Long term August gardening challenge : to prune my two hundred roses without too much blood-letting. Short term challenge : to clean up, trim, jettison, divide, and repot all the house patio pots. Don't forget the succulents. And put the Pelargoniums in the glasshouse before the frost kills them off completely. Oops.

 Ready to go.
Grasses on the Bonfire

And then take a deep breath, rake up all the dry Wisteria leaves on the patio, prune the house roses, and dump everything on the bonfire. A farmer nearby is bonfiring already - smoky, smoky. Mine will be much more modest.

Now I am off to buy bags of potting mix. And I've noticed it's the last day of July. My goodness. I will do my best to make it a good one garden-wise.


Humph. This is sooooooo difficult. And it shouldn't be. If I wrote a list to tell you what I've done so far, and what's still left to do, you'd probably say 'So what?' And tell me to buck up, get it sorted and be thankful that it's not snowing. Or something like that! So I'm having lunch on the patio (with the Fred cats) to watch the birdies fluttering around their lard ball (with the Fred cats). Then I'll take the dogs for walks.

 Lurking beneath an ornamental grass, watching the birdies.
Black Fred in the Garden


My day ended up really well - lots achieved, a decent bonfire, the strawberries and Pelargoniums divided and replanted, the patio swept clear (took ages). I also did quite a bit of rose pruning.

 A beautiful smoky red.
Takanini Camellia

New plants!

And then, a surprise reward : along with fifteen more bags of horse manure, my friend has dropped off some large clumps of pink summer Phlox, some Agapanthus, and a variegated type of foliage clumping Iris. And a Viburnum Snowball, and a little Fig tree. Yeay! New plants! They can all go in the Hump Garden (which is fast filling up, hee hee).

Saturday 1st August

I'm off to plant my new pink Phloxes. I'll top up the soil with compost and manure. Then it's back to the bonfire I'm afraid. Again, big smoke is in the air from the farm across the road - my added contribution will be pretty small scale.


I've pruned more roses, and burnt more mess, including armfuls of giant Gunnera leaves (they've dried out nicely). Am feeling great about another productive gardening day. Remembered my camera just in time - found it at dusk, abandoned in the Hump Garden, black camera on black soil. Some gentle evening rain was just starting to fall. Eek!

 Tall shrub, small flowers.
Cinnamon Cindy Camellias

There's beautiful shrubby flower colour in the garden, and I reckon the light looks 'warmer'. The big pink Azalea and several new Camellias are blooming - Cinnamon Cindy (tiny white flowers, pale pink buds) and Takanini (deep, smudgy red). Wonderful to see.

Medium sized challenges : to garden every single day in August, to enjoy every single hour spent gardening in August, and to do something that improves my garden every day. A comprehensive set of challenges, but this last lot be really easy!