A (Mostly) Green Spring

ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9
June 14, 2019
last modified: June 14, 2019

Thankfully the few days of ferocious heat are gone, and because of the abundant rain we had the surrounding hills are still fairly green instead of the beige coloration that the heat of summer will bring. My garden is also for the most part green because the roses are either "resting" or have buds that will soon open for the second bloom period of the year. Duchesse de Brabant and Aunt Margy's Rose are chock full of buds, as are Mme. Joseph Schwartz and Sweet Frances. These are the taller roses where I'm allowing blooms, while on younger and still-shorter roses such as Coquette des Blanches and Abraham Darby I'm ruthlessly pinching blooms to coax them to grow taller, above bunny height. All in all, the relatively cool days (low eighties) and the promise of the lovely flowers to come make me happy and grateful to be alive.

Duchesse de Brabant

Continued below..................

Comments (30)

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    Day lilies are a lovely complement to the roses
    The herb marjoram grows into large and decorative shrubs here
    A bunny studying the menu in the garden. We do love their and the ground squirrels' company. They're becoming very tame and trust us.
    Milkweed and sage. The bunnies devoured the sage when it grew there originally. It came up again and now they leave it alone. They haven't told me why.
    Rosette Delizy is uncharacteristically pale this spring. That will change when the heat arrives again.
    That's the sun before it set last night. The pale foliage in the background is another clump of marjoram.

  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR

    I love every minute of your garden, Ingrid.

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  • vesfl (zone 5b/6a, Western NY)

    That's a nice combination of the milkweed orange color with the sage. What's the sage cultivar? It's beautiful.

    I wasn't sure how to incorporate asclpeias tuberosa into my garden of mostly pastel colors, but this is a nice idea. I instead grow asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) for its pink blooms and monarch caterpillars love it as well.

    Bunnies are adorable. I have a friend who lives in the South and his Duchesse de Brabant is always in bloom, even if only a few blooms when other roses go completely dormant. I must say it's my favorite tea.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked vesfl (zone 5b/6a, Western NY)
  • Krista_5NY

    Beautiful pictures, Ingrid. Evening is a lovely time in California. The milkweed goes well with the other companion flowers, a special plant with the connection to monarch butterflies.

    Cute rabbit photo!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Krista_5NY
  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    Your garden has so much serenity and grace—so very lovely!! :-)

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  • Sylvia Wendel

    Your garden reminds me why I moved to California in the first place. Enjoy every minute!

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  • Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal

    So lovely and restful. Sunset lighting in California can be magical.

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  • cyndita (west coast zone 9)

    Gorgeous! And, I love your description of "a bunny studying the menu" :o)

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  • joeywyomingz4b

    It looks so beautiful!

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  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    vesfl, I believe the salvia is 'Henry Duelberg'. I have another clump which grew very tall and floppy, which I cut back, and it almost instantly began to put out new growth. The golden milkweed among pink roses is actually nicer than I had expected, and gives the garden a more earthy, less "sweet" appeal. The fact that it blooms endlessly and doesn't get eaten are qualities I appreciate even more. I'd much rather have my reblooming irises back but those were looked on as caviar by the bunnies and who knows what other furry ones.

    The fact that you all appreciate my garden so much gives me untold pleasure.

  • gyr_falcon

    Isn't this break in the weather great? Yesterday, practically everyone on my street was out gardening, or doing other things in their yards. I planted a bunch of alstroemerias, and, with much sadness, removed the two grevillea 'Robyn Gordon'. I just could not take the weeks of itchy contact dermatitis from the grevilleas any longer.

    I was admiring your marjoram in bloom. Mine blooms, but I whack them off so I have sufficient quantities of marjoram for bulk spaghetti sauce days. The plants never make it to shrub size.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked gyr_falcon
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    gyr_falcon, what a shame you had to remove the grevillea, but I would have done the same. Some things just don't work, for various reasons. I wish I could convince you to grow marjoram as an ornamental somewhere in your garden. The bees absolutely love it when it blooms, and it blooms for a very long time, for a large part of the year. Yes, the weather is heavenly right now, and every day of this cool weather is a gift.

    Marjoram in all three pictures

  • gyr_falcon

    It took me three years to bring myself to remove the grevilleas after I discovered they were causing a skin problem, because they are such fabulous plants. They were never out of bloom. But the location was an awkward spot, and weeding and pruning neighboring plants without bumping them was impossible. I continue to fight the urge to buy more and put them somewhere else, but our lot is too small and there reallyis no somewhere else.

    I do let some of the marjoram plants get larger, but the soil here is so sandy and lacking in nutrients and water retention ability, they struggle. The ones in pots look a bit better, and some are about 18" tall and have spent seed heads. But they never looked as lovely in bloom as your plants! Not even by half.

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  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    I must have just the right soil for them, rocky rather than sandy, because I find baby plants of the marjoram everywhere. Roses don't do nearly as well, never blooming with the abundance I see with other posters here, but I'm grateful that they condescend to grow here at all. Even with pretty minimal care and no fertilizing they still give me their beauty and fragrance and ask for so little in return.

  • suncoastflowers

    So gorgeous as always, Ingrid!!

    You have just convinced me to grow Majoram. Is yours just the "regular" kind you find in the BBS or a particular variety?

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  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    I'm sure it's just the regular kind, suncoastflowers. I got it many years ago at a local nursery, in the tiny pots that herbs come in. I'm sure at the time I had no idea a three-inch pot with one straggly stem in it would yield three large plants that just keep on growing and blooming. I cut them back in the winter to keep them in bounds, and apart from watering have done nothing else. I wish you luck with yours!

  • suncoastflowers

    Thank you! I'll post when I get some in. :)

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  • linc1164 (Zone 7a central NJ)

    Dear Ingrid,

    Your garden is gorgeous! What's more, as I looked through the beautiful pictures of your garden, I had such a pleasant sense of serenity. You have built a lovely oasis in the desert, quite in the literal sense. It touches me greatly to see the picture of the bunny contentedly studying your flowers. That picture and the caption speak a thousand words to your compassion and kindness, because we all know how you have struggled to keep your garden from being a major food source of the wild critters. I think we can all learn from your efforts in co-existing with Nature and all the lives in Her.

    Have a great Sunday!


    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked linc1164 (Zone 7a central NJ)
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    Lin, you are so very kind. If the garden conveys a sense of peace that makes me very happy. Serenity is an increasingly hard-won commodity but thankfully we can still attempt to create that feeling in our surroundings at home.

    Compared to several days ago, Rosette Delizy has now taken on her more usual deeper hues.
    A garden friend who allowed me to get quite close to take his picture.
    Duchesse de Brabant again

    Wild Edric is beginning his second round of blooms
    Not much is happening at Tea Rose Row except for Jesse Hildreth's white blooms.
    This tree is growing out of the granite boulder and its size worries me. I have visions of the whole thing tumbling down on us one of these days. The squirrels who live among its roots would not be happy!

  • mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

    So beautiful, restful and zen. Just gorgeous!

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  • Krista_5NY

    Rosette Delizy is beautiful in all color variations. Lovely photos, Ingrid, and sweet portrait of the rabbit.

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  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

    Your garden looks gorgeous, Ingrid. More than anything else, I'm happy you are enjoying it! You have worked so hard on your garden, you richly deserve the joy it is giving you this spring.

    I have no problems with dermatitis from Grevillea, luckily. The Hummingbirds and Orioles absolutely mob the flowers from sunrise to sunset.

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  • Lisa Adams

    Ingrid, I just love seeing your garden in every season and stage. I admit, it’s an extra pleasure to see it thriving again. As you and gyr_falcon said, these cool and comfortable days are just wonderful. I relish each day of it, hoping there will be another like it tomorrow. I even had a bit of drizzle overnight. It was nothing big, but enough to wish I had put the patio cushions in last night.

    I somehow was not aware that you grew Marjoram. How could I not know, or maybe I’ve forgotten. I always thought it was Rosemary that you grew, but perhaps you have both. Rosette Delizy is looking especially lovely. I love the various hues she brings to your scenery. That ‘Henry Duelberg’ salvia looks happy and beautiful there. Isn’t it a wonderful plant? The HD that gets the least attention from me looks the best out of my 3. I think it likes being left alone on the well drained slope.

    As always, it’s a pleasure to see Wild Edric in your garden. Mine has bloomed twice this season, and I need to make the journey up the slope to see how he’s doing. I don’t see any color from the patio, but I should take a closer look to see how WE is doing, close up. I really should have taken more pictures this spring than I did. Now, I’m left with hundreds if not a thousand blooms to deadhead. I always do the front yard first, for obvious reasons.

    It’s always a pleasure, Ingrid. I always feel like I “know” your garden a bit, for having been there. I don’t always post, but know that I’m always looking and reading. I delight in each of your posts and pictures. Lisa

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  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    hoovb, thanks so much; I'm thrilled to see your name here again. Would so much love to see pictures of your garden too, which is so very lovely.

    Lisa, I was so surprised to see raindrops on the roses. The ground wasn't wet in most places, but every little bit helps, doesn't it?

    My Wild Edric has had only the one flower so far, but of course there are buds; I imagine yours must have them too. That's interesting that yours has already bloomed twice; mine is only beginning its second flush now. How I'd love to have your wonderful garden soil instead of mine. I think the salvia we both have probably does thrive on neglect; it doesn't seem to need much water or care. I love easy-care plants like it, the penstemons and the milkweed. Mimulus also, but I seem to have killed the red one I had, perhaps from over-watering. That's one problem from having very drought-tolerant plants among the roses; their water needs are vastly different.

    I so much enjoyed having you here and hope that one of these days both you and Lilyfinch can visit. I dream of visiting your wonderful garden with so many varieties of roses I long to see, and all your fabulous companion plants. Thank goodness we can "visit" here in the meanwhile.

    SdlM and Sweet Frances with raindrops. This is the first open flower I've seen on Sweet Frances.

  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    Sweet Frances is delightful! Look at all those petals! Is she fragrant! :-)

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  • Perma n’ Posies/9A FL

    Sorry—that was meant as a question! :-)

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  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    Perma, she is, although I have a feeling that in the cool weather today the fragrance was not fully developed. Still, it's definitely there and I'm going to keep checking the scent and will report back.

  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    I sniffed the rose today, on a sunny, warm day and it is fragrant, but more of a myrrh fragrance, meaning it's not the sweet and lovely old rose smell that I prefer. On the other hand, this is a very young rose and I imagine scent can develop into something different as the rose matures.

  • Christian

    Ingrid your garden is truly a delight to see. Everything looks so well cared for. It’s a testament to what a great gardener and rosarian can do in climates that can be less then ideal.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Christian
  • ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

    Thank you, Christian, although I'm happy to give a great deal of the credit to the wonderfully cool and moist winter and early spring weather. As you know, gardens are always works in progress, and I'm looking forward to seeing a number of roses that were planted during the winter months bloom for the first time, and to adding more companion plants to take over when the roses are not blooming. It's just never enough and looking forward to new projects and different roses has to be one of the greatest joys ever.

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