Time for the big irrigation...

Oops. Summery December has taken me a bit by surprise. The temperature has gone up a notch. The garden is gasping in this sudden heat, and my little hoses and water buckets provide little help. Time for the big irrigation to come out of winter recess, I reckon!

 Unknown pink rambler and apricot Crepuscule.
Climbing Roses

Saturday December 3rd

I seem to have been too busy to write anything. Oh dear. I'm trying to remember the gardening I did three days ago. Hopeless! I know I was scurrying around in the heat, doing edges. But real gardeners just take little things like doing edges firmly in their stride.

 Oops. A slightly small flower.
One of the Bourbons? Not Sure

Real Gardeners...

And real gardeners do not get all droopy, copying the example set by their old-fashioned roses. Silly things. Roses that have lasted for decades choose to flower once, late in the season, and then sulk because it's a wee bit hot for their petals.

Garden Visitors

Such nice things have happened so far in December. I've enjoyed the company of garden visitors from California. I so enjoyed sharing (shyly) the garden with them.

Yesterday I worked for six hours, again in the heat, potting up my sixteen recently dug-up roses. I continued chopping down the veined Viburnum from the Island Bed. It's the only plant in my garden to which I have a runny-nose and sneezing reaction. I managed to burn most of the prunings (sniff, sniff).

 Sensibly planted in the shade.
The Last of the Rhododendrons

Tomato Dilemma

And I've put all my heirloom tomatoes in large pots on the patio. Correction - I thought I had. Today, the day of journal writing, I discovered seven more lurking in pottles behind the glass-house. I simply do not need all these tomatoes, since I am not a chutney/sauce/frozen-soup maker. But I just can't abandon them to die, nor can I find anybody to gift them to (I've already used up all my friend-credit). A moral tomato dilemma!

River Pump :
This big bright orange pump sits on the top of the water.

Both river sling pumps are whirling around by Rooster Bridge, and the little stream through the Wattle Woods has started to flow. I've changed its course, weeded and cleared the surrounding garden, and now I'm waiting to assess whether enough water (if any) will reach the little pond at the bottom of the slope. Best to leave things for a few days and then make some decisions - it will be easy to lay plastic and cover this with stones.

During this the third day of excessive heat many of my roses are wilting. The ground-covering Periwinkle in the Shrubbery has gone into an unattractive survival mode. Everything needs water. So as soon as I've finished writing this page I'm off back outside to shift the hoses and bucket water onto the Shrubbery roses. It will make me feel better.

 I think this is their name.
Yellow Roses - Tamora?

My new ornamental cricketers are on the back lawn - I've tucked them in close to the Olearia hedge, so Rusty the dog doesn't charge through and knock any over. These portly, balding chaps are doing a better job than New Zealand's real cricketers (battling Australia in a test match at the moment). And the action moves almost as fast, hee hee...

 Back garden cricket, Australia versus New Zealand.
The Cricketers

Sunday 4th December

The day has started brilliantly. I picked some white peonies and soft lemon Pilgrim roses for the house. Early morning flower-gathering should be compulsory, while the mind is still fluffy with sleep. The big irrigation ran for four hours overnight - phew! A few of the edge lupins have flopped down, but they're past their flowering best. Several horizontal Delphiniums are now in the house vases.

 Both colours on one rose.
Masquerade Rose

Wonderful Bach

This morning my friends and I are playing Bach's wonderful trio sonata from The Musical Offering. Life is good - but it's all in the mind and the fingers... Must do some practice! I'm playing a great realisation of the original figured bass, and I do prefer this trio sonata with a piano. Harpsichords can buzz along tunelessly, whereas pianos sing...


What a wonderful piece of music for three friends! It's Bach at his best, getting rather chromatically carried away in the last movement, but it's our job to make his intricacies work. I am inspired.

Goodbye, Heirloom Tomatoes

And my dear flute playing friend has taken away my excess heirloom tomatoes. Did I force them on her? Well, maybe - but they are for the urban community garden she tends.

Reminder to myself - it is now far too late in the season to dig out anyone's unwanted roses. And surely I have enough of my own to look after? There are some magnificent roses in my garden this year.