Friday, November 27, 2015

Decorating for Yule



This year I didn’t get around to taking too many photos of the Christmas decorations in the garden.  I added red and white poinsettia, a rosemary topiary in the shape of a Christmas tree, and a small pine decorated in pinecones and red ornaments.  I also decorated the door wreath as I usually do for every season.  For Yule, I add evergreen, pinecones and red berries.  I also put a big red bow on the door over a fresh cut baugh of Noble Fir strung up with twine.  It sure smelled good!  For an extra touch, I scattered some red christmas balls and pinecones in the pots of the two roses on the porch.  It was very simple and very natural looking.  Just perfect!  

This year we had very strong Santa Ana winds.  They kept blowing the potted roses right off the porch.  What a mess… balls and pinecones scattered everywhere.  Most of the day I had to leave the roses laying on their sides or else the wind would just blow them right over.  They grew so big this year that they became off balance in their pots.  I can’t wait until January to prune them!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, October 2015

Here's what's happening in my Pasadena, California container garden for October 2015 on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day hosted by May Dreams Gardens   It's the time of year when everything has been growing like crazy over the Summer and most of my plants have turned into monsters... especially the potted roses.  It's a little embarrassing, actually.  People ask me what I do to make the garden grow this way... I really don't know what to tell them.

Here are two of my potted roses on the front porch.  They just got done blooming so they are in between bloom cycles right now.  They have grow almost up to the roof.  AND they are in pots.  The other day we had some winds and both of them fell off the porch. haha!  I'm sure I looked like a crazy person trying to figure out how to lift heavy, thorny roses bushes back onto the porch.  I takes some maneuvering, but I managed.  The two roses I have on the porch are (left) Sheila's Perfume and (right) Fragrant Plum.  I also have about 6 more potted roses to the left in front of the house (I didn't photography those) that have grow up so tall they are covering the windows. 

As you can see, I've done my decorating for Halloween.  The first week of October, I went to the garden center and picked up some pumpkins, mums and violas.  I decorated the wreath with Fall leaves and put a few gourds on the shelves in my patio garden.  The weather has since been in the 90s.  This heat just does not want to let up, but the flowers seem to be holding up okay.

This is my favorite time of year.  I am hoping the temperature will start to drop soon so it will finally start to feel like fall.
Patio Garden

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, September 2015

Here's what's blooming in my container garden on September 15, 2015 for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day hosted by May Dreams Gardens:

Rudbeckia, Marigolds, Osteospermum


 China Aster (I think - not sure - planted them from a mix seed pack)

 Marigolds
 Osteospermum
 Mixed herbs
 Lavender
 Rudbeckia "Sonora"
 Another view of one side of the small patio garden.
 I took cuttings from my Attar of Roses Pelargonium.
Orange Thyme
 Rudbeckia "Tiger Eye"
 Red Ivy Geranium
 Impatiens
 Heliotrope
 Rudbeckia "Goldilocks"
 Hollyhocks
 Feverfew
 Red Geranium on the front porch
 Not sure what this is
 Aster
 Lisianthus
 Yarrow "Moon Dust"

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Morning Garden Walk

Sunday morning I woke up promptly at 6:05 am with an orange cat sitting on my chest making sure I knew it was time to get up and serve His Majesty breakfast.  Once I was awake and had taken care of my friend, I got showered and headed off to Descanso Gardens.  I’ve been a garden member for the past five years, but this year in particular, I’ve been taking full advantage of my membership and arriving early before the general public to spend time alone and undisturbed with nature in these beautiful gardens and woods.

Upon entering, I walked past the promenade which right now has a gorgeous display of deep purple salvia along with some other hummingbird and pollinator attracting flowers.  I stood there for a while watching the hummingbirds sip nectar from the purple flower flutes and listening to the hum of bees before walking on.
I then headed into the rose garden to get one last look at it before they close it for the setup of “The Rise” which is a display of carved Jack-o-Lanterns by artists from all over the United States.  As I walked through the rose garden, I stopped by the lily pond which is always full of frogs.  In the morning you can find them sticking their heads out of the water to warm themselves under the first rays of morning sunshine.  In order to see them though, you have to be quick or else the moment they see you coming, they’ll  duck under the lily pads and hide.  This time I didn’t see any frogs.  (I was too slow.)  But, I did hear the “plunk plunk” of them diving under water.

As I continued my walk, I passed by the cottage.  A group of tiny birds flew from tree to tree right in front of me as if leading the way.  In this group was a beautiful, bright yellow bird that stuck out dramatically from the rest.  I believe it was a goldfinch.  For a moment, I felt like “Snow White” in the scene from the Disney movie where the birds are all singing and fluttering around the princess.
I continued on my way and headed into the camellia forest.  My visit today was shorter than normal, because I wanted to get home to do some gardening before the weather got too hot.  So I skipped my usual hike up the hill and took a different route.  A lot of the garden sprinklers were still on this morning, so many of the paths were off limits.  I really didn’t need another shower, so I turned around to back track when, suddenly, I was startled by a stomp and the sound of rustling leaves.  As I turned my head and  looked off to my right, there stood a beautiful, young buck just a few feet away.  He had soft, fuzzy horns that were just starting to poke out of his head.  We locked eyes for a moment and stared at each other before respectfully going about our own business.

After about an hour in the garden, I could feel the sun getting stronger and I knew the day would be heating up soon.  I decided it was time to exit and head over to the nursery.  Even though it’s still scorching hot in Southern California, I wanted to start transitioning my garden into Fall by picking up a few flowers in colors of orange and gold.  I’d already started to feel the coming change of season a few weeks ago, and this is my favorite time of year.

When I arrived at the nursery, I found that the “Halloween” blend pansies were already available for purchase.  Boy were they tempting, but I know it’s best to wait until the weather cools down.  Pansies don’t like the heat one bit and in Southern California, we aren’t done with hot weather until at least mid-October.  Today I ended up coming home with two flower packs of orange marigolds and bright yellow calendula.  Total spent:  $6.75.  They were enough for 3 flower pots.  Just enough to start adding a little Fall flower magic to my garden and to welcome the Autumnal Equinox and the official start of the Autumn season which is already coming up next week.