Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Simple joys ~

There is something about going out in the garden in the morning with your secateurs and a basket to  pick a few things for the house. Nothing too fancy or exotic, certainly not my bearded iris which I can't bear to cut, but just a few ordinary flowers that are blooming at the moment.


Recently I have been experimenting with foliage and flowers for cutting, things like Santa Barbara Daisies, that I didn't think would last or be good for bouquets. I have been surprised and it has broaden the range of materials.

Here is today's bounty: a few of the waning roses, larkspur, phomius, lantana, valerian, altromeria, and what appears to be a species salvia. 


These look so pretty to me simply placed in the basket that I hate to disturb them, but after a good soaking in a bucket of water they will make nice bouquets.


Simple joys are best.

Thank you for visiting

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Here today, gone tomorrow ~

Rosa, 'Old Blush', also known as 'Parsons' Pink China, and by several other names, is a China rose derived from Rosa chinensis, and is generally accepted as the first East Asian rose to reach Europe; this in the mid-eighteenth century.

For the past many weeks my Climbing Old Blush, a sport of the original bush rose, has looked like this:


Climbing Old Blush viewed from the back deck.

Glorious to behold. 

Now with our recently warm days the blooms are mostly gone. More will follow but nothing to equal the splendor of this. The good thing is that Old Blush blooms for a long time, starting in the winter months then reaching the crescendo you see here in spring.

Gardeners must learn to accept the ephemeral.

Thank you for visiting

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Little pleasures ~

I wanted to share a few little pleasures from my week.

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A new summer bag, delivered to my doorstep a couple of days ago all the way from China.

I like straw bags for the summer months, they seem to go with everything and their casualness fits the way I dress when it is hot. For the past few years I have had trouble finding one. A Google search brought this one to me. It was so inexpensive I really thought I would end up donating it to the local thrift store but it came and it is perfect, a very nice surprise. The new sunglasses, found at Marshall's, are tortoise shell colored and over-sized just like I prefer...


The bounty of this beautiful Eden rose, so plentiful in bloom that it allows me the pleasure of  making lush, long stemmed bouquets to take to friends...


...Planting Zinnia seeds.

 Zinnias are my favorite summer flowers they stand up and perform throughout our hot, hot, weather and grace the garden with bursts of color. I prefer the pink types and Giant Enchantress is my favorite, tall, with large candy-pink blooms, it is hard to miss in the garden.


There are few things that give more pleasure than starting a new book. I love to read books about living in Paris, this book by Kate Betts has gotten good reviews and looks very interesting. And talk about pleasure, who doesn't dream about the pleasure of living for a while in Paris.


Miss Twiggley...what gives her pleasure...falling asleep on the window seat in the bay window while watching birds visit the bird feeder outside. 

Little does she know the pleasure that she gives me.


I hope your days are filled with little pleasures too.

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Climbing Pinkie ~

When I replanted the border beneath my back deck I knew that I wanted a climbing rose to go around the deck across the railing. Preferably a pink rose that would be easy to train, stand up in the heat, easy care, and long blooming.

I immediately decided on Climbing Pinkie. Climbing Pinkie, a polyantha rose, was first introduced by Amstrong in 1952, It is a sport of another one of my favorite roses, China Doll. 



 The reason this decision was so easy to make was that I already had a Climbing Pinkie planted in the back garden. It is trained to go over the bridge by the pond and has
 all of the qualities I was looking for.

Every year, without fail it performs in this magical way. The first flush of bloom is the heaviest but it continues to flower through the summer months on into winter. Training this rose is made easier because it has few thorns and very pliable canes. 


Below you see the new planting around the deck this spring in it's second year of bloom. By next year I think it will have made it's way completely around.


But not only is Climbing Pinkie beautiful in the garden it is also great for cutting...an instant, very long lasting bouquet. What more could you ask for.


If you are interested in planting a Climbing Pinkie you can order one on line at The Antique Rose Emporium

Thank you for visiting.

Happy Gardening!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tiered stand ~

With the arrival of Spring I thought it was time to make a few decorative changes in the kitchen.
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 I decided to start by putting up one of my tiered stands. This stand is huge, if I would have known how large it really was I probable wouldn't have purchased it. The good news it very easily comes apart for storage...each tier fitting within the other.


I took it out, screwed it together and then...hmmm, what to put in it. I have pinned so many ideas for tiered stands that I should be an expert, but like with so many other things, I'm not. 

Then I remembered an adorable vintage tea set, a gift one Christmas from my brother, currently languishing in a closet; time to get it out and enjoy it.

I would put together a tea station. Why not, I love tea and brew a pot every morning, it would be nice to have everything in one central place.


It was fun to gather it all: different teas, napkins, accessories and two charming books on tea. The books given to me by very nice people...thank you again Ralph and Barbara, and you too Jerry. I dressed it up a with some lace and potted herbs.


Now I can pick a selection of tea, brew a pot, and read about it all at the same time! And, it looks rather nice.


I love an easy solution to a problem and if you really get stymied, sitting down with a cup of tea always helps.

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A little something ~

A little something pretty for your day...

Alstroemeria, Sea Lavender and Heavenly Bamboo


Alstroemerias are such great plants and have the wonderful habit of reseeding themselves, often in strange places, but never in my garden, unwanted. Paired here with Sea Lavender it makes a very long lasting bouquet.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Books, gardens, France and roses ~

I don't reread many books, so the fact that I am rereading both of these books says something about how good I think they are.

The first book is, On Gardening by Helen Dillion. To those of you who aren't familiar with her she is a well known garden authority and writer. Her garden in the Dublin suburb of Ranelegh is the most famous walled, and some think most beautiful, garden in Ireland. You can see a bit of it here: Dillon Garden. On a trip to Ireland I was lucky enough to be able to visit her garden which on certain days is open to the public. 

This book is comprised of  weekly articles she wrote for the Sunday Tribune. Written with wit and charm, full of useful tips and gardening philosophy it makes wonderful bedside reading. She has since written other books but this remains my favorite.
  

The other book is: The Greater Journey by David McCullough.

"From a dazzling beginning that captures the thrill of arriving in Paris in 1830 to the dawn of the 20th century the author chronicles the generations that came, saw and were captivated by Paris..." It is a compelling story of the French cultural contribution to America in among other things, medicine, art, and writing.

Fascinating, engaging, and well written it will entice any Francophile, armchair traveler, or those lucky enough to have visited, or plan to visit Paris. 

And this rose...
well it really doesn't have anything to do with books, it is just another one of the antique roses in my garden. I included it because it is so pretty!

Mrs John Laing.  Hybrid Perpetual, 1887

Happy reading. Enjoy your day and don't forget to smell the roses.

Thank you for visiting

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lavender dreams ~

For the past two years, in the far back reaches of the garden where things are a bit rugged and the plantings are very casual, I have been trying to make a lavender walk.

I love lavender, for its appearance in the garden and for its fragrance...it makes a wonderful  addition to bouquets and of course dries beautifully. I like to combine lavender, rosemary and a few roses to make dried bouquets; tied up with a ribbon they look so pretty. I also tuck bunches in my closet to thwart insects and odors. 

Butterscotch rose on the gazebo

But although some Lavenders do well for us I have had a little difficulty getting them established and I have come to the conclusion that in my garden they must be planted before it gets hot. Frequent irrigation will simply cause them to rot.

So I was very happy to walk into the garden shop a few weeks ago and see a nice selection of Lavender in gallon containers, available and ready to plant before summer arrives.


Below is the area where I put them. We were blessed with a nice rain the day after I planted them; plants always seem to do better if they get some rain right after planting. So far they are doing quite well and if they make it through the summer I am hoping that by next year both sides of the path will be completely filled in.


Gardening is so much fun!


Thank you for visiting. 
I hope you have a fragrance-filled day.