Friday, November 23, 2012

It's November

No, it's almost the end of November and I haven't written one single entry here.
Yeah, I've been busy with the garden and busy with my life in general. The gardening part included a considerable amount of time cleaning and moving plants before winter comes. Also, I still have a few bulbs left to plant after all the planting I've already done.
This year I decided to buy 4 new roses: 2 German and 2 French. The German ones are from Tantau. One is pink and the other one a rich red. I must say that their prices are very good compared to David Austin in the UK or Meilland and Delbard in France. Also, they were very quick in sending them to me and the 2 standard roses I received as bare roots were in great shape and in excellent packaging. All I can say now is that I am eager to see them bloom.
The other two roses I was planning to buy were from Meilland, in France: the famous climber Pierre de Ronsard and Charles de Gaulle as a standard rose. I have to say that I was very displeased with their client service: they wrote the wrong post code and the roses got stuck somewhere in Metz. I wrote to them immediately to change this and they said they would, but the address remained the same and the roses spent 2 weeks with the carrier and never got to me.
After a bit more than 2 weeks, I wrote to them to ask them what was happening to my roses and they said they were cancelling the order and I would be reimbursed. A month has passed and the money is yet to be returned in my account. Yeah, I am very disappointed.
Now, I plan to buy the Pierre de Ronsard from someone else, but gave up on Charles de Gaulle, which I plan to replace with Alexandra Princesse de Luxembourg, a Kordes creation.
I also want Jubilee Celebration from David Austin, as I loooove the shape of the flower. Now all I have to do, is find a nursery that sells all of them and delivers them to Luxembourg.

 Not all is ugly work and delivery troubles as far as garden work is concerned. I made some planters for the winter and I am really pleased with the result. I just hope we won't have those unusual frosts we had last winter and all the plants will thrive. Here are some details of my new winter planters

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Early October Morning through Instagram

Autumn mornings have a certain something that makes them dream-like, that makes them look like scenes from a Bronte's novel. The country side here is simply picture perfect, at least to my eyes. This morning there was a light fog, but not the usual darkness coming with the cloudy skies. You could tell it'd be sunny later on in the day.
When I returned home, I made a couple of bouques from the garden, one of them with my best dahlia - chocolate coloured and even with a light chocolate fragrance.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Pilgrim?

When we moved into this house, I was pleased to see that I 'inherited' 10 rather old rose bushes. They were not in such a great shape, as they had been neglected for at least 3 years and only given some autumn pruning, not exactly the best type of pruning, as it can leave them exposed to the winter frosts. As a consequence, they were mostly dead wood and I really thought some of them were just that. I removed the weeds around them and gave them some additional pruning removing all the dead wood I could remove and, as it was spring, I gave them a bit of rose food. They all rewarded me with their blooms, even those that seemed dead somehow found enough resources to send new shoots with flowers. Maybe the best of them (with close competition from a purple one I will discuss in another post) was this bush, one that cam easily be trained as a climber, at least if it is exposed south-west.
It's a rather tall bush (about 2m) with shiny dark folliage and repeat bloom. It bloomed once in June and again in August and, ever since, it has been bearing a couple of flowers all the time. Even now, there is one bloom and one bud and it's sending very tall shoots, which I will most likely prune, as I cannot afford having it so tall where it is right now - the house entrance. The flower looks a lot like David Austin's Pilgrim, with a pale yellow center and even paler yellow on the outer petals. It also has a strong smell which I love, but my nose is not trained enough to identify various scents. I hope, after the next summer season, to be able to identify it better by comparison to the fragrances of my labelled roses. Here are a few pictures from back in June:
The flowers have many petals and they open into a quartered rosette. They carry their fragrance from the bud stage and into the stage when they are almost spent.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shades of Mauve

These days I don't get to work in the garden as much as I wish I did, there have been long days of clouds and rain and cold. It did feel like winter...almost. I needed some colour and fragrance so I made this small bouquet of some later blooms
...and it smells like summer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Of English Roses

It's mid-October and summer is long gone. My garden seems to ignore this since most of the flowers are in bloom: the roses are putting out their last buds, dahlias are in full bloom, my delphinium and geraniums as well and the list goes on. Me, on the other hand, I don't enjoy this autumn so much - it's soooo cold and the rain just wouldn't stop pouring, so I don't have pictures of all the abovementioned flowers. I do spend my days indoors with my baby-girl, browsing catalogues in search of new roses and other plants....but mainly roses. I love roses, I love them so much that I spent yesterday morning browsing catalogues from Delbard & Tantau, sniffing one of the last flowers from Brother Cadfael (deliciously fragrant) and driking coffee from a new purchase I made at a flea market during the week-end. It drew my attention because of its pattern - roses! Yeah, I did develop some sort of obsession. When I brought my new coffee set home (saucer & cup & cake plate) I looked it up and found out it was made by a china company from the UK called Paragon while the name of the collection is Victoriana Rose. I am really pleased with my find and I now use it every day. I leave you now with some pictures taken indoors, of course

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another late post - August

Yes, here I am again, holding my baby-girl and trying to put to good use some pictures I took in August. There was a lot going on in the garden, but I only seem to have taken a few pictures, but, hey, that's still better than nothing, right? This is my Munstead Wood rose from David Austin, an almost perfect rose - the colour, the shape, the velvety texture, the strong old rose fragrance and the bounty of blooms. I did say almost and that is because, at least during the first year, its blooms tend to keep their heads rather down, as they are not properly supported by the thin branches. Still, I simply adore it!
Next, there is a photo of my crocosmias. I placed them where I could find an empty place, since they were a later addition and I didn't manage to make a great combo, but more about this later.
Another great rose from David Austin is Lady Emma Hamilton. I've written about it before so I won't say much, just that I was considering buying another one or propagating it, but I realised I want other new roses and I don't have enough space to have doubles :( Well, some other time, in a bigger garden.
One plant that I have managed to propagate from collected seeds is this Icelandic poppy. I have only planted yellow seeds, but I'll do better next year and plant the white and orange ones as well. It such such a lovely flower, so delicate and so perfect. My only poppy this year was planted at the foot of Lady Emma and I let its seeds drop to the ground, so I expect self-propagation for the next season. One of the things I love about it, is that it starts blooming somwhere in May and goes on blooming until it gets really cold outside (even november).
This is one of my day-lillies. It's called Snowy apparition and it is supposed to be fragrant and to repeat its flowering. Since I bought it in February this year as a mere tuber from the gardening show, it is a new plant, so it came as no surprise that it only bloomed once this summer. I was however unpleasantly surprised by the fact that it had no fragrance - you must know by now that I am such a fragrance maniac. Yet, it is very special in its pureness, unlike most hemerocalis I've seen.
These are some pretty gladioli that I bought super cheap from my local supermarket. Quite a good deal, I'd say!
I am so in love with delphiniums, yet, this is the first year I grow one in my garden and I am extremely pleased with it, as it has bloomed much longer than marked on its label. It has practically bloomed continuously from when I bought it in May. Even now, it has one more stalk forming.
And I want to add a couple of scenes from the garden, as this was the point where I made most of the mistakes. This one, for example, is a really unfortunate mix of colours. I think the pink would do well with any of the shades of purple/lilac, but the two of them so close ...yuck!
And to finish with, another scene that is ok, but not brilliant in any way. I like the dhalia and rose together, they do go perfectly, but the geranium spreading like crazy (all that came from a small pot I bought back in May) and the black currant bush that is almost covered in the said geranium after I trimed ... not so successful.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


...all my troubles seemed so far I did some pretty shopping :-) Yeah, I know this sounds weird. What I meant to say is that I went to town to do some shopping that I had to do and I ended up buying some things that I did not need-need, but that I enjoy so. I wanted to buy a coffee cup and saucer from Villeroy&Boch, but I did not like what I saw in the shop so I went to Laura Ashley's. They have a different kind of china, one that feels more robust, not as delicate and fine as that produced by V&B, but just as nice looking. This is my new acquisition:
Since I was there, I saw these lovely wall stickers for my baby girl, so I had to take them home with me.
And just before returning home, I bought a few plants to put together for a winter pot on the balcony. These very cold nights and mornings inspire me to do so and I am quite pleased with the result

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oh, the Summer's Gone!

...and so are my very short holidays, so I am back at the computer and trying to catch up a bit, by posting a few pictures as well as a few words about July. To start with, it has been a month of events. During its second week, we had our daughter's christening and on its last week-end, our son's birthday. Just like for my son, I made the candle decoration myself, alas not with flowers from my own garden. I chose a very simple approach - I selected the flowers in pink and white the day before and on the morning of the christening I simply put them together in a bouquet around the candle by using raffia string and double adhesive tape. This is the resut:
I was really happy with the result and I felt so sorry that I had not taken proper pictures of the candle ornament I made for my son. Although I didn't write anything, I did take some pictures in my garden. This is Gentle Hermione by David Austin. A very pretty delicate pink rose, fairly productive with a descreet singular fragrance.
I bought this white hydrangea in late June for a shady corner of my garden and it has worked really well and it is kept its blooms which, in the meanwhile, have turned to light lime-green. I took this not so great picture of it and the catnip on its side:
This is some sort of antirrhinum that keeps reblooming and getting bigger and bigger:
Leonardo da Vinci rose did really well. Besides Lady Emma Hamilton, it had the most blooms among the new roses. An almost permanent color splash in my little garden with its intense pink. I still haven't come to terms with the fact it has no fragrance.
This is a slightly different echinaceea purpurea which I love for its delicate flower. So far, it hasn't shown me a great production of blooms, but I have high hopes for next year, as it is a young plant.
This is .... The Fluffiness! No, it's not its real name, but I seem to have lost its label, so I cannot remember what its name is. It is a pretty flower, suitable for bouquets, but which only blooms once - a luxury for my little garden that needs rebloomers.
Geranium Rozanne has been a favourite of mine for a white now. I love its delicate flowers, its color, the fact that is keeps on blooming until the first frosts and I only have to be more careful with this plant so I can actually have it as a perenial, as I have been known to kill some others over the winter in the past :DD
And although this selection of pictures only shows part of my plants, I am gonna finish this entry here with a couple of sage plants that I bought in June - a purple one and a purple&silver one. Very good plants for a small garden or for any garden, considering that it keeps on blooming continuously and it is turning into a small bush. You can see a good lavender plant behind it, and I say good, as it is a rebloomer as well, which is quite rare among lavender.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

July in Instagram

I had no time lately, so no entries were edited. I had two full months, but I did manage to take a few pictures, most of them using my phone and the Instagram app.