Roses - please keep blooming!

'Tis the season of jolly choir practices for Christmas concerts. Christmas - eek! Four weeks to go, and lots of my lovely family will be here to admire the garden. I hope the roses will still be blooming and beautiful.

Wednesday 22nd November - Walking Through Weeds

I have just got back from a long walk up the Rakaia Gorge. The vegetation was filled with common garden weeds - that's common Moosey Garden weeds. Consequently there were a few minor twinges of gardening guilt...

 Beautiful flower colours which really work well together.
Westerland Rose and Phlomis

Thursday 23rd November

This is a momentous day, for several reasons. The Ashes, the cricket series between Australia and England, starts today. Amazing - it's the cricket season that must mean that summer is here! And the Moosey garden is looking - well - the word gorgeous could be applied.

Moonlight Rose :
Dear Moonlight rose - the little book by Barbara Lea Taylor said you were a climber. She's so right - you get the prize for being the highest flying rose in the garden!

The climbing and rambling roses are busting out and over every thing - pergolas, archways, and neighbouring shrubs. Roses which leant demurely against trees last year have climbed on and on, up to the very tops. Moonlight, that gorgeous hybrid musk, is being absolutely brilliant.

The house painters should finish today. Rusty will be heartbroken - painters bring packed lunches, which means sandwiches, which means crusts for him to scoff. The big Mutabilis rose has been ceremonially 'dropped' so they can finish the last wall. And today I am off later to buy a proper pair of sports socks for my triathlon training. One cannot, as my darling daughter points out, be a multi-sport legend without the appropriate equipment.

 Nothing much has changed!
The Back Fence and Garden - 2006

As far as the garden goes, it all looks very green. I have a momentous stack of donated newspapers to spread and cover with mulch. I used this technique so well in the Birthday Rose garden - weeding is so much easier.

 The New Zealand Toetoe grasses are very beautiful.
The New Stables Garden - Back View

And my piano practice is going well, though Ravel's rippling semiquavers insist on taking a rather leisurely tempo. In fact, I am totally full of beans today - my self esteem is running over.

A Chicken Run

I plan to run the chooks outside their run later this afternoon - with a temporary protective wire fence to keep them out of the rugosas. My goodness - it's all happening! Must stop writing and start doing.

Late Afternoon...

Oops. Does it matter that all I've done today is pick roses for the house bathrooms? And shift the hoses around? I've watered my seedlings in the glass-house. The nor-west wind is howling, and I'm not letting those chooks out - I'm afraid they might get blown far, far away! So a day that should have been momentous has just ended up being - well - relaxing!

 What a trio!
Fluffy Cat, Gardener, and Pet Lamb

Friday 24th November

Hmm... All I've done today is shifted the hoses, watered my plants in pots, cooked up peelings and chopped up greens for my chooks, played the piano, gone swimming, listened to the Ashes cricket, talked to the dog, ignored Haru the pet lamb (who really doesn't need her bottle any more), hung lots of washing out (the Yellow Banksia has finished flowering)...

Flowery Discoveries

I have wandered around the garden, and pulled out just a few weeds. I've discovered yet another rose, this time underneath one of the Oak Trees in the Hen House Garden. It's beautiful - sort of single, creamy with deeper rosy pink edges, and a light fragrance. Rhapsody in Blue, surrounded by sympathetically coloured purple and lemon pansies, is another new rose beauty, but the Blushing Pink Icebergs are not quite what I'd imagined. In the glare of the bright sun they look more like Blushing Whites...

 This peony grows happily in quite deep shade - how odd!
Bright Red Peony


All the peonies are flowering now, and I have vases full of these stunning flowers in the house. And I remind myself how much I like the deep maroon irises, and the two-tone purple and caramel ones. I have ordered some rich rusty-brown ones from a friend. So even if I haven't actually been gardening, I've been looking, thinking, smelling, wandering around, and enjoying!

Saturday 25th November

It's official - one month to Christmas. Things I'd really like for Christmas presents - hmm... A shredder? A second pond lovingly excavated? A gift voucher for truckloads of free compost? Last year my family organised and paid for some Manly Garden Help - hee hee! Seriously, I'll settle for happiness and contentment for all my friends, family, and animals - and some half-decent health, with loads of mental energy thrown in. Then again, that new pond (with an island, and a rocky little waterfall) would be exciting...

Weeding Calls...

Today I have to make up for almost a whole week spent non-gardening. Swimming, singing, walking, and watching cricket are weed-encouraging activities. So today I will be doing real garden work, for as long as I can stand up - or sit down - whatever! There is no need for a list - I know exactly what needs doing out there. Aargh!

Late Lunchtime...

This feels like real summer gardening. In fact it feels like being on summer holiday! The cricket commentary burbles on the radio, the sun shines on the water race, and the head gardener weeds out forget-me-nots, wisely in the shade. I've cleared up the patios, too, now that the house painters have finished. And what a fine job they have done! There has been minimal garden trampling, with hardly any damage from ladders and/or men in workboots. You legends!

 Brilliant! Summer is here!
The House Patio Roses

These are the heady, sunny summer days where a busy gardener can have two showers, and go apres-gardening twice, without it seeming excessive. Salad vegetables and cold drinks with ice fill the fridge, and evening meals are cooked on the barbecue. And there's more summer movement in the garden - the irises are nearing their end, while the daylilies are taking over. White and magenta Lychnis plants are everywhere, ready to flower. It's time to trim down the aquilegias, so as to get a good batch of fresh new foliage for later. Lovely, lovely warm days!