Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, England I

It is hard to believe for me that over two months have passed since I posted last time and I would like to apologize to all readers who came here only to find that there is still nothing new. An important and very time-consuming work-related project and a trip to New Mexico came into the way of blogging. But the project is now successfully completed and I am back home since yesterday.

In the meantime, autumn has come and I hope with that, calmer days which will leave me more time to post regularly again. The good thing for me is though, that through an interruption like this I realized once more how much I love blogging and how much I missed it.

I was really looking forward to writing today's post for quite some time now. I am taking you to Kiftsgate Court Gardens, a wonderful garden located very close to the famous Hidcote Manor Garden (about which I blogged here) in the Cotswolds, in England, which we visited during our vacation in June this year. I simply love this garden and I hope if you aren't already, you will fall in love with it, too.

One thing that is special about this garden is that it was created by three generations of female gardeners: Heather Muir, Diany Binny and Anne Chambers, who have developed a very distinct feminine and romantic style in parts of this large garden. In the photo above you see the area of the garden which is called the Four Squares and Terrace which I will be showing in more detail further down in this blog post.

But let's start right from the beginning. This is the first impression that you get from Kiftsgate Court Gardens. Tables painted in Kiftsgates signature blue filled to the brim with lovely plants that are for sale. You can't imagine how much I regretted not being able to buy anything, but it is strictly forbidden to import plants into the US. You acquire your ticket from a person that sits where the sun umbrella is and then you walk around the left corner of the house... see this charming scene. The climbing rose is just lovely and beautifies the entry to the small cafe where you can get a simple lunch, tea or coffee and an assortment of scones and cakes and other refreshments. But that is for later.

Already when you look down at the small beds by the house in this area you know you are in for something special. They are so well thought out and planted with such a nice variety of well cared for plants.

When you continue to go around the house and look to the right you get a first glimpse of the part called Four Squares and Terrace.

But before I take you there, I want to stop at this small red border which I think is masterfully planted. I really like the combination of the red roses, the purple smoke bush and the fresh green of the other plants.

Close-up of the beautiful smoke bush.

Lovely red rose from this section of the garden.

The contrast of leave colors, textures, and shapes is quite interesting.

Does anyone know what plant this is?

Looking at the small red border from a little further away.

And from another angle.

From the red border, you can look down to the Terrace which is more formal, but very pleasing as well. Love the stone garden bench. What a treasure! The view from the Terrace into the countryside is quite spectacular, but unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of it.

On this photo, you can see that the low walls in this part of the garden are covered with chicken wire, which gives the climbing plants something to hold onto to conquer the otherwise slippery gray stone walls.

Now we are entering the beforementioned area called The Four Squares, consisting of four rectangular beds. The abundance of plants here is quite mind-boggling. The beds are filled to the brim with roses, perennials and interesting shrubs. To me, this is the garden of my dreams!

Some of the roses there had the most unusual colors. Like the one on the photo above. They must have had heavy rains before our visit, hence some of the blooms are a little spoiled, but they are still incredibly beautiful to me.

The design is strictly geometrical in this part of the garden, which brings a sense of calm to the densely planted flower beds.

Another special rose that caught my eye.

Even though it doesn't make for the prettiest photo I love the fact that someone took the time to stake the canes of the roses individually. Labor of love!

Classic design and a beautiful sundial. The gray stone paths let this area look quite elegant.

I love this assortment of roses in mauve, tan, brown and lavender and anything in between here.

The fascinating color combinations more up close. The blue accompanies the lavender, mauve, and light lavender so well.

The dark purple eye makes this rose quite interesting. 

No matter where you look in this area the plant and color combinations are all exquisite. Here I especially like the clear blue flowering plants.

Opulent white peonies and dainty blue flowers create magic together.

One of the many lovely roses planted in this area.

Most of the peonies were slightly past their prime when we visited, but that had its own charm.

Aren't they still beautiful?

Another very charming flower combination.

And the last photo features another very charming single rose.

For today I will end this post since it has gotten already quite long, but there is much more to see in this garden so there will be more entries about Kiftsgate Court Gardens on this blog. I hope you come back for future posts. 

I just want to mention that even though I have not been able to blog regularly, I have been posting photos almost daily on my relatively new Instagram account. So if you are interested and you missed what I have been up to there, please click on the link. 

Wishing everyone a beautiful, fresh, new week. Here in San Diego, the temperatures have finally come down and I can't wait to be able to do some real gardening again and not just spend the days trying to keep up with the watering and deadheading.

See you in the garden!

Warm regards,


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day July 2017

Better a little bit late to the party than not going at all... That is how I felt about participating in the Garden Blogger's Bloom Day meme hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month.

So here is a quick glimpse at some plants that are blooming in my garden in the moment. All photos were taken in the last two days.

I am only trying to grow dahlias in my garden since last year, a fact, that I hardly can understand anymore. They are so beautiful and the flowers are holding up surprisingly well in our relentless summer heat. On top of that, they also produce very good cut flowers and who doesn't like to bring flowers from the own garden into the house and create lovely bouquets or simply enjoy a single pretty bloom or two in a vase? 

The one on the photo above was supposed to be the lavender colored variety 'Blue Boy', which it is clearly not, but whatever it is, I really like it. The water drops are unfortunately only from hand-watering the dahlias, we don't have any rain at all here in the summer months, but at least they make for a nice photo!

One of my most floriferous dahlias is 'Bridezilla' and even though I have read that it is very difficult to grow white flowering dahlias, because the blooms are easily blemished and show brown spots, the flowers of this one are almost always pristine.

My roses do bloom in the heat, but often the flowers, especially the edges of the petals are parched by the early afternoon. Here rosa 'Yolande d'Aragon' is showing off her sumptuous beauty. Her fragrance is to die for.

This photo captures the old fashioned bloom form of rosa 'Yolande d'Aragon' well. I am still in love with Old Garden Roses like this one. They are truly special and most of them have an intoxicating scent.

Salvia 'Amistad' is new to me this year and is a little beyond its prime, but it is for sure a garden worthy plant.

Another shot of salvia 'Amistad'. It has become humongous within only a few month in the front yard and I have to move it to another place that is more suitable for its size.

This is dahlia 'Jennifer's Wedding'. It flowers in the darkest burgundy purple color that you can imagine. Only when it is almost spent, a small bright yellow eye opens in the center of the bloom.

This photo shows part of the front yard. In the foreground, you see two salvias 'Mystic Spires Blue', which also have become really tall by now and I had to cut them already partly back because they were blocking the walkway to the front door.

Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait' is a dinner plate dahlia and the flowers are truly spectacular in terms of the coloration and their size. It is one of my favorites!

This is the last flower stalk of daylily 'Gentle Shepherd'. I wish it would rebloom like many daylilies do, but this is a once-blooming variety in my garden.

Here is another shot of daylily 'Gentle Shepherd'.

Rosa 'Pink Pet' is always very sweet to look at and the rose is completely healthy in my garden, but it frys very fast in the relentless heat that we are having.  

Dahlia 'Lucca Johanna' was the first dahlia that grew and bloomed for me last year and I am afraid it started another plant obsession. It produces nice cut flowers on an admittedly not so great looking plant. It grows a bit straggly, but because of the beauty of its blooms, that is forgiven. 

Rosa 'The Prince' is doing surprisingly well in this heat and wants to bloom, only to have its precious dark purple flowers burnt by the sun very quickly. But that gives me the guilt-free pleasure to cut as many blooms as I want in the morning and bring them into the house to enjoy them there.

Would you have guessed that this is a dahlia as well? Nowadays they come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors that for sure there is a dahlia out there for everyone. This particular variety is called 'Platinum Blonde' and I really love the form of the blooms, but this lady is a little stingy with her flowers so far.

By the way, I am growing all of my dahlias in five-gallon containers. I assumed that would be the easiest and quickest way to get started with them, but I think they would prefer to grow in the ground. Next year, my lovelies...

I conclude with a photo of rosa 'Bewitched', an older classic Hybrid Tea rose. The blooms of this rose withstand the heat surprisingly well and are really good for cutting. The strong damask fragrance is amazing!

Before I finish, I would like to mention again, that I am now on Instagram as well. I am posting daily and if you like to see more from my garden and other private and public gardens in the US and abroad in England and Germany, please visit me there as well. You can simply click on the link or on my Instagram button on the right side of my sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this post! If you are in the mood to look at more flowers that have been blooming today in gardens all over the world, I would suggest that you go over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens and take a look at other garden blogger's entries. I am sure it's fun! 

See you in the garden!


I am linking  up to 
May Dreams Gardens - Garden Blogger's Bloom Day  //  Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //  Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  // A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays  // A Southern Daydreamer - Outdoor Wednesday  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  Eclectic Red Barn - Thursday Favorite Things  //  A Delightsome Life - Home And Garden Thursday  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else  //  Create, Bake, Grow & Gather - Shabby Art Boutique  //  How Sweet The Sound - "Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //  Everyday Living - Gardens Galore  //

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cozy Casita II, The Lovely Courtyard

It has been hot, hot, hot in the last couple of days here in San Diego inland with highest temperatures reaching 99F/37C yesterday. Needless to say that my garden is suffering and I often wish, that I had planted a more drought and heat tolerant garden at this time of the year.

There is just one catch, even though it is not politically correct to say, I have to admit that often drought tolerant gardens are not very appealing to me. I simply love my roses too much. But two years ago I had the chance to visit an incredibly beautiful one which was a true exception. I blogged about it already here, showcasing the front yard and today I will continue to introduce you to it and take you into the very lovely courtyard.

You enter the courtyard through a small insignificant wooden door from the street and suddenly you are in a completely enclosed very cozy and colorful space decorated with many, many containers holding drought tolerant plants. I was very impressed by this big cactus, adorned with, what I believe is, Spanish Moss.

The attention to detail in this garden room was incredible. Look for example at the foot of the cactus from the photo above. It is underplanted with many pretty succulents in all shapes and sizes and a small blue and white ceramic sphere is placed just for a pop of additional interest.

Details of the fountain that you can see in the first photo of this post. It looks like all the objects are loosely placed in the stone bowl that is the actual fountain. That certainly makes for a captivating display. The Mexican tiles add plenty of color and cheerfulness to the space.

A view of one corner of the courtyard. Plenty of beautiful containers in many different shapes, sizes and materials and some art objects are keeping your attention.

This looks like an old fireplace, that is not used anymore. More fascinating containers planted with small drought tolerant plants. I love the blue ornate sphere in the right corner. Blue was definitively a color that was often used and tied it all together.

Another container vignette. I love the blue-gray hues of these plants.

This one was my favorite. It really looked like that. The photo is not photoshopped.

This unique table was placed in the middle of the courtyard and shaded by a white sun umbrella. I think this is an amazing place to have breakfast or to end the day with a nice drink. I definitively would feel very comfortable here. 

This is the left side of the actual entrance to the house. The door to the house is open, visible to the right of the photo.

Another interesting pot parade to the right side of the entrance to the house. Do you see the beautiful copper rain chain?  And the Mexican violinist made out of metal? To reach the back yard, which was actually located on a very difficult to plant, steep, hilly terrain, you needed to walk through the house. The backyard was nothing short of spectacular, but this is material for another post.  

If you liked this courtyard and you haven't seen my first post about this garden, yet, I highly encourage to click the link below and go back and take a look at the front yard. I think it is truly special as well.

Cozy Casita I, Front Yard

Hope you are able to stay nice and cool and enjoy the summer if you are living in the Nothern Hemisphere. I am not a big fan of water, but I may consider taking a dip in the pool later today, the heat is really getting to me.

See you in the garden!

Warm regards,


I am linking up to 
Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //  Everyday Living - Gardens Galore  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  //  A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday  //  A Southern Daydreamer - Outdoor Wednesday  //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  //  Eclectic Red Barn - Thursday Favorite Things  //  A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday & Everything Else  //  Shabby Art Boutique - Create, Bake, Grow & Gather  //  How Sweet The Sound - "Anyting Goes" Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //