The Forget-Me-Nots must go...

 He is a beautiful pink.
John Clare Rose

All the things I have to do in the garden are very obvious. All the remaining Forget-Me-Nots must go. All the weeds must go, too. And I have to start dead-heading the roses already! My goodness, but that was quick.

Tuesday 23rd November

Time is really amazing - only yesterday those roses were nothing but a bunch of green shoots on sticks... There is really nothing more to be said. I have to work like a lunatic and catch up with this wonderful season which I think is called 'early summer'.

Late Morning...

My dog deserves a short cycle ride, to give us both a break from the repetitive pulling out of Forget-Me-Nots and cutting down of Aquilegias. We have both been very good. Actually that's not strictly true - Rusty the dog has a secret perfume stash somewhere in the garden, something dreadfully smelly. I get him clean (throwing his tennis ball into the pond), and then off he trots to secretly re-roll in this 'dead thing'. If I am not on my game at the end of the day, we both come into the house, he sits on his chair, and wafts of his seriously stinky smell float through the house.

Rusty the Dog :
Rusty is a red Border Collie, and is about six years old now.

Can I be bothered to wash his chair cover again? Aargh! Back out to the pond we go. Just two days ago all his kennel blankets had to be thrown in the rubbish skip. I like my dog to have some personal privacy, but maybe I need to follow him and discover the perfume source. It is colourless, but far, far stronger than the substance he usually smears himself in (duck poos). Back soon.


I've spent another two hours clearing and trimming edges. The archway behind the glass-house has completely come to pieces, and the path is no longer accessible. But no worry - it was a silly, flimsy purchase, and would hardly hold up an Aquilegia, let alone a host of happy rugosas. The big single rose Complicata is flowering madly at the moment - and it's sweetly fragrant, too. And it's a nasal pleasure weeding underneath the rich magenta Othello rose.

 Most of my Aquilegias have nearly finished flowering now.
Blue Aquilegias

Yesterday I picked up six old copies of The Garden magazine, and one of them had an article about the British 'National Collection' of Kalmias. My plantsman friend tells me Kalmias are devilishly difficult to raise from seed and relatively expensive to buy. He, however, has dozens of them, a collection which probably rivals the British one - he has so many that he can flick off three of his pale pink 'Freckles' rejects to me. No problem! I must go and water these 'newly-planteds'.

 With pink flowering Cistus Shrubs.
Jelly-Bean Garden Path

Even Later...

I made a quick trip to the library to get new books - I needed a break from that intensive weeding. Then I did a final couple of hours in the gardens by the glass-house. Grr... The variegated Elm tree is sending up suckers everywhere. A much nicer, flowery discovery - roses Constance Spry and pink Sparieshoop are flowering high above the septic tank. Such beautiful pinks, climbing all over the green trees.

Well, Rusty the dog is covered in sticky biddi-bids, but (touch wood and cross fingers) for once he doesn't smell. Phew. I can confidently go off to bed (with my bagful of library books), knowing that my house will be OK. Good night.

Wednesday 24th November

It's the wrong way around. The more weeding work I did yesterday the gloomier I got analysing the amount of weeding there was to do. Logically the amount of weeding was becoming less, and less. So? Nothing has to be done, completed, finished in one day, right? But for every large dandelion extracted there will be another miniscule seedling starting off - thus is the circle of gardening life. So?

Some gardeners just think too much. I'm off swimming, and when I return I will be strong of purpose and fierce of limb. And I'll turn off the compulsive analysis switch. If I have to do weeding, just do weeding!

Late Morning...

A change of plan - I turned around and drove back home a minute down the road. Don't think about it, just do it.

'My garden is not too big. It's just that sometimes I am too small for it.'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

And a revelation: My garden is not too big. It's just that sometimes I am too small for it. And I have a new rule - compulsory book reading on a garden seat with absolutely every cup of tea, or coffee, or snack, or healthy small meal that I consume today. Compulsory garden enjoyment, hee hee...

Well, here's where I'm up to. I've cleared the Driveway Gardens, trimmed the edges, and planted a Viburnum puffball tree - that should be 'snowball', shouldn't it? Hmm - must check.

 The white rose flowering is Iceberg.
Fluff-Fluff the Cat on the Driveway

I can always go swimming later today, if that's a problem (which it isn't). If my garden needs my attention, then I will give it first priority. Now - which book? And which seat? The White Queen, I think, on the Driveway Lawn bench. Sounds like the gardening version of that murder game called Cluedo...


I've cleared the paths around the Cordyline Glade, transplanted foxgloves and Lychnis off the path into the garden, weeded throughout the new Agapanthus plantings (so green and lush, I love them), and raked and trimmed everything that faintly needed raking or trimming. Another change of plan - in this my second break I zoomed off to the pool and swam my kilometre. I'm home now, feeling twice virtuous, and the plan is to return for third gardening session after coffee. How good can a good gardener be? As good as me!!!!

 So pretty!
Pink Rhododendron and Blue Lupins

Another thing to record - the blue lupins look absolutely wonderful in the Driveway border next to the late flowering pink rhododendron. It is an inspired planting combination (and totally random, more's the pity - I've never noticed these two plants flowering simultaneously before). If I dead-head my lupins immediately their flowers are finished, might they flower again for me? I'll try it. I like them, and they like my garden.

 Flopping over near the water race.
WIlliam Lobb Rose

And Again, Even Later...

This last session has only been a leisurely hour, spent shifting hoses, bucketing water, and starting the big trim of the Frisbee Border. Some comments regarding things I've seen: Not all my new irises flowered this year, and so far the red hot pokers haven't produced a single flower. The climbing Iceberg by the rose archway has recovered from being completely ankle-chopped, and I also seem to have planted a pink rambler on the fence nearby - oops, it's flowering bravely, lost for now in the euphorbias. Tomorrow this garden will be first on my list.

And William Lobb, one of my only moss roses, is having the best year ever. Good work, young William! Right. I'm off to shift the hoses again. I've had a brilliant day. Today I got 'it' right, whatever 'it' is...

Thursday 25th November

It's a sad day for New Zealand, with the trapped West Coast miners now lost to us in a second big underground mine explosion. Dreadful news for the families who've been waiting and the rescuers who just couldn't do anything. So very sorry.

 Neighbours in the garden...
Pale Yellow Rose and Lavender

I've just been around the gardens taking photographs before the sunlight gets too strong. So many roses! And so many whose names I just don't know, and never will. Such is the fate of a compulsive rose rescuer. Naturally I've seen my next five garden tasks, but I'm not going to panic. I have four hours before the Ashes cricket starts on TV, and I aim to be watching the first over in my apres-gardening clothes.

Four and a Half Hours Later...

I've got the TV on loud, I am clean, and I am listening to the cricket. This cup of coffee tastes great, my gardening morning has been sound, and there are definitely less weeds out there. I'm systematically watering the Frisbee Border and the garden right behind the Pond (in other words, I'm shifting their hoses every hour). Oddly, none of my cats have been anywhere near me. I miss them, but it's their choice.

I keep being surprised by new things that I like, and it really must be restated, for the nth time (where n is a rather large non-zero integer) - I am so lucky to be a gardener!