Magnificence approaching in the garden

October heralds the start of the real Spring glory. November is probably the “Highlight” month, but somehow the promise is even more exciting…every day more perennials pop up, inevitably some from under or very close to something else which has been poked in while it was dormant! I’m sure none of you are this disorganized and probably mark spots when they are going down… I, however, always think the same…”I’ll remember that was there” !

winter colour by the back door

Then there’s the building of the roses…small winter leaves give way to big spring ones which start to produce the buds. I get the feeling the roses are going to be a bit ahead of schedule this season, but then I think I think that most years!

The Spring Open days so far have been popular with plenty of punters, now the roses are poised we are working towards the November ones ,which should attract people wanting to enjoy the roses doing their Spring Fling.

Sneak preview is flowering again having already flowered in the winter

The Irises are also looking extra good this season, the Bearded are opening already and the Louisianas and Japanese/Siberians are racing along and not far behind. Then there’s the Salvias and all the multitude of interesting perennials getting ready to show off.

One of the main interests in our garden is the David Austin collection, which contains most of the early Austins which were all imported from England by the late Great Trevor Griffiths. These were introduced from 1961 to 1995. After that date an ever increasing amount have been introduced annually, but only a small proportion have ever been brought into NZ. This ramble is leading up to a rather sad anecdote concerning this aforementioned collection…

The eternal problem of predators in a country garden continues. Winter heralded  a small plague of rabbits (the hoped for new strain of calici virus hasn’t appeared here yet) and the smaller Austins along the front of the gardens took rather a hammering. Enter Head Gardener Hamilton with back pack on board, filled with fungicide and marine Nitrosol, guaranteed to deter herbivorous vermin. Without a care in the world, but quite a lot of pain in the back, she drenches the struggling front rowers, and having noticed some spotty leaves in the nursery, she gives those a boost too.

Nek minute she notices the fungicide sprayer in the shed. She has sprayed the lot with the herbicide sprayer.

SHE IS FIRED!!!!!!!!

This is a very sad story, hopefully the ending will be less sad….they seem to be pulling through. But if you happen to be coming to see the roses next month you’ll probably be able to spot the ones I’m talking about…

Grass Roots Roses - Mrs Doreen Pike
Mrs Doreen Pike didn’t need spraying as rabbits don’t like rugosas…so she and her children in the nursery are very happy