Planting roses with the vegies

25 June 2018
I've been kind of busy here lately with family dropping by, looking after Jamie, winter cooking and baking, gardening and a few small changes in the house. It's slow work with plenty of opportunities to sit and talk but the time slips by and before I know it another day has gone. Another day without doing everything I planned. Not that it matters, the work I do now can easily be slotted in the following day.

Early morning in the backyard.

As soon as the coop door opens, the first of the chooks race out...
and are followed by their sisters, all looking for whatever fell into their run over night.


Last Friday I received a gift that Hanno bought for my 70th birthday in April - two David Austin standard roses. One is Munstead Wood and the other Mary Rose. They came from Treloar roses in Victoria, as bare rooted plants, and arrived in perfect condition with complete instructions on how to treat them immediately and how to plant them 24 hours later.  We soaked them for 24 hours then, bright and early Sunday morning, Hanno planted them for me. They're in the vegetable garden where I know they'll receive all the TLC they deserve. We've grown roses in the front yard in the past but they never get enough water in summer, so my roses are all in the backyard now, some in pots, some in the ground, and they're multiplying nicely. 🌹🌹🌹

Hanno picked the last of the daikons to make way for Mary Rose.
A planting hole was dug a small distance from the garden arch on both sides.
Hanno added our wonderful compost to the holes.

And both roses were planted - this is Munstead Wood. 

 This is Summer Memories, a modern shrub rose, now planted in a large pot in the vegetable garden.
And this is an old tea rose, Duchesse de Brabant, aka the Montville rose, also grown in a pot in the vegetable garden. Soon it will be full of beautiful pink roses.

I still have one to plant - Smiling Eyes, a florabunda rose which was sent as a gift from Treloar along with the standard roses.  I haven't looked up its preferences and growing habit yet but it will eventually be planted close to the others.
One of our very prolific cocktail tomatoes. They're larger than the cherry tomatoes, absolutely delicious and great for eating fresh or for cooking.

We've harvested a lot of very fine tomatoes from this vine, now planted on one side of the garden arch.  As you can see, wilt has a firm hold which doesn't effect the tomatoes at all but it weakens the vine a lot. I'm going to strip off the remaining tomatoes today and pull out the vine.


We went for a drive over to Kenilworth last Thursday, took Gracie for a stroll in the park and had lunch there.  On the way back we called into our local strawberry grower to buy some of the season's first berries. I got 2 kilos of "seconds" which cost $20. Going through them the following day there were very few berries that were slightly less than perfect, the rest were beautifully ripe, juicy and delicious.  We had to eat quite a few to check them. ☺️ Hanno helped prepare the berries for jam.  He took the tops off, carefully keeping any green and unripe bits because they contain the most pectin.  I washed the fruit, added lemon juice, sugar and a little fruit pectin and turned them into a very tasty jam.  In the next few weeks, I'm going to make some dried apricot jam and that should keep us in jam for the year.

Yesterday I made a tea cake and this is what we had for lunch when Jamie was here.  It's just a simple chicken casserole.  After I'd browned it I added homemade chicken stock then sat it in the oven to slowly bubble away for an hour. Delicious and just the thing to share for lunch on a cold winter day.

I'll be out in the garden and doing a few things in the house during the week. What are your plans?

35 comments

  1. I love your posts, Rhonda. They are really inspiring and motivating to read and there's just a lovely peacefulness in your writing. I like your new profile picture too, I've just noticed it. I hope you have a great week.

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  2. that is going to look so pretty with the roses intermingled with the veggies. In France they plant rosebushes at the end of each row of grapevines, supposedly they will get diseases first to alert the gardeners tending the vines. Roses dont do well here in our high humidity.

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    1. We grow roses at the end of our grapes here in California, too, for the same reason!

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  3. What a Good Man you have there Rhonda :)
    Your blog is always interesting and refreshing to read !
    Enjoy your week ,
    Jenster .

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  4. Rhonda, we are back home again after freezing the last few days we were in Caloundra. I had to go to the Op Shop and buy a jacket :-) The unwanted roses our neighbour gave us last year need to be repotted and probably pruned and I have been keeping an eye on the roses in the Queensland Rose Gardens when I drive by to see if theirs have been pruned as yet but they haven't been so far. I have never grown roses before so might see if they have pruning demos for the locals. I believe they have in the past. Your David Austin ones will be beautiful. I think we can buy them here at Brindabella Nursery.

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  5. Your tomatoes look great. I like a few flowers in the garden for simple reason is color.
    Coffee is on

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  6. I am envious of your tomatoes.

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  7. I have the Montville Rose growing in my garden too, Rhonda. I just adore it. I hope you will show us photos of your new roses when they bloom, I'm sure they will be beautiful. My plans are for lots of time at home this week, my son is on school holidays, and we have very few outings that will take us away from home. We will walk the dog each day and that's a lovely time together. I've been knitting this morning and have almost finished another washcloth which will be a gift to post off later in the week. Meg:)

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  8. You will love the Munstead Rose. I have one and it is so fragrant! Good grower but the thorns require caution.

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  9. I'm lucky enough to live 40 mins away from david austin roses in staffordshire UK.
    At this time of year the nursery grounds are so beautiful, acres of every type of rose imaginable and all in full bloom and the scent! Heaven on earth. Hope you enjoy your new roses when it's your turn for summer. Sally

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  10. What a lovely birthday gift. Something to be enjoyed for years. We have just planted two climbing roses to hopefully ramble over our fence. They are Albertine and St Swithins. Two beautifully fragrant, old fashioned large soft pinks. I am so looking forward to them blooming.

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    1. Tricia had several Albertines at her big house. They were beautiful but the possums ate the flowers! Good luck with yours, Jamie.

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  11. I love roses wherever we can see. As you we have some in front yard & some out the back. Re- the strawberry tops & greens - do you boil then separately Rhonda?

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    1. Hi Jude, it's not the green stem and cap part of the strawberry it's just the green bit of unripe strawberry at the top of the fruit. And yes, all boiled together.

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  12. Your jam looks beautiful, as does your compost.

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  13. I planted a David Austin rise a few years ago (can’t remember which one). The fragrance is beautiful but the roses are very delicate and fall apart if you pick them. Luckily I planted it near my front door so I pass buy it often. It flowers for ages and it grows like a triffid in summer. It doesn’t get a lot of non rain water although our block is sloping so that probably helps. Can’t wait to see yours in time

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  14. I like roses when they are in other people's gardens. Would like to take out the one's in my front yard but the neighbour's would be horrified.
    Claire in Melbourne

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  15. ohhh my, beautiful roses there Rhonda, can't wait to see them flowering!
    wish i could make jams, i buy homemade ones from our markets, i don't eat a lot of them so they last a good while (except the fig ones)
    been making lots of chicken soup in the slow cooker too; awesome winter food!
    lovely post
    thanx for sharing

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  16. Really interested to see your post about the David Austin standard roses being planted. My husband also gave me a voucher at Christmas to spend on David Austin standards - I bought 2 Anne Boleyn's ( pink)and 1 L D Braithwaite ( crimson). I planted them in the spring and the Anne Boleyn's are flowering now and have a lovely fragrance. I am trying to recreate a flower bed we saw at Monet's garden at Giverney - he had a backdrop of fuschias with standard roses in front under planted with tulips, bearded iris and dahlias in their seasons. The colours were stunning and made a big impression on me- my attempts do not have the same impact but I'm trying!
    Looking forward very much to seeing yours bloom in due course.

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  17. Hi Rhonda, I plan to do some grocery shopping and work on a pair of socks that I'm knitting for a friend. We have scheduled a visit near San Francisco. I love your roses. I bought one of David Austin's for my mom before she died. It was exquisite. Your chickens look so happy and healthy. My little silkies stay huddled in their coop. If I open the door they freak out as if to say, "The door's open!" One was killed by a hawk at their former home. They are too afraid to venture out now. They seem content, though, and are laying like crazy...

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  18. We planted quite a few roses here, which because we rent will be left behind for the next family to enjoy :) The weather in Adelaide has been quite strange this year with the roses still putting out new buds and flowers. My cherry tree even had a go at blossoming two weeks ago. I am not sure if we will get a late winter or no real winter this year (although it is cold at night). I spent yesterday making up some lemon and lime marmalade, and today will be spent pickling beetroot and cabbage (thanks for your recipes!) I wish that we could get by on not buying jam. I make 30+ jars over summer and we still run out (particularly of the apricot because that is my sons favourite - he can go through a jar in a week!) Noni from Adelaide

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  19. Hi Rhonda. I love David Austin roses for their old world beauty and magnificence fragrance.
    Your new profile photo is very nice too by the way.
    Helen from WA

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  20. Your roses remind me so much of the rose garden that my sweet Mom had in her front yard. I love roses, however I have killed enough of them that now my hubby or kids have to surprize me with a rose bouquet to enjoy! Your tomatoes look good. Much of our garden is looking sad from too much rain and wind early on. Yesterday we drove out to some farms in the country and brought home some gorgeous corn and tomatoes. Blessings, Carolyn in Fl.

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  21. Munstead Wood is one of the roses I want! The color is so lovely!

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  22. Hi Rhonda. I have been reading your Down to Earth blog for a few weeks here in Virginia, USA. Your lifestyle reminds me so much of the way my husband and I live. We garden, preserve food, do our own home repairs and updates, and we grow roses. Your article today about your roses inspired me to write. I have an antique pink rose that came from my mother's family and we know it was grown as far back as the late 1800's by her family in Virginia. I do not know the name of it but is a summer (June)blooming rose. I so enjoy your blog! Julianna

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  23. Looks like you are keeping busy enough Rhonda, despite feeling that the plans don't always get accomplished. Great find on the strawberries - homemade jam is such a delight. My daughter will be happy to know that strawberries are in season up in QLD - we are travelling up there next month and she has been asking about strawberries of late, however I don't tend to buy them in winter down this way as they tend to be low in flavour and high in price.
    The roses will look so lovely blooming in your veg garden.
    Have a nice week.
    Cheers,
    Laura

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  24. We are building a deck this week. It is only 22" high but will be a wonderful addition for us. It will enable us to sit outdoors during the mornings shaded from the sun and watch the world go by. I can hardly wait to put our wicker rocker (many years old and many times spray painted) there with a small wicker table and big outdoor vases with oodles of flowers in them. I am in America so forgot you were in winter now. We just passed the first few days of summer with the worst heat for us in late July/early August. The chicken dish looks delicious! Enjoy winter! It is one of my favorite times of year.

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  25. Didn't know the green bits of strawberries held the most pectin - thanks for the tip. Amusing to read you went for a drive to Kenilworth - I live in Kenilworth UK! Small world when you are in blogland.

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    1. Hi Linda. Generally, there is more pectin in unripe fruit. Yes, small world.

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  26. Beautiful roses Rhonda. Here winter is being very hard on plants. The temperatures unusually dropped a lot. My pot plants are looking sad.:(:(:(
    Always reading you although having little time to make comments.

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  27. It's nice to read your homely blog tonight Rhonda.Your roses will be beautiful. I am over in wet Perth helping out the family with looking after our little Grandson whilst his Mother is away.It's lovely to spend time with my son and his little son. I am doing lots of cooking to stock their freezer as well. Best wishes, Pauline

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  28. Hi Rhonda... beautiful pictures. You peaked my curiosity...what is dried apricot jam? I often try to make it when I find nice fresh ones. Could you post the recipe for the dried apricot jam please?

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  29. Always love the pictures, you two have such a beautifull back yard!

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  30. Last year I hit the mother load with some frozen raspberries from a restaurant that had its own berry patch. They were advertising 2 kilos of frozen raspberry seconds for $6. When she went to pull them out of the freezer, I could see that the bag was clearly 2kg, but the girl insisted that no, it was just 1kg and that she would fetch another bag from the other freezer. I continued to tell her that she was probably giving me too much and in the end she said to take them anyway as they were at the bottom of the freezer and needed to be used up! 4kg for $6! They were a big solid frozen lump so one batch of jam later, we still have the other lump in the bottom of our freezer! We are also very lucky to have a pick your own blueberry farm close by for $8 per kg, so the berries are all "chilling" out at the bottom of the freezer together! Ha ha. Thanks for sharing pictures of your garden! I love seeing what other people do! Kindest regards, Skye

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