Sir Benjamin Britten Roses
It's the last week in November, and I think I'm really getting somewhere! I can feel it in my gardening bones. I've been working so very hard, multi-tasking, remembering not to forget anything (?), so no part of my garden can possibly feel neglected or unloved.
Monday 26th November
Yes, I've definitely got somewhere today, even with one hour's gardening (all I've done). One is still better than none. I've had the hoses on, while continuing my weeding in the gardens over the water race. Actually, this was a jolly good idea, considering I'd left all my gardening tools over there yesterday. Oops. Hopefully there aren't too many sticky forget-me-not seeds in my hair.
Tuesday 27th November
I AM getting somewhere! I'm getting there! Where? Not sure, exactly, but I've almost finished weeding the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. All those pesky forget-me-nots are out, and all sorts of perennials now have room to grow and show - geraniums (which I don't notice until the forget-me-nots can be forgotten), Lady's Mantles, and so new many self-seeded foxgloves. And of course more and more of my roses are flowering. There are some real beauties in the gardens by the water.
Class Act Roses
I've almost got there! Where? Aha! At the point when I can say, definitively, that I've cleared nearly all the visible weeds (and the old forget-me-nots) out of most of my garden borders. Hmm... I've also been watering constantly, shifting my little hoses around and sloshing buckets of water on the needy and the thirsty. It's time to ask Non-Gardening Partner nicely if the big whooshy irrigation can run. Areas in my garden react quite suddenly to summer day temperatures, and within a week the soils can seem desperately dry.
Tough Rose Love
Good for me. Two rugosa roses planted in the Shrubbery have always been dreadful rust-buckets, and I've already fungus-sprayed them three or four times this month. This is not good enough, I'm afraid, so Sarah Van Fleet and Vanguard have been dug out and severely pruned, winter-style. Their fate is a distant fence-line, maybe out near the road, where they'll be pummelled by so much wind that all the little orange rust pustules will blow merrily away. Ha!
And Some Good Rose News...
William Lobb, my only moss rose, is looking rather rustic and beautiful. Sir Benjamin Britten also flowers near the water, and he's behaving (as a 'Sir' should). So far so good for my new David Austin roses, with some about to flower. I'm particularly impressed with the beautifully pale Windemere. Even its foliage is a light, delicate shade of green, and the shrub seems compact and well-behaved. And not a speck of rust, not a spot of black - as yet. There'll be an extra bucket of water for Windemere tomorrow morning.
Wednesday 28th November
Now I've got somewhere else! I found some more old forget-me-nots (and general mess) in the Cordyline Grove - the Cordylines are almost person-high now. I cleared and scraped, carted away firewood logs and smaller branches for the bonfire, and put one of the hoses into the Pittosporum 'forest'. It was peaceful and inspiring working in the shade amidst so much foliage and greenery. If I was a fairy this is the area of the garden I'd live in. Except there are no roses here. Hmm...
+5+5+1Today I've been honoured with three ever-faithful gardening companions. First and foremost Rusty the dog, again covered in sticky biddibids, and smelling rather ripe. Oops. Big Fluff-Fluff the cat has had difficulty keeping up, continually squeaking his pathetic 'Wait for meeeeeee-aow...'. Poor Little Mac the youngest cat has tried to be busy, but the sun has beamed down on her black fur and she's flopped to the ground, usually right in the middle of my path. She's going to seriously overheat when the real summer gardening begins!
The Big Irrigation...
Last night the big irrigation did go on, and I dusk-danced around Pond paddock in my Victorian nightie (a wondrous sight) to check which parts of the garden the water reached. I avoided getting watered myself, leaping nimbly over the arcs of water. It's magical to see the big sprinklers working - so easy, compared to scooping bucketfuls from the pond. And they can be jumped neatly over, too...
Now let me see - where-ever it is that I've not got to, I'm determined to continue getting there! By the end of November, maybe?