The best month ever...

November, November - you've been very speedy, and your days have been full of colourful wonders. You're just the best month ever, providing so many things to see, and do, and enjoy in the garden. And you're almost finished. Eek! That means Christmas!

 Posing by the white cane seat.
Rusty the Dog

Saturday 27th November

It always makes me smile how the end of a month suddenly appears and alarms the gardening mind. Aargh! What haven't I done? What should I have done weeks ago, when the month was new, and slow? Aargh! Now there's no time left - which of course is nonsense, because gardening time takes absolutely no notice of an artificial calendar. It's just silly gardeners that do that... And of course the early-summer garden is better appreciated if (between two nights of having the big irrigation on) one has the whole day off to go hiking in the foothills.

Hiking Stories :
You'll find more stories of my hiking adventures in the New Zealand Journeys pages.

And so, yesterday, my friend (she who intrepidly, if silently, conquered 'The Big Scree' a week ago) and I climbed Mount Richardson. Oh, it was, apparently, a 'Munro' at over 1000km, but hardy old-chook New Zealand hikers don't take much notice of that sort of boastful carry-on, hee hee...

I had quite a bit of fun working the GPS for the first time. Aha! Trying to remove a silly pink pin (it was asking me if I wanted to mark a way-point, but I didn't know that at the time), zooming in and out of the contour lines... I really need to practice more. But my legs have no idea how much time and energy it takes them (with me attached) to plod up 100 meters, and I need my reading glasses to see the names on the GPS map.

 Rather beautiful...
Prosperity White Roses

A Wonderful Day

We had a wonderful day. The vegetation up on the tops was half-forest half-scrub - little white flowering Hebes and silver Astelias, tussocks, and then lots of ferns underneath mossy beech trees. The forest was alive with bellbirds and tawny honey bees were collecting honey dew off the beech trunks (so nice not to see any ghastly wasps). There were also lots of black buzzy blowflies - who knows what they were doing all the way up here, and what they could possibly be eating...

Now I'm back to earth at 100 meters, and as yet I've done no gardening. It is, technically, a day of recovery, and I may limit myself to pricking out seedlings and potting up cuttings in the glass-house. And, of course, I can listen to the cricket (the first test of The Ashes). Summer starts properly when the cricket starts. Back soon, slowly, with much to report...

A Little Later...

It's far too hot to garden. And I am in serious rose-naming trouble - I should have known this would happen! That rose in the Stables Garden that I've been calling 'Windrush' for more than ten years (I've popped its photograph just below) - well, it jolly well isn't. And I haven't a clue what it is.

 In the Stables Garden - not Windrush, by the way!
Honey Yellow Roses

This must infuriate sensible gardeners who name plants correctly. I wouldn't, for example, ever incorrectly identify Mozart as Haydn, or get Bach mixed up with Telemann.

 In the orchard.
Bantry Bay on Archway

Beware Google Images!

And now, thanks to Google Images, I may have misinformed thousands - let's be a bit modest here - tens? of gardeners who have all rushed out to buy my version of Windrush and been really disappointed with its pale lemon flowers. I've checked the David Austin official site - his photographs of his roses must be pretty definitive, right? Pale lemon is quite a different yellow to honey amber, right? It's one giant 'oops' for Mooseykind...


So now I'm busy going through the web-site fixing up my mistake, making the 'oops' alteration. Still, as I said, it's far too hot to be outside gardening.

Much Later...

Non-Gardening Partner has been throwing tennis balls into the pond for Rusty the dog, while I've been sitting on the white wire seat behind the pond half-watching them, and half-reading - my compulsory garden rest and enjoyment. I've potted up daisy cuttings in the glass-house and shifted the hoses around. I'm really happy with my day, though my legs feel well-worn.

Sunday 28th November

I got up early to watch the All Blacks play Wales at rugby (we won) and to trawl through my big Botanica's rose book looking for a possible identification of the amber-yellow rose in the Stables Garden. Already I had tried some self-hypnosis in the middle of the night, taking myself back to a dimly remembered rose sale in a car park (it was ages and ages ago, and I bought two Crepuscules there) and trying to set my mind wandering amongst the rose labels. No luck. I fell back asleep...

Pat Austin :
Pat Austin has her own rose page, and now she is properly named.

Aargh! Now I discover yet another 'rose bloomer' in my website (hee hee). I have been confusing the luscious fruity apricot Pat Austin with the tall and sensible yellow blend Charles Austin. I am again embarrassed, but at least now I can identify him (Charles) in the Glass-House Garden (I think...). Oh boy. No-one will believe a word of me again.

For penance I am going to weed for as many hours as I feel I should. The roses and perennials garden needs to be rid of its forget-me-nots, and the vegetable garden needs attention. They should start me off rather nicely.

 By Willow Bridge.
Assorted Rose Flowers


I am furious. It is not fair. And it is not my fault that I get rose names wrong. I've just taken my camera out to the rose archways in the orchard to possibly get pictures of some of the new replacement roses planted a couple of weeks ago. And what do I find? A rose which was definitely labelled Casino and which looks totally different to my other one. I've looked up Casino in the Peter Beales rose catalogue. Do I trust this man? Yes.

 Definitely different pinks.
Two Different Uetersen Rosebuds

Rose Nursery Wrong

My conclusion is that the rose nursery has got it wrong again (the labels go on the bags, not the stems of the roses). And not meeeeeee! I seem to have acquired a Golden Wings look-alike, but with double the petals. I also remember that this same nursery sold me a Handel rose which definitely wasn't Handel.

I'm now even crosser, having returned to take some more pictures. For I see that my climbing Uetersen is a different pink to my non-climbing one. Could this be caused by different rootstock? Or another nursery mistake? Sorry about this, but I have put buds from each together as evidence, because digital cameras can get pinks wrong. One bud even seems to have more petals. Hmm...