Saturday, March 29, 2014

It’s that time of year again!  Time to refresh the herbs!  Sometime over the Winter months, my vegetable bed, where I usually grow my tomatoes, became an herb bed.  Right now I have in it:  Sage, Yerba Buena (spreading out all over the place - need to pull), Cat Grass (so pretty), Parsley (growing like crazy), Valerian (Garden Heliotrope), Sweet Marjoram (I think this may need to be pulled), Pineapple Sage (which reseeded itself, apparently), Greek Basil (needs to be pulled), Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena (needs to be pulled), and I am pretty sure I saw some Lovage in there that reseeded itself.

In pots I have:  Catnip (that I keep for the neighborhood cats as well as my own), St. John’s Wort, Horehound, Laceleaf Lavender and English Lavender (I keep these on my front porch because they smell so good and the flowers attract bees.) Chocolate Mint (another kept on the porch because I like the smell), Sage that I’ve had forever and 3 pots of Rosemary kept at the front door.

In the soil I have one Rosemary back by the raised bed and also a Chocolate Mint which will be pulled up and moved this weekend and replaced with beautiful Blue Lobelia. 

Being added to the bed will be:  Chamomile, Feverfew, English Thyme, Cilantro (Yum!), and Bee Balm.

My gardening obsession started out with herbs, and while I do tend to get distracted with my flowers, I still am just as obsessed with herbs.

There are lots of really big earthworms in my herb bed!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Heirloom roses had their first bloom and what a show it was! Big full blooms with a fragrance to die for! I cut one rose and put it in a vase with some mint, and the aroma filled the room as I sat painting roses on Sunday afternoon.

I couldn’t garden this weekend. I somehow injured my scapula muscle in my neck and shoulder and the doctor says I can’t garden for at least a week! It took a lot of willpower not to do any work this weekend, so I did the next best thing... I painted flowers!

I did, of course, go out to the garden and make mental notes of what work needs to be done when I am able. While browsing, I found this lovely sphinx moth resting in the Dusty Miller. I also found some grasshoppers who are already eating the new foliage on my roses. The new purple shoots must taste delicious. Grasshoppers are such a nuisance! However, I can’t bring myself to squash them like some gardeners do. I only pluck them off the plants and walk them away from the house. I really should collect them in a jar and drive them farther away because they always seem to find their way back to my garden.

I took a photo of the Heirloom blooms and the lovely Dutch Irises together. None of these flowers disappointed me. Absolutely gorgeous!

Another favorite of mine is this beautiful Bleeding Heart which I planted next to the Autumn Fern in the side garden. It’s already blooming. This one sprung up fast from the root. I planted two more (one in a pot and one in the soil) that are not too far behind the first.

Speaking of favorites, one of the Foxgloves I planted in the soil in front of the house have started to bloom. This one is dalmation peach. Not sure what the second one will be, as it’s just now sending up a spike.

Another pleaser is the Delphinium. I have a showy front row display from my window of a huge, pure white spike mixed in with the blue. So lovely!

On the porch, I planted more Columbine in a container. This one is called Songbird mix. I love Columbine and now have 4 containers full of these; Songbird, White, Blue and Red.

Lastly, I’ve dubbed the side garden as “The Fairy Garden.” It is growing so full! I have: Calla Lily, Foxgloves, Lobelia, Yarrow, Lily of the Valley, Pincushion Flower, Orchids, Butterfly Milkweed, Hollyhocks (I can’t wait until these bloom), Ivy, Cape Mallow, Strawberries, Fuschia, Azalea, Hellbore, Autumn Fern, Geranium, Rosemary, various herbs – you name it! It’s quite a lot and I am going to need to do some work on it soon. Especially because I did a big “no no” -- I planted Chocolate Mint in the soil. Oops. I know, I know. You’re not supposed plant mint in the ground because it takes over the garden, but the aroma was irresistible! The one I planted had been in a container and was just about dying due to the fact that it had become root bound. I almost gave up on it, but I couldn’t let it go.... that smell... it was just too good. I may regret this later, but for now, I will hope I can keep it under control.

Tea with Orchids.

Foxglove friends.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Took some photos around the house this morning.  Here's whats growing:

My pot of Freesias.  I also have bulbs placed in the ground in various places around the house that are starting to pop up.

Feverfew.  Same as above.  Threw seeds about the house too.

Four O'Clocks.

I think I have one Sweetpea that's starting to come out.  You can barely see it, but it's there.  (I think.)

First bloom on Sheila's Perfume since I pruned.  The smell is wonderful.

Ketchup & Mustard was the first to bloom after pruning.

And here are the first buds on my new Heirloom rose.  I can already smell the aroma.

Dutch Iris in yellow.  These are beginning to come out now.

This Foxglove's spike continues to grow taller.

It's hard to see it here, but there is a Bleeding Heart in this raised bed next to my Autumn Fern.  I planted it from a root and now it's beginning to show some buds.

Azalea's are in full swing.

Another Bleeding Heart. This one is in a pot.

My Orchid is blooming 3rd year in a row without any maintenance other than watering since I really don't know a whole lot about the specifics of caring for Orchids.

And this is where I scattered seeds.  There are Lily of the Valley pips planted here too but I have seedlings coming up all around the house.  I guess I will be surprised when they bloom.

And the best for last.  One of my favorite flowers growing in the garden right now.  Lily of the Valley.  This one is in the ground.  I wear this perfume so you can imagine how much I am enjoying these.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Me in the garden in the rain with my favorite flower... well, I guess maybe they all are my favorite.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

We finally received a substantial amount of rainfall in Southern California.  It was very hard to stay away from the garden center on Saturday, but somehow I did it and was very proud of myself for staying home to enjoy the rain.  We even had some thunder.

It's Sunday and it's still cloudy and drizzling, but I ventured out and picked up some of this beautiful Delphinium to replace the white marguerite daisies that were beginning to fade.  Everything is soaking wet and the flowers are leaning over, but we needed the rain.  

I thought this white "songbird" mix columbine was just gorgeous!  So I brought some home.

This is what happens when you can't plant flowers.... you paint them!

Blue Hydrangea.

I checked this out from the library and I'm about half way through.  So far I'm really enjoying it.

Here's a description from Amazon:  

"A novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family’s secret past."
"A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book—a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell’s death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go."

Just for fun...

A friend sent this to me.  She knows me all too well.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Some photos I took in and around the garden the past few days.

I'm really glad I put this table outside.  It was on the patio, but I like it much better here.  It makes for a nice potting table.  :)

I finally got around to cataloging my plant tags.... or at least the plants that I had tags for anyway.

I picked this book up at an old book store a month or so ago.  It's wonderful.

Look at these Lily of the Valley!  I'm so happy.  They are putting out little bells.  I think that's Freesia in the above right pot.  At this point I am forgetting what all I've planted and will just have to wait until stuff blooms to remember!!

Bunny in the pincushion flower and hollyhocks.

The pink Azalea is blooming.

More bell flowers on the Lily of the Valley that is planted in the ground on the side of the house.


My messy back garden.

Calla Lily.  They came up so fast this year.  Everything is blooming too early.

This Hydrangea in the green pot is really popping up.  

Calla Lily.

Butterfly Milkweed.

The herb bed.


And more Foxgloves.

Hellbore, Primrose and Foxgloves

My Heirloom roses are getting some buds.

Look how big the Foxgloves (next to Delphinium) are getting!  This one has a lovely spike shooting up.  I hope the one on the right catches up.

Valerian, garden heliotrope.  I had this in a pot for the longest time, but about a month ago, I moved it to the herb bed and look at it grow!  I can't wait for the beautiful white flowers.