Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017!

Just before we start our own New Year's Eve celebrations I would like to take a moment and wish you all, my dear readers, a very Happy New Year 2017!  May it be filled with health, happiness, and love.

New Year's Eve is gray, dreary and rainy here in San Diego, but I don't complain. As a matter of fact, it is a reason for great joy, since we have gotten more rain this winter so far than in the winters of the last couple of years. That may help us to get out of the severe drought. 

The rose bouquet on the table is composed out of flowers of rosa 'Madame Alfred Carriere', a Tea Noisette rose, freshly cut from my garden this morning. I casually arranged them in a simple wine decanter and love the informal look, which goes well with the blowzy, off-white flowers. 


It is one of the great luxuries of living in the mild Southern California climate, that you are able to pick roses from your own garden at this time of the year. 

We don't get snow here, which I miss sometimes. To at least evoke the feeling of a real snowy, cold winter, I put this little vignette together.  

While I was shooting the photos for this post, I was encircled by the wonderful perfume of 'Madame Alfred Carriere'. I was surprised that the blooms smelled so strongly since outside I only recall a light scent, but somehow the warmth of the house brought the fragrance really out.

I am so glad, that I cut these wonderful blooms to be enjoyed indoors. One of my New Year's resolutions is to bring more often fresh flowers into the house, so I am off to a good start already.

Cathy from the blog 'Rambling in the Garden', who is hosting the well-known meme "In a Vase on Monday" has greatly inspired this intention. The beautiful bouquets, plonks or sometimes just single flowers that she and the other participants cut from their gardens are such a delight to see. I will link this post to her meme on Monday (please, find the link at the bottom of this post) and encourage you to pop over and see what other gardeners found in their yards and brought into their homes in the first week of the New Year.

This little white, ceramic, snowed-in house is really dear to me. When I see it, all I want to do is to cozy up with a blanket, a cup of tea and a good read in front of the warm fireplace. 

I hope you spend a wonderful New Year's Eve and ring in the New Year in the company of people that you love.

My husband and I will stay home tonight together with our beloved dogs and will say hello to the New Year in a more quiet way. We had already a nice tea time with homemade apple tartlets and later on my husband will cook and I will be the sous chef. The little bubbly is ready and the white rose bouquet will move over to our dining room table and continue to delight us there!

Many thanks for reading my blog this year. I would love to see you around in 2017 as well! Looking forward to a (hopefully good) new garden year together with you!

Warm regards,


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays 2016

Dear Readers, I just would like to briefly pop in to wish those, who celebrate it a very Merry Christmas, and to all others a Happy Holiday 2016!

Christmas came late to our house this year. Only yesterday I got the Christmas indoor lights out to bring a little Christmas magic and sparkle to our home and decorated a view simple vignettes, like the one above, which is on our dining room table.

Due to time constraints, the decking the halls is simple this year, but a little bit of Christmas decoration goes a long way...

Yesterday morning, when we were shopping for our Christmas dinner, I came across these gorgeous, shiny, organic Arkansas Black Apples, which I had never seen before. I like to use natural materials in my decoration and I think they add such a festive touch and smell good on top of it.

I acquired these dark brown wooden candlesticks at Goodwill in Albuquerque two years ago for a very reasonable price and I knew immediately that they would be perfect for autumn and Christmas decoration. I love the elegance of glass candlesticks, but these wooden ones add this earthy warmth to the table, that just makes you feel very warm, comfortable and cozy.

A small Christmas wreath was perfect to beautify my old, white, decorative bird cage. A simple silver bow was all it needed.

This vintage, small, brown transferware tureen made in England is a gift to myself this year. I think the delicate flower pattern is so pretty. 

My photos do the absolutely spectacular amaryllis flowers no justice. The color is a very dark, royal, red that matches the color of the apples perfectly.

When I was taking the photos this morning, the sun came out and I placed the vase for a brief moment into the direct light, which brought the iridescent shimmering color of the flowers out. I am absolutely in love with them and hope that they will open a little more until tonight.  

Quite honestly, I bought this tin not for the content, but because it was so pretty. I found out though, that it contained the most delicious nougat that I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, it's long gone already...

I hope your Christmas day is going well and you have a chance to spend it surrounded by your loved ones. If you are celebrating it in a big group or in a more quite way, I am wishing all of you, that you have a wonderful day!

Thanks for stopping by, hope my little post brought you some joy! See you soon...

Warm regards,


Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Last Little Garden Bouquet of the Year!

With no doubt my garden contains plenty of roses for its size, but not too many other cut flowers. I wanted to change this for quite a while and to make a start, I bought four dahlia tubers this year. Unfortunately, I got them into the ground way too late, in fact I planted them at the end of July (see my post about it here), and only two tubers made it and began to bloom after a couple of setbacks many weeks later.

On Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend I had company over for a little tea party and I went out into the garden to cut a little bouquet for the table. And there it was: The perfect dahlia bloom! I accompanied it by a few roses and some blue flowering ajuga and voila, I had my little bouquet together. I think it turned out so pretty, that even though I gathered it already about three weeks ago, I wanted to show it to you.

So here is my little precious bouquet! It was a very overcast grey day, with not much light indoors. So I decided to photograph it outside on our garden table, together with some white baby boo pumpkins and my brown wooden candlesticks, that I got at a thrift store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

As you can see the little plonk contains only seven flowers. The dahlia is the centerpiece surrounded by three white roses and three blue ajuga flower stalks. In terms of floristic this certainly isn't a masterpiece, but I was and am quite happy about how it turned out. I have read somewhere that smaller bouquets are more pleasing to the eye when they contain irregular numbers of flowers and I find that to be true.

I don't know how big the dahlia flower was exactly, but it was huge. The variety is called 'Lucca Johanna' and is described as a dinner plate dahlia, which simply seem to indicate that the blooms can get humongous. Even though I somewhat like these showstopper size dahlias, they can be a bit too much in your face and I think in the future I would choose a smaller variety.

The blue flowering flower stalks are from ajuga reptans 'Catlin's Giant'. This ajuga really surprised me by doing super well even in our hot dry climate. I had bought six small pots of it and didn't get around to plant them into the ground immediately. It didn't take long and the plant decided to do the job for me by throwing out runners that rooted themselves into the ground outside of their containers. They have formed a patch of a good size by now.

I looked it up and ajuga is related to the mint family, which can really mean trouble, since mint is so invasive here. But for now I am enjoying it. It is still flowering today and the flower stalks last a long time on the plant and in the vase.

The name of the rose is most likely 'Moondance', a Floribunda. I ordered a 'Pope John Paul II' Hybrid Tea rose quite a while ago from Jackson & Perkins and they delivered a white flowering rose, but it was clearly not 'Pope John Paul II'. At the time of my order the only other white rose that looked somewhat similar that they had in their program was 'Moondance'. For that reason and because its looks matches the photos on HelpMeFind, I am fairly certain to say that this rose is 'Moondance'.

So far I like it quite a bit. It is still only growing in a two gallon container and was profusely flowering for the first time this autumn. No blackspot or powdery mildew so far. Even though it was not the rose that I wanted, it might turn out to be a blessing that they sent me the wrong one. I like the yellowish center of  'Moondance' as it is opening up, since it gives the blooms this spectacular inner glow, that is fascinating to watch.

At the end of my little photo shooting the sun came out...

...and caused my little plonk to look even better. Brought indoors, this small bouquet truly beautified the tea table and made the tea time all the more enjoyable.

Even though this is not the typically christmassy post appropriate for the season, I hope you still enjoyed it. Especially to those of you, who are snowed in and/or are suffering from the cold, I hope that my little plonk brought you some joy today!

Talking about Christmas it is hard to believe that it is only about one week away. I am so not ready for it this year. At least I bought some small Christmas wreaths a few days ago and intend to decorate the house a little bit this weekend. So maybe my next post will be a christmassy one after all...

See you in the garden!