Tag Archives: roses

Jeff’s Chair

When I got married last September, my new husband moved into our 800 sq. ft. cottage that was already bursting with the bodies, belongings and energy of three females. He’s managed to shoe horn some of his furniture, knick-knacks and all of his clothing into this home, but I think he still feels like he doesn’t have many places that are just HIS.

Except for one.

He selected and bought this sweet blue chair at the Alameda Antiques Fair and has placed it in the sunniest spot in the garden. I can often find him in the afternoon, sitting here- his feet up on a small bench- reading or snoozing.

Sunny Sitting Spot

Completely surrounding his chair, starting with right in front and moving clock-wise, are Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’, ‘Madame Hardy’, ‘Graham Thomas'(on the fence), ‘Tamora’, ‘William Shakespeare’ and ‘Pat Austen’. I fear that in a month or so he won’t be able to find his chair , let alone sit in it!


Filed under me in the garden, Roses, secret gardens, Uncategorized

Evolution of a Gardener

When my interest in gardening and garden design began, I was drawn to very bright colors. (I also disliked foliage variegation and Hated succulents!) This attraction lasted, believe it or not, for about 10 years. Cut to 1995: I had just started my business and was doing mostly flower garden maintenance. A little planting and design, but not much. I would also occasionally help out Sue Fitzsimmons, garden designer extraordinaire (and the reason I do what I do). What I noticed about the plants she chose was that there were a lot of pale, pastel, muted colors. In other words, the gardens were Cool. Sophisticated. Relaxing. Calming. Ahhhhh. Ok! I thought, these are the kinds of garden that Real designers create. And it wasn’t just Sue. Everywhere I looked- design magazines, plant catalogues, garden tours, etc. there were muted shades of greens, grays, blues, pinks, creams and whites. It felt really good to me and my preferences started to change. I eventually got to the point where I said that I disliked most reds, yellows and oranges in the garden. I considered these colors to be garish, harsh and aggressive. Now granted, I live on the Coast and we have lots of overcast or foggy days and cool colors in the garden do complement these gray skies, but NO hot colors at all?? Pretty closed minded, right? Here’s some pictures of my garden that were taken 2 & 3 years ago:

See a theme?? Very Coooool….. For the record. I love these images and I love these colors, but recently I’ve been ITCHING for something more. COLOR. Bright, vibrant, warm color. Tangerine, raspberry, lime, and purple.

I saw this image from Annie’s Annuals recently (see a couple posts ago!) and can’t get it out of my head. It has inspired me to go for it in my garden this year:

Vibrant Colors- from Annie's Annuals catalogue

Aren’t these colors just luscious?  (broken record?) I’ve just now completed stage one in my color renovation. I’ve planted about 30 new perennials & annuals in the ground. The reason I had the room to add these plants is because this winter the gophers ATE about 40 Bearded Iris (bastards!!), 4 Nepeta ‘Six-hills Giant’ (which take up lots of room…) and also a few of my large English Lavenders decided to give up the ghost on their own. All this space is now filled with soon-to-be-brightly-colored plants with nice, snug gopher baskets around their roots. There’s nothing I can do about all my softly-shaded roses at this point, so it should be interesting to see how all this comes together!

The next stage is POTS. LOTS of color-poppin’, gotta-dance pots.

I’ll keep you posted!

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Filed under color, me in the garden, personal, potted gardens, Roses, Uncategorized

Kinder, Gentler New Year’s Resolutions for the Garden

My Beloved Felco #2s


Things I’m Really Gonna Try To Do

I just was reading some favorite garden blogs and saw a few lists of New Year’s resolutions for the garden. Hmmm, the concept sounds like a good way to get motivated, but I thought a lot of them sounded like a set-up for failure, knowing what I do about human nature. (especially mine!)

Here’s my kinder and gentler take on their resolutions.

instead of:

resolving to plant any plants I buy at the nursery as soon as I get them home, making sure I have all potting soil, pots, space, time, etc. at the ready,

I resolve to:

plant the plants that I have at home waiting (at least the ones that haven’t died yet) before I buy new ones. (unless I totally have to have them!)

instead of:

resolving to water my plants more faithfully,

I resolve to:

keep up the mostly consistent watering I do do and to be more accepting and forgiving of myself in late summer when I inevitably slack off in my duties.

instead of:

resolving to learn more about, and practice, seed collecting & saving,

I resolve to:

continue to let my plants reseed themselves and also to support my friends who do collect seeds.

instead of:

resolving to add several new rose varieties to my garden,

I resolve to:

remove several underperforming rose bushes and replace them with more flowers that bees love.

instead of:

resolving to clean my tools after each gardening session with a water/bleach (10/1) solution before putting them away,

I resolve to:

try to always put my tools away in the same place so I can find them the next time, and to wash them with the bleach solution once in a while.

So, I could go on and on, but my point is, sure, resolutions are fun and can be great motivation, but go easy on yourself. Think about your personality and your lifestyle and go ahead and make some resolutions that you’re bound to keep!

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Roses, Roses, Roses (lest you forget!)

Rosa 'Just Joey' ... yummm!

Rosa 'Just Joey' ... yummm!

Rosa 'Carla can't remember' with bumble bee

Rosa ‘Carla can’t remember’ with bumble bee
Rosa 'Bobby James'

Rosa 'Bobby James'

Rosa 'Cornelia'

Rosa 'Cornelia'

Rosa 'Fourth of July'

Rosa ‘Fourth of July’

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Filed under me in the garden, Roses

The Garden is about to Burst!


Just starting to explode!

Just starting to explode!

   If you look very closely, you can just see my legs in the top right corner of this picture. It’s proof that I got to play in my garden (actually ALL day!) on Mothers Day. It was a perfect day. My roses and lavender are just about to go all out. In two-three weeks it will all be so floriferous that my eyes, nose AND ears will just about burst!

   Roses(blooming) in view:  Just Joey,  William Shakespeare,  Buff Beauty and  Fantin-Latour. Do you see them?


Filed under me in the garden