Rarely does the Daily Prompt fit my day quite so well as today. With gentle rain showers on and off this afternoon – the kind that sinks into the soil without beating up the plants – I felt like singin’ in the rain with joy for my plants and with relief that I didn’t have to drag hoses around today. Instead, I walked around in the rain and photographed my garden. I hope that you enjoy the images!
“Secret” is one of the two hybrid tea roses that I planted in the garden this Spring. It has gorgeous, large blooms, a strong perfume, and attractive dark green foliage. I think that it makes a really nice addition to the garden.
Unfortunately, both my Secret and my Royal Amethyst – my other new hybrid tea – are suffering from some sort of stress right now, which is apparent from the yellowing of the lower leaves on both bushes. Yellow leaves can be caused by a number of different factors: over or under watering, over fertilizing, wrong soil ph, disease, pests, radiant heat, inadequate sunlight, and probably some stressors of which I am not even aware.
Nevertheless, I am optimistic that both rose bushes will be fine. Since we had a recent spike in temperatures – from the 70′s to the 90′s in just a few days – I am guessing that the heat is a factor and whenever heat is a factor so is watering. So for the next few weeks, I will watch these two carefully and feel the soil beneath the surface daily to evaluate their water needs. Over the years, I have planted and cared for about 75 roses at the different places I have lived and I have only had one die. So that is a pretty good track record … but still I have my fingers crossed! I hope to be able to give you a positive update soon.
Asiatic Lily “Kiss Me Kate” – named, I assume after the Cole Porter musical – is the standout in my garden this week. I planted the “Kate” bulbs in 2000 and they are still producing beautifully every year. This year, however, we had unusually cool weather for early June – that is, until yesterday afternoon when our official temperature was 99 degrees F. As a result, I had the opportunity to observe that the blooms that opened during the cooler temperatures had much darker coloration than those that opened on warmer days. Kiss Me Kate is a bicolor lily often described as being magenta and creamy yellow. Mine are usually a mauvish-pink turning to salmon-pink at the border of the yellow centers; and just this year did I see a few that were close to red on the outer edges. I have 5 groupings of the Kates, standing at about 3 feet tall. In early morning and early evening light, the colors look like those of the sunset.
Last summer, during the worst of the drought, I purchased a Marilyn Monroe rose at a local nursery. I knew that I couldn’t plant the bush then; but since it was on sale, and looked gorgeous in the photo on the tag, I decided to buy it and do my best to keep it alive in a pot until I could plant it in cooler weather. It took some t.l.c., but my chance paid off. In the autumn, I planted Marilyn next to my Mr. Lincoln rose, which is a tall magenta red, and that is a lovely pairing. (Unfortunately, this morning I wasn’t able to get just the shot that I wanted to demonstrate this point, but I’ll keep trying.)
This gorgeous, apricot-colored, hybrid tea rose has sturdy, substantial blooms reaching 5 to 7 inches across and is a variety known for tolerance of heat and humidity and for its disease-resistance. Its only drawbacks as far as I can tell are that its fragrance it quite light and it is rather thorny … but what a beauty!
Today is Penny’s birthday, but she didn’t take the day off work. Here she is inspecting “her garden” lest there be some bunnies or squirrels that need to be chased away. Good job, little girl! Happy Birthday!
Livin’ Easy is a floribunda rose that I planted last year; so this is its second season in my garden. Even though it has only a light fragrance, I am fond of this rose because it is vibrant and cheerful – and, of course, a pleasure to photograph. Its small, bright coral buds brushed with gold at the base, open to fluffy many-petaled roses which soften in color to a soft apricot as the 4-inch blooms fade.
I have a weakness for roses. Even though I really didn’t have room for them, I added two beautiful hybrid tea roses to the garden this year, which meant digging up some of my perennials and putting them in pots. One of the roses is Royal Amethyst – a gorgeous and highly fragrant plumish-pink rose. It is supposed to put on the showiest blooms during cooler weather – which is exactly what we have been having this spring. (We’ll have to see what summer holds in store.)
I wish that I could add a dab of fragrance to this blog to go along with the photos. Can you imagine the fruity-rose scent of these blooms?
Having noticed earlier today that my sage has started to bloom, I realized that it is time to start thinking about harvesting some herbs. It is hard to believe, given that just a few weeks ago we had snow. It is generally recommended that if one wants to cut sage for drying (or freezing) that one do so before it starts to bloom. I love to see the purple flowers, though, so I disregard that rule and instead collect some stems before they go to seed. It is best to cut them in the morning after the dew has dried but before it gets hot for the day. One should not cut more than about 1/3 of the height of the plant. Sage can be hung in bundles to dry, but I prefer to spread the leaves out on a baking sheet and dry them using the pilot lights in my ovens.
After serving breakfast, I went outside to do some yard work and realized that I just had to take some photos first. The one below is my favorite of the morning. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of this variety of iris, but up close and in the right light it is utterly striking. And now, I must get back to weeding. Have a lovely day!
Stately and fragrant, irises are one of my favorite flowers. Though delicate-looking, in the right location they are highly dependable. I can count on ours to bloom every year for Kansas State University graduation. I am especially fond of the white irises. They look so crisp and fresh and do a lovely job of greeting guests walking up to the bed and breakfast.