Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Roses

May is a great month for roses here in Southern California. They all bloom so well that I didn't know, which pictures to post. Here is a small selection of roses that were flowering in my garden in this glorious month.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

Starting with 'Sister Elizabeth' one of the smaller David Austin roses. Just coming into her own from the small band that arrived at my door step, she was one of my favorites this month to bloom. Unfortunately the rose is struggling with powdery mildew, but I have hopes that she will grow out of it. Her blooms have become bigger and the rose is able to hold the canes a little bit more upright, so that the flowers can be appreciated better, than when the rose was younger.  

 'Mary Rose'. Always delivering perfectly formed blooms. A very lovely no-brainer rose here.

'Marie-Jeanne'. One of the more rare polyantha roses. I got this one from my dear friend Ingrid quite a while ago, but for a long time the roses was suffering from transplanting shock. This is the first really nice spray that it produced for me and I have to say I am very impressed. Thank you Ingrid, for your generous gift!

'Salet'. The one and only moss rose that I grow. She is doing well in my yard and I love to gently rub the mossed buds or the foliage of the rose and smell the typical spicy moss rose fragrance.


'Reine des Violettes' is one of my absolute favorites right now. With her beautiful unusual color she simply stands out of all my roses, demanding the attention that a queen deserves. Sorry for the chicken wire in the photo, but it is still a small plant and I am protecting her with chicken wire against rose loving rodents.

Rain drenched 'Iceberg' roses. Even though they are so common here in Southern California, I will always love my Icebergs.

'Sutter's Gold' an older hybrid tea rose, which is not that often seen anymore, with an absolutely wonderful fragrance. The coloration of this rose is also quite fascinating and always changing. If you are a lover of orange/yellow colored roses, this one might be an interesting one for you.

'Mme. Ernest Calvat'. I am truly in love with this bourbon rose for the fragrance and the lovely subtle color of her flowers. This year the rose is very sickly, suffering form blackspot. Last year she was relatively healthy and it seems to be the case that she just needs warmer weather to thrive. Well summer will come eventually!

Another of the perfect blooms of 'Pretty Jessica'. I am not exaggerating when I am saying that this rose is only producing perfect blooms with a wonderful strong fragrance and is very healthy in my garden. I think that 'Pretty Jessica' is underrated and deserves much more attention. I just planted mine finally into the ground last weekend and I can't wait to see more lovely blooms of her in the front yard.

'Mme. Isaac Periere', the sister of 'Mme. Ernest Calvat'. Surprisingly this rose is more healthy than 'Mme. Ernest Calvat' this year and I have no idea why. I love her sumptuous blooms with a strong pleasant perfume. 

Close-up of 'Marie Pavie', which usually blooms in clusters of many flowers and you rarely get a single blooms like shown in my photo.  I just love her neatly formed blooms in a delicate porcelain color. This is actually a very charming rose, which I just planted in the front yard. Can't wait to see how she is doing there. So far she has already started to grow tremendously and I expect a lot of blooms form her soon.

I have chosen 'William Shakespeare 2000' to finish my post about roses that bloomed in the month of May in my garden, because I consider this rose one of David Austin's finest creations so far. My rose is still small and only growing in a 2 gallon pot, but I am expecting great things from her, ones it will be planted into the ground. 

See you in the garden!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Albuquerque Botanical Garden Part II

Continuing my previous post about my visit to the Albuquerque Botanical Garden, next I walked through an area with a very beautiful and tasteful fountain.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)


I have fallen head over heels in love with this beauty. Maybe because of its extraordinary craftsmanship and attention to detail in the way it is made. It reminded me of the old and beautiful fountains that you often find in Europe.


Here is another shot of the fountain from a different perspective. This photo also shows the intricate details of the statue much better.

In the same area was this beautiful group of irises planted, only giving a small taste of more iris beds to come. Irises seem to do exceptionally well in Albuquerque.

Close by the fountain was this charming wood bench flanked by two beautiful light blue glazed containers which pick up the very special color of the high desert sky of Albuquerque perfectly. I love, love, love these tall blue containers. They have such a positive impact on the garden and always provide color even in winter or when the garden is going through a phase were it is looking more dull. On a side note,  I was very surprised to see that many trees hadn't even leaved out in that area, yet.

Continuing to explore the extensive botanical garden I passed by this amazing bed of irises. The cool color scheme, white, blue, pale and dark lilac, was just up to my liking. I also noticed that by mounting the bed the planting looked much more interesting and the irises could be better appreciated than when they were just planted in a flat flower bed.

Going deeper into the garden you come by another more informal rose garden. Do you recognize the unusual climbing structures? I have never seen anything like this before and I have to admit that I didn't like them so much when they were still visible but, when the roses had made complete use of them they helped the climbing roses into a magnificent shape.

Same area shown from a little further away. There was a sign not seen in this photo apologizing that part of the rose garden was under construction, so I expect more roses to admire in the future.

The next garden was designed to resemble a heritage farm. The entry to that area was again planted with a gorgeous iris bed to the left.

To the right side of the path leading to the farm they were displaying old farm tools and you can see already the farm house in the background on the photo above.

Bed on the right side closer to the entry of the farm house garden.

Lovely arbor greeting you when you entered the farm house garden.

When you were exiting the farm house garden there was another beautiful arbor with climbing rose growing on it, which I believe is Zephirine Drouhin. If I could I would "beam" this arbor right into my own garden in San Diego.

Looking back at the arbor with the climbing rose and the farm house to the right . I love the rustic wine barrel plantings. They seemed to go so well with the farm setting.

Next I visited the Japanese Garden, which was a quite extensive area. I always like the simplicity and elegance of Japanese Gardens. The way they are planted they always calm me down immediately.

I was especially captivated by this lovely and very unusual peony.

Close-up of the peony flowers. This is one of the most beautiful and unusual peonies that I have ever seen.

The Japanese Garden was containing a quite large pond area with a waterfall. The whole area was just so beautifully designed.

I found another plant in this area quite appealing. I believe it to be some kind of Mock Orange, but I could be wrong. What ever it is is is quite lovely.

On my way back out I passed by another gorgeous iris bed in a completely different color scheme than the previous one.

One last glance back, bye dragon, I hope I come back to visit you, again.

One of the most beautiful roses that I saw on my visit to the Albuquerque Botanical Garden was actually not growing inside the garden but outside in the parking lot. What a gorgeous specimen that is. Unfortunately I have no clue what variety this might be. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Hope you enjoyed the tour through the Albuquerque Botanical Garden with me!

See you in the garden!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Albuquerque Botanical Garden Part I

Two weekends ago I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the first time I visited the Albuquerque Botanical Garden and boy, was I glad that I did. This botanical garden is fabulous! It is pretty obvious that they invested a lot of  thought, love, and money in this place. It made me happy that the City of Albuquerque decided to do so and that they consider a botanical garden important enough to spent a probably good chunk of public money on it. I enjoyed my visit very much and would go again any time. Unfortunately I only had my "point and shoot"-camera with me, so the quality of the photos is partly not that great, but at least you can get an impression of what I saw.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

Right when you enter the botanical garden you come across this amazing tree, which was in full bloom when I was there. Unfortunately I don't know what it is. If you have any idea what variety it might be, please let me know.

To the left after you enter the botanical garden you get surprised by this lovely planting of evergreens and flowering plants.

Close-up of the iris and the rose. I have to say that in my own garden I would never combine a bright yellow/orange/red rose together with a light blue/lilac iris, but here it works out well and the contrast of the colors makes it a quite interesting pair.

When you go further you see the Children's Garden also to the left side announced by a huge dragon and the towers of a castle in the background. I loved the dragon and I can imagine that children are quite attracted to it. It is really pretty tall!

Here is a view of the dragon from the back.


 And one more from the front. I was really impressed with this installation!

Another romantic entrance to the Children's Garden.

After you pass the Children's Garden you come across this area, which I also liked quite a bit. It invited children to play with the clear water and adults to enjoy the cheerful mosaics and also to sit down and rest.

They also have formal rotunda rose garden there, which reminded me of an Italian cemetery. Four wedge shaped  beds similar to this one are positioned in a circle, with spaces in between them and a fountain in the middle.

Another of the wedge shaped rose beds.

Here is a shot of one more rose bed and the fountain as the center piece. Unfortunately the water was not running.

As far as I remember the formal rose beds in this area were planted with hybrid tea and floribunda roses exclusively. Some of them were doing quite well, others not so much. But I didn't mind it. In my opinion that is what a botanical garden is there for: to show the interested rose grower the roses that are growing well (in this particular climate) and the ones that don't, so that they can make informed choices. In the following pictures I show you a few roses that were doing particularly well and looked very beautiful. 

'Veteran's Honor' was one of the very impressive red hybrid tea roses.

Since I am always on the hunt for good white roses 'Garden Party' caught my attention. It looked exceptionally good.

A perfect bloom of 'Ebb Tide', a floribunda. I had heard already good things about this rose, but had never seen it in reality and I have to say it is very pretty in person and the color is quite intense and unusual dark purple. My camera was not able to capture it properly. 

'Julia Child' certainly seems to be good floirferous floribunda, but it is not for me. I am pretty picky with colors that I choose for my garden and the yellow of 'Julia Child' is just too intense and bright for my taste and my garden style and it would certainly clash with the muted colors of the Old Garden Roses and modern roses that I mostly grow. But for someone, who loves bright yellows this rose could be a winner.

The good old 'Mister Lincoln', blooming nice and smelling terrific. I wish mine would look like this. It seems to be the case that this rose really likes the heat.

Another enclosed garden area, I forgot how they called it. I loved the shape of the fountain in the middle, the colorful tile work and the containers, especially the big blue glazed ones.

Here is a closer look at one of the tall, blue, urn-shaped containers. Besides a wonderful color it has an interesting texture, too. I would love to have something like this in my own garden.

The photo at the end of this post captured an area designed for people to get married in. It had a quite wonderful atmosphere to it. The filtered light that came through the canopy of plants growing up the roof of the structure build to cover the sitting area was very soft and pleasing. The harshness and brightness that the light sometimes can have in a desert was completely taken away. And of course it was also much less hot under this plant roof than under the blazing sun.

Stay tuned there will be coming up a part II feature of my visit to the Albuquerque Botanical Garden on this blog soon.

See you in the garden!