Saturday, February 27, 2016

End of Month View February - Front Yard Side Bed

Hard to believe for me that it is already the end of February and it is time again to participate in Helen's (The Patient Gardener) End of Month View meme. Where did this month go? I was very busy in the garden this February and yet it doesn't show much in the comparison between this month photo of the Front Yard Side Bed, the area of my garden that I have chosen for this meme, and last month photo. The reason for that is that in February my main effort is to fertilize and mulch all the roses in the garden and when that is done to fertilize and mulch all other plants in the yard. There aren't any resources for the time consuming digging to plant something new. That's being said, let's have a look at the progress, that is made in this bed in the last month.  

February 2016

The most visible changes are, that the two roses in this bed have leaved out, that the rest of the lawn to the very left was removed completely and that the bed is mulched, which gives it this nice dark look that you expect from fresh good soil. What you can't see though, is that the whole bed is fertilized, which helped the roses and the alstroemeria in the middle of the bed to gain momentum and grow vigorously and the palms to green up.

 January 2016

Here is the photo from January for a comparison.

But there was more work done that is not so obvious. The whole irrigation system in this bed was checked and sprinklers that didn't work anymore replaced and others adjusted so that the water is distributed over the bed in an optimal way. In the right front corner there is a new sprinkler installed. I started to mulch over the utility lid a little from the sides, but I think I can cover it up more to the first "real" lid. The problem is though, how to keep the mulch in place. I am thinking of trying to place bender board into the slid between the outer rim and the first inner lid and see if that could work.

One thing that makes me really happy is the sight of this rose, 'Charles Darwin'. Last month I wasn't even sure if it would survive, but now it has leaved out nicely and there is no question that it will make it. It is a truly beautiful soft yellow rose with very full and luxurious flowers. I can't wait to see it blooming in my front yard for the first time. 

The Front Yard Side Bed shown from another perspective. 

Even though not so obvious in the overview photos the alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' has bulked up nicely. Unfortunately it hasn't started to bloom yet, like my other variety in the back yard. It would bring some much needed color to this bed!

Rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' is a mature rose that has made the most progress in comparison to the other two plants within the last month. Since it is so established it is growing like gangbusters. It is also a very early bloomer...

...and, zooming in with the camera, you can see that it is already setting buds!

This is the area where there was still lawn last month. We are completely lawn free in our front yard now. I actually like lawn, but grass is simply not climate appropriate in our area anymore, since the climate change is to dramatic and we are in a four year drought. The other thing is that in this bed the lawn always looked out of place since my neighbor took his lawn out and replaced it with a drought tolerant landscape. My remaining strip of grass was simply too small to have a pleasing impact, which made it easier for me to let it go.

Here you see the area, where the lawn was removed from a different angle. Now the question is what to plant there. I am not decided yet, but I have given up the idea of planting one more rose to the left side of the palms also because of our drought. I am now contemplating to plant some bluish agaves around the palms, which hopefully also can keep up better with the palm root competition than a rose ever could.

My plan continues to remove the alstroemeria completely and to plant altogether three roses in this bed. I would like to place the rose nearest to the street closer to the utility lid than 'Our Lady of Guadalupe is in the moment, so that ideally it would drape elegantly over the lid and cover it partly to make it less of an eyesore. For that reason 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' needs to be either lifted and moved forward or be replaced by another variety. I have not made up my mind, yet. Stay tuned, next month most likely the decision will be made. Another thing I need to ponder is which rose variety to plant in the middle of the bed and in case I remove 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' with which rose variety to replace it. I have plenty of roses in my pot ghetto, so I have definitively enough roses to choose from. Rosa 'Charles Darwin' will stay where it is (rose closest to the palms), since it was planted in December last year already in foresight of the make over of this bed.

Do check out Helen's post about her End of the Month View and also visit the other participants of this meme (you find the links to their blogs under the comments tab of Helen's post). Many of these garden transformations are very inspiring to watch.

Wishing everyone a lovely Sunday. I will certainly be out in the yard tomorrow and enjoy myself to the max!

See you in the garden!


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  1. I think you can see a huge difference, I always like nice dark crumbly soil when it's freshly dug. Looking forward to seeing how the border fills out

    1. Helen, I also love dark crumbly soil, but unfortunately that is not what I have in my garden. I only get this look when I put mulch (usually I use compost) on top of the natural soil that I have and hope that over the years the earthworms will dig it into the deeper layers of the ground.

  2. Esta quedando muy bien. feliz día.

  3. We inherited 3 white Iceberg roses with the garden. I dithered about abandoning them, but they bring flowers and fragrance - so they stay.

  4. I am looking forward to seeing your Lady of Guadalupe in bloom again. She is a real beauty. Your bed looks very good.

    Have a great week dear Christina ~ FlowerLady

  5. Nice and clean ! I am waiting to see the next stage :) Happy sunday, dear Christina !

  6. The garden looks so neat and tidy. Your roses will thrive, you 'll see. Groetjes,

  7. What you have done up to now Christina makes a real difference. I think 3 roses will probably balance this bed out a bit more. As for what else to grow I am for obvious reasons at a disadvantage to make suggestions but perhaps limiting your choice to one plant and continuing it throughout the border. Similar to what you achieved with the Stachys in your white garden. Good luck in making those choices.

  8. The hardest work is often the least visible but results tell the story. Your Alstroemeria is doing exceptionally well! Are you planning to move it elsewhere out of concern that it will interfere with the roots of the roses?

    1. Kris, the alstroemeria went completely dormant in the heat of last years summer, so I had a big gap in my flower bed almost all summer long. That obviously is not what I wanted. I will replant it somewhere else in not such a prominent location so in case it goes dormant this summer again, it doesn't matter so much.

  9. Hi Christina! I was immediately drawn to Rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' with its lovely fresh foliage. It really is a pretty rose. I agree a rose draping over the utility lid is a good idea, but is there not space to the side of the lid to plant one that would not interfere with Our Lady of Guadalupe? It is hard to tell distance by the photo. I also thing bluish agaves would look fabulous around the palms!

  10. Nice changes and looking forward to seeing how the space fills up in the coming growing season!

  11. Your front bed is looking lovely already, I am curious to what else you will plant here. What about some more alstroemerias? There are so many lovely ones - I have not been able to resist and I have just bought 6 new ones, I wonder if they all will become as big as your Little Miss Sophie!
    Those utility lids are a bit of a nuisance, I have two in my front garden and one of them is impossible to conceal. I am just going to put a big plant in a nice terracotta container and place on top of the lid, that way it covers the lid and it is easy to just move the plant when you need access. I look forward to seeing how your new bed is developing :-)
    Take care, Helene.

  12. Dear Christina:
    It looks like it's happening at your house and I am "green with envy" so to speak or at least wish I was 'green"! Ha! Everything looks so lovely. Keep it coming beautiful weather!

  13. Chère Christina, je suis en admiration de votre belle terre qui me parait bien meuble et parfaite pour accueillir toutes sortes de plantes résistantes à la sécheresse et appréciant la chaleur. Les agaves sont des plantes remarquables, élégantes et persistantes et parfaites à côté des palmiers.
    Belle soirée...jocelyne

  14. Muy interesante, muy pensado la sustutución del cesped, hay que adaptarse a las circunstancias. Un abrazo desde Plantukis

  15. New gardening space is always exciting! Have this winter made headway into the drought in your area?

    1. Sweetbay, yes, creating a new bed is exciting, but I also feel it is intimidating at the same time!
      Unfortunately we didn't have much rain this winter so far, as a matter of fact the rainfall was way below average, again. The predictions still give hope that we will get some more rain either this month or the next. I really hope so!

  16. Looking good! Less lawn in your climate is always a wise choice. :o)

  17. It looks very nice with the lawn removed. Nice ideas going forward, too. x Karen

  18. Its looking great Christina, wonderful to see that the roses are leafing up so beautifully, must be a huge relief! I'm sure you will never regret getting rid of the grass. I like the sound of the agaves round the palms, they should really thrive and look good too.

  19. Liebe Christina,
    du bist schon so wahnsinnig fleißig!
    Wir können hier noch auf der faulen Haut liegen.
    Draußen ist es einfach zu kalt und der Boden ist stellenweise
    noch steinhart gefroren. Aber es soll endlich wärmer werden :-)
    Jedenfalls sieht das alles toll aus und du hast wieder mehr
    Platz für noch mehr Rosen :-)
    Ganz viele liebe Freitagsgrüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)