Garden-proud or House-proud?

It's December! Usually about now a tiny twinge of 'house-proudness' sneaks in, and I decide to set up all the spare rooms with clean sheets (beds, even) - and well-dusted reading lamps, bookcases full of enticing summer reads, little soaps and towels... For a hoard of imaginary bed'n'breakfast guests? But the feeling soon dissipates. I don't live very much in my house, you understand. I much prefer to live in my garden.

Today it's wet from overnight rain, and still drizzling. The big flowery flop is very noticeable, especially when trying to walk through many of the garden paths. The orchard is wet-feet territory, with the archway roses in full flowery flight.

Even Madame Caroline Testout and Teasing Georgia, who both tend to sulk (independently), are showing off this year. One naughty rambler (Chevy Chase) isn't the slightest bit interested in its rose arch (but that's my fault - proudly doing some off-season 'rose restoration', then wandering off to leave the new canes cavorting merrily along the ground).

 My guess for this recycled rose.
Aotearoa Hybrid Tea Rose?

Much, Much Later...

I've managed four hours in the garden, during which time I've filled the wheelbarrow four times (easy maths, this) - mainly with weeds, forget-me-nots, and Aquilegia trimmings. The more I do the more I see to do. But hey! Wonderful is the word of the moment, as it has been for some days now. It's the roses. Oh wow. Stunning, beautiful, and every other adjective that is a synonym for wonderful.

Sunday 4th December

Aargh! Urk! Blech! Guess what I'm doing today? 'Dismantling' the huge Banksia lutea rose, burning the smaller bits, chopping and stacking the chunkies for firewood. And this is no Lego rose - it is not designed to come apart, oh no! It's been happily intertwining itself with the plum tree for years, and finally the poor tree has split in half with the weight. But to get the chainsaw into the tree (which creates another giant clean-up), the dear rose has to be trimmed and lopped away first.

The Perfect Day...

Today's the perfect day - cool, overcast, windless. A lot of the rose wood is dead dry. My bonfire is handy. But I dislike bonfiring. I'd much rather be sitting reading a book while the bed sheets billow gently on the washing line, drying in the breeze. Actually, I'd rather be doing housework than attacking this rose, and that's saying something!

 No way through!
Spot the Path?

As far as my house sort-out goes, I am making slow progress (if any). It's much easier to 'mind-decorate'. But my sewing room is coming along nicely - I have a new oak desk, and a patchwork mat, upon which the sewing machine is installed. That much was easy! The garden plan is simple. I am allowed to write my journal until 9am. Then the longest burning day in Moosey Garden History commences. Non-Gardening Partner is standing by (he doesn't actually know this). If I make sufficient headway he can start the major chain-sawing. Blast! The clock rolls inexorably towards the hour. 'Tis time, 'tis time. Where are my gardening shorts?

 The rose is William Lobb.
Rusty in the Water


Grr... What a gross job. I am not enjoying this. But gradually, ever so gradually, the tree and the rose are disappearing. It's been a lasagne bonfire, with layers of dry rubbish gathered from behind the pond in between bits of Banksia. And the 'gatherer' in me has kicked in, so I've been lopping up any suitable sized branches for firewood. I just can't throw good winter firewood on a summer bonfire.

But I will do one more session, because I have the stamina of a batty old gardener, and NGP has promised me one more chain-sawing half-hour. 'Just work your way slowly through it' he says, nodding wisely, stating the obvious. But clearing away the old canes worries me, so I'd like to finish the whole thing before summer kicks in properly (and the fire ban comes on). And the longest day, mid-summer's day, is less than three weeks away. Eek! So soon?

To cheer myself up, I now present a row of photographs of 'Roses that I can't remember ever seeing much of, haven't a clue of their names, or when they were planted, though I guess it must have been me'. Hmm...

Next Day...

Hopelessly inconsistent, me! Yesterday I worked for seven hours - today I've just about managed seven minutes. But I have bought some new sheets. Yeay! And made up the beds. Yeay! I'd still rather be sawing and lopping outside than vacuuming and wiping dust (and dead flies) off all the upstairs windowsills upstairs. For me there's more joy in being garden-proud than house-proud.