Saturday, February 28, 2015

End of Month View - The White Garden Bed

On the first glance at the photos there has been embarrassingly little change happened in the White Garden Bed between this End of the Month View post and the one from January.

February 2015


January 2015

This is mainly due to three reasons. Firstly, when I shot the photos for this post, it was a mostly cloudy, overcast day and I took them later in the day time than the ones for the January post, with the unfortunate result that everything looks kind of "brown" in the February photos and the plants are "disappearing" into the mulch.

Secondly, and that is the bit frustrating part, I, with the support of my husband and the gardener, have worked hard on this bed, but that work doesn't show on the photos. All plants are fertilized, a decent layer of new mulch has been put down and a big new hole has been dug to the very right of the bed (not visible on the photo above, it is obstructed by the pool spa). Of course, I would have loved to have filled the bed with perennials and annual spring flowers already, and believe me, knowing that the next End of Month View post was due soon, the temptation was great. But I know, that in my garden I always have to be patient and reasonable and work on improving the soil first, otherwise nothing is going to grow well here in the long run.

Thirdly altogether there was very little time to work on this bed, because I was still pruning and fertilizing the roses in the whole yard and without that being done as soon as possible there will be no rose spring flush in the garden. So this had definitively priority over working on the White Garden Bed.

Are you tired of my explanations and excuses why there is not much change to see on these photos by now? Yes? Then let's actually focus on what has changed.


February 2015

January 2015

Well, the roses have leaved out and have grown quite a bit in comparison to February. If you look at the February photo to the very right you can spot the massive hole that has been dug to accommodate one more rose. I placed a rose in its black plastic container into the hole to see how it would look in this bed and I think this is a good location for it. 

The rose to the very left, 'Pope John Paul II', wasn't even pruned on the January photo, as a matter of fact, it was one of the last roses planted into the ground that I pruned this year. But to my own surprise it has already produced a new basal cane which is carrying a spray of buds and a pristine new white flower is blooming in the middle of this spray already again. 



Here is a shot of the new spray of 'Pope John Paul II'. I love that the buds have a green tint, before they are opening to a very clear white color. 



The photo above shows a closer look at the big hole to the very right of the White Garden Bed that has been dug for the new rose. I always prefer at least 3' deep x 3' wide holes when I plant a new rose, because as you can even see on the picture, my native soil is very poor and contains many rocks of all sizes. The excavated soil gets completely replaced by a planting mix from E.B. Stone, called Rose Grow, which is especially formulated for planting roses. This stuff isn't cheap, but I have very good experience with this soil mix. The roses are really thriving in it in my garden, so it is worth the expense to me. 


February 2015

 January 2015

In these two photos you can more clearly see the difference in the roses. One plant that also has continued to fill out is the alstroemeria Princess Lilies 'Claire', in the foreground in front of the cycad to the left.



Here is close-up of alstroemeria Princess Lilies 'Claire'. Isn't it looking juicy and healthy? You almost want to take a bite...



And if you look even closer at this plant, you can see the very first blooms emerging. I can't remember the exact color anymore, only recall, it was a very light one, therefore I can't wait to see the buds opening and hope that they fit into my white color scheme.



Hardy geranium 'Biokovo' to the right side of the cycad on the right in the bed is still blooming prolifically. It is good to know that this plant has a flowering period of at least four weeks.



Just another view of the White Garden Bed.



Even though I haven't been planting anything new into the White Garden Bed within the last month, I have been thinking a lot about what I could possibly plant there. Since it is a very narrow bed it is not realistic to expect to have an impressive display of white flowers there at all the times unless I exchange annuals on a very regular base. So I thought I would go with Vita Sackville-West's approach in her White Garden, and use silver and gray leaved plants in this bed, which come the closest to white flowers, but are there year round.

I have these two dichondra sericea, 'Silver Ponyfoot' sitting around in my pot ghetto for quite a while now and thought I will plant them into my White Garden Bed and see how this looks. When the sunlight hits their leaves they have an almost metallic shine to them, which I find quite fascinating. Another good thing about these plants is that they are supposed to be drought tolerant.

Hopefully next month I have some more progress to show and I would be happy if you would come back to check in with the development of my White Garden Bed.

I am joining Helen Johnstone's End of Month View meme at The Patient Gardener's Weblog. Please click on the link to see views of other gardens at the end of February.

Wishing all of you a nice rest of the weekend!

See you in the garden!

Christina



28 comments:

  1. Love the idea of planting silver/gray foliaged plants their friend! And I really liked how frank you were about your garden bed and how important it is to tend the soil first and foremost....being patient as you mentioned is such an important component to gardening. Your bed is gorgeous and that rose along with your geraniums are beautiful Christina! I can't wait to see more! Happy weekend to you!!! Nicole xo

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  2. Wow, what a big hole for one rose, that is not possible in our garden, to hard is the soil, to much stones.
    You have a wonderful pool!

    Sigrun

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  3. Esta quedando precioso Besos y buen domingo.

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  4. Your silvery plant will thrive in your white garden. As you know all silver plants are drought resisted. You really have to work hard in your garden. Planting a rose is quite a job! After seen this I will never complain about my heavy clay soil! Keep digging and I am looking forward to see the progress. Groetjes,

    Hetty

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  5. January to end of February isn't a long period and growth is slow, come spring the fruits of all your hard work before will be even more visible :)

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  6. You can tell that your roses have filled out and what a lovely treat with your 'Pope John Paul II' rose, all those lovely buds and one open bloom.

    I think silver/gray foliage plants will be a lovely addition to this white bed of yours.

    I just 'love' the reflections in your pool! Wonderful!

    Happy gardening ~ FlowerLady

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  7. I have exactly the same reaction when I look at photos a month apart... nothing has changed. But it has, your closer photographs show that, and your effort will be well rewarded as the weeks go by.

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  8. Liebe Christina -

    Über den Begriff 'pot ghetto' lache ich immer noch ... :)
    Das silbrig schimmernde würde das weisse Beet bestimmt mit einem 'sparkling effect' beleben.
    Die Blütenknospen von 'Pope John Paul II' mag ich sehr. Danke, für's Zeigen! Werde gleich mal ein wenig recherchieren ..............

    Alles Liebe,
    Petra

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  9. No problem to see many pictures of the same part of your garden. The reflections of the palms in the water is gorgeous, you really do live on a lovely spot of the world.

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  10. It is changing but everything is so slow at the moment. I am looking forward to seeing your roses in all their glory.

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  11. Oh, I can’t get over that view of yours, with the pool in the foreground and the sky in the background, so lovely and different to what I see when I look out – here are just bricks and concrete wherever I turn.
    I had to smile a bit when I read you said not much had happened in your white bed in a month, and then you present us with a budding 'Pope John Paul II', in my garden the roses were pruned last week of January but won’t be flowering until April. I love the look of your alstroemeria, I hope mine will be that size in a few years’ time. Looking forward to be following your white bed and how it develops, have a good gardening week!

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  12. Pope John Paul ll is wonderful! I have a partiality to silver-leafed plants, and I think the dichondra should fit in well. Even though it doesn't show just yet, your work in the bed will pay off soon. I always have to improve the soil here. I have a lot of clay, which is high in nutrients but has a killer consistency that becomes like concrete when dry and like plastic when wet. So we have to mix in lots of soil conditioner.

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  13. Ton rosier Jean Paul II est vraiment admirable, il est doté d'une teinte très agréable à l’œil. J'aime beaucoup les fleurs vertes et quand c'est une rose, je suis comblée. Le nombre de boutons sur ce rosier et leur qualité sont impressionnants par tant de beauté. Pour ton géranium Biokovo, tu as une belle variété et tu peux t'attendre à plus de quatre semaines de floraison.
    Belle soirée, bonne semaine...à bientôt..

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  14. I've heard that San Diego is getting some rain so I expect that'll help move things along as well, Christina. You've done the hard work and I'm sure you'll see more results as spring progresses - the roses, alstroemeria and geranium are already showing good results. I'll be interested in seeing how the dichondra performs as a groundcover - I've used it mainly in pots.

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  15. I love the beautiful white blooms of your new rose bush! I'm adding several roses to my collection this year, a white Madame Joseph Schwartz being one of them. The hardy geraniums are also so sweet looking -with their dainty display of blooms.

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  16. Beautiful design! I love to see rose.

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  17. Lovely to see your hard work. I know what you mean about the changes being slow, but the plants will know that you didn't skimp on preparation, and reward you later on!

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  18. Preparation is everything when it comes to growing plants in challenging soils. It is worth all your effort and I applaud you for not putting on a show of plants to fill the gaps for the post. Far better to see real gardening!

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  19. Will I upset you if I say that I think the February pictures look far better than the January ones - maybe it's because I am used to not seeing plants in such bright light.
    I think you have chosen wisely to improve your soil and although the additive might be expensive, it will be worth it in the end as the cost of constantly replacing the roses would prove just as expensive eventually.
    I think posting for this meme encourages us to think a lot more and like you I would not plant just to impress. You are doing it all the right way in my opinion Christina. Have a good week x

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  20. Your view is absolutely beautiful and the two palms for focal points with the varying heights in the white garden make a nice display. I also enjoyed seeing your gazing ball, which is placed perfectly!

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  21. I should dig my holes bigger for my roses since we also have bad soil....that rose is lovely....nothing growing here with all our snow.

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  22. Yes, most of the work of gardening is the hard work of improving the soil that nobody can see, but show the results later! I can imagine this bed glowing with its silver and white plants against that fabulous backdrop. I think it is going to be very beautiful. I can't wait to watch the progress. xo Karen

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  23. Love the white rose buds with the greenish hint!

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  24. This garden is gorgeous ! I love these fantastic views !

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  25. Liebe Christina,
    ja jetzt gibt es viel Arbeit mit dem Rosen schneiden und
    anderen Frühjahrsdingen. Aber bei dir sieht es doch schon so schön
    und ordentlich aus! Da hattest du viel Arbeit!
    Bei uns ist es heute endlich mal warm und wir haben auch
    viel im Garten schaffen können :-)
    Ganz viele sonnige Sonntagssonnengrüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)

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  26. The silver foliage will look wonderful in your white-themed bed!

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