Real Winter Weather Woes…

Don’t you just love alliteration! W seems to an excellent letter for Winter Woes. I haven’t even mentioned wild, windy, wet, watery or worrisome yet!

July is here with a vengeance. The Northern hemisphere are having their party party time, the main event we follow in this family is Bastille Day…Le Quatorze Juillet…having had a very French, half French mother. The flag would always be flying at the gate and special friends invited to a magnificent French Dinner. My 2 sisters and I tend to keep up the tradition, so my sister in Banks Peninsula is flying up this week for the occasion. (and to meet her new niece)

Having a dose of French blood is very useful in the Old Fashioned rose business, as so many of them were bred by the French, and carry magnificent French names. For those poor people who don’t speak the lingo they can appear un pronounceable, but I guess blood will out, and I find rolling the names off my tongue a delight. Dealing with the conglomeration of vowels in the spelling also comes naturally.

water tables are waaaaay up

Back to the wearisome Winter weather…I’m happy to have made the decision to set stock the cows on both the farms this winter. They are spread out with a few locked in each paddock, and so far, due to the unusually warm weather, they are all getting enough grass to eat. It means I don’t have to brave the elements daily to move them and it keeps the mud at bay as they’re not amassing at and trampling thru gateways or galloping like mad things with excitement when they get a new paddock. Nothing more depressing than putting a herd in a paddock of soft fresh winter grass and seeing it get churned into mud in minutes! Leave that to the horses, they don’t need a new paddock to gallop in, they just gallop regardless. The horses still need daily feeding to keep their condition ok, a lot of them are standing in mud waiting, but them’s the breaks if you’re a destructive horse in Winter…

Whilst the roses are by and large having a bit of a break, you can still find splashes of colour in my rose infested garden. Down in the Shwubbewy the Magnolias are all coming out in their beautiful winey shades, and other Winter flowering shrubs make more bright spots. A suckering bush of Hypericum , which would probably appear garish in Spring or Summer, is such a cheerful site in the depths of Winter. Also the Tibouchinas are flowering, not to mention the Camellias, Gordonias and Michelias.

Of course not all the roses are “dead”…the Teas and Chinas carry on bravely producing some much appreciated Winter blooms. One or 2 of our homebred roses fit in here, Weiti Sherry, a seedling from Mutabilis stays in leaf and flower throughout the year like it’s parent, and a new kid on the block Weiti David, has managed to make a July show of much smaller than usual lemon yellow flowers. This is a seedling from Charles Austin, crossed with who knows what, but I’m guessing a Noisette judging by it’s smell and the fact that it is fully clothed in July. He’s a very thorny beast and seems to want to be a climber. True to breed, at this stage I’ve had no success at getting a cutting to strike, despite multiple attempts. Our home grown seedlings are usually very generous about growing from cuttings, but par for the course, the one with big yellow double flowers that everyone would want, won’t grow!

Back to the weather…weeks have passed and we’re on the last day of July now, which is why I really need to publish July’s blog NOW!!!

It’s a good morning for it as there are freezing squalls happening outside and I’m slightly broken after my gumboot slipped on a garden edge whilst carrying a large clump of Eucomis I’d dug for division a couple of days ago. I crashed to the ground (hurled the Eucomis) and took out the wheelbarrow handle with my rib cage on the way down. Everything hurts…I possibly have another cracked rib…(something I specialise in) So…July….I’ve decided there is only one good thing about July, and that’s when you get to the end of it you won’t see it for another 11 months. We’ve surpassed 300 mils of rain this July, so it’s certainly been a wet one.

Tomorrow will be August. Cold and usually the muddiest month, but there is light at the end of the tunnel in August. The days are noticeably longer and Spring is in the air! The Spring bulbs are definitely having their time already, the early Daffodils are very prolific this year , lots of cute Hyacinths showing their faces and already some of the Freesias and Anemones are flowering.

Delightful Cora.

My first grandchild is blooming too, looking forward to better weather for garden adventures as she turns into a genuine person at 3 months old.