Monday, April 27, 2009

Forecast for the coming weeks: Roses!

We had a beautiful weekend and I spent almost all of it working on getting the containers planted. I didn't realize we had so many! I finally took a break and started looking around and noticed that the roses are really starting to take center stage. It is good to stop and smell the roses but is there really time to do that this time of year? I did manage to drag my weary self out late Sunday and take some photos.
The first photo is the scene toward the pergola. The rose on the left is "Buff Beauty" and the roses you see on the pergola are "Rambling Rector" and "Reve D'Or".

Another shot of "Buff Beauty" - I would put this in the top 5 of my all-time favorite roses.
This isn't a rose but I had to throw this in. This is one of my favorite flowering shrubs - Beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis). I don't know why more people don't grow this and I never see it in nurseries.
One of my favorite views of the garden, with the Beautybush on the left, "Buff Beauty" in the center and the variegated dogwood "Wolf's Eyes" on the right.
Next to the pergola, a grouping of beared iris and Siberian Iris grow next to the rose "Gruss an Aachen"

Rugosa roses normally don't perform well in the south but "Hansa" is an exception.

The climbing musk rose "Prosperity" with Beautybush in the background.

Russell's Cottage Rose

Back up near the patio, "Lamarque" graces the archway.

This pink rose is "Carefree Wonder" growing with Iris and Spirea "Goldmound"

"Sally Holmes" on another archway -

"Nearly Wild" surrounds our fountain inside the circular hedge.

Stay tuned for more roses in the weeks ahead!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tree Peony "Kamatanishiki"

Two days ago I showed you the swelling buds of this tree peony and today, during my lunch hour, I discovered that it had burst into bloom. Isn't this a beauty? I just planted this tree peony last year. It has a total of three buds and the second one had opened by the evening. Rain is predicted for Sunday and I'm almost tempted to cover it up!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April bloom day

I think this is my favorite time in the garden. I love seeing the fresh new leaves on the plants and the buds and blooms forming. We've had very warm weather lately with the exception of yesterday when it didn't get out of the 50s. This morning it was still cold and overcast and my fingers were freezing as I was taking these photos.

Clematis 'Josephine'

Clematis 'Elsa Spath'

This nodding beauty is "Mrs. B.R. Cant"

Honeysuckle "Alabama Crimson"

Fleece Flower (Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon') and Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

Deutzia gracilis

Camassia quamash

I think this azalea is "Martha Hitchcock" but I'm not certain

Climbing Raspberry (Rubus rosifolius 'Coronarius')

A close-up of the blooms - I think they look like old roses.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites bloggers to share their blooms on the 15th of each month. Hop on over to her blog to see what is blooming in other gardens.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chinese snowball

Speaking of viburnums, here is another popular variety that is truly a traffic stopper. Chinese Snowball (Viburnum macrocephalum) features the big pom-pom type blooms that start out pale green and mature to sparkling snow white. It is a fast grower and will attain great heights in only a few years. This shrub is about twelve years old and towers about 12 feet. I've started pruning it since most of the blooms are appearing near the top but I've yet to find clear instructions on how best to do this. I plan to reduce some of the older limbs this year after the blooms fade.

Apparently this was once hard to locate in nurseries. I've received countless e-mails inquiring where to buy it but those are dwindling now so perhaps they are now easier to find.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Shasta Viburnum

One of my favorite blooming shrubs in spring is the Shasta Virburnum (aka Doublefile Virburnum) (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum). I'll never forget the first time I saw one. We drove to Wilkerson Mill Gardens, a nursery near Atlanta, to buy hydrangeas and there was one blooming in a field in the distance. It was magnificent and of course I had to have one.

It doesn't have the space it needs in our garden to attain the beauty of the one I saw at the nursery but it always blooms nicely. It was getting so large that it was reaching up into the limbs of the trees growing near it. I reluctantly decided to prune it last year and I'm afraid that I probably ruined the tiered effect that it normally has. It is still a very striking shrub. Beautiful berries appear later in the summer and are quickly devoured by the birds.

This particular viburnum was developed by Dr. Donald Egolf in the 1960s at the U.S. National Arboretum. He crossed an unnamed seedling with 'Mariesii', a popular variety still often found in nurseries, and it was finally released in 1979. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First rose of the year

This year, that honor goes to 'Madame Alfred Carriere', a sumptuous peachy pink noisette. This is a rose that I just can't live without. Our first major project in the garden was our pergola and this rose graced it beautifully. About five years ago, a terrible thing happened - rose rosette disease. Thankfully, we lost only a few roses but it was sad to see this monstrous beauty succumb.

The new one is planted over a smaller structure that covers the stairs leading to the basement. It can be seen outside the bedroom and bathroom windows. I expect her to really take off this year and start providing a blanket of blooms.