Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Most Exciting Garden Time of the Year!

Each time I do a stroll through the garden at this time of the year, I see something new. The garden is rapidly changing from day to day.  One rose after the other is starting to open its flowers and many perennials have begun to bloom as well. It is simply a joy to be outside and take it all in and often I can't help but just being in awe of the beauty of nature. Spring is definitively my most favorite season of the year here in Southern California!

Hardy geranium 'Biokovo'.

Rosa 'Georgetown Tea' flirting with the spring sun.

Rosa 'Marie Pavie' spilling over the decorative wall in the front yard.

Close-up of the blooms of rosa 'Marie Pavie'.

This is rosa 'Marie Pavie' again, shown from the other side. This photo is taken at about the same time as the photo two pictures above. This side of the rose gets more shade and most buds haven't opened, yet. But this shot shows well how full of buds this rose is. 

To my big surprise my 'Verbena Bonariensis', which I planted last autumn, has started already to bloom. The label said that the plant was supposed to flower in summer, but in Southern California you never know.

Rosa 'Climing Iceberg' glowing in the sun.

Same 'Climbing Iceberg' rose. It is also incredible full of buds this year. 

Rosa 'Captain Christy'. 

Another bloom of rosa 'Captain Christy', a little bit more open.

My humangous rose 'Pierre de Ronsard' in the backyard. This year it is very healthy and is also bearing loads of buds.

The color of  'Lavender Crystal' is almost surreal.

But this extraordinary color comes with a price. The little bush is suffering badly from blackspot. Almost the only rose in my garden that is plaqued by this disease. 

Of course, even though this is a wonderful time of the year, not everything is perfect. I am not completely happy with this combination here in the front yard. The Martha Washington geranium in the blue container seems to be too garish and it is badly clashing with the lavender blooms of rosa 'Lavender Crystal' to the very right. This part definitively needs some tweaking.

This is also an example where not everything was going according to plan. The lanzett shaped leaves in the background in the middle of the photo are purple flowering gladiolus coming up. The scragly plant in the middle of the circle of gladiolus is another 'Verbena Bonariensis' that almost died on me. Maybe only one fourth of the original plant is left. It was supposed to fill out the circle of gladiolus but, oh, well....

One of the first flowers of rosa 'Grandmother's Hat' hiding deep in the foliage of the rose.

This is a scene from my White Garden Bed. I finally planted five white flowering gaura lindheimeri 'Belleza White' behind the white column and they already are starting to bloom. The rose to the left is 'Pope John Paul II' and to the right is 'Chandos Beauty'.

Close-up of gaura lindheimeri 'Belleza White's' first blooms.

This is my third trial to get this area "right". First round I planted in place of the gauras white flowering irises, which died on me. Next attempt was to plant white flowering amaryllis belladonna, which only bloomed for a very short time in July or August and pulled in their foliage most of the time, because of the heat that we are having here. So the area behind the column was simply bare dirt. Hopefully I am more lucky with the gauras. So far I like the way they look!

Wishing everyone who celebrates it a very Happy Easter!

See you in the garden!


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  1. I love the frail beauty of Gaura lindheimeri, I´m looking forward how they develop in your garden. I had them in my garden several times but after one or two years they disappear. The Verbena bonariensis is a prolific selfseeder, so don´t hoe in the soil around the plants and you will be surprised with many seedlings next year. I almost envy your wonderful roses, but I know I have to be patient for another 8 weeks or so. I´m already glad to see new shoots after pruning them last weeks.
    The rose ´Marie Pavie´ is a real gem in your garden, so many buds.....
    Enjoy your new week in and around your garden!

    1. Janneke, I am really curious how the gauras will be doing in my garden in the long run. Right now they need time to root in, so it is hard to say. I bought them because I love the delicate white blooms and also because it is said that they are very drought tolerant.
      Thanks for the tip regarding the 'Verbena Bonariensis' I will watch out for seedlings. I think I need a few more plants of them so that they really will have an impact in my front yard.

  2. No wonder spring is your favorite time of year there in CA.

    It's all beautiful!

    Happy Easter ~ FlowerLady

  3. Esta muy hermoso, las rosas son muy lindas y las gauras también. Un beso y feliz tarde.

  4. The rose Marie Pavic is a star in my garden too. It is not flowering yet, but always one of the first roses in flower. We have cold weather so far, no roses. The tulips are starting to flower next week( I hope) Happy Easter Christina and thanks for all your kind comments every week. Groetjes,

  5. The little bit of winter rain that you've had has worked wonders! The roses are looking lovely. I've had Iceberg before and love it, I need to get another one I think! I've seen Gaura described as a short lived perennial, but that's here.. it may behave very differently in California. I took loads of cuttings last year which may have paid off. There is no sign of growth yet on the original.

    1. Jessica, yes, I also think that the rain in March made a big difference regarding the the ability of the roses to blooms so profusely this year. I love my 'Climbing Iceberg' roses, but unfortunately they always get some powdery mildew. That doesn't seem to decrease their willingness to bloom, though.
      Gauras are supposed to be only short lived perennials, hmmm... I wonder if they act differently in my climate than in Great Britain. So glad for you that you took cuttings from your "mother gaura", in case it is not coming back.

  6. Moin, bei dir geht es ja richtig los! Ich dachte etwas irritiert, na nu, ein Geranium. Bis mir dann immer aufgeht,dass du ja nicht hier wohnst! Genieße diese Zeit, die die schönste im Jahr ist.


  7. I really love to see your beautiful roses. Interesting!

  8. This is a wonderful time of year (despite our piddly winter rains)! Your roses are much more robust than mine, although mine are starting to bloom too. I hope the Gauras do well for you - they've generally done well for me in the sunny front yard but less well in areas with partial shade. In other news, I found my own white Alstroemeria this past weekend and snapped it up! It was labeled 'Claire' but I think its full name is 'Princess Lily Claire' - is that the same cultivar you have?

    1. Kris, yay, I think you found the alstroemeria that I have and that is blooming so profusely. The exact name on the label of my cultivar is Princess Lilies 'Claire', so it is very likely that you got the same. I hope it does as well for you as it does for me in my garden!

  9. Great view! It is also the best time to garden here too. Love the photos of all the roses and flowers. xoox Su

  10. Dear Christina:
    Your garden is a dream come true paradise and lovely place to escape and hide! I hope your photo selections. Thank you for sharing and linking.

  11. Your gardens are lovely, as always, Christina! The white roses are very special. I have always dreamed of a white garden. I have one white climbing rose - a rugosa, with wicked thorns. It must be wonderful to play in the gardens this time of year. Enjoy your week! xx Karen

  12. Dear Christina , I have just discovered your blog thanks to the comment you let on Sophie´s "Notre Jardin Secret". It's so uncredible your roses are already blooming! I live near Amiens in France and will see my first roses in May..You have a wonderful garden.
    Good night.

    1. Hi Virginie, welcome to my blog and thanks for leaving such a nice a comment! It is lovely to have another visitor from France. I will check out if you are writing a blog, too, and try if I, at least virtually, can see your garden as well!

  13. Happy Easter, Christina! I love the Gaura! I've been admiring it during the past few years when I see it at botanical gardens. It's so interesting when you say you enjoy spring the best in San Diego. Until visiting there recently, I assumed every season and every day were the same. Now I know that San Diego experiences subtle changes over time--not as dramatic as our changes here in the north, but interesting weather and plant changes nonetheless. It's sounding like more of my family members will be moving out there, so I expect to make a few trips during the next few years. :)

  14. Your roses are gorgeous, as is your whole garden! Glad I stopped by here from Bernideen's Tea Time. Waiting for things to really ramp up in my yard (Northern Ohio). So delightful to see yours!

  15. Marie Pavié is amazing in your garden!
    All your roses is gorgeous.
    Je t'embrasse

  16. What a wonderful blooming in your garden :)
    Well, gardening is about chancing and trying, isn't it?
    Warm regards

  17. Your 'Pierre de Ronsard' is huge. Enjoying all the roses but right now I'm admiring the hardscape. Just getting ideas. Didn't realize you live up in the mountains...must be a little cooler there.

  18. So many beautiful roses!! Poppies may be the state flower but I think roses could be their backup. My garden is still waking up. Verbena b. is a really tough plant that is much loved by the pollinators.

    1. Tammy, thanks! I have heard that Verbena Bonariensis is attracting bees and even hummingbirds, but not in my garden so far. I don't know what is going on, but I haven't seen a single pollinator on the blooms. So disappointing, because besides the good looks of the plant, that was another main reason why I bought it in the first place :-(.

  19. Your roses seem in fine form, I love the sight of the tightly packed buds. And isn't the constant tweaking one of the things we all love about gardening? I know I do, so enjoy playing around with your combinations, I am sure you can find an excellent alternative home for that lovely blue pot of geranium.

  20. Wow, liebe Christina,
    das ist ja schon so richtig Sommer bei dir :-)
    Wunderschön - die Verbene hab ich gerade wieder mal
    neu gepflanzt. Sie kommt hier nie über den Winter.
    Liebe Grüße Urte