Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thinking About Getting a Dog

Last weekend my husband and I went to a dog show in Valley Center, CA, to take a closer look at some dog breeds we are interested in and that way get a better feeling for the dogs. We also wanted to meet some owners to talk to about their pooches and get to know some reputable breeders.

It was quite an exciting weekend for us and my husband took many photos. Since I know that many gardeners are also devoted dog lovers, I thought I would post some pics today for your enjoyment.

A beautifully marked Brittany waiting on the grooming table.

What a beautiful gait!

He was not only beautiful, but very friendly as well! Here he is saying hi to me, we just had met!

Just such a lovely boy!

The Doberman, head study.

An extremely elegant dog!

 Being stacked for the judge.

Two Dobermans are having a conversation.

Whippet, head study.

This whippet seems to say: "Hey, what's up?"

This lovely whippet girl took home a win, if I remember correctly.

 Whippet in motion.

Another whippet. Having an intimate moment with her handler. 

Whippets appear to be very gentle and sweet dogs.

The powerful and impressive Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Especially the males just seem to be so strong.

Look at these soulful eyes!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, head study.

This is a Pharaoh Hound, one of the more rare breeds. Its a girl and she was very alert and focused on her owner and handler. Looks like she says: "What shall I do next?"

The incredible elegant and graceful Saluki.

Saluki, head study.

These dogs are so photogenic,...

...and one is more beautiful...

...than the other.

I wonder, how dogs and gardens go together. That certainly also depends on the breed that one chooses. Any thoughts on that?

Until next time,


Friday, July 4, 2014

June Roses

There is no place like home! That was what I was thinking when we arrived at our house after our vacation in England in the evening of June, 21st. And I was even more happy when I took a closer look at the garden the next day. This year I hired a person to water my garden when we were gone and she did a truly wonderful job. Even though expensive, it was so well worth it. All photos used in this post are taken in the last week of June. Let's have a stroll through parts of the front yard first.

This is what I saw when I opened our front door. The two light pink roses to the right are 'Our Lady of Guadalupe'. The white one to the left is a 'Climbing Iceberg' rose. The plant with the blue flower spikes is salvia 'Mystic Spires Blue'.

Looking back towards the front door of the house. 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' had produced a second flush, that was almost as floriferous as the first one this year. 

The second flush of the 'Climbing Iceberg' rose also just looked amazing!

How my neighbor sees part of the front yard. I have permission to deadhead from her side and it is sometimes interesting and surprising to see our front yard from her property. The rose in the front is 'Our 'Lady of Guadalupe' again, the rose to the right is the 'Climbing Iceberg', that you saw already on previous photos and the blue flowering plant to the left in the background is salvia 'Mystic Spires Blue'. It is hard to guess from the images, but the salvia is more than four feet tall!

One rose that resides in the front yard that I like very much is 'Marie Pavie'. She was at the end of her second flush already.

Moving on to the backyard. On the image above you see my two 'Charles Darwin' roses. They are wonderful healthy roses in my climate. The big cup-shaped blooms are so sumptuous and the roses are producing them very freely. Even though the terracotta containers are quite big, they are too small for these roses in the long run. I need to plant them out into the ground sooner or later. 

The beauty of the blooms of 'Charles Darwin' never fails to impress me.

They are always so elegant.

In every stage. 

For me 'Charles Darwin' is one of the finest creations that the rose breeder David Austin has bred so far. 

The photo above shows 'Frederic Mistral', a light pink Hybrid Tea rose. It is beautifying our terrace. It is very vigorous when watered and fertilized generously and seems to have a good re-bloom. What you see is the second flush of this rose.

I am observing its disease resistance, its bloom shape, and the growing habit of the bush.

So far 'Frederic Mistral' is relatively healthy, but he can suffer from powdery mildew sometimes.

Another rose growing on our terrace is 'Mary Rose'. This one is also bred by David Austin. It has been flowering quite generously, too, and I love the light pink bloom. It repeats well. The only drawback is, that it drops its rose petals quickly, so be prepared to do a lot of deadheading!

This is 'Auckland Metro', one of the roses in my white flowerbed behind the pool. I continue to be impressed by this young rose. It repeats well, the blooms are of incredible beauty and elegance and, for a Hybrid Tea, it builds up a nice bush. I am looking forward to seeing it to get more established.

Close-up of an 'Auckland Metro' bloom. Don't you just have to love it?

'Pope John Paul II', getting ready for his second flush. This is a rose that has proven itself for a few seasons in my garden now. I think, it is one of the best white roses for a warm climate ever bred so far.

The flowers of 'Pope John Paul II' are almost always perfect, I get plenty of them with each flush and they are good for cutting, which is also an important trait in a rose for me.

Another rose that is growing in my 'White Garden Bed' is 'Chandos Beauty'. The blooms of this rose are also of great elegance in my eyes and they come with a very strong fragrance.

I like the light apricot center and the flower shape. The bush itself though is quite leggy. But it is still relatively new to my garden and in the process of getting established, so maybe the bush form becomes more harmonious over time.

Even though it was already a bit tatty, I was pleased to see a bloom on 'Burnaby', another Hybrid Tea rose, when I came home from England. I almost lost this rose in the heat of summer last year, but it seems to recover and was even able to gift me with a flower. Yeah!

I will finish for today with a rose that was one of my favorites last month: 'Belinda's Dream'. This one is also relatively new to my garden and as you can see, the bush still has to fill out quite a bit, but the blooms,...

...the blooms are so pretty. 

I am very smitten by their particular shade of light pink color,..

...that they are so fully petaled,...

...and that they have an aura of luxury and generosity around them. This rose could become a real standout in my garden, when it matures.

Wishing all my American readers that you are having a happy Fourth of July weekend!

See you in the garden!