Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Bit of This and A Bit of That

I noticed this not so pretty bloom on Cecile Brunner the other day.

This flower didn't stop growing, and produced another bud right on top of it.  This phenomenon is called proliferation. Proliferation is not a disease but a chance mutation and is most often seen in roses. Some roses seem to be more susceptible to it than others, especially in spring, although all in all it is still a pretty rare sight (thank goodness!).

Unfortunately, upsetting things happen not only to roses. I injured my leg pretty badly last week, and so have been mostly absent from blogosphere, as well as all other computer-related activities because sitting has been pretty uncomfortable.

September Morn, a hybrid tea

Not only that, but standing on one leg and holding a heavy camera steady has proven to be beyond me, so I can't really take any good pictures anymore.

Lyda rose, a shrub

Hopefully, things will be back to normal in a week or two. I am looking forward to catching up with all my virtual friends. I miss you all!

A delphinium

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

GBBD - End of Summer Bounty

I was surprised to see the other day that Chinese pistacchio trees are beginning to turn color, and some of my cool season cyclamen have begun to bloom. Fall must be around the corner, even though it is still hot. Here are the last blooms of summer.

Unknown zinnia

The last of the penstemon blooms, Margarita BOP

"Shoen Ingeborg", a hybrid perpetual

Catananche "Amor White"

Souvenir de Victor Hugo, a tea

Penstemon Campanulatus

Just Joey, a hybrid tea

A dahlia

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rosa "Shoen Ingeborg"

I would like to share my delight in discovering this rare hybrid perpetual rose. I received it last October as a rooted cutting from Eurodesert Roses. Unfortunately, the nursery has closed recently, but I believe this variety may now be available at Vintage Gardens. My plant first bloomed at the beginning of April, and is now in its third flush. The flowers are beautiful clear pink rosettes with a strong peppery fragrance.

They fade to a blush pink...

... and then the petals drop off cleanly, so the plant always looks tidy. It sets generous clusters of blooms that have been opening consistently well.

My rose is still very young, and may eventually become stiff and leggy, like so many other hybrid perpetuals, but so far it has been bushy and well-foliated.

In fact, I can find almost no fault with it, except that it has been getting a touch of mildew recently. Perhaps it will pass. I don't know if it will rebloom again (hybrid perpetuals are known to be stingy with fall rebloom), but I will let you know.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rose Delights

We have had a fairly gentle summer so far, and I am seeing lots of new canes develop on my roses. Two of my roses have been especially enthusiastic with basal breaks this year. One is William Shakespeare 2000, a shrub rose from David Austin.

This cultivar is known for producing horizontal canes, and on my two bushes a lot of canes still want to lie on the ground weighed down by lots of heavy blooms. But the four new basals above all stand up.  Can it be a new, and a better, trend?

The other one is Jude the Obscure, another English rose with a delicious fragrance reminiscent of fruit and sweet white wine. It has been in my garden for quite a while, always a demure well-behaved bush, nicely rounded and not at all aggressive in its growth habit.

Jude the Obscure last year

But this year it started producing 6' tall canes! I wonder if it is eventually going to be so tall (too big!), or is it getting ready to climb? If you grow this rose in a warm climate, please let me know :).

The three new canes it gave me had big clusters of blooms and were waving around in the wind. I was afraid they might snap before they harden off, so I cut off all the blooms and put them in a vase. The fragrance is wonderful!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Walk Through the Garden - Part III

We have been having some really nice weather recently - warm, almost hot days and really cool evenings and mornings. It seems that fall is just around the corner, although usually it stays hot through September...

My Yves Piaget, a Romantica hybrid tea, is now a mature rose and producing lots of blooms. The fragrance is wonderful, and I love the the deep pink globular blooms, but the clusters are really too heavy for the stems, and the rose in full flush almost topples over. I wonder if I should be more ruthless and prune it harder, or maybe the rose still needs to get a bit older. 

I love lavender but it does not love me. Most of my yard is on regular sprinkler irrigation, and I have tried and tried to find drier spots to fit some lavender in, but I have had little luck. I killed a lot of plants until I found one spot where I could fit three plants that now form a wonderful short hedge on the side of the patio. We regularly brush against them when we pass, and the fragrance is wonderful. I wish I could grow more, but I am happy enough to enjoy the few plants I have...

Mme Isaac Pereire is an old bourbon rose with deep pink blooms and a strong fragrance which is described as raspberry. My plant has almost constant foliage problems, a little better or worse depending on weather. The blooms are gorgeous though, and the fragrance unbeatable!

Geranum pyrenaicum "Bill Wallis"

I bought the little cranesbill to add to my geranium collection. The plant is very heat-tolerant, and the somewhat wild-looking blooms come on long stems, and are good for cutting, a real little treasure in the garden.

My Lyda rose has finally reached some maturity and is producing large clusters of pretty apple-blossom-like blooms. Despite their dainty appearance they last a long time even in the heat: I cut off the cluster above more than two weeks after it started blooming.

Hydrangea paniculata is one of my favorite summer-blooming shrubs, with beautiful fragrant blooms that last long into the winter. Bees love it too.

The raised bed below extends almost the length of my back yard and is a constant work in progress. Here I wage constant battle against my neighbor's morning glory, and here is also where I watch carpenter bees going nectar robbing, and hummers and honey bees darting in and out of penstemons, salvias and verbenas. Something is in bloom there year round...