Garden seats, gentle breezes, roses...

Ah, summer! Garden seats, gentle breezes, roses... Now I'm remembering this dour quote from Rudyard Kipling: 'Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.' What an unfortunate sentence!

 Beautifully fragrant flowers.
Compassion Roses

Sunday 21st November

I've been up early this morning watching the All Blacks rugby match on TV. I had the delight of three large cats all squashed onto one lap (mine). A fourth sat at my shoulder and purred, while I carefully sipped at my (hot) cup of tea without my hand getting smooched (and the tea getting spilt). They all love me... Ouch!

Gardening Plans

And now let me present some proper gardening plans. I have three seed-raised Kalmias to plant - they have such intricate, inspired flower designs. And Non-Gardening Partner has lawns to mow. Please, please, please - before the next rains!

 In the Stables Garden.
Irises and Euphorbias

There is so much to enjoy and admire. I could take five morning tea breaks in five different garden seats (in the shade, singing 'Oh. how beautiful') and see something new.

'Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.'
-Quote for Non-Gardeners, Rudyard Kipling.

And the peonies in the Birthday Rose Garden are flowering. But (oh dear) this year they are more visually crowded than ever, and I wonder if the effect is lost. Perhaps I could shift some - or divide them after flowering? I will investigate this. And I'll pick some of the fluffy pinky-whites for the house.

Fluff-Fluff :
Here is Fluff-Fluff the cat sitting on one of the garden seats by the Glass-House Garden.

All the remaining forget-me-nots now need removing, and that means sticky biddi-bids all over my clothes and Fluff-Fluff the cat's long, fluffy fur. My faithful gardening companion is drawn to forget-me-nots like a moth to the light. And he gets so upset if I leave him behind.

The silly choral season is upon us, and I have a concert to sing in this afternoon. That means scrub the face, brush the hair, and clean the fingernails - and practice the John Rutter (where the cathedral meets the schmaltz of Disney, musically speaking). Eek and blast! My garden will miss me, and I'll miss my garden. Right. That's enough verbal motivation for one morning. Back soon, with accomplishments (plural) to report.

 All three shrubs are the same pink.
Pink Kalmia Flowers

A Bit Later...

Does planting three Kalmias and two spare roses (a Reine des Violettes and a Golden Wings) in the Driveway Garden count as five separate achievements? I've nipped out all the prunus suckers, too, and done some serious weeding. I don't like the coarse leafed Kowhai I planted in this border - it's just not graceful enough to live alongside Maples and Viburnums and beautiful Roseraie de l'Hay rugosa roses. My shovel is twitching...

A Lot Later...

Tra la la. Direct from a sugary but well-crafted overdose of John Rutter, I am back to do some late afternoon gardening. At least I've had half a good day - or should that be a good half-day?

Monday 22nd November

OK - no late gardening. It rained! So the garden is full of sweetly rain-dropped rose flowers, and dripping peonies. Anyone foolish enough to walk any of the paths gets splattered by drooping greenery. And the worst thing of all? Non-Gardening Partner didn't have time to mow the house lawns, so my beautifully moist borders are surrounded by long paddock grass. Am I moaning? You bet I am! You see, it's all about 'the look', first thing on a Monday morning.

 A view from the path behind the apple tree.
Pond Cottage and Complicata Rose

Then I think of NGP's superb work in finishing Pond Cottage's interior and his excellent leadership on our latest trip into the mountains - and of course I've forgiven him in a flash. What a chap! I'm off swimming, to plot and plan my gardening day while properly and decently submerged.


Newly noticed and beautiful - my tall standard Rhapsody in Blue roses in the Birthday Rose Garden (an inspired budget purchase, in an online plant auction). They delightfully echo the magenta foxgloves (dear weedy things) which have turned up on the edges of this border, while markedly increasing the overall style factor. And the apricot and lemon yellow roses (like Danae) look gorgeous with their purply pink blooms.

 The peonies are just starting.
Birthday Rose Garden

And now, how about some action? Just because the long grass in the lawn is still dripping wet - this is no excuse to sit inside on a beautiful summery afternoon listening to the tormented string lines of Bartok's Quartets.

Ha! Three Hours Later...

My goodness there are lots of weeds to deal to in the Glass-House Gardens. So that's what I've been doing, as well as pulling out forget-me-nots and nipping variegated elm tree suckers.

 Oh dear - Souvenir de la Malmaison looks well past her prime.
Old Roses

I've picked some gorgeous flowers for the house - roses Sharifa Asma (which beats Othello for fragrance), Ingrid Bergman (a red beauty), Paddy Stephens (a tall McGredy hybrid tea), and lots of white fluffy peonies.

A Disgrace!

It's an improvement on the disgraceful vase of browning Souvenir de la Malmaison roses I had the nerve to show to my friends on the Moosey forum. To quote myself, they looked like I'd 'scrunched up pieces of grubby pink underwear and squashed them into an old teapot. It is not a good look.'

The standard of garden gnomes being offered for sale in the latest online auctions has been disgraceful, too. I despair that there will be no self-Christmas-present gnomes this year. All these chaps are either described as 'cheeky' or are flatulent, and I have no place for such rude shenanigans in my country garden. What has happened to all the decent-living retro fishing gnomes? I have a large country pond by which they can innocently idle away the long summer days...