Sneaky October!

Sneaky October! I've been a bit distracted writing music and going to music rehearsals (it's the start of the silly singing season). Today I got out properly in the garden to work hard all day. And discovered it was already Day Three of October. Oops.

 And a late flowering Camellia.
Crab-Apple Blossom

But I've cleared part of the Hen House Gardens, planted some Astelias, added compost and horse manure, and watered it madly. Meanwhile Non-Gardening Partner checked out the big irrigation (it's very early in the season to be needing to use this). There is a slight blockage in the main pipe which gravity feeds the pond with water.

 Tasmanian I think.
Olearia Tree Daisy

I've been watering the Hen House Garden really sensibly - holding the hose, making sure the daisy shrubs, the white rugosa rose, and the trees get a good soaking. Trying not to drown the worms in the horse manure...

 And a red maple.
Canary Bird Rose

Monday October 5th

Good news! The big irrigation is fixed, and will be whooshing around for the next two nights, to complement my well-directed little hoses. It seems very early to be having to top up the moisture, though. I've started planting out my self-propagated perennials - Stachys and Lupins - mainly in the little garden in front of the cottage. In the glass-house my annual seedlings are doing well, and many batches are now outside to harden off. As usual, I have excessive numbers of lettuces and Cornflowers - lovely!

The roses are growing!

Roses everywhere have lots of fresh green growth now. The first rose Canary Bird bravely blooms on, while the next to flower (Banksia lutea and Fruhlinsgold) are plentifully in bud. Funny that all three are lemon yellow. Later rhododendrons are starting to bloom, and they are mainly lilac and pale pink. Pastel colours all around - all so beautiful...

 Late flowering.
Cherry Blossom in the Pond Paddock

And thinking of pastels, let's not forget the late blossom trees. Oh joy! Walking around with the dogs I am surrounded by sprinklings of fluffy marshmallows and icing sugar. Most of the apples (and crab-apples) are finishing, while the deeper pink Kanzan cherries are flowering. The Cercis trees produce tiny blossom flowers which are rather hard to spot - but very beautiful.

 The lovely lilac rhododendron in over to the left.
Pebbles and the Apple Tree Blossom

The eagle-eyed, perceptive reader of gardening blogs will note a fair amount of general gushing and not much hands-on gardening news on this page. The silly singing season is definitely to blame, with choir rehearsals each night, and pages and pages of music to learn. And the shearing (not George) - the next two days will be sheep days.

Merino Fleece

Thursday October 8th

The sheep have been down the road, shorn, and are all back home again, their backs striped blue with lice treatment. Shearing day has been an absolute hoot, possibly one of the busiest and most bizarre days of my life. This morning I worked in the sheds with the fleeces, this afternoon I helped to pile the sheep back into the trailer for the short drive home.

Then into the shower, to emerge in fancy clothes, clean hair and fingernails - off I zoomed to play cool jazz piano for a couple of hours at a posh cocktail party (hopefully not smelling too sheepy). Then another half-hour zoom, this time on the new motorway (first time, very exciting), to the Catholic Cathedral to join a two hour rehearsal of Haydn's Mass in Bb with my choir and a rather large orchestra.

By 9:30 I'd been on my feet all day and was feeling somewhat dazed. Missed a few entries in the Sanctus. Oops. Never-the-less, a day of much enjoyment, and rich variety...