Here are some of my treasures. Mostly roses with some lilies thrown in for good measure. The garden does look rather good in selected spots. As you walk down the path you have to avert your eyes a little over the ‘works in progress’ but it is certainly coming along as it matures and there are more areas which lure you in to grab a drink, sit down and enjoy a quiet moment in the sun or in the shade depending where you are.
October is Rhododendron Festival time in Dunedin. The botanic gardens here are one of the primo sites to go and see them, but all over town they are amazing right now. So, with this understanding I went out and purchased one for my place. Her name is Rubicon and she is a brilliant red. I took her photo but it isn’t showing her in her best light, she has lovely little black dots in the throat of the flowers which look rather fetching.
Below is last years new rhodie. She is Princess Alice and I bought her because she is scented and I had been so impressed with the smell of the one in my friend’s garden every time I walked past it. She is white with a pink tinge when in bud. Lovely stuff. Again the photo is a bit rubbish, will post a better one if I can get one while she is still enveloped in blooms.
This is Penelope. She is a gorgeous thing and not just a pretty face. She smells delicious, and she grows in exactly the appropriate way for the spot she is growing in. Penelope is a Hybrid Musk rose and is dated 1924 and therefore officially ‘Old’ which is great, seeing as these are the ones I love the most, the old ones, though casting a eye around the garden this morning, it seems I like pretty much anything as long as it smells good and is a rose!
She is pale porcelain pink, a sprawly creature. I’m trying to teach her to grow up the fence so that her slightly droopy flowers can be gazed up into (Barbara Lea Taylor would be proud). The flowers just keep coming and coming and although these last autumn ones aren’t her best, and tend to go a bit pink around the edges, she still looks lovely and I am pleased that I put her near the front door. When I’m coming and going I can see her still blooming on, even though the weather is becoming colder and there isn’t much else in the garden that isn’t all overblown and had it. Garden clean-up imminent!
I took delivery of a trailer full of leaves from school. The caretaker there had them collected in a trailer, and they have been sitting for about two weeks just getting all manky and perfect for mulch, the ones at the bottom were even really hot, which means they were on their way to compost. They were distributed yesterday by the beloveds, who don’t understand my fixation with these leaves that everyone else ‘in their right minds’ is raking up and dumping. Hey people, dump them here, they turn horrible clay into great soil eventually.
I am experimenting with growing potatoes in tyres. This is batch number 1. Batch number 2 will get planted tomorrow. The heat generated in the compost within and the black rubber of the tyres is supposed to accelerate the growing and so if this turns out to be true there will be new potatoes for Xmas at the beginning of Advent! Hmm. I doubt it but anyway it is worth a try.
The tyres came for free from a tyre place, and the compost is grow your own and cheap stuff from the warehouse mixed with blood and bone (my fave). At the moment in the garden there are. Mustard greens (they will not make the cut next year) Corn Salad (fantastic stuff) various lettuces, tomatoes, zucchini x 2, and assorted others. I await developments with interest.
Lisa has given me a rose for my birthday. She is so beautiful, and Lisa is quite nice too! And in case anybody is wondering it is not actually my birthday, this is last years present, so a bonus present. Lisa is my gardening buddy so she knows about my obsession with old roses, so this is perfect. Now to get her planted.
‘Ispahan’, also known as ‘Pompon des Princes’, is a clear pink, half-open kind of Damask rose (an early type, introduced from the Middle east in European breeding during the crusading XIIIth century).
David Austin still recommends it highly as free flowering, among the first Old Roses to start blooming and the last to continue, and for its fine Damask fragrance. The name Ispahan is from the name of city of Isfahan in Iran. (This information is from Wikipedia)