Sunday, September 8, 2013

Almost End of Summer

Actually, I can't believe that we are almost approaching the end of the summer already. Where has the time gone by? Even though many good things come with the summer, here in Southern California it is not an easy season neither for the garden nor the gardener. Highest day temperatures have been consistently anywhere from the 80ties to the 90ties over the last couple of weeks. Most plants suffer in this continuous heat or at least don't like it and need plenty of water to get through it. That means for me that I am hand-watering, and hand-watering, and hand-watering, despite that we have sprinkler systems in most parts of the garden. Still it is simply not enough and some plants, like the roses, benefit very much from deep-watering once or twice a week. Also most of my containers have to be watered daily in this weather. To be completely honest with you, by now, like every year, I am pretty fed up with my watering duties.

Despite that I still try to water as much as I can time-wise, because when the roses are watered and fertilized in my climate zone most of them continue to flower through the heat of summer. The blooms don't last that long though, in some varieties only a day, so there is tons of deadheading to do as well to keep the garden looking good.

In the following I would like to give you some impressions of what has been going on in my garden in the last couple of weeks. 



'Marie Pavie' is one of the roses that actually seems to like the heat and is pumping out one flush after the other. She is having a blue hardy geranium 'Rozanne' as a companion to grow with, which also doesn't seem to mind the warm weather. I love this combination. Both plants are fairly easy to grow in my garden.



Usually summer is not the time to do bigger garden projects, because it is simply too uncomfortable to work in the heat. But on 4th of July my husband and I decided that it is finally time for 'Madame Alfred Carriere', a tea-noissette rose, to go into the ground. You can see her in the foreground in the big terracotta container in the middle of this photo.



She was supposed to go into the very left corner of our backyard, between the metal fence and the wooden fence, right behind 'Georgetown Tea' (rose bush in the foreground), a pink Tea rose.



I had hired the gardener to pre-dig a nice big hole and my husband enlarged it the morning before we planted the rose. Usually in our bad soil I prefer a size of three feet width and two feet depths for a new planting hole for a rose. I completely discard the original soil, which is mostly stones and exchange it with organic rose soil.



While my husband was digging I pruned off the long canes of 'Madame Alfred Carriere', just to make her easier to handle for us. Here the dolly is already waiting to roll her over to her planting hole.



  And in the planting hole she is!



In the photo above shown from another angle. I think she looks fantastic already and seems to enjoy having her feet in cool soil instead of the hot terracotta container. 



This photo doesn't picture it very well, but 'Madame Alfred Carriere' is filling in the corner behind 'Georgetown Tea' nicely. I know that I am taking a little bit of a gamble with 'Madame Alfred Carriere', because she can be prone to powdery mildew in my climate, but you never know until you try. I have seen an absolute breathtaking specimen in another garden not too far away, though. So I keep my fingers crossed that mine will develop into a lovely white flowering rose and not into a mildew monster.



On the picture above I have captured a bloom of 'Georgetown Tea'. I love the frilliness of the flowers of this rose. Always reminds me of ballerina tutus.



On the photos further above you see that 'Georgetown Tea' has only a few flowers at the time I took them. That is mostly due to not enough water and fertilizer. So after planting 'Madame Alfred Carriere' I fertilized 'Georgetown Tea' generously with fish emulsion as an emergency fix and then organic rose fertilizer and alfalfa meal for more long term nourishment. Then I just have to wait and see what happens with both roses. Well, actually I have to water as well...  But I have to tell you that 'Georgetown Tea' broke out into a flush of blooms and 'Madame Alfred Carriere', too. Now they are back to their green selves and I have to feed them, again.



This hydrangea was planted in the ground just a few month ago and I saw it flowering for the first time in my soil. When I bought it as an unnamed hydrangea at one of the big box stores the flowers were huge and blue, but in my alkaline soil they turned out to be pink, which is a little bit of disappointment for me. With all my pink blooming roses I am always looking to introduce other colors to the garden.



Here you can see a full bush shot of the hydrangea. The color of leaves is turning a little bit into a light green and I guess that this is either due to the heat, not enough water or lack of nutrients. So I intend to feed it and check if the soil feels too dry around the plant.



This is catmint 'Walkers Low'. I planted two of them just a couple of weeks ago and they do amazingly well in the heat. I am very surprised that I haven't seen this plant in the neighborhood at all, because in my garden it seems to be so easy to grow. Another plus it that it attracts a lot of bees.



'Pierre de Ronsard', started its second flush a few weeks ago even though it is not fertilized. I simply love this rose.



This pictures of 'Pierre de Ronsard' was taken from the side and you can see that the rose has grown to a very decent size. I have to tie the long canes up to the fence since they make mowing the lawn very hard for my gardener.



This sad little thing is 'Sir Henry Segrave', a rare early Hybrid Tea rose. I thought he hadn't survived our vacation and was debating with myself whether to just throw him out or keep him and pot him up to see if he comes back from the roots. If it wouldn't be such a beautiful and rare rose I wouldn't have bothered, but in this case I don't know if you can acquire this rose anywhere commercially nowadays since it came from Vintage Gardens nursery, which is closing very soon. So I thought it would be worth to try to rescue it. Being busy like I am I didn't even get to pot the rose up, but made sure it was well watered and...




... a few weeks later there were new leaves. Even though this was wonderful I know better than getting my hopes up too high. In my experience, when a rose is damaged to this extend, it is very difficult for it to survive. The slightest glitch in watering, too less as well as too much, will push it over the edge and it will die, so I try my best but hold my breath!

Even though I don't get to blog as often as I would like to, I have been wondering how the summer for other gardeners and my fellow garden bloggers has been going. I am sure you had your share of ups and downs as well. I would love to hear from you, so if you can spare a moment, please leave a comment on my blog.

See you in the garden!

Christina


32 comments:

  1. It has been going well but like you we have had some very hot days with little water. I work the hose in the front and then the next day it is off to the back! But enough about that...Your garden is stunning! Your roses are so so so pretty! I am hoping to plant some more next year..any suggestions?? I am zone 5...take care and happy gardening!!!!

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  2. Christina, love your touch of perfection, even the hole in the ground is pretty (the prettiest hole, that you have ever had seen... as in one kids song :)))
    Charles Darwin picture is stunning! What a lovely combination of colors, perfect! And bold!

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  3. 'Madame Alfred Carriere' - is it in a container? Mine is a giant bush out of control, probably 7 feet high and twice as wide (may be a bit exaggerated). Miss our garden walks and tea time...

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  4. Hello Christina, great to see that the roses growing in containers are doing so well with the heat of the sun on the roots. I hope your last rose will survive.
    Have a wonderful day.

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  5. Christina, I love the Marie Pavie and the blue geranium together! A beautiful combo. I also have work to do in the garden but, as you said, it is so hot. I was away for about six days and although my daughter did some watering I have lost a few potted plants. On the other hand, I have fallen in love with succulents and now I have a few places to plant them! Jeannine

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  6. Hi Christina, your container roses look very good and Mme A.Carriere will do even better in the soil which you prepared so well. I see you have very stony soil so it is a challenge to let them grow well. Hope your 'Sir Henry Segrave' will come to life again, always a pity to loose a rare rose. I don't know this one. We have yet fair autumn weather with temp. upto about 20 degr.C. Not too warm but good for the garden where Hydrangeas, Anemones, Dahlias and some roses are sill going on flowering.

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  7. Dear Christina ~ As always it is pure delight to visit your blog. Your roses are beautiful. I am glad your rare rose put out new leaves and hope it continues to grow and survive for you and I look forward to your sharing photos of it too.

    It has been very hot and humid here in s.e. FL. In the 90's, feeling like it's in the 100's, definitely not nice gardening weather. We have had rain and for that I am very thankful.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

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  8. Nicole, thanks for your nice words about my roses! I would love to give you some rosy suggestions but gardening in zone 5 is totally out of my range of experience. How well a rose does has a lot to do with how suitable it is for a specific climate zone, so all I know is that you most likely need very different varieties than I grow here in zone 10 ;-). You may want to look into the class of Old Garden Roses, though. Many of them only bloom once, but they are much hardier than many of the newer varieties and utterly beautiful.

    Monarda, thanks for your kind words about my header photo. 'Madame Alfred Carriere' was growing in a container, just to get an initial impression about her mildew resistance here in my climate. I know it can be a huge bush, hope once she gets going I can contain her in the corner where she is planted :-)!

    Marijke, the roses do well in containers here as long as they are watered enough. That can mean up to two times a day! But who has the time for that...? Actually, I would be sad if I loose 'Sir Henry Segrave'. It is such a lovely yellow rose.

    Jeannine, 'Marie Pavie' and geranium 'Rozanne' is one of my most beautiful combos. I am pretty happy that it turned out so well. Sorry to hear that you also lost some plants to the heat, but I love your positive attitude replacing them joyfully with succulents ;-)!

    Janneke, for me it is upsetting to loose any rose, but one that you can't buy anymore is really sad. 'Sir Henry Segrave' is an extraordinary beautiful one and I have to admit that I do hope very much that he makes it.

    Lorraine, thanks for your very kind words about my blog! I hope it won't take so long until I am able to write the next post. Wow, your temperatures are pretty high as well and I guess in addition to that it is very humid, too. Wishing you that it cools down a bit, soon so that you can go back to gardening!

    Christina



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  9. Your garden looks amazing! I understand the watering and the heat. I am looking at another ten days with no rain and excessive heat. I could handle the heat a little better if it would just rain more than once a month!

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  10. Christina, I am happy for that rose! If I was a rose, I'd be very glad to jump into that spacious hole with organic soil!

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  11. Your roses are looking very pretty in spite of the hot weather. My husband has been doing supplemental watering to keep our plants alive through this long hot summer. I'm so happy to see that your 'Sir Henry Segraves' is showing signs of life and I will look forward to seeing some of his blooms in your future posts!

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  12. It has been a brutal late summer for us, too. I love Marie Pavie. I really need her in my garden! (Need, not want, of course!) ;) She looks beautiful with the blue geranium. Pierre de Ronsard is fabulous! He looks so very happy. I am so glad that Sir Henry has come back to life. I hope he grows big and strong. It's always so exciting to see a 'dead' plant come alive again!

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  13. Hi it's good to know I'm not only one who fed up with watering. This summer was crazy in Japan. In our community a man got a heat stroke and passed away. I think I should be very thankful that what I lost are a couple of dead-dried vegetable plants such as tomatoes. Keep working in your garden and say hello to your roses. Cheers.

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  14. Erin, thanks for your compliment about my garden! Yes, rain once in a while would help to endure the heat. Here in Southern California it literally doesn't rain for months in the summer. To my surprise and relief temperatures have cooled down to 85 F/ 29 C highest temperature of the day. Feels so much better!

    Tatjana, the roses definitively seem to appreciate to be planted into a big holes with organic soil. Usually they break out into a nice flush of blooms shortly after.

    Dorothy, some roses in the containers have taken a hit during the two very hot days that we had here lately. So they don't look that great anymore. But I hope with temperatures cooling down they will come around again. If 'Sir Henry Segrave' ever blooms again, I will certainly post photos on the blog ;-)!

    Holley, 'Marie Pavie' is truly a good rose for me here. She has proven more than once that she can be pretty even in extreme heat periods. Just be aware that she needs a lot of deadheading to be looking good. I would love to see her thriving in your garden, too.

    Marie, I think all gardeners in hot climates are tired of watering by now. Just loosing some vegetable plants is not too bad, though. I am not sure yet, but I might have lost some more of my baby roses. Oh well.....

    Christina



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  15. It's been hot and dry here, too. I usually have a few spare containers to put new plants in during the summer so they're not stuck in hot black pots. I think your rose will be beautiful in that corner spot. :o)

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  16. Casa Mariposa, you are certainly right that getting the roses out of the black plastic pots into a for example terracotta container would be helpful. I just have too many roses in my pot ghetto that I can do that with all of them. I can't wait to see what 'Madame Alfred Carriere' does in the next couple of months.

    Christina

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  17. Hi and thankyou for an interesting post ! I took note of your rose-nurturing and how you tied in fertilising with almost immediate flushes of blooms. I grow quite a few roses, mainly English roses and a few old roses and am getting more and more interested. What is your fertilising routine ? My soil is very dark and rich and I fertilise with horse manure in Spring and specialised rose fertiliser after the first flush of flowers. Wonder if I should be doing more ???

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  18. hoehoegrow, ideally I fertilize my roses right after I have pruned and deleaved them in the winter, then after the spring flush, then after the summer flush and then maybe one more time depending on the rose variety. I stop fertilizing all roses by the end of October to give them a break. In the spring I use 'Biostart' from the company Growmore and alfalfa meal from E.B Stone Organics. After that it is mostly only 'Biostart' or the rose fertilizer from E.B. Stone Organics even though I think the roses would benefit from a second serving of alfalfa meal. Both are organic fertilizers. I like the rose fertilizer from E.B. Stone Organics a little better than Biostart, but it is much more expensive for me than using Biostart (I get the Biostart for a good price from the local rose society once a year). I use 4 cups of the rose fertilizer and 2 cups of alfalfa meal for a mature Hybrid Tea rose, but for example go up to 12 cups of 'Biostart' for a mature Tea rose like 'Georgetown Tea', which is growing in severe palm root competition. As I indicated in the beginning that this is what would happen in an ideal world, but mostly I don't get to fertilize that often just for time reasons.
    I fertilize quite a bit, because I have very poor soil, deal with root competition from palms almost everywhere, garden in a warm climate and have to water a lot so nutrients get leached out.
    You are writing that you have rich dark soil. So you may need to fertilize much less to get optimal results from your roses. I would suggest to keep notes for each rose bush, increase and decrease the fertilizer and observe the results. That's how I am trying to figure out how much fertilizer each rose bush needs in my garden. Hope that helps!

    Christina

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  19. Liebe Christina,
    diese kontinuierliche Hitze ist sicher heftig gewesen für
    deine Rosen. Da hattest du ganz schön zu gießen. Auch bei uns
    war es dieses Jahr lange Zeit sehr, sehr trocken und heiß.
    Zum Glück haben wir auf unserem Grundstück einen eigenen Brunnen und
    haben ihn mit einer Pumpe versehen. Da kostet uns das Gießen nichts.
    Ich drücke dir die Daumen für Sir Henry Segrave. Bestimmt schafft er es :-)
    Ganz viele liebe Grüße
    und einen schönen Sonntag
    wünscht dir Urte

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  20. Urte, your are so lucky to have a well on your property! I wish we had one, too! The prices for water are really high in California and, of course, so is our water bill :-(! Have a good start into the new week!

    Christina

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  21. Hi Christina,

    Your garden looks perfect even now, the roses are so very beautiful ..." Marie Pavie " is a charming rose. Hope you will have some rain later in September ... Greetings from Greece !!!

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  22. Dani, thanks, most likely we won't get any rain in September, the so called "rainy season" usually starts in December here.

    Christina

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  23. Christina, tu as bien fait d'installer Mme Alfred Carrière directement dans le sol. Ce rosier va prendre ses aises et de l'ampleur. Tu n'auras plus la corvée de l'arrosage. Pour Ton rosier Marie Pavié, il est ravissant en compagnie de ce géranium florifère que je connais bien. Quant à ton hydrangéa, si j'étais à ta place je lui donnerai très vite un anti- chlorose qui éviterait au feuillage de blanchir.Pour obtenir l'arbuste en bleu, il existe un engrais bleuissant pour hortensias. En France, l'été a été satisfaisant pour les rosiers et plantes de mon jardin. Le mois de juin a été frais ,la floraison des roses a été retardée mais depuis, c'est correct.
    Belle soirée jocelyne

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  24. Jocelyne, it would be great if I don't have to give 'Madame Alfred Carriere' extra water once she is established! It always amazes me that we grow the same plants like hardy geranium 'Rozanne', even though we garden on different continents. Thanks for your tips regarding my hydrangea. I have fertilizer and aluminum sulfate (to make it blue) in the garage, but still haven't gotten around to put it under the plant :-(.

    Christina

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  25. Hello, your garden looks lovely, much more exotic than we can manage here. I've loved seeing your posts on the gardens you've visited here in England. I must make more effort to go out garden visiting myself! xx

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  26. serendipity, thanks, I am pleased that you like my posts about the gardens in England, especially because you are from there. You have so gorgeous gardens in your country, I am sure you will enjoy visiting them and you have the advantage that they are very close by.

    Christina

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  27. Pierre de Ronsard looks fabulous, all your roses seem to be doing extremely well, especially being planted in between palm trees. I am glad your dead rose picked up again. It just goes to show that even if the top looks dead, the root system still isn't and it's worth giving it another go. Great post. Have a great week.

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  28. I have been visiting some rose-gardens recently and have been constantly thinking about you. You really have lovely roses. I am checking out that vintage garden site and asked them if they have any beautiful fragrant roses. To me roses are flowers with heavenly smell and for which many poets in India, Iran composed beautiful poems. I don't get any smell from any rose that I see here in garden centers :-(. I love that white and blue combination in the first picture.

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  29. Karen, thanks, I consider 'Pierre de Ronsard' one of my most beautiful roses in the garden. Even though it is a modern rose it has a lot of the charm that usually only old roses possess.

    KL, thanks for your compliment regarding my roses. I agree with you, a rose without fragrance is always somewhat of a disappointment. Sadly in modern rose breeding there was a time when rose breeders didn't make it a priority that the new roses had a lovely scent, but that seems to have changed over the recent years again. If buyers refuse to purchase roses without fragrance I guess that would make things turn around even faster :-). Vintage Gardens should be able to recommend some lovely fragrant roses to you that are suitable for your climate. I am still sad that this great nursery is closing soon.

    Christina

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  30. You are so lucky with your climate. I wish we had here in Germany some more sunshine at the moment.

    Your roses are so beautiful! All our roses are faded now - hello fall in the middle of October... Iris

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  31. Iris, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Yes, the climate in California is wonderful for growing roses most of the time (August and September are a little bit too hot for the roses to be completely happy!). That is one reason why I like it here so much :-).

    Christina

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