Saturday, July 15, 2017

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day July 2017

Better a little bit late to the party than not going at all... That is how I felt about participating in the Garden Blogger's Bloom Day meme hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month.

So here is a quick glimpse at some plants that are blooming in my garden in the moment. All photos were taken in the last two days.

I am only trying to grow dahlias in my garden since last year, a fact, that I hardly can understand anymore. They are so beautiful and the flowers are holding up surprisingly well in our relentless summer heat. On top of that, they also produce very good cut flowers and who doesn't like to bring flowers from the own garden into the house and create lovely bouquets or simply enjoy a single pretty bloom or two in a vase? 

The one on the photo above was supposed to be the lavender colored variety 'Blue Boy', which it is clearly not, but whatever it is, I really like it. The water drops are unfortunately only from hand-watering the dahlias, we don't have any rain at all here in the summer months, but at least they make for a nice photo!

One of my most floriferous dahlias is 'Bridezilla' and even though I have read that it is very difficult to grow white flowering dahlias, because the blooms are easily blemished and show brown spots, the flowers of this one are almost always pristine.

My roses do bloom in the heat, but often the flowers, especially the edges of the petals are parched by the early afternoon. Here rosa 'Yolande d'Aragon' is showing off her sumptuous beauty. Her fragrance is to die for.

This photo captures the old fashioned bloom form of rosa 'Yolande d'Aragon' well. I am still in love with Old Garden Roses like this one. They are truly special and most of them have an intoxicating scent.

Salvia 'Amistad' is new to me this year and is a little beyond its prime, but it is for sure a garden worthy plant.

Another shot of salvia 'Amistad'. It has become humongous within only a few month in the front yard and I have to move it to another place that is more suitable for its size.

This is dahlia 'Jennifer's Wedding'. It flowers in the darkest burgundy purple color that you can imagine. Only when it is almost spent, a small bright yellow eye opens in the center of the bloom.

This photo shows part of the front yard. In the foreground, you see two salvias 'Mystic Spires Blue', which also have become really tall by now and I had to cut them already partly back because they were blocking the walkway to the front door.

Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait' is a dinner plate dahlia and the flowers are truly spectacular in terms of the coloration and their size. It is one of my favorites!

This is the last flower stalk of daylily 'Gentle Shepherd'. I wish it would rebloom like many daylilies do, but this is a once-blooming variety in my garden.

Here is another shot of daylily 'Gentle Shepherd'.

Rosa 'Pink Pet' is always very sweet to look at and the rose is completely healthy in my garden, but it frys very fast in the relentless heat that we are having.  

Dahlia 'Lucca Johanna' was the first dahlia that grew and bloomed for me last year and I am afraid it started another plant obsession. It produces nice cut flowers on an admittedly not so great looking plant. It grows a bit straggly, but because of the beauty of its blooms, that is forgiven. 

Rosa 'The Prince' is doing surprisingly well in this heat and wants to bloom, only to have its precious dark purple flowers burnt by the sun very quickly. But that gives me the guilt-free pleasure to cut as many blooms as I want in the morning and bring them into the house to enjoy them there.

Would you have guessed that this is a dahlia as well? Nowadays they come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors that for sure there is a dahlia out there for everyone. This particular variety is called 'Platinum Blonde' and I really love the form of the blooms, but this lady is a little stingy with her flowers so far.

By the way, I am growing all of my dahlias in five-gallon containers. I assumed that would be the easiest and quickest way to get started with them, but I think they would prefer to grow in the ground. Next year, my lovelies...

I conclude with a photo of rosa 'Bewitched', an older classic Hybrid Tea rose. The blooms of this rose withstand the heat surprisingly well and are really good for cutting. The strong damask fragrance is amazing!

Before I finish, I would like to mention again, that I am now on Instagram as well. I am posting daily and if you like to see more from my garden and other private and public gardens in the US and abroad in England and Germany, please visit me there as well. You can simply click on the link or on my Instagram button on the right side of my sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this post! If you are in the mood to look at more flowers that have been blooming today in gardens all over the world, I would suggest that you go over to Carol at May Dreams Gardens and take a look at other garden blogger's entries. I am sure it's fun! 

See you in the garden!


I am linking  up to 
May Dreams Gardens - Garden Blogger's Bloom Day  //  Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //  Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  // A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays  // A Southern Daydreamer - Outdoor Wednesday  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  Eclectic Red Barn - Thursday Favorite Things  //  A Delightsome Life - Home And Garden Thursday  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else  //  Create, Bake, Grow & Gather - Shabby Art Boutique  //  How Sweet The Sound - "Anything Goes" Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //  Everyday Living - Gardens Galore  //

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cozy Casita II, The Lovely Courtyard

It has been hot, hot, hot in the last couple of days here in San Diego inland with highest temperatures reaching 99F/37C yesterday. Needless to say that my garden is suffering and I often wish, that I had planted a more drought and heat tolerant garden at this time of the year.

There is just one catch, even though it is not politically correct to say, I have to admit that often drought tolerant gardens are not very appealing to me. I simply love my roses too much. But two years ago I had the chance to visit an incredibly beautiful one which was a true exception. I blogged about it already here, showcasing the front yard and today I will continue to introduce you to it and take you into the very lovely courtyard.

You enter the courtyard through a small insignificant wooden door from the street and suddenly you are in a completely enclosed very cozy and colorful space decorated with many, many containers holding drought tolerant plants. I was very impressed by this big cactus, adorned with, what I believe is, Spanish Moss.

The attention to detail in this garden room was incredible. Look for example at the foot of the cactus from the photo above. It is underplanted with many pretty succulents in all shapes and sizes and a small blue and white ceramic sphere is placed just for a pop of additional interest.

Details of the fountain that you can see in the first photo of this post. It looks like all the objects are loosely placed in the stone bowl that is the actual fountain. That certainly makes for a captivating display. The Mexican tiles add plenty of color and cheerfulness to the space.

A view of one corner of the courtyard. Plenty of beautiful containers in many different shapes, sizes and materials and some art objects are keeping your attention.

This looks like an old fireplace, that is not used anymore. More fascinating containers planted with small drought tolerant plants. I love the blue ornate sphere in the right corner. Blue was definitively a color that was often used and tied it all together.

Another container vignette. I love the blue-gray hues of these plants.

This one was my favorite. It really looked like that. The photo is not photoshopped.

This unique table was placed in the middle of the courtyard and shaded by a white sun umbrella. I think this is an amazing place to have breakfast or to end the day with a nice drink. I definitively would feel very comfortable here. 

This is the left side of the actual entrance to the house. The door to the house is open, visible to the right of the photo.

Another interesting pot parade to the right side of the entrance to the house. Do you see the beautiful copper rain chain?  And the Mexican violinist made out of metal? To reach the back yard, which was actually located on a very difficult to plant, steep, hilly terrain, you needed to walk through the house. The backyard was nothing short of spectacular, but this is material for another post.  

If you liked this courtyard and you haven't seen my first post about this garden, yet, I highly encourage to click the link below and go back and take a look at the front yard. I think it is truly special as well.

Cozy Casita I, Front Yard

Hope you are able to stay nice and cool and enjoy the summer if you are living in the Nothern Hemisphere. I am not a big fan of water, but I may consider taking a dip in the pool later today, the heat is really getting to me.

See you in the garden!

Warm regards,


I am linking up to 
Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //  Everyday Living - Gardens Galore  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  //  A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday  //  A Southern Daydreamer - Outdoor Wednesday  //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  //  Eclectic Red Barn - Thursday Favorite Things  //  A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday & Everything Else  //  Shabby Art Boutique - Create, Bake, Grow & Gather  //  How Sweet The Sound - "Anyting Goes" Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Posh English Afternoon Tea at The Slaughters Manor House, England

Honestly, we didn't have the best weather when we have been in England for our annual vacation a little over two weeks ago. It was raining quite a bit and it was unusually cold for the season. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our vacation abroad very much, making the best out of every day regardless of the typical English weather caprioles.

One day was particularly cold and rainy though, and we hardly made it to drag us out of our cozy and warm cottage and realize our plans to explore the charming Cotswolds villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter.

When we parked the car in Lower Slaughter, an impressive manor house in the middle of the village caught my eye with an inviting sign reading "Afternoon Tea" at the entrance gate of the property. When we got closer it turned out to be The Slaughters Manor House, a three-star hotel. We took a closer look at the house...

...and briefly toured the beautiful, well-kept grounds. Isn't this formal "blue garden" lovely?

I always fall for old statuary like this pretty lady surrounded by blue delphiniums and catmint placed in the center of the formal garden shown in the photo above.

After the initial quick look, we dismissed the idea of having an English Afternoon Tea there, because this place seemed to be quite upscale. We dutifully stuck to our original plan and walked an admittedly very beautiful footpath called the Warden's Way to Upper Slaughter (highly recommended for a sunny day!) and explored this charming sleepy village. When we returned back to Lower Slaughter we were so cold and wet that I really felt like having an English Afternoon Tea as a treat. After our rainy walk, posh and fancy somehow wasn't so much of a concern anymore but sounded now on the contrary quite appealing. The need for something warm, delicious and lovely was just overriding any other objections. After all, who doesn't need a special reward from time to times?

So we walked up to the manor house hotel, again.

The entry looked like right out of a fairytale.

The staff was quite friendly and gave us the option to have our tea in the lounge or the library. After a brief reflection, we decided to take our seats in the beautiful lounge and ordered a Full Afternoon Tea to share. And then, after a short wait, the highly anticipated tea arrived! What a feast for the eyes! 

Let's take a closer look: It contained a selection of finger sandwiches, a plain and a fruit scone, clotted cream and jam, and some very fancy sweets. Tea or coffee was included. My husband went for a Darjeeling, which was quite delicious. Instead of tea or coffee, I preferred just hot water with lemon. 

The lounge was such a lovely stately room with a beautiful fireplace, a wonderful ornate white-painted ceiling, beautiful parquet floors, and tasteful modern furnishings. The wonderful ambiance of this space definitively contributed to our overall English Afternoon Tea experience.

Close-up of the sweets. Such a beautiful presentation!

When the waiter brought the three tiered tea stand, he explained to us what all the items were, but some of the descriptions were so complicated that even he got stuck. So please, bear with me that I am not able to explain the tea treats in more detail. 

Overall the savory treats were good. The little bite of salmon on the cracker was outstanding though, the fish just melted in the mouth. The scones were average. Some of the sweets tasted extraordinarily delicious like for example, the nutty mousse served in the special glass. The only sweet that I wasn't sold on, was the one that looked like a mini eclair filled with red and green cream. To me, it tasted a bit synthetic and I hope, that they didn't use artificial food coloring. 

Cut through, this fancy sweet tea treat revealed a tart heart. It was ultra delicious! 

I love chocolate and this sweet tasted just heavenly.

As we had initially expected, with 30 British Pounds (about 39 US Dollars)/person having an English Afternoon Tea (yes, that is without bubbly!) at The Slaughter Manor House is on the pricey side,...

...but the beautiful presentation, some extraordinarily good tea treats, and a wonderful atmosphere make up for that.

I would love to come back and enjoy this special tea, again.

Before I finish, I would like to let you know that I am on Instagram now. I post daily and would love if you would pop over to my Instagram account and see what I am up to there. Of course, if you would follow me on Instagram my joy would be even greater! You can either click the link in this text or use my Instagram button on the sidebar to the left of my blog.

Wishing everyone a lovely rest of the weekend, and in addition to that, my American readers, a wonderful 4th of July. Maybe you find the time and treat yourself to a special tea time as well.

See you hopefully soon,


 I am linking to
Rustic & Refined - Dishing It & Digging It  //  Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home - Amaze Me Monday  //  Between Naps On The Porch - Metamorphosis Monday  //  Antiques and Tea Cups - Tuesday Cuppa Tea  //  Cedar Hill Farmhouse - The Scoop  //  Sweet Sensations - Celebrate Your Story  //  Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays  //  Bernideen's Tea Time, Cottage and Garden - Tea In The Garden  //  A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday  //  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup  //  21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style  // Vintage Mama's Cottage - Thursday Favorite Things  //  French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday  //  Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else  //  Shabby Art Boutique - Create, Bake, Grow & Gather  //  How Sweet The Sound - Anything Goes Pink Saturday  //  My Soulful Home - Sundays at Home  //