Roseraie de lHay
Rugosa Rose

Wow. I need time to catch up. With my garden. With my garden journal. And with November, which is starting to fill up with the first 'proper' roses. Don't mean to insult you, Canary Bird (my earliest, a species rose which flowers in October).

Actually, so much is happening that I don't know where to begin. Aha! Make a list? Don't really feel like that. My garden is in a joyous, free-spirited state, and lists are somewhat measured and small-minded. Maybe just write lots of paragraphs...

RIP Forget-Me-Nots...

Guess what I've started doing? Pulling out forget-me-nots. So I'm getting sticky biddi-bids all over my clothes. I'm laying them down as mulch over the top of horse manure, and I reckon this is inspired. I've pulled lots out of the Pond Paddock lawn and sowed grass seed in the spaces. Yeay! It's germinated.

The first three days of November have been super hot, with no wind. So I've been shifting the hoses around every hour. My mid-season rhododendrons have started blooming, and excessive heat (nearly thirty degrees Celsius) can be rather a struggle for them. I've started planting out my flowering annuals, remembering to water them.

 A beautiful Viburnum plicata.
The Driveway Garden

Today I've spent ages trimming edges in the Driveway Lawn. Why does this take so long? Because the lawn mowing lacks quality control, that's why. And because Non-Gardening partner is a big softie and will not, even under strict orders, mow over any forget-me-nots in the lawn. So there are wild scoops and sudden dead-ends, with little islands of blue. Actually I think it's the prettiest look. Sorry, but I'm not a lawn fanatic.

The Driveway Lawn

I've also been working my way down the Allotment Garden. The irises are up and flowering. They've obviously been 'up' for weeks, but I haven't noticed them until today. The hot weather tickles them into action, I guess.

And RIP Alkanet...

I've also been digging out the biggest clumps of Alkanet (a weedy, perennial forget-me-not), because the huge stems and leaves start to over-shadow neighbouring plants. Alkanet is bee food, so flocks of honey bees follow me and my wheelbarrow of blue-flowering mess around. Flocks? Well, maybe not. But not exactly swarms, either. Just bees being nosy...

 Growing nicely.
The Allotment Garden

And guess what else? Two things I love dearly came together rather nicely this last weekend. My jazz choir sang at the Hurunui Garden Festival cocktail party, at Flaxmere, a large country garden. My friends and I had earlier been visiting some of the other gardens.

Visit to Flaxmere

Flaxmere itself has special memories for me. Back in the day, when Partner was Non-Gardening, we visited it together. I liked what I saw, and decided I wanted to be a country gardener like Penny Zino (the owner). And that was the beginning of twenty-five years of over-confidence and dirty fingernails, hee hee...

 Me looking scruffy in the front!
Jazz Choir at Flaxmere Gardens

Right. I'm going back to move the hoses. The deciduous Azaleas are really suffering. That beautiful flower colour deserves at least a bucketful of water. Part of being a good gardener is to slow down completely and water things by hand, right? I'd like NGP to sort out the big irrigation before too long.

 Beautiful shrubs,
Driveway Rhododendrons

Funny about the plum blossom in the Pond Paddock, though. Now it's there. Now it's gone. Time doesn't let its magic linger for long...