Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garden Happenings in July

Since I am back from England it has become quite hot here in San Diego inland with temperatures being in the low to mid 80s in the daytime and I am pretty busy deadheading and watering, watering, watering. Other than that I can only do small projects mainly on the weekends, because there is just no time left for more.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

I love this photo of 'Grandmother's Hat' dropping her petals early in the morning of what will become a hot summer day. I feel it represents summer so well.


One little project I am working on is to fertilize all the roses for the second time in the growing season. In parts I have to spread organic compost beneath them again. It would have been better, if I had been able to fertilize them earlier, since my roses are looking a little tired by now and are not blooming as profusely as they could, but better now then never, right? I am feeding them again alfalfa meal and Bio-Start an organic fertilizer that is recommended and sold this year by the San Diego Rose Society. This fertilizer is much cheaper than the E.B Stone organic rose fertilizer. I am curious to find out if it is also as good as the latter. I am completely done fertilizing the roses in the front yard and most of the roses planted in the ground in the backyard are fed already, too. But then I still have to get to all the roses in the containers...

One of my cycads is working on its own project. After two years of just sitting there it is finally producing a new layer of fronds. It is just about time because the old fronds have become yellow and brown and do not look that great anymore. Soon the new layer of fronds will replace them visually and I can cut the old ones of.

Here is a bigger photo of the "White Bed", taken just a few days later. You can see how much the new layer of fronds has already grown. Cycads do not grow continuously and have long periods where they just rest, but when they produce a new layer of fronds then these cycads do that at an amazing pace. The 'Iceberg' roses are working on their second flush this year.

Same bed photographed from the other side. Can you see the very small silver leaved plants in front of the second cycad to the right?

I believe this plant is called artemisa 'Silvermound' and I think it is very pretty, but somehow it does not like to grow in my garden. I would have wished that by now they had filled in like the 'Dusty Miller' surrounding the other cycad to the left. I planted the artemisa 'Silvermound' in December last year and they just have started to put on a little bit of size, but still do not look happy. I will wait a little longer, but if they do not behave they get replaced with something else. I am running out of patience...

My gardenia 'Veitchii' was blooming so beautifully and profusely, but now is coming to an end or is just taking a "breathing break", I am not quite sure, yet. It is supposed to be an ever-blooming gardenia, though, whatever that means. By now unfortunately I only get very occasionally a bloom like you can see on the photo above.

'Yolande d'Aragon' is still repeating very well. I find the flowers so sumptuous and lavish. Again another symbol of the of summer to me.

Because I ran out of organic rose soil when my husband and I were planting 'Mme. Ernest Calvat' (click here to see the previous post about that) I had to drive to the nursery. Even though I am on "plant buying stop" until I have reduced my pot ghetto I could not leave without this alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie'. I was so smitten with the white flowers with the very pale pink stripe in the middle of each flower petal. Most alstroemerias that I have seen here in California are much more bold, which is not so much to my liking. Interestingly when I googled this one I found out that it is bred in England in Chichester in the county of West Sussex, an area that we just visited when we were on vacation. What a coincidence!

What also came with me from the nursery visit are these herbs. To the left two Sweet Italian Large Leaf Basil plants and to the right Curled Parsley. I am looking forward for these to grow and later spice our dishes. For some reason I have had trouble growing parsley here in San Diego previously. Maybe it is simply too hot for parsley? I am curious to see how this one will fair.

'William Shakespeare 2000', still a relatively small rose in a two gallon container, is really willing to bloom, but I would wish that he also would show more willingness to be disease resistant. The rose is still mildewing quite a bit, but so far it does not seem to affect its ability to flower. I so hope that it will grow out of this problem.  

A rose that has already grown out of its mildew problems is 'Green Ice', a miniature. I got this rose from my Rosarian friend Stephanie. Thank you so much again, for this cute little guy, Stephanie! It has given me already so much pleasure.

This is 'Storm Cloud' a tall, very dark blue late flowering agapanthus, which just has started to come into its own in my garden. On my monitor the color is not captured properly by my camera. It is darker and more purple/blue in reality.

Here is another shot of the same agapanthus. I am so in love with the color!

One more photo of 'Grandmother's Hat'. She is one of my favorite Old Garden Roses and I am surprised that she can take the heat so well. Her petals are thin, but she is not crisping as much as I thought she would.

'Zephirine Drouhin' is repeating well for me for the first time this year. The citrus fragrance is truly outstanding, but the whole bush is not looking so pretty right now. There are a lot of yellow leaves and the tall bush (at least 8' x 8') looks a little bit unruly.

The 'Endless Summer' hydrangea is still going strong. I am very pleased with this plant, so much so that I got two more hydrangeas: 'Penny Mac' also a repeat flowering one and 'Nikko Blue'. I am very curious to see how they will turn out.

Close-up of a hydrangea flower. They are so perfect and pretty. 

There are many more things happening in the garden right now, but I will finish for today! Hope you are having a great summer!
See you in the garden!



  1. Beautiful summer garden, Christina !
    Now, that I saw your hydrangea, I am sure, we have the same plant. I am glad, to find out his name. Thank you .
    And those roses ..." Yolande d'Aragon " is a dream.
    I have problems with the parsley in the summer too. But the basil is ok in the hot months.

  2. Christina ~ You have such a beautiful garden, filled with so much loveliness. Tropicals, annuals, perennials, herbs, roses, scents, colors, textures and shapes. I enjoyed this little tour at your place this morning.

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. All any of us can do at this point is 'hope' things will get better.

    Happy summer gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. Love the mass planting of Dusty Miller in your garden. I too was initially disappointed with my Austins in the garden. But have taken a 3 year approach to watching them come into their own in my garden. I call it, sleep, creep, leap! One word for each year. My 4 yr old Austins are doing very well. Love your blog and beautiful roses!

  4. You have some very pretty blooms! I can see I need Grandmother's Hat. And Green Ice looks much more pretty than the name suggests! I wonder why your artemisia is not growing. Your dusty millers look great!

  5. Thank you Dani, I am glad that you like my garden in summer :-)! 'Yolande d'Aragon' is one of my favorites right now. It is an hybrid perpetual and I am really astonished that it can deal with the heat so well. That is very interesting to know that your parsley is not doing well in summer, too.

    Flowerlady, thank you for your nice comment. When I read it I was really touched. Yes, I agree with you hope is a very precious thing and I feel it needs to be cultivated in good or bad times. Again, all the best to you!

    redneckrosarian, thanks for leaving such a nice comment. The "mass planting" of Dusty Miller are actually only 4 plants :-). It has grown like crazy in my yard, almost too much! I also believe that you should give a rose at least 3 years (climbers even more) to get established and a chance to show its potential. It is encouraging to hear that your Austins improved over time.

    Holley, thanks for your comment. If you get 'Grandmother's Hat' I am interested to hear how she is doing for you. As I wrote in my garden she is surprisingly heat resistant, but I don't know what will happen to her in your three digit number summer. I grow her in an area where she gets some shade by the way. The blooms of 'Green Ice are really turning green as they age. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but i find it fascinating to look at.


  6. Christina, I absolutely LOVE your Yolande d'Aragon; it's one of the most perfect old roses, and yours is gorgeous, as is your Grandmother's Hat. Little Miss Sophie is a doll and seems just right for your garden. Great blog as always. Hurray for your cycad!

  7. Christina, I love seeing all of your roses and other plants because I'll never see them in my garden. I do have Endless Summer and Penny Mac. Your photos are lovely, too.

  8. Sherry, thanks for your kind comment. I am glad you like the roses and plants in my garden. Do you see any difference between the Endless Summer and the Penny Mac hydrangea? And if so what is the difference?


  9. I love your white bed! Those Icebergs are such workhorses... Your WS2000 looks great, I hope it outgrows its mildew soon. I was glad to see your GH - my Tina Marie is growing well too!

  10. Agapanthus is easier for me to grow than roses! We have a lot of rains and black spots! Good thing is I can enjoy roses in other bloggers' gardens! Thank you!

  11. Masha, yes, the 'Iceberg' roses have the quickest repeat out of all my roses. Unfortunately the "White Bed" is very narrow and they poke me and my pool guy at every chance they get. I am thinking about to replace them with a smaller rose, even though they are so pretty, but it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain them and I don't like that they grow so much in the cycads! Grandmother's Hat is healthy and blooming well for me so far. I am contemplating to get another one or one of her sports for a different spot in the garden. Would love to see photos of your 'Tina Marie'!

    Tatyana, thanks for visiting my blog! Agapanthus are easier to grow for me then roses, too, even though we don't have much black spot pressure :-)! Powdery mildew is more of a problem here and we don't get rain in the summer. I guess you can never have it all!


  12. Green Ice is a FANTASTIC little rose! It's literally the most free-blooming rose in our garden--more that Belinda's Dream, Georgetown Tea, Cramoisi Superieur, or Duchesse de Brabant.

    It's small, tidyish, doughty, and old-fashioned, with an adorable green eye. Just a wonderful little fellow.

    I very envious of your gorgeous agapanthus. Those dark blue ones are so spectacular!

  13. Elgin-house, welcome to my blog! I am glad to read that you consider 'Green Ice' a very fine little rose. To me it is still new so I don't have that much experience with it, therefore it is good to hear your positive feedback. Yes, the dark blue/purple agapanthus look quite amazing. Maybe you can get this variety where you live, too?