Friday, June 15, 2018

Roses and ratings ~

The Climbing Eden rose in my garden is in full bloom. It is a bit late this year, it must have harboring its strength because now that it is in full flower it is spectacular.

Each flower is a joy - large, full petaled and the most wonderful soft pink color.

Of course they are perfect for bouquets, and very long lasting as cut flowers.

Just another wonderful, wonderful, rose!

I have decided that the quote below is perfect for my garden. Instead of worrying about my weeds I am taking a new approach. Ancient Egyptians said that: 

"A beautiful thing is never perfect".

Accepting that although my garden will never be completely weed free, or totally manicured, it can still be beautiful (at least in my eyes) makes me happy. That, and a few beautiful roses!

Maybe perfection is a bit overrated.

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, June 4, 2018

A question of taste ~

This path leads mysteriously to one of my favorite places in the garden.
This area is out in the front and although I can see and hear cars go by they seem very removed - it is nicely sheltered and private, the perfect spot for some new friends.
Now I must warn you that this is not to everyone's taste and borders for many gardeners on tackiness. 

It all started when earlier in the spring I won a garden gnome at my garden class fund raiser. I have never been particularly drawn to gnomes, but he was awfully cute and once I brought him home I had to figure out what to do with him. My garden is large and small things can easily get lost... I decided to find a place where he could be featured.  This involved some type of container as I didn't want to just 'plunk' him down. Once again it was succulents to the rescue. I put him in a pot, planted it with succulent cuttings and added some ceramic mushrooms that I already had (for some reason, in my mind mushrooms and gnomes go together).

 He looked quite charming nestled in amongst the plants, but a little lonely - he needed a friend, and I decided that I needed a little Gnome Garden. Besides I always like things in threes.

So, my original gnome has been joined by two others...

...and with this little guy riding on a snail my gnome collection and my Gnome Garden is complete!

I will bring these inside for the cooler weather, when I take down all of the umbrellas. I think it will fun to have this be a seasonal thing to do. 

Like it or not, I have enjoyed doing this and I think that a bit of whimsy lends appeal. Gardens should be enjoyable in many different ways.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have a bit of whimsy in your day.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The other deck ~

I always loved the idea of walking into a house and being able to look through the entry hall into french doors leading outside. When we remodeled the front bedroom turning it into a library/media room, my wish was granted.

The old closet was taken out enlarging the hallway, a new door was put in and french doors added in the other room leading to a deck outside.

Over the years much has changed and last year I had the deck restored. During the winter months I didn't pay much attention to what was going on out there and when I took a hard look at the area last week I realized it needed some attention.

The rug which I had stored was unrolled and laid down and everything was washed. It still looked bare and then I remembered a table cloth out in the storage area that I used to have in the kitchen. I put it in the washing machine not quite knowing how it would turn out, but it made it through perfectly. The design and colors really add interest. I planted three pots with succulents (I need to fill them out with more). And then...

...put together another succulent arrangement for the table. Succulents won't need much watering through the hot summer months making them fairly carefree. I don't know what there is about succulents but it is almost impossible to make a succulent planting that doesn't look good. They are so much fun to work with.

The fireplace surround (and the chandelier) was hauled home from a building site long ago, it lends a focus to the area and gives me a place for some of my decorative birdhouses.

 The garden area next to the deck, has become a bit scruffy too. I have some thoughts about what to do down here but that is for another day.

Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A few things ~

This post is a bit of a muddle of some new things, finally completed projects and a suggestion.

A new thing - the Queen Anne's Lace I planted from six-packs several months ago blooming in the front border. This is only the second year I have used this plant and now I can't think of spring without it. I don't know if this is Ammi majus, or Daucus carota, both are commonly known as Queen Anne's Lace and are very similiar in appearance and growth habit I might be able to tell when I pull them out after blooming - the Daucus carota is supposed to smell like carrots; whatever, it is lovely.

Next is my big project, new arbors. Two arbors in the back garden are in very bad shape and need to be replaced, I am hoping to get them both done by the end of summer. I have started working on the first one and the most difficult part, cutting out and assembling all of the parts for the top, is almost done.
 (The look on the faces of men in the lumber department when I go in to buy lumber at Home Depot is priceless; it's like,,,what is this little lady doing.)

Then, a new needlepoint pillow. I actually finished the needlepoint part of the pillow a few months ago. It was an odd size so I had to make the pillow form to go inside, and then decide on the edging and what fabric I would use for the back of the pillow. Well, finally it is done! I am not exactly sure where I am going to put it but right now it is residing on this chair in the living room.

Now a recommendation. I have tried oodles of vitamin C serums at a variety of price points; I consider them very important for facial skin care. So far Kiehl's is the best. I have really noticed a difference since using it and I can't say that for many skin care products, in fact I liked it so well that I thought I would try the cleanser. If you are thinking about trying a new vitamin C serum you might want to try this one.

And finally, a new book on Sissinghurst. I love this garden and I thought this book would be a nice addition to my library.

 The rose,  Climbing Pinkie, lavish with bloom, beautiful, easy, almost thornless, suitable for any garden. 

I hope that you found something of interest in this post.

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spring rain ~

When I woke up Saturday morning it was raining which is a crazy major thing in Southern California this time of year - especially this year which has been very dry.

Rain for a gardener is always a reason to celebrate, there is something about rain, different from irrigation, that makes the colors in the garden pop.

I picked up my camera, threw a sweatshirt over my PJs, and went outside to take some photos. 

In the potager the scarecrow keeping watch was wet and dripping, but the new strawberry plants were very happy.

I love the way the gravel areas look after it rains.

This old wheelbarrow waiting to be planted with succulents, sits under a Honeylocust tree. The chartreuse color of the tree in spring is spectacular but never more so than during the mistiness of an overcast day.

A Gravel path in the front winding through roses, salvias and the last of the nasturtiums.

And lastly, along the driveway under the newly leafed out trees, yellow lantana, a wonderful trailing variety, shines bright and sunny in the drizzle.


I am reading a book about Sissinghurst, my favorite garden. The author says that,

 "the completely overblown carefreeness was typical of the garden during the Nicholsons' day when they could not manage - not did they want- exceptional tidiness at all times." 

This was very encouraging to hear, for my own garden, as much as I try, will never be completely tidy, weed free, nor anywhere near perfection - there is always some area in need of work and I find myself obsessing over this instead of enjoying what it does have to offer. 

Thank you Vita and Harold.

And, thank you for visiting.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A garden bouquet sent to you with best wishes for a delightful day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The purples of spring ~

While working in the garden this weekend I was surprised to notice all of the purple and lavender colored flowers blooming this time of year, far more abundant now than in the hot summer months.

From larkspurs to the mallow bush, which I have pruned into a small tree in the picture below, going along the driveway, to...

...the many salvias. Salvias by the way, have become one of my favorite plants, they are so dependable,  performing nicely in my hot inland garden. Both annuals and perennials they come in many types and colors, including this rich purple one you see below; it pairs well with the yellow lantana.

Then there are the irises. Iris was the name of the mythological Greek goddess of the rainbow and is such a suitable name for this plant as they come in an array of colors including lots of purple blends; all of them are lovely and many of the newer hybrids are re-blooming.

But the Queen of purple in my garden right now has to be the wisteria growing with abandon up and over the back deck.

I planted this wisteria vine two years ago. It was a bareroot plant from Home Depot, when I took it out of the package to plant it it was so frail and spindly that I didn't have a lot of hope for it's success. Last year it had a few passable blooms and at first this year I didn't think it was going to bloom at all.

Then look what happened! By next year it should reach completely around the deck and my main problem will be keeping it under control. But my, when it is in bloom it is marvelous and the fragrance is heavenly.

Thank you for visiting.

I hope that your garden is full of the beauty that comes with spring.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The greenhouse ~

In the back of the garden sits this little green house. I use it mostly to store extra pots and wicker baskets. Years ago a friend offered it to us if we could find a way to move it from their property to ours; obviously we did.

So here it sits, tucked away covered with this glorious climbing rose, making it almost hard to find this time of year.

The rose, Rosa Banksiae 'Alba Plena' is  the lesser known variety of the famous yellow form, Lady Banks (which happens in my garden to be growing right along side her sister; it was planted here many decades ago by the former owners of the garden). I planted the white one a few years ago when I first came across it and it has done quite well in this location.

The flowers bloom in multiples down long, slender, torn-less  stems. It is once blooming and has little scent, but in my opinion the lavish abundance and beauty while in bloom makes it worthy of a spot in any garden.

There are some things that make you realize the changing of the seasons, when I walk out and see this rose in flower I know that spring is at it's peak and summer is soon here.

As cute as the greenhouse is, as soon as the rose finishes blooming and I can cut it back a bit, I want to do a few minor repairs, re-glazing in some windows, and definitely, a new coat of paint. There is always something to take care of in a garden!


Today I finally planted the last of the new dahlia tubers. I went a little overboard with purchasing too many and did that thing that obsessive gardeners do - walking around the garden searching for a spot to plant. It took a while but they are all planted and with care should thrive and grow.

Thank you for visiting.