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?