3 Cheers for a normal Summer!

February is here, surely the worst Summer month in the garden (some would argue the worst month, period) The days are the hottest and the sun is the sizzliest. Trying to get new little things in the ground to fill gaps is a battle…miss a day of watering and they’re history, every day is a battle to keep the garden alive for the Open Days!!!

Then whammo, a beautiful summer storm, just like Niwa promised us this season! We are protected from the Easterly wind, so just love these events, cos we don’t get the gale force wind, just the life giving rain, falling gently from the sky. Even some not so gentle today, and we’re currently sitting on nearly 30 mil with more promised for tomorrow. Hallelujah!!! What a difference to ones outlook some wet stuff makes. For several days to come I can concentrate on pulling out the newly germinated weeds instead of watering. Yay.

Open day hopefully looming this weekend, Covid depending. Looking hopeful at this stage and the weather looks great for it too and the grass will be green instead of brown!

I love walking in the garden in the rain during summer, you can literally hear the plants drinking and singing happy songs. No water from your hose can ever make a plant happy (well a rose in any case) like they’re happy in the rain. The things that I can’t water (can’t water everything or I ‘d never get anything else done…) like the Hydrangeas have all perked up this afternoon and no longer look like SPCA cases.

The roses have done well this season, we’ve only had a couple of bouts of nasty humidity so the diseases that threatened to consume in the Spring have been kept at bay by some intermittent spraying of the most disease prone. The other really good news is that the local possum population has also stayed down this summer. My tenacious little German Spitz is an excellent possum spotter and can indeed move on to killing them if she can get the right hold on them. Mostly she chases them up trees and then “shows”. With no training whatsoever she sits at the base of the tree just like a drug dog at the airport! Only problem is it’s dark and nobody knows she’s “showing”! Chances are I’ve let her out and forgotten all about her. Sometimes she has to show for hours before I realise she’s missing and go out with a torch to find her sitting patiently under a tree waiting for someone with a gun to appear!

Anyway, as luck, or possibly good management, will have it , there hasn’t been much “showing” this summer, so the roses have had a good break and the tiny cuttings ones that were in danger of dying last summer have managed to attain a viable size.

Maman Cochet’s Spring blooms are usually big balls of mush…Autumn is a different story

Well I still haven’t bought that I phone and February has moved onto March. Weeks passing by for want of an original photo…As it has become Autumn in the meantime the roses are starting to make some nicer blooms. The summer flowers are so floppy and fast,,,some drop their petals as they open. The autumnal ones are always my favourite, not the abundance and largesse of Spring, but some real class blooms start to appear at this time of year (depending on whether you get enough rain to produce them!)

Autumn flowers from the Austin gardens, these were picked in April following good Autumn rains