Monday, April 4, 2016

End of Month View March - Front Yard Side Bed

Well, I guess I am the last person to participate in the March End of Month View meme, hosted by Helen, at The Patient Gardener. Sorry, my dear readers, but life has interfered with blogging again and I was only able to finish this post today. I sincerely hope that despite the delay you are still interested in following the process of changing my Front Yard Side Bed. 

March 2016

So lets get right to it. If you compare the photo above, taken March 29th, and the photo below from the end of February, the biggest visible changes are, that the roses have started to bloom and that the alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' is missing. Between February and the end of March the bed has been weeded over not only once but twice, since the weeds thrive on the new mulch and the fertilizer that was put down in February. Especially dandelions are having a ball and, as every one knows who has been dealing with them, they are very hard to remove. But in addition to that, in this bed their roots are entangled with the roots of the Queen Palms to the right and it is almost impossible to get the full root of the dandelions out. And, of course, if that can not be done, you turn away from the bed for a second and the next thing you know they are back. Well, I know I will be busy playing this game with them for quite a while...

 February 2016


Rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' is blooming her head off as usual and for that reason probably none of your will understand on the first glance, why I have made my final decision to remove this rose.

Before I move on, I want to apologize for the quality of the photos in this post. I was only able to take the pictures for it around noon on March 29th. It never leads to great images if you photograph in the middle of the day with the harsh sun light that we are already having at this time of the year, but I had no other choice.

Yes, it is true that the blooms of  'Our Lady of Guadalupe' are very pretty. I myself have to admit that in the first place I fell completely in love with the silvery pink flowers, which show up in great profusion with each flush.

But if you look closely at the foliage, you see it is very infected with powdery mildew. It doesn't seem to prevent the rose from blooming prolifically though, which is a miracle in itself, because usually if mildew is that present in a rose, the flower production is affected. Still, this diseased foliage bugs me tremendously. And it happens every year, when the climatic conditions are right, means cool nights and warm days, which we have very often here in San Diego. So even though it is hard, rosa 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' will go into the trash bin.

I do have two more plants of this variety in the front yard though and I will keep these for now, so the separation from this rose is not as painful as it would be, if I would completely eradicate this variety form my garden.

If you aren't convinced yet, here is one more "yucky photo". See the powdery mildew not just on the leaves but also on the buds? You have to admit it is really disgusting.

This is alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' on March 19th, the day it was taken out of this bed. But don't worry, I didn't get rid off this one. 

The best parts of the plant where potted up carefully in five gallon containers using good potting soil. I got five new plants out of it, like pictured above, but I gave one to my faithful and hard working gardener already. I am sure it will not be difficult to find a new home for another one and the rest I intend to transplant to the backyard.  

This is rosa 'Charles Darwin', which has nicely bulked up between February and March and has produced a lot of buds.

Unfortunately there was a little mishap with this rose. If you look at the shot above, which shows 'Charles Darwin' from the back, you see that in the center of the rose and in the center of the outer lower side of it there are "holes". For reasons unknown to me a couple of canes just died back last month. I thought about rodent damage, but I couldn't find any traces, like holes in the ground or bite marks on the canes, of them. I hope, that the rose won't loose any further canes by now and that it will fill back in eventually.

There is another catch with this rose, though. I don't know if I really like the color. I had it in mind as a much darker muted yellow, at least in spring when the temperatures are still relatively cool for our circumstances and not as this very pale almost whitish yellow color. The rose may change color as it gets established, so now is not the moment for a final judgment, but I am curious what you think. Do you like it or not?

This month I intend to remove 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' and make a decision which two roses out of my pot ghetto should go into this bed. Finding rose colors that will go well together will be a fun and challenging task at the same time. But also the mature bush form and growth habit has to be taken in consideration. I hope that I am able to make pleasant rose matches and that I get at least one new rose planted, ideally two. But since my soil is so hard to dig I probably have to be realistic and only expect one new rose to be in ground by next End of Month View post. I hope you stop by again and see what roses have made the grade. 

Until then, if you haven't done it yet, I urge you to stop by at Helen's End of Month View meme and take a look what has happened in other people's gardens in March. 

Wishing all of you a great week!

See you in the garden!


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  1. What a bummer about Our Lady of Guadalupe rose! I always enjoyed seeing her blooming in your gardens. Rose diseases are awful! I try to add disease resistant roses to my collection. I'm sure you'll find a rose in your pot ghetto that will be just as lovely.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  2. Too bad OLOG didn't work in that spot. Surrounded by concrete, heat reflection must be considerable so you'll probably always have trouble with fading on roses there--unless they are white!

    Have you thought about getting rid of the palms?

    1. Hoover Boo, that is a good point that you are making, that 'Charles Darwin' might be "just fading" because of the heat reflection. Why didn't I think about that myself?
      On the other hand the buds that are opening now seem to be a more saturated yellow to begin with and they don't seem to fade that much, even though temperatures haven't been lower.
      I fertilized the rose a second time and also put soil sulfur down to lower the PH of the soil and see if that changes anything.
      I guess, I just have to wait some more and observe the rose and see what happens.
      Regarding the palms. No, I don't want to get rid of the Queen Palms in the front yard, in fact I love them, even though dealing with their roots is a pain in the neck. We did remove two Washingtonia Palms in the backyard recently, though. These I felt were not adding value to the look of the garden and their root system seems to be even more extensive than that of the Queen Palms, let alone their ability to reseed themselves. I pulled out hundreds of little palm seedlings every year and that is not an exaggeration.

  3. Wow, tough call. It's always so sad to discard a plant, but sometimes it simply must be done, I guess. I'm planning to remove some invasive shrub species soon, but it will be hard because they're so beautiful and they're anchors for the landscaping. Good luck (and please wish me luck)!

  4. I'm sorry to see 'Our Lady' go but I appreciate your concerns. I once had a rose ('Pristine') which reliably produced huge quantities of beautiful blooms but also suffered continuously from the most horrible rust I've ever seen and I could never find a way to get rid of it. The flowers also shattered quickly. Best wishes in selecting a suitable replacement.

  5. El " Virgen de Guadalupe " es precioso, pero si se pone enfermo es mejor eliminar, pero como tienes más no tienes tanta pena. Besitos.

  6. Such a pity of your rose 'Our Lady of Guadeloupe', it is such a beauty, anyway the flowers, but sometimes we have to take nasty decisions. As far as I can see 'Charles Darwin' has the wrong colour, it ought to be definitely yellow. I suppose it is another variety.
    Wish you good luck to find the right new roses.

  7. Je suis toujours émerveillée par la beauté de votre maison, le chic des lieux et la facilité avec laquelle vos roses donnent des floraisons magistrales. Bravo pour le fleurissement d rosier Notre Dame de Guadeloupe, cette variété donne des fleurs d'un charme fou.
    Belle soirée...jocelyne

  8. The bed in the very first picture -- it seems to be missing some plants compared to the photos that you showed us couple of years back. Is that true? Or am I imagining? That pinkish white color of the rose is simply beautiful. How do you prune your roses?

  9. Oh dear Christina, such a shame to have to do away with such a lovely lady but it's for the best obviously. To my mind R. Charles Darwin was a much darker yellow, it was one I considered for my front garden. I have read Hoover Boo's comments and was going to say the exact same thing. I wonder if what ever you choose is going to fade so much it might be best to choose something much darker in the hope if fades to a colour you are happy with.
    Good luck in making that choice, unlike me, you will give it much consideration and choose right one first time.

  10. Dear Christina:
    Sometimes things I do fail and suddenly in the garden - there are surprises. A little like life I guess and your roses are teaching us! They are lovely. Thanks for sharing and linking.

  11. I think your roses are lovely. I don't know what it is right now, but all of mine are just exploding with blossoms, and everywhere I see the roses are doing so well, even in the shopping centers! The up-close pic is gorgeous of yours!

  12. It’s always nice to visit your garden Christina, no matter what day or date it is – and you are not the only one who struggle with the blogging/gardening balance, for me, gardening wins every time :-)
    I was sorry to hear you want to get rid of your lovely rose, I have enjoyed seeing it on your blog so I am glad to hear you still have two more of it. Have you ever heard of the Sissinghurst method of pruning and training roses? Here is a blog where someone has written about it – not the best photos but the best one I could find: And here is a link to the Sissinghurst blog: The method is first of all to increase the amount of flowers, but it also helps with diseases like powdery mildew by opening up the centre of the rose to let air flow better.
    From your photo it seems the ‘Our Lady’ is very small and dense – by letting it grow a bit bigger and spread it out a bit, and with a pruned centre – and most importantly; water it rigorously, you could maybe save it.

    Most of my roses have different colours throughout the year, dependent on light level and temperature, some very subtle and some very significant. I used to have ‘Peace’ in my previous garden and I could see straight away from a photo whether it was taken during the summer or the winter, just by looking at the shade of flowers.
    Have a great Sunday in the garden!

  13. Boo hiss to powdery mildew, but I do think you are right to get rid of it, when you know there are others that won't exhibit the same problem. I am still amazed you can grow roses at all in your climate! As to the pale yellow, I really like it, but then I am a fan of the subtle colours in the garden, and would be looking for something in pale blue to partner with it. Shame they haven't come up with blue roses yet, but I am sure you will enjoy picking out its new companions!

  14. I love Charles Darwin, but I know it is a rose which divides opinion. It is one I haven't got but it is on my wish list. The colour of the petals looks different on every photo I've seen of it over the years!
    Such a shame 'Our Lady' has to go ! From a distance it looks fantastic, but once it is seen in close up the damage is very evident. Still at least you will have the pleasure of 'filling the gap'which is left!

  15. Hi Christina, I am wondering what rose you chose to take the place 'Our Lady of Guadalupe.' Diseased foliage bothers me a lot, too. Many roses suffer disease in my climate, which is why my own roses are so limited. But I do love the blooms! As for its color, I think Charles Darwin coordinates well with the white of your house. I hope you are enjoying a glorious spring! Deb

  16. Liebe Christina,
    die kleine Lady ist ja eine ganz zauberhafte Rose!
    Wunderschön! Wenn ich bedenke, dass ich gerade beim
    Rosenschnitt bin und jetzt hier völlig zerkratzt deine
    schon so herrlich blühenden Rosen bewundere :-) Ist schon ein Ding!
    Ganz viele Grüße Urte

  17. I really loved this roses. Thank you for posting.
    Strive Holistic