Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photo Therapy

We have had so much to deal with in the past month I felt as if I were buried under an avalanche. So today, after a long break, I decided to go to the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, just to look at some roses and take some pictures.

Mme. Lambard

No analyzing disease resistance, or vigor, or the quality of late autumn blooms (no bush shots either), just a nice slow walk through the garden looking at the gentle light falling on petals.

"Kern Pink China"

 As I walked among the roses, I was thinking about Oscar Wilde who wrote that there is hope for those "to whom beautiful things mean only beauty".

Hips on R. eglanteria

So I tried to find beauty in beautiful things. Maybe there is hope for me :).

Lady Penzance

Elie Beauvilain

Mme. Jules Bouché

"False Bon Silène"

Étoile de Lyon

"Mountain Mignonette"

Mme. Alfred Carrière

Fritz Nobis

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some Fall Notes

I have been so busy lately it is hard to believe how much time has gone by already. 


Only when our first rains arrived about a week ago did it finally dawn on me that fall is here already and I'd better get out into the garden to enjoy the last of the season's offerings. 

Angel Face

A couple of unwelcome surprises greeted me among the roses. 

Geranium "Rozanne"

It seems that a whole army of grasshoppers has arrived to chew on the buds (sorry, no pictures, I go after them with secateurs, not the camera). 

Lady Hillingdon

I killed about 30 this week already! 

Cucumber beetles are everywhere too, whole hordes of them... 

Étoile de Lyon

I remember the last couple of years October blooms on my roses were perfectly clean, but this year a lot of them are still damaged, so I decided to deadhead my plants a little longer in the hope of seeing better blooms. 

Rosette Delizy

On the good side, lower temperatures have brought out brighter colors and intense fragrance, so when I do find an undamaged bloom it is a joy. 

Just Joey

My fall perennials and shrubs, such as Mexican sage, cape honeysuckle and Japanese anemones, are in full bloom...

Anemone "Honorine Jobert"

Anemone "Pretty Lady Susan"

 ...and my apples, unlike my roses :), show very little pest damage this year.

A Fuji apple

On the whole, I have learned to enjoy my garden however imperfect it is. 

Lyda Rose

Even a rose bloom that looks like Swiss cheese because of the holes a grasshopper chewed in the petals, can still smell sweet (provided that grasshopper is not still inside it). 

Dame Edith Helen

I have started my winter pruning already, not the roses which are almost all still growing, but some vines and shrubs. 

Classic Woman

Each year the plants grow bigger and it is more work to keep them contained. I don't mind, as it keeps me busy during the gray winter months.

My garden is very messy right now after a long growing season. As I look out on this wild tangle it is hard to imagine the orderly nakedness of winter. But I am beginning to look forward to it.

Mme. Berkeley

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Impressions of Carmel

Here are a few pictures from our recent trip to Carmel-on-Sea and the Carmel Mission.

I won't repeat my post on the Mission (you can find it here).

However many times I go, it is always a delight to stroll through their wonderful, lovingly tended garden and see how it changes from season to season.

There were fall-blooming Japanese anemones which I also have in my garden...

...lots of roses...

...tibouchina urvilleana...

...a beautiful big brugmansia...

....and monarch butterflies.

We didn't take a walk through Carmel-on-Sea because I still have a bit of trouble walking, but Carmel Bay was beautiful: warm, peaceful and calm.

It was a day to remember.