Another self-imposed rule

I've got a new personal rule. Not another self-imposed rule? Oh yes, very much so, and it concerns the summer garden watering I do. It's time I stopped seeing it as a chore and just got on with it. In fact I shouldn't even notice myself doing it. And I certainly shouldn't go on about it in my journal.

 Winnie sometimes falls in!
Puppy by the Water Race


If I was a gourmet cook writing about food, I would concentrate on recipes, feasts, loving food preparation, and so on. Would I spend ages detailing the washing-up of the dishes? How I stacked the dishwasher just so, how I hand washed the retro cat plates, etc? No, I would not. This would not be interesting to anyone.

Well, watering the garden in early summer is exactly like this. I have buckets and watering cans, and running water and a pond into which to dunk these receptacles. I have a little pump which operates a network of hand-held hoses, and a big whooshy pop-up irrigation system which Non-Gardening Partner switches on overnight for me. I am not short of watering resources.

Early this morning I took the dogs over to the cottage and used the watering can to pour water on the cottage's plants - particularly the roses. Then I put on the hoses to water the Dogs' Lavender Garden and the garden at the curve in the driveway. It went on for three hours while I went swimming. When I came home I put the hoses on again. And that is all I will say on the matter.

Saturday 15th November

It's been very blustery today, with the big noisy winds that are so intimidating and unpleasant for gardening. And yesterday all I did was pull out forget-me-nots and take the dogs for walks. Plus shifting the hoses, and I'm not supposed to talk about that. I keep on doing these same things over and over again.

 Two roses visible - the creamy one is Alberic Barbier, I think.
The Woodshed Rambling Rose

The garden is continually surprising me. The late-season rhododendrons are now flowering - purply blues in the gardens by the water race, and a couple of bright cherry-pinks. The woodshed rambling rose is in full ramble, and oh so beautiful. Actually there's a creamy rose which climbs up the other side to join in, plus a single cherry red. Its roots must be somewhere because its flowers are up there! The whole effect is just lovely.

My photographs give a rather faded picture of the beauty. Huge spreads of flowering roses are difficult camera subjects, and I so admire the photographs in garden books which capture that overwhelming feeling. The light in my summer garden is too bright with too high in contrast, I reckon, even on a cloudy day.

I have several Agnes roses and she, like the other rugosas, is blooming beautifully at the moment. I keep on seeing masses or her pale lemon fluffy flowers when I'm just gazing up and away at nothing. Agnes, the perfect country rose, thank you so much.

 Such a pretty colour.
Agnes Roses

The big irises, luckily, haven't all fallen over in the wind yet, and some clear yellow Daylilies, the first to be planted in the Allotment Garden, are absolutely loving their new sunny position. They need a special mention, as the last garden they grew in was far too shady. So, naturally, they didn't bother to flower.

Exciting Echium

 With bumble bee.
Salmon Pink Echium

There's an exciting new flowering development - an Echium, which has sat with its grey-green spiky leaves in a ground-level rosette for some time. The flowers are a fleshy salmon pink, and the bees adore them. I think it's an echium amoenum - my plantsman friend gave it to me. Now I'm hoping that it will drop some seeds. It's been well worth waiting for.

OK. So do I have to write a list for today?
Yes, I think you should.
Do I have to?
Yes. You spent no time in the garden yesterday.
What about walking the dogs? And shifting the hoses?
Hmm... I thought we weren't going to talk about the watering.

Today I'll try to plant out all the remaining annuals. Meadowfoam goes by the house decking, foxgloves go in the Jelly Bean Garden underneath the recycled rhododendrons (the pink is now flowering, just waiting for the mauve). Calendulas and Strawflowers go in the hot side-garden. Left-overs go in the Allotment Gardens. You can't banish flowers from a vegetable garden which uses old forget-me-nots as mulch, hee hee.

There's no wind this morning and I'm sitting on the patio listening to the All Blacks playing Scotland (rugby). My three trusty friends are with me - Winnie the puppy, Rusty the dog, and Fluff-Fluff the cat. It's time for a song :

 Three of us plus the photographer.
Off for Another Walk

'The four of us
There'll always be
For you and you and you and me
The four of us....

More words to come when I've thought a little more about them. I'm going to work hard all day.


I did eight hours of steady, uncomplaining work. In the middle of it all I spent a nursery voucher on big plastic pots for the tomatoes, three Rosemaries, and some little perennial Helichrysums. I've done lots of random little things, like liberating a Green Goddess Cordyline from her large patio pot and planting her properly in the hugest hole behind the cottage. I planted the lettuces and tomatoes (a bicolour cherry variety). And I did lots of watering, but I'm not supposed to say anything about that.

Final Watering Thought...

Final watering thought for the weekend : It is not a waste of my time holding one of the hoses, just to make sure that newly planted roses which miss out on the big irrigation get enough water. Time spent thus is precious time. Time to stand and stare, that sort of thing.