Don't grump!

I'm allowed to write lots and have extra journal pages this November, as long as I work hard in the garden and don't grump about sore hands or knees. And there are so many lovely flowers to take photographs of.

 Euphorbia, Flax and Senecio Shrub.
Foliage Against the Fence

Monday 5th November

Ha! Guy Fawkes Day - a 'cracker' of a day for doing heaps of garden work. I have lots of plants to plant, weeds to weed, paths to path... If I can work half as hard as I did yesterday, I will be very pleased.

The Big Irrigation is Working

Last night the big irrigation ran. Oh joy! I stayed awake in bed deliberately to listen to the whooshing of the sprinklers. All my house gardens are watered, and I am so relieved for them. Perhaps gardens should be able to survive in the natural weather. But that would mean me having a tussock garden with a few sturdy lavenders thrown in for light relief. And absolutely no trees! Such would have been the natural vegetation of the Canterbury Plains.

 I was told it was a rugosa.
Unknown Cherry Rose

A word of thanks to my rugosa roses. They have sneaked up on me, in the flowering sense. And more of my large bearded irises are flowering, including some new patches whose colours I'd typically forgotten. What a surprise! I have pale apricot, an odd lemon-brown, and several new purply-blues. Thank you all.

 A beautiful colour combination.
New Yellow and White Iris

Right. Too much time has already been spent chattering. It's time to get outside - much more fun for the cats and the dog.


Oh dear, oh dear. All I've done so far is swim and shop! This is definitely not the sort of day that Rusty the dog looks forward to. So as soon as I've coffee-ed I'm off to do edges and cosmetic weeding over the water race. The newish rhododendrons there look wonderful, but the one flattened by our last snow storm hasn't redirected its growth. So it spreads out at ankle height and flowers in the mulch. Either I stake it up, or I prune it. Tough choice, but I'm thinking forward...

Tuesday 6th November

Later yesterday I did three hours of weeding, trimming edges, and planting - half the gardens over the water are 'ready'. That means ready for viewing by the visiting group of choir ladies. Something to work towards, methinks - and a great reason to get all the paths completely organised. Good paths give confidence to garden visitors.

 One of my favourites/
Rugosa Rose Agnes

Rusty had a wonderful time, rolling in something disgraceful - and then eating the remains right in front of me! Aargh! So I had the smelliest dog-company, and I generously let him remain - a personal penance for not being in my garden with my dog earlier. Seeing the world from a dog's point of view - or through his nose...

Today I'll finish off titivating the gardens by the water. The big irrigation watered them last night, and it rained. Phew! Country folk love it to rain on Guy Fawkes night, when having crackers and fireworks at home can really spook and frighten the farm animals (particularly the horses).

Much, Much Later...

I have worked so hard! All the water race gardens are weeded, with edges beautifully trimmed. I have had brilliant cat company (two ginger gardening cats, and Histeria the tabby), the hens have stayed on their side of the fence, and the dog has been fragrance-friendly, for a human nose. He probably thinks he smells boring.

I've found the perfect place for my pots of red leafed Heuchera, and again I must salute the rugosa roses in the Hen House Garden. I wish I knew their names - I 'bought' them from a country garden which was disbanding. So it was a shovel digging session, rather than a careful choosing from the nursery labels. There's one single cherry red which is beautiful - flowers not too big, no scent and no rose hips in autumn.

'Gardeners can be so greedy - we want the sun, moon, stars, and rain - all at once!'
-Moosey Reflection.

In eager anticipation of my Monet style arched bridge (hint) I've prepared the small path down to the water from Duck Lawn and trimmed a waterside ornamental grass. I am also eagerly anticipating the waterwheel (hint), and the arrival of two tree men, scheduled for next Wednesday. The trees in the Hump are to be topped - yippee! Gardeners can be so greedy sometimes, though - we want the sun, moon, stars - and rain - all at once.

 Love you lots!
Happy Birthday Rusty

Wednesday 7th November - Happy Birthday Rusty

Rusty the red Border Collie is three years old today! Happy Birthday, dog friend! And how will you spend your third birthday? Oops - confined to your dog motel, because the Head Gardener is going out all day with her walking group on the Peninsula. No dogs allowed! Sorry.


Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I've walked (another ouch) around the garden with Rusty organising the hoses, watering the glass-house seedlings, and checking all the new roses. Crepuscule, the apricot climber on the back pergola, is starting. More of the rugosas by the glass-house are in flower. It's all so beautiful, and I am so lucky. Let's leave it at that!