Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dahlias, Daylilies, Roses And More...

In this post I would like to fill you in on some of the things that I did in the garden over the last couple of weeks. I also will show you some plants that have bloomed recently.

The end of July is, of course, way too late to plant dahlia tubers, but that was the earliest time that I could find to get the job done. I bought these dahlia tubers, the variety is called 'Lucca Johanna', probably around March already and let them sit in the hot garage.

I was very surprised that there was still plenty of life in them. As you can see the tubers had sprouted new shoots. One thing that is odd though is, that one shoot of the tuber on the right is thick and of a bright light green color and the shoots of the other tuber on the left are much thinner and have a reddish color even though they are supposed to be the same variety. It looks more like that there were two different dahlia varieties in one bag. If I get them to survive, time will tell.

I planted the tubers in five gallon containers, using a high quality potting mix and kept my fingers crossed.

In January this year I bought a bare root daylily called 'Frosted Vintage Ruffles'. I planted the bare root fans into one gallon containers to let them develop a strong root system and also to see the real bloom color, before I place them in the garden (see my initial post here).

In the beginning of August they were blooming for the first time for me. The color is quite different from the sales photo on the bag, but I do like it very much. I intend to combine the daylily with a rose and I think that the pale apricot/pink 'Heritage' would be the perfect match.

I am happy to report that my dug up alstroemeria 'Little Miss Sophie' from the front yard survived the transplant and is blooming in a five gallon container now.

In the front yard I am still working on re-designing this bed. Unfortunately not too much progress is made. The rose on the left side is 'Charles Darwin', which is planted into this spot not too long ago and is growing splendidly so far, even though it is planted in very close proximity to the big Queen Palms. The rose seems to put its energy into building a big bush and hasn't bloomed much so far,...

...but the blooms that it did produce were absolutely gorgeous. The flowers are huge, very fully petaled and have a strong fragrance. In addition to that I love the multi toned color of the blooms.

One drawback besides all the obvious advantages of  'Charles Darwin' is the fact, that the color of the blooms is not so easy to pair up with other colors. I wanted to plant another rose in the front of the bed though, and after much contemplating I settled on 'Crocus Rose'. Briefly after I planted 'Crocus Rose', which was already waiting in my pot ghetto, in the front of the bed, we went on vacation.

I had someone watering and taking care of the garden during our absence, but when I came back, I only found the brown little nothing. that you can barely see two photos above. I don't blame my garden caretaker at all though, since I know it is very difficult to get newly planted roses through the heat of summer.

 I still hoped that 'Crocus Rose' (close-up of the unlucky plant above) would grow new leaves or even come back from the roots, but after a few months of patiently waiting for a miracle to happen I gave up and decided to replace 'Crocus Rose' with another one. 

My choice fell on 'Cymbaline', an older David Austin rose that you rarely find in commerce nowadays and that I had growing in my pot ghetto for a long time. 

Once I had dug up the 'Crocus Rose' I examined the root ball to find the cause of its death, but other than that you could see that the roots hadn't grown into the new environment at all it was inconclusive.

The hole for the new rose was enlarged...

...and I popped 'Cymbaline' into her new home and fertilized with organic rose fertilizer and alfalfa meal.

I am trying to create a small berm in the middle of the bed, so the only thing that was left to do was to fill up the front of the bed with more soil and hope for the best.

Very shortly after that, to my great delight, 'Cymbaline' started to bloom. Color-wise it might not be as good of a choice to pair it up with 'Charles Darwin' as 'Crocus Rose' had been, but I think it could work.

Like many other David Austin roses, 'Cymbaline' changes its colors quite a bit. It can take on a warm apricot/orange tone when the temperatures are very high...

...or a more muted almost cool pink color, when temperatures are more moderate to cool.

I am enchanted by the more informal, blowzy style of the blooms,...

...but the most remarkable feature of 'Cymbaline' is its very strong myrrh fragrance.

 I really do hope that the colors of 'Charles Darwin' and 'Cymbaline' will go harmoniously together, but to definitively judge about that both roses need to bloom more profusely and at the same time. So probably I will only know next year for sure. Gardening requires patience...

These are my baby rose bands that I ordered from Chamblee's Rose Nursery in the beginning of this year (I blogged about them here). They are ready to be potted up from the one gallon containers they came in into two gallon containers, which is what I did.

Usually I use Edna's Best Potting Soil from E.B Stone Organics and I am quite happy with the quality of that potting soil, but when I went to my favorite nursery to buy some more bags of it, they pointed out to me, that E. B. Stone Organics have come out with a new, better potting soil called Ultimate Recipe.

I believe that good potting soil is very important to give my rose bands an optimal start, so, despite the higher price tag, I was willing to try it out. So far I only can say that Ulitmate Recipe Potting Soil looks and feels "richer" than Edna's Best, but the ultimate test will be how the young rose bands will do in it. I will keep you updated.

Here are the small rose bands cleaned up of brown ratty leaves and potted up in two gallon containers. From the left to the right you see: rosa 'Souvenir de la Malmaison, rosa 'Koko Loko', rosa 'Gruss an Aachen', and rosa 'Love Song'. I hope the bands will put on some substantial growth by the end of this year, especially since the temperatures in our climate will cool down now, that we have autumn.

Another casualty of this summer! I am so sad to have lost rosa 'Burnaby'. This is an older cream white Hybrid Tea rose with a darker yellow center and huge wonderfully formed blooms. It will be hard to find 'Burnaby' in commerce nowadays, if at all. But because it is so beautiful, I will make a very serious attempt to see, if I can find a way to acquire it, again.

On a more positive note my blue flowering penstemon has had a second decent flush by the end of August. I am really in love with the dainty little bell shape blooms. 

This beautiful looking green bug is a June Beetle hiding in a bloom of rosa 'Pope John Paul II'. These guys are quite large and they feasted on my roses. I have never seen as many in my garden as this year. I have to say I wasn't thrilled and hope next year we will have less, again. Almost as to make up for that nature send much fewer earwigs, which also munch on my roses.

I started to fertilize my roses for the second time and they responded beautifully. Here you see 'Pope John Paul II' delivering another flush. It is one of my favorite roses!

What have you been up to in your garden lately? Please, do share in the comments!

See you in the garden!


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  1. You've been busy! The dahlias may not bloom this year but, in our climate, planting them up was probably a good idea anyway. I'm sorry the summer took a couple of your roses but you still look well-stocked with replacement options. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend, Christina!

    1. Kris, I still have some hope that I might see a bloom on the dahlias. After our crazy summer heat has subsided I will put the container in a very warm and sunny space close to the house to extent the growing season for dahlias.
      But if they don't bloom I am OK with that as well, as long as they are surviving and I can plant them in the ground for next year to flower.

  2. As always, it's a joy to see all your Roses, but your other plants are glorious, too--the Penstemon, the Palms, the Alstroemeria, the Lilies. Good luck with the Dahlias! I've never grown them, but they are amazing cut flowers! One of these years...

  3. Beth, thanks for your kind words about my garden! Cutting dahlias from my own garden for a bouquet to bring indoors is a dream of mine, but I guess it will stay a dream until next year ;-)!

  4. Es una pena que se secaran las rosas. Besitos.

  5. Hello Christina, I also like to combine daylilies with roses, I think it is an excellent combo and if you have several varieties you can have daylilies from May to October. Loved your 'Frosted Vintage Ruffles', it would have looked very nice next to my 'David Kirchhoff'.
    If your dahlias are still alive they will bloom eventually, they are tough and the only thing that kills them over here is too much water. Not really going to be a problem with you is it?
    What a lovely choice of new rose for your front garden, I love roses with myrrh fragrance, that’s why I love Scepter’d Isle so much too, as its main fragrance is myrrh. Good luck with ‘Cymbaline’ hope it does well. Over here the hot summer ended very abruptly today and we went from 30 degrees C yesterday to 17 C today! It will be a bit warmer this weekend but it means I can get a bit done in the garden from now on and not just spend every evening watering. I hope you are having many happy days in the garden too, have a great weekend!

    1. Helene, I didn't know that daylilies can have a bloom season from May until October if you buy varieties with different bloom times. That, besides their beauty, is certainly another plus of them!
      I am getting quite excited about daylilies, since the eight that I am having are doing pretty well so far and sailed through the heat of this summer much better than many other plants.
      If you like myrrh fragrance you would certainly love rosa 'Cymbaline', since it is supposed to have one of the strongest myrrh fragrance out of all David Austin rose bred so far. Is scent is truly extra ordinary! I wonder if this rose is available in the UK.
      Here the summer has returned! We had 33 degrees Celsius/92 degrees Fahrenheit today! My plants and I are really longing for cooler temperatures...

  6. Dear Christina, I am so glad you have pot getto! There is always something to replace. I wish you could see mine! A lot of plants waiting to be planted. But isn't that part of gardening? Our greed, our impatience? Keep digging! I loved your display of roses. Groetjes Hetty

    1. Hetty, I am actually not that fond of my pot ghetto. It is way to big and the worst thing is that I have lost a lot of plants vegetating in containers over the last two years with our increased summer heat :-(. I have sworn to myself to reduce the size of the pot ghetto and when I buy a new plant to put it immediately into the ground.

  7. Good to see the front border coming on. The Charles Darwin rose is exquisite. It's on my list now!

    1. Jessica, I am so glad that you intend to acquire Charles Darwin! It is truly a superb rose in my garden and I hope that he will be as good in your climate.
      I guess, because in general your climate is cooler you will see more of the mustard yellow color in the blooms that I love so much, but that I am only graced with in the cooler part of spring and autumn here.

  8. Liebe Christina,
    ich bin zur Zeit nicht zur Gartenarbeit gekommen, werde es aber die nächsten schönen Tage angehen.
    Es tut mir sehr leid, dass ein paar deiner Rosen eingegangen sind.
    Es steckt immer sehr viel Liebe und Arbeit dahinter.
    Ich wünsche dir, dass deine neuen Errungenschaften gut anwachsen und dir viel Freude bereiten, wie deine anderen herrlichen Rosen.
    Ganz liebe Grüße,

  9. Hi Christina, seeing that June beetle reminded me that when I was a child, friends and I would catch these critters, then tie strings around them. We would hold the strings while the captive bugs would fly around frantically buzzing. What a way to have fun!

    Your roses are lovely. I love 'Cymbaline' and hope it works well with the equally stunning'Charles Darwin.' I am sorry that you lost some nice roses. It seems that I lose several plants every summer. This year several young azaleas did not make it. That doesn't count my ambrosia beetle infected Japanese maple, which I have not yet decided if I will let it die on its on terms or simply cut it down and be done with it.

  10. Beauitful roses! I have success and flops in my garden. The weather was not an easy dynamic this year it was so wet and warm, fungus killed several things. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  11. Toll, liebe Christina,
    die Entwicklungen in deinem Garten mit zuverfolgen.
    Natürlich ist es schade um die Rose. Es ist bestimmt schwer,
    Rosen durch eure heißen Sommer zu bringen. Aber es sieht immer so
    toll bei dir aus und die meisten Rosen sind so herrlich.
    Liebe Grüße von Urte :-)