High autumn and roses...

 Deeply coloured in autumn.
Golden Tribute Rose

It's high autumn, and amidst the golden leaf-fall I'm thinking about roses. I'm trying to order some Bourbons and Rugosas from an online nursery. The website is misbehaving, and won't let me proceed to the checkout. It's a sign! I don't need to buy any more roses at all! Blast.

Friday 4th April

This reminds me - I need to think about the remaining three old-fashioned roses (one is Anais Segalas) in the back of my Shrubbery. They have not been happy. Mind you, it might not have helped having tenacious periwinkle climbing up, over, and all around you. But I've cleaned it all out, and trimmed the overgrown Hebes. Maybe a dash of compost, and then another summer, with proper watering, during which both the roses and the gardener 'must try harder'?

Today there will be real gardening action. What happens is this. I make a decision on the new Welcome Garden's shape and size - I'm thinking more grass and less garden border. This area is designated 'get-what-you're-given'. Working with what I've been given (no irrigation, no wind shelter), I plant the remaining Pittosporums and Viburnums towards the back. Tough shrubs, these.

 Pittosporums and Viburnums.
New Plantings

Ornamental trees? No irrigation, so forget them for now. Roses? Not at the moment. Some big rugosas, perhaps, when an evergreen screening backdrop is established. Pockets of daffodils on the slope, facing the sun, would be nice. And shift in some Agapanthus. Difficult area, poor soil, dry but sunny - Agapanthus will be perfect. There! It's not a terribly ornamental plan, but common sense has prevailed.


All planted, and the shrubs have cute little rings of stones around them to keep the water from flowing off in all directions. I will have to bucket-water them for a while yet. There'd better not be any dusk digging sessions by rabbits...

Saturday 5th April

+5Good morning to another deceased mouse in the kitchen. Thank you, Tiger, but please stop lolling on the floor and scooping it underneath your furry belly. Aargh! At least I don't have to scurry around with the broom trying to sweep it outside. I cannot kill mice. Or rats - these are delegated to Rusty the dog. Unfortunately he considers mice beneath him.

 Pretty pink.
Kate Sheppard Rose


I've been busy planting drifts of daffodils and Agapanthus (shifted from the interior of the Hump) in the Welcome Garden, adding topsoil to the original soil, and watering as I go. I've also dug out five barrowfuls of soil from next-door to start building up my new border.

I've only come inside for a drink and the quickest of breaks, honestly. But Non-Gardening Partner has lit the log burner, and my house is so cosy.

And then - hee hee - hee hee hee - I managed to get through to that rose nursery. Aha! This is my reward for doing functional garden work in the drizzle for three hours. And now it's raining properly. What a shame!

Even Later...

The rain stopped, so I burnt some rubbish. When hunting for Agapathus it was difficult to ignore the gum leaves strewn all over the paths in the Hump. So I raked up three barrowfuls, and trundled them over to the bonfire.

 Oops. Have just seen large patch of grass weed in drive.
Autumn Cat in Driveway

Sunday 6th April

High autumn (I made that up) is a wonderful time of the gardening year! Every day the tree colours deepen, with lots of early golds. Every day another rose re-blooms. It's another garden maintenance day for me. Non-Gardening Partner is trimming the Olearia hedges around the back of the house. My bonfire ash pile is a large landscape feature, a volcano in the middle of the back lawn. My first plan is to barrow the ash over to the fence-line and bring back a load of gum leaves from the Hump (started yesterday), dumping it on the grass nearby, etc. etc. Then I clean up the hedge.

 OK. Where exactly is out cricket pitch?
Cricket Delayed Due to Hedge Trimming

I'm far too busy today raking and barrowing to even think of my garden's plants. No wonder I am the palest imitation of a plantswoman. In my dreams! To bring some balance to this page, my rose order is as follows. All are sale price, 50% off, old stock in pots.

Ooh goodie... I love William Lobb. I already have one of him hanging (sounds better to say arching) over the water race.

 Sorry about this...

Much Later, Apres Gardening...

I spent two hours on my rake-and-dump circuit. Then I started the bonfire and raked up the hedge trimmings. I reckon I've wheeled that green barrow for miles/kilometres and have dumped nearly thirty loads on the fire. NGP has also been working hard, and the hedge looks wonderful. Alas - my job isn't nearly finished. I need to rake the mess up properly tomorrow.

Older-lady gardeners who have been bonfiring for five hours probably shouldn't take and publish 'selfies', but what the heck! It's high autumn, after all, I am exceedingly proud of myself, wrinkles, red cheeks, and all.

Now, as soon as NGP emerges from soaking in the bath, we are off to dig up a few roses out of a red-zoned garden (the house is due for demolition). It seems a bit harsh after such a strenuous day. But I look at it this way. I never, ever drag him around shopping malls on a Sunday afternoon. So digging up a few wee roses seems fair enough. Right?