1/14: wishing you a rosy new year

Into the second month of summer in Melbourne as we enter the year 2014, it is ironic that I am posting photos of roses against an azure sky. The reality is somewhat different, as I am looking out the window at a bleak sky and steady rain. However, I am not too perturbed, as it is fantastic for the garden, and I have plenty of things to do inside.

The Christmas tree has been undressed and dismantled, all the other decorations put away, and my first batch of plum jam for the season has been made. I even went to Zumba; a great start to the new year. But don’t think I am over-efficient, as I started taking down the decorations a few days ago.

As the title suggests, I wish you all a Happy New Year with the hope that you can fulfill all your goals and dreams in 2014 and beyond.

peach roses offset by an azure sky these roses are just peachy white roses




310/366: roses ready for the cup

With Melbourne Cup Day tomorrow, much is made of the roses which have been tended carefully to provide their best blooms for the highlight of the Victorian Racing Carnival. It’s a tradition: the second Tuesday in November, where the nation stops for the two mile or 3200 metre race.

The roses in my garden do not get such singular attention, and yet they continue to surprise me with their beauty, year in and year out.

308/366: roses are red

In the rose garden in the backyard we were greeted to a lovely sight on our return from our two week holiday in Thailand.

Roses are renowned for being ready for the Spring Racing Carnival in Victoria, and ours are no different.

I only noticed today that the red of the rosebush I received one Mother’s Day is the same shade as the one on the rose arbour. What a lovely coincidence.

262/366: roses say the nicest things

Along with many other people, the rose is probably my favourite flower, and out of all the colours, a red rose signifies passion and true love beyond any other colour.

I have a particular soft spot in my heart for the rose bush I was given for Mother’s Day years ago, which continues to blossom year after year, much to my delight.

The photo below was not taken by me, but my oldest sister, Heather Johnson, in 1994, which she framed and gave to me as a gift, and it remains my most treasured present from her.

203/366: my own personal labourer

Although I am the main gardener in the family, there are times when a task is too hard for me to tackle alone. It is then that I bring in my own personal labourer, aka my husband.

We have always formed a good team in the garden, whereby I have ideas, and he either poo-hoos the notion, which makes me sad,though always with a practical reason why it cannot be.  Better yet, he agrees with me and provides the labour necessitated by said idea.

Today it was moving three standard roses from a too-shady area where they were growing on an angle in efforts to chase the sun.

Thanks to him, now all my roses are in one spot. I am a somewhat compartmentalised person, so grouping them all together works well, and should hopefully provide a mass of magnificent roses next blooming time.

It’s nice to imagine the beautiful blooms that may appear on both sides of the steps.

198/366: rose pruning time

I attacked the roses with a vengeance, and now they are all trimmed and ready for spring growth. Even the flower carpet roses had a thorough haircut. After I give them a good feed they should be all raring to go.

The recycling bin is full once again, and I rescued the last three roses and put them in a vase, having fun trying to find a good position from which to photograph them.

It’s hard to believe the next photo is the same rose sitting behind the taller rose.

First, I put the vase on the window sill to give a view of the front garden.

Then, still in our bedroom, the green wall provided a nice background colour.

And finally, I put the vase on the coffee table in the lounge.


154/366: rose beauty

One of my favourite flowers is the rose, with its exquisite shape. Many have wonderful scents as well as beauty. However, no perfumes or talcum powders can ever quite recreate that aroma. Manufactured rose scent is not to my liking. I’ll just appreciate the original, genuine item in the garden.

To me, a rose at the bud stage, just before it opens, is perfection.

135/366: the rose arbour cometh

While the kids were young, for our wedding anniversary each year, we would steal away for a romantic weekend. In January 1993, for our eighth anniversary, we stayed at The Cottage at Sherbrooke House, up in the Dandenongs. It was situated next door to a plant nursery, and we fell in love with the rose arbour that took you through to Statues. Naturally, we set about planning how we could make one ourselves.

My husband is a handy man, so together we devised a template of arches, which we had professionally prepared. With help from Peter, the rose arbour came to fruition towards the end of that year. The front section still stands to this day; the fate of the rest of it is detailed on day 82: renovate or relegate?