Sunday, December 20, 2009

A lazy Sunday afternoon

Here it is, the last weekend before Christmas. Where did the year go? I should be finishing off my Christmas shopping, but I severely lack the motivation to even get into the car. Mike has bought me a new computer for Christmas, well almost new and we are going to pick it up this evening at 5.00pm. How exciting!

We've actually had some rain in the last few days, and the forecast is for more this coming week including Christmas Day on Friday. That should make the binge eating that gets done on that day a little easier, nothing like hot roast turkey on a 40 degree day!

Some of the days last week reached up to the 40's and I have lost most of the murrayas that I bought online. They are quite pot bound and water I have put on them has mostly just run right through. Or around. I should have been much more diligent.

I am proving to myself the benefit of deadheading roses. Here is Lucetta's next flush of flowers, having been deadheaded after the first flush.

I do so love this rose! It was on my 'maybe' list when I was putting in my bareroot rose order with Mistydowns and only made the actual order when something else wasn't available.

Echinacea in the front garden. How brilliantly architectural are these flowers! I grew some more from seed this spring which are now planted in the birdbath bed and they are tough plants, they wilt somewhat with the hot sun and recover quickly with a drink or some cooler weather.

I had a visit from this wasp the other day - here it is on the INSIDE of the family room window screen. It's not one of the aggressive paper wasps, I think this one builds a mud nest. It was almost 3cm long and I didn't much appreciate it coming inside which it did again and again. I don't know if it was looking for somewhere to build a nest or if it was spider hunting. In the end, I got out the surface spray and it decided to go somewhere else!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's a Bad Hair Day

Yesterday afternoon, being somewhat cooler than of late, I was able to be out on the back verandah and I gave the doggies a lovely summer hair cut!

Here's dear old Daisy a couple of weeks ago, looking all hairy like any good Westie should.

Here she is last night, looking like she's been caught under the lawn mower! She looks a little traumatised, doesn't she! But, as I have told her many times since the clippers came out, she will be much, much cooler.

Poor old thing, her thirteen and a quarter years seems to have caught up on her just recently. She is making no effort to come back up the back stairs, she can go down okay, but then barks and wails for me to come and carry her up. Hopefully it is just a temporary thing but I do have thoughts running through my head about how I can construct some sort of ramp for her.

I feel quite bad about being disrespectful yesterday to the Iceberg roses in the garden. They truly do flower forever and that should be enough, shouldn't it? Then I try to justify my apathy by saying 'but they've got NO perfume!' which really isn't entirely true. There's just something about their 'legs' I don't like. The lady who owned the house before us and who started the garden, had planted six standard white Icebergs along the front of the house.

She had also planted this rose, which I think is Angel Face, but I may very well be wrong. It has had a huge flush of flowers and now just has a few, and this is one of them. I love the wavy edge on the petals.

I wish there were more roses like this one and perhaps a few less white Icebergs.

Enough blogging - get working!

(ps - wasps are gone to God!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So this is summer . . .

And my gardening mojo (if I ever pretended to have one!) has completely disappeared! We have had days in a row of 30+ degrees celsius and it absolutely, resolutely refuses to rain. I have been confined to the air conditioning and have gone ever so slightly deranged! :-<
So I gave myself a small slap and picked up the camera for a quick tour of the garden. Now, let's find some positive things to cheer ourselves up with!

Ambridge Rose at the front corner is being cheery with some nice blooms and the Christmas lily behind has put on quite a show. Sorry, lily, you're two weeks early! Will you still be blooming on Christmas Day - I would suspect not. So much for a vase of lilies on the Christmas table, but this is an expedition of positives so we won't go there!

Here is Crepuscule soldiering on bravely on the archway at the side gate. Some nights, when I'm sleeping fitfully, I hear in my head a voice from some other realm commanding "Deadhead! You must deadhead!" So I have tried with Crepuscule and maybe that explains why it is flowering on and others in the garden have very much gone on vacation!

Please note that whiz-bang new water feature! What a pity it isn't sitting level! Look, you can't have everything you want and this is a trip of positives.

Also note the brown-ness of the grass through the gate and on the far hill. The front lawn is completely brown and crisp, except of course for the weeds - why is that, that the grass dies but the weeds live on . . . and on . . . and on!

This is another lily I planted last year, called Triumphator. So pretty.

I must make a note to buy more of these. And maybe next year, I could get them flowering at the same time as the roses around them, Brother Cadfael, St Cecilia and Mme Isaac Periere, who have all had a flush of flowers and are now having a bit of a sleep.

Here is a flower on the Alliums I bought online this year. Look at that funny little flower bit on the top that grew longer than all the others - no glass ceiling for that girl, she was going to stand out if it was the last thing she did!

Okay, I know I've been derogatory to Iceberg roses in the past, especially white ones and even more especially standardised white ones - but this is a day of positives and I can truthfully say that neither hell nor high water (ooo, wouldn't that be nice!) nor hot, dry weather seems to halt the floriferousness of these roses. I've so wanted to use that word!

So, hooray for the positive attitude to floriferousness of the Iceberg! (That'll do now, you can't use 'floriferousness' in every sentence.)

Another shot of Ambridge Rose. At least, I think it's Ambridge - I'm just having a little moment of self doubt. I will have to check that out and make myself a label with the correct name.

In the meantime, whatever it is is looking very fler . . . . . . - it's got quite a lot of flowers on it, hasn't it?!

And lastly, Jean Galbraith. Just lovely flowers. It's growing right next to whatever that last one was which we will call Ambridge until such time as we find out differently, and between the two of them, there are flowers which range in colour from soft pink through all shades of apricot to almost clear yellow. What a clever gardener I am to think of that!

I'm so not - absolutely all of my gardening skills (??) were learned at the School of Plonk! And not the sort you drink either! It's where you buy a plant and you plonk it in the garden and hope for the best!

So I have somewhat cheered myself up with my little trip of positives. Now I am steeling myself for this evening when I must take a new can of Wasp Killer spray down to the swimming pool and use it on a wasps' nest which I discovered yesterday hanging on the underside of the pool edge. I discovered it when I found myself surrounded by a swarm of wasps all determined to give me a piece of their minds - or their tails! I had on a very bright pink dress and lucky for me, they seemed to be more attracted to the dress than to the end of my nose and I escaped without injury! So I have purchased the toxic spray which has a range of four metres - so I will have a four metre start when I spray and run like the clappers with the wasps in hot pursuit. Wish me luck!