Monday, June 18, 2012

We Are Back!

Well, we are back home from Great Britain and have returned safely and happily to San Diego, to our home and garden. My husband and I both had a very hard time to leave England and accept the fact that our annual vacation is over already. The two weeks that we spent there just have gone by so fast. But they flew by, because we saw so much and simply had a wonderful time!



Still we both couldn't let go completely so we tried to bring a little bit of England home. Besides other things we bought a Union Jack flag, which is now proudly flapping in the wind in front of our home. Sadly we missed all the Coronation Jubilee Celebrations so we figured the least that we could do is showing our willingness to join in by getting the English flag up.

But back to gardening. As you can see on the photo above the spring flush of the 'Climbing Iceberg' rose below the flag was over when we returned. Is there a more ugly thing out there in the garden than a not deadheaded white rose, which is clinging to her brownish dried up blooms as if her life is depending on that?




As a matter of fact the spring flush was over for all of my roses planted into the ground and they were in desperate need of deadheading, all at once of course. 




Coming home and having to deadhead all the roses made me feel very overwhelmed and it doesn't help that due to other responsibilities and demands in my life I have succumbed to being a "half an hour"-weekend gardener, which neither I or my garden like. Do I have to mention that I don't get the job done?



So since a few days I have decided that I have to try to squeeze out of my busy schedule half an hour a day to tend to the gardens. Because it is very warm here already most of that time is used to water my plants in pots or in the beds were we don't have an irrigation system in place, but I also do a little bit of the deadheading each time I am out there. So hopefully slowly but surely I get the garden back in control, again. It looks a bit better now already than on the photos in this post!

By the way what actually didn't help at all with my feelings of being an overwhelmed gardener is that every one of the English gardens that we visited looked so well maintained. I simply don't get it how the Brits are doing it. 



Above you see a photo of my Hybrid Perpetual Rose Bed. From the left to the right: 'Grandmother's Hat', 'Reine des Violettes' and 'Yolande d'Aragon'. I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that all three roses are blooming already again. Of course, their second flush, if you even can call it like that, is much less floriferous than the first, but still they are repeating. Last year they just produced a spring flush and that was it.




Besides the roses being in a bit of a desolate state there were also very lovely surprises in the garden like my relatively new hydrangea 'Nikko Blue'. The hydrangea is squeezed in between a huge Queen Anne Palm on one side and a Giant Bird of Paradise, strelitzia 'Nicolai' on the other and I am sure it is fighting a battle for life because of the extreme root competition, but it still managed to bloom profusely. The blooms are even showing a light blue tint, which is so much coveted by me. 



Here is a close-up of one flower of the above mentioned 'Nikko Blue' hydrangea. Isn't the subtle play of colors in just one bloom truly delightful?



Not all roses look bad right now, though. Some of the ones, which are still living in containers do actually very well like this one. It is a Hybrid Tea rose called 'Halloween', which I got as an own root band last year from Vintage Gardens nursery. The color is absolutely stunning and so is the fragrance. The blooms are huge for such a small rose and indicate that they will be humongous, once the rose is more mature. 

I have to admit that usually I am not into hot colors especially when it comes to roses, but this one is an exception. I think it is just plain gorgeous. 'Halloween' is a descendant of the famous 'Peace' rose and has obviously inherited some of the qualities of its parent: the flower shape, big blooms, great scent. I think it has more petals than 'Peace', which I consider an advantage, since I just love the sumptuousness of many petaled roses. In my garden 'Halloween' shows a little bit of a powdery mildew infection at the moment, but it is not too bad in comparison to some of my other roses. 



My dark purple gladioli are blooming so prettily in the front yard.



Here you can see the whole gladoli patch together with 'Black & Blue' salvia and rose 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' in the foreground. I really like the color combination and the different shapes of the flowers and leaves. The gladioli corms have multiplied quite nicely from the six original ones in the last three years and now they have some true impact when they are at their peak. There is one catch though, the show is over fast, but I like the excitement that a plant delivers, which becomes the star of the garden for a short time and then goes back into the shadows until next year.




Also 'Mme Isaac Pereire' has managed to squeeze some blooms out. What can I say, this rose is one of the most beautiful roses ever bred in my opinion and the fragrance is so strong and pleasing to the nose.



Another hydrangea that is really doing well. I got it as an impulse buy at Home Depot last year. Unfortunately it came as an unnamed variety.




This is 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh', a David Austin English Rose, which I am getting more and more fond of. It has a pink flower with a lilac tint, which I was unfortunately not able to capture well with my camera. Believe me it is a truly special color in reality and in my opinion well worth growing for that reason alone. 

See you in the garden!

Christina




16 comments:

  1. So pleased that you had a good time over here, even though the weather could have been kinder.
    Yes, half-an-hour per day, can do wonders in the garden I find.
    It is nice to go away, but always good to get back and inspect your own garden and flowers. Your roses are lovely.

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  2. Beautiful roses to greet you on your return home! England is a place I would like to visit one day... for the gardens of course!

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  3. Welcome back! The purple gladioli are stunning! I think your garden looks lovely, and you have chosen some beautiful roses.

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  4. Beautiful summer flowers, Christina ! Love your gorgeous roses. Wishing you happy moments in the garden !

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  5. You've done so much on your two week visit to England, seeing all those beautiful gardens even us haven't seen yet. It takes awhile to settle back in but you'll soon get on top of things and feel much more settled again. The garden looks fab, some dead heading of blooms to do yes but still looking fab :) And the blooms you have featured are all lovely!

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  6. I found this post useful.I was trying to find this. Really refreshing take on the information. Thanks a lot

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  7. Rosemary, actually when we have been in England, we had perfect weather. Not one drop of rain for 2 weeks! We have heard though that it had been bad prior to our arrival and after we left. I think we just lucked out :-)! I so hope that you are right that my half-an-hour a day gardening will make a difference in the long run.

    spurge, you will want to visit England not only for the gardens, but for the cream teas, too :-)!

    Dorothy, thanks for your nice comment! I just love the purple gladioli in the moment, the one fleeting moment that they shine!

    Dani, even though I complained a little bit in this post, the garden constantly gives me moments of great pleasure at any given time. That is why I love it so much!

    Mark and Gaz, thanks for your very kind note! It really cheered me up! And actually you are right, I wouldn't say that I am on top of things yet, but the garden looks already better and I feel much more content and settled than when I took the photos for this post.

    Christina

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  8. I was just thinking "will Cristina still be in England or is she all ready back home"? And then your post appears (a day later as you have posted it). Great to read you had had a lovely time in England. I know how you must felt when you walked into your own garden again. It must have cost you a lot of work to get the dead rose flowers out. I think it will look a lot better now. Enjoy your roses and gladiolus what a great color.
    Greatings Marijke

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  9. I am glad you are back too, and I hope you start enjoying your garden again soon, I think your roses are lovely, and so are the gladioli. I am surprised you got Halloween, it really doesn't look like your type of rose, but I am glad you like it. How are your other Vintage roses doing?

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  10. Marijke, how nice to know that you have been thinking of me! It also happened on my blog that posts of other bloggers showed up on the blog list a day or even two later after they had published their posts. I wonder what is causing this. Yeah, it felt awful, when I saw all the spent rose blooms hanging sadly on the bushes, but it looks a little better by now. I am still not done yet, though :-(. At least there are some fresh new roses blooming :-)!

    Masha, thanks for your kind words! I surprised myself by ordering 'Halloween' :-). I guess, I was in a mood, where I needed to look at something else than only roses in all kind of pink shades ;-)! The other bands from Vintage Gardens are quite a mixed bag. Some are suffering badly from powdery mildew, which is pretty bad this year in my garden, others are doing OK. Some blooms are gorgeous, some are just mediocre. I will report about them on my blog in the future.

    Christina

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  11. Welcome back! Your garden looks great for not having been tended for two weeks. LOVE all those roses!

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  12. Thanks, Casa Mariposa, well I wished I could see my garden the way you do ;-)! I guess, we are always our worst critics!

    Christina

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  13. Hi Christina
    A Lovley Post :)
    HAPPY MIDSUMMER
    and do not miss.....

    M
    I
    D
    S
    U
    M
    M
    E
    R

    P
    A
    R
    T
    Y

    it is FUN :)
    WELCOME
    Håkan ( The Roseman)

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  14. Hakan, wishing you a Happy Midsummer, too! I stopped by at your party and fun it was indeed! You are writing a truly lovely blog.

    Christina

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  15. Welcome back :-) You have some really lovely things blooming in your garden. It's getting hot here in Texas too. We're about to hit the triple digits so anything I want to do outside I have to do in the early morning or evening. My mom's neighbor tells us that if you devote a half hour to a full hour a day in your garden, then you're doing wonderfully even if it doesn't seem like it all the time :-) Your garden will appreciate any time you can spend with it!

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  16. bleufleur, thanks for your very nice comment! Wow, sounds like it is already very hot where you are living. Even here my "half an hour a day"-gardening time is spent with watering only right now. Since it is weekend I had a little bit more time at hand today and finished deadheading my 'Pierre de Ronsard' Climbing rose. Yay!

    Christina

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