Tag Archives: old-fashioned rose

Wordless Wednesday – Deep Color In Late June

Virgie’s Rose

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Hemerocallis (Daylily) from Mercers’ in Fayetteville, NC

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Bumblebee (Bombas) on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

In A Vase On Monday – April’s Mixed Bouquet

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Coral Charm Peony opened last week and how I wish  I could encourage it to be patient: “Take your time beautiful flowers.” One of seven buds opened, followed immediately by the other six at once.  The effect is breathtaking and although I usually I do not mind cutting flowers to bring indoors, I could bear to yield just one for today’s vase.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima,’ loaded with buds, offered up two more large flowers.

With this elegant beginning the garden then beckoned “choose me, choose me!”   Irises, roses, snapdragons all sang out.

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet Bronze’ (Snapdragon)
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’
Iris germanica ‘Orinoco Flow’
Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’
Iris Tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Rosa (old-fashioned family passalong rose)
Foliage
Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
Penstemon Digitalis ‘Husker Red’
Peony leaves
Vase
Red/black raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase highlighting what is growing in our gardens.

Virgie was my mother’s first cousin and she shared her love of gardening and lots of plants with me over the years. Her passalong rose is blooming this week and it seemed destined to feature in today’s vase.

When I began photographing the arrangement the heuchera leaf front and center at the lip of the vase seemed much too dark; I added a white snapdragon so it would not leave a black hole.  Later I decided I liked the balance of the other flowers without that central snapdragon.  Now I cannot decide so thought I would show both ways. The top two images show the original design and these next two show the modified one with the additional snapdragon.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Accompanying the roses is a branch of Flowering Dogwood. Dogwood is native to North Carolina and serves as our state flower.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Other white flowers include a late blooming narcissus, whose name I wish I knew, and the aforementioned snapdragon, Speedy Sonnet White.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

A few pink and red dianthus were added for accent and texture.

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

As concealer foliage I used young leaves of Big Top Bronze Heuchera with their reddish undersides, along with spring green fern-like tansy leaves (one is visible in the upper right corner).

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus ‘Speedy Sonnet White’ (Snapdragon)
Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Dianthus Ideal Select Mix
Narcissus
Rose
Foliage
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Vase
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

In A Vase On Monday – Rose and White

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower-filled vases across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place in a vase this week. Good health and peace to you.

In A Vase On Monday—Peonies

In A Vase On Monday – Peonies

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

The garden reached its springtime peak this week as irises, roses and peonies shared the spotlight in the borders. Today’s vase focuses on 3 varieties of frilly pink peonies with a couple stems of phlox and roses as companions.

In A Vase On Monday – Peonies

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ was the first peony I bought for my garden—fully double, vibrant pink, lightly fragrant.

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Pink Parfait Peony)

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Pink Parfait Peony)

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ has salmon-pink and rose flowers with a double center and is highly fragrant.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ (on right)

I think this light pastel pink is Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt,’ a passalong from my garden club friend Jane. This is its second year in my garden but its first year blooming. Flowers are large and very fragrant.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’

Materials
Flowers
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Pink Parfait Peony)
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (passalong from Jane)
Phlox divaricata (passalong Woodland phlox)
Rosa (old-fashioned family passalong rose)
Foliage
Container
Tall Glass Vase

Have a great week!

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

In A Vase On Monday—Coral Charm

In A Vase On Monday—Coral Charm. Photographed Sunday morning.

Each Monday Cathy from Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase assembled from materials collected in our gardens.

I cut two newly opened Coral Charm peonies on Thursday and the rest of these peonies Friday before an expected rain and conditioned them overnight.  I arranged them Saturday morning and have enjoyed watching them open from almost bud stage. Here they are just after being placed into a vase Saturday.

In A Vase On Monday—Coral Charm.  Photographed Saturday morning.

The color is softening as the flowers mature, shifting from pink coral into yellow apricot by Sunday morning, especially noticeable in the ones cut earlier in the week.

In A Vase On Monday—Coral Charm. Photographed Sunday morning.

By Sunday night the peonies were even more magnificent. I did not think they could get any fuller but they have.

Expansive blooms by Sunday evening

 

A glimpse from the side of the arrangement, Sunday evening.

Materials

Flowers
Allium Aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Rosa (old-fashioned family passalong rose)
Foliage
Container
Dark blue matte ceramic jar

I could show you dozens and dozens of photos of these Coral Charms, but none of them do justice to the real thing.

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

After The Rain

Rosa (Rose) -Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

The garden was soggy yesterday after an afternoon storm that brought wind and rain. Temperatures were in the 80s F. this week, but will be 70s today after the storm. It has been a lovely, long spring in the garden. Often we move from winter right into hot summer days and the blooms don’t have a chance to linger.

My mother’s older cousin, Virgie, passed along many of her plants through the years. This rose is one she, my grandmother, mother, my daughter for a time (when she had a yard) and I think another cousin from my generation all have grown. It is sweetly fragrant.

Rosa (Rose) -Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

The underside of this heuchera shows reminds me of a young child showing her colorful petticoat. In back, hellebores continue to provide interest. What’s not to love about a plant that will bloom for months without demanding anything. The heuchera was purchased, but the hellebores were passed along by garden club friend Vicki.

Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)

Dianthus is an old-fashioned favorite and has been so perfect this spring. It is planted among Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood), both of which were purchased last spring.

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)

More irises have opened this week. Many of mine were passalongs from a former neighbor, Henrietta on Wave Road, circa 1977.  (Columbine has spread to every corner of the garden, not always creating the best color combinations. Time to cut it back.)

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) (bearded German Iris) with Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) in background

Iris germanica (Tall bearded iris) (bearded German Iris)

Though there are lots of bold colors in the garden, the soft fresh greens of spring are evident everywhere. The redbud in the southwest corner is another passalong from friend, Chase. I spotted two volunteers yesterday I hope to pot up and pass on to another gardener.  Passalongs carry happy memories.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

In A Vase On Monday – May Flowers

In A Vase On Monday – May Flowers

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. The garden is happy this month—more peonies are flowering and my heirloom rose opened this week.

Each peony is so large as to fill a vase just on its own. When gathering them I cut their stems short so as to leave as many buds as possible on the shrubs. This made it difficult to arrange them.

I thought I would use one each of Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima,’ ‘Pink Parfait’ and ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ but there was not enough room in the Ikebana vase I had chosen. Even replacing one with Iris germanica ‘Immortality’ gave the vase a crowded look.

Iris germanica ‘Immortality,’ Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ and Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

I decided to rework the vase using roses if I had time later, so eventually I started over.

The old-fashioned rose is the fullest in several years. My mother’s first cousin shared this rose with me many years ago and I brought it to this garden 17 years ago. My mother and her mother also grew this rose, as did my daughter for a couple of years before she moved to California. She is visiting us this week with her husband so has been able to enjoy the garden as it reaches its peak.

Old-fasioned Rose and Spiderwort

Just as I began cutting the roses we had a downpour, so I only had a couple to use. The roses ended up on the left side near the base.

In A Vase On Monday – May Flowers

‘Madame Emile Debatene’ made a come-back at the upper middle of the design, just a slightly open bud,  and this time with a long stem to provide some height. Here is what it looks like when opened more fully.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’

‘Festiva Maxima’ is anchored on the right. I did not have time to gather more flowers, but I could have used two or three more roses to offset the size of the white peony.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Several stems of sunrise-hued snapdragons enhance the color palette and add texture.

In A Vase On Monday – May Flowers

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Old-fashioned Rose

I was not completely satisfied. I still wanted to use the third peony, Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait,’ so I found a way and I think it helped balance out the design.

In A Vase On Monday – May Flowers

Materials
Flowers
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Iris germanica ‘Immortality’
Old-fashioned Rose
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)
Foliage
Peony
Vases
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)
Rounded white glass bowl

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

A Rose For Mother’s Day

My grandmother and mother grew this rose and every spring I look forward to its appearance in my own garden. The rose of my childhood, my family used to wear this rose each year on Mother’s Day Sunday.

Virgie's Old-fashioned Rose

Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

It was Virgie, my mother’s first cousin and my gardening mentor, who passed along this rose to me, soon after I was married. The rose grew at my previous Wave Road garden and when we moved a few miles away to our current location, my daughter valiantly helped me fight thorns and dig roots so we could bring the rose to our new home.

[I shared a piece with my daughter when she and her new husband moved into their own home, one of many things that did not fit into the back of a station wagon when they later moved to California—yet I loved that she grew it for a time.]

VIrgie's Old-fashioned Rose

VIrgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

Virgie contributed not only this rose, but numerous other things that still thrive in my garden: Dusty Miller, Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant), Spiraea prunifolia (bridal wreath spiraea).

Other plants I have had to replace, but that she taught me to love are Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’, Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion) and Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William).

One I regret leaving behind is Calycanthus fluorides (Carolina spicebush, eastern sweetshrub). Several gardens on last week’s garden tour featured sweetshrub.

So, anyway a tribute to family and to a family rose on Mother’s Day.

Virgie's Old-fashioned Rose

Virgie’s Old-fashioned Rose

In A Vase On Monday – Pink Triumvirate

Peony, Phlox and Roses-6

Once again I am joining Cathy for In A Vase On Monday, a weekly challenge to fill a vase using materials gathered from one’s garden. Three pinks come together for this week’s arrangement.

Peony, Phlox and Roses

Peony, Phlox and Roses

 

My pass-along pink rose came into full bloom this past week. It is one I have grown almost since dinosaurs roamed, given to me by my garden mentor Virgie (my mother’s first cousin). This fragrant rose is one my mother and my maternal grandmother also grew and I keep it for its sentimental attachment.

Old-fashioned passalong rose

Old-fashioned passalong rose

 

I am very fond of the pink Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) that also opened last week. It is yet another of VIrgie’s pass-alongs.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

I ordered two peonies from an apparently very unreliable source a couple of years ago.  Last year one of them, Paeonia lactiflora Duchess de Nemours, bloomed and turned out to be more likely Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’. This week the second peony bloomed for the first time. It was supposed to be Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony) with a dark burgundy colored flower, according to the picture in the catalog. Accompanying text proclaimed, “nearly black bloom.”  Instead, lovely but pink.

Peony

Peony

Materials

Paeonia
Rose
Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Peony, Phlox and Roses

Peony, Phlox and Roses

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Please visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

May Flowers

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

The garden found its confidence this week, reaching that special springtime peak of blooms that brings abundance, exuberance and balance. It brought such enjoyment and excitement I could hardly contain myself. I checked on the garden’s progress over and over throughout each day and it filled my thoughts even when I had to be elsewhere.

This spring, unlike the past few, I have not been able to dedicate my time to gardening, and when I had time I often did not feel that pull of the garden’s magic calling me to come out and play. This means the weeding has never been quite finished; tradescantia, columbine, common roadside daylilies and other unruly spreaders have not been brought under control; no compost or mulch has been carefully laid to accentuate the beds. But, the garden forgave all this and rewarded me anyway with, as my pbmGarden tagline suggests, a sense of place, purpose, rejuvenation and joy.

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ is a true delight at the top of the Southern side path near the entrance to the main garden. Native Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’ (visible in the middle right-hand side) is just coming into flower in front of a mound of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood). Sunny yellow bearded irises have been blooming for two full weeks and were among the first irises to open.

Clematis 'Jackmanii' in Southern Side Path

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ in Southern Side Path

The southern border is full of pale yellow Japanese Iris and a few Iris germanica (Bearded iris), such as this dark, almost black, one.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) in Southern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) in Southern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Yesterday one of this border’s three peonies opened. All three were planted last year. One, Paeonia lactiflora ‘Black Beauty’ (Nightlife Peony), has no buds this year, so it must want another year to mature. Another peony came from a plant exchange in my neighborhood and has a few buds. It is Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima.’

This white one with red accents was purchased as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchess de Nemours’ but it turned out to be Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’. [Thanks to Chloris for identifying it.]

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’

Farther down the border are two rose bushes, the same old-fashioned one featured in my last Monday vase. This special pass-along rose is full of pink blossoms. Nearby, visible in the lower left, is a newly added smooth hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball ‘Abetwo’. Incrediball was recommended last year by Carolyn.

Old-fasioned Rose

Old-fasioned Rose

In nearly opposite position, on the northern side of the garden, another of these roses is growing, alongside a huge clump of Tradescantia (Spiderwort).
Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Old fasioned Rose

The northern border is full of Iris germanica (Bearded iris). This dusky lavender one is another pass-along from my friend Henrietta. It is one of the latest to open.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

This nearly black bud is the same Iris germanica (Bearded iris) as the one shown earlier that was blooming in the southern border. It will open to a dark purple.

Nearly black Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Nearly black Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

I adore this Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) and began last year trying to re-establish it in my garden. It seems a rather old-fashioned flower that I do not see growing often. The bloom carries a sweet fragrance.

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)

Yet another Iris from my friend Henrietta many years ago, this has pale lavender standards and regal purple falls tinged with oxblood and white.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) In Northern Border

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) are all in bloom, filling the Northern Border with color and just filling it in general. It was not long ago that the borders seemed empty.

Northern Border

Northern Border

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Meadow Sage ‘May Night’, Tradescantia (Spiderwort), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) In Northern Border

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) In Northern Border

This Phlox is another pass-along from my garden mentor that I have grown now for many years. It just began blooming in the last couple of days.

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) In Northern Border

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) In Northern Border

Also opening this week, Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint) is easy to grow and low maintenance. It works well as a front of the border plant.

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Behind the Nepeta another peony, Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ is preparing to bloom.

eony Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Peony Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’

Here is a longer view, looking down the length of the northern border toward the west. I had to remove some winter-damaged trees from the western border, leaving a few problem areas I try to spin as growth opportunities.

Northern Border With Meditation Circle

Northern Border With Meditation Circle

There are a lot of other individual plants creating interest when viewed close-up, but I must leave them for another time. I will wrap this up for today with a few general garden views of the May garden.

Garden View With Meditation Circle

Garden View With Meditation Circle

Garden View With Meditation Circlw

Garden View With Meditation Circlw

Garden View With Meditation Circle

Garden View With Meditation Circle

Garden View Toward Southwest Corner

Garden View Toward Southwest Corner

Garden View Toward Southern Border

Garden View Toward Southern Border

Hope your garden is making you happy today.

 

In A Vase On Monday—Roses And Lavender

Roses and Lavender

Roses and Lavender

It is the first Monday of May and I am joining Cathy’s weekly challenge In A Vase On Monday to create a floral arrangement from materials gathered in one’s own garden.

This weekend when I saw my old-fashioned rose had begun blooming I immediately decided to feature it in my Monday vase. It is a sentimental favorite.

A pass-along rose

A pass-along rose

I brought this rose from my previous garden when we moved here thirteen years ago. It was a pass-along from my mother’s cousin, a sweet woman whom I consider my gardening mentor. She was the source of many other pass-along plants as well. My mother had also grown this same rose, as did my maternal grandmother, so each spring when I see these deep pink buds, they bring tender memories.

Roses and Lavender-2

Lavender branches seemed a perfect choice for greenery and for contrast included Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage). I selected a few salmony-pink Dianthus as filler flowers.

Roses and Lavender-6

 

 

When doing formal arrangements I always underestimate how much material is required. With a bare spot still needing to be filled I remembered a piece of Allium Nigrum had broken off in the garden the other day before it even had opened, so I had brought it inside. It worked fine to finish this week’s vase.

White flower of Allium Nigrum was a last minute addition to the arrangement.

White flower of Allium Nigrum was a last minute addition to the arrangement.

Materials List
Old-fashioned Rose
Lavender
Dianthus ‘Ideal Select Salmon’
Salvia Dorada ‘Aurea’ (Golden Sage)
Allium Nigrum

This design is my loose interpretation of a traditional round design. The rose stems were not strong enough to work with easily, but the arrangement went together without too much fretting. I used floral foam set into a 4-inch diameter, shallow dish to hold the flowers, envisioning that the arrangement would sit atop a crystal vase. Because I had not been careful to conceal the sides of the plastic dish, the effect was imperfect though.  I tested the arrangement on a round, straight-sided black ceramic pot and also without an extra vase.  In the morning perhaps I will gather a few concealer leaves or flowers to resolve that issue.

Roses and Lavender-5

The roses and lavender are wonderfully fragrant. My husband remarked how nice the house smells tonight.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting. Visit her to see what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday.

May Garden Interests

While irises have captured most of my attention in the garden this spring, other plants have competently played supporting roles and many more are leading the way as transition toward the warmer season takes place.

An amaryllis I have been watching to develop surprised me today when it opened up and was white, not red. I also found one with a red bud nearby.  These flowers did not bloom well last year and I had forgotten the particulars of them.

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)

Pincushion Flower is an enchanting name for this plant, nicer sounding than Scabiosa. This plant seldom last more than a couple of seasons in my garden and this is year two. It has been blooming well this year, starting just over a month ago. The cooler temperatures and plentiful rain this spring seem to have kept it happy. If I can force myself to do regular deadheading it will help.

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'  (Pincushion Flower)

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Pincushion Flower)

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'  (Pincushion Flower)

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’ (Pincushion Flower)

Slow to open this year the peony flowers show some browning after heavy rains this week. In the previous two years this ‘Pink Parfait’ bloomed by May 11, but this year, still waiting.

Paeonia 'Pink Parfait'

Paeonia ‘Pink Parfait’ (Peony)

A Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ purchased last year is beginning to bloom. I enjoyed it last year so purchased 3 new ones this winter by mail order, this time ‘Red Fox’ Veronica. They arrived bare-root and are still very small.

Veronica spicata 'Pink Goblin' (Speedwell)

Veronica spicata ‘Pink Goblin’ (Speedwell)

This black iris has a few more blooms open today.

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  Black Iris

Iris germanica (Bearded iris) Black Iris

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena) has been blooming for a couple of weeks and now several thymes are also beginning to flower. Echinacea is shooting up in many of the borders and forming buds. In the meditation circle Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ and Penstemon mexicali ‘Pike’s Peak Purple’ both opened today.

Every Southern garden should have hydrangeas and, thanks to Jayme at EntwinedLife, my garden has a healthy hydrangea that not only has survived, but is forming flowers. Thank you Jayme.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

This year I ordered an Allium Raspberry and Cream Collection, which is in fact a mixture of Allium Nigrum and Allium Atropurpureum. One Allium Nigrum is open this week.

Allium Nigrum

Allium Nigrum

To end this this garden tour today I will mention my family’s old-fashioned rose that my grandmother and mother grew. This was passed along eons ago by my mother’s cousin and my dear garden mentor. She shared with me so many of her favorite plants and they have become my favorites too.

Old-fashioned Rose

Old-fashioned Rose

Early May Garden Views and Notes – Part 1

Forecasts warned today would be 92 degrees. Since there are a few new things in the garden I spent some time selectively watering them very early this morning. With the garden still sheltered at this time of morning by shade from the house, it was a peaceful time to be outside.

View from the Southern Border

With the grass freshly mown the garden is vibrant.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) has moved into every available bit of soil, making the garden burst with color during the morning. By mid-day the little blue-violet flowers close up, diminishing the garden’s overall impact. I began cutting back large swaths of spiderwort this morning to make room for emerging echinacea purpurea, liatris spicata, foxglove and maybe a few more plants.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) has bloomed prolifically for six weeks and is beginning to go to seed. I removed many of the flower stalks today to make the garden look tidier and to prevent further proliferation of this native wildflower.

The one-year-old ‘Blue Point’ Juniper hedge is growing well, although I did notice a worrisome brown branch on one. Probably I need to clear some room around the trees to give them adequate sun and air to keep them healthy.

Japanese irises and white and black bearded irises continue to provide color and interest at one end of the southern border. The old-fashioned rose at the other end of the border is waning quickly. A group of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) caught the early morning sun as light began to enter the garden.

Remembering With Roses

Old-fashioned Rose

Dappled by early morning sun, two rose bushes sit side-by-side against the white picket fence in the southern bed, gracing the air with gentle fragrance and memories.

Last year I wrote about the importance of the old-fashioned rose in my garden. Each year I look forward to the blooms. They are early this year by eleven days and as welcome as ever, these beautiful roses, passed-along and carried along deep inside of me.

An Old-fashioned Rose

Blooming along with the irises this week is a dear favorite, a fragrant, old-fashioned rose. An almost too-late pruning has reduced the number of buds this year.  This type of rose blooms once in the spring, with only an occasional flower appearing in the fall.

This is the rose of my childhood, always blooming in my hometown at Mother’s Day in the yards of my mother, my grandmother, and my mother’s older cousin.  My mother’s cousin was a sweet and funny woman who became my garden mentor. She passed along a section of her rose for my very first garden, where it thrived year after year on near-total neglect.

When I moved to this present garden, the rose moved too. As coincidences happen, the day of this lady’s death, at age 96 or so, occurred on the day of the move.  The rose, as well as other pass-along plants she shared with me, today hold lovely memories of a special relationship built on kinship and gardening.

Remembering Gardens and Gardeners

Garden View January 2011

This current garden, so in need of rejuvenation, has been in place since 2001 when our house was built. As the house was being readied, in the back yard of the mere quarter-acre property, beds were laid out on three sides at the perimeters. Significant soil improvements enabled me to easily and successfully transport a great number of plants from my previous garden. Thus the new garden was quickly established, even though it was during a serious summer drought, and with few actual purchases at first.  It does not look like much now, but has at times been quite colorful and interesting.

Garden View April, 2006

Structure will be a key focus of the garden’s redevelopment. I’ve never been pleased with the structure of this current border garden, sitting so exposed as it is in the suburban closeness of vehicles, concrete drives, and air conditioners. But the plants themselves are dear.  This is my memory or heirloom garden, full of plants that brought with them the history of my original garden in rural Orange County.

Sadly few pictures exist from that original garden, none close at hand anyway; nor does the garden still exist.  This fact may make it easy to idealize that space a bit now, but deservedly so. It was occasionally spectacular! It was my first experiment with a perennial garden, marked with winding, sloping paths that led to different sections of the half-acre yard.  Sitting among mature pines, bordered with rocks, some spaces were getting sun for the first time in years after storms had felled numerous trees.  These played host to phlox, daylilies, and irises.  Still there were plenty of shady niches for woodland plants such as Jacob’s Ladder or bluebells, and the azaleas thrived and birds found homes.

A special relative from my home town, an elderly, wise and funny woman, became my gardening mentor.  A visit to her house nearly always ended outside among her rambling, treasured plantings of sasanqua, rose campion, spiderwort, old-fashioned rose, spirea, pussy willow and crabapple trees; and on the trip home the car was full of cuttings she had generously shared.   Another dear friend contributed plants, some of which were divisions of natives she had rescued during construction of Jordan Lake.  My daughter participated as well, sketching garden plans and recording planting sequences.  That first garden just coalesced into a gratifying unity of nature and dear people and there I felt a special sense of place.