Spring has Sprung!

September is in it’s last week now, and I think the Woes of Winter are forgotten. However we are having a very wet Spring! Surprise, surprise! We’ve managed some lovely days tho, including today. I’m currently wasting a perfect Spring day doing updates and playing word games on the computer, but it’s just an extended breakfast break after some early weeding and mulching.

We also scored a lovely day for our Open Day last weekend. We seem to specialise in getting  luck weather for these events, (shouldn’t say that, it might pour all Labour weekend now) and last Sunday was a pearl among very average days before and after. We had a bumper turnout, a bit hectic n the first couple of hours as everyone seems to come early to be first in on the grab stakes !

This little darling called Wanganui Gem is usually the first of the Irises to flower. Often the last too, she flowers multiple times a season

We are planning our next days for the Sunday and Monday of Labour weekend. By then the gardens will really be booming and the roses on the cusp of magnificence. We will also be having another 1 in November when the magnificence really hits. On the rose front that is, there’s plenty of other magnificence starting to happen now…the Bearded Irises are running up their flower buds, the early Clemati are opening and various perennials like my favourite – aquilegias, are sending up their flower heads.

The roses are leafing up well, and many are having what I call “can’t wait for Rose Time” flowers. The bush may be only partially clothed, but flowers are opening on the tips. This seems especially true of the Hybrid Perpetuals this season.

indica major
Indica Major, a species China rose. A “once flowerer” that starts flowering in September and carries on to December. A real toughie that can thrive in any conditions

Roses in September are a rare sight, bar the few very early flowering species like the Banksias, fortuniana, Park’s Tea Scented, Indica Major  etc, but this season the Teas are still flowering from Winter, instead of taking a quick 5 between Winter and Spring flushes and many of the repeat flowerers have a few or even many flowers on them. Crazy stuff!

As usual, I finished my Winter tasks in the nick of time, getting around all the roses with a dousing of fungicide, eco oil and for the leafy ones some Nitrosol Marine. I try to include this in my tank as it serves dual purposes of feeding the growth and deterring pests from munching on it. Pruning is something I don’t really go in for as most of the roses I grow come in the “shrub” category and don’t really need it. I do try to tidy the bushes up a bit and give the occasional necessary attack prune to candidates who require it. As my roses get intermittent “pruning” thru the year in the quest for cutting wood, I only bother with some cutting out of dead wood and tidying at pruning time.

Last Summer I went systematically around the old David Austins making cuttings with the “trimmings” as I went. It was quite a mammoth several day enterprise (there are well over 100 of them) which mostly resulted in pots full of dead cuttings. However I did get some interesting “takes” including a few I’ve never managed to grow before, so that made the whole prickly endeavour worthwhile…

I’m currently in the midst of potting up Autumn cuttings which have rooted and have some good results, so should have some new kids on the block available soon.

Other things of note in the garden are the Spring bulbs, which are having a really outstanding show this season. I’ve never seen so many flowers on the various daffodils , the earlies have been and gone, but there’s still lots intermingling with the Irises, Spraxias and Friesias. Snails are quite a problem with these, chewing the flowers, often when still in the bud. I don’t like to broadcast too much slug bait around with the resident dog population, and to a large extent rely on late night forays with a light and gumboots to control the population. Unfortunately my main bulb area is a bit of a wilderness and not easy to find and crush the culprits…In daylight when I’m weeding, I often find giant caches of the slimy mongrels hiding around pots or on certain plants. I gather these for my hungry chooks! They love a good snail fest.

Hard to believe the lawn will ever look like this again…but of course it will, just as soon as the blessed rain stops!

I’m running out of September now, and running out of things to say, except its raining again and we have a heavy rain warning out for tomorrow, the first day of October. Sigh, every time it dries up a bit, it rains some more! Ah well, better that than a drought, and I won’t have to water the pots and the nursery after all!