Friday, May 24, 2013

I've Got...

I've got the very first lily bloom of the season.

I've got new things blooming every day.

I've got roses galore.

I've got new plants,

old plants,

and seedlings popping up.

It's something different every day.

I've also got weeds to dig, mulch to spread, and lawns to mow.  I've got doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, and other obligations.

I've even got a summons for jury duty!

And, most importantly, I've got company coming over the next couple of weeks.  Not just for a day or two.  But for the entire two weeks.

So, I'll be posting very little during that time.  There are still a few memes I want to participate in, but other than that, I'll be enjoying my company, enjoying my garden, and hopefully working in a few chores here and there.

Until then, I hope you've got blooms of your own to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Charles Darwin

You either love it or hate it.  Personally, I love it.

I fell in love with David Austin's Charles Darwin rose the first moment I saw its large, full blooms.  I've never seen a rose so packed full of petals.  It was mesmerizing to me.  And the color - yellow, with a touch of apricot - is also beautiful to me.  Romantic is the perfect word for a rose with this form and color.

But there are people that would disagree with me.  I've read some of their rantings.  They call this rose ugly.  And you might agree with them.  Because basically, Charles Darwin evolves.  Yes, it's the perfect name for this rose.

It evolves from the most beautiful shade of yellow to a faded white.

And then, it evolves again to a cream with a blush of pink.

Charles Darwin is said to grow to 4 ft tall and 3 ft wide.  But you can clearly see mine is acting more like a climber, throwing limbs in every direction, with blooms all along the canes.  Perhaps I should keep it pruned shorter.  Perhaps it will straighten up when it gets older.  Perhaps it will evolve into a stiff caned, upright rose.  But for now, it has a very loose form, a form that I enjoy.

Charles Darwin rose will grow in zones 5 to 10, is scented and almost thornless.  It's a rose that evolves.  You either love it or hate it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Garden Book Reviews May 2013

"Fly me to the Moon" is on my Ipod playlist.  It's an oldie, but a goodie.  I'm not (quite) old enough to remember it when it was originally popular, but I have loved it ever since I heard it several years ago.

Another oldie but goodie is the book

Mrs. Greenthumbs: 
How I turned a Boring Yard into a Glorious Garden and How You Can, Too

by Cassandra Danz

I first heard about Mrs. Greenthumbs when Felicia of Fluffy Flowers linked in last year with her review of 'Mrs. Greenthumbs Plows Ahead'.  I was intrigued, so when I started looking for an entertaining gardening book, I thought that Mrs. Greenthumbs might be just what I was looking for.  It was.

You get a glimpse of the author's personality by the long name of the book.  She sometimes rattles on, but since it's always about gardening, I enjoyed every word.  This is not a "how to" book, even though she does have some gardening advice in it.  Instead, it's a garden book that relates her personal stories of gardening.  Most of us that have gardened for a while have had some of the same revelations, even if we don't have the same exact story.  Somehow, though, that makes her stories all the more charming.

This book is simply entertaining.  She has a dry sense of humor, and humor is a nice quality in a garden book.  Now every time I see a magenta bloom in my garden, I think about her attitude toward magenta, and it makes me smile.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much is because I felt like I could have been casually talking directly to a gardening friend.  If you're looking for an entertaining book on gardening, this one just may be the one!  It's definitely an oldie, but a goodie.


Now it's your turn!  Join us on the 20th of every month with a Garden Book Review.  Any book with a gardening influence qualifies.  And please take the time to visit the other participants, too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Main Rose Garden, Part 2

This is the second and final part of the tour of my main rose garden.  If you missed part 1, click HERE.

This garden is built much like an L shape.  The prior post covered the small part of the L.  This garden surrounds an area with a small, inexpensive charcoal grill and a table with chairs for eating.  At one time, I dreamed of having one of those elaborate outdoor kitchen areas with a built-in grill and a fireplace.  As the years have passed, though, I am happy that we didn't make those indulgences.  With my husband's allergies, and the Texas heat, we don't eat outdoors very often or even cook on the grill much anymore.

But I do go down to this area every day to check on my roses, and often I will break from my gardening activities to sit here and drink a glass of water or lemonade.  Even taking 10 minutes to enjoy the surrounding roses is very peaceful and relaxing to me.

In my mind, this long section of the L is broken up into two parts, on either side of the concrete planter.  Let's take the left side first:

Left to right are: Lichfield Angel, Lemon Fizz, Christopher Marlowe, a single petaled pink rose that I don't know the name of, Wild Ginger and Madame Berkeley. Wild Ginger is being evaluated, as she seems to not be as disease resistant as I require.  And Lemon Fizz may end up on the chopping block, too.  I honestly believe there are roses that can do well in just about any garden, the trick is just finding the right ones.  And what's right for me may not be right for you.

Lichfield Angel
Lemon Fizz
Christopher Marlowe
Wish I knew its name!
Madame Berkeley

A lot of these roses are fairly new.  When I first planted this bed, it seemed so large, and with so many roses to purchase,  I unfortunately planted this area with a lot of roses purchased solely on the basis of their (inexpensive) price, rather than the type or quality.  Most of those roses have now been replaced.   There's a lesson in that!

In contrast, the area to the right of the concrete planter is my favorite area of this garden, because most of the roses in this area were original plantings.  So, they are now quite large, and fill in the bed nicely.

They are: Carnival Glass, an unknown rose, Cinco de Mayo, Safrano, Knock Out, and Carefree Celebration.  Planted in the corner behind Knock Out are Mr. Lincoln and Abraham Darby, even though they not yet tall enough to be seen.

Cinco de Mayo


Carefree Celebration
Abraham Darby
If you are looking for a rose to put next to Knock Out, I have been very happy with Carefree Celebration.  It blooms at the same time and with the same abandon as Knock Out.  I keep my Knock Out pruned to the same size so they compliment each other.  For reference, the fence is six feet tall.

You may notice that the colors go from light to dark.  I threw in some contrasting colors every so often, so it doesn't look too planned.  This bed just needs a bit of time.  Time for some of the newer roses to mature.  A bit more tweaking over the next few years.  And then, I think I will be very, very happy with it.  It has certainly been satisfying finding roses that do well here.

So, there you are!  A walk around my main rose garden.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Main Rose Garden, Part 1

Walk with me around the area I call the main rose garden.  

Belle de Crecy

You are first met by Belle de Crecy, a once-blooming rose that I picked up on a whim.  It's coloring doesn't really go with the rest of the roses in this garden, but I love it anyway.  

Behind Belle de Crecy is planted Crepuscule.  It is just now starting to bloom.  It is only a few years old, and hasn't grown to its full height.


To the right of Crepuscule and Belle de Crecy is Mrs. Dudley Cross, which starts out yellow and ends up pink.  She has just begun to open a few of her beautiful flowers.

Moving on, we find the roses (from the left) Perle d'Or, the golden Easy Livin', Gruss an Aachen in front, and to the right is Lady Hillingdon.

Perle d'Or

Livin Easy

Lady Hillingdon

If you look at the photo below, Lady Hillingdon is now on the left.  Not yet blooming are numerous roses squeezed into the top corner.

Monsieur Tillier will eventually add a shock of color.  Buff Beauty will fill out the top right.  Gee Whiz is hidden behind Gruss an Aachen, and a young Ilse Krohn Superior is squeezed in there, too. 

Squeezed.  That's exactly how they are planted, and one day it will be a jungle.  At that time, I will either remove some roses, or keep them pruned to fit the space allotted.

Do you see the white, pink, and orange blooms below the corner area?  Those roses I'll talk about in Part 2.  Stay tuned!

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