Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Susie

Or, as her father, David Austin baptised her : Susan Williams-Ellis.
It's the first rose to bloom in my garden and I bought her in November 2010 via bareroot order from David Austin UK. As I did not have a garden at the time, I planted it in a container and protected her with some old warm clothes from the winter frost and fed her with nice organic rose food during the blooming season. It is a free flowering rose and it has a delicate, feminine nature, not pretentious at all.
According to her creator, this is the story of her birth: The Mayflower was introduced in 2001 and has become a firm favourite with its charming rosette shaped flowers of pure rose pink, strong fragrance and of course its extremely good health. It remained stable until 5 or 6 years ago but then suddenly a stem with pure white flowers appeared: this is the result.
The fragrance is strong and perfectly Old Rose in character. Ideal for the border, for hedging or for a container. A delightful, unassuming little rose of typical Old Rose beauty.
And the lady who gave her name to the rose seems to have been similar in character to her plant counterpart (if I may say so): Susan Williams Ellis was a designer who, together with her husband Euan Cooper-Willis, founded Portmeirion Pottery. Susan was a great enthusiast of the English Roses and painted some beautiful water colours of them. What I can say, is that I am more than pleased with my choice as far as this rose is concerned. Here are some more pictures of its cute blooms. Her heart is cream colourd while not fully open
She has some nasty predators, too
But all in all she's charming in her discreet beauty

Friday, May 25, 2012

1, 2, 3 .... goooo color!

Summer is officially here, although still in a spring month, but the temperatures of around 28 degrees and more make me feel like summer. The work I've done in the garden lately hasn't been a lot of fun - watering, cleaning, digging, weeding and all this at almost 2 weeks until my due date. I don't complain though, I enjoy it and I believe it helps me keep in shape. The garden is doing well, filling in a bit and getting a bit of colour, too. I'm still waiting for the first rose buds to fully open and for the jasmin bush to send its beautiful fragrance in the garden and in the house. Yet, there are problems in paradise - there seem to be a lot of ants around my plants, ALOT of them! And I am not sure what to do about this, but I'll have to find a way to keep them away, especially since I have a suspicion they'll feast on the strawberries. All in all, my small veggie patch seems to be doing rather well. A few of the salads have survived and they're at this stage
The first sweet peppers are forming
And so are the raspberries
Flower-wise, I don't have much to show and, taking the risk of being extremely boring, I am posting yet another photo of my peony
Also, the potted sweet peas I bought a while ago started blooming in this electric sort of purple. The only down-side is that they are not fragrant :(
Here is a yellow pansy that seems to enjoy the mostly shaded spot where I planted it
And I shall end my entry for today with 2 small bouquets, one for indoors
and one for the garden table

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pictures time

I'm back with some images, so I won't bother with too many words today.

Some tomato flower buds

Leo does not let me down and it's the first with flower buds among the new rose additions

Pretty Susie looks quite pink in bud, but it turns into the most immaculate white flower

My lilac is pure poetry

Purple profusion

And my Itoh peony seems so delicate and looks like a painting

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another week-end has gone by and I haven't worked a bit in the garden. Too bad!
I wish I had some time for it, as there is still so much to be done.

Unfortunately, my son has discovered a new "most fun" game in the garden - to pluck each bloom he can reach and pull its petals in a sort of game of "she loves me/she loves me not" and I do love him so, but this means he needs non-stop surveillance so I cannot do any work when I'm home alone with him.

In the meanwhile, the first rose is about the bloom, this year, once more, my oldest David Austin rose will be the first to open its pretty buds - it's Susan Williams-Ellis. It's only a matter of days now until I can smell its old-rose fragrance.

Also, a peony I bought this spring has opened its first buds, my only regret is that it has no fragrance.
Here's a picture of it

The other plants are doing quite well, the tomato plants are putting on their first buds, some lettuce plug-plants have died, but still have enough going stronger.

I do hope I find some time for gardening soon enough, while keeping my fingers crossed for the low temperatures forecast during the night for this week not to go as low as 0 degrees.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost mid-May and the weather still struggles to get rid of this cold and rainy spring...without much success though.

From the last post, I brought inside the house a small posy from the garden, the first one, so I took a photo and here it is

it's fragrant, too!

Yesterday, I had a day off from work and I went to buy a few plants for a larger planter I put against one of the terrace walls in an attempt to hide their bad shape and ugliness.
I planted it with 2 clematis, two baloon flowers and 2 other kinds of flowers whose name I don't know right now.
This is the final result, while I am waiting for the clematis to bloom and the other plants to grow in order to fill in all the space.

Next, I planted 2 hostas that I found at a really good price and that should look good with a few extra leaves on the shady wall. They don't do much hiding of the said wall, but embelishing it should be good enough.

Last week-end I bought a lilic tree and its blooms are just starting to open. I like the way they have the white trim all around. I think it makes them a bit special :-) Well, it's my first lilac, so it was supposed to be special anyway, as it is a plant I adore.

Yesterday, I also managed to plant a red sweet pepper, an astrantia, a Devon cream dianthus and a Chinese peony.
All in all, it was a good day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Not much has happened in the garden - not in terms of me working in it.
I was glad to see that 4 out of my 5 new David Austins are showing signs of life = growth! Unfortunately, perhaps my favourite of the lot shows none - it's Claire Austin, a rose I was looking forward to seeing bloom in my garden. Not all hope is gone though.

I am gonna show you an image that I see every day in front of the house, just across the street (too sorry cannot add fragrance to the pic)

The smell of those trees in bloom is so fresh and amazing.

Another image I want to share today is also from the front of the house - it's the part which I cleaned to help the rose bushes develop. I found them here, so I have no clue what they are, but I am quite excited as they seem to put a lot of growth, especially since they are on the south-western side of the house.
I must add some rose fertiliser to help them, since they are very old bushes.

Hope to be showing you their pretty blooms soon enough
Last Friday I used the lunch break for a visit to a gardening center and it lasted for 2h although it is not a huge shop.
I ended up with a cart so full of plants that I really had trouble loading in my car, especially the larger ones, but I've managed in the end and got home with a lot more plants than initially planned.
I also bought a pair of boots to use in the garden:

I got to use them the same day, as I needed to start planting that very afternoon.

Here is a part of the labels from the first batch of plants that found their place in my garden:

This is just a small part of the plants I planted last Friday, but I still haven't finished, as I have to wait for some help with digging the holes for the larger plants since I am about 8 months pregnant and all this effort was already quite a lot for me at this point.
Here are some of the remaining plants

There is so much to be done, but I lack the time and energy these days and I don't have high hopes for the near future either.
I am trying though to do my best for this first year and try several things, especially since this small garden is meant for experimenting before I get to have a proper garden :-)