Rose season begins in my North Carolina garden

sidos_houseMay 18, 2013

I haven't really posted pictures of my garden on the forum before, only a couple of pictures of The Pilgrim once. I feel a little shy about it because, well, my garden isn't done yet :) But I think most people here know each other by their gardens and I do so enjoy looking at and learning about everyone else's garden and watching how they progress.

So here is part of mine. I like cottage gardening and have been working on my gardens for four or five years. Just a very little the first two years because of deer pressure, which has recently become a bit of a problem again. As for roses, I've always had a few but until last year never focused any more energy on them than anything else in my garden. I just decided I wanted to last year.

I first learned about antique roses about seven years ago when I read a cute little book called Quite A Year for Plums. Rosa Mundi came in the story and I was intrigued. As soon as I started researching them I found David Austin and was very much sidetracked. I love his roses. I started adding antiques last year and can't wait until they put on some weight. Until them I am diligently de-budding.

I can't tell you how much I have benefited from the wealth of information in the threads on this forum and how amazing it is that I can read a thread from 2006 and see the names of people who are still posting this year. Thank you for your dedication and inspiration -- can you even imagine how many people you've helped that you don't even know about? :)

Babbling complete. Now pictures.

Part of my work in progress.

As a result of reading the Antique Rose Forum, I extended my front border down the slope and filled it with baby roses and seedlings. There are many weedlings in there as well. Husband put in the path, grateful to not have to mow that hill any more.

A Shropshire Lad opened this week. She climbs a pillar.

The blooms are nearly six inches. A result of the good advice I read here.

Next to A Shropshire Lad grows The Generous Gardener. Very lush, very generous, a little bit crazy. Fragrance is wafting already. She keeps reflecting the light though and I couldn't get a good picture of the flower.

A favorite: Queen of Sweden. This winter I hedged a path with her. Nothing really to show yet, especially since they were all nipped in the bud by deer. I console myself by thinking that it will be good for the growth.

My first tree rose: Tamora. She was the first rose to open.

Munstead Wood: She was on the cover of DA's catalog a few years back and I had to have one for myself. I am holding her head away from the daisy next to her. They clash horribly.

I really love climbing roses. (I love all climbing flowers actually.) Much to my disbelief, I started this one from a cutting. It's a big deal the first time you're successful ;)

I have to put a good word in for my Sunny Yellow Knockout Rose. I planted her while I was terrified of the deer and she has been a good friend to me. In late February when she leafs out, her foliage smells like grape bubble gum. She patiently attracts 75% of the Japanese beetles in my garden and puts up with their eating and mating.

She's not so bad at all.

Thank you.

P.S. Monsieur Boncenne actually is the one OGR blooming in my garden right now. So far healthy and vigorous but I must be honest, I ordered him when I believed that purple meant purple :)

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Oh, sidos--I love your gardens! Actually, I believe all gardens are a work in progress--they are never completed, because as long as we garden, we keep thinking of new ways to do that or a new place to transplant the rose or a new rose we just have to have even though we ran out of space several years ago. And so the garden keeps evolving--with Nature's help also. That oven blast of heat last summer killed a couple of my weaker roses--so suddenly I had room to buy and plant Munstead Wood (yours looks sooooo beautiful), and of course, once I planted MW, it occurred to me that I ought to switch a couple other plants around so that the golden one was closer to MW (lovely contrast).

And so it goes on and on. And sidos, I've only been gardening 30 years. See what I mean--a garden is never finished. So you will fit in well with this crowd.

Thank you for sharing your creative efforts. Your climbers, your path, the extended bed of roses, etc.--they are all so lovely. You must be very proud of your gardens. : )


    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:13PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Your home and garden are beautiful, Sidos! I love your hill garden with the path. Everything looks so lush and healthy too.

I agree with Kate, no garden is ever "finished". I think only "landscaping" gets finished not gardens. Especially if you really enjoy gardening. I'm always out there changing things around and trying new things out so my garden is different every year. That what keeps it so fun and intriguing, lol!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Your garden is stunning. I really love the beautiful job you have done with your cottage garden. fabulous success. Thnk you for your beautiful photos.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:36PM
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Really lovely! Your garden and your roses are so lush, green and healthy. You have had excellent luck with your favorite roses. Hope my new bareroot Queen of Sweeden looks like yours someday! Thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens. Lesley

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 10:17PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Is that a wrap around porch? If so, I'm sure your porch is VERY impressed and pleased with the view (as am I). Well done!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I love it!

All the fresh green is wonderful (can you tell I am in tan Absolutely wonderful.

I would share what I am working on, but it looks a lot like dust and more dust and then some dirt.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 11:40PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Absolutely beautiful!!! I love the cottage look you've acheived! They are just stunning!

What is the purple vine climbing your front porch? It really stands out in a wonderful way :) I also really love the wraparound porch. My husband and I are in process of picking out house plans and lately I've been really drawn to wraparound pretty!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:24AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Sidos-House, your garden is utterly delightful. The first picture already stopped me in my tracks. And all that lush green, how satisfying that is to look at, and how wonderfully it sets off the colors of the flowers and roses. On the other hand, my parched landscape does not support deer, and that's quite a tradeoff. Still, you seem to have lots of things blooming, and the climbers look really great with the style of your home. I hope we'll see many more pictures of your lovely garden.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:30AM
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Thank you all for the wonderful comments! There are definitely aspects and certain plants I am proud, even vain (!) of, but as a whole I feel I have a long way to go. I am a big Tasha Tudor fan and I remember reading she said it takes seven years to get a good garden going. I think it will take me a lot longer than that. I am missing something like flow and structure, which I am hoping the roses will help with. And you are all so right, a garden is never finished and a gardener's education is never complete.

Kay, thank you so much for your kind words!! I am glad you have Munstead Wood. It's always fun comparing plants you have in common. And I love this rose. The golden color will be a stunning combination! Hopefully, you will be able to share photos with us. This winter, after learning about RRD, I became afraid that MW had it because it had so many thorns. It's a poetic touch though, I think, to its blood red color.

Seil, you are always so encouraging! That is such a good point about landscaping being finishable but not gardens. I am seeing some things in the garden at this point that I want to re-arrange. I am a little nervous, however, about some of the bigger plants. I moved four roses from the back of the house to the front last fall and they are really struggling. I feel terrible about it.

Thank you, Organic Kitten! I've enjoyed looking at your pretty roses too. The image of your New Dawn just haunts me :)

Thanks so much, Lesley. My soil is almost always moist and many of the plants get completely out of control. I've killed one DA and have four more that are struggling because I didn't understand how important drainage is. I can't wait to hear how you enjoy Queen of Sweden. She has been healthy and undemanding in my garden and was one of the last roses blooming in the fall.

Thank you, Sand and Sun! The wrap-around porch has a pretty good view as it cannot see all the monster weeds from its elevation :)

Kippy, I always enjoy reading your posts and I loved the pictures you posted of your garden earlier this year. I was thinking of your post when I decided finally to share some pictures of my garden. And I so enjoyed reading your thoughts about the birds that you keep you company as you garden. I've felt the same way about them.

Thank you, Tammy! That's wisteria. I'm sure you should be able to grow it in your area. It has pluses and minuses. Sometimes I think it looks a little shaggy, as if our house has bangs. But on the other hand, from the window or the porch it sets a frame around the view that is like a decorated page out of a storybook. I have read in other posts that you will be building a house: Congratulations! It's quite an experience. Will this be the permanent home for all of your roses?

Ingrid, I have thought a lot about trade-offs recently after reading about the challenges you face in your garden. I admire your perspective on how you will meet the changes you see coming in your garden. And I love your gardens. What you've created is just amazing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:43AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Beautiful. I love the Austins. I've been trying to get that 'cottage garden' look for awhile now. It can be challenging in the SE with our hot weather. But this year, the cooler wetter weather helped:

These foxglove self seeded. I usually only get a few and they burn out earlier.

There are a bunch of hollyhocks that sprouted up. I hope they bloom nicely!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Vicariously enjoying the lush greenness of your garden -- perfect setting for the Austins. Can't even come close to getting that sort of bosky landscape here...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:43AM
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strawchicago(zone 5a)

I love Sidos' garden, and Buford's lovely pictures. I have Queen of Sweden, can't wait for it to get nice like Sidos'.

Sidos' A.S.Lad is amazing, looks just like Austin's. Yours are the biggest blooms & most healthy I have seen. The Carolinas are great for roses, all the roses I get from Roses Unlimited are top-notched.

Thanks for the show, I enjoy your gardens very much.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Buford, your gardens have the look I am hoping to achieve someday. What pretty taste you have! I can see all my favorite flowers growing there. What is the rose you have climbing into your maple (I think) tree? I am crazy about foxgloves. And have had the same experience as you with a few re-seeding each year. Every other year or so, I get a really good one and I feel all vain about it, like this one I was lucky enough to grow.

But they never re-seed as thickly as they do in my dreams. I have had really good luck germinating them this year in cold frames. I started them right after Christmas and in March had enough to "stud" the inside of a new bed with them while I try to figure out what else to put in there.

If you have a space to set up some frames, I have found it a great way to start seeds during the dreary winter months. It has been much more effective than my seed trays.

Strawberry, thank you so much! I do hope Queen of Sweden grows well for you. Where I live she needs a lot of pruning in the summer but blooms continuously. Mine is grafted, as all of my DAs are. My antique roses are all on own root, except for Rosa Mundi, and I've been reluctant to make the switch on the English Roses. I felt I needed some more immediate performance :) I wanted to tell you that as I've been learning about roses your posts have helped me to become much more thoughtful about the quality and drainage of my soil and have also helped me to identify some problems I have. So thank you for the passion you show here on the forum. Here is a full bush shot of Q of S. Please pardon the hose, I usually put them up at the end of the weekend :)

Thank you, Catspa. I never realized until I began reading this forum regularly how fortunate I was. It doesn't stop me completely from grumbling however about the bugs (oh my gosh, the bugs) and the days when the humidity is so bad with the heat you feel sick to your stomach when you step outside ;)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 1:07PM
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Oh, your gardens & homes are lovely. So cool & lush & full of flowers--just beautiful. (I want foxgloves! And a pony, and a moneytree & the moon, and...)

got to see one of my impossible dreams the other day. A local nursery had an acanthus in full glorious bloom--astonishing! Another plant, totally inappropriate for my climate I've tried to grow repeatedly.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 1:40PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

The Foxgloves and Hollyhocks I think are the result of all the rain and cooler weather we've had. I usually take the spent foxgloves and shake the seeds all over the bed in the hope that they will self seed. I've tried growing them in pots and transplanting, but haven't had much luck.

The rose growing up the tree is Crepescule. It can get quite large and I'm hoping it fills in the blanks in that bed.

Of course last night we has some bad storms and flash flooding. Some of my hollyhocks and foxgloves were knocked down :( and my mulch is gone. At least I didn't get my basement flooded like my neighbor did.

This post was edited by buford on Sun, May 19, 13 at 14:13

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 2:09PM
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I wish we could grow full sized foxgloves. I have to make do with dwarf Foxy, but it's better than no foxgloves. Foxy is actually very easy to grow from seed here, but it doesn't have the visual impact of the large ones. One nice benefit--they don't need staking.

Sides and Buford, your gardens are just beautiful. You both have done an amazing job.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 5:55PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

buford, thank you for the views of another smashing garden. The climbing rose on the brick of your pretty house is so romantic. I think quite a few of you having been hiding your light under a bushel, and I'm glad we're finally getting these wonderful glimpses of your gardens.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Tuggy3(9b NorCal)

So inspiring to see pictures likes these. So lush and so many fine roses. Mary

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 3:12AM
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Thank you, Bluegirl! Love acanthus. Know nothing about it except that one day I was buying a couple of fall-blooming anemones and I accidentally grabbed an acanthus and didn't notice until I got home. I thought, "What is this thing with these ugly leaves?" But I couldn't drive all the way back into town and I was desperately trying to fill in some garden space against the weeds. Two years later the acanthus is over four feet wide and has nine flower stalks which will bloom for a great many weeks. It was one of the best mistakes I've made. I wish you could have success growing it :(

Thank you so much, Florida Rose! I think Foxy foxgloves are adorable. I struggle trying to get a good tall foxglove and it only happens as a stroke of luck once in a while. I guess it is just in the gardener's nature to covet plants that belong in another zone, like Blue Girl wishing for acanthus, or myself longing for lilac as well as a lovely jacaranda tree ;)

Buford, the last photo of your garden is gorgeous too. And absolutely inspiring. I am so happy to see your Crepuscule doing well. It is such a beautiful rose. Unfortunately, it is the one band I ordered this year that has failed to thrive. I haven't give up though.

Thank you so much, Mary :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Sido thank you for sharing your beautiful gardens. Buford, yours are lovely as well.
Foxglove grows as a weed here. It can be seeb growing alongside the roads. I have it in my gardens as well. When the wind blows the bells shimmer and shake.
But the roses are the jewels in the garden.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Sidos, Crepuscule was VERY slow to build here. I have one that's been in the ground for a year that's less than two feet tall. I have two that have been in the ground for about eight years that are over 7 feet tall.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:12AM
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lou_texas(8a N Central TX)

You both have beautiful gardens. Nice work. Lou

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:31AM
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nanadollZ7 SWIdaho(Zone 7 Boise SW Idaho)

I long for the lush green you have in your garden, sidos, and your porch is so charming with the climbing roses. The path invites wandering, but is a little mysterious, the way paths should be. Foxglove are few and far between, here in the land of sagebrush, but I can vicariously enjoy them with your stunning pic. You and buford both have designed and grown exquisite gardens which I'd love to see more of. Thanks for posting your pics. Diane

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 2:25PM
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mmmgonzo(z7 OR)


I just ran across this post and your oh-so-lovely pictures!!

You possess an eye I do not have. The ability to put together a garden with numerous different plants and have it look so harmonious is a talent I long to have. Thank you so much for your pictures.

I notice a lot of the same posters year after year - I usually burn out after summer, but always come back in early spring it seems and everyone is still talking and posting without missing a beat. A great place to hang out, observe, and learn :)


    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Oh Sidos & Buford- thank you for the garden pictures. What lovely, lovely gardens. Sidos, I envy your large plot of land. What trouble I could get into with that much space!!! You are really achieving a great cottage garden. I too am working on a (smaller) cottage garden though I need to do much better about keeping a photo journal. I know I'll want a record of this as the years go on. This time of year especially I get up at 7 and just sit with my roses for an hour while I drink my coffee. This shot is from the North side Rose Grove- Quietness, Pretty Jessica, a souvenir de st annes that you can't see and the big, buxom beauty Marie Pavie!!! (with all kinds of other players...)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:49PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

Thanks everyone, the rain was both a blessing and a curse this year. Some of my roses had no decent blooms from the balling. But they will probably be fine in the next flush.

Ingrid, can you believe that climbing rose is Queen Elizabeth Climber? I got that for $5 in a body bag. She was out of control this year and I cut off 2/3 of her. She is now shooting out a lot of new canes (she gets much more canes than blooms...)

Also, my Crepescule took a long time to get going. I thought it was because it was in part shade. But maybe that's how it grows.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Love your garden, Belle. I gravitate toward blue and violet-colored companion flowers too. They look so nice with that pale pink of your roses. And you are right, it's big trouble having so much land to work with. My eyes are far bigger than my stomach -- or something like that. Keeping a photo journal is a great idea. It provides so much comfort during the Winter months and if you can bear to take pictures of the "unsightly" areas, it's a good time for planning.

Marleah, I saw your recent garden pictures and they were amazing. Each time I look at your garden I wonder if you have deer. It's nice of you to say that about mixing plants and it being harmonious. I'm not so sure about that though!!! The past few weeks I've decided to curb my desire to grow EVERYTHING and focus on mixing in a select "few" flowers among the roses. I've also decided it's okay to get rid of the plants I despise. That was huge for me :) I can understand burning out a bit on the forums after spring. Already I can see things are slowing down. It's very difficult to be as enthusiastic when it's so hot you can't breathe.

Thank you so much, Nanadoll. Did I tell you that I'm incorporating a modified version your "kitty" technique in my deer prevention strategy?

Thanks Lou and Jeannie too! I'd love to see pictures of those foxgloves. To me they are the quintessential fairy flower and I just love them.

FloridaRose, thanks for the information about Crespuscle. I haven't lost any bands yet but I think I am going to lose this one. It's defoliated twice and now the stem is gradually fading away. I am terribly disappointed but I thought maybe I'd see if the Antique Rose Emporium offers it and buy it next year since they sell such good-sized plants. Maybe then I'd have a better chance.

Where did you get your Crespuscle, Buford? I am sorry to hear about the balling! Which of your roses balled? It happened to me once with Climbing Eden but that was entirely my fault.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:38PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I think I may have gotten my Crepescule from Ashdown, which is no longer in business. Roses Unlimited would probably have it.

I have a few that ball. Mlle Franziska Kruger, Duchess d'Brabant (not one good bloom this spring), Arcadia Louisiana Tea and Huntington Pink Tea. The last 2 will do this continually, so I'm considering SPing them. The first two usually recover when the weather gets hotter and are actually better fall bloomers.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 4:38PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

I'm hoping that we'll get updated views of the garden this year. I want to feel as pleased as your porch again.

Soon maybe?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 4:48PM
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I can't even begin to say how flattered I am that someone remembers my garden.

It'll be a couple weeks yet for me. It's iris season now although Smith's Parish and Old Blush are blooming. My other roses are not quite ready. But I'll be more than happy to post pictures of my garden/beautiful mess when they begin to really open a bit later this month.

In the meantime, I've had good luck growing columbines from seed the past year.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:16AM
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And after four years, my one tree peony bloomed. The flowers didn't last more than a week but were worth the brief bloom and the long wait.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:23AM
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sandandsun(9a FL)


Was your BEAUTIFUL tree peony fragrant? Mine in my old northern garden is - love it.

How exquisitely romantic your work and your garden's work are. I hope you understand how blessed you are. I can certainly see that fact.

You want to hear something funny? Florida is EXTREMELY different from the rest of the east coast - if I had stone walks, then I could only have Florida weeds along them - or be watering nonstop. Sand!

I downloaded the walk photo and I am eating it like ice cream! The blushing snapdragons are lovely, the columbines are certainly doing well, and I always love phlox at my feet (and much higher up too, but it's too soon for that).

Thank you! I am so glad I asked!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 2:17PM
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Thank you for such nice compliments, sandandsun.

My tree peony was fragrant and, when she was in the mood, wafted.

My husband and I just weeded that gravel path. There is no stopping the weeds in a NC country garden. I am deeply ashamed of the state of my crazy paving right now. ;) I'll get to it, eventually.

I love woodland phlox: so fragrant and so easy to propagate.

Yes, you are right. I am blessed and every single day I am grateful. As gardeners, I think most of us feel a deep sense of thankfulness -- for the beauty that surrounds us and the miracles we witness on a daily basis.

You have a great weekend. And thank you again. You made my day.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 3:57PM
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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

Absolutely stunning photos. I hope my gardens look this full someday. I just started last summer so everything looks so new and underwheming. Congrats on such a beautiful garden & home! :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 4:12PM
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sandandsun(9a FL)

Yes, MY first and overarching best definition of a gardener is:

1. someone who weeds

BTW: in my digestion of your delectable photo, I did not notice even a single weed.

Thank you again. You made my day too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 6:21PM
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Ahh wow. Just stumbled upon this thread. Your garden is just so lovely, Sido. Just what I'm hoping to achieve here. I look forward to some pics of your 2014 garden. I hope to see more of Bufort and Belle's gardens too.

Congratulations on your tree peony! Here in Australia, managing to grow (and see flowers on) a tree peony is considered one of the highest achievements amongst gardeners. Sort of a crowning glory. So well done!

Just out of interest, what techniques have you used to improve drainage for your roses? I am having some issues with drainage at the moment (clay soil - it's a blessing and a curse)!

It's very important that you lot don't burn out and vacate the forums at the end of spring - because some of us are in the Southern Hemisphere and are relying on your pics to get us through our grey, miserable winters.

And on weeds... Well, at least they are green! There's not much of that to be seen here at this time of year. My plan on tackling weeds is to put so many plants in that there's no room for weeds to grow :) I sure hope it works out for me!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:45AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Gosh. You should never have been shy about sharing photos of your garden. It is a wonderful garden. Please go on sharing photos. I know everyone will appreciate them as I do. Thanks Sidos-House.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:18AM
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Sidos, your garden is absolutely heavenly! And your home is such a charming backdrop. Is it an antique house? The whole picture is romantic and peaceful. I really enjoyed the photos you shared, slices of the paradise you have so thoughtfully and painstakingly created over time--digging, planting, (successfully) propagating. Equally, I enjoyed reading your commentary, your shared challenges and triumphs with illustrations. Your posts are always great fun; they read like a a favorite garden writer's column. I am sipping tea as I savor the words and images. Thank you so much. I am inspired!

Buford and Belle, thank you also for sharing photos of your lovely gardens. I so enjoy threads where others share pieces of their creations and blooms! Lovely, lovely! I may have to go out and do some gardening now....


    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 4:58PM
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I am so flattered!

It is so nice to come in after a long day in the garden and read such uplifting comments. You know how some days are just pure joy in the garden and then how some days are physically and emotionally exhausting... yeah, I had the second one. So thanks to you all. Thank you.

I haven't seen you before, The Garden at 902. Hi, there! Thanks for the nice comments. I remember when I started gardening. It was so wonderful to discover this rewarding, beautiful, interesting pursuit. I hope you fall in love with it -- your plants KNOW if you love them! (Send me some links if you've posted about your gardens earlier and I missed them.)

Hi, Muscovy Duckling! I've read several of your posts/comments. It is so strange to think that somewhere in the world it's late fall/early winter for some of us. Time for reading, time for dreaming, and time for planning. I am a novice and still in my experimental stage -- and my soil was a big reason why I had such a physical and emotional exhausting day/weekend ;) In some areas of my garden, esp. those I just began to develop last year, I found myself wondering how Anything grew there at all and worrying about how root systems would carry on once they hit the edge of their hole. I will tell you what I do but you should ask people with more experience and knowledge as well. And then, I think, you should go forward based on your instincts and understanding of your garden areas. I dig big, deep holes -- now (I didn't used to.). However I amend, I always make sure that I include around 50% native soil. That just seems important to me. I add horse manure, peat moss, and often hardwood bark mulch to the soil going in the hole. Early in the season I have begun to add a thick layer of horse manure to the garden areas and then later in the season I mulch. If I can repeat that cycle again in the season, so much the better. I did a more thorough job for my kitchen garden (the first garden I planted here) and should have done this for the rest of my gardens but it just wasn't feasible: double dig with compost. A lot of my roses are doing just fine. But some are not. Also! I pick out my worms when I am digging and put them somewhere safe. Ha ha! I really do. My soil needs help and I feel horrible when I sever them :) They're gardeners too. Anyway, I'll keep my eye open for your posts, I'm curious about your climate and your gardens. Stay cozy.

Thank you, Mendocino Rose. A compliment from you is something to treasure. You have been so helpful to me over the past year and such an inspiration.

Thanks, PR! You are such a great poster here but don't share nearly enough pictures of your own gardens. The few I've seen were great. I am delighted that you think my house is old!! We built it in 2008. In the South, in the country, they get "distressed" real quick. :)

My garden is not all about roses, but still I have not been able to get any really good shots of them yet this year. It always looks like they're waiting, waiting for the roses to bloom. See? It looks kind of weedy, like it's missing something.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Ahh, your irises look lovely though. And is that a little lilac bush in the background on the left? I've never seen a lilac in real life but I desperately want to grow them.

I'm afraid there are no pics of my garden online, as I'm a newby gardener and have only really started working on it this year. Also, I grew up on the other side of the country, which was hot and dry, and the soil was alkaline sand. Just the opposite to here! So everything I thought I knew about gardening from working with my mum as a child is moot, and I'm really starting from scratch!

I'm spending the autumn digging out some lawn to make new garden beds. I'm finding hard, clumpy clay under the lawn. It's a bit of a nightmare, but I know it could be worse. I've already put down a lot of horse poo and fallen leaves to dig through, but it doesn't seem structural enough. I was wondering about digging some bark mulch into the beds, but I've never read about it anywhere - people just talk about adding crushed shale or gypsum. But that didn't really sit right with me, because I can't imagine it actually adding any 'goodness' to the soil. Plus, I worried about how the worms would react to gypsum. So I'm glad you mentioned adding mulch IN the planting hole. I will go ahead and do it now, and not feel so apprehensive :)

Thankyou again for your insight and lovely pictures.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 12:46AM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

How did I miss this thread before? I am so glad Sandandsun bought it back up.
What a wonderful garden you have Sidos House. I love all of it. The first picture of your pretty house with the climbers on it stopped me in my tracks.
Your aquilegias are wonderful. I can't imagine having a whole border of them. ( I have a total of 4 plants!)
I hope you do keep posting photos all the way through the season.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:56AM
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Hi, Daisy. I return to the pictures of your garden over and over. You are so talented, not just at growing gorgeous plants but garden design as well. I've always wanted to ask you about your Marechal Niel and if you think the plant you have comes from healthier stock than those available in the US? I read somewhere that at some point MN developed a virus that has been passed on through propagation to the point that it's not really possible to get a specimen that will remain healthy in this country. If other people have already asked you this, sorry I missed it. I'm just haunted by the picture you posted of yours. Probably too difficult for me to grow yet.

I just went kind of wild last winter and ordered lots of columbine and barlow seeds. I never really expected the pale sickly seedlings to do what they did. By the end of summer last year many plants were almost two feet wide. And so now, not only am I haunted by your MN, but also by Christopher Lloyd who warned his readers about aquilegia -- they should be treated with distrust because of their tendency to die back after flowering. So we'll see what happens! Luckily I have plenty of other flower seedlings waiting to be planted.

I attached a picture of one of my favorite ones, Pink Swan. I am hoping when it goes to seed it will produce flowers that are just a little more subdued. Can you see that it's pink and yellow -- not pink and white? Not sure how it will look online.

M. Duck, I know! I've read about gypsum too. I'd have to spend thousands of dollars to buy enough to make a difference on my soil. It's nearly $20/bag. Well, keep us posted. It's fun watching a brand new garden in the making.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:57AM
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M. Duck, sorry I forgot to answer your question about the purple-y shrub. That's baptisia. I haven't done well yet with lilac but will keep trying. They are wonderful. I grew up in zone 5 and late spring bouquets of lilac and peony make my heart ache. Lilac is awesome and something you need to experience someday so put it on your bucket list :)

I know. I am way too chatty.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 11:18AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Sidos-House, the pictures from this spring are delightful. The peony stopped me in my tracks; it's breathtakingly lovely. I have to smile when you mentioned your garden looking weedy - to a southern Californian it looks like paradise, green and lush, with splashes of color. When the roses begin to bloom it will look sublime, I'm sure.

I hope you'll post many more pictures. Your garden is inspiring and I love the lushness which my garden so desperately lacks. You have an eye for pleasing color combinations and that is so important to the overall look. I think your garden is one of the "sleepers" here, and we'd love to see much more.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 12:17PM
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daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Sidos-House, my Marechal Niel came from Peter Beales in England. It is completely and utterly healthy. It has never even had a touch of powdery mildew, which some of my roses get early in the season. It faces due north, but still starts it's spring flush early in March here. It continues flowering all throughout summer and autumn.
Here it is this year.

I love your Pink Swan. You do know that aquilegias are extremely promiscuous don't you? You could have lots of different ones in years to come.
They don't flower all through the summer, but I have never had trouble with them dying back altogether, either here, or in England.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Your beds are incredible Sidos-House! What are the blue flowers in your photo?


    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:01PM
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Miraculous, Daisy! It's just breath-taking. I'm looking forward to experiencing this rose's fragrance some day, which I've read is pretty special. Glorious.

Good! I have a weakness for flowers that I think of as "fairy flowers" and aquilegias are included in that class. I hope their babies pop up everywhere in all kinds of crazy color combinations!

Thank you, Ingrid. You know how easy it is to be selective when taking a picture! What you are not seeing are the hundreds of deep gold iris growing everywhere in my garden. It's not a color I especially like personally -- but was growing for my mother while she moved. I should have quarantined the iris! I meant to pull it up last year. I am pulling it up this weekend with no excuses. (I can't give it away fast enough -- it's a very healthy variety, a good flower, just not for me.) I just put the wide border around my porch in last year. (Before that it was only about 18 inches wide.) So it escaped the gold iris.

K, thank you! Do you mean the low growing stuff on the right hand side of the photo? That's forget-me-not. It's a prolific self seeder that I really like. There is a Chinese variety too that blooms and re-blooms later in the year. It's taller though and in my garden even more aggressive.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:47AM
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I posted an excessive amount of pictures in a new thread by the same name as this one but with the year 2014.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Season Begins in my North Carolina Garden 2014

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Thanks Sidos-House! I think I'll go out and get some forget-me-not's! LOL

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:59PM
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