Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Changes I Made

Do you remember back in March I changed an area of the walking garden?  (If not, you can click HERE.)  Well, it's looking fabulous now!!!  (Not bragging, just reporting!)  ;)

This bed was supposed to be mainly red and yellow.  Somehow, it had been taken over by pink.  So, I pulled out all the pink and put in different plants.  Now it's red and yellow.  Just like it's supposed to be.

Well, actually, it's red and yellow - and purple, too!  Red, yellow and purple flowers all together may sound horrible to some people, but I just love it!  Somehow, I think the addition of purple compliments the red and yellow combination.  I guess purple is close enough to blue (in plants, at least) to give it a primary color scheme.

Red and yellow flowers include Hot Lips sage, Home Run rose, and yellow cannas.


Even the cannas have a touch of red on them.

Mystic Spires in back

For purple, I have some May Night salvias, a Mystic Spires salvia in back, and even added a purple(ish) ice plant.

Ice plant

The sweet purple flowers in front are angelonias.

Angelonia with salvia

They bloomed all spring and summer, too.  They are such sweet plants, but unfortunately, they are annuals here.

And the white?

Peacock orchid

The beautiful peacock orchids.  Unfortunately, I don't think they will return next year, either.  But I'm enjoying them while I can.

So, a few more changes will need to be made.  Still, I'm so glad I made the changes that I did.  To me, it looks 100% better.  Red and yellow - and purple, too!  Who knew!?

I'm joining Helen at The Patient Gardener for End of Month View.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

One, Two, Three, Four


2: (Two days later)

3: (Two more days later)

4: (Three days later than 3)

I just can't take my eyes off of Christopher Marlowe!  Every day is full of anticipation, joy and beauty.

Want to know more about this rose?  Click HERE

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Late Bloomer

I stared.  "Kathy, is that you?"  I was shocked.  She was so different from the Kathy I remembered from high school.

I couldn't take my eyes off of her.


It's amazing how people can change over the years.  In high school, Kathy was always sweet and nice and caring.  People loved her personality.  She had a sparkling laugh.  People would tell her jokes just to hear it.  And her long, black hair was sleek, smooth, and shiny.  If she would have advertised a certain shampoo, I would have bought it.

But Kathy never had a date in high school.  We were superficial at that age, and Kathy was not the prettiest girl in the school.  Sweet, but not beautiful.

But now, Kathy had changed.  I was shocked.  She still had the same sweet personality, the same gorgeous hair, and the same sparking laugh.  But she was definitely different.  She was beautiful.  She glowed.  Her skin was radiant.  She would have made a model jealous.  Kathy had blossomed into a beautiful woman.

She was, as my mother would put it, a late bloomer.

The rose Safrano has been a late bloomer for me.  Not that she blooms late in the season, but that it took years for her to become a beautiful shrub.  She has always had beautiful blooms, just not a lot of them.  Each bloom was sweet, with delicate coloring.  But, even with just a few blooms, I knew she had potential.

Unfortunately, as a young shrub, she was always bit gangly.  Even with her soft blooms and healthy foliage, I wouldn't have called her beautiful.  But this year has been different.

Safrano has been in my garden for almost five years.  It has taken all these years, but finally, Safrano has begun to bloom in full flushes.  She spreads her arms out confidently.  She glows with a radiant splendor.  This year, she is revealing her beauty.

I can't seem to take my eyes off of her.

I think she will become even more beautiful as the years pass.

Safrano is an old garden tea rose, grows in zones 7 through 9, fragrant, and disease resistant.  She has a delicate beauty about her.  But in order to see it, you'll have to give her some time.  She's a late bloomer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

That's What It's All About!

Jump up, everyone, and do the Garden Pokey!

You put the grass in...
You mow the grass down...
You take the grass out...
To put some flowers all about...
You do the Garden Pokey and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

Cinco de Mayo

You make a garden plan..
You change the garden plan...
You put some flowers out...
And you take a look about...
You do the Garden Pokey and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

Gee Whiz

You put the trowel in...
You take the trowel out...
You put a plant in...
And you do it all again...
You do the Garden Pokey and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

You take some plants out...
You put some more plant in...
You move some plants about...
And you throw the plan right out...
You do the Garden Pokey and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!


You see a bloom here...
You see a butterfly there...
You see a bee in flight...
And you feel such delight...
You do the Garden Pokey and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

Now you'll have that song in your head all day!  ;)  So, have I been doing the Garden Pokey?  You bet!  This week I:

New curve to the Pathway Garden

  • Mowed and string trimmed my yard, mowed my parents and my grandmother's yards. 
  • Enlarged the pathway garden in one spot that had been driving me crazy for several years, and weeded out all the grass in that area.  Not a large area, but an area where the curve was just not right.
  • Planted some newly purchased plants.
  • Planted lots of bulbs.
  • Transplanted several plants.  (Impulse shopping has made me throw out the garden plan!)  I also transplanted enough plants to fill up the newly enlarged area in the pathway garden.
  • Removed some plants completely - a few Knock Outs that were in too much shade (gave them away), and a huge artemisia that I was tired of cutting back.  As much as I loved its foliage, I was glad I removed it because I then saw that it was hiding a giant armadillo hole under Mrs. Dudley Cross!  (I've written about her HERE and HERE.)  No wonder she has looked so sad lately!  I also removed Belle de Crecy.  Goodbye, Belle.  :(  She has not been happy with our hot summers and warm winters.  I don't think she liked my horrible soil, either.  

Ah, yes, much better.

What will I do next week while doing the Garden Pokey?  Stay tuned and find out!  What about you?  Have you been doing the Garden Pokey lately?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I've Got a Fever!

I have planted over 100 daffodil bulbs, just as many irises, some ranunculus, paperwhites, even tulips (which are annuals here, but I've decided are worth the expense)!

I've planted scillia, alliums, fritillaria meleagris and fritillaria imperialis.  Doesn't all that Latin sound impressive?  But I'm not through.  Not by a long shot.  I've ordered even more bulbs to plant!

What is the matter with me?  Why can't I stop the madness?

I think it's spring fever!

Yes, I know it's not spring.  It's autumn.  But don't you see?  Autumn is the reason I have spring fever!  I see trees losing their leaves, plants going dormant, and winter approaching.  I know how desperate I'll be to see some signs of spring next year.

And so, I plant bulbs.

Lots and lots of bulbs.

And I said this year I wasn't going to plant any bulbs!  Ha!  That resolution just flew out the window!

I may not be happy when the credit card bill arrives, but I'll be happy that I planted all those bulbs next spring.  Because then I'll undoubtably have spring fever - again.

Do you have spring fever?  Are you planting bulbs?  Now is the time!

(All images were taken last spring.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Tree for the Price of a Rose

I wanted a rose that would fill up one corner of the flower bed.

I got Mutabilis.  And it has done exactly what I wanted - it completely fills up this corner.

Actually, it's outgrown it's allotted space!

I want to eventually limb up Mutabilis like a tree.  I think I'll get that, too, in a few years.


I saw a Mutabilis limbed up like a tree years ago on a trip.  It was unforgettable.  I had my husband stop the car and back up just to get a closer look.  I wish I would have had my camera.  That tree has been in my imagination all these years.  One day I'll have a Mutabilis tree of my own.  I can hardly wait!

Mutabilis in April, 2010

I'm already planning what to plant under the shade of the mutabilis tree.  Doesn't that just sound melodic, romantic, and exciting?

Mutabilis now
Mutabilis is almost thornless, evergreen, and grows in zones 7 through 10.  Some people keep it trimmed to a much, much smaller size.  But if you want, you can let it grow into a tree!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Garden Book Reviews October 2013

"The Most Beautiful Gardens in the World".  I looked at the title.  The most beautiful gardens in the world?!  I had to have this book!

The Most Beautiful Gardens in the World

by Alain Le Touquin

This is a large, heavy, coffee table type book filled with glossy photos of over 30 gardens from all over the world.  Although everyone has their own idea of what makes a garden beautiful, I guarantee there is a garden in this book that will delight your senses no matter what kind of garden style you find personally beautiful.

Some gardens included are no surprise: Versailles, Giverny, and Sissinghurst.

Other gardens are not as well known: 
     Iran's Bagh-e Fin, with its pools of marble,
     Italy's Vill Gamberaia, where Princess Ghyka "aged and her beauty faded, she cloistered herself there for the rest of her days",
     Germany's Schwetzingen, which was the first to have a garden planted in a full circle.

Levens Hall, with topiaries that remind me of Alice in Wonderland (shown on the front cover), Portrack House, with its Garden of Physics, and Huntington Botanical Gardens, home to such diverse plantings as a Rose Garden, a Jungle Garden and a Desert Garden, are included in this list of varied gardens.

There are several gardens with water features.  There are grottos and carved stone.  There are trees.  Lush plantings.  Sculpture, modern and ancient.  Even France's Villandry's vegetable gardens are included.

This book would make an excellent Christmas present for a gardener.  The best part of the book is the numerous fold outs that show panoramic photographs.  There are about a dozen of these, and they are each magnificent.

An example of the panoramic fold outs

A few pages of the history and a description of each garden is included.  I do wish each garden's plans could have been included in the book.  As big as this book is, there just wasn't enough room for a photo of every part of every garden, and having plans to illustrate the descriptions would have been helpful.

This book has introduced me to several gardens that I had never heard of before, and some that I want to learn more about.  It's a wonderful introduction to some of the most beautiful gardens in the world - and what gardener wouldn't love that?

Now it's your turn!  Please join us on the 20th of each month with your own Garden Book Review.  Any book with a gardening influence qualifies.  And, as always, please visit the other participants.  You may find just the type of garden book you've been looking for!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Raindrops on Roses

Autumn's here!  How do I know?  The days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler, and it's been raining!  Here's a glimpse of my garden after the rain...


Home Run

Pink muhly grass decided to lay down, but it still sparkles in the sunlight


Lichfield Angel is still blooming beautifully - on the ground

Mutabilis' blooms are probably all ruined

Antoine Rivoire didn't like the rain, either



Blackfoot daisy is always happy


James Galway

Heritage - again.

And although I've been stuck inside for three days, and it's too wet to do much in the garden today, I never, ever complain about the rain!  To me, it's a beautiful thing.

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