March marches on

Time flies bla bla. March is in her last week and has been rather a wonderful month to date, excepting 1 measly 5 mil shower hasn’t kept the green ball rolling as well as we would have liked. So as we approach the end of this hideous daylight saving extension, (currently ten to 7 am and still hardly dawn) Easter is looming, followed closely by our last Open Day of the season. I’m really hoping for some wet stuff before then. Currently our lovely bonus summer grass is all shriveling up and its back to all hands on hoses to keep everything in the garden looking ok.

The cattle store market could do with some rain to boost the prices too, so I can sell some before winter ! Being married to a stock agent is handy for doing well out of cattle on our 2 small farms, but one is never allowed to sell a single beast on anything but optimum markets…

Anyway…back to the subject of gardens. Despite the intermittent drought conditions we’ve been complaining about, the garden is in relatively good cheer. There has been very little die back this season so some of the smaller weakly plants have attained a better size. There are always those that appear to fade for reasons unknown and my answer to this is pretty much always MOVE IT. Roses cope with moving very well, especially if they are unhappy in their current position. It’s always better to wait for the Autumn rains to arrive before you start moving things, but if they are unhappy there’s no time like the present, so long as they are moving to a position within easy reach of the hose. If it’s still growing season a very hard chop back is required and whilst they may look dead soon after moving, invariably they will sprout away in a week or two and so long as they approve of their new position, will soon bound away. Often if it’s still Summer or early Autumn when I feel a rose needs saving, I put it in a suitably sized pot for ease of watering and leave it there till it gets away and fills its pot with roots when it can be planted in a new position with little disturbance.

When I moved my extensive garden up North down to the Waikato, I moved many hundreds of mature roses, many of which had become deeply unhappy in my increasingly neglected old garden. I think in the end I had 3 roses which failed to grow again, the majority by far took on a new lease of life . Also, disturbing roses and replanting deep often encourages them to slough off the root stock and make their own roots. As the main aim in my life is to get all my roses growing on their own roots, this suited my purpose well!

There is going to be a lot of rosacious movement at 761 Kaiaua Rd this Autumn/Winter as bold plans are afoot in both gardens.

The making of a new border (if you’re an artist and a perfectionist!)

My daughter has appropriated a 4th  horse paddock into her garden (very small paddocks to be fair) which is a rolling hill face with a steep back to it. She plans on planting “wild” roses (big once flowerers) on this steep part, with un tamed grass in between. and has created a cool garden close to the house. I’ve named it “Rose Hill” but I don’t think she has…

Some of the really too big Old Fashioneds in my border are heading in that direction. Of course you can cut them back all the time, but I like them to grow to their full potential if you’ve got the space. They’ll be replaced by a selection of new old roses which I’ve ordered  mostly from Tasman Bay. No doubt in time they will also grow too big, but them’s the breaks!

Meanwhile in my messy unartistic garden I’ve run out of room for new roses. I tend to be a plantsperson rather than a proper gardener and really are more into collecting plants….especially roses!! Many of the Old Fashioned roses are getting harder to get hold of and disappearing from commerce in NZ, so in a moment of madness (probably after 1 glass of Shiraz too many) I decided to order all the OF roses Tasman Bay has on its current catalogue if I didn’t already have them. Hence I’m expecting about 100 new roses in June. OOPS…Hence the need for some new space. I still have room for more Teas and older HTs on my “Tea Bank” which was born in lockdown last Autumn, but now I need room for a major influx of True OFs and Hybrid Perpetuals. lovely grassy roundabout is having to be transformed into the new Polyantha and Floribunda garden, which all have to be moved from their current homes to make way for the new guys on the block. FUN!

Tea roses start getting truly happy in Autumn, ready to rock on thru the Winter. Archiduc Joseph is no exception.

Hence also why April 11th will probably be our last Open Day till Spring by which time hopefully all transformations will be complete!