How does my garden grow? Odds and Ends Plants

Time to stop and prune the roses

My original intention was to write a post with a very different tone. I was halfway through it when I was called away. That gave me time to reflect on what, and how, I had been thinking. The original was to be of the ‘poor me’ type, the ‘give me a break’ type. I had even written an opening disclaimer telling you to flee without reading more!

As you know my Fella, aka Terry, and my Mum, aka Mum, have been in hospital. Mum’s discharge date was put back a number of times. I was the sibling to pick her up, so my plans had to change as well. (Fingers crossed that she is on her way home as I write.) Then, the other night Terry woke me as he needed to go to Emergency ~ thankfully not heart issues, the reason for his earlier hospital stay, but a very badly infected toe.

I fully expected them to dress the wound, give him antibiotics and send him home…..but no. He has been admitted while they investigate the circulation in his feet and legs. It was that news that made me start the original post.

You see, I like to be in control of my time, I like to be organised. While I am content to make Terry and Mum my priorities I get frustrated. Both are within the Hospital System which has to work at its own pace, with the best interest of the patients in mind. So with each visit there will be different news, or maybe no definite news, leading to changes of plans. And my plans have to change too.

While I was walking home from yet another hospital visit (different ward, different view!) I suddenly thought “I have no control over this, let’s just roll with it.” There’s a quote along the lines of Life happens while you are busy making other plans. Life can just do its own thing and I will give up trying to wrest it into my shape for a little while.

However, there is a collorary thought ~ make the most of the pockets of time.

That brings me to the roses of the title of the post. I had a pocket of time when I came back from the hospital, and the roses were calling, as August is almost too late to prune them in Melbourne. I could have mooched around, pretending to tidy up, or I could have blobbed on the couch. Neither would have given me back a little bit of control. So I grabbed the secateurs and braved the garden.

Now I have to warn you that while I have done nothing in the garden for at least 6 weeks, the plants, especially the weeds have been very busy. The following photos show the garden warts weeds and all. You may have some fun identifying many of the different weed species!



I am being positive, enjoying the contrast of the silver succulent with the green weeds!




So, one rose bush before pruning.


And after. That’s better.


Hidden between the mallows and the winter grass and the nettles are some treasures, doing their own thing. Some are a little munched around the edges, but look how many flowers are on the blue berry bush! (That’s the last photo.) You can also tell that I have recently discovered the ‘selective focus’ function on my phone camera. It blurs the backgrounds, making the weeds look rather attractive, as though I grow them specially to be background plants!

Yesterday I grabbed another pocket of time and went up to Kyneton to see my exhibition for the first time. I was so proud to see my work hanging there! I will write a post and show you photos. However, if you can’t wait, make sure you are on my newsletter list, as I will be showing off there very soon. To add your name, click here. (No spammy stuff, I promise.)

14 replies on “Time to stop and prune the roses”

what it shows me is “flow” and it’s sometimes you don’t want, you mention the word “control” maybe it’s the world reminding you that not all is “controllable” especially your own self, not anything to do with the “fella or Mum”.

The garden already showed you “flow” – and you mentioned how many plants had shown determination to shine through the other “warty” greenery. If I was caught in that place, I wouldn’t necessarily pull those warts out, but rather just give them a trim…so that everything is all at the same height/general size. If someone comments, and they won’t say you are using those “colours” as an idea for more artwork 🙂

you must admit, methinks…that there are beautiful tones in those greens…

some of which have very small white flowers or are they white – maybe creamy or tinged with another colour…

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Without the medical issues, my life is much the same at the moment. Hubby has taken on a new consultancy and I’ve reminded him that when he takes on more work, it means I take on more work. We are powering through getting the garden ready for spring, a few small trips that we had previously planned, and trying to settle into the ‘new normal’. Gratefully, we are both well enough to accomplish it all, but are mindful about taking care of ourselves along the way. I hope you can do the same, Anne. Best to you.


Control is so ephemeral; I think it’s something we create in our heads to pretend that we manage our lives instead of life managing us! I think you’ve taken a really healthy attitude towards your feelings of frustration: if you can’t go out and smell the roses, go out and prune them!

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I can so relate when you say, “I like to be in control of my time”. So do I, but it almost never works out that way, does it? I think your garden is beautiful and if those are weeds, they are still beautiful. We had a “weed” in our postage-stamp front yard, growing amidst the sunflowers, morning glories and other flowers, but then, all of a sudden one day, it blossomed into a beautiful flower! No idea what it is, and it likely is a weed, but y’know … dandelions are weeds, clover are considered weeds, but aren’t they beautiful in their own right? I am a weed, too, if you compare me to young, beautiful girls, but … doesn’t mean I don’t have value. Three cheers for weeds. Wish I could attend your exhibition!!! Cheers!


Hope all is calmer soon. And well done for finding a coping strategy. My garden grows excellent weeds too but as you say they are green and much nicer than bare soil.


We have more weeds this year than we’ve ever had I think. I did have a little go at them the other day but I was no match for them. I’m sure you found your time in the garden therapeutic and a little bit of an escape from life’s anxieties.
As for the ‘selective focus’ on your camera – I was calling my (accidental) photos like that ‘a blurry background’ but now I know there’s a special name for it I shall use it as it sounds much better.


Ugh, I hope The Man and The Mum are both home and well very soon. Sometimes we just have to accept that we’re having ‘time out’ from our normal lives. I’m glad you’re relaxing a little.

Re the roses, I pruned mine just a few days ago. I really don’t understand what happened this year coz they definitely didn’t go dormant. Or at least not visibly dormant. I’m not brave when it comes to pruning, so I try to wait until I’m sure I do no harm before grabbing the secaturs. Roll on spring, I guess. 🙂


As I read this, I was so completely identifying with your situation and frustration! I am exactly like you, wanting to plan and control my time, and so undone when I need to change my plans. My mother and husband both have health issues, both in abeyance now (knock wood), and I have to speak harshly to myself, sometimes, when they need my help and I HAD OTHER PLANS. Your solution is excellent and I will remember it the next time . . . I hope all is resolved soon, and well.


I’ve bought sécateurs and gardening gloves for everyone and put the grandchildren onto deadheading and weeding. Plus my offer of payment was met with refusal by the parents who think it is the least they can do in return for being fed etc…


Sheesh, I wish my garden looked as awful as yours! :)) It’s gorgeous!!! I love that succulent.

As for life getting in the way of a carefully constructed schedule, I’m exactly the same way. Ever since grade school “trained” me to do so, I create a schedule for the day/week/month with what needs to get done, and sometimes distractions really put me off. It’s hard not to get frustrated or impatient with life’s pesky interruptions.

Still, I hope everyone’s doing better and allowing you to get back to your regularly scheduled program.


now I can’t see any weeds there*. All I see is good ground coverage, which is something I aim for to keep the ground mulched and reduce water loss, and stop soil erosion. Plus if they are weeds, they’ll be native, which is always a win for wildlife.
Well, it is here in the UK. I appreciate most of your wildlife is out to get you!

*MrG would say the nasturtiums are weeds, I let them sneakily self sow for prettifying salads, he rips them out in a curmudgeonly manner. I usually win 🙂


Your garden has some gems… that silver succulent! Interesting, I recently read an article on pruning roses, which says not to worry too much if you prune them late, give them a soft prune now, then another later. I’m definitely not a rose expert but if they’re happy where they are they are pretty resilient.
Despite it all, you sound upbeat, sense of humour intact… Mum, aka Mum 😁.
Control is a funny thing… too much nor too little is comfortable. You did just the right thing, a little work for your soul
Your Insta pics of the exhibition look fabulous, like you had a wonderful time. Wishing you, The Fella and your Mum back to life-as-usual.


I do hope life returns to normal for you soon! Though I long ago decided that just going with the flow seems to be the best way sometimes. It seems every time I plan to do something (like on Sunday!), it never actually happens! Love all the green in your garden too 🙂


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