Sunday, October 16, 2016

September Roses

September was partly very hot this year here in San Diego inland and the roses struggled with the high temperatures and the low humidity and weren't really in a blooming mood. Add to that, that I was out of town for two weeks last month and it comes as a surprise that I was still able to take enough pictures worthy to be posted in my September Roses post, but here it is!

This is 'Koko Loko', one of my new ownroot Floribunda roses of this year. I think the brown blooms (yes, they are really of that brown color!) are absolutely stunning and very unusual. It would be lovely to use them in autumn bouquets, but my bush is still very little and I think I have to be patient and wait with that until next year.

I love this picture of the still tight rose bud.

Here is a fully opened flower of 'Koko Loko', where you can truly see the milk coffee like color of this rose. I am really looking forward to seeing this bush maturing and (hopefully) producing tons of these awesome blooms. So far the rose is healthy and growing well. It is not overly vigorous, but it is also not a puny plant either, which you can easily get with these odd ball colors.

'Auckland Metro' is a stalwart in my rose collection, on which I can really count on. 

I never get tired of this "inner glow" that this rose has. 

Over the years rosa 'Pierre de Ronsard' has become really humongous. The dimensions of this rose are really hard to see in this image, but just have in mind that the fence is six feet tall. Maybe that gives you a more clear idea of the size of this bush. For September the rose has been able to produce yet another decent flush. This is even more astounding, since I didn't get to fertilize it again after the summer flush.

Close-up of the blooms of 'Pierre de Ronsard'.

Rosa 'Pope John Paul II', another very reliable and much loved rose in my garden.

A rose which had a fantastic year so far is 'Pretty Jessica'. I find her globular blooms so endearing.

With rosa 'The Prince' I have a love/hate relationship: I love the color and outstanding fragrance of the blooms, but I hate the mildewed leaves, that this rose often gets in my garden.

Unfortunately, rosa 'Captain Christy' is still just a very puny bush in my garden and simply doesn't want to get stronger. I tried to pamper it in a big terracotta container, but nothing seems to help. Still the elusive, shell pink blooms make me want to try somewhat longer with this rose.

The unusually colored globular blooms, the health of the bush, the amount of flowers that this rose is able to produce with each flush and the strong pleasant fragrance make 'Charles Darwin' one of the best roses that I grow in my garden.

The blooms also last a long time in the vase...

... and the constant color changes that come with different temperatures make this rose always interesting to look at.

Rosa 'Rhodologue Jules Gravereaux', a very nice Tea Rose in my garden. Don't you just want to grow it for its beautiful and romantic name alone?

A rose which is characterized by its particularly beautiful and large flowers: Rosa 'Chandos Beauty'. This rose has one bad habit for me. In autumn it produces many very long canes that don't bloom, so called "blind shoots". I have no idea why, since I treat it the same way like all my other Hybrid Tea roses that don't show this phenomenon. It must have something to do with my climate.

Rosa 'Heritage' has also started to bloom again and is churning out her delicate soft pink blooms. The beauty of this rose is undeniable, but it is very fleeting. The flowers can drop their petals when it is hot within one day. And this is not an exaggeration!

Last but not least a perfect bloom of 'Moonstone'. Whereas previously on my blog I passionately defended roses from the title of being difficult primadonnas, this rose fully deserves it. You get incredible beautiful and perfect blooms when the rose is in the mood, but also a mildewy, sickly mess when it is not. 

Hope you are able to slow down a little bit, enjoy the autumn and still sniff some roses here and there. In case the roses are still flowering in your garden, which varieties are good autumn bloomers for you? Would you care to share? Please leave a comment, so that we rose lovers can all learn from each other. Many thanks!

See you in the garden!


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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Rescue Doberman Puppies Are Growing Fast

I wanted to report about our Doberman rescue puppies much more frequently, but alas my life has been too demanding to do so. But here I am today with another post about our little Doberman girls. In the following photos they have been eight to nine weeks old.

Here they are outside in our garden contained in a big X-Pen playing with Skylar, our adult red Doberman Pinscher, who is also a rescue Doberman. Playing for the Doberman puppies meant at this age nipping Skylar everywhere and all the time. From the left to the right right you see Elsa, Princess and Lilly.

For a male Doberman Pinscher Skylar was amazingly patient with them, but often even he had enough and needed some alone time to prevent things from getting out of hand. It is still amazing to me how much energy these little puppies had.

My husband bought stadium seats for us to have a more comfortable way to sit down and spent time with them in the X-Pen. Like everything else they made perfect chewing objects for them.

We got the puppies when they were about four weeks old and even though on these photos they are still very small in comparison to our mature Doberman boy, they had grown tremendously in the four to five weeks that we had them when these photos were taken.

Lilly and Skylar in one of the rare moments of quite when the puppies were awake.

The puppies at that age had still only three modes: Sleeping, playing and eating. Here Lilly crashed on the stadium seat.

They continued to love to huddle together for warmth and emotional comfort.

There was always something to sniff.

Elsa, on the right, sometimes could look pretty feisty already...

...and sometimes like the young, elegant, graceful Doberman lady that she was about to become.

They were so full of life and ready to explore the world. "What's next?" seemed to be a constant expression in their little faces.

Lilly, being curious and playful...

...and moments later giving you the typical, intense, fierce Doberman stare already

Love this profile photo of Lilly with her sister Princess in the background.

Lilly playing between the legs of my husband.

Gorgeous little girl!

The three siblings playing together. Elsa and Lilly are insight the X-Pen and Princess is outside, teasing them to get her.

It was always fun to see them interact, except when they were starting to get to rough with each other which happened sometimes, too.

Princess looking intensely...

...and seconds later is ready to go, which for a puppy means ready to play.

Profile shot of Princess. The two black Dobie girls looked remarkable similar.

In case you wonder, Princess is wearing a puppy harness, because we started to walk the puppies on a leash and a harness is gentler on their bodies than a collar, but also to be able to grab them more easily in case we had to, when they were getting to rough with each other or in trouble in the garden. 

Elsa, happily and proudly playing with a ball.

Isn't she cute?

"Come get me, if you can!"

Even at this age Elsa had still these unusual blue/olive colored eyes.

You got to stop and smell the roses - well, at least start with the leaves.

Always on the hunt.

Elsa aka Yoda: "I can walk myself"!

Hope you enjoyed seeing these photos from our rescue Doberman puppies. If you want to take a look at the two earlier posts that I did about them and read more about their story, please click here and here) They were a heck of a work, but boy, do I miss Elsa and Princess, that got adopted out soon after these photos were taken. As I mentioned previously, we kept Lilly for ourselves and she is growing rapidly into a beautiful Dobie female. It is almost hard to believe now that she was once so little.

Warm regards,


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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dahlias, Daylilies, Roses And More...

In this post I would like to fill you in on some of the things that I did in the garden over the last couple of weeks. I also will show you some plants that have bloomed recently.

The end of July is, of course, way too late to plant dahlia tubers, but that was the earliest time that I could find to get the job done. I bought these dahlia tubers, the variety is called 'Lucca Johanna', probably around March already and let them sit in the hot garage.

I was very surprised that there was still plenty of life in them. As you can see the tubers had sprouted new shoots. One thing that is odd though is, that one shoot of the tuber on the right is thick and of a bright light green color and the shoots of the other tuber on the left are much thinner and have a reddish color even though they are supposed to be the same variety. It looks more like that there were two different dahlia varieties in one bag. If I get them to survive, time will tell.

I planted the tubers in five gallon containers, using a high quality potting mix and kept my fingers crossed.

In January this year I bought a bare root daylily called 'Frosted Vintage Ruffles'. I planted the bare root fans into one gallon containers to let them develop a strong root system and also to see the real bloom color, before I place them in the garden (see my initial post here).

In the beginning of August they were blooming for the first time for me. The color is quite different from the sales photo on the bag, but I do like it very much. I intend to combine the daylily with a rose and I think that the pale apricot/pink 'Heritage' would be the perfect match.

I am happy to report that my dug up alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' from the front yard survived the transplant and is blooming in a five gallon container now.

In the front yard I am still working on re-designing this bed. Unfortunately not too much progress is made. The rose on the left side is 'Charles Darwin', which is planted into this spot not too long ago and is growing splendidly so far, even though it is planted in very close proximity to the big Queen Palms. The rose seems to put its energy into building a big bush and hasn't bloomed much so far,...

...but the blooms that it did produce were absolutely gorgeous. The flowers are huge, very fully petaled and have a strong fragrance. In addition to that I love the multi toned color of the blooms.

One drawback besides all the obvious advantages of  'Charles Darwin' is the fact, that the color of the blooms is not so easy to pair up with other colors. I wanted to plant another rose in the front of the bed though, and after much contemplating I settled on 'Crocus Rose'. Briefly after I planted 'Crocus Rose', which was already waiting in my pot ghetto, in the front of the bed, we went on vacation.

I had someone watering and taking care of the garden during our absence, but when I came back, I only found the brown little nothing. that you can barely see two photos above. I don't blame my garden caretaker at all though, since I know it is very difficult to get newly planted roses through the heat of summer.

 I still hoped that 'Crocus Rose' (close-up of the unlucky plant above) would grow new leaves or even come back from the roots, but after a few months of patiently waiting for a miracle to happen I gave up and decided to replace 'Crocus Rose' with another one. 

My choice fell on 'Cymbaline', an older David Austin rose that you rarely find in commerce nowadays and that I had growing in my pot ghetto for a long time. 

Once I had dug up the 'Crocus Rose' I examined the root ball to find the cause of its death, but other than that you could see that the roots hadn't grown into the new environment at all it was inconclusive.

The hole for the new rose was enlarged...

...and I popped 'Cymbaline' into her new home and fertilized with organic rose fertilizer and alfalfa meal.

I am trying to create a small berm in the middle of the bed, so the only thing that was left to do was to fill up the front of the bed with more soil and hope for the best.

Very shortly after that, to my great delight, 'Cymbaline' started to bloom. Color-wise it might not be as good of a choice to pair it up with 'Charles Darwin' as 'Crocus Rose' had been, but I think it could work.

Like many other David Austin roses, 'Cymbaline' changes its colors quite a bit. It can take on a warm apricot/orange tone when the temperatures are very high...

...or a more muted almost cool pink color, when temperatures are more moderate to cool.

I am enchanted by the more informal, blowzy style of the blooms,...

...but the most remarkable feature of 'Cymbaline' is its very strong myrrh fragrance.

 I really do hope that the colors of 'Charles Darwin' and 'Cymbaline' will go harmoniously together, but to definitively judge about that both roses need to bloom more profusely and at the same time. So probably I will only know next year for sure. Gardening requires patience...

These are my baby rose bands that I ordered from Chamblee's Rose Nursery in the beginning of this year (I blogged about them here). They are ready to be potted up from the one gallon containers they came in into two gallon containers, which is what I did.

Usually I use Edna's Best Potting Soil from E.B Stone Organics and I am quite happy with the quality of that potting soil, but when I went to my favorite nursery to buy some more bags of it, they pointed out to me, that E. B. Stone Organics have come out with a new, better potting soil called Ultimate Recipe.

I believe that good potting soil is very important to give my rose bands an optimal start, so, despite the higher price tag, I was willing to try it out. So far I only can say that Ulitmate Recipe Potting Soil looks and feels "richer" than Edna's Best, but the ultimate test will be how the young rose bands will do in it. I will keep you updated.

Here are the small rose bands cleaned up of brown ratty leaves and potted up in two gallon containers. From the left to the right you see: rosa 'Souvenir de la Malmaison, rosa 'Koko Loko', rosa 'Gruss an Aachen', and rosa 'Love Song'. I hope the bands will put on some substantial growth by the end of this year, especially since the temperatures in our climate will cool down now, that we have autumn.

Another casualty of this summer! I am so sad to have lost rosa 'Burnaby'. This is an older cream white Hybrid Tea rose with a darker yellow center and huge wonderfully formed blooms. It will be hard to find 'Burnaby' in commerce nowadays, if at all. But because it is so beautiful, I will make a very serious attempt to see, if I can find a way to acquire it, again.

On a more positive note my blue flowering penstemon has had a second decent flush by the end of August. I am really in love with the dainty little bell shape blooms. 

This beautiful looking green bug is a June Beetle hiding in a bloom of rosa 'Pope John Paul II'. These guys are quite large and they feasted on my roses. I have never seen as many in my garden as this year. I have to say I wasn't thrilled and hope next year we will have less, again. Almost as to make up for that nature send much fewer earwigs, which also munch on my roses.

I started to fertilize my roses for the second time and they responded beautifully. Here you see 'Pope John Paul II' delivering another flush. It is one of my favorite roses!

What have you been up to in your garden lately? Please, do share in the comments!

See you in the garden!


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