebergs yesterday. But I fear that my gardening day is over prematurely. Oh well, at least it's warm...

 There are many more flower heads now.
The First Rhapsody in Blue Rose

Wednesday November 15th

Hee hee. It's the middle of the week, the middle of November, and there are several places that I am not at, things I am not doing today. Ha!

A November 'Not' list...

Not in My Garden.
Well, not yet. Wednesdays are usually my day off - see below.
Not with my Walking Group Trudging up Mount Herbert.
Oops. The thought of ascending a ridge for three hours through farmland has caused a cancellation, with a pathetic excuse - I have to do some maths tutoring, apparently...
Not at the Ellerslie Flower Show.
It runs in Auckland, starting today, an insular version of the famous Chelsea. It even gets some of their famous judges.

So this begs the question - where exactly am I and will I be? In the cosmos, that is...

 This unknown beauty has just discovered the woodshed roof!
Rambling Cream Rose

Rose Loving Painters...

The painters are here again - lovely chaps. One complimented me on my native pepper tree in a pot, the other liked the climbing roses. Great moves, resulting in real coffee and muffins for morning tea. Painters are good value for conversations about Rugby League, too. Go the Kiwis!

Right now, to restore self-credibility, I am off to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens to investigate their old fashioned roses (hope I'm not too late, seasonally). On the way home I will buy some cheap Pittosporums for the back of the Welcome Garden and some potting mix.

And Flower No-Shows...

Before I zoom off, a small word about the Ellerslie Flower Show. One of the judges was on the news, talking about the garden exhibits. He said it was important to tidy up every little detail - to put everything in the garden under the microscope. This interests me - what if the angle of a leaf is wrong? Or petals aren't symmetric enough? Or a stem is supposed to be straight but isn't?

I am imagining a garden full of invisible threads, where a gardener's needle has sewn everything together. Then the thought of torrential rain, or furious wind, or a plague of locusts is quite heart-warming. Oops. Sorry about that!

Demolition Garden Derby?

Or have a different type of garden exhibit competition, similar to a demolition derby at the racetrack. Gardens are subjected to fake wind and rainstorms, and possibly waves of marauding insects, and the last one with a plant left standing, unshredded, wins! Enough said from one who has been to the Ellerslie Flower Show only once, and whose only purchase was an old lady's smocked cotton nightgown - which immediately got turned into a grand piano duster...

 Visiting the old fashioned rose garden in the Botanic Gardens.
Head Gardener in Rose Garden

Late Afternoon...

I've had a brilliant day. It was nice not to be slogging up Mount Herbert carrying a clutch of water bottles. First the Botanic Gardens - extreme joy to see that the old-fashioned roses were in full flowery flight.

Beautiful Roses

The rose display was beautiful - the garden seats were rather more budget-minded! The rose borders had all sorts of perennials mixed in - and the largest single peonies I've ever seen. Naturally there was much sitting, staring, and camera clicking.

On my return I laid more newspaper mulch, and then pulled out spent forget-me-nots from the Dog-Path Garden, near the water. Rusty, as usual, took up his position mid-stream, waiting to catch any floating escapee weeds. Such concentration! I planted some cherry nasturtiums in the clear space thus created.

The Moosey Peonies

My peonies are having their very first flowering in the Birthday Garden - I've just picked all the droopy ones for the house. I remember their planting leaflet giving strict instructions regarding debudding (or is that disbudding?) and so on. Oops. I'm going to stop prattling on and have a look at today's new botanical rose and peony pictures.

 A bee photograph to rival all bee photographs...
Bee on a Cistus Flower

I am a camera legend! My Bumble Bee on a Cistus rather takes the cake - see above...