Friday, January 23, 2015

Seeds and Bulbs

So as usual I ended up at the garden center today.  I just went to browse.  I always go “just to browse”.  Well that never works out.  I came home with seed packets and bulbs… and potting soil of course.  The bulbs are Freesia.  I planted Freesia in the ground last year and they came up nicely.  The seed packets were the same ones I planted last year too.  They are from Botanical Interests; “Grandmother’s Cut Flower Garden” and “Fairy Meadow”.  Out of these packets, this is what bloomed:  Daisy-Painted Tricolor, Cornflower, Larkspur, Love-in-a-Mist, Cosmos, Bishop’s Flower, Godetia, Coreopsis-Plains Bicolor, Coreopsis-Plains Red, Corn Poppy, Catchfly, Candytuft, California Poppy, Corn Poppy, Creeping Daisy, Spurred Snapdragon, Johnny-Jump-Up, Alyssum-Carpet of Snow, and Evening Primrose-Showy.  I also purchased an individual seed packet of Love in a Mist.  I have no idea where I’m going to put any of this.  I know I will put the Freesia bulbs in a pot.  But the wildflowers??  Will they grow in a pot?  I can’t plant them in the soil like last year.  I guess I can try and hope for the best.  I still have to find a place to put the pots.  One more pot on the patio and my husband is going to kill me.  Every time I bring home new plants now he just looks at me and says, “Where are you going to put that!??”  Oh the joys of being married to a gardener!  We can’t help ourselves and we can never have enough plants!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rose Pruning and Spring Planting

This weekend was a busy gardening weekend.  It's only January, but already I am preparing for Spring.  The weather was in the 70s, so I decided to prune the rose garden.  It was an all day affair.  Last year, I waited until February to prune, but this year I just wanted to get it out of the way.  It will be strange without the roses for a few months but they will be so beautiful once they start blooming again.

Besides the rose garden work, I planted my Spring bulbs.  This year I put them in pots in my patio garden.  As I was tending to the rose garden out front, I noticed some green popping up out of the ground... it was the daffodil bulbs I planted last year and also the hyacinth.  I dug them up and put them in pots as well.  I was so happy to see that some of these weren't destroyed during the construction!   Here are some of the bulbs I planted along with two Bleeding Hearts which I didn't take a photo of since it was just the bare root.

Here are the first two Lily of the Valley pips to sprout up.  I planted these around the end of December.  Last year I planted some in February, and they produced flowers.  But when I tried to plant a second round, they never bloomed.  The weather became too warm too fast.  Let's see how these do since I am planting them earlier.
I also purchased and potted up a Calla Lily.  I couldn't help myself.  I really missed the ones that were paved over.  I tried to dig one up and save it before they laid down the gravel, but it didn't look very happy being shoved in a tiny pot compared to all the space it had before.  So when I saw these at the garden center, I made a guilty purchase and bought one that was already blooming so I could enjoy it.
Lamb's ear is new to my garden.  I've always seen this at the garden center and hoped no one would see me petting the soft fuzzy leaves.  They have so much of it in the herb garden at the LA Arboretum, that I just had to have some for myself.
For some color, I picked up these Anemones.  They're so pretty opening during the day and closing at night.  I'd love to do a time laps on them sometime.
I got a fresh Catnip herb too.  The two I have are getting older and leggy and I thought my cat would appreciate some fresh leaves.  The leaves on this one are actually quite large.  I also picked up a new Cilantro although I didn't take a photo.  The one I had was being eaten alive by aphids.  It was getting a little old anyway, so I decided to get a fresh one since I do tend to use Cilantro a lot in the kitchen.
Lastly, here are some Sweet Peas, Winter Elegance.  These were already in bloom at the garden center.  I have some Sweet Peas in a pot that are growing on the front of the house, but they aren't ready to bloom yet.  I wanted some all to myself so I bought these for the patio.  They sure do smell heavenly!

And here are just a few wider angle shots of the patio garden.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spring is in the air and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, January 2015

I know I am not the only person feeling this way, but I am DYING to get back to gardening!  I know what some of you may be thinking, “You live in Southern California.  You can garden ALL YEAR!”.  Well yes, this is true, I am not up to my ears in snow and ice and it was 70 degrees today, but I am still missing my Spring and Summer flowers!

This year’s garden will be a challenge… A challenge in that I won’t be able to have as many of the beautiful flowers,  plants and vegetables that I once had since the landlord paved over a large portion of my garden.  It has been difficult to deal with and I try not to think about it, but it’s hard.  Right now my side garden would have been full of huge calla lilies, and I probably would have been harvesting broccoli and cauliflower.  Unfortunately, now it’s just full of gravel and a small tree that looks miserable.  The side yard is ugly and useless.

I’ve also cut back on the amount of plants I keep in front of the house.  I just lost the desire to do anything to make it look nice knowing it could all be destroyed at the discretion of a landlord.  Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep my rose garden.  I have 8 of them all in large pots.  I also still keep some potted plants and flowers on the front porch, but I will not plant anything in the ground.  I learned my lesson as I watched in horror as the bulldozers dug up all the bulbs I planted last spring.

At least I have the private patio.  This is where I’ve been keeping my most precious beauties.  The issue now is space.  I don’t have enough of it.

Last Spring in the front of the house I planted daffodils, hyacinth, iris, and muscari just to name a few.  In the Summer, I planted foxgloves and all different kinds of wildflowers.  Sadly, they were all planted in the ground.  They looked so beautiful in front of the potted roses. It makes me cringe knowing I have to buy them all AGAIN.  But this time I will plant them in pots.

Since the construction, my tiny patio mostly has become an herb garden. It is amazing.  The scent is wonderful, and I enjoy concocting potions of herbal teas and being able to grab a handful of this or that for cooking…. But where to find room for everything else I’d like to plant?  Some strategic rearranging is going to have to happen.  I don’t know how… but it will.

Today I dropped by the garden center and low and behold, they already had tulips, hyacinth, daffodils and anemone.  I also bought one calla lily to replace the many I used to have that were so sadly paved over  For good measure, I threw in a fresh catnip.

This is going to be a busy weekend.  I was planning to prune the roses.  Now I will also be potting up the new flowers and attempting to make space for them on the patio.

If you’ve made it all the way through this blog entry, I will leave you with just a few images of what's currently blooming in my garden on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Scented Pelargonium 

Canterberry Bells

Ivy Geranium
Marjoram - I love the knotted flowers.
Peppermint - This herb has been so wonderful over the winter in tea.
Some of the Roses.
Ketchup & Mustard
 Sparkle & Shine

Oh and I forgot to mention, over the holidays, I made a terrarium!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Canterberry Bells & Scented Pelargoniums

Over the holidays I joined another beautiful garden, The Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden.  I've been spending a lot of time there photographing and going for early morning walks with my husband.  Here is a link to my Flickr page where I have uploaded some of the images I took.  This past weekend, I stopped by their gift shop which also sells plants and flowers.  I picked up these wonderful Scented Pelargoniums.  I don't know what took me so long to incorporate these into my own garden.  They smell heavenly!  

I was also craving something different to add to the patio garden where I grow most of my herbs.  I added these beautiful Canterberry Bells (Campanula) to brighten it up with some color.

Scented Pelargonium - Aroma

Scented Pelargonium - True Rose