Sunday, April 13, 2014

Surf & Turf Spring Garden Tour: Out of Asia

Last Saturday my husband and I went to the annual spring garden tour of the San Diego Horticultural Society, titled Surf & Turf Spring Garden Tour 2014. Featured were twelve gardens of very different styles. We only made it to five and after that we were so full of impressions, we couldn't take in any more. Altogether it was a very enjoyable day!

The only thing that I found a little bit off-putting was the price tag for the tour: Twenty five dollar/person for non-members of the San Diego Horticultural Society. Even though it was for charity, I think that is a little bit high. I wonder how a low income family should afford it.

Anyway, lets start with the tour. The first garden that we saw was the Asian style garden of Barbara Jenkins-Lee. I believe, that this is the first private garden of that type that I have ever visited and was most impressed by all the statuary, lanterns, temples, benches, that were artfully placed in the garden. I spoke briefly to the owner and she told me, that she is a travel agent and had bought all these outstanding pieces on her travels throughout Asia and had them shipped home. Now that is cool, isn't it?

I just loved this stone bench. The design is so special.

This dragon also certainly didn't get overlooked...

...and, of course, the classical head statue of the Buddha was there to find as well.

Tea house or garden shed or something totally different altogether? What ever its use is, this small outbuilding was done very tastefully and fit right in with the style of the garden. 

It is a little hard to see in this photo, but this part of the garden features a large Koi pond. All the evergreen plants are so soothing to the soul. At least I feel this way. 

This was my favorite piece in the whole garden. Barbara, the owner, told me that it is a temple from Thailand in which traditionally flowers are placed as offering to the spirits.

The garden was very well visited and had a nice big patio with a comfortable sitting area of which you can only see a very small part in this shot.

Neat idea to cut a barrel vertical in two halves and use them as planters.

Another beautiful Buddha statue.

One last look at my favorite temple...

...and we excited the garden through this curved pathway with a lovely lantern in the middle as a focal point. 

Please be aware that my photos don't do this garden justice. It was hard to get an image without having at least one person in it, so I didn't take many shots that show whole scenes from the garden. I would love to come back and see this garden just by myself and take it all in, especially pay more attention to individual plants and group plantings and take all the photos that I wanted. Of course, most likely this is not going to happen. But still, I hope I could give you a delightful little peek into this serene and beautiful garden, even though it is a superficial one.

I plan to feature more of the gardens of the Surf & Turf Garden Tour that we saw that day in future posts. They were all very unique and interesting. Hope you come back another time to continue the tour with me!

See you in the garden!


Monday, April 7, 2014

March Roses

Since I wrote my last post about the beginning of the rose flush in my garden, there was a lot happening in terms of rosy affairs. Even though between the previous post and this one lay only eight days (the time frame in which I took the pictures for this post) and we had relatively cool weather, the roses changed visibly every day. Some reached their full spring flush peak, while others just shyly started to open their first blooms.

'Yolande d'Aragon' is certainly one of my favorite rose blooms, the shrub itself not so much, but we will come to that later.

Her fragrance is outstanding...

...and the flowers are petal-filled beauties.

The blooms of 'Grandmother's Hat' are a little bit more simple, but absolutely pretty in their own way. 

The blooms of 'Reine des Violettes' opened in an almost cerise color, but they are fading to the gray-violet tone that this rose is so famous for. 

Here you can see my whole Hybrid Perpetual rose bed. From the left to the right: 'Yolande d'Aragon', 'Reine des Violettes', and 'Grandmother's Hat'. For me the bush form is as important as the blooms and you can clearly see, 'Grandmother's Hat' is the most graceful, full, arching shrub. 

Even though all roses are three years in this bed, 'Reine des Violettes' doesn't seem to be mature, yet and I think, this rose has not reached its full potential.

'Yolande d'Aragon' is a little bit of an unruly shrub with a tendency to form candelabra canes, but it is possible that the shape of this rose will improve. A nasty rat ate almost all of the new basal canes of 'Yolande d'Aragon' and even though you can't see it on the photo, she is making some new ones that, I think, will fill in the gaps that are visible now in the bush. Also we had some very windy days and some rain showers, which contributed that the canes are bending outward under the weight of the very heavy blooms.

Nonetheless moving our lightweight garden furniture over and having breakfast or afternoon tea in front of this bed holding these three very fragrant roses feels a little bit like being in heaven. Although each one smells slightly different, all three of them have this very enchanting Old Rose perfume, that I just haven't found in any of the modern roses. Definitively my favorite spot to be in the garden right now!

This is 'Old Fashioned Girl', a Miniature Rose, that is growing happy and healthy under the most challenging conditions. I planted it in front of a South facing wall, that gets hot like an oven even in spring already, but this little gem of a rose is just blooming away.

Here is a photo of a spray of 'Old Fashioned Girl'. Isn't it amazing how many buds there are on just one single spray?

One rose that I have very high hopes for in the future is 'Belinda's Dream'. I just love the big, fat, light pink blooms. The flowers are so heavily petaled that sometimes they balled and they are also very sensitive to water damage. But I believe, that as soon as the weather really warms up, things will get better with this rose.

'Marie Pavie' is a sea of buds. Each year I am amazed how floriferous this rose is.

The individual blooms are very lovely and dainty.

Another of my favorite roses at this time of the year is 'Pierre de Ronsard', aka 'Eden'. The blooms are just so stunningly pretty.

Even though I have a small garden I have two roses of this variety, because I like it so much. One is planted in front of the fence that faces the open space area behind our property. This specimen was in full swing when I took the photo above.  

Blooms of 'Pierre de Ronsard' in different stages of opening.

Each flower a piece of art!

My second 'Pierre de Ronsard' is a huge specimen (just as a reference point, the fence behind the rose is six feet high) that has just started to flower. I enjoy that this rose blooms a bit later than the other, so that they are peaking at different times.

Moving on to the front yard, where 'Sweetness', an incredible fragrant Hybrid Tea rose, has begun to flower. This rose bush is approximately five years in the ground and has become quite an impressive, healthy and full bush.

I can't help myself, but I have a weakness for lavender colored roses. 

Here is a shot of the whole banana-shaped bed with 'Sweetness' in the foreground and 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' in the background. The latter is also packed with buds and it will be a delight to see them all opening. 

'Moonstone' has formed a nice bush over time, too. Even though a very beautiful rose, I am not very happy with it, because it almost always has more or less severe problems with powdery mildew. 

Opening bud of  'Moonstone'.


'Auckland Metro' is also having some disease problems, but in her case it is rust not powdery mildew. I try to pick up the infected leaves from the bush and since the rose is fairly small that is doable. I hope, that with reliable warm weather the rust will disappear. 

The shading of the flowers of 'Auckland Metro' is very pleasing and subtle.

We are expecting a brief hot spell in the next three days, with predicted temperatures going up to 92 F/33 C, which will make the roses opening much faster. Today my main gardening chore was to hand-water the roses thoroughly, so that they are as prepared as possible for this. We will see how they fair through this weather!  

See you in the garden!