Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Roses

This month has been yet again a good month for my roses here in San Diego. The climbing roses like 'Zephirine Drouhin' and 'Pierre de Ronsard' are already mostly done for this season and the Hybrid Perpetuals like 'Baronne Prevost', 'Yolande d'Aragon', 'Reine des Violettes', and 'Grandmother's Hat' did not repeat this autumn, but since this is their first year in the ground that may improve in one or two years. But Floribundas like 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' and 'Iceberg' are blooming their heads off as well as some of my Hybrid Tea roses like 'Pope John Paul II', 'Bewitched' or 'Sweetness'. The Tea rose 'Georgetown Tea' is also producing a full new flush. How great is that! Admittedly autumn is not my favorite season, but I love how my roses responded with better bloom shape and color to the cooler weather.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

The opening rose of this post is 'Belinda's Dream'. I just casually plopped one bloom in my hyacinth vase and voila great beauty is achieved! The perfection of the flower blows me away each time when I look at the bloom. I also love the muted pastel-pink color of the rose. It is a good variety for hot climates and in my garden the foliage is very healthy. The rose comes with a to my nose light fragrance, which matches the light pink color and is very pleasant.

Only last year I started to grow Miniature roses. I don't know why I was not considering them earlier, because they are so beautiful and versatile to use. On the photo above you can see 'Old Fashioned Girl'. Because it got water logged at least twice in its young life the rose had a rough start in my garden, but lately it has grown enough to be planted in a nice bigger terracotta container and now it rewards me with its first "real flush" of blooms. The flowers last exceptionally long on the bush, have a lovely white color with an apricot tint. The only drawback that I found so far is that there is no fragrance, even though this rose is supposed to be very fragrant. I have read that sometimes it takes a rose three years to develop its full potential in the fragrance department, so I guess there is still hope.

This is a close-up of a bloom of 'Old Fashioned Girl'. I just wonder why this rose is not more popular. Besides the lovely flowers its foliage is very clean in my garden.

'Baronne Edmond de Rothschild' is still a young Hybrid Tea rose growing own root in a one gallon pot. So far she made it to produce some stunning flowers already. I really like the white/silverish reverse on this rose. The fragrance is lovely, too. I am looking forward to seeing this baby become more mature.

'Pierre de Ronsard'. I have two of these great French roses. One is not blooming anymore and seem to have no intentions to change this this autumn, but the other, which is in an a more shady location is still able to produce a few of those gorgeous, sumptuous blooms. Go figure!

'White Meidiland' is classified as a shrub rose. I believe this will become a very elegant rose as it matures. I can never get enough of white roses. Do you? 'White Meidiland' is supposed to be very disease resistant, but in my garden it has shown a little bit of powdery mildew. Hopefully this happened because the rose was "pot stressed" and will disappear as soon as the rose will be planted into the ground.

'Jilly Jewel' is another of my relatively new Miniature roses. It was not doing well for a while sitting too long in a too small container. But since I replanted it is has come around nicely. I love the very delicate light pink blooms. This Miniature is said to be moderately fragrant, but oddly I cannot detect any fragrance at all so far. I read that it is used in the cut flower industry, so it must be a good fast repeating rose, I guess.

Another photo of 'Belinda's Dreams' this time in the bud stage and on the bush. I found the water drops particularly pretty in this shot.

A spray of blooms of my favorite Tea rose right now: 'Georgetown Tea'. I just cannot get enough of the delicate very elegant blooms. Tea roses have very special bloom shapes and are certainly not satisfying for the "typical" Hybrid Tea exhibitor, but I happen to love them. I am really thankful that I discovered this great class of roses and consider to plant quite a few more in my garden in the future.

'Pope John Paul II' is in a full new flush right now and giving me these white gorgeous blooms that are really close to perfection. I did cut two flowers for indoors and they are sitting right next to me while I am working on this post and the fragrance is truly stunning.

'Charles Rennie Mackintosh' is also a newer David Austin rose in my garden. I bought it because it is supposed to have a very special shade of pink, but so far I have to say I am not impressed by the color. When I smelled it today I decidedly did not like the fragrance that my nose perceived. So far it is unheard of me not liking a rose fragrance. So what is up with this?

'Bewitched' has given me another full flush of her great blooms. They are so good cut flowers. I happily noticed that her foliage is healthier now. It was suffering from powdery mildew lately, again. Nonetheless it is a great rose in my opinion and I won't be without it. 

'William Shakespeare 2000' was also able to shrug of the powdery mildew and pleased me with its beautiful blooms. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the rose bounty that my garden was giving me this month. 

Wishing you all a great rest of the weekend and Happy Halloween on Monday!
See you in the garden!


Monday, October 24, 2011

... And What is Cooking in my Own Garden?

After publishing two posts about someone else's garden I feel it is time to report about my garden, again. Well, it has definitively become fall in my neck of the woods, and even though some people say we do not have four seasons in Southern California I strongly have to disagree. Things are changing here quite a bit in autumn and winter, too, even though the changes might not be as drastic as in areas where you have long cold winters.

 (you can click on the photos to enlarge)

Since roses still play the lead in my garden I would like to start with writing about one of my most beloved ones. It is 'Georgetown Tea', a found Tea rose, that I just planted into the ground in the beginning of August (click here to see the rose at planting time) in between a group of Queen Anne Palms. I feel the delicacy and beauty of the blooms of this rose is hard to top. What I am the most happy about is that is has grown in well and even though I am sure the underground root competition with the palm roots is quite fierce it manages to grow and bloom. I have read that Tea roses have the ability to bloom through the winter in our mild climate and I can not wait to see if I will get year round blooms from 'Georgetown Tea'.

On this photo you can get a good glimpse of how the bush is looking right now. The blooms are much lighter in color than I know them. I assume, that is due to the relatively cool days that we were having. The rose responds immediately to changes in the temperature with color changes in the blooms. I think that makes it very interesting to look at. I have read that 'Georgetown Tea' can mildew quite a bit, but in my garden the foliage is squeaky clean right now, even though some of my other roses are suffering from powdery mildew at this time. I keep my fingers crossed that 'Georgetown Tea' stays that way.

The shot above shows the area surrounding 'Georgetown Tea'. Sorry for the quality of the photo, it is quite dark. The reason for this is that there is shade in the morning and when the sun comes around I can not photograph anymore because I am facing the sun directly.

Anyway, 'Georgetown Tea' is the rose in the middle of the group of the Queen Anne Palms with its pink flowers standing out in the little spot of sunlight. Then moving to the right there is 'Iceberg' planted in a big terracotta container, followed by 'Zephirine Drouhin', a pigmy date palm, and 'Pierre de Ronsard'. I am a little bit disappointing that 'Zephirine Drouhin' is not blooming at all and 'Pierre de Ronsard' has kind of one flower. The whole area looks a little bit plain for that reason, but at least the roses are green and have relatively healthy leaves for this time of the year.

By the way I am on my last round of fertilizing the roses for this year. I am almost done with all the roses in the ground, except three, but then I still have to get to the potted roses. Hope this will coax some roses into flowering in this autumn and early winter.

This is the bearded iris ‘Immortality'. Now that I was just thinking to pull it out it is teasing me with the one and only flower stalk this year. To be even more precise the one and only flower stalk from three different plants. Sure it is very pretty, but the performance is really unsatisfying so I think I will remove them anyway.

This is how the irises look right now. Certainly not the way they are supposed to. Contrary to their promising name they seem to be quite mortal in my garden. I really don't know why I am not able to grow irises well in my yard. If you have any ideas what the reason might be, please let me know in a comment.

This is a shot where you can see the area where the irises were supposed to grow. I planted three rhizomes and they were meant to form a half moon shape circle around the back of the white column as the lamb's ears do in the front of the column. But nope that was not working out. Actually seeing this on a photo makes it even more clear to me, that is looks plain ugly right now. Even though I am always having a hard time to get rid of a plant, there is not doubt in my mind anymore that those irises have to go.

This is what I encounter when I leave the house. In the front yard the roses are still blooming pretty strong and things are a little bit wild and overgrown, but I like it this way. Soon enough I will cut the roses back and order will be restored. 

Here is a cluster of the flowers of 'Climbing Iceberg', which you saw already in a "full body shot" on the photo above peaking around the corner of the garage. Aren't they pretty? I have to admit that my 'Iceberg' roses have started to mildew a little bit but in the face of these lovely blooms that little flaw is forgiven.

The salvia 'Black & Blue'  has conquered 'Pretty Jessica'. I feel they give quite a nice pair together. The salvia is still a food source for the hummingbirds, which visit it at least twice a day.

Yesterday we were really having lovely autumn weather. It was almost hot at lunchtime, but had already cooled down to a very comfortable temperature when I finally found the time to garden in the late afternoon. I wanted to get rid of this basil for quite a while already, which definitively had seen better times. Does that happen to you too, that potted plants are way past their prime or even dead but you don't get around to put them out of their misery? Instead of that you allow them to make a whole area in the garden look miserable. Well it happens to me from time to time. After I had tossed this one and its sister in the garbage I was ending up with two empty pots, which are also not a pretty sight. So I decided to plant some of my Miniature and Miniflora roses into them, which were still hanging in there in their small band size black plastic containers.

I could choose from these Miniature and Miniflora roses (seen from the right to the left): 'Lavender Crystal', 'Moonlight Scentsation', 'Overnight Scentsation', and 'Herbie'. By the way this is how roses look which have been in their band size containers for way too long. They are all not really happy anymore and started to get yellow and brown leaves and had even cane dieback. Really time to pot them up into bigger containers.

In the end I decided to plant 'Herbie' into one of the containers in which the basil had been growing...

... and 'Lavender Crystal' into the other.

I even made it to clean one more pot that was sitting empty in a remote corner of the garden and planted 'Moonlight Scentsation' into that one. I also trimmed of the brown canes and cleaned up yellow and brown leaves on all three roses. I hope all of them will perk up soon. 'Overnight Scentsation' unfortunately has to wait a little longer until I get around to pot it up. But I have another container with a dead herb waiting already to be replanted...

Even thought this was all I got done yesterday I was pretty happy that I took time to garden at least a little bit and enjoyed being outside in the autumn sun. And every little step towards my organic dream garden counts, right? 

I would like to finish the post with this incredible flower of 'Sweetness'. This rose managed to produce yet another flush of blooms. The flower on the photo is the first one to open of the latest flush. The cooler weather probably helped to create one of the most beautiful clear lavender/grayish blooms that I have seen on this rose so far. I just love, love, love it! It also comes with a wonderful strong fragrance. The foliage is still completely clean, which is quite unusual for a lavender Hybrid Tea rose. 'Sweetness' is certainly one of the best Hybrid Teas that I am growing in my garden. I will tremendously enjoy its last flush of this season and intend to cut many blooms for indoors. 

Wishing you all a good start into the new week!

See you in the garden!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Autum in the Garden", San Diego Garden Tour II

This post continues with the garden tour through Nan Kaufman's garden. There was really a lot to see. I hope you enjoy the rest of the tour.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

After strolling through the front yard (click here to see my first post about Nan Kaufman's garden) the tour went through the house to reach the back yard and when you turned back to the house you saw this nice patio area. I loved the arched windows and door that leads from the kitchen to the back yard. On the right side in the background you can see a bigger plant that I think was quite special...

...and that I had never seen before. Its name is Cleodendrum Ugandense, African Butterfly Bush. Aren't the dainty flowers pretty? I wonder if they really attract butterflies. 

In front of this plant was a beautiful container filled with different yummy looking lettuces. The blue flower seemed to be made out of glass, adds color, and is certainly very eye catching.

Walking further we passed this very beautiful camellia. I was astonished that it was in bloom already.

Decorating another corner in the back of the house we found this vignettes of three blue glazed terracotta containers. The shape of the containers was quite modern and even though modern is usually not so much my thing, I liked those quite a bit.

Here is a close-up of one of the containers shown in the photo above so that you can see the succulent mix a little bit better. Stunning, huh?

Then we reached an area with a pool. I found the landscaping around the pool quite interesting. In this section of the garden they used more of the modern shaped blue containers this time filled with red leaved plants. The pots were accompanied by succulents planted in the ground together with grasses which makes a quite unusual combination. It is certainly one, that at least I have never seen so far.

A more frontal view of the same area.

View of the same area but this time looking a little bit more to the right. I still can't get over the combination of succulents and grasses, I certainly would have never thought of doing this.

The other side of the pool was landscaped like you can see in the photo above. Repeating the use of blue containers planted with red leaved plants, surrounded by grasses and clumps of cyperus papyrus. Very interesting! In the background you can see a dense hedge of a plant, which I will show later a little bit more closely.

In an outdoor kitchen area they had placed this cute bowl with a moss teddy bear.

You also could find here another pumpkin planted with succulents. I liked this one best, because it is a white pumpkin, and white is my favorite color. A clear saturated orange is my least favorite color, by the way, so orange pumpkins are usually not for me. If you look closely you can see a little advertisement card in the background of the pumpkin that points out that obviously someone "professional" did do the succulent plantings for the garden tour not the owner herself.

This was probably my favorite succulent arrangement. How neat is it to plant them in a giant seashell? Just loved it!

For my personal taste this is a little bit over the top but a fun thing to look at for a garden tour. A metal Don Quixote sculpture planted with succulents. It definitely was the ultimate conversation piece.

This a close-up of the belly of the Don Quixote sculpture. This succulent arrangement contained so many tiny succulents, simply unbelievable.

And here they had planted succulent on the fire place set. Of course now it is useless for the fireplace, but it is a fun idea to do that. The miniature succulents are quite amazing. I have never seen so tiny ones used in plantings.

I was in love with this monstera deliciosa. I think, they just placed the plant there for decorative purposes for the garden tour only, because I assume our strong sun would burn it, if it would be out there permanently. But in any case this is a great indoor plant that I was growing twice in my life and I think seeing it on the garden tour again pointed me in the direction to get another one for my own house to live indoors with us.

Continuing with more "regular garden stuff". How about this beautiful tall bearded iris? The name of the variety is 'Frequent Flyer'. I do not get it why some people in San Diego can grow irises so lovely like this one and mine just sulk. It is a real mystery to me.

On the photo above you can see the whole bed in which the iris was growing. I like the water fountain and in general feel, that this area was well done. The bed seems to be fairly new and just has to grow in a little bit more then it will be perfect.

Another intimate patio area. On the photo above you can see one of the many espaliered citrus trees. It looked pretty healthy to me and was bearing plenty of fruits.

Above a shot of the whole area with many more nicely potted plants.

On the opposite side of the patio it looked like this. I am seriously wondering who is watering all the containers in this garden? As lovely as they are it is really work to water as many containers as have been scattered around in this yard.

This is a plant that is really fascinating to me and which you have already seen growing in the background of the pool. It is called solandra maxima or Cup-of-Gold vine with the common name. The plants in the garden are supposed to be twenty five years old and they were simply wonderful. They were building a hedge around one side of the property, which was giving the owners complete privacy.

This photo shows a close-up of one of the giant blooms of the vine. Aren't they drop dead gorgeous?

On the way out of the garden I noticed that even the beds at the feet of the Queen Anne Palms between the sidewalk and the street were underplanted with succulents. To me that looked really great and it is for sure a drought tolerant planting!

Having a closer look: The blueish/greenish succulents are building such a great contrast with the red ones. Stunning!

Altogether I got a lot of ideas from visiting this garden and felt very inspired to make my own little garden more pretty with the means that I have. For me attending a garden tour is always worth it and it is so much fun. Are you enjoying to go to garden tours, too?

See you in the garden!