Thursday, April 14, 2016

March Roses

The roses have been doing really well last month. I think they appreciated the rain that they got in March and also enjoyed the, for our climate, relatively cool temperatures. One variety after the other started to open its blooms and some reached their peak by the end of the month.



Rosa 'Chandos Beauty' was one of the most beautiful in my eyes!



I just show you some random shots of the blooms of this great Hybrid Tea rose.



It is now the third year in the garden and has reached some maturity.



The blooms are huge and...



...the fragrance is very strong.



It is also a good cut rose with long stems, if you are into something like that, and it lasts a decent time in the vase.



On the photo above you can see rosa 'Chandos Beauty' to the right and the reliable lovely rosa 'Pope John Paul II' to the left.



The flowers of  rosa 'Pope John Paul II' are always special to me.



I just can't resist the beauty of these wonderful and fragrant white roses.



Rosa 'Pierre de Ronsard' is also well loved in my garden. The heavy globular blooms are just so charming.



Here they are in the bud stage.



And this is one of my two bushes or 'Pierre de Ronsard'. It has gotten humongous and you can see on the photo how loaded the rose is with buds.



I am also very fond of rosa 'Auckland Metro,' growing in my White Garden Bed.



This rose is relatively healthy and I love the cream colored flowers.



The blooms of  rosa 'Reine des Violettes' are truly one of a kind! Their shades from crimson to violet are simply exquisite. The bush on the other hand is pretty scraggly one in my garden.



Close-up of 'Reine des Violettes'. Don't you just want to disappear in the silkiness of these petals? Loose yourself in the subtle refined colors?



Rosa 'Marie Pavie' reached the peak of her spring flush by the end of March. She is such a delightful, healthy and charming rose, always very willing to bloom.



A rose that also convinced with her good looks, her old-fashioned charm and her fragrance is 'Grandmother's Hat'.



Rosa 'Iceberg' always blooms her head off here in California. Two climbing varieties flank the sides of our garage. I keep the bushes relatively short, though.



Closer look at the 'Climbing Iceberg' blooms. They always look cheerful to me with their white petals and yellow stamens exposed as the blooms open fully. Bees love them, too.



Rosa 'Captain Christy', an old Hybrid Tea rose.



Even though I tried really hard (and often!) it was impossible for me to get a good shot of the white rosa 'Madame Alfred Carriere', because of the light conditions she is growing in. Parts of the rose are getting quite a bit of shade from my towering Queen Palms and a Pine Tree from my neighbor, but the tips of the canes are reaching into the sun.

The rose is in the ground for the third year and this spring she leaped. My photo does her beauty no justice at all, but at least you can see how profusely 'Madame Alfred Carriere' is blooming under the difficult light conditions she is living in and also considering the root competition from the palms and the Pine Tree.



The last beauty that I show you in this post is Rosa 'Belinda's Dream', a very carefree rose in my garden with lovely, big, full, pink blooms.

It is hard to believe, but from Thursday to Sunday we had rain on and off. Altogether a substantial amount came down, maybe about two inches, and that will carry the roses a long way this spring. I am so thankful for it. The downside is, that of course, it turned some of the rose blooms into a brown mushy blob, so lots of deadheading to do right now. I hope that I can whip the garden back into shape this weekend.

How are your roses doing? I guess, for the majority of my readers, who have a garden and grow roses, theirs are not blooming, yet, but they are well on the way to produce their first flush.  Do you think you are expecting a good spring flush? I certainly wish that for you, as I feel that there is hardly anything more lovely out there in the garden then a rose bush starting to bloom the first time in spring again, after the long winter rest. But of course, I am biased...

See you in the garden!

Christina



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Monday, April 4, 2016

End of Month View March - Front Yard Side Bed

Well, I guess I am the last person to participate in the March End of Month View meme, hosted by Helen, at The Patient Gardener. Sorry, my dear readers, but life has interfered with blogging again and I was only able to finish this post today. I sincerely hope that despite the delay you are still interested in following the process of changing my Front Yard Side Bed. 


March 2016

So lets get right to it. If you compare the photo above, taken March 29th, and the photo below from the end of February, the biggest visible changes are, that the roses have started to bloom and that the alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' is missing. Between February and the end of March the bed has been weeded over not only once but twice, since the weeds thrive on the new mulch and the fertilizer that was put down in February. Especially dandelions are having a ball and, as every one knows who has been dealing with them, they are very hard to remove. But in addition to that, in this bed their roots are entangled with the roots of the Queen Palms to the right and it is almost impossible to get the full root of the dandelions out. And, of course, if that can not be done, you turn away from the bed for a second and the next thing you know they are back. Well, I know I will be busy playing this game with them for quite a while...


 February 2016

 

Rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' is blooming her head off as usual and for that reason probably none of your will understand on the first glance, why I have made my final decision to remove this rose.

Before I move on, I want to apologize for the quality of the photos in this post. I was only able to take the pictures for it around noon on March 29th. It never leads to great images if you photograph in the middle of the day with the harsh sun light that we are already having at this time of the year, but I had no other choice.



Yes, it is true that the blooms of  'Our Lady of Guadalupe' are very pretty. I myself have to admit that in the first place I fell completely in love with the silvery pink flowers, which show up in great profusion with each flush.



But if you look closely at the foliage, you see it is very infected with powdery mildew. It doesn't seem to prevent the rose from blooming prolifically though, which is a miracle in itself, because usually if mildew is that present in a rose, the flower production is affected. Still, this diseased foliage bugs me tremendously. And it happens every year, when the climatic conditions are right, means cool nights and warm days, which we have very often here in San Diego. So even though it is hard, rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' will go into the trash bin.

I do have two more plants of this variety in the front yard though and I will keep these for now, so the separation from this rose is not as painful as it would be, if I would completely eradicate this variety form my garden.



If you aren't convinced yet, here is one more "yucky photo". See the powdery mildew not just on the leaves but also on the buds? You have to admit it is really disgusting.



This is alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' on March 19th, the day it was taken out of this bed. But don't worry, I didn't get rid off this one. 



The best parts of the plant where potted up carefully in five gallon containers using good potting soil. I got five new plants out of it, like pictured above, but I gave one to my faithful and hard working gardener already. I am sure it will not be difficult to find a new home for another one and the rest I intend to transplant to the backyard.  



This is rosa 'Charles Darwin', which has nicely bulked up between February and March and has produced a lot of buds.



Unfortunately there was a little mishap with this rose. If you look at the shot above, which shows 'Charles Darwin' from the back, you see that in the center of the rose and in the center of the outer lower side of it there are "holes". For reasons unknown to me a couple of canes just died back last month. I thought about rodent damage, but I couldn't find any traces, like holes in the ground or bite marks on the canes, of them. I hope, that the rose won't loose any further canes by now and that it will fill back in eventually.



There is another catch with this rose, though. I don't know if I really like the color. I had it in mind as a much darker muted yellow, at least in spring when the temperatures are still relatively cool for our circumstances and not as this very pale almost whitish yellow color. The rose may change color as it gets established, so now is not the moment for a final judgment, but I am curious what you think. Do you like it or not?



This month I intend to remove 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' and make a decision which two roses out of my pot ghetto should go into this bed. Finding rose colors that will go well together will be a fun and challenging task at the same time. But also the mature bush form and growth habit has to be taken in consideration. I hope that I am able to make pleasant rose matches and that I get at least one new rose planted, ideally two. But since my soil is so hard to dig I probably have to be realistic and only expect one new rose to be in ground by next End of Month View post. I hope you stop by again and see what roses have made the grade. 

Until then, if you haven't done it yet, I urge you to stop by at Helen's End of Month View meme and take a look what has happened in other people's gardens in March. 

Wishing all of you a great week!

See you in the garden!

Christina



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Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Most Exciting Garden Time of the Year!

Each time I do a stroll through the garden at this time of the year, I see something new. The garden is rapidly changing from day to day.  One rose after the other is starting to open its flowers and many perennials have begun to bloom as well. It is simply a joy to be outside and take it all in and often I can't help but just being in awe of the beauty of nature. Spring is definitively my most favorite season of the year here in Southern California!



Hardy geranium 'Biokovo'.



Rosa 'Georgetown Tea' flirting with the spring sun.



Rosa 'Marie Pavie' spilling over the decorative wall in the front yard.



Close-up of the blooms of rosa 'Marie Pavie'.



This is rosa 'Marie Pavie' again, shown from the other side. This photo is taken at about the same time as the photo two pictures above. This side of the rose gets more shade and most buds haven't opened, yet. But this shot shows well how full of buds this rose is. 



To my big surprise my 'Verbena Bonariensis', which I planted last autumn, has started already to bloom. The label said that the plant was supposed to flower in summer, but in Southern California you never know.



Rosa 'Climing Iceberg' glowing in the sun.



Same 'Climbing Iceberg' rose. It is also incredible full of buds this year. 



Rosa 'Captain Christy'. 



Another bloom of rosa 'Captain Christy', a little bit more open.



My humangous rose 'Pierre de Ronsard' in the backyard. This year it is very healthy and is also bearing loads of buds.



The color of  'Lavender Crystal' is almost surreal.



But this extraordinary color comes with a price. The little bush is suffering badly from blackspot. Almost the only rose in my garden that is plaqued by this disease. 



Of course, even though this is a wonderful time of the year, not everything is perfect. I am not completely happy with this combination here in the front yard. The Martha Washington geranium in the blue container seems to be too garish and it is badly clashing with the lavender blooms of rosa 'Lavender Crystal' to the very right. This part definitively needs some tweaking.



This is also an example where not everything was going according to plan. The lanzett shaped leaves in the background in the middle of the photo are purple flowering gladiolus coming up. The scragly plant in the middle of the circle of gladiolus is another 'Verbena Bonariensis' that almost died on me. Maybe only one fourth of the original plant is left. It was supposed to fill out the circle of gladiolus but, oh, well....



One of the first flowers of rosa 'Grandmother's Hat' hiding deep in the foliage of the rose.



This is a scene from my White Garden Bed. I finally planted five white flowering gaura lindheimeri 'Belleza White' behind the white column and they already are starting to bloom. The rose to the left is 'Pope John Paul II' and to the right is 'Chandos Beauty'.



Close-up of gaura lindheimeri 'Belleza White's' first blooms.

This is my third trial to get this area "right". First round I planted in place of the gauras white flowering irises, which died on me. Next attempt was to plant white flowering amaryllis belladonna, which only bloomed for a very short time in July or August and pulled in their foliage most of the time, because of the heat that we are having here. So the area behind the column was simply bare dirt. Hopefully I am more lucky with the gauras. So far I like the way they look!

Wishing everyone who celebrates it a very Happy Easter!

See you in the garden!

Christina



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