Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday night is coupon night!  Oh how excited I get waiting to see what each week’s garden center coupon will be!  This week was for 43% off Iceberg Roses.  Icebergs are a Southern California garden staple!  Everyone seems to have them in their gardens.  So how could I say no?  I mean, I can find a place for it even though I’m running out of room, right?  This will be my 7th rose.  I think I can say I officially have a rose garden.  I haven’t placed the Icebergs yet.  I’ll need to do some reorganizing over the weekend after I have some time to think about it.  Oh there were so many other plants I wanted to take home, but I didn’t have the time to spend looking.  I did manage to quickly browse through the herb section and snapped up an Anise Hyssop aka Hummingbird Mint.  I love herbs just as much as I love roses.  I want to go back to the garden center early Saturday or Sunday morning and see what else they have.  I like the English Cottage theme I have going on right now… Or at least as much of an English Cottage garden that I’m able to do with containers and a tiny space.  Ahhh someday I will have a sprawling land with acres of garden! 

In other news, I haven’t seen my friend Black Widow in the Lilies.  I’m not sure if she got tired of me getting her wet each time I’d water.  Maybe she found a new location.  I’m sure she’s close by and if I had to guess, I’d say she moved to the woodpile next to the steps on my back porch. 

The light at dusk this evening was very pretty.  I ran inside, grabbed the camera and took a few photos before the sun went down.  My Ketchup and Mustard Floribunda is really putting on a show!  Since the day I bought it, it has been nonstop bloom after bloom!  What a great little rose.  And the lovely Sonnet Pink Snapdragons are such a delight to look at from my window.

It’s a lovely time of year.  I can’t wait until the weekend when I can wake up early before the rest of the world and enjoy the tranquility of my little enchanted space.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

This morning I pruned my lavender and deadheaded some of my roses and other flowers.  I think I was trying to find an excuse to go to the garden center but everything is looking pretty good so I resisted.  This doesn't mean I won't end up there later, or even tomorrow.  After all, what's another plant.  Even if you're running out of space, you can still find a place for something new.

I noticed that my dwarf lemon tree dropped its blossoms.  It's just doesn't seem happy for some reason.  Much of the growth has come back since the grasshoppers got to it last year, but I'm not sure why it doesn't want to make fruit.  I guess I will leave it alone and see what happens although I am tempted to take it out of its current space in the garden and replace it with another rose bush.  The roses have me completely enamored at the moment.

One thing I would like to do is take my beautiful pink Passionate Kisses rose and move it to the font for the garden where it will get more sun.  Right now it's in the back right up against my window so it's also a little hard to get to.  Since these roses are more maintenance, it would be nice to have easier access.  This, of course, will require another rethink and revamp of the garden's presentation.  I'm not ready to go there just yet.  I do enjoy it as it is at this time, but there is always room for improvement.

Here are a few images of my Passionate Kisses, Floribunda as seen through my window on Monday, April 22.  The buds were just starting to open.

Here they are today, Saturday, April 27th.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I made a quick stop at the garden center today to pick up some food for my roses.  It's been hot here all weekend, in the mid-80s, and the Calla Lily I had in the front of the house was looking scorched.  I needed to move it to a new location and I was left with a bald spot where the Lily used to sit.  The garden center had good size Snapdragons for just $3.99.  Now if you've been following my blog, you'll know my history with Snapdragon.  I guess I'm getting cocky now because I bought them and am confident that they will do well.  The Arrow Red Snapdragon I have are flourishing and are one of the best looking flowers in the garden.  I'm hoping these Sonnet Pink ones will do just as well for me.  

Meet my new garden pal, Black Widow.  She's living on the side of the house in the Calla Lilies next to the vegetable beds.  We had some Black Widows on the same side of the house last year too.  There was also one living on my front porch near the door which was a little too close for comfort, so we sprayed.  I know spiders are beneficial insects, and if I had a choice, I'd kindly ask her to pack her bags and take up residence elsewhere.  But, it appears she's made up her mind and isn't going anywhere.  This is the first time I was able to get a photo of her.  She usually comes out for just a second to avoid the hose when I'm watering and then runs away and hides in the Lilies.  Tonight she stayed visible long enough for me to run into the house and get my camera.  She seems to like being photographed too because she remained in that same spot while I snapped shots of her.  When I stopped taking her picture, she went back into the Lilies again.  Hopefully we can come to an agreement; She'll stay out of my way, and I'll stay out of hers.  

This weekend the question was, "To garden, or not to garden?"  Well my answer to that is usually going to be and emphatic, "Yes!"  But, this time, my conservative side said, "It looks good.  Let it go for one weekend.  You don't need to do a thing."  ....Well.  As if I'm going to listen to my conservative side.  So after I was done browsing the rose garden at the Huntington, I headed out to Armstrong.  I needed potting soil.  Just potting soil.  I didn't need another rose or anything else, but maybe I'd pick up an herb.  Yes, soil and an herb and that is it.

When I arrived, I headed to the herb section.  There was the Valerian I had been thinking about getting and brand new on the menu was St. John's Wort.  

Now, you see, the garden center was very busy, and since their parking lot is small, I had to park on the street and far away.  This would mean if I got a large bag of soil and any large plants, I would have to take one of their carts down the street about a block and a half and load up my car on my own.  My helpful boyfriend wasn't with me today.  I decided to be nice and cut him some slack.  If I really needed the help, I could just ask the nice people at Armstrong.  Only thing is, large plants do not fit in the trunk of a Mustang.  They usually ride in the back seat and getting them in there without dirtying up the car or damaging the plant is an art form for which only I and my boyfriend have a knack.

I picked up the St. John's Wort, then the Valerian.  "Okay, this is good.", I thought.  Just two plants and while I really do need the soil, I probably have enough at home to get by with just these two plants.  I looked at the carts.  I knew if I went to get one I would have to commit.  I didn't mention this yet, but it was also ladybug weekend and I wasn't leaving without my free ladybugs.  

With the two plants in my hands I could get my ladybugs and walk with ease to my car.  I looked back at the carts.  I got the cart.  Having a cart opens up a whole new world.  I could get whatever I wanted now.  

So there I went back to the rose section.  Now, don't think getting yet another rose bush hadn't been on my mind most of the week, because it was.  I really didn't NEED another rose bush.  But anyone who gardens would understand that yes, I really DID need another rosebush.  Long story short, Sheila's Perfume, Floribunda was in my cart.  And for good measure, I picked up Empress Imperial Blue Verbena and a Crested Ivory Argyranthemum.

Out the door I went, cart clanging down the street to skillfully load up the Mustang.  I spent the rest of the morning happily potting and rearranging.  It was so hot by Saturday afternoon that I didn't get to take any photos.  

At 6:30 this morning (Sunday) I got up, threw on some yoga pants and snapped off a couple of photos before the neighbors (who already probably think I'm nuts, woke up).  Then I went back to bed and slept in until a very late 8:30 am!  At that time, I poured myself a cup of coffee, sat at my desk with my cat in his usual spot looking out the window, to edit my photos and enjoyed the view of the garden.  It was a wonderful weekend.

I woke up at 5:30 am Saturday morning.  I didn't plan on waking up this early but the cat was walking around the house howling and trying to wake me up to serve breakfast (which, by the way, typically isn't served until 7 am).  He wouldn't give up, so I figured I'd begin my waitressing duties early and open the cafe an hour and a half early to please my very demanding customer.  After his majesty was content and happily dining on breakfast, I tried to go back to bed, but I couldn't fall asleep.  I wanted to get up and out by 8 am to spend an hour at the Huntington to see their now blooming magnificent roses.  I got up, made coffee got dressed and headed out.  The Huntington is only a 10 minute drive from my house.  I can't tell you how worth it it is to have the privilege of early entrance to this heavenly place.  I had the entire rose garden practically to myself this morning.  Now that I'm becoming more familiar with roses, it was nice to be able to recognize some of the names and be able to distinguish a Hybrid Tea from a Floribunda.  Here are some images to photographed from the beautiful morning there.

I checked out Tasha Tudor's garden from the library a few days ago.  What an amazing English Cottage garden!  This is such a nice book and it is quite an inspiration for anyone who likes this style of garden.  I would love to have a place like this one day.  Beautiful photos and a nice read.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Just a few more photos I took of Fragrant Plum.  This rose is just stunning.  I am really enjoying it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This weekend I did garden clean up and maintenance.  There's always something to be done.  Some plants needed repotting, some needed pruning, and I wanted to rearranging to the container garden on the porch.  

Ever since the Sugar Moons started to bloom, I noticed their fragrance hits you as soon as you walk out our front door.  I was pretty tired by afternoon, but suddenly a second wind hit me and I felt the need to make an emergency trip to the garden center for another fragrant rose.  I picked up a beautiful lavender colored Grandiflora called Fragrant Plum. 

The view out my front door.

Here's what else is blooming this week:


One of the Sugar Moon blooms.

My Cat Mint is making flowers.

Progress on the Moon Flower.  Looks like three more are about to come up.

Sugar Moon.

Ketchup and Mustard.

Another Foxglove.

Look how happy my Snapdragons are!  I'm so excited about this.  I might be winning them over.  

Ketchup and Mustard.

Delphinium is starting to bloom.

Sparkle and Shine Floribunda is making bloom after bloom.

Zinnia and some Herbs.

Herbs - Mint and Horehound.

More Herbs.  Lavender, Lemon Balm, Cat Mint and Chamomile in the back right corner.

Cat Mint.

Lemon Balm and Lavender on the left.

More Roses.  I didn't plant these but they are blooming like crazy.


The White Hydrangea is growing well.

Progress on the Angel Trumpet.

Hydrangea.  I had to prune this because some of the leaves weren't looking so great.  I think the bugs were eating it so I cleaned it up and moved it to a new spot.

Not sure what this is.  Some type of Petunia I believe.

The first Gardenia is blooming.



The her box.  I actually took out the Basil and left the Cilantro and Rosemary.  The slugs were getting the Basil leaves.

More Foxglove.

Rosemary, Parsley.

Red Geranium.  They grow like crazy in my garden.

Various Herbs and Dusty Miller.