A scary month!

The November garden is hurtling through the calendar, leaving days, weeks, and weekends scattered behind. Now it's time to plant out the last of the flowering annuals and start dead-heading the roses... Eek! What a busy, scary month!

Wednesday 18th November

First, the dog park - we went really early, and stayed there for nearly three hours. Big brown Escher was in a funny mood - he hid in the dog tunnel, and no, he did not want to come out. After regaining his confidence he became a total nuisance, running around stealing tennis balls. He'd lie down on his back, four legs in air, ball firmly in his jaws. No, he didn't understand 'drop it' when he was upside down. Fair enough?

 Fluff-Fluff and Tiddles always come walking with the three dogs.
Cat and Dog Pack

Back home I planted out some annuals, and cleared up some more weeds. There are always more weeds. But weeds are finite in number, and I'm bigger and much more powerful than them. So there. For summer garden happiness one shouldn't take too much notice of them, anyway.

Thursday 19th November

After weeks of great behaviour, my step-dog Escher has now rediscovered the delights of the neighbour's offal/rubbish pit. Today is an official 'Naughty Dogs Day', brown dog being caught in flagrante delicto yet again. Hmm...

 So naughty!
Escher in his Dog Box

And this time young Winnie joined in, trotting into the house with a large piece of stinking salmon. Eek!

Friday 20th November

Today I tested out my new hiking shoe-boots on the Rakaia Walkway. The feet were going really well, but gale force winds in the upper gorge were too strong, necessitating a tactical retreat just before the (slightly) precipitous section of the trail. Imagine the newspaper headline : 'Elderly Hiker Ignores Dangerous Wind Warning'. Oh, the shoe-boots are brilliant - lightweight, supple, yet strong. Not one little ache or twinge. Back home I did a tiny bit of watering, then got stuck into the fruity cider.

Saturday 21st November

Eek! Now I have a weekend full of singing commitments, and a garden to 'get ready' for the Dog Park Ladies' Morning Tea, Dogs Welcome, on Monday. Tra-la-la. 'Tis the season to be jolly and sing in pre-Christmas concerts. Before my first rehearsal today I'm going to pick up several barrowloads of forget-me-nots, and plant some Lupin seedlings (they may not flower this year).


Here I am, after Decking the Hall and Hallelujahing, weeding the Herb Spiral, and dumping three barrowfuls of weeds. I've come inside, feeling a little shaken.

Tiddles :
Tiddles is my polydactly cat.

I was vigorously cutting an enclosed lawn with my new sharp-as-sharp hedging shears. By luck I stopped just in time as Tiddles the tabby's paw lunged between the blades. All is well, but the concept has rather upset me. I'll go and find Tiddles and give her tummy a grateful tickle.


Lots more garden work done, and 'O Holy Night' (a rather delightful Christmas classic) well and truly practised. I've got the watering hoses on behind the pond. The rose Robusta there has died (a pine tree crashed down on it two years ago) and I've transplanted some clumps of miniature Agapanthus into its place near the path.

Sunday 22nd November

Eek! The Dog Park ladies are coming for their own personal mini-garden tour of my garden tomorrow, with dogs. Is the garden ready? Sort of. I have a collection of sticks for dog pond-swimming, Non-Gardening Partner has mowed the lawns, and I've trimmed most of the edges.

The late rhododendrons are trying not to wilt in the heat, while the big roses which grow into the trees and over woodsheds, etc. are looking magnificent. All the irises by the Herb Spiral are out. And as for the peonies - they're flowering beautifully, having a really good year (after a slow start).


I've had my first experience of singing Handel's Hallelujah chorus, in a concert with lots of lusty old men - in a purely vocal sense (of course). I didn't go on the Ohoka Garden Tour because of singing. I would have been green with envy? Actually, I think the Hallelujah Chorus was worth it. And the men sounded great!