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Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

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Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by larryp on 25th October 2011, 11:09

Yesterday,seemingly out of nowhere, was our hottest day since last summer and the heat was stifling. Some gardening imponderables were hammered home with a vengeance forcing me to consider again some of the eternal mysteries of gardening and why we do it. Here are some in no particular order or degree of frustration.

Why the day after you transplant several roses does the temperature immediately soar to a totally unseasonable 35C and a hot wind blows through your suddenly hellish garden threatening to incinerate said roses in their new homes ??

Why the day after the temp soared to 35c and filled with despair you've rushed around with the hose creating the greatest deluge since the great flood and you've draped all your newly transported roses with shadecloth does the temperature drop like a stone overnight and rain falls steadily for hours??

Why does a climber planted on a trellis on the front verandah and facing the full blast of light flooding from the north find the tiniest chink of light in the guttering, race through it and threaten to tear the tiles off your roof?

Why do secateurs spades,clippers and other assorted tools conspire to camouflage themselves so successfully in the garden that you waste hours trying unsuccessfully to find them only for them to reappear magically the next day next day in a wheelbarrow completely flooded with overnight rain?

Why do your newly purchased $180 automatically retracting hose reels suddenly decide not to retract when your standing in the 35C blazing sun at the furthest reach of the bloody thing and you are forced to hand feed the hose back into the reel. Like trying to feed wet spaghetti into a bicycle pump.

Why do your neighbours after rhapsodising for months about your gorgeous garden turn feral on 35C days and complain bitterly about the lavender planted on the verge blocking their view of oncoming traffic or that your ivy geranium has scrambled through a gap in the fence and is colonising their spinach patch

Why does Lamarque when it’s 35C and a hot wind howls suddenly decide to forsake the wattle its growing into and start whipping its canes around like helicopter rotor blades, aiming unerringly for the spot where you are struggling to to drape shadecloth and manage to snag said shadecloth and with the aid of the searing gale carry it back into the wattle?

Why on 35C days do snails secrete themselves under the rims of pots so that every time you heft said pots your fingers emerge covered with crushed shell and gooey with snail innards.?

Why when it’s 35C do aphids decide it’s time for a sunbake and so crowd the buds on your roses that they look like the aphids’ version of Bondi on Christmas Day?

And finally,why when your are dripping with sweat, caked with dirt, approaching heat stroke, smeared with snail guts.trying to mollify your neighbours, searching for your tools and trying to get a patch of shadecloth from out of the wattle does a friend arrive and start to question your sanity for gardening in a 35C hellhole? My answer "I’m an obsessive gardener – so who’s claiming to be sane?"

Larry
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by AutumnDamask on 25th October 2011, 11:28

Stunned

I sympathise with you totally.

(But thanks for the laugh / groans)
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 25th October 2011, 12:15

Maybe the answer lies within your post, the common problem with the number 35. If it was 34 or 36 it would not be problem. lol!

Wendy, that is our Larry gettoing to his (old) self I think.


Last edited by roseman on 25th October 2011, 12:16; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additions)
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by larryp on 25th October 2011, 14:33

35 is an evil number Roseman especially when followed by the letter C. Numbers higher than that signify a gardening apocalypse.
Been raining off and on all day here Dave and the temp is in the teens.Would I be tempting the garden gods to laughingly turn the thermostat to ultra high for tomorrow if I was to remove all the shadecloths?
The gardening gods can be harshly perverse at times. I shall not risk their ire - the shadecloths shall stay - perhaps till next winter.
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by AutumnDamask on 25th October 2011, 15:24

35 is the evil number. Including when the symbol - is placed in front of it. My friends in Canada (who, incidently, say that roses hate them and so don't bother - despite the wild roses growing on the roadside.... the state flower for Alberta is a ROSE) tell me this. We usually compare the gardening god's jokes in February.... +35C here and -35C there.


And in answer to your questions.... the answer is: "Because they do"

(I'm just grateful, for your sake, that you were only wrestling with shadecloth round Lamarque... and not Wedding Day or Albertine...)

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by RitaG on 25th October 2011, 20:35

Ah Larry!! You ponder too much as usual. Seriously, I've had the same thought as you when I got home from work last night, only I decided to look up what weatherzone.com.au was predecting and because I was so zonked, decided to trust it implicidly. Glad I did as it started teaming down during the night and has, as you have experience been coming down steadily all day and even as I type. It has been a Godsend as I so hate hot, humid weather. Guess that's why I love growing English Roses, in the hope that the weather will adapt to suit them and their companions. Sometimes its works, other times, the bluddy Aussie scorching sun comes and wipes both them but mostly me out.

Why do you toil so with shade cloths? Did your neighbour finally chop that humungus champhor laurel down?
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Admin on 25th October 2011, 21:14

larryp wrote:Yesterday,seemingly out of nowhere, was our hottest day since last summer and the heat was stifling. Some gardening imponderables were hammered home with a vengeance forcing me to consider again some of the eternal mysteries of gardening and why we do it. Here are some in no particular order or degree of frustration.

Why the day after you transplant several roses does the temperature immediately soar to a totally unseasonable 35C and a hot wind blows through your suddenly hellish garden threatening to incinerate said roses in their new homes ??

A: Hot? What is this thing called 'hot'? Shivering

Why the day after the temp soared to 35c and filled with despair you've rushed around with the hose creating the greatest deluge since the great flood and you've draped all your newly transported roses with shadecloth does the temperature drop like a stone overnight and rain falls steadily for hours??

A: This is basic physics... for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction Wink

Why does a climber planted on a trellis on the front verandah and facing the full blast of light flooding from the north find the tiniest chink of light in the guttering, race through it and threaten to tear the tiles off your roof?

A: This is a not-so-subtle reminder to us naked apes that within the heart of every rose lies a primal force that can resurface and wreak havoc whenever it wants to and that any attempts to tame them are futile.

Why do secateurs spades,clippers and other assorted tools conspire to camouflage themselves so successfully in the garden that you waste hours trying unsuccessfully to find them only for them to reappear magically the next day next day in a wheelbarrow completely flooded with overnight rain?

A: It's the little blue men! They work in a dimension beyond time, moving things from where we remember placing them for the sheer purpose of causing confusion and frustration. Males of our species seem to be most susceptible to their shenanigans.

Why do your newly purchased $180 automatically retracting hose reels suddenly decide not to retract when your standing in the 35C blazing sun at the furthest reach of the bloody thing and you are forced to hand feed the hose back into the reel. Like trying to feed wet spaghetti into a bicycle pump.

A: Because our $180 automatically retracting hose is really a rebadged $20 selectively retracting hose from south-east asian sweat-shops designed to fail on Murphy's command.

Why do your neighbours after rhapsodising for months about your gorgeous garden turn feral on 35C days and complain bitterly about the lavender planted on the verge blocking their view of oncoming traffic or that your ivy geranium has scrambled through a gap in the fence and is colonising their spinach patch

A: I think this is because their $180 automatically retracting hose that is really a S.E. Asian $20 knock-off also failed to retract and they were just venting... take it with a pinch of salt (a sip of lemon, and a shot of tequila... as I always say 'Merry' ).

Why does Lamarque when it’s 35C and a hot wind howls suddenly decide to forsake the wattle its growing into and start whipping its canes around like helicopter rotor blades, aiming unerringly for the spot where you are struggling to to drape shadecloth and manage to snag said shadecloth and with the aid of the searing gale carry it back into the wattle?

A: This is because they are actually triffids craving a meaty morsel to feed their minions.

Why on 35C days do snails secrete themselves under the rims of pots so that every time you heft said pots your fingers emerge covered with crushed shell and gooey with snail innards.?

A: This is actually a tactic employed by the above triffids that has been adapted by our airforce strike teams to create a maneuver called 'painting the target'. The target is 'painted' by invisible laser light, or in this case snail entrails, allowing the strike force to lock-in on the target to deliver a lethal strike. It's a little known fact that triffids masquerading as roses can sense macerated snail and form a psychic image, allowing them to lash out with 'unerringly' accurate precission to snare their intended target. It's a molluscan conspiracy!

Why when it’s 35C do aphids decide it’s time for a sunbake and so crowd the buds on your roses that they look like the aphids’ version of Bondi on Christmas Day?

A: I got nothing... I'm loving the image of Bondi surf goers looking like giant sunburt aphids (lobsters???) turning themselves like a pig-on-a-spit while sucking up honeydew Smile

And finally,why when your are dripping with sweat, caked with dirt, approaching heat stroke, smeared with snail guts, trying to mollify your neighbours, searching for your tools and trying to get a patch of shadecloth from out of the wattle does a friend arrive and start to question your sanity for gardening in a 35C hellhole? My answer "I’m an obsessive gardener – so who’s claiming to be sane?"

A: insane is good... who'd be normal... only the crazy ones survive the triffids...
Larry

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Balinbear on 25th October 2011, 23:17

Simon
I have been contemplating Larry's post all day and was just about to climb the sacred mountain to talk to the solem monk who sits on its peak considering the meaning of life whether he has an answer.

Obviously you beat me too it!!!

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Carole on 25th October 2011, 23:23

Oh dear Gary, what a worrying day you have had.
When i read Larry's post, I was just so pleased that he wasn't fighting to put shadecloth over eeek Mermaid.
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Admin on 25th October 2011, 23:26

He says hi...

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 26th October 2011, 05:45

Gary you should seek the monks advice, they say 2 heads are better than one. His imput might help Larry, lol!
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by larryp on 26th October 2011, 09:16

Thanks Simon. for applying the rational scientific approach to these questions of mine. I knew they’d yield to the blowtorch of stringent logical analysis.

Wendy and Carole. I am one of the few suburban gardeners to have taken on Wedding Day, Mermaid and – not the least - Clg Lorraine Lee and survived to tell the tale. I used the three to grow up some giant Cocos Palms which some previous foolhardy gardeners had planted in the backyard. With the aid of strategically planted rampant potato vines they raced to the tops of the palms in no time at all. The Cocos surrendered without a whimper and it was a magical sight – 15 metre palms festooned with blooms of white, pink and yellow. The galahs and fruit bats which had feasted on the palm fruit must have been dazzled by this psychedelic extravaganza and disappeared – sadly in the case of the galahs – never to return. After many years of petitions the local council agreed to us having the Cocos Palms removed and out they came, and having performed yeoman service so did the three rose leviathans. It was a tactic similar to introducing beneficial insects into the garden to take out the malignant bugs.i have never again planted Wedding Day or her pals but I remain eternally grateful for having once met them and enjoyed their unique charms.

Gary I have climbed that mountain many times – after imbibing a few brugmansia leaves steeped in hot water mainly – and communed with that monk for hours. Was amazed to discover that David Austin also at times inhabited that astral plane – and occasionally Bob Dylan – and Dave and I became great pals. I credit myself with advising him on various hybridising problems he was concerned over. I tried to convince him to use Lorraine Lee in his breeding program to ad some Aussie toughness to his delicate English beauties – sadly to no avail. The monk himself was useless with garden advice but loved my brugmansia brew and after a few sips became positively animated and claimed that Angelina Jolie was prancing naked before him – a somewhat positive outcome for man used to sitting on his solitary butt for eternity chanting and waiting for some dumb gardener to seek his advice.

Ah yes Rita the humungous tree in the neighbour’s yard did come down – it actually was a ficus - but not before its roots had clogged up my sewer pipes and tore up the concrete floor of my pergola, But you are right – sometimes I ponder the imponderable a little excessively but as Einstein once said “ a man without questions is like a pair of trousers with only one leg.” I’m not quite sure what he meant by this but it sounds profound. As you can probably guess from my ravings above it is still raining here and I am forced to amuse myself pounding inanely on the keyboard. But I have been worried by a mystery that perhaps only you – as Uncle Dave Austin's Oz ambassador - can answer. Why does Uncle Dave introduce roses that I fall in love with, flourish in my Oz garden then suddenly disown them as being “inferior and not garden worthy” and withdraw them from commerce Three cases in point – Sir Walter Raleigh, Immortal Juno and Chaucer. The best Immortal Juno I ever saw was growing in your very own garden –and my Sir Walter Raleigh came out in the great rose purge whilst I was incapacitated and I can find it nowhere in the catalogues. Why oh Why I ask plaintively..
Well I can feel RSI beginning to set in and my key board is beginning to smoke – time for a coffee and perhaps a sip of brugmansia tea to calm me down and stop me worrying about whether to remove the shadecloths

Larry
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Balinbear on 26th October 2011, 10:32

You planted Wedding Day, Mermaid and Lorraine Lee Clg in a suburban garden?

You better send me some of those brugmansia leaves!!!
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Carole on 26th October 2011, 10:47

I love your posts Larry lol!
David has wanted Mermaid for at least the last 20 years. So far I have managed to talk him out of it. For how much longer I do not know. So I might also require some of your brugmansia leaves in the future.
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by orchid40 on 27th October 2011, 19:13

Oh Larry, I so enjoyed your words of wisdom! I had such a good laugh at those tales of tragedy!
Indeed the infamous Murphy must be your next door neighbour. You have gained the upper hand however, by possessing a wicked sense of humour and a Brugmansia.
I enjoyed your replies too, Simon.

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by RitaG on 27th October 2011, 20:56

Of course it was a ficus Larry - how could I forget its forboding enormity right at the edge of your back fence! I have somehow confused it with the humungus camphor laurel growing just two doors down on my back fence and whilst I adore the scent of the tree itself it's kindof one of those NIMBY type things ... I am forever pulling out its seedlings from my rich loamy soil. As I am with my immediate backdoor neighbour's cocos palms which I hate with a passion. Napalm is too good for those oversized poles.

Ah, wish I could truly answer your question re Uncle Dave's marketing prowess, but as I've said before, I suspect it is his offspring that is making these foolish decision these days. I believe Uncle Dave is not as active these days following the death of his beloved Pat Austin a year or so ago.

I miss my great bush of IM, but am hoping that my two new plants from Hedgerow will grow even better. I have Chaucer for the first time and he's doing great guns.

BTW Hedgerow do have Sir Walter: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

ps ... fish oil will help with your RSI Very Happy

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Admin on 27th October 2011, 21:16

Stay tuned... I have three seedlings of 'Abraham Darby' x 'Comtesse De Labarthe' growing on now and one is about to flower for the first time Smile 'Lorraine Lee' is a good choice to try later on too Thumbsup

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by tambralyngar on 27th October 2011, 21:23

I have been reading about how you are cursing the heat and the wind.... I am about to go crazy with this drizzly miserable rain we have had for about three weeks. Pouring Rain
I am getting close to heading into the garden with the hairdryer to try and dry out the leaves on my roses most are starting to get black spot from the constant wet, they don't get a chance to dry out. We have only had about 4 sunny days in three weeks >8@
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by larryp on 28th October 2011, 18:44

Ah jeez Rita that truly is sad. Been off the scene for a coupla years and had no idea David Austin had lost his wife. For all my joking about "Uncle Dave" he has produced some of the loveliest roses I've ever seen - and Pat Austin is one I love..
Never easy to get over the loss of someone you love so I hope David is bearing up. I sincerely wish him all the best.

Larry
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by orchid40 on 28th October 2011, 19:41

I second everything that LarryP said. Very sad to lose your partner. I wish David Austin all the best too. He has given us some wonderful roses.

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Admin on 28th October 2011, 20:30

Wish him even stronger wishes as he is also battling cancer atm.

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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by RitaG on 1st November 2011, 20:21

Don't be so hard on yourself Larry. Pat was ill for a number of years & you were not to know. I have it on good authority however, that David Austin (Senior) "did have cancer but was successfully treated and is generally very well and as active as he can be, his legs are getting rather wobbly now".

So this news is something to be very greatful for, as I so long to be able to get to England and meet him personally (in this lifetime).

Your joking about Uncle Dave would be received in the best of humor by most include the great Uncle Dave himself. Your humorous sendups are always taken with the best of intent, at least by me. Oh, totally agree about his lovely creations, my latest is Princess Alexandra of Kent .... blooms the size of a dinnerplate and was so taken by its beauty and scent that I had to plant it underneath my bedroom window. Will post pics of it next it flowers.
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 1st November 2011, 20:36

We should send of Larry's post to him and cheer him up lol!
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Re: Just some of the eternal mysteries of gardening

Post by Carole on 3rd November 2011, 23:09

Rita, we met him three years ago and he is a wonderful man. He let us go through all his greenhouses and see and ask questions of all his staff there. At each greenhouse they were expecting us and explained what they were doing. Whether it was propagation or testing the life of cut flowers or crossing or going through the trial ones that hopefully were going to be released in the next few years or going out to his trial fields. Nothing was to much trouble and we saw every aspect of his growing from start to finish. If we missed anything it was our fault as we ran out of time and were on our way to Wales.
His staff still give us advice and we will be going again in the next year or two.
His wife's wonderful statues and garden art adorn his wonderful gardens Roses
I am so pleased his health has improved, it is the best news possible.
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