Monday, 2 December 2013

Advent Diary, day 2 - In The Garden



On a cold, dank, misty 2nd December gardening was less a pleasure than it’s ever been. But needs must, there were the final leaves to be swept off the lawn, gutters to be cleared, the most unsightly of the herbaceous clumps to be cut down, previously dug up dahlia tubers to be laid in boxes, stem side up and covered in compost, ready for sprouting next spring. The job which saddens me most of all is the final rose pruning. I leave buds and half-open flowers for as long as possible, well after the first frost; the bushes look totally lopsided and unnatural before I tackle the task. Long stems with a cluster of buds at the end reach into grey skies, wind beaten and defiant,  However, if I want to safeguard the bushes, I must cut all long, sappy growth back, regardless of flowers; strong winds would otherwise rock the plants and damage - or even lift - the roots. So that’s what Paul and I did today; rescuing just a few buds here and there, which will probably not survive for more than a couple of days in the warmth of the house. The last rose of summer - doesn’t that sound sad?

Gardener still doesn’t know that there is a Paul in my life and garden. He was due here last Thursday; there was no call to explain his absence. He rarely comes during December, except to bring a small present and drink tea with us just before Christmas. The last time he came I made him linger over the tea break, asking endless questions about his childhood. He loves talking.


29 comments:

  1. Can't even think about gardening this time of the year. The roses look beautiful but needs must, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, December! beautiful December! for the next several days, are lows, forecast: below 0 degrees (F) and our highs, single digits, (F)! think our gardening is done for this year....

    ReplyDelete
  3. The last rose of summer does indeed sound sad but the beautiful thing is that there is always a spring merely 3 months away :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. The last rose of summer does indeed sounds sad.. but not in December. It sounds absolutely amazing to me that it could last that long - no matter what state it's in. Worry not, before you know it, you'll be enjoying the first rose, once again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We are lurching into summer here. Hot, hot, hot summer. Where gardening is a challenge. For the plants and for the sad and soggy mess I become.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We completed our clean-up of leaves and much garden debris this week, but the last rose pruning will happen later this month. Quite frankly, although I am sad to see the garden go dormant each year, it is a relief in some ways. Also, time for planning next year's pots and repair work on garden structures. A gardener's work is never done. Dianne

    ReplyDelete
  7. The last rose of summer does sound sad and like it should be the title of an overly dramatic book. Winter has set in stronly here. I stand at the window and mourn for the trees that have lost their plumage. I watch all February for tiny red buds on them. It promises me that there will be a spring.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I saw a beautiful bush today still full of apricot roses ... it didn't seem to know it's December .

    ReplyDelete
  9. This post is a gentle nudge to get me out into the garden, too. There are a few straggly plants to cut back and some annuals that I left until the last minute. It's all looking very sodden now. The last rose of summer is sad-sounding. I like to think of my roses sleeping in the cold, to awaken refreshed and full of energy come spring.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah, I can't imagine having any kind of roses in December. The ground here is covered in snow.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Enjoy your garden. We do!
    ALOHA to YOU, Friko
    from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    =^..^=

    ReplyDelete
  12. We don't prune the roses here in So. California until beginning of January. They are so sadly empty now, would be wiser to do it now.

    ReplyDelete
  13. smiles...i think it rather funny the gardener has not caught on...though maybe he has and just wont tell....enjoy that last drop of beauty while you can...seasons only last so long...

    ReplyDelete
  14. You've described my roses - and I must get to them when I return home on the weekend, before the winds and (possible) snow do damage. The last roses are sad to see, but I even have some brave little geraniums in a sheltered basket.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Think how lucky you were to have that last rose in December. It is good that you have your Paul to do the work and Gardener to give you a present.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm glad you have some help in the garden. And best Gardener dose not know I think. No need to wound him. I cut my roses back pretty hard last Feb. which is when we do it here but I don't think I will prune them back this year. But I do the same thing...if a branch has a bud I spare it til it blooms.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maybe Gardener DOES know about Paul and that's why he didn't show up.I hope he does, though. Even for a visit and cuppa.

    You remind me I didn't cut back my roses. My garden warrior never got to that side of the house (in the amount I had to pay him and the time) but I can take a clippers to those as well as he. I just forgot because unless I need to grab some still-growing thyme or chives, I don't go there either! Well, we're on a travel break right now but as soon as I get back I'll have to do that!

    ReplyDelete
  18. You will know the poem by Thomas Moore....the last rose of summer.
    Haunts me when set to music.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Friko, you will remember that I have said before that I would like to have a garden...even a garden that has late November and even December tasks to be done. Seeing those late November roses is a delight! (There are a few relatives doing their performance in front of some brownstone houses around here. Other brownstone owners who do mind their front garden roses in a different way have cut back those branches weeks ago. I am glad to be able to see both sorts of gardens on a daily basis. Still yearning to be more involved.)

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  20. I always hate it when I must cut the last of the roses. I've never had roses blooming clear into December. I'm glad you have Paul in your life because it seems he helps you tremendously. Gardner will be quite surprised if he ever finds out. Do you think he will?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Actually, I love the expression "the last rose of summer". Yes, it does have a melancholy ring about it, but to me, it sounds less sad, more precious and special.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have some of that I need to do - I think of it as putting the garden to bed..

    ReplyDelete
  23. My gardens have been preened and covered for winter for a while now - the strangest thing - I was walking along the river a week ago and found a bed of crocuses growing and healthy - I think they are confused about Spring, first flower of Spring here abouts. A bit weird but I did take a photo.
    I think it nice and most generous when you have your Paul in for tea and think it lovely that he brings you a small gift. How thoughtful. I think you have a lovely, warm heart Friko.

    ReplyDelete
  24. My roses are the same. If I trim them I get tender new growth too soon before our hard winter hits. Sometime this month I will cut them back.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My world feels very far from yours tonight, as we are at Hour 26 of what promises to be at least a 56 hour storm, with accumulations exceeding 20" of snow. I won't be seeing my gardens for some months!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gardener must be truly impressed with your robust good health and all 'you' are achieving in the garden. At least he won't be worrying about not turning up. But I do hope you enjoy a catch up before Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  27. That Gardener intrigues me…

    =)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Friko - love the picked last roses - and when I need to know about gardening I shall be revisiting! I'm so glad you've found Paul - must make a lot of difference ... but am glad you encourage Gardener to tell his tales - he must have so much wealth of the area stored up ...

    This series is going to be delightful to follow you along with .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  29. I wonder if he suspects? I'm glad you allow him to tell his tales. We all need someone to tell our tales to. ;)
    Beautiful roses. Especially when I'm looking our at a snowstorm.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.