Here we go again…

Late again…don’t know how this keeps happening…the months fly by in a haze of gardens and cows with very little computer time! A certain amount of time at this time of year is spent in rapt examination of new faces big and small appearing in all the gardens. many are old friends reappearing and this year especially, many are new kids on the block.


Tough old species Iris Japonica with her ethereal blooms

Excitement all round! October is ruled by Aquilegias and early Irises, along with the first of the Roses and Clemati. Not to mention many many lovely perennials.



We’ve been having a mixed bag on the weather front, that’s Spring for you…possibly a bit more of the wet and windy than really necessary, making spraying for fungus and weeds rather problematic. However I have achieved spraying pretty much all the roses this last week using my super new (well second hand but new to me!) motorised bike sprayer. This baby really pumps out the spray with no pumping, carrying or dragging required. Downside is it is rather costly on the product front….I used 200 litres getting around the roses! Just a one off for the Spring though, after this I’ll only spray the disease prone. One of the problems of having a collection of Old Austins is that some of them were definitely not bred with high health in mind. Plus they’re all crammed into the gardens together with no masks on, spreading their germs all around!

As November approaches there are more and more different roses opening everyday. When roses are cut back hard to be posted bare rooted it gets them leafing up and flowering a lot quicker than their counterparts in the garden having to clothe long established canes. Therefore all the “new” Old Fashioned roses in my gardens are already starting to open their first blooms, whereas others of the same class will be 2 or 3 weeks away yet. I have many many long and complicated French names to learn all at once…lucky the language is in my blood which helps somewhat.

The big border is starting to come to life

Alice and I zoomed down to Katikati last week to visit the Amazing Iris garden and of course buy quite a few new ones to plant amongst the roses….naughty… They’re a bit addictive at this time of year, so showy. Something else I’ve been sneakily collecting for a few years now is Deciduous Azaleas and this year for the first time they’re making quite a little show amongst the Tea roses. I didn’t realise how thirsty these shrubs are and nearly lost some over the last couple of dry summers. I think they’re all good once they’re well established. They’re certainly looking very happy this week.


Sadly for everyone we’re all mostly locked into or out of somewhere so the garden can’t be shared as it normally would be at this time of year, seems almost pointless with no November Open Days! But them’s the breaks, hopefully a few locals will come and enjoy it. In the meantime its heads down to keep things under control for when the world is released from bondage!