Sunday, November 6, 2011

Progress & I’m likin’ it

This was a very cool and overcast weekend, ideal for doing heavy labor without breaking a sweat – even in long pants. I was grateful for the 70 degree temps and the mostly continual breezes which made the work so much easier and kept the mammoth mosquitoes at bay. Most of the pink marking tape is gone. The beds are wider and filled with good soil and the paths are edged – with one thing or another. Plants were moved out of the pathways to populate bare spots, but there’s more to do – always more to do.


I did straighten up the mess, but it’s still there so try to ignore it. I decided that gravel would be the proper material for the re-formed and new paths. That way the whole back garden will be uniform. I have to buy more, maybe next weekend.


This is the “new bed” under the ‘Francois Juranville’ arbor that still needs to be dug out and made plant-worthy. Some of the gravel in the narrowed path came from here. Please notice the Sweet Alyssum. It is a new plant for me. Last February, I think, I planted six of them grown from seed. During the summer they didn’t do diddly but now I see that that was to be expected. Four died, only two are left, but look how they’re blooming. I guess I should be ecstatic that any survived my very hot summer so they could live the happy life in my mild winter. I have no experience with them at all, but they’re very pretty.


Voila! I bought 6”x9” tumbled pavers and broke them in half (chisel and hammer) to be 6”x4.5”. This way I got a running foot of brick edging for $1.05. It matches fairly closely the edging that it joined. There’s still a length of squirrel-chewed plastic “stone” edging, but another trip to Lowe’s will take of that. The rose in the new center bed is ‘Souv de la Malmaison’, and ‘Arcadia Louisiana Tea’ is at the right with more leaves than the last time you saw her and a few flower buds, too. I’m thinking about pairing SdlM with ‘Polonaise’, a red Buck shrub rose that should fit well at the other end of the bed. A coneflower there, too, but there should be plenty of room to ring the bed with daylilies.


SdlM is looking fine and leafy with the cooler weather added to the feeding and rain. There’s a bud showing a deeper pink also due to the lower temps.


I’m going to start calling ‘Louis Philippe’ King Louie because he is suddenly quite majestic. Friday and Saturday I kept looking at him, trying to figure why he had gotten very wide to the right side and was not growing into the path. Last year I was always lopping off parts of him so I could get by. Then late in the day yesterday I figured it out. He was leaning backwards toward the fence very severely. So I pulled him straight and tied him fast to two tent stakes. I wonder why he was listing.


This is a poor photo of ‘Baronne Prevost’. Breezes don’t make for in-focus photos. Wave to the camera, pretty flower! The truth is that I was not intent on showing you the flower but rather the icky mess on her leaves to the right, known as damask crud, a technical term, to go along with her luscious damask scent.


Here’s ‘Arcadia Louisiana Tea’, looking so much better than a couple of weeks ago. ‘Jaune Desprez’, a Noisette climber, is next to the arbor at left. He’s a very slow fellow. He’s been there two years and two months and is barely six feet tall. They say he’ll grow to 30 feet – someday.


This enlarged bed officially became ‘the Polyantha bed’ today when I moved ‘Leonie Lamesch’ out of her pot to a permanent home. She’s on the left in front of the blue pot. I bought her to grow in the purple pot. Then I heard rumors that she was not a petite Polyantha but a rather robust girl that could get to be six feet tall and across. She’s well on her way. The blue pot is where ‘Polonaise’ is staying until she moves next door to SdlM.


It’s hard to see, but she has two mature canes that are five feet long – this while being confined to a pot! She is so healthy, and her flowers are so exciting in pinkish red and yellow that I thought I’d give her the non-Niles-Cochet spot that he vacated not too long ago. I’m hoping she’ll love it there.


It was amazing that Leonie made it out of her pot and into the ground with only a tiny bid of damage. This short bit of cane was all that was lost. I had to take a picture of it though to show you how healthy she is and how pretty her foliage is. Her flowers are gorgeous, but these buds will never be flowers. So sad.


Here’s ‘La Sylphide’ that about a month ago was virtually leafless with a few blooms. The non-rainy summer was very hard on my roses, and I learned something. Be patient with these roses in summer. They’re just taking a break and conserving energy. Poor things can’t go inside to the AC like the gardener does, so they stop producing leaves and usually flowers, too. It’s called summer dormancy.


I think when the gravel gets in, roses moved around, and the daylilies start growing, I will finally start liking this part of the garden.



  1. Wow Sherry ~ You had a busy weekend and did a great job. I love seeing the way your garden is evolving. Gardening takes time. Enjoying the process along the way, helps give us patience as our gardens take hold and grow.

    Enjoy your lovely space.


  2. I too like what you have done! I can't wait to see it in person. When you can let me know what your schedule is!

  3. You are doing a lot of work, but I can see how very pretty it is going to be. So worth it! Loved all the little side lessons in this post, too.

  4. I love cool fall days when you have a ton of work to do. It makes it less of a chore and more enjoyable. Your garden is going to look great!