Friday, November 12, 2010

Canterbury Anniversary Holiday

Show weekend. That's what we call this wonderful three day weekend. And true to form, it is swelteringly hot. Actually only 26 degrees Celsius, but I wilt in the heat like a poor flower broken off in the wind. I can feel a little breeze coming in to my workroom, so I will hopefully be able to get out and do some more gardening later this afternoon. I am on a weeding rampage, but the heat makes me feel woozy every time I stand up, and I'm scared of getting sunburned. I did have a quick zip around the garden with the camera. My bare feet were scorched on the hot driveway. I would be utterly hopeless living in a truly hot place.

What have I been up to? This last week I took a small group to the Canterbury A.and P. Show, which was fun. There were some moments of behavioural difficulty to keep on top of, but generally we had a fairly stress-free time. There were lots of lovely animals to see, and as we went on Wednesday, it wasn't as unpleasantly crowded as it can get. I think the most sad thing about the show is that it is huge, with lots of farmy displays and outdoor lifestyle promotions, but it lacks the wonderful old-fashioned elements like the supersized vegetable competitions, and the handcrafts. Your best bet for nutrition is a pottle of chips or a battered sausage on a stick (called a hotdog, but not like American hotdogs). They are actually a saveloy and have a gaudy red colouring which stains the interior of the batter like some kind of toxic waste. I must say, I'm very fond of candyfloss, like pretty pastel coloured clouds that magically darken in colour when you squash them. I didn't buy any though, as I had to stay on top of my game focusing on my little crowd of teenagers. If I was distracted by a giant clump of sugar I might have lost one of them.

Speaking of delicious, sweet things, I thought I'd show you some of the roses I have out in the garden. Most of them are English Roses. I love them because they are old fashioned, but generally repeat flowering and well behaved enough for a smaller garden. I'm having a mental block on the names of some of them.

Pat Austin- such a remarkable colour. I'm hoping for a better performance from her this year. She was short, but spindly and top heavy.
New last year from the South Pacific Roses sale. I'm drawing a blank on the name, but it is very pretty and quite petite.
Rosy Cushion. My only single rose.
Mary Rose. Such a long-flowering reliable rose.
Prospero possibly? Heat makes my brain melt. Deliciously fragrant.
Mystery yellow rose from the old house- possibly Teasing Georgia.
Golden Celebration. Huge, lavish, golden globes.
Leander- I'm trying to make her climb, but she is resisting.
Crown Princess Margeurite - a complete disaster in my old garden, but when brought to the new garden hasn't looked back. She is much richer in colour than she looks here, and has the wee green bit in the middle. Lovely.
Wild Eve- what an amazing rose this is! She has a low, spreading form that is quite easy to control and this year her flowers are enormous. Bigger even than Golden Celebration. Highly recommended.
Either Cornelia or Felicia- I can't remember without checking my rose book. Very pretty and smothered in blooms.
Penelope. A cutting from Mum's garden long ago, and growing madly here.
One of my newest acquisitions - Gertrude Jekyll. She is utterly divine. I planted her on Monty's grave and she is meeting all of my expectations. I'm so pleased. She will climb up the dark blue/grey fence and look fabulous.

On the garden front, as if you weren't bored enough already, I am harvesting lettuce leaves daily. My spring onions are adding flavour to salads, and today I harvested my first daikon, or Japanese radish. It was a decent size and crisp. I want to harvest them young so they don't go woody. They probably wouldn't be to everyone's taste. Slightly hot and pungent with a fairly mild flavour for a radish- not like a turnip, but juicy and crisp like a raw one. Super quick and easy to grow too.

I've got projects to get on with, and reading to do. Also my cello to play. I hope you are all having a good day. I'm having an exceedingly happy one.


Anonymous said...

Hi, lovely to see your beautiful roses and I think that they must love the conditions and soil in Prebbleton, they are growing so well. It was hot here today too. Went into town, the usual things but I did get tomatoes planted this morning and now have 12 tall growing ones and 6 dwarf. Have a great holiday weekend, Love to all including the black furry girl. Mum. xxxxxxxxx

alison said...

Hi Fiona, Have just been catching up on your blog. The garden is looking so beautiful. Your raised beds are smashing.
You mentioned your artichoke. We have them this year in our garden and I cooked and served my first one on Saturday as we had friends for dinner. Googled how to cook them! I steamed it for about 35 minutes and served it cold with a pot of aoili to dip the end into. It was actually rather delicious and are looking forward to more of the same this weekend.
Now, we also have two fennel ready which again, I haven't cooked beofre. Have you?
Love Al x