Things are greening up!

AquaEyes 7a New JerseyApril 28, 2014

I took some pics today of my new garden as of now. Keep in mind I started this only last year, and this is the first year planting non-rose companion perennials and clematis. I still have a few more things on my to-do list, and the plants I put in are very small so there's still a lot of empty space. As things grow and start blooming, I'll add more.

This will be a long post........

This is the shady side of my house, looking from the back toward the front. The only direct sun it gets is in the last couple of hours before sunset. But it's "bright shade" with light reflected off the neighbor's house. In this bed are a mix of Hostas, Athyrium niponicum var pictum cultivars, some Lamium, two different Corydalis, one Dicentra spectabilis 'Goldheart', one Polemonium 'Purple Rain', a Begonia grandis, a Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance', one Brunnera 'King's Ransom', and a few different Viola odorata cultivars.

Looking toward the back of the shady border from the front yard, where it gets gradually sunnier. Where the gutter drains, I planted Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona' because it likes a lot of moisture but also a bit more sun. It will grow big. To its right are the blue-purple flowers of Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon', which I can smell several feet away. The gold leaves in the lower right corner belong to Hosta 'Stained Glass'.

This is my little front yard. I will be moving the pots to the back eventually. My 'Jaune Desprez' suffered severe freeze damage this past horrible Winter, and I cut it back to about 12" from the ground. The other roses here did fine (they're not as tender as a Tea-Noisette). The perennials I put here are mostly low-growing, eventually (hopefully) spreading to fill more space than they already occupy. Against the trunk of the tree is a pink-flowered Hemerocallis (daylily) 'Chorus Line'.

I scored free used bricks from the yard next door, and used it to edge this border around the house next door sharing my yard. I had a few "leftover" roses that I didn't plant, but still wanted to keep. In the spot against the side-edge of the porch railing is "Grandmother's Hat", then below the first window is 'Napoleon', and below the second window is 'Perle d'Or'. Other plants added here like it hot and somewhat dry -- various Achillea, Penstemon, Coreopsis, one green-leafed Santolina, some Salvia, etc. And I also put in two different Amsonia -- A. ciliata 'Halfway to Arkansas' is below the front-edge of the porch, and A. hubrichtii is at the other end, back near the fence. These will get brilliant yellow foliage in the Autumn.

Viewing the new bed from the other end -- I put this together rather quickly. First I placed the three roses where I thought they'd do well, then dug them into the soil. Then I laid down cardboard where I wanted the bed to be, covered it in mulch, and edged it temporarily with rocks I found around the yard. When the perennials arrived, there wasn't enough time for the grass underneath to be killed by the cardboard, so I "planted" them by digging down only far enough to rest them ON the cardboard -- then piled the mulch around the pots. I then added peat moss and Milorganite to the mulch to make a "sort of" soil for the perennials to grow into, then added more mulch to raise the level further. I'll have to keep my eye on these plants between the rains to make sure they're not drying out too much, but so far so good. When the cardboard underneath decays, the roots will get access to the soil and won't need further coddling.

I used more of the scored bricks to line this path through the bed from the side of the neighbor's house. The mulch here looks lighter because I didn't add any composted manure to this part of the bed.

I nailed deer netting against the fence to form an "invisible trellis" for attaching the climbing roses and clematis. On the left you see the rose 'Yellow Sweetheart, CL' with its climbing-buddy Clematis 'Edomuraski'.

Here's the length of the side fence with the deer netting tacked onto the posts (not the slats). This allows for a few inches of air space between the trellis and the slats. There's a row of roses, with one clematis on each side of each rose. So it's clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis-clematis-rose-clematis. The clematis colors here include a few purplish-blues, a few reds, one pale pink and one pale silvery-blue -- some doubles, some singles. I tried having a complimentary color for each climbing rose.

Within the brick-lined path I planted three different kinds of creeping thyme. They will eventually spread and fill-in, and don't mind being walked upon. The first one you'd see from the entrance at the side of the house is 'Minus' -- which I found out is the same thing as the 'Elfin' I also bought. So this was the only example of me buying two of the same cultivar. And one of them I was able to cut in half, so there are three small blobs of this same thyme at one end of the path.

In the middle of the path, for a color-contrast from 'Minus' aka 'Elfin', is 'Archer's Gold'.

And the third thyme, planted near the log edging at the front of the bed, is woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus). As it spreads, I'll let this one cascade over the log edging.

Here's a view of the brick-lined path through the bed from the other end. And while I realize the lawn needs work, I only half-heartedly seeded it this Spring, and didn't use any weed killer. The landlord hasn't turned on the hose yet for Spring, so I relied upon rain to keep it wet enough to germinate. Oh, and a little layering thing I did -- raked the ground, spread the grass seed, then spread a layer of vermiculite, then peat moss, then a heavy layer of milorganite. Those layers kept the soil below moist enough for the grass seed to germinate from rain alone. Really, the best time to seed the lawn is Autumn, but I needed something green "for now". After the Summer, I'll put down weed-killer and seed again.

Another pic showing as much of the yard as I could get in one shot. It still looks pretty bare, but there's lots of new baby perennials in there which will grow and spread soon. Those big black planters I got from Home Depot for $20 each. They're 22 1/2 inches across, made of resin meant to look like a wooden barrel. In each is one of my fragrant dark-red or crimson Hybrid Tea roses, and I'll be getting annuals next month to turn them into mixed planters. They're not in their final spots yet -- I have to clear up stuff on the paved part of the yard before they can be put where they'll be going.

This is the back right corner of the yard. The log edging held up quite well, and now that I've planted in it, I can get started with drilling in screws to keep the pieces in place.

Here's the corner of the bed against the garage. In the corner where the garage meets the fence, I planted the rose "Secret Garden Musk Climber" last year. It was a risk -- it's really more of a warm-climate rose. And then we had the worst Winter in years. I had to cut it down to the ground, but there's some green stems that were below the mulch. I'm still waiting to see leaves, but knowing it likes the heat, I think it's still sleeping. In the meantime, the other roses look like they made it just fine. And with the perennials planted this year, it's looking less bare. Oh, and I'll be repeating the brick-border here to make a short path from the log edging to the window of the garage. As of now, it's the only way in -- the main door needs to be fixed and can be opened only from the inside. And, again, I planted a thyme to fill-in this short path -- this time, it's 'Doone Valley', another yellow-leafed variety.

As I put together the log edging last year, I thought about planting things in the crevices between the logs. So for this year, I ordered a bunch of low-growing Sedums. Some stay only a couple inches high, others have floppier stems that grow longer. In the wild, they'd grow in crevices between rocks. In my yard, the logs work just as well. Here's one of them -- Sedum sieboldii 'Variegatum' .

Another of my crevice-planted Sedums, this one is 'Lidakense'.

I filled in the spaces with some mulch and composted manure mixed with peat moss. These guys don't need much to thrive. This is Sedum 'Silver Moon'. Oh, and ignore the lawn weeds.....

Over the Winter, I was afraid I got too many Sedums. Now that I see how they look, I want more. Here is Sedum telephium 'Sunset Cloud'.

The Sedums look plain now, but their leaves will color-up further as they grow. Some flower in late Spring, others in late Summer into Autumn. The blue grassy-looking foliage behind it is one of the many Dianthus I planted. As they grow, they'll spill over the log edging. Most of the Dianthus bloom in late Spring into Summer, then finish just as most of the Sedums start blooming. Because they work well together, I got a bunch of each genus. I'll have to look at the plant tag tomorrow -- I can't read it in this pic.

Yet another pretty sprawling Sedum planted in the logs. I'll have to go back and read the tags to get the names.

There was an interesting piece of a big old branch that came off the Callery pear tree when my landlord and I cut it back last Summer, and I turned it broken-side-up when using it in the edging. I was hoping that something I planted would sprawl into it over time. So let's see who wins -- the Sedum 'Blue Spruce' on the right, or the Sempervivum on the left.

I got three different Sempervivums (aka "Hens and Chicks") because I found them on-sale. I'll be scouring for more eventually, but I also know that I'll be able to pull off some "chicks" and plant them to eventually grow into "hens" of their own elsewhere.

I love the red color to this Sempervivum. It really sets off the lime-green foliage of the rose 'Honorine de Brabant' to the left, and the blue-green grassy foliage of the Dianthus on the right.

I also got a couple Delosperma -- this one is D. sphalmanthoides, and it remains in a tight ball as it grows. The other one I got -- D. 'John Proffitt' -- is much more loosely sprawling and spreading. That one went elsewhere -- in the log edging, it'd just drag down into the lawn.

Here's one of my Hybrid Teas (this is 'Mirandy') in its planter. I made my own potting mix -- 6 parts peat moss, 2 parts dehydrated cow manure (Bovung at Home Depot), 2 parts leftover mulch from last year, 1 part Vermiculite, 1 part Perlite. I mixed that in a wheelbarrow. I also added about 2 cups of organic rose fertilizer to each. When we're absolutely done with frosts, I'll pick out annuals to fill and spill in them.

Here's another of my red HTs in its container -- this time it's 'Oklahoma'.

Some of the other red HTs don't get as large as the previous ones, so they're in smaller pots. Right now, they're in the front yard, but I'll probably bring them to the back when I've finished cleaning up there. The rose on the right here is 'Nocturne', with 'Nigrette' on the left.

OK, this one might stay on my porch. The flowers of 'Nigrette' are so dark that they don't do well in full-sun. And because it's not the most vigorous plant in the world, I want to keep it where I can baby it -- and marvel at its near-black flower buds before they open to dark red. Come to think of it, I'll probably keep 'Night' aka 'Lady Sackville' on my front porch as well.

This is the old HT 'Chateau de Clos Vougeot'. It looks rather lopsided now because I had to cut off a frost-damaged cane on one side. I'm looking forward to letting this one bloom -- last year I kept removing flower buds from this and the other pot-pet Hybrid Teas.

My thread from last year is linked below, for anyone who wants to see how this all started. And one last pic -- why we do what we do.

:-)

~Christopher

Here is a link that might be useful: It's been a busy Summer in my yard...

This post was edited by AquaEyes on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 23:53

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fogrose(zone 10/sunset 17)

Wow. Very impressive. You are gardening like I am. A combination of pots and in ground roses. Maximize the space!

Diane

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:25AM
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PortlandMysteryRose(8)

Christopher, amazing! Not that I was sceptical that you'd manage to plant your immense collection.... Beautifully designed garden using a variety of creative materials. Is your grad work in an artistic field? When eveything fills in, your garden will resemble an inner urban Heronswood! (Did you ever order from that company? I still mourn the loss.) Thank you for loading all the photos. I'm going to hit the Submit Comment button and return to your thread to gaze at the images again. They are inspring! Carol

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:20AM
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PortlandMysteryRose(8)

Also, I spotted your Blanc de Vibert and meant to ask you to let me know if this Portland is a slower grower for you. Mine is light years behind Indigo, Rose de Rescht, Comte de Chambord, etc. Pretty flowers, though! Carol

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:29AM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

It's hard to say much about its growth because it was only a band last year. It did manage one 24" cane that's thicker than a pencil, besides the two smaller and thinner canes it had when it arrived. I planted it in the "front row" of that part of the bed and didn't realize how tall it would get -- so before it leafed out, I tipped its one big cane down and pegged it to the logs. I did the same with the two long canes on 'Botzaris', and I pegged some of the Gallicas whose canes got taller than I'd prefer ('Georges Vibert' has one cane that's nearly 6' long, but I have it stretched horizontally a few inches above the soil line, and it sprouted laterals all along its length last year). You can see part of that cane running diagonally downward in the top right corner of this pic.

'Blanc de Vibert' is not the fastest grower in the bunch, but there were others which were far wimpier as well. I can't compare it to 'Indigo' since that is just a rooted sucker from you -- one cane with one leaf (now) at the top.

And if you were wondering, I will go to grad school for clinical psychology. I heard of Heronswood but never ordered from there. I will take pics again when the other perennials have grown to pic-worthy size. As of now, when I look at the pics in this thread, it seems like many just fade into the background -- there's actually a lot planted in the front yard despite how the pic of it looks now.

:-)

~Christopher

This post was edited by AquaEyes on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 9:46

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:35AM
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annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

Wow! You've been busy and the results are impressive. Your garden is going to look spectacular. The sedum between the logs is a wonderful idea. I look forward to more progress pix.

Anne

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:49AM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

To anyone who's a gardener it's amazing how much sheer hard work (not to mention thought and planning) you've put into this garden. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures a few months from now when everything will have grown and filled in so much more. To create a garden like this from scratch is no mean feat, and you've done a wonderful job. In a few more years these beginning views will be barely recognizable - it will be a sea of roses and other plants.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:10PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

To anyone who's a gardener it's amazing how much sheer hard work (not to mention thought and planning) you've put into this garden. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures a few months from now when everything will have grown and filled in so much more. To create a garden like this from scratch is no mean feat, and you've done a wonderful job. In a few more years these beginning views will be barely recognizable - it will be a sea of roses and other plants.

Ingrid

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:17PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Well, it looks like things won't be just green very soon -- I'm seeing flower buds forming on lots of roses today. We just had crazy rain a few days ago, followed by back-to-normal for this time of year temperatures, which seemed to speed things up. A very unusual thing for this area -- I think I'll be seeing tulips and roses blooming at the same time.

Nothing is pic-worthy yet, but I'll come back as soon as I see the first bit of color on buds.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:59PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I'm impressed with all your hard work and planning and hard work! With maturity, it will look wonderful!

You probably know what you are doing, but just in case, you may want to omit the weed-killer on the lawn. If you feed the lawn every early fall and early spring just with fertilizer--and maybe scatter some grass seed on the bare spots--in a couple years your thick grass will squeeze out all the weeds. If you use weed-killer, you have to wait a period of time (month? six weeks? check the instructions) before you can plant grass seed--and that means it is getting rather late in the season to be planting seed. In addition, where the weeds die from the weed-killer, there will be bare spots--perfect breeding grounds for new weeds to take hold--so you have accomplished nothing worthwhile.

Although the stores push weed n' feed, you will find that lawn experts (not your mow and blow guys)--horticulturalist types of experts--will usually tell you to forget the weed-killer stuff.

Sorry--but I get a bit carried away when this subject comes up. I'm sure you will take wonderful care of your lawn and gardens beds. : )

Kate

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 7:20PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Thanks, Kate! I was planning to do the re-seeding in the Autumn, and put the weed-killer down however long before is necessary. Right now, I care only that the area is green. Bare spots filled-in with the seed I put down already, but where there were weeds, the grass is just barely poking through. From what I learned previously, the best time to re-seed is actually in Autumn, giving the grass plenty of time to establish strong roots before encountering heat stress. But since I couldn't tolerate swaths of bare earth all Summer, I decided to do it twice this year.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:16AM
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melissa_thefarm(NItaly)

Congratulations on all your hard work! When those plants take hold, you're going to have a tiger of a garden. Expect surprises. It's going to be beautiful.
Actually, I like things like veronicas and clover in my lawn.
Melissa

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:55PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

I took a few more pics today. The roses haven't yet started blooming, but things are growing and green, and the perennials I planted are starting to fill in a bit more. Some of the Dianthus and one of the Campanula are blooming, but so far that's it.

I don't remember ALL the specific perennials in these pics, but where I do, I'll name them. The Dianthus on the left is 'Rose du Mai', with the newly-planted Austin rose 'Happy Child' to its right, and Amsonia tabernaemontana after that. There's a Sedum poking through between the logs as well.

The little blob of green near the logs on the left side of the picture, in front of the Amsonia, is Campanula 'Birch Hybrid'. Those lime-green leaves belong to the rose 'Honorine de Brabant', with a Sempervivum in the logs, and another Dianthus (a found variety called "Mom's Cinnamon Pink").

The yellowish-blob is Thymus 'Doone Valley' (and I still have to line that area with bricks....). The rose in the corner against the garage but in front of the railroad ties is "Sophie's Perpetual" (virtually no dieback from this Winter). The purple flowers belong to Campanula 'Joan Elliott', and behind it is "Secret Garden Musk Climber" which had to be cut to the ground and still has not woken up. The rose to the right of SGMC (behind the railroad ties) is 'Charles de Mills'. The rose in front of CdM (and in front of the railroad ties) is 'Clotilde Soupert'. To the left of CS is a tiny green blob -- that's Nepeta 'Walker's Low'. Apparently, the neighborhood cats have discovered my yard, and my catmints got squashed. I trimmed them back, surrounded each with pieces of branches sticking into the soil, and they're growing back again. Oh, and wherever you see what looks like a bunch of grass in the beds, that's actually one of my many Dianthus -- I don't remember the one in this pic.

'Charles de Mills' is the Gallica on the left in this pic, behind the railroad ties. To its right is another Gallica, 'Georges Vibert', which I pegged widely. One cane is about 6' long, with long laterals coming off it. The rose in front of GV (and in front of the railroad ties) is the Austin 'The Prince'. The twigs you see in there I inserted to gently spread its canes out -- they were growing tight together and straight up. So rather than pruning them out, I bent them out of each other's way, and stuck some branches in to hold them in place. It's what I was doing with most of the roses that needed "growth guidance" in lieu of pruning. That whitish blob that looks like a brain in the logs is another Sedum.

The Gallica in the center (behind the railroad ties) is 'Georges Vibert' again. The center of the plant is where the big white tag is -- you can see how far its canes are spread. The rose behind it and to its right is "Sombreuil" the climber, which will be tacked onto the fence as it grows. The next Gallica, all the way on the right side of the pic, is 'Cardinal de Richelieu' which was also pegged out. There's also a couple Asters back there, but they won't look like much until late Summer. In the front row, to the far right, is 'Golden Buddha'. Between it and 'The Prince' I planted a Stokesia (further back, right in front of the railroad ties) and Dianthus 'Fire Witch'. And there's another Sedum in the logs.

That big sprawling rose, stretching almost the entire width of this pic, is the Bourbon 'Souvenir de Victor Landeau'. It's almost self-pegging -- canes grow up, continue getting heavier, and naturally start leaning downward. I "growth-guided" them a bit by sticking branches into the ground to hold them in place -- either to prop them up, or in some horizontal plane direction. None of the canes are actually tied to anything. To the left of SdVL is 'Prospero', but I didn't capture it in this pic. Diagonally behind-left of SdVL is 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'. The little green blob in front of SdVL is a creeping blue Veronica whose name escapes me. There are some Sedum there as well -- upright in the bed, and creeping in the logs. Against the trunk of the pine tree, behind the gray stones, is 'Louis Philippe' the China rose. To its right is Geranium 'Nimbus'. To its left is a green blob with a small yellow dot floating above it -- that's my Aquilegia chrysantha 'Denver Gold' getting ready to bloom. To its left is 'Cardinal de Richelieu' mentioned before. In the back corner, behind the pine tree, is "Darlow's Enigma". Back in front, the tall rose on the right-edge of the pic, to the right of SdVL, is 'Golden Celebration. GC is actually growing up and arching toward the camera, though it appears as one straight stem in the pic. I don't remember all the perennials pictured here, but I know there's another Stokesia in there, and a few Echinacea starting to the right of GC.

Against the fence, tied to the deer netting, is "Bleu Magenta". In front is the already mentioned 'Golden Celebration'. Pegged to the logs is the one thick cane of 'Blanc de Vibert' that grew -- there are a few smaller stems not easily seen in the pic. To its right is Veronica 'Blue Carpet'. The perennial to the right of GC is the Phlox 'David's Lavender'. To its right is the red HP rose 'Pierre Notting'. The rose on the right-edge of the pic, against the fence, is 'Bubble Bath'. Between it and "Bleu Magenta" are two different type-2 clematis whose names I don't remember -- but I know that the one next to "Bleu Magenta" is red, and the one next to 'Bubble Bath' is purple.

The climbing rose against the fence in the middle is 'Bubble Bath' again, with 'Purple Skyliner' to its right (cut off in the pic). You can see 'Blanc de Vibert' with its pegged cane again, on the left in the pic, and the rose to its right (center of pic) is 'Tamora', which I moved from another spot. Behind 'Tamora' is a tall Echinacea whose name I can't remember. The bushy green blob to the right of 'Tamora' is a Salvia -- I think 'May Night'. There's also a Sempervivum in the logs. The rose in the middle row on the right-edge of the pic is 'Mme de Sevigne'. And the cane pegged to the logs on the right edge of the pic belongs to 'Botzaris'.

'Botzaris' actually has two canes pegged to the logs, seen left-of-center in this pic. The climber against the fence to the right of center in this pic is 'Purple Skyliner', again with two clematis between it and the fence-climbing rose on either side. Down front, in the right edge of the pic, is 'Mme Dore', which actually looks much larger than it is. That's because behind it is 'Monsieur Boncenne', and they're lined up in this pic. Behind MB is 'Jude the Obscure' which is the tallest of the three. They're actually further apart than they appear in this shot.

The fact that I didn't incorporate composted manure in the area where I planned to put this path made for quite a color contrast -- emphasized by the bricks I used to line it. I didn't use any colored mulch -- what you see in the path is the color of the mulch WITHOUT the manure worked in. The thymes in the path are hard to see, but trust me, they're there and growing. The rose against the fence where the left line of bricks makes the curve to the right, is 'Ferdinand Pichard'. It hasn't grown anything long enough to train to the fence yet. To its right are two more clematis, then the thornless climber 'Yellow Sweetheart, CL', followed by one more clematis. On the right of the path, the tall cane with the green blob on top is "Yolande de Aragon". 'Orfeo' is trained to climb the tree trunk, with two different clematis (one purple, one white) planted on either side of it and already making their way onto 'Orfeo'.

A wider shot of the same area as in the previous pic. In front of the tree and a bit to the right is 'Quatre Saisons Blanc Mousseaux'. Just to the right of the bricks is 'Mme Laurette Messimy' coming back from being cut to the ground. To the right of the sliced log sticking straight up is the Dianthus 'Greystone' with a few white flowers. To its right is "Rose de Rescht" (with 'Quatre Saisons Blanc Mousseaux' behind it). Stretching along the deck railing is a cane of the Hybrid China 'Nouveau Monde'. I planted a purple-flowered type-2 clematis at its base to use it as a trellis.

Here you can see more of 'Nouveau Monde' as it begins to eat the deck railing. There are a few more vigorous laterals sprouting from the base of that cane which will be tied against the railing as they get long enough. The arching cane to the right and in front of NM belongs to 'Abraham Darby'. To the left of NM (hard to see in this pic), against the corner of the deck railing, is the Hybrid Perpetual 'Georg Arends'. Planted against the stairs of the deck is 'Reine des Violettes' which isn't quite tall enough to start tying to the railing, but it will grow as a climber there. 'Abraham Darby' will be encouraged to grow away from the railing, forward toward the front of the bed, as it's already beginning to do on its own. There's another tall Phlox in this pic, to the right of AD. The low green blob further in front of AD is Geranium 'Dilys', with "Rose de Rescht" to its left. The white tag with nothing behind it belongs to 'Lady Hillingdon' which got cut to the ground by Winter, but is sprouting anew. This area looks a little bare because I'm planning to put things I'm starting from seed here -- taller self-seeding annuals.

'Reine des Violettes' is seen here again at against the stairs. To its right is 'Paul Neyron', which in this pic is lined up with 'Mlle Blanche Lafitte' which is planted in front of it. Here they look like one plant, but they're spaced apart. To the right of them, with a couple tall canes leafed only at the top, is 'Rose du Roi -- original', with "Bermuda Spice" to its right. Mixed in there are a few more Dianthus, some Sedums in the logs and a couple upright ones in the bed, Lithodora 'Grace Ward' against the logs to the left of 'Rose du Roi', etc. You also see a large black barrel planter. This is what I'm using for my fragrant dark-red or crimson Hybrid Tea collection. The larger roses get planted in these, the smaller ones in 15" pots. The barrels are resin, 22 1/2" in diameter, and cost $20 at Home Depot. In this one is 'Chrysler Imperial' which lost all its top-growth in Winter but has three new shoots coming from the roots.

I went back and took a couple more pics showing the back-row "gallica bed" a little better. Here's "Darlow's Enigma" in the corner behind the tree, 'Louis Philippe' in front of the tree, Geranium 'Nimbus' to the right of the tree, Aquilegia chrysantha 'Denver Gold' to the left of the tree, and an upright Sedum whose name I can't remember against the gray stones. In front of the stones, where they meet the railroad ties, is 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'. Behind it (and behind the railroad ties) is 'Cardinal de Richelieu'. And once again, the widely-pegged 'Souvenir de Victor Landeau' stretches almost entirely across the picture.

'Cardinal de Richelieu' is to the left of the Aquilegia, with an Aster whose name I don't remember to the left of CdR, with "Sombreuil" trained against the fence in the back, and 'Georges Vibert' the Gallica in the left edge of this pic.

Here you can better see how far 'Geroges Vibert' got pegged -- the rose "starts" at the white tag, but that one cane goes almost to the next arbor vitae trunk to the left.

That corner looks so dark and empty with "Secret Garden Musk Climber" not yet awake (or resurrected?).

OK, so the "lawn" still has a lot of weeds, but after getting its first cut, it looks kinda nice. As I look closely, I do see blades of grass emerging from between the weeds, so the seed I put down just might be enough to overtake them in the course of the season. But either way, come August, I'll put down something to kill the broad-leaf weeds in the lawn, and seed again in September.

I wanted to take more pics when roses were actually blooming, but I'm getting a bit impatient and wanted to do an update.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 2:38PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Christopher, I'm not a lawn person so I hope you'll forgive me if I imagine a bird bath in the middle of all that green, with some darling perennials planted around it. Other than that, I can't wait to see everything blooming. You've planted so many interesting roses and companion plants!

Ingrid

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:37PM
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muscovyduckling(Melbourne, Australia)

Christopher, this is going to be incredible when it fills out! I am looking forward to pics.

It seems like you and I have similar gardening styles, so I'm going to make a suggestion that the lawn pamperers will kill me for - I'm planning on sowing some chamomile and English meadow daisy in my little patch of lawn this year. I put some meadow daisy in last year and it looked so lovely that I'm going to do it in earnest this year. The insects and bees loved it, too. (Might be an issue if you spend a lot of time bare-foot!). I'm looking forward to the apple scent when I walk on the chamomile.

Also, forgive me if I'm out of line in asking, but you mention your landlord several times in your post. I can see that you've invested a significant amount of blood, sweat, tears and dollars in this garden.. I don't know that I would have the tenacity to do this in a garden that I didn't 'own', per se. Are you going to have a dig all this out again if you're asked to move out? I couldn't bare the thought!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 12:45AM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Ingrid, I'd love to put in a bird bath, but I don't want to take away any more lawn being as I share this yard with my neighbors. I might stick one behind 'Souvenir de Victor Landeau' being as there's space, and I don't want to plant anything that will block 'Louis Philippe' behind it.

I wish I'd have started some seeds earlier. At first I was thinking of direct-sowing many things, but with all the weed seeds I've been pulling, I was afraid of not knowing what's what, so I started them in flats -- which means that for all the seeds I bought, I'm left doing them in shifts. Maybe I'll just throw caution to the wind and direct-sow some, anyway.

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 1:08AM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Muscovy, I was thinking about non-grass alternatives for the "lawn" but decided to stick to grass because I was afraid of anything seeding itself into the flower beds. Oh, and I do tend to walk barefoot in the yard -- stepping on a bee wouldn't be very fun.

My landlord loves what I've been doing. He used to live in the main house on this lot (I'm in the "cottage"), and told me how he used to keep it up much better before he and his family moved elsewhere. I'm going to be here for a few years, so I'd rather have a yard I can enjoy for the time I'm here than to just leave it as it was. This isn't the first time I've built a garden where I was renting. And no, I won't be digging anything up when it's time to leave -- though I will take cuttings of anything I can't find elsewhere (i.e. some of the things I got from Vintage that no one else seems to carry).

:-)

~Christopher

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 1:26AM
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muscovyduckling(Melbourne, Australia)

That's really fantastic, Christopher :) And I do agree, it's probably all worth it to live somewhere with a lovely yard, even if it's not your 'forever' home. It's all good practice too. Plus it gives us something to do, doesn't it! Keeps me out of trouble, anyway.

I'm really excited to see more pics.. Hurry up summer!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 2:56AM
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