Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Last Roses

This has been an extremely difficult season.  Gardening in Colorado is not for sissies under the best of circumstances, but the last two seasons we have had virtually no spring.  No spring means limited gestation of perennials, limited blooming and slow growth of annuals.  Add to this excessive heat, draught, the wind that follows it, and insects, not to mention rabbits and other burrowing creatures that I have not seen before in my gardens, and you have a disappointing and frustrating season.

Still as the Summer begins to cool, and the Autumn whispers with the chirping of crickets after sunset, Goddess sends a message. "I am here and always will be,"the blooming rose attests. Two of the last beauties of a season that saw so little of the rose: VaVoom – bright orange; Scentimental (so named for her rich, true rose scent) – red and white.

As Mabon, the 2nd Harvest or Autumn Equinox approaches I hope for a better season next year.  I pray Goddess that the Winter will heal any damage done to Her green world by an brutal season.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Fairy Gardens

These are pictures of the Fairy Gardens, or what is left of them after a season of heat, drought and rabbits.  The tall tangled mass of colored stalks is Agastache, indigenous to the Prairie and other places.  On the hoop is Kinsley's Ghost, a new honeysuckle that I planted last season.  She blooms a pale, pale wraithlike flower and is very fragrant.  The grass is Rainbow Grass; her color is not very pronounced this season.  The mums, the phlox, the balloon flowers, the poppies, the tulips and the daffodils have not bloomed.  The lilies like the iris are sporadic at best. This is what happens when you go from 27 degrees at night in April to triple digits by mid June, or put another way, from February to August in just over six weeks.


Monday, August 5, 2013

The Daylily

This is the daylily.  They bloom from July through September here in Colorado.  They grow anywhere that they have plenty of sun, good water and drainage.  Their foliage looks like ornamental grass, so even when they aren’t blooming, they are very beautiful in the garden.  There are many, many varieties; see link below.



Portulaca, the Moss Rose, is an annual here in Colorado.  I put her in pots, because my ground does not lend itself well to the planting of most seeds.  In one way they are kinda-sorta perennials in that they reseed.  They also cross pollinate, yielding different color and varieties every year.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Little but Mighty

The miniatures are the first to come out to show. Carnelian rose  above is Crackling Fire; the gold and red to the right is Neon Cowboy; the pink and white to the left is Heartbreaker.

New Rose

Elizabeth Taylor. Roses that are fully budded and blooming when you purchase them from the nursery have been fertilized and force-bloomed for commercial reasons. It is best not to fertilize them for at least four weeks after planting.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Beauty of Chaos

I am what is called a cottage gardener, as opposed to a formal gardener.  I have no use or respect for symmetry.  I do not engage in the manipulation of color that produces a synthetic harmony of shade and hue which is simply pleasing to some constrained sense of beauty.  I plant things where my instincts tell me their heart longs to be.  My gardens are chaotic; joyfully running riot toward wilderness.

The little orange flower featured here is a wild poppy.  These can be planted where ever you can’t get anything else to grow, and they will seed and reseed season after season often cross pollinating to produce varied and unexpected shapes and forms in a tangled and magnificent mass of green foliage.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


This is the Firewitch.  She is a dianthus and loves heat and drought.  Also tolerating cold very well makes her perfect for Colorado.  By mid July all of her flowers will be gone, leaving her beautiful green gray foliage.  A lovely border plant she sits well with other draught lovers like the sedum behind her and the Portulaca, known as the Moss Rose, in the container.  A spreader it is best to keep her pruned back, removing shallow roots where every possible, so that she does not overtake other plants.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Royal Delphinium

King Arthur (purple blue) and Sir Galahad (white) of the Court Series of Delphinium. Even though I have adjusted for the light, certain rich purples appear to be purple blue. This color is actually royal purple.


Meet the sisters. Ice blue and frosty white. Standards and falls reversed.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Large Bearded Iris

This is the large bearded Iris, the most easily recognized.  She comes in many colors and variations.  Her upright pedals are called her standards.  Her draping pedals are her falls. 
The purple, shown blue here has become variegated or stripped with white.  Her true color is a sold purple.  Variegation is the result of a virus.  This particular virus has no damaging effects on the plant, save the alteration of some pigment cells.

I have seen this phenomenon in many different types of flowers, including the rose.  The whole plant can variegate or only one part.  This Iris is one of several in a large clump that have remained true to color.  I have had a hybrid tea rose, "Out of the Blue," variegate in such a way as to leave only half the bush retaining its unadulterated and rich bluish magenta.  I have also observed floribundas with one rose stripped among a cluster of roses seemingly immune to the virus.
Variegation can last indefinitely or be gone in the next season.  This tends to happen to darker color flowers in my experience.  The pale peach and cream colored Iris is pristine.  All in all, it is simply one of the Goddess’ little surprises.