Showing posts with label roses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roses. Show all posts

Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Spring Garden

Dawn and Dusk.

This year my spring garden has been more floriferous than ever. My climbing 'New Dawn' rose and clematis 'Etoile Violette' on the porch are looking even fuller than last year! Other plantings that were just getting established last year are starting to come into their own, like this old-fashioned iris my mother used to grow in her garden. It may not be as showy as the newer varieties, but its wonderful perfume, which many of the other varieties lack, more than makes up for it.

Old-fashioned iris

With such warm weather during the winter the grape hyacinths bloomed early, although the new batch I planted last fall (a mixture of several varieties) didn't bloom until late April, along with the Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides). The new pink dogwood in the background complemented the soft blues beautifully.

Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) with pink dogwood

The rhododendron planted on our first spring here (I've forgotten the variety, probably 'Yaku Princess') finally put out a few blossoms this year, though the leaves sustained a lot of winter damage. I hope that now that it's getting more shade it will continue to improve. In this alkaline soil, it's hard to grow acid-loving plants such as azaleas and rhododrendrons.

Rhododendron 'Yaku Princess'

The 'Admiral Semmes' azalea planted last year didn't put out much bloom his year, it will need more time to get going. I had expected the flowers to be yellow, but the soft peach color is as lovely as the fragrance (It's a cross between the southern Azalea austrinum and Exbury hybrids).

'Admiral Semmes' azalea


I had ordered a metal arbor structure for the clematis that my sister Bea gave me last year but
I've been having trouble assembling it, so the poor vine is just leaning against a couple of bamboo stakes at the moment. Lovely flowers, though I can't remember the exact variety-- it looks like it might be 'Nellie Moser'.

The east bed

The Japanese maples on the east side of the house are growing nicely. Recently I put in two new native trees--a sourwood (Oxydenrum arboreum) to shade the Carolina Silverbell (Halesia caroliniana) partly visible on the left in this photo, and a honey locust in the back yard. The trees came bare-root and the recent rainy spell has helped the locust to start budding out, but the sourwood appears to be dead--I may have to call the nursery where it was bought to replace it.

Irises and Double Knockout rose

The front walk.

The irises in the front didn't perform as well this year--perhaps they need to be given a bit more room to spread? But the general tapestry by the front walk is finally starting to look as I had envisioned. The expansion and consolidation of the backyard beds continues, with two new shrubs: a Fothergilla gardenii and a Blue Mist shrub (Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Longwood Blue').

Today, I have quite a number of annuals and a couple of perennials to plant, so I'm off to toil in the garden. Happy springtime, dear friends!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

More Garden Photos

 Pink Petal Pushers and Red Simplicity roses with hybrid Peace between them.

New Dawn Rose and Clematis Etoile Violette

Cumberland Azalea (Azalea bakeri)

Stella D'Oro daylilies, catmint and Itea 'Little Henry' bloom in front of the Little Indians.

Little Indians bed looking up the hill on the east side.

Yellow daylilies at the base of a red maple, new houses in back.

Front bed by the driveway: creeping phlox, barberry,, white salvia, red yarrow and lavender.

Blueberry 'Top Hat' and 'Mara de Bois' strawberries.

Not much to say except that my garden continues its seasonal growth, and show you its beauty. These are photos taken from the beginning of June through last week. Now in early July the major flush of flowers are done, and the Japanese beetles are decimating the roses. The chiggers have been attacking mercilessly, forcing me to spend less time outdoors.

In another week I'll be flying out to Montana, to be Artist in Residence at Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park. It's a good time to take a vacation from the garden to enjoy and paint the alpine wildflowers at Glacier.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Darling Buds of May

Pink peony bud.

After two very rainy and chilly weeks the sun finally came out last week, coaxing those darling buds of May to start opening. The irises came to perfection a bit earlier than I had expected, while the roses bid their time.

The front walk.

On impulse, I bought a new pink iris to reward myself after a hard week. I'd have to expand one of the flower beds to make room for it, but that would give me room to separate and replant some of the the irises in this front bed that are getting a bit crowded.

Pink iris.

The irises in the back yard suffered from fungal leaf spots, perhaps because it's been so wet, so it seemed best to put the new iris bed behind the peonies in the front, where the drainage and air circulation are better. I waited a week for the ground to dry out, and still, a few evening showers interrupted my labors. Yesterday evening despite the heat, I finally managed to get in the new iris and separate some of the others--voila!

The new iris bed.

As I was working on the expansion, the rosebuds began to open. Ah, is there anything as lovely s a rose, except perhaps many more roses?

The red Double Knockout rose by the front walk.

My 'Etoile Violette' clematis and climbing rose 'New Dawn' have grown into a sizable array after three years--earlier in the spring I pruned the rose and trained it farther up the porch pillar. It's now grown into a graceful "S" curve and gradually come into full bloom.

Rose and Clematis last week in May.
Rose and Clematis, first week in June.


Other plantings are filling out nicely too, more on those in the next post. My garden keeps on growing, fuller and more lush each year. The garlic spray has kept the deer from eating my roses, at last, I can enjoy them in their glory!

Evening in the garden.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Glorious Roses

Rose 'New Dawn' with Clematis 'Etoile Violette.'

In late May my garden explodes with bloom, and roses, my mother's favorite flower, are the main feature. I love this particular combination of the climbing rose 'New Dawn' with the Clematis 'Etoile Violette' that is starting to spread over the porch.

Rose 'Double Knockout'

The rose 'Double Knockout' planted three years ago is really living up to its name, and the pink 'Petal Pushers', now two years old is making a nice show, along with a red 'Simplicity' behind. The two hybrid tea roses planted last fall, 'Peace' and Veteran's Honor' are still struggling to become established in my rocky shale, though I did get one lovely flower from 'Peace.'

Rose bed

Hybrid tea rose 'Peace'

The Flame azalea planted two springs ago is also developing nicely, and will probably become the subject of a painting as soon as I can find some time. I wish my trees would grow faster and provide more shade so I could plant more rhododendrons and azaleas--the mainstay of spring gardens in this area. But a gardener must be patient... sometimes it seems the more desirable a plant, the more delicate and slower it grows.

Flame azalea
Red Alchemilla with white salvia, lavender and peonies.

In the meantime, herbaceous perennials in other colors brighten the surrounding flower beds. As a painter, I love a riot of color in flowers and foliage. As a gardener, my greatest fault is that I tend to change my mind about where a plant looks best, so I end up moving bedding plants and even trees after I've planted them when I see a better spot, or realize the plant is not prospering where I've put it. I believe that like in art, changing the position of an element or two can improve the overall composition.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Scent of Roses at Giverny

Roses at Giverny, watercolor, 10" x 14" - $125

May is the month of flowers, when nature is profligate with her gifts, and there is nothing like the scent of roses in the air... except perhaps the delicate perfume of irises. Why has no one created an iris-scented perfume?

My climbing rose, an old-fashioned pink cabbage-type twining around the deck railing, is about to burst into bloom. This spring has been so rainy, my irises have flopped over, but the neighborhood azaleas and rhododendrons are loving the extra water.

Longing for sunny days, I remembered this small watercolor painted during a visit to Giverny, Monet's home in the French countryside. Two friends and I visited on a Monday, when Giverny is closed to tourists but artists are allowed in to paint, if you don't mind an army of gardeners bustling all around you. Monet was a great artist through and through: his house and garden as much a work of art as his paintings.

The big pink house with its green shutters was trellised with thousands of roses of many colors sparkling in the sun. My friend Marguerite (with hat) appears in the foreground, painting from a nearby bench. It was a day to treasure, as I hope someone will treasure my little painting. Send me an E-mail at if you are interested in buying it. I can accept PayPal, or a check if I know you or you are recommended by a friend.