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Archive for June 15th, 2009

Roses in bloom

The folks over at Gardening Gone Wild are hosting another photo contest.   This time, the subject is roses, and we are limited to entering three pictures.   After a great deal of contemplation and hours of sifting through the images of roses in my gardens I have collected over the years.  What this process has taught me is that I really need to go through and assign key words to my image collection.

However, I shall begin with the image I captured of a Peace rose many years ago.  This rose was a birthday present from my mother-in-law, and I loved it so much that when we moved from San Francisco to the Seattle area, I dug it out of the SF garden and toted it along with me to Bremerton, WA, where I potted it in half a whiskey barrel.   Sadly, it did not survive the Pacific Northwest winter, but it did provide me with a positively magical photo when it bloomed.   I call this image “Guardian of the Peace.”

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Another rose that I love dearly is the one depicted in the following image.   I am sorry to tell you that I have no idea what the name of this rose is.  It is quite possible that it is an un-named rose.   My mother-in-law had a wonderful hand with roses, and was selected as an amateur tester by Jackson and Perkins many years ago.   Over the years she received and grew many roses that were beautiful, but for whatever reason never were “good” enough to be named and marketed.   When she died, her children dug her roses up and transplanted them to their own gardens, and we chose this one because of its spectacular scent.   It also has a beautiful habit of blooming mostly ivory white and then developing the scarlet edging as it matures.

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Finally, my attempt to show a rose bush in a garden setting.  This has been a frustrating exercise, due to the Knockout Rose’s habit of on-going and sequential blooms.   I did tidy this young lady up considerably, as she has just passed her first flush of bloom.   However, I like this image because it shows the bloom form, the color, the structure of the plant, and there are also branches of spent flowers as well as branches of buds.   The background is a yarrow “hedge” that edges this bed and separates it visually from the Rain Garden that lives behind it.

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I like this Knockout because it actually has a scent, and it seems to be pretty much trouble free.   That is a blessing in the humid hot zone 5 area we live in, where roses have to contend with Japanese beetles, fungi of all sorts and be winter cold hardy to boot.  Not an easy assignment.

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Once again it is time to share via Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  This is a wonderful tradition begun by Carol over at May Dreams Gardens that allows gardeners all over the world to share what is going on in their plantings at the middle of each month.

I have spent quite some time out there today trying to acquire some “today” pictures of what is going on in the garden.  It took me a lot longer than I expected because as I was photographing the new grass garden, I realized that there were quite a few weeds coming up in it and I got sucked into pulling them for a while.  It wasn’t until I tried to put a wad of freshly pulled seedlings into my left hand, which already had the camera in it, that I remembered what my purpose was.

However, with a renewed focus, I shall try to produce a tasty, tempting view of what is happening at The Havens this mid-June.   First stop is the front yard.   The alliums and irises are all done now, and the daffodil foliage has finished feeding the bulbs so I cleaned that out.

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This is the west side of the bed.  I like this photo because in the background you can see the privacy fence, which from the other side forms the background of many of the photos of the Hosta Dell and the Rock Garden.  By taking a few paces to the right from where I stood for this picture, and rotating almost exactly 90 degrees, I now look northeast rather than northwest, and you see the eastern side of the Front Garden.  In the background you can see the vineyard.

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I strolled over in that direction and discovered that the vineyard laborer is hard at work.  His task today is to pull any mummies (fungus infected grapes) off the bunches, and he is thinning the understory leaves out of the vines in such a way as to leave the canopy intact but increase the air circulation around the grape bunches, which will help keep them from developing diseases and allow the wrens and bluebirds to find the bugs more easily.

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I have to tighten this shot a little, so you can see how well we have done with berry set.

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Please indulge me with an even closer look.   Take a look at those bunches.   Not only are there very few mummies, but you can see that the pollination was quite good.   We should be getting quite a bit of wine from this year’s crop (knocking on wood).

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Gave the vineyard worker a kiss as I walked by on my way to the next stop on my tour.   This is a little scarlet oak we planted out here about ten or twelve years ago.  Now it is over 20 feet tall, approximately one fourth of the way to its full size.  I am standing under the mulberry tree that is at the east edge of the property to get this photo.

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This is the eastern edge of what we refer to as The Savanna.  Eventually we would like to establish a small bit of tall grass prairie here, but before we go to that much trouble and expense, we will have to educate the city council about why it is okay to have areas on your lot that have grass taller than 8 inches.  Anyway, another view of the Savanna, taken from under the plum thicket.

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On the far left back is the scarlet oak trunk, in front of it is a Bradford pear.   Behind the plum branch is where the river birch is, there are a couple more pear trees, then on the right is the split v trunk of a huge rock elm.  Off in the distance is the labyrinth on the left, and the sauna on the right.   The Daylily Dragon called me from over there.   “Worthy of a picture I am,”  he seemed to be saying.

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The pond has not changed much since I last posted about it.   In the garden at the back of the house the hostas are starting to send up flower stalks.

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Down in the Hosta Dell, the hostas are blooming.

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That is all very well and good, but what I am really enthralled with right now is the Thyme Walk between the hostas and the Rock Garden.    Bear in mind this planting is barely over one year old.

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Turn around from the view of the Thyme Walk, and the Rain Garden and beyond is laid out in all its glory.   There are several kinds of echinacea visible here, not to mention the plethora of yarrow in the background.  Those yellow drops in the foreground are a variety of primrose.

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Walk back past the Rain Garden and the nascent Petite Prairie is starting to show what it will do in a couple of years when the grasses grow up.

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There are several types of native grass in this “prairie” along with a few cultivars (Miscanthus sinensis and Japanese blood grass to name a couple) that are not actually native prairie plants.   But I have wheat grass, Cheyenne grass, blue avena, several types of switchgrass, Nasellia, and blue stem in there.   Also, I have been putting prairie flowers in there, and so far you can see the lance leaved coreopsis, the globe mallow, the Queen Anne’s lace, and a couple of echinaceas blooming.   Later there will be prairie cone flowers, ox-eye and willow leaved sunflowers.

If I stand at the opening of the pathway past the Rock Garden down to the Hosta Dell and look east, I see the pergola laid out.  The wisteria that makes the “roof” is really looking good.   It has finally recovered from the late hard freeze two years ago, and bloomed sparsely this spring.   You can see my hanging basket there, that is really a hummingbird feeder and a building materials source for robins and wrens.   The whiskey barrels have sweet potatoes and tomatoes planted in them this year.

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I have to close with a delectable image I captured the other morning when we had ground fog, which dressed the webs of the baby orb weavers all over the lawn.  Take note of the clover leaf to give you scale here.

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Finally, last but not least, the butterfly weed (Aesclepius tuberosa) in my herb garden was hosting a variety of honeybees yesterday afternoon.  This one was kind enough to pose facing me.

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This is by no means an exhaustive depiction of what is happening at The Havens.   Howver, in the interest of not having the post take five hours to download for people who are still on dial up, I am stopping here.

Come back tomorrow for a quick River Update, and I also have in the works a post on “Why Prairie” as well as an entry in the Gardening Gone Wild June photography contest:  Roses.

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