Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rapid Changes

In January and even February my garden looked pretty drab, but suddenly in March things are changing at a rapid pace. It really feels like with the beginning of spring the garden has decided to wake up and is bursting at the seams with the energy of life. Plants explode into the most beautiful shades of fresh green and even though my garden is still not a riot of color, things are starting to bloom. This is with no doubt my most favorite time of the year!




This photo was taken in January. To the left you see a pruned 'Pretty Jessica', in the middle between the roses two geranium 'Rozanne' try to survive, 'Marie Pavie' is showing the last blooms of her winter flush and to the very right an unknown alstroemeria is already growing vigorously. She obviously liked the winter rains quite a bit. For some reasons especially in the front yard I was really longing for some color at that point.




So I went to the nursery and bought three six packs of pansies 'Beaconsfield',...




...planted some of them in containers,...




and stuck others in the ground,...




...and tadaa, this is how this section of the garden looks right now. The pansies in the container are showing off nicely, but the ones on the ground are hardly to see anymore, disguised by all the new rose leaves. I fertilized the roses and they responded by leaving out with incredible vigor. It is such a joy to observe this. The two geranium 'Rozanne' are not struggling at all anymore but growing strongly and on top of that have started to bloom. The alstroemeria is blooming already as well. I didn't prune 'Marie Pavie' at all and feel that was the right decision. She has made so many fresh new leaves and has become a very full nice bush. It is hard to see on this picture, but she has set plenty of buds. 



One that was very hidden is opening already.




On the terrace in the backyard I had a 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' growing in a container. I had transplanted her from a smaller container into this big nice terracotta one and sadly she was struggling ever since.




So I dug her out to see what the problem was. Her root ball was so tiny, it was unbelievable. It had literally shrunk, since I transplanted her from a two gallon container into the big terracotta one. My experience with pampering struggling roses is not the best and since there are so many in small containers waiting for a bigger home I decided to get rid of this rose.




To replace 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' I grabbed 'Mary Rose' from my pot ghetto,...



... pruned and deleaved her to get ready to be transplanted into the terracotta container. Do you see how nicely developed her root ball is? It is almost four times as big as the one of 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' shown a few photos above.



Then 'Mary Rose' went into her new home. That was just in Feburary.



Yesterday she looked like this! She has taken off and even though not very good to see on this photo, she has set a lot of buds. One very hidden in the middle of the plant under the leaves is already showing a nice pink color and will open very soon.



Back to the front yard, again. Here is a 'Climbing Iceberg' after it was pruned in January. 



By today the rose has leaved out nicely and also set many, many buds.



Three sad looking roses from my pot ghetto in January. From the left to the right: 'Snowbird', 'Chandos Beauty', 'Auckland Metro'. After I took the photo I deleaved and pruned them, potted them up in bigger containers and gave them some fertilizer. 
 



This photo above was taken this week. They have come quite around, haven't they? All three roses are supposed to flower in different shades of off-white. The very best of the three will be chosen to be planted in my White Bed, replacing a 'Climbing Iceberg', which had grown way to big for the space and was removed. For now 'Auckland Metro' seems to be the winner out of the three.




The banana-shaped bed in the front yard in January. Quite a dreary sight! The small yellowish plants to both outer sides of the bed are white verbenas, which never did well, so I decided to take them out. The rose to the left is 'Sweetness'. Then there is an alstroemeria planted in between the roses called 'Little Miss Sophie', which has grown a little bit too much so I reduced the size quite a bit. There are also four blue-violet penstemon 'Pinacolada Violet' in that bed, which I tried to revive by fertilizing and watering them more. The rose to the very right is 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'. In their pruned stage you can see that both roses are quite strong specimen. They are approximately four years old. 



The same bed now! What a difference! I decided to plant white pansies on the outer sides of the bed. The alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' has started to bloom and both roses are loaded with buds. As a matter of fact, 'Sweetness' is showing quite a bit of color. Even though not so clear to see on the photo, all four penstemon 'Pinacolada Violet' have recovered nicely. I also mulched the bed with compost. I feel that this greatly helped the plants to look that good.




The area by the kitchen door, which leads into the backyard. I was unhappy with this one and decided to try to make it more appealing, since I am usually walking through this door a few times a day. It is also part of the terrace area where we normally sit and relax and this year I really want to make the whole area more beautiful.



I started out by pruning all roses and moved the roses in the black plastic containers into the pot ghetto by the side of the house. I cleaned the empty terracotta containers and put them into the garage. 



This is how the area looked yesterday. I transplanted one miniature rose, 'Jilly Jewel', waiting in the pot ghetto from a one gallon black plastic pot into a slightly bigger terracotta container. It is the one to the very left. The big roses in the large containers are two 'Charles Darwin' roses. To the very right is 'Irresistible', a miniature rose, that was there before, but has now leaved out nicely. First I intended to plant pansies in the two smallest containers closest to the kitchen door, but then when I came across these lovely 'Dwarf English Boxwood' I decided to get those instead. The white pansies that I planted in those containers the previous year didn't last very long, I guess because it is becoming too hot too soon. Hopefully I have more luck with the boxwood.



I think by now, I like the fresh green color that the boxwood provides more than I would have liked pansies. Besides this, they remind me of England. There boxwood is used intensively for hedges, topiaries or is simply pruned into spheres of all kind of sizes. I hope mine will become nice round big spheres as well when they get more mature.

On Easter Sunday I will be flying out of town and don't think I get to blog anymore, therefore I would like to wish to all of you who celebrate it a very Happy Easter!

See you in the garden!

Christina


38 comments:

  1. What a difference pruning and a couple of months can do for your roses. I loved seeing the progression. I love pansies, they are such happy flowers.

    May your have a lovely Easter also Christina.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  2. The roses sure leafed out for you nice. They look great. Nice to give an area a punch of color. Purple always looks good. Safe travels

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  3. Your before and after photos are inspiring! Wow do your beds look fantastic! And your containers are marvelous! Your rose looks so happy now! I hope spring comes to Chicago soon!!

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  4. I love your roses! This is tr best time og year. I. Our zone tning seem to change over night. It is amazing!
    Happy Easter!

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  5. Don't you just love the energy and new growth of spring? Great to see all that new growth in your garden Christina! Happy Easter!

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  6. Rapid is really the word. It looks like we were in may in my area. No change here, it is too cold. A h south california ....happy easter

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  7. The miracle of life ! Great photos and I loved to see the roses before and after :) Beautiful garden !
    Happy Easter, Christina !

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  8. Hi Christina...Happy Easter to you! Your gardens are looking so beautiful already!! Those Pansies in the blue pot just stand out and I love the Alstroemeria. You certainly have a green-thumb when it comes to Roses. To be able to take a plant that is looking pretty bad and then transform it into something vibrant is just amazing! Take care and have a safe trip!

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  9. Happy Easter !

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

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  10. Happy Easter to you too Christina. What a difference a few weeks make! Those pansies are delightful. I never have any luck with those.
    Your roses all look incredibly healthy - a sign of your devotion :)

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  11. Happy Easter! I'd love to all that growth in my garden right now. Those roses look fabulous already. :o)

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  12. Liebe Christina,
    ist das schön, wie bei euch schon der Frühling beginnt.
    Und die Rosen sind schon so weit, wow!
    Ich möchte dir noch schöne Ostergrüße schicken :-)
    Ganz viele liebe Grüße Urte

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  13. hello Cristina... belle évolution de tous ces rosiers dans les containers. Le rosier Iceberg se montre très prometteur avec cette belle ramure et ses nombreux boutons. Pour le rosier Marie Pavié,je fais comme toi, je le taille modérément, il devient très beau lorsqu’il déploie un jolie volume fleuri. Dommage pour le rosier Mme Isaac Péreire, c'est un rosier tellement beau.
    Joyeuses Pâques
    Jocelyne

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  14. It looks like you will have a gorgeous spring flush in a few weeks. I can't wait to see more pictures!

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  15. Lorraine, to me it is most astonishing that the transformation that I showed in this post happened in just two month or less.

    Gardener on Sherlock Street, purple is after white my favorite color!

    My Garden Diaries, I am glad that you find mind before and after shots inspiring! What more can one wish for when you are writing a blog post!

    Erin Kaine, yes it almost feels like the changes come over night at this time of the year!

    Mark and Gaz, there is definitively something very special about the spring energy in the garden!

    Barbara, the warm Southern California weather makes all this happen so fast. You can't get further more South in the US than San Diego. I love this climate, even though I have to admit that in summer it can get uncomfortably hot here.

    Dani, you just nailed it "The miracle of life". I should have used that as my headline :-)!

    Christy, thank you so much for all your kind words about my garden. I have to admit that it is very easy to grow beautiful roses in San Diego. They just love the climate as long as they get watered and fertilized enough.

    Maria, thanks for your comment!

    Angie, I also like this particular variety of pansies very much. My roses may look healthy on the photos, but no all of them are. I spotted already downy mildew and powdery mildew and even some black spot. But nothing that I can't put up with so far.

    Casa Mariposa, wishing you that your garden will burst into new growth very soon as well.

    Urte, yes it is wonderful that spring starts here so early. I truly enjoy this and never get tired of it.

    Jocelyne, I am really sad that I lost 'Mme. Isaac Pereire'. I agree with you that it is an extraordinary beautiful rose and the fragrance is to die for. But the good thing is that it is not difficult to acquire and I am sure I will buy another one sooner or later.

    Masha, I am very hopeful regarding the spring flush this year as well. Some of the roses already opened one or two blooms and I am sad that I had to go on a trip and leave the garden behind. Right now there will be more and more roses opening every day and I am not happy to miss any of this :-(.

    Christina

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  16. Christina the garden is looking lovely! spring is definitely a beautiful time of year in the garden, especially for the roses when the leaves fill in and look so fresh ! And I love the pansies in the blue pot. Happy spring! Jeannine

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  17. What a beautiful vieuw in your garden and I am amazed how many roses you are growing in a container. You don't see that overhere.
    Have a wonderful springtime Christina.

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  18. Happy Easter! Your garden is looking so beautiful. I love the addition of the pansies in both beds. They are such cheerful little flowers! I like the boxwoods, too. And your roses are looking fabulous!!! It won't be long before they are all blooming again. :)

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  19. Christina, Everything is looking so healthy and vibrant. 'Mary Rose' is my very favorite rose. I'm glad to see yours is coming along nicely. I don't have any rose blooms yet but lots of buds so April should be very pretty in the garden! The boxwood was a good choice. It does look so refreshing.

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  20. Jeannine, thanks for your nice comment. I also like the pansies in the blue container quite a bit. Blue and purple just seem to go very well with each other.

    Marijke, I grow indeed a lot of roses in containers. I like that this way I can move them around and see where they fit in best for permanent planting and what colors they go well with as well.

    Holley, pansies are one of my very favorite annuals. Unfortunately they don't like the heat of Southern California much, so they are very short lived here. Next year I will try to plant them earlier.

    Dorothy, I have fallen more and more in love with the boxwood. If it does well in my garden, I think I will get more.

    Christina

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  21. You are like the Rose Whisperer, working miracles with the roses you've trimmed - they have bounced back beautifully. The pansies make such a great difference in bringing your gardens to life and I love the boxwood in the terracotta planter - I have to try that for myself!

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  22. Spring is my favorite time of the year too!! you have a beautiful garden! The roses look great, I can't wait to see them in flower!!

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  23. Rosemary, "Rose Wisperer" how flattering is that! I surely would like to be one, but it is the roses themselves that have the magical quality to transform themselves from a bunch of stick in winter to the wonderful plants they become in spring. I think that is one reason why I love roses sooo... much and I am so fascinated by them.

    Lisa, thanks, I can't wait to see the roses in full bloom myself. I am sure this or next week the miracle of the spring flush is happening, again!

    Christina

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  24. Your roses look amazing! In a few weeks you are going to have so much colour and fragrance.

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  25. Lyn, thanks, I also feel that it will be a great spring flush this year!

    Christina

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  26. A belated Happy Easter :-). Your garden - both front and the side by the kitchen -- looks beautiful.

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  27. KL, thanks for your comment!

    Christina

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  28. Your garden is looking lovely; I like the before and after shots. I grow roses organically but I'm afraid in Ireland this means lots of black spot on the leaves. All the best, Kelli.

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  29. Kelli, thanks for your kind words about my garden! Yes, roses and blackspot like each other very much :-(! Even in Southern California where blackspot is rarely a problem, I have some roses which are already plagued by it. I think I will become more and more ruthless in the selection of the rose varieties that are allowed to stay in my garden. The ones that are healthy will have a home here, the ones which are not have to go.

    Christina

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  30. Vos bleu fleures sont MAGNIFIQUES!!

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

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  31. Maria, thanks, I also love blue flowers. The pansies are actually a little more purple than blue. Unfortunately true blue flowering plants are not so easy to find!

    Christina

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  32. Oh, how nice to see these springtime images, for surely they inspire me even as I patiently wait for the last of the snow to melt away. My early plants are still in the cold frames and green house, and the most tender getting their starts indoors. Thanks for sharing these images of promise *and* inspiration!

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  33. Pruning has indeed can make a difference especially for the roses..

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  34. Tak for de dejlige billeder.
    Stedmoderblomster er smukke.
    Jeg er slet ikke begyndt i haven endnu. Jeg venter til det bliver varmere i vejret.
    Ha´ en god dag.

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  35. Nelson, in my opinion for most rose classes pruning is essential if you want an optimal spring flush.

    Landbohaven, these pansies are still my favorites out of all pansies that I ever bought. Hope it is warming up for you soon.

    Christina

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  36. Rosemari, thank you very much for your nice comment! I feel so happy when I can inspire other people with my blog! Wishing you warmer weather so that you can get your hands dirty in the garden as well and realize your dreams :-).

    Christina

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  37. I have plants and roses around my pool, too. I have two questions...
    How do you keep dirt out of the pool (or get rid of the dirt that gets in the pool)?

    Do you find that container plants on the concrete(tile) dry out quicker?

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  38. Hi Janie, welcome to my blog and thanks for becoming a follower! We dig a small trench around the edge of the pool, so that the dirt is not getting so easily into it. The trench is filling up with dirt and it needs to be re-done at least once a year, but that is the proof that it works :-)! Other than that we have a pool sweep that is taking care of the bits and pieces of dirt that still make it into the pool.
    Regarding your second question: Yes, the plants that I grow in containers (mostly roses) dry out much quicker in comparison to the ones planted into the ground. So the containers need much more watering and that is something to be aware of when you decide how many plants you want to grow in pots in our neck of the woods.

    Christina

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