Tag Archive | flowers

San Diego Gardens

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California Pepper Tree

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

I took quite a lot of pictures in my daughter’s neighborhood while in San Diego. They live in an area where there are lots of older craftsman and Spanish style bungaloes and cottages, with front yards just filled with flowers. These smaller homes do not waste space on water-hungry lawns, but instead, landscape with beds of plants suited to the hot, sunny and dry climate. Except for roses, which do need regular watering, but don’t like rainfall. If irrigated often enough, roses love San Diego, and San Diego loves them back. Even the smallest and plainest of houses often have yards filled with enormous rose blossoms. And when I say enormous, I mean 8″ or more across…salad plate sized, and bigger. They are amazing.  Here are a few pics I took walking around the area. Many of the plants are ones I see here in central Florida, but many more were new to me, and so interesting.

This home was much larger than most within walking distance, but not nearly large enough to warrant the $1,000,000 it just sold for, if you ask me.  No one did of course, but I would have trouble paying that much money for a home less than 2,000 square feet in size. I think Erin said it was about 1,800. Of course, I would have trouble paying a million dollars for ANY home, since…well, not to put too fine a point on it, but…I don’t HAVE a million dollars! At any rate, it was very nicely landscaped, and I couldn’t resist a picture. The upper vine is bougainvillea, of course, which is RAMPANT in San Diego. (They even trim it until it becomes bush-like and use it as hedges.)  The lower vine had a very pretty cup-shaped flower on it that I didn’t recognize. Inside the fence was a small courtyard with various container plants. Small citrus trees, and jasmines, and the like. It not only looked good, it smelled great, too.

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This garden fascinated me by the use of black rock as a mulch. The purple and orange color scheme really popped against it, though the picture doesn’t do it justice, I’m afraid. The purple plant in the background is sea lavender, which is planted in medians and commercial planters, too, and is very pretty. Up close, the flowers look like statice. In the foreground was salvia leucantha (Mexican sage), and bird of paradise, plus some smaller annuals.  It was really striking and well-maintained.

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This is just a cute little cottage with a very small front yard that was packed with roses. I thought it was very sweet.

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There were a lot of areas planted in front of fences, near the sidewalks, which was nice, because I could stop and take a good look at what was growing. This mixed bed had purple fountain grass, salvia leucantha, something that looked like a type of cuphea, and a glorious patch of pink small-leafed ice plant. Both that and the more typical ice plant are everywhere you look, and come in the brightest shades of red and pink you can imagine. I believe some of them are probably on the invasive side, but they are still widely used in gardens, too, and frankly, they are so beautiful, it tends to make you overlook any problems, I imagine.

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This is another patch of small-leafed ice plant, interspersed with some type of succulent. I thought it was gorgeous!

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Sadly, the day I took most of the rose pictures was so sunny, they are mostly way over-exposed. This one was a wonderful blend of pinks and yellows, and the bloom in the foreground was probably close to 9″ across. It was wider than I could spread my fingers!

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Many fences enclose smallish courtyards with containers of plants grouped here and there. This one was rather modest with the planters, but the colors of the roses were just wonderful.

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Others were really packed with plants, both in ground and in containers, and almost all of the gardens were beautifully maintained.

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This is a tree rose from the same garden.

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Erin is new to gardening, but she planted this lavatera last year as a plant about 18″ tall, and it is just fantastic now. The hummers love it. She also planted peppers, tomatoes and CORN in the back part of the garden.  In the foreground, you can see the big green leaves of Myres’ grapevine.

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Close up of Erin’s lavatera.

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A picture of one of the millions of succulents seen in nearly every yard, maybe an agave of some sort. I’m not sure, but it had wicked points and was about 2 feet wide. I just liked the color.

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A wildly over-exposed picture of Erin, Myres and Kaelen, but I swear to you, the bougainvillea was just that red, and I’ve never seen one with more blooms on it in my life!

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And lastly, the most…er…unusual thing I found “blooming” in a neighboring garden. And believe me, this guy wasn’t going to stop grazing for anyone.

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Lots of photos for one post, I know, but I wanted to get them all up while I had a chance. Hope you enjoyed them!

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Garden at Giverny

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

–Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Garden at Giverny

Garden at Giverny Painted by Claude Monet

(Click to see larger version)

I thought perhaps while my own garden is in such a disreputable state, I might share a few garden images and quotes with you over the next few days.  If you are a gardener at heart or an art lover, you may already know of Monet’s love of flowers. His garden is still considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and attracts thousands of visitors to Giverny, France, every year. For information and some lovely photos of the garden that inspired so many of Monet’s paintings, check this link:

Monet’s Garden in Giverny

Wouldn’t you love to go there?  Maybe some of you have?  If so, was it as beautiful as it looks?

Image found online.

Taking the Poll

Don’t forget if you do take part in my polls, and you choose the answer “Other,” you have a blank field directly under there to write your “other” answer in.  That way, I’ll not only have my curiosity satisfied about which plants you love, I’ll also know more about what ALL my visitors might want to read about. 

Thanks to everyone who has taken the poll so far, and come on, the rest of you guys…surely there must be a flower you enjoy more than the rest?  Let us hear from you!  It’s fun.

New Poll

Rudbeckia triloba or Brown-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba or Brown-Eyed Susan

I got the idea last night that having monthly polls would be fun, so I zipped over to PollDaddy.com and learned how to make one.  Still playing with the available color schemes, etc, but it seems to be performing well.   So I hope you’ll scroll down on the right side, and vote for your favorite garden bloomers.  I think it will be fun to see the differences in the things we love about our gardens, and I will be putting new polls up frequently.  Have fun!!

What’s In A Name?

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”

~A.A. Milne

Spiderwort In The Garden

Consider the spiderwort.  Flowers of the loveliest blue, opening every morning and closing in the afternoon.  Graceful, grass-like foliage, tinted a teal green.  Hardy, trouble-free, and eager to fill your flower beds with color all year long, here in central Florida.  Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?  Except, it’s considered by most to be a weed.  An annoying invader that needs to be destroyed at all costs.  Out, out, damned spiderwort!  You can probably see where I’m going with this.  At my house, spiderworts are allowed to grow and bloom where they will, unless I need the spot for something else.  Why not?  They’re beautiful, and fill bare spots perfectly.  And unlike some actual garden plants I’ve been given, they don’t spread so horribly that I need a backhoe and a drum of Agent Orange to eradicate them.  Prolific, but not obscenely so.  Therefore, I smile at their pretty blue faces every morning, and enjoy them, until I need to replace them with a new rose or flowering perennial.

So what “weeds” are welcome in YOUR yard?  I’m sure many of you are growing native plants here and there, and by some standards, most of those are considered weeds, too.  Just as my spiderwort is a native, so is my seaside goldenrod, a tiny purslane called moss rose, a volunteer scarlet morning glory, and a few others.  Most are welcome for now.  They tend to be hardy and often provide food for birds and other wildlife.  I’ll share some pictures of other “weeds” I love tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’d love to know what’s volunteering at your house.

Quote #7 – Marcelene Cox

“Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.”

     ~Marcelene Cox

birdhouse flower bedBirdhouse Flower Bed

Never does this ring more true than when you are facing the daily afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rains of Florida in late summer.  And this coming week, we are expecting Hurricane Isaac to pay us at least a passing visit.  Here’s hoping you are all safe from the storm, and your yards will revel in the rain, without getting smashed to smithereens.

Roses In The Garden

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

     –Emma Goldman

Belinda's Dream Shrub Rose

BELINDA’S DREAM SHRUB ROSE

I have no use for diamonds, either, but roses, I can’t live without!  Growing them in Florida is always a challenge, with our extremes of weather and the constant humidity.  Plenty of sun, but plenty of wet weather, giving blackspot and powdery mildew a foothold every summer.  But still, for me, it is worth the extra work to have roses in my garden.

I no longer delude myself into thinking I can keep an entire bed of roses looking good, but I have found if I scatter the roses here and there, with plenty of other plants around them, it works.  The surrounding plants will disguise the rose when it is not performing at its best, thus giving me a chance to prune it back, feed it thoroughly, and wait for it to return to glory.  Roses have amazing recuperative powers, and 99 times out of a hundred, like a certain terminator we all know, they’ll be back! 

Here are a few pictures of some of my current favorites.  (Click on the picture to see a larger version).

All American Miracle Floribunda

ALL AMERICAN MIRACLE

This rose is smallish for me, and struggles with blackspot, but the spectacular red & yellow striped blooms fade to pink & white, and are worth the effort.

Don Juan Climbing Rose

DON JUAN CLIMBING HYBRID TEA

An old standard for years, Don Juan has a wonderful fragrance, and an exceptionally deep red color.  It’s hardy, and seems to be less prone to disease and pests than many varieties.

Abraham Darby David Austiin Rose

ABRAHAM DARBY

This is a David Austin rose, and one of the most beautiful & fragrant roses I have in my garden.  Austen’s roses have the look & vigor of old roses, and are so easy to grow. 

Florida Home Run Pink Rose

FLORIDA HOME RUN PINK

The Home Run series of single roses with a wild rose look was developed by the popular KnockOut Rose folks.  So far, I love this little rose, and it blooms constantly.  We’ll see how it performs as it gets bigger.

Belinda's Dream Rose

BELINDA’S DREAM SHRUB ROSE

This is definitely the most dependable and consistently beautiful rose I grow.  It repeat blooms all year long, and the gorgeous pink flowers have a terrific fragrance. They last a long time in a vase, too, making this one a winner all the way around.

Do you grow roses in your garden?  I’m interested in hearing which perform best for you, especially if you have a Florida garden?  Or if you grow under similar conditions.

Early Summer Garden Photos

The dog days of summer are here.  It’s so hot and muggy outside, I’ve given up on the garden until cooler weather arrives.  Now is the time for indoor projects, and other pursuits conducted in the heavenly bliss of air conditioned comfort.  The yard has turned into an overgrown jungle now that the rains have returned, after our long year of drought.  That’s the story in Florida.  It’s either drought or monsoon, with nothing much in between.  Thankfully, I took plenty of pictures this year, before the black-eyed Susan, scarlett morning glory, and sweet potato vines ran amuck over everything in their paths.  If you stand still longer than 30 seconds, they will start climbing over you, too!  Here are a few photos.  Enjoy!

An overview of a new rose bed, with my goldfish pond in the background. 
Hubby did all the beautiful brick pathways and patios over the last couple of years.

“Peter Pan” dwarf agaphanthus in the same bed, keeping “All American Miracle” hybrid tea rose company.

The world’s happiest cigar plant (cuphea).  Hummers love it!

Another view of the pond, and more of Mark’s brickwork.

So there you have just a few pictures from this year’s garden.  I’d love to know what you’ve been doing in  your own gardens.  Is anyone else into ponds?  Roses?  Laying brick?  Hope you’ll share your ideas, and please feel free to ask any questions you like.  Gardening in Florida presents a lot of challenges at times, but much of what works here will work in other parts of the country, too.