The Garden Journal has a new look! Turns out that when WordPress upgraded to a new version, the old default theme stopped working properly, so I took the opportunity to apply a new theme and spruce things up a bit. For recent entries and from now on, clicking on a photo will bring up a lightbox with the photo full-size from my web site. Also, the photo thumbnails here on the blog are now larger. Enjoy!
Just a quick note that my web site has been updated with all of the photos that I've taken so far this (very early) spring, more than one hundred of them. You can always find the latest updates to the web site on the What's New page.
I've been terribly remiss about keeping up the journal but have just had other things to keep me occupied these last few months. I thought it was about time that I caught up, so this will cover a lot of ground. This past winter, if you can even call it that, was very mild. Other than a snowstorm for Halloween, there was no snow to speak of though there was a good deal of rain. Spring came at least a month early, with temperatures hitting the 80s on a few days! The garden woke up a good six weeks earlier than usual and the spring blooms were quite beautiful. I'll be posting lots of photos to the web site as I've shot a few hundred since things started to grow. The What's New page will direct you to them. On 20 March (!) I had the first rosebud. As ever, it was on Louise Odier. But, as is so often the case, she wasn't the first to open a blossom. That honor was taken by both Double Delight and Zephirine Drouhin this year; they both opened up a single bloom on 19 April. With both the first bud and the first blooms, they were a good month earlier than usual this year. For the last few months, we've been in something of a drought after the wet winter, but that ended today with an all-day soaking rain that is expected to intensify tonight. It was much needed; I actually had the sprinkler system turned on last week. Here are photos of the first rosebud and the first blooms of 2012. (Click on a photo to enlarge it.) First is the bud on Louise Odier.
Next is Double Delight.
Finally, here's Zephirine Drouhin.
Thus far, summer has been mild with lots of rain (one might say, too much rain). All of the roses have bloomed, with Garden Party and Tropicana being the last. I've been following my spraying regimen for the roses of alternating Banner Maxx, Immunox, and Funginex, and I've been able to keep the black spot fungus to a minimum. Where I noted an outbreak (Melody Parfumee is particularly vulnerable), I added in Mancozeb and that got rid of it. All of the roses have done very well as you can see in the hundreds of photos on the web site. The clearly non-dwarf blue spruce at the junction of the front and side yard gardens was taken down (it was already taller than the house) and a crepe myrtle was put in its place. The daylilies and Asiatic lilies have done well, though a varmint browsed on the yellow Asiatic lily buds before I had a chance to put down varmint repellant so it won't bloom this year. The new daylily, Indian Giver, has lots of scapes and should be quite spectacular. The daylily Plum Perfect had its first bloom yesterday though since it rained all day I wasn't able to get out to photograph it. Here are some photos to whet your appetite. Hundreds more are on the web site. (Click on a photo to enlarge it.) The first is the new crepe myrtle.
Next is the daylily Double Cutie.
Next is the daylily Leebea Orange Crush.
Here's the first of the Asiatic lilies.
And the third and last, planted way back in 1998!
Most of the rest of the roses have bloomed over the Memorial Day weekend. Of my 24 roses, now only Tropicana (facing dead north) and Garden Party (overshadowed by Louise Odier) have not yet bloomed. They do have good growth however, so I'm content to give them all the time they need. Most all of the roses are in their full spring flush and the garden is a riot of bright colors and fabulous fragrances. I've posted lots and lots of photos on the web site, where you can always find the latest and greatest entries by checking the What's New page. The page showing the roses in the garden this year is also a great place to check on what has and hasn't bloomed and to compare year to year. Here are the roses that have bloomed since my last entry. First is Comte de Chambord.
Next is Falstaff.
Third is Graham Thomas.
Next is Lagerfeld.
Fifth is Queen Elizabeth.
And last but not least is Pierre de Ronsard.
We finally have some balance this year. After an awful winter, the spring is wonderful, with plenty of rain, lots of sunshine, and now mild weather. The garden has responded as one would expect, with a burst of growth, color, and fragrance. All but eight of the roses have now bloomed. Photos of those who bloomed in the last few days are below. Both the herbaceous peony and the Itoh peony "Cora Louise" planted last year are in full bloom. The garden is wonderfully scented by all of the flowers, and the grass is a lovely green. It's almost enough to make me forget my various physical ailments. Over the last few days, I've taken about 150 photos out in the garden and those have now been posted on my main Roses web site. As a reminder, you can always find what's new on the web site via my What's New page. Here are a few highlight photos to tempt you to visit the web site. First, the roses that have bloomed recently. The first of those is Dr. Huey.
Next is Melody Parfumee.
Third is Madame Isaac Pereire.
Fourth is Peace.
And the last of the recently blooming roses is Pierre de Ronsard.
Here are the peonies. First the herbaceous peony.
And last is the Itoh peony "Cora Louise".
Overnight, Double Delight, Fisherman's Friend, and Fragrant Lace have opened up their first blossoms and Zephirine Drouhin has started her spring flush. The white rhododendron has also gone from bud to bloom and the mock orange has bloomed. Even better, it seems that, just perhaps, today will finally be rain free! Here are the three newly bloomed roses. The first is Double Delight.
Number two is Fisherman's Friend.
And last is Fragrant Lace.
Over the last few days, a number of other roses have bloomed: Heritage, Pat Austin, Red Ribbons, Winchester Cathedral, and Zephirine Drouhin. More still are just about to bloom. We're finishing up one solid week of rain, about five inches worth, so I'll have to get out there to spray as with so much moisture for so long, the fungus is no doubt among us! LOL The other plants in the garden are doing well too. I've taken a bunch of photos in between the raindrops and they're now all posted on the web site. Remember, you can always check the What's New page to see the latest updates. I also finally gave up trying to get a rose to grow in the spot formerly occupied by the late, lamented Brigadoon. After three or four failures, I give up! Since it's next to the daylily Plum Perfect, which has done very well there, I went to the nursery and have planted a new daylily, also in the purple family, called Indian Giver. Hopefully it will do well. Here are photos of the recent roses. First is Heritage.
Next is Pat Austin.
Third is Red Ribbons.
Next is Winchester Cathedral.
Finally, here's Zephirine Drouhin.
Pretty much as expected, Louise Odier opened up her first bud to become the second rose to bloom this year. She now has quite a few in the process of opening and the fragrance is already starting to scent that part of the garden. Besides the photos of those roses, I've now got just about 200 garden photos taken this year posted on my Roses web site. Various azaleas, bluebells, wood hyacinths, weigela, you name it. You can always find what I've added lately by checking the What's New page. Here's the first Louise Odier blossom.
Being the first to form a bud doesn't necessarily translate into being the first to open a blossom. And so it is this year. Louise Odier was the first with a bud. I was out spraying the roses (I noticed a trace of blackspot) and found this waiting for me on the far side of the arbor. Thus it is that Gertrude Jekyll takes the honors for the first rose of 2011!