Days of Bricks and Roses...

 Just opening.
Rugosa Rose

There's a delightful balance between bricks and roses in my garden. My need for bricks is diminishing - the herb spiral is nearly finished. And for every brick I lay on the walls of the spiral another rose starts flowering. Yippee! The days of bricks and rooooooses...

Friday 26th October

If I was only allowed to grow one rose in my garden (what a daft idea) she would be a rugosa, and her name would be Agnes. The rugosas, such happy roses, are my big bloomers this week. My big bloomers? Back to the roses, quickly!

The soft yellow Banksia rose which covers an old plum tree (and most of my washing line) is flowering, as is the beautiful rosy-cheeked Fruhlingsmorgen in the Hen House Garden. But as I check for flower buds on the house roses I also see tiny spots of rust on selected rose leaves. Rust! Aargh! It's fungus spray time. The Moosey webmaster took a series of rose photographs for me, and then informed me (helpfully) that my house roses are covered in aphids. Aphids! Aargh! It's bug spray time.

The roses certainly lift me to an even higher level of optimism. I now believe I can finish my brick herb spiral by the end of the weekend. Yesterday I got my brick-laying oomph back, bought four more bags of mortar, and started seriously spiralling inwards. I planted the first of the herbs, and the second garden terraced section is full of my lettuce seedlings.

 A large shrub, reaching into the trees.
Fruhlingsgold Rose

And do you know the nicest thing about a spiral wall? One starts from the edge, moves into the middle, and in the non-fractal world of bricklaying there is a definite stopping point. Ha! Ooh - maybe I can get it finished this weekend? This is exciting - I feel that I've turned the corner, so to speak, ha ha... And I've finally realised that the pointy bit of the bricklaying tool is rather useful.

Much, Much Later...

My hands are semi-sore, tingling ominously, but I am content. The spiral has moved ever inwards and upwards, and I've temporarily run out of bricks.

 GInger Percy, big Fluff-Fluff, and Little Mac.
Cats Inspecting the Half-Finished Herb Spiral

I've also done some planting (daisies and Cerinthe) in the border across from Pond Cottage, and I've burnt the rubbish on the bonfire. Now I'm off down the road to check out a roadside stall which sells small pots of herbs. I bought a Marjoram 'Country Cream' there a week ago and forgot to water it. Blast!

Saturday 27th October

What have I done today? I went across town to collect heaps more bricks, then cleaned a dozen and mortared them on the spiral wall. That's all. I'm so proud of myself. I had a big idea, and I've just gone ahead and done it. Even if my hands and fingers get sore.

Sunday 28th October

‘Do, or do not. There is no try.’
-Yoda, Jedi Master.

Aha! I am going to try and finish the bricks today. No, wait a minute - 'Do, or do not. There is no try', to quote Yoda. Let me not dither, or wander off down some random garden path. Let me be truly able to present a series of 'before, middle, and after' photographs by this evening.

I can look forward to soaking my hands in something soothing, picking some aphid-free roses for the house, and drinking two glasses of Larry's home-made wine.

 Hello, you!
Fruhlingsmorgen Rose

Much Later...

Sorry, Yoda. I did end up trying and falling a little short. But I took time off in the middle of the day to spray all my roses. This takes rather a long time (there are close to five hundred roses, including the climbers in the orchard). I was surprised how many little insignificant spots of rust I found, on so many roses. Bad rust-prone roses like Dublin Bay got a real soaking.

Striped and Sulking

Some of my newly planted striped roses seem to be sulking a little. I'll make sure they get buckets of water this week. Gorgeous Fruhlingsmorgen (I have two now) has the prettiest flowers. They greet me (a red-faced, tired-eyes old gardener) with fresh, eager faces. Yoo-hoo!

Revised Spiral Plan

This is much more realistic, and is to finish the spiral by the end of October. I'm back to brick-dreams again, by the way, which are rather repetitive. But oh boy - I can judge the exact level of dribble required for mortar not to dry out too much while the next brick is being lowered and squished into place. And this varies according to the amount (and the angle) of direct sunshine! Ha!