A Focus on Roses … and Garden Progress

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A hard prune for sprawling roses. I plan to add another bank of roses in front of these.

As we head towards rose time, I’m getting my roses in shape (and ‘in’). This weekend I took the major step in pruning the original Convent roses. These roses seem to be pretty old bushes and aren’t in the best condition. Playing it safe (in case I do damage with a hard prune), I’ve taken cuttings.

Not being very experienced with roses, I’ve been watching and getting advice from neighbours. In Sydney most of the roses would have been pruned at least a month ago, but I’ve been wary of the heavy frosts. Anyway, after being given the go-ahead from one of the Kandos rose experts, I took to them with gusto. I’ve also given them a good feed. My neighbour, D, who has in the past stepped in to look after them in periods of neglect, gave me the thumbs up.

I gave some of the roses I planted last year a light trim but left the climbers as I was under strict instruction not to prune these for the first two years as it would inhibit growth.

The Icebergs flanking the front entry

The Icebergs flanking the front entry

I also added substantially to the rose collection by planting six white standard Icebergs along the front entry path, which I must say I am delighted with and think will set the front off really well. I’m trying to find a balance with not cluttering the front yard yet softening it as it was quite harsh and bare initially (and moreso since I pulled out the scruffy shrubs).

Focussing on the garden is a good distraction whilst all the tradesmen work on the Convent and I’m keen for the Convent to see lots of garden life come Spring.

The early stages of the front wall garden beds

The early stages of the front wall garden beds

The garden bed at the front wall is gradually filling in and taking shape, although I’m only putting in the bigger plants like Camellias and Azaleas and avoiding smaller ones given some of the fatalities I’ve had with frosts.

In the meantime, the bulbs are starring and doing exactly what I had hoped. The Grotto garden is starting to fill out and is framed with flowering bulbs. It now has four climbing roses in pinks and whites that should look stunning when (if) they take off. My favourite Heartsease have also come to the party and are flowering their hearts out in a rewarding corner near the Chapel.

The Grotto basking in the sun

The Grotto basking in the sun

Cheery Daffodils brightening the Grotto

Cheery Daffodils brightening the Grotto

Heartsease working hard to brighten up their corner

Heartsease working hard to brighten up their corner

I’m hoping in around two months I’ll be up here most of the time as I put my Sydney home on the market, in which case I will be able to enjoy the rewards of my labours rather than just labouring for the few days each week I’m here.

Happy with that for an entrance

Happy with that for an entrance

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