Blast! I rather liked October. We had a semi-cruisy relationship, a half-summer-holiday fling going there. My garden might have been crying out for attention, but there was always tomorrow. It was easy to make promises in October, because there were weeks and weeks left until the official start of summer. Remember that for me October is April.

Sunday 2nd November

Anyway, now I've accepted that it's November, a new month, a scary month in many ways. The watering has to hot up - just as the temperatures hot up, hee hee. I have to spray the roses and keep track of the weeds. The lawns get mowed every weekend, so I am forever 'doing the edges'. Hopefully it's not too late for the big roses in the orchard to be tied back up onto their archways. Eek! This is serious.

 Back in the water race.
River Pumps

Yesterday the river pumps went back into the water race, after spending several weeks on dry land for maintenance. So this morning I've been clearing down the little wriggling stream they pump water into, while the huge dry nor-west winds whoosh and roar above.

Dodgy Weather

Non-Gardening Partner has been called out to a fire - not a good thing in these dodgy weather conditions. I've carted five barrowfuls of burnable mess to my bonfire heap, which I will NOT be lighting. The safety issue aside, imagine the embarrassment if the local fire brigade had to be called out to my garden.

 Foliage shrubs and plants near the little stream.
The Wattle Woods

This afternoon's plan is to finish tidying the little stream, dig out the old grasses, maybe replace then with rock lilies, and then get the hoses on to water the surrounding vegetation. It's not sporting the lushest of looks at the moment.

Much, Much Later...

I've worked so hard all day. I am very proud of myself. The Wattle Woods stream looks great. The hoses are helping the Pittosporums which grow ('survive' might be a better word) in here.

 A coral one, already looking tatty.
Peony and Grass-Hopper

Tuesday 4th November

Ha! You couldn't dream up two different days. Yesterday it was warm, and the nor-west wind was totally obnoxious. My garden is full of tall trees, and I simply didn't feel safe anywhere. It was probably only gusting to about 120 km per hour, but it sure felt nasty. Winnie the puppy kept running for shelter, so we all came inside and sulked. Well, I sulked. The dogs just snoozed all afternoon. I feel so sorry for the bumble bees and the birds. How do they stop from blowing away?

Rude winds do shake the darling buds of November : I refer to the peony buds, of which I seem to have many this year.

On to today. Overnight a cold front zoomed through, so now the temperature is only ten degrees Celsius, and there's absolutely no wind. And the fire ban starts tomorrow at midday. So I'm reluctantly burning my bonfire rubbish, plus pieces of dead hedging dislodged by yesterday's gales. I can't stop to chat, either - I have mountains of dry mess underneath the hedges to shift and burn. Better controlled by smoky old me now than left to fuel a hedge fire in summer.

 Choisya and late flowering Rhododendrons.
Shrubs in the Driveway Garden

Have I got time to write a list of all the things I'd rather be doing than burning? Yes. I'd much rather be admiring the roses, planting out more flowering annuals, maybe weeding lightly here, watering there. Look, I'd even prefer to be doing the edges, and that's saying something. Hmm. Back outside I go.

 We visit Lilli in the hay-barn at least twice a day.
Winnie and Lilli-Puss

Much, Much Later...

Oh boy. Oh joy! What a huge day. I am so proud of me. I've been working for eight hours. I've cleared mess from behind the cottage. I've created a new path along the fence-line underneath the big gum trees. The hedges are done. I've pulled out heaps more forget-me-nots and Alkanet. I've taken lots of photographs. I've played with the puppy, I've jiggled the baby, I've encouraged Fluff-Fluff the cat to keep up as we walk around the garden.

We are always going for walks, the four of us. The four of us. Now that's a song...

Wednesday 5th November

A cold, rainy day, so I went to chamber music, and then came home to potter inside. I had fun sorting through my latest photographs. One can never have too many photographs, right? I've noticed a trend - the frequency of new puppy pictures is dropping off slightly. No longer a novelty, maybe. But she is such a dear pup, and just loves being out and about in the garden.

 A real beauty.
Salmon Rhododendron

Noticing Nice Things...

The nice thing about going for so many walks with the puppy, the big dog, and the fluffy cat is that I notice lots of nice things. And if I was a cleverer photographer I'd be able to show rather than tell. For example, the Charlotte crab-apple tree is in late blossom, and the colour of its flowers fits with the late flowering rhododendron underneath.

Further along the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden a colourful trio of neighbours is just finishing flowering - the sulphur yellow rhododendron Saffron Queen, the terracotta red tree peony, and a little red-yellow shrub which binds them together.

This changeable weather keeps me on my toes. Tonight there may even be a light frost. I hope the Gunnera will be OK. The edges of its beautiful big green leaves get frost-burnt. Oh well. Plants, like their gardeners, don't have to be perfect.

Plants, like their gardeners, don't have to be perfect. -Moosey words of wisdom.