Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Enjoying Autumn

Autumn undeniably has reached my San Diego garden. After a scorching hot summer temperatures have finally cooled down and the garden slowly goes into recovery mode from the long hot and dry months. We even had an inch of rain, lately.

On some days the weather has been just glorious, absolutely perfect for gardening and I decided to work on the central bed in the backyard, called the White Garden Bed. Unfortunately, as you can see, there is not too much white about it right now, because hardly anything is blooming. 

But I tried to change that and fertilized the roses in this bed one more time this year. I know, it is late in the season even for Southern California, but this bed gets a lot of sun and the soil is still warm, so the roses hopefully are able to utilize the food that I put down for them and will produce one more rose flush.

So out came the organic rose fertilizer, alfalfa meal and compost and my husband and I got to work. You may have spotted the hole in the ground in front of the left cycad already,...

...I intended to plant this alstroemeria Princess Lilies 'Claire', there. Poor 'Claire' has been sitting in my pot ghetto way too long and has given up flowering, but if I am lucky, she starts again before winter sets in.

The freshly mulched bed looks so much better already and even though the alstroemeria, now planted in front of the left cycad, is small... has quite a bit of an visual impact, I think.

Still the bed appears "empty" to me, therefore I decided to make it my focus in the next couple of months and try to fill it with perennials and annuals.

One of my 'Iceberg' roses clearly indicates that it is autumn by growing hips and flowers together at the same time.

Other roses like 'Charles Darwin' fit into the season by simply taking on a wonderful warm and rich autumn color.

Moving on to the front yard. I feel the front yard has suffered the most from the hot summer and I had to cut back plants quite a bit to remove dried up leaves and branches. In the moment it looks a little bare.

The photo above shows the view from the walkway to the front door. I am really pleased with the height that the obelisk, placed to the right side in front of the garage wall, is adding to the scene. The hummingbird wind chime hanging inside the obelisk is new and I like how it picks up the color of the blue glazed terracotta containers that are scattered throughout the front yard. It also adds some color and visual interest at that level of height. Our front door is still decorated with Halloween banners and...

...these cool pumpkins to the right and left side. I was happy, that I found some more unusual pumpkins than the "normal" squeaky orange ones,...

...since bold orange is really not my color and I think the different colors and shapes of these pumpkins make for a far more interesting display.

Don't you think that these pumpkins have the most amazing textures? I really hope that they will last for a while and beautify our entrance to the house in the autumn time.

This is a close-up of my new hummingbird wind chime, which you could see already hanging in middle of the obelisk four pictures above. Looking at it more closely, I am not sure if it is not too much kitsch. I hope that the weather will wear off a little bit of the sheen and let it become more matte, so that it looks less flashy. On the other hand it didn't cost a fortune and if I feel it is "too much for me" in the long run, it is not a big deal to remove it. I was astonished to find though, that the wind chime itself makes a surprisingly pleasing and soothing sound that really adds something special to the front yard.

At one of my trips to a big box store lately, I got stopped in my tracks by these beautiful stocks. I didn't intend to buy a plant, but simply couldn't pass them up. Besides the very lovely flowers they smell absolutely incredible. So I allowed myself to take two of them home and replaced the purple petunias with them, which didn't survive the heat of summer.

I find the soft pastel colors and ruffled blooms of the stock quite wonderful...

...and they fulfill my desire to have some flowers other than roses blooming in the front yard at this time of the year.

I was surprised to find stocks blooming in autumn though, as I always think of them as spring flowers. They may have been forced in the green house...

...and for that reason I am a little bit worried about how they may fair outside and how long the blooms will last, but I for sure will enjoy them as long as they are with me. Since they are planted in the front yard, usually I pass by them a couple of times a day and sometimes you will find me stopping and going down on my knees, taking a whiff. I only can say their fragrance is truly heavenly! They are definitively one of the many little autumn delights that my garden has to offer at this time of the year.

I hope you are enjoying the autumn as well.

See you in the garden!



  1. Glad to hear that temperatures are much kinder there now and you're enjoying autumn Christina :)

  2. Your autumn garden looks so nice and tidy, I really should like to have your Californian climate. Here fallen leaves are whirling all over the place, it is so messy. The stocks you bought have indeed wonderful soft colours and I suppose they also have a lovely fragrance.
    Wish you happy gardening!

  3. Oh for an autumn full of blue skies! I love the obelisk in the front yard and you're right, the height it adds is just right.

  4. Your yard always looks beautiful and immaculate! I think your stocks will be fine, although I never have luck with them. But my husband planted some in a pot last year and they did fine. They have them out in the nurseries here in the fall, and they always smell so good! We have a chance of rain the forecast. Hope you get some too!

  5. I hope your pumpkins don't suffer the fate mine did at the hands (claws) of the resident squirrels. I love stock too and just planted 5 of the tall variety, not yet blooming. They did well for me at our former house where the temperature averaged as much as 10 degrees cooler but I'm hoping our heatwaves are history and that they'll do fine. Enjoy the cooler, garden-friendly temperatures, Christina!

  6. Your plans for the garden sound wonderful - and your view is lovely! I do love your little wind chime - I have a few and they are so nice tinkling with the breezes. The stocks are lovely - so soft and romantic. I have never grown them, but I will look for them this spring. We had our first frost of the season last night and all my flowers have succumbed. I am sad, but am planting bulbs for spring. I love your beautiful front door. xo Karen

  7. Your garden is beautiful after the rain and everything is so fresh and clean. You must be happy to see the results, Christina :)

  8. Glad to read you've experience some welcome rain Christina. I'll bet the garden is feeling truly refreshed. Love the little wind chime. It matches perfectly with the pots, as you say. Such a lovely entrance to your home.
    Is it wrong that I've a little pool envy going on? Your garden is looking great right now. I hope your roses give you an extra bloom or two.

  9. It all looks just lovely to me, Christina. And wonderful to be looking forward to rosebuds at this time of year - mine our just mush. The stocks are adorable and I really like the touches of blue in the pots leading up to your front door.

  10. Je suis admirative de ton allée qui mène à ta porte d'entrée que je trouve remarquable. Ton carillon est super, il n'est pas du tout clinquant, bien au contraire, il a de la classe et s'harmonise bien à l’esprit de ta maison. en France cette année, nous avons un temps radieux me permettant de poursuivre des travaux au jardin. Pour la première année, j'aime l'automne avec toutes les couleurs des feuillages qui commencent à se métamorphoser.
    Belle soirée

  11. First off your pool is awesome!!! What a gorgeous oasis you have there friend! And Christina...the path to your door is so beautiful! It is like a magical walkway with so much beauty to look at along each side! So glad the cooler temps are here for you all and that you have received some rain! Everything looks so healthy!! Happy gardening lady! Nicole xo

  12. Liebe Christina,
    was hast du für einen wunderschönen Garten!
    Alles sieht so sommerlich frisch und leicht aus - herrlich :-)
    Ganz viele liebe Herbstgrüße zum Wochenende
    sendet dir die Urte :-)

  13. I love your pool, and the way the cycads look poolside. They make really nice dramatic accents.

    Your entryway looks wonderful. I love the pumpkins and hummingbird wind chime too.

    Those stocks are so lovely. You really captured amazing light in those pictures.

  14. We had our first killing frost last night and it is freezing cold today- it looks so warm there!

  15. Liebe Christina,
    was ein wundervoller Post!!! Das war wir ein kurzer Urlaub für mich. Hab mich an deinen Pool gesetzt und die traumhafte Aussicht genossen, an den Blumen geschnuppert und Energie getankt. Danke, wie wundervoll ist das für mich!
    Hab eine glückliche Zeit und genieße die angenehmen Temperaturen

  16. Beautiful garden Christina! San Diego (Balboa Park, Old Town and Harbor) used to be our hangout when we lived in Costa Mesa. I miss it very much since we moved a few months ago to Sacramento! Am planning to grow roses like before, once we have figured out how to protect our flowers from the deer (I see them almost every day and they can jump a 6 foot fence:)

  17. I don’t think I have seen your pool area before, how lovely it is, and the view is to die for! I have seen the alstroemeria Princess series online and have my eye on a few of them already, would go well with the one I already have as they don’t grow too tall. Loved your wind chime and I don’t think it is too kitsch at all, well, maybe a bit, but you could always change the glass beads for something else and keep the humming bird and the tubes and it would look a lot less kitsch – if you felt you needed to :-)

    I haven’t grown stocks before either, one of many plants I would like to try if I could find a suitable place for them, the photos of yours makes me want to lean over and sniff them!
    Have a good gardening week, take care, Helene.

  18. I am afraid winter arrived here in a huff yesterday, but I thoroughly enjoyed autumn while it lasted. Like yours, our garden needs time to recuperate after summer stress and autumn gives it a chance to do that. Our roses were all blooming again up until hard frost hit.

    I also love wind chimes! I have them all over the garden. Lou says the place sounds like a fortune teller's parlor, but I would not be without them. I like your blue hummingbird!

  19. Hi Christina! I love the front entrance and a walkway! Very elegant and inviting!

  20. Oh, wonderful sunshine, and only one inch of rainfall!! Everything is looking lovely and your photo of 'Charles Darwin' is beautiful. Seeing at your pool and view I'm sure that I'm living in the wrong country!

  21. Hi Christina, it is nice to hear from you again! I remember your struggles with the white bed, I hope you come to a solution that pleases you. Are there any winter-blooming perennials? We have cyclamen and daphne that I can think about right now, but I am not sure how they do in your winterless climate. I like your front walkway, it does not look bare to me at all :)