Early November, the height of the Southern hemisphere’s Springtime, is equivalent [approximately] to May-June in the Northern hemisphere and how beautiful it has been this year. The warm Summer and Autumn, the wet Winter and early Spring have delighted the Rhododendrons, the Camellias, the ornamental shrubs and trees and even the conifers have grown three feet closer to the heavens.
I will not think about the cutting back and shifting of plants that will be on our work schedule come Autumn time. I will also try my best to keep the weeds and “thugs” under control. I guess these last mentioned will gain the upper hand, they always do, so let the forget-me-nots that creep through many of our borders have their days of glory.
I can always prevaricate and hope their all-embracing dance is smothering some of the less attractive undesirables.
We will have had five Garden Clubs come and visit us by the end of November. The effect of these visits, which I enjoy immensely, is to keep us on our toes. Yes, we have to keep the grass mowed, the borders trimmed, the flowers deadheaded, the soil composted, but we are more than compensated by the sharing of knowledge, the feeling of delight and joy that is passed on to us by our guests.
As I grow older, my memory for plant names is becoming a little dim, my brain is lazy and takes too much time to come up with the botanical names. Mind you, instant amnesia is the curse of most gardeners when they open their garden gates! But I am most grateful for the knowledgeable visitor who can refresh my mind again.
I am showing you many photographs this month. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is only partially true. I cannot give you the pleasure of smelling the perfumes which so many of the Rhododendrons (especially the whites) gladden my senses by my amateurish snaps.
I can’t sit you on one of our five rustic garden seats [first wiping the peacocks’s, er, gifts off] and allow the peace [ignore the peacocks’ shrieks] and romance of our gardens become part of you. I am unable to send you the delightful bird songs from the numerous native birds that are inhabiting our garden in ever-increasing numbers.
I am unable to give you gifts of seedlings and cuttings, even though I am convinced that the sharing and generous gardener will be repaid thousand times over.
With October drawing to a close, we have had one of the best autumn seasons that I can ever remember. The long dry spell only briefly interrupted briefly by a couple of damp days has produced one of the most colorful autumnal displays that I have ever seen in this country.
Acers, in particular, have colored up beautiful and without any storms to dislodge their leaves, have managed to hold on to them for longer that usual. Only in the last few days have they started to fall and leave beautiful carpets of gold strewn over parks and roadsides.
I have had to resort to the garden vac to clear a path to the front door which was covered with leaves and would blow into the hall every time the door was opened. I felt a certain amount of guilt at having to vac and shred them when she who must be obeyed continually complained about them blowing into the house.
It is one of the more pleasant jobs in the garden at this time of the year especially when the leaves are still dry, but in my excitement I forgot to put on the shoulder strap and it was quickly consumed and one end chewed up by the machine.
I than had to endure a lecture about health and safety from the rightful owner of the sewing machine as I cut the strap and sewed the two ends together again. In future I will put on the shoulder strap before starting the machine.
My problems were not over yet because as I emptied the first bag of leaves the rubber strap that attaches the bag to the machine snapped and I had to put on my thinking cap to figure out a solution. In the end the problem was solved with a cable tie secured firmly with the aid of a pair of pliers.
With the leaves taken care of I was able to get a look at what was happening in the front garden and to analysis the plans for a complete overhaul. Everything in the front garden is going to be removed and replaced with raised beds made with railway sleepers. At least that is the plan for the moment but is subject to change if I get any better ideas.