Irises, please don't flop...

Yippee! I'm up super early to enjoy the morning, before the wind starts up. Big bearded irises flopping on the ground is one thing, but my foxgloves and lupins had better not fail.

C'mon all of you - whites, apricots, blues, and pinks - stand tall, be strong. What's a little wind? The roses don't seem to mind...

 Lots of irises have drooped this year with the rain and wind.
Iris Lying Down

Saturday 26th November

Today I'm digging out quite a few roses from another garden - red, white, pink... Wonder what they'll grow into? I have organised Non-Gardening Partner to help. I've also bought a modest, tidy outdoor table and two seats for the upstairs balcony. Nothing fancy, shabby, or chic about this set.

 A New Zealand beauty.
Roydon Rose

The Plan...

The plan is to go swimming, then continue clearing the front of the Wattle Woods Garden, next to the glass-house. This garden has been poorly planted, left to the self-seeders (like Campion), with just a few roses. The depths are a bit shady in summer.

I've trimmed the Aquilegias around the edge, to force them to grow sparkling new foliage. Now the area needs definition, new plants, some more permanent things.

Ha! When in doubt, plant a striped hybrid flax (Phormium). I could shift in a Cream Delight, and I have a spare Hydrangea waiting for a place. So its going to belike this - shrubs in, self-seeders out. But I must remember to plant a patch of white foxgloves (my current favourite flower) in here for next year.

Late Lunchtime...

I've got NGP onto mowing the lawns. I've been randomly pulling out more forget-me-nots, this time out of the Glass-House Garden. There are sooooo many!

 Smooching up the gum tree.
Histeria the Tabby Cat

Cat Company

Histeria (Hissy) my tabby cat has been 'helping'. She never gets any sticky forget-me-not seeds on her fur, unlike big Fluff-Fluff and Rusty the dog who get completely covered. The perils of being super-furry, I guess...

I've also watered the vege garden and the patio pots - boring details to record, but so often the mundane is the most necessary. Now I'm going to do that plant shifting I thought of. And I must remember to vote - it's our national election. Go green, go green, go the Greens...

Sunday 27th November

I'm not up so early this morning. I got 'Fluff-Fluffed' in the night - my big cat ambushed me and I foolishly let him into Pond Cottage. Big mistake - he ate all young Minimus's cat food, and then sprawled like a star-fish in the middle of the bed. And when I went to shift my legs around him he growled. At me, the bed owner! I'm not having that...

So young Minimus was relegated to the green armchair. But we've made up our differences this morning. I've cleaned Fluff-Fluff's eyes and patted him, getting an appreciative squeak. He's on his special seat next to my computer seat, so he can be with me in his own space. Phew!

 Just the normal type, sown from seed.
Blue Delphinium


Nature in the house - I have lots of dead grass-grub beetles on the kitchen floor. Where did they come from, how, and why? NGP says they were looking for ladies. Well, they won't find any ladies in my kitchen!

I am so excited about today in the garden. But first, I need to report on yesterday afternoon. We went and dug out the roses - all nineteen of them, including the gruntiest Iceberg with the fattest roots. It was hard work, but we did it, thanks to NGP's super-shovel-strength. They are all trimmed, and sitting in my water cart. I burnt their prunings on the bonfire. I went to the polling station to vote (green) and then I pulled out the fastest barrowful of forget-me-nots ever known to woman-gardener, working sockless because of the sticky biddi-bids.

This morning I'm putting up the second rose arch by the oldest Apple tree (and the little Graham rhododendron) to keep the little path through here going. The path immediately behind the glass-house has been decommissioned, due to excessive growth of the rugosa roses, their canes spreading this way and that, their flowers (and eventual autumn leaf colour) so beautiful. I'm not going to prune huge pieces away just so I can push and scramble underneath them.

Cream Delight Flax :
Cream Delight is a beautiful striped Phormium (flax) hybrid).

This garden gets a much-needed makeover - possibly a rhododendron (to be shifted from somewhere else), a Cream Delight phormium (ditto), and maybe the new Iceberg rose. I might even try to dig out all the Alkanet roots. Wow!

I don't allow myself gardening lists any more, but it's OK to write one for NGP (hardly seems fair?). This afternoon he has to do the following:

List for Non-Gardening Partner

Explaining item four, the delightfully rustic wooden waterwheel (which has refused to rotate for many a month) is replaced by an unsubtle bright orange river sling pump with shiny silver propeller (which pumps water freely, happily, and effortlessly).

 You can see the now defunct waterwheel on the opposite bank.
One River Pump in Position

Two of these wonderful low-tech pumps will hopefully feed the wriggling stream through the Wattle Woods again. Yippee! I loved that old waterwheel, rustic and non-functioning...

Much, Much Later...

I worked in my garden for six hours. Then I went apres gardening, and watched the waterwheel being manhandled out of the water race and the orange pump going in, attached to Rooster Bridge. Now I'm waiting to see how far the water will reach. I'm pretty sure I'll put the second pump in here. I just love water to run through a woodland.


The little garden makeover is finished. The path is cleared and passable, the archway is in place, with roses Complicata and Cecile Brunner (a cutting I created which doesn't seem to climb) on one side and a pale pink rugosa on the other. I'm very pleased with the results, and it's been great working in here - the rugosas are very fragrant.

 The Phormium can be seen in the middle of the garden.
Garden Make-Over Completed

Other perennials like toad lilies and phloxes now have room to spread out, and there's room for the Miscanthus zebrinus. The green creeping surface ground-cover (AKA an annoying green creeping weed) is banished to the other side of the path.

No More Mourning Widows

I then decided I didn't like the dark weedy geranium in the Apple Tree Garden, the one I call 'Mourning Widow'. It's so scruffy, even when in flower, so I pulled it all out. Hostas were hidden underneath. I'm still thinking about planting some shrubs in the interior of this garden.

 Favourite David Austins.
John Clare Roses

It's been a brilliant day, NGP has done everything on his list, and I think my garden is the most beautiful it's ever been this year. Maybe I'm doing more maintenance, or maybe there's just been more spring rain. But the roses are just magnificent, the Delphiniums have started, as have the peonies. It's all just so beautiful and colourful I get quite sniffy with happiness. My garden and I seem to be in harmony.