I'm snuggled up under a blanket on the couch, listening to the rain on the roof. It's been raining for the last 24 hours, and places prone to flooding up north are suffering. As mush as I like listening to the rain (my taranaki heritage) I'm also worried about the poor grapes. The flora & pinot gris are about a week off fully ripening - if they get a good run of weather. The syrah brix (sugar) readings, which indicate ripening, are currently tracking about a month later than last year - and last year wasn't good either. There is a real risk at the moment that they will simply stop ripening soon. If I'm feeling it with our grapes, I can only imagine what it is like at the moment for those who are far more financially dependent on their's.
I've been re-energised in the rest of the garden recently, partcularly the house flower gardens. Food gardening is more my forte, but I've been inspired since reading Carol Klein's 'Life in a Cottage Garden' with it's gorgeous pictures and her propensity to change things around in her garden remarkably frequently.. I've decided to be brave and just plant things that may work. And if they don't I figure plants are much easier to change than a paint colour. I've attacked the small garden next to the guest carpark first, pruning back the white flower carpet roses, removing the cream alstromeria's which were being smothered by the roses (and replanting nearer to the house), taking out the red banana passionfruit (which although produced lovely fruit, ended up looking a bit scruffy), and replacing with two pink mandevilla. (Pink!) I haven't grown mandevilla before, but Geoff at the garden centre assured me they grow well on the Island, so I'll blame him if they don't....
If the rain stops I'll take some pictures.
In the meantime here are some I've been meaning to post for a while. When the roses were in full bloom during summer I came home several times to the kitchen resembling more of a florist shop. Mike is far more talented than me at arranging flowers. I'm more capable at growing them - we make a good team.