Sharing the roses...

November - so far you've been good. I love your warm days, while your coolish nights allow a hard-working gardener (like me) to enjoy a comfortable sleep. And I love your roses! Well, I guess they're my roses. Tell you what - we can share them...

 Named after a ship!
Mary Roses

Tuesday 8th November

This morning the hoses go on again - I'm trying to pre-empt any rose sulking. The standard roses I rescued from suffocation (and desiccation) in their plastic bags seem to be thriving in the Glass-House Garden - phew! But have they developed half-decent root systems yet? Probably not. Each day one or another gets the slightly-dripping hose treatment.

Fruhlingsmorgen Rose :
This is one of the roses in my so-called old-fashioned rose garden.

I'm particularly interested in the old-fashioned roses in the Shrubbery, many of which I can't remember flowering last summer. Sulking, probably. The roses, I mean, not me!

Just one of these roses is visible, flowering, from Pond Cottage, and I'm hoping for more. It's Fruhlingsmorgen, still a short, runty shrub, but I know it's on the improve. And I know how large and sprawly it will grow, too. Such beautiful fragrant flowers.

Later, Lunchtime...

Sweet, sweet chamber music! My flautist friend and I are together again after our winter recess. And we sound pretty good! Today Faure, Bach and Vivaldi. Tomorrow the world? Maybe The Musical Offering (the trio sonata movement), if I can pressgang (strong word) Non-Gardening Partner into practicing his violin and joining us.

 With my lovely leaning gum tree.
The Shrubbery - Side View

Hmm... The sun has just come out. Maybe I'll just spend the rest of the day reading and writing about nothing...

Three Gardening Hours Later...

I've been quietly gardening in the Shrubbery, pulling out weeds and forget-me-nots, and watering the roses. I've had a bucket system going for the ones on the edge of the ram paddock. I'm interested that this garden seems so dry, yet I am always trying to top it up with water. More organic matter and mulch is required, I guess.

'Better to be planted somewhere than not planted at all.'
-Moosey Words of Possible Wisdom.

I've also taken a gardening punt and planted the rambler May Queen on the sheep fence. It is reasonably long, but it is only a fence. Should she require an ancient, giant apple tree upon which to ramble, well that's just too bad, I say. Better to be planted somewhere than not planted at all - a rose can't ramble anywhere stuck in a pot.

 Could this be Percy Wiseman? Not sure...
Unknown Rhododendron and Phormium

I finished my day burning the bonfire and taking lots of photographs. I mustn't forget the late rhododendrons, which tend to become lost in the flurry of all the other new flowers. I do wish I knew more fo their names, though. I think I might have three Percy Wisemans, a rhododendron I first purchased in honour of my ginger cat Percy.

+20 +20Oops. Thinking of my cats, big Fluff-Fluff and young Minimus have been providing cat company in the Shrubbery, and I must remember to 'fetch' them inside. Minimus is particularly odd in this - she'll stay put, even in rain and darkness, until I reappear.

 These are such a beautiful colour.
The Lupins are Flowering

Wednesday 9th November

Ha! First I put on the hoses, and then I am helping the Garden Club ladies unload a horse-float full of Hydrangea shrubs. Three white ones are for me, yippee! In a flash I've decided where they will be planted - deep in the Island Bed, where a Pittosporum was taking up too much space. I'm also getting a bag of deep pink lilies. Back soon.

 Recycled, name unknown.
New Yellow Rose

Apres-Gardening, Four Hours Later...

I have a wonderful choice of piano pieces to practice, the latest TV Downton Abbey episode to drool over, and my book on Arctic exploration to read. What to do first? Update my journal, that's what. I'm feeling terribly responsible, and anyway I love finishing a busy day crowing.

A Responsible Gardener

Isn't this responsible? I got back home with my hydrangeas (huge plants, almost too heavy to carry). My car got even grubbier, with blobs of soil and old leaves in the boot. Rain was forecast, so I planted the shrubs immediately. I dug huge planting holes.

I also cleared four wheel-barrowfuls of forget-me-nots from the house patio gardens, and planted daisies and flowering annuals in the spaces. I stayed outside until the afternoon rain had almost arrived - just a few spits on my face were enough of a signal. Now it's drizzling, all my garden tools are undercover, and I just need to pop out a couple of times to shift the hoses.

 The bumble bees love the Hebe flowers.
Purple Hebe - Spot the Bee

A Pretty Month

Reminder to myself - I must, must, must take note of and enjoy all the new plants flowering. The gardens are full of lupins, hebes, foxgloves, cornflowers, and aquilegias, many self-sown. There are colourful flowers everywhere. And the big bearded irises are starting. Oops - nearly forgot to mention them! November is definitely my garden's pretty month, and I must always be very thankful. And the roses are oh so beautiful.

But I also need to stay vigilant and see to my garden's needs. For example I need a load of compost for the Shrubbery and the Island Bed. Beauty in a garden is not just skin-deep...