Friday, March 25, 2016

First blooming roses, petticoat begonia and some flowers on the porch

Each year my rose, Sheila's Perfume, is always the first to bloom.  And she blooms A LOT!  This is a very fragrant rose the produces buds that will open up into very large, aromatic flowers.  I took a photo of one of her first flowers.  It won't be long now... the rest of my mini rose garden is soon to follow.  
While at the garden center, I heard one of the associates trying to convince a customer that Begonias weren't an old lady flower.  Excuse me?  What is wrong with old lady flowers?  Old lady flowers are THE BEST flowers!  Anything my Grandmother had in her garden is usually my absolute favorite flower!  So since I was standing right by this amazing, blooming "Rose Petticoat" Begonia, I quickly grabbed her and took her home with me!  Look at how amazing she is!  The flowers are gorgeous and they are also rather large and showy!  Never underestimate a flower that is not necessarily the latest and greatest new thing in the gardening world.  The oldies are the treasures of the garden... at least to me.
This is just a quck pic of part of the patio.  It was such a pretty day.
And here are some quick images I took of some of the flowers I currently have on my front porch.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Volunteer Lily of the Valley

Last year (or maybe it was the year before), I had some Lily of the Valley pips that I'd purchased from Home Depot.  I planted them in this basket, but they only put up green foliage and never flowered.  I kept this basket on a lower shelf on my patio and pretty much ignored it because I figured nothing was ever going to happen.  It did get some water though since water from the other potted plants on the shelves above it would drip down into the basket.  Well what do you know, this year I saw some green coming up out of the basket with tiny white buds.  Call it fairy magic or maybe our winter was just a bit colder this year, but I was blessed with an additional Lily of the Valley bloom!  I just love these kinds of surprises!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My first David Austin Rose, Harlow Carr

I have always wanted to have a David Austin Rose.  They are some of the most beautiful and most fragrant roses I have ever experienced.  Unfortunately, with my limited space, I no longer had room for any more roses.  When I purchased my first roses back in 2013, I had no idea what I was even going to like or not like.  In fact, I hadn't even heard of a David Austin Roses at that time, because I was still very new to gardening.  

Well, this year I had an unfortunate incident with the very first rose I'd ever purchased, Sugar Moon.  She fell victim to root rot.  This is partially due to the fact that I have to water in the evenings and I can't see what I'm doing during the winter months when the days are shorter.  Sugar Moon just got too wet and I'm afraid I may have drowned her out and rotted her roots which had actually become root bound in her pot.  It was sad to say goodbye, but this opened up some space in my little rose garden and gave me the opportunity to purchase my very first David Austin Rose, 'Harlow Carr'!  I'm so excited!  I know the fragrance will be to die for so I cannot wait for her to bloom!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lily of the Valley from White Flower Farm

Lily of the Valley is tricky to grow in Southern California.  It can be hit or miss due to our warmer climate.  This year I went to White Flower Farm (dot) com and purchased the pre-chilled pips guaranteed to bloom.  Lily of the Valley is special to me due to the fact that my Grandmother had them growing all over the front of her house next to the walkway.  So this year I was not going to go without the pleasure of being able to take in that oh so nostalgic aroma that transports me back in time to my Grandmother's house.  As promised, they bloomed profusely.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Camiella and Freesia

In a previous post, I wrote about the new (scented variety) Camellia addition to my garden, "koto no kaor."  I was not expecting any blooms until next year, but I believe she produced one flower especially for me because she knew how excited I was about having her.  The flower smelled so good!  I was grateful for the bloom and I am so looking forward to next year when she is ready to produce even more of these fragrant flowers!
Speaking of fragrance... I saw this pot of freesias at the garden center and could not resist the aroma of a full pot of them.  I do have some volunteer freesias tucked away in a pot with a foxglove that come back each year, but I couldn't resist these ones from the garden center since there were so many of them.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day February 2016

Each year I make it a priority to collect all of the traditional Spring flowers I remember having as a child.  They are daffodils, hyacinth and tulips.  The smell of fresh daffodils especially reminds me of my childhood because we had these in my parents’ yard.  Same goes for tulips.  I also remember my school selling bunches of daffodils and how the flowers would come in buckets of water.  The fragrance filled up the whole classroom as the nuns handed them out.  The hyacinth reminds me of Easter at my Grandmother’s house.  My Mom would always bring her a new plant each year, and after it was done blooming my Grammy would plant it out in her yard.  It amazes me how a scent can take me right back to another time and enable me to remember that time so vividly.  

Another traditional flower that I love to have is the grape hyacinth.  This year I potted up some bulbs and they are now blooming.

To keep the garden faeries happy, I like to have fairy primrose, sweet pea, Canterbury bells, freesia and foxgloves.  Foxgloves are an absolute must in my garden.  I am never without one whether it is blooming or not.

This year on Valentine’s day, my husband took me shopping at Nuccio's Nursery, a nursery that specializes in rare Camellias and Azaleas.  I'm not sure why I never added one to my garden.  I guess I sort of took them for granted because they are so common in Southern California.  Descanso Gardens, where I go to do my photography just about every weekend has a mystical camellia forest.  This year the camellia forest seemed particularly magical.  The sprits of the camellia trees seemed to speak to me, and I could not resist having one of my own which I will keep in a pot.  The one I selected is one of the fragrant varieties and it is called koto no kaor which means "Scent of Ancient City".  This is a photo of a cutting of koto no kaor that the owner of Nucci's gave me.  The one I purchased had small buds that were not quite ready to bloom, and I was told that mine would be ready to bloom by next year.  Well, low and behold as I write this on March 3rd, one of the buds has swelled and opened!  I will take a photo of it this weekend to post.

I should also mention, the clematis I have growing in a pot that has suddenly decided to grow profusely!  I almost threw this plant away thinking it wouldn’t come back since it was in a pot, but I held onto it and put it aside.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, it is growing like crazy!  So glad I kept it!  I'll try to photograph that this weekend as well.

In addition, I have a pot of Lily of the Valley that just this week started to show flowers.  I purchased the pips from White Flower Farm and they were pre-chilled so they would bloom in just a few weeks immediately.  In my climate, Lily of the Valley is very difficult to grow because it doesn't get cold enough in the winter.  This is another one of my favorite flowers and it is also my signature scent that I wear.  It reminds me of my Grandmother who had tons of them growing in her yard.

Lastly, here are some images of some of the other flowers gracing my garden with their good vibes and positive energy.  


Calla Lily

Nasturtium (This has started blooming like crazy over the past few weeks.)
Granny's Bonnet / Columbine

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of every month.  I'm a bit late this time, but better late then never!