Better late than seldom…

“Mlle Francesca Kruger” producing perfect blooms in August

…A favourite quote from my father! Not sure what happened to August…lost in a blur of gardening and tending my broken husband who foolishly prolapsed a disc and became non-operational…progress is painfully slow, but at least it exists.

Back to the garden. A mixed bag on the weather front, over-all I would say better than expected as Winters go. Now it’s SPRING there is light at the end of the feed crisis tunnel and the garden is certainly springing into action.

Lockdown is quite a bonus for us usually, as partners don’t have to work so much and there’s man muscle available (although my partner has been extremely unhelpful!).  Having my favourite Cousin locked in our bubble has made up for that somewhat…she doesn’t have man muscle, but is a weeder and amender “sans pareil”.

The new polyantha garden, this space formally wasted on lawn!

Between us (and with a small amount of help from the “neighbours”!)we have turned the giant sea of weeds and overgrown plants into a tidy thing of imminent beauty! All ready for our scheduled Open Day on September 19th…Then along came Covid again. Now it’s a matter of trying to keep control of things till we’re all in Level 2 and we can reschedule. In the meantime the nursery is bursting with plants, every time I spend an hour or 2 gardening I then have to spend the same amount of time in the shed potting up bits and making cuttings from the garden discards .

The “Strip” has been enlarged somewhat to become home to lots of new Hybrid Perpetuals

I made a big order of roses from Tasman Bay this year, trying to grab any varieties I don’t already have before they disappear off the catalogue. I was expecting them in June as per instructions. I duly chose places for the 80 or so for my garden, I had to build a couple of new gardens to find the spaces! As possum killing and fishing expeditions unfolded I laboriously dug deep holes and inserted bodies at the bottom, then covered them to the right depth for a new rose to be inserted. The best laid plans….due to Covid affecting imported lifting staff and badly scheduled innundations, Tasman Bay got very behind on there lifting regime. June passed, then July, no sign of the boxes…In the meantime the bodies started to rot in their holes, giving off delicious odours to passing Jack Russells and Dachshunds. Sadly many were dug up and consumed before the roses finally arrived in August!

The “Brests”, formally home to the Polyanthas now contains a selection of Old Fashioned varieties

However they were all planted in their appropriate places amidst more untimely inundations. They are now sprouting happily around the garden, all surrounded by a wreath of smelly sheeps wool which will deter the rabbits hopefully. The possums have to be deterred with a gun. If a newly planted rose gets it’s first shoots chewed off even once there are bad consequences, more than once is usually the death knell.

So, Spring is here, always exciting to see any roses leafing and budding up, new family members even more so. Many of the new ones are once flowering Gallicas and Mosses so one can only hope for a few flowers on the old branches this season and won’t see them in their full glory till 2022.