Home and Away

I’ve been extremely slack on the blogging front lately. No excuses, just slack.

Last month I  had a super holiday in Banks peninsula with my sister at her new property at Port Levy. My daughter came along for the road trip, she is a recent gardener convert and always keen for a break from the eternal horses. She doesn’t do things by halves either and is busily producing a little Sissinghurst across the paddocks.

I digress…back to the road trip. So we spent the ten days doing nothing but looking at public and private gardens and going to garden centres! We visited gardens where you were welcome with a spade as well as secateurs!!! and needless to say, my ute was soon full to bursting point. By the homeward journey if you opened the back door to let the dogs out (they came on the ferry with us) heaps of stuff fell out everywhere! So I may have some interesting new roses available later in the year, depending on the mood of the Cutting Gods…

Speaking of which, it’s that time of year again, the secateurs are going flat out. The afore mentioned daughter and her also very keen boyfriend are going to have a go at budding in the summer. They have young eyes and nimble fingers and I’ve invested what seemed an exorbitant amount on a roll of “Buddy tape” , so I’ve put in cuttings of Indica Major and Multiflora for them to experiment with. Whilst I’m all for own root roses, there are times when it would be really useful to be able to bud some roses to keep them going long enough to get a cutting to grow… Making cuttings can be very hard on small or slow growing roses as it takes so much wood to fill a pot with cuttings which then repeatedly die…This is why the last few years I’ve not had many Tea roses available, as many of them are recovering slowly from the move and don’t have much wood to spare.

Unlike many modern roses, a lot of Teas resent pruning, so cutting them off short in winter is not going to invigorate them to double in size the next season.

Autumn is my favourite season, not so exciting as Spring, but the weather (when it’s co-operating) is perfect, the leaves are beautiful (till they fall off all over everything!) and there’s nothing like a good fire, inside or out, and it’s a great season for fires. We’ve lost so many trees in the last couple of years due to storms and disease, not to mention making light for new gardens, so we have many massive log piles around the farm. My garden dunnage (which can be pretty major!) is added to these piles, and when burnt, I grab the woodash to apply back to the soil to add the very important potash.

So the weather has been behaving of late, but the many storms and high winds we had in April made a fair mess of the roses, and rather spoilt the autumn blooms. Hopefully the Teas and Chinas will get in another flush before it gets really cold. In the meantime I’ll be off to take some more cuttings…