January 29, 2012

A few of my favourite things, part 1 – guest blog by B_Twin

Border Collies

This is fairly predictable I suppose. After all, I do have three of them^.

Border Collies are brilliant. Sometimes, a little too brilliant…

Bramble, for example, is very excitable. And at the moment she’s excited because she heard about Mongo the Border Collie who saves (probably) the whole universe as we know it.

Miss Enthusiasm

(She’s pretty handy with the sheep too when she isn’t in the computer chair! I’m training her for her next sheepdog trial which, all going well, will be in March.)


Brighid, on the other hand, is a laid back kind of farm dog. She loves nothing better than being with you 110% of the day. A bit of work on the sheep, a bit of play with her sister and then just “hanging out”. Sometimes I stop to contemplate the view^^ and a few nano-seconds later there is a head under my hand, ready and waiting for the skritch!

"Where to now, Boss?"


Belle (their mother) is highly obsessed with the toy, ball, hens, horses, sheep – WHATEVER.  Obsession is definitely a Border Collie “thing”.  And they have FOCUS.

Belle bringing in the hens for the evening


Being stared at with a “Border Collie stare” tends to make you uncomfortable – Belle does it to me when she is in the passenger footwell of the car. She rests her head on the seat or whatever and then just stares, unblinking, as I’m driving. Arrrgggghhhh. No wonder sheep move away!!


Belle and Bramble are also “revheads”. They think nothing of going down the highway at 100km/hr like this:

The fangirl becomes a revhead

Idiots! Which is why I end up with putting them in the front with me when I need to go down the highway. (I’m quite certain Bramble would surf on top of the cab if I let her. Craaaazy dog. LOL )

And because I might be a little strange^^^, I get a kick out of having plants with the same names as my pets.  Which brings me to another favourite thing:



I don’t think I could have a garden without roses. (Note to self: never move anywhere where roses won’t grow!)

Here’s a little of my rose collection§.

'St Brigid's Rose'



'Belle Story'


I haven’t managed to get the “bramble rose” yet (it’s a species rose). Of course I could use the feral briar rose growing on the side of the road. Prickly, all over the place and “sweet as”. That’s Bramble. LOL


I do have one that is all over the place though. Literally. I had ordered a nice, tame climber to grow up near the front porch and give some summer shade. I thought the location would be reasonably challenging for a rose so when it reached around 7’ high in only three months I became … nervous. Then it flowered and I had no doubt that it was not what was ordered. I had, in fact, received the very rose I had thought about and decided against because it was a house eater.

Meet ‘Wedding Day’ at 3 months:

Not a nice tame climber. 3 months growth from bare-rooted.


12 months later she looked like this:

'Wedding Day' aka "Bridezilla"

She hasn’t the biggest thorns in the world but she has plenty of prickles and a wicked sense of humour that sees her snagging the unwary passerby. We’ve nicknamed her “Bridezilla”! And she’s doing the job admirably so she gets to stay. And the bees adore her flowers. (Robin has now suggested to me that maybe it’s ‘Kiftsgate’. She likes to torment me. ‘Kiftsgate’ would swallow a whole block of houses.)

Now, back to some more lady-like roses…

‘Chateau de clos Vougeot’ (bush version)


‘French Lace’, which has been a real stunner this year and just bloomed and bloomed despite a lot of the others feeling the heat, or Black Spot, or whatever.

'French Lace'



‘Oklahoma’ is a big bush with big flowers that have a rich, heady scent.




One of the best performing David Austin roses at my place is ‘Tess of the D’Ubervilles’.

'Tess of the D'Ubervilles'


And, just in case I’m putting everyone to sleep with so many roses, here’s one last one. This one was mentioned a few years ago by Robin in a blog entry and it took me ages to track it down and finally get one. The name alone is enough to love her for – she also has a pretty sweet scent. She does have a reputation for being problematic. So far, so good over here. (Robin may be using the bubblewrap on her flowers though….)

'Tipsy Imperial Concubine'


Of course, I do have lots of other photos of roses, sheep, castles and some of my other favourite things. Possibly enough for another guest blog if it is required. ;) *




^ In case anyone was wondering – my Border Collies are medium-short coated which is  better for working in hot weather.

^^ The view from the back paddock:

A spring morning in the lambing paddock


^^^Please don’t answer that..!

§ Well over a hundred varieties at last count. I’ll end up having to plant them in the paddock next… haha

* Guest posts are ALWAYS required.  –ed.



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