Tuesday, March 31, 2015

End of Month View - The White Garden Bed

And finally the spring blooms of the plants, mainly the roses, have brought some much needed white color into the White Garden Bed! There is quite a bit of change to observe between the March and the February photos and I am so happy about that.

March 2015

 February 2015

Besides the fact that some plants have started flowering recently, I made some small changes to the bed as well. I placed my white statue that was formerly beautifying the Hybrid Perpetual Rose Bed into the White Garden Bed and like it there quite a bit. I also planted four new plants, two heucheras 'Venus' and two dichondra sericea commonly called 'Silver Ponyfoot', in the center of the bed, which albeit tiny also make big difference to me.

Here is a close-up of the white statue. It was made by an artist friend of us and was a house warming gift when we bought our first house here in California. Needless to say that it is very dear to me!

This photo offers you a closer look at the heuchera 'Venus'. I am completely in love with this small plant because of its silvery-white foliage and the beautiful veining on the leaves. It is supposed to produce creamy-white flowers in the spring, which would also go well with my white color scheme. The plant label said, that the heuchera would like partial sun or partial shade best, so it is planted in ideal light conditions, but I wonder if our climate is not too hot and dry for a heuchera to be happy. Time will tell! For now the plant responded to the transplant from the container into the ground well and I enjoy it as long as I can.

Both dichondra sericea 'Silver Ponyfoot' are struggling after transplanting them into the ground and that is mainly my fault. These plants were sitting in pots for over a year and when I removed the black plastic container the roots were completely pot bound. To loosen them up I serrated the root balls in various areas with a knife, but I might have over done it a bit.

The other one, looks much worse, leaves are even dying in the center of the plant. My gardener said that this plant is growing like a weed in his home town in Mexico, so I hope that indicates that it is a tough plant that will come around and survive.

Here is the trio of the newbies to the White Garden Bed: The white statue and the heuchera and the dichondra sericea. I love how the silver color of the dichondra is picked up by the heuchera and vice versa.

March 2015

February 2015 

The photo of the center of the White Garden Bed shows, besides the flowering roses, two more things that are standing out by the end of this month. One is the flowering alstroemeria Princess Lilies 'Claire' in front at the foot of the left cycad (Sago palm). And the second is that the left cycad is producing a new layer of fronds. 

Last month I was still wondering what exactly the color of the alstroemeria would be and I am very pleased about this creamy white nuance that the flowers have been taking on. The plant blooms obviously profusely and could take the heat wave that we were having recently in a blink of an eye. I am starting to get the feeling that this one is a real gem. 

Zooming in even closer, the beauty of the flowers is even more evident. The little dark "freckles" on the blooms are so charming!

This image shows the center of the cycad, and you can clearly spot the layer of the new fronds in the middle of the plant. I can't tell you how glad I am about that the cycad is able to produce a new top layer of fronds, because I think the plant hasn't done it for about two years and the older layers of fronds have become quite ratty looking and are badly burned by our hot sun. This is not so obvious on the photos, but trust me, it is truly the case. Can't wait to cut the lowest layer of fronds off!

March 2015

 February 2015

The last wide angle shot of the White Garden Bed taken from the left side looking over to the right. The roses from the left to the right are: 'Pope John Paul II', 'Chandos Beauty', 'Moonstone' and 'Auckland Metro', all Hybrid Tea roses. The one that truly stands out is 'Chandos Beauty'. This rose has been doing fabulous this spring and just looking at it makes my heart leap. 

That being said, 'Moonstone', the rose in the middle of the cycads, really sucked this month. It got infected with rose rust so badly that I decided to partly de-leaf the rose. The new shoots were then severely plagued by powdery mildew and have been partly removed as well, including the flower buds. Therefore there are only a few blooms on it. That 'Moonstone' can get rust and powdery mildew in my garden is nothing new, but getting it in spring this badly is. I am seriously considering to remove it, since it is taking up such a prominent position in my backyard and I am sure, that I am able find a more healthy rose for my organic non-spray garden.   

Here is a close-up of 'Chandos Beauty'. This rose has been almost completely healthy this spring, despite the fact that it is living in the same conditions like 'Moonstone'. 

from the left to the right: Pope John Paul II, 'Chandos Beauty', alstroemeria Princess Lilies 'Claire'

Writing this post has made me realize, that besides one little glitch, I am just saying 'Moonstone', how satisfied I am with the White Garden Bed in the moment and I will enjoy it as long as it lasts. Of course, I still do have some plans to improve it, though. Please stay tuned! 

This is my contribution to Helen Johnstone's End of Month View meme at The Patient's Gardener's Weblog. Thanks for hosting it, Helen! Please click on the link and find out what other gardeners have to show at the end of March.  

See you in the garden!



  1. Your roses are gorgeous! A month makes a big difference. I love 'Chandos Beauty'.

  2. Oh my! How do you get anything done with that view, and that pool! And your plants. That scene is stunning. I think that is the prettiest collection of Alstroemeria I think I've ever seen. We get them as cut flowers here, but they look so pretty in a grouping like that--almost like a shrub. I think I've commented before on your gorgeous 'Chandos Beauty' roses. I'm drooling ...

  3. The white bed come on well and glad to see the cycad flushing which shows it is happy and you get a fresh new layer of leaves this year :)

  4. El jardín se ve precioso, espero que las plantas nuevas sigan creciendo y se adapten bien. Besitos.

  5. Beautiful roses! There's no rose blooms on my garden right now. Chandos beauty is really beautiful rose.

  6. Your photo's are a feast to my eyes Christina. Your garden is giving me a holiday feeling.
    Have a wonderful day.

  7. Eine völlig andere Welt - diese Flora ist unglaublich interessant. Ich mag deine Beiträge.


  8. One press on my pc and I jump to a sunny Californian garden, is not that amazing. Your Chandos Beauty is another wonderful rose, not known here. I suppose some roses are better suitable for warm climates than others. Your Alstroemerias are wonderful too and planted and growing in the garden. Here Alstroemerias are grown by commercial nurseries in glasshouses for the cutting flower market.

  9. What a difference a month makes in a garden. Your white garden is lovely. Sorry Moonstone has been a disappointment. Love the coloring of 'Chandos Beauty'.

    I like your statue and seeing the new growth on your palm is exciting.

    Happy Gardening and Happy Easter week ~ FlowerLady

  10. This looks so nice! Changes in the garden in your climat is very signifficant. I also admire heucheras, but am new to them as well. I went for the purple leaf as it would look nice amongst the pinks and purples, but whether it is a happy plant, the time will show.
    Oh, the white statue looks majestically in your white border. So pretty!

  11. Oh Christina - it all looks gorgeous! What a difference a month makes doesn't it?
    I can see why you are very fond of that little statue, it's very pretty and even more so that it was made by your friend.
    I will be interested to see how the Heuchera do in your garden, I used to have so many but sadly the Vine Weevils have got the better of them and I am truly fed up with it and now only two left.
    Fascinating to see the new growth on your Cycad - something I haven't seen before. The Alstoromeria, is gorgeous - a real keeper.
    Happy Easter when it comes around - if you can be bothered, please ask some of your sun to head towards Scotland, please :)

  12. What a difference a month makes ! The roses all look gorgeous, and I can see why you fell in love with that little, silver Heuchera 'venus'.

  13. The Alstroemeria is very pretty, Christina! I can't remember seeing a white variety like that. I'll be interested to see how the Heuchera performs for you - I've had little luck with the hybrid varieties in the long-term and I'm currently trying H. maxima, a native of the Channel Islands.

  14. Wonderful cycads, and I am not at all surprised you are enjoying this bed, the new heuchera is a delight, I hope it survives and thrives for you despite the hot weather, and if the Silver Ponyfoot thrives in Mexico it should recover from the shock of being in the ground and romp away in now time. Enjoy your border, and the presence of your lovely gift of sculpture.

  15. Dear Christina, your white garden bed looks lovely and against that astonishing view it is just gorgeous! I can understand you love the statue made by your friend, and it fits very well into a bed like this. And your alstroemeria is a gem! I want one too, I already have a pink one but I think it will need a sibling soon :-) Hope you have a lovely Easter!

  16. It looks wonderful, I love the white roses against the bright blue sky. Thank you for joining in with the meme

  17. Liebe Christina,

    zwischen den Februar und März Bildern herrschen wirklich gewaltige Unterschiede - wie schön es doch in diesem Monat schon blüht in Deinem Garten!
    Bei uns treibt zwar auch schon alles aus, aber die Schnee- Hagel- und Regenschauer der letzten
    Tage werfen die Vegetation doch sehr zurück.

    Ich wünsche Dir und Deinen Lieben ein schönes Osterfest!
    Liebe Grüße,

  18. What a difference a month can make! Your roses are absolutely stunning. I love how even your garden art ties into your white garden bed theme. I'm not yet a disciplined enough gardener to keep to strict themes or color schemes in my garden beds. Plant placement usually ends up being decided by if something is deer resistant or not, or how much sunlight and water it requires.

  19. Liebe Christina,
    was für eine üppig blühende Schönheit die Chandos Beauty ist!
    Deine Sommerbilder machen mich ganz uschig - hier war Nachts wieder Bodenfrost - brrr :-)
    Ganz viele liebe Ostersonntagsgrüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)

  20. Wow! That is quite a difference between February and March. All the white bloomers seem to glow. I love the alstroemeria! I hope your heuchera does well. Not all heucheras like my hot climate, which is much wetter than yours. For some reason heucerella does better.

  21. Lovely to see roses in March - ours don't flower until much later in the year, and in any case there are hardly any in our new garden (something I must change!). I love your alstroemeria too - beautiful.

    If you want an organic way of dealing with powdery mildew, you could try a solution of 1 part milk to 9 parts water - just mix up and spray or paint on effected leaves. I haven't tried that one myself, but I know people who use it regularly and very successfully.

    I've used a solution of bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda) with water to get rid of powdry mildew myself, but you need to be a lot more careful with that as it can scorch the leaves if you don't get the ratio right (I can't remember what best ratio was, but you should be able to find on Google if you want to know!).