Friday, May 31, 2013

Fertilizer Friday, May 31st - The Roses

The Strolling Garden is a flush with color, blossoms and bees this month. Not a drop of rain, despite all the storm systems in the area in the last two week so thank goodness for the sprinkler system and hand watering. We're on water restrictions so the sprinklers can only run at certain hours and only twice a week. The rest of the time I'm out in the garden at either early morning or dusk handwatering close to the base of the plants and changing out the water for the birds. A blackbird has been visiting this month which is exciting as I've never had one visit before. But onto the purpose of today's post - the roses. I have about 25 rose bushes of different variety planted around the house and they are all in full bloom.
Here's the front side bed by the drive way in full bloom. Planted this in the hopes of keeping the obnoxious neighbors on their side of the property line but the kids used the plants as 1st and 3rd base for the dodge ball games, at least until the bushes were about 2 years old. With all the thorns they don't mess with the flowers as much anymore.
I have two Peace Roses in the front side bed and they're fabulous bloomers. Completely understand now why my co-workers love this variety of rose.
Heirloom is a steely heather colored rose with the most intoxicating scent. Should have planted this in the backyard so I could better enjoy it.
Can't remember what the name of this white shrub rose is but it blooms all summer long and is covered with large white flowers.
The "Kordes' Perfecta" Rose tag said it was going to bloom pink but it actually blooms yellow and fades to white. Pretty with a sweet scent and you can't have a garden in Texas without a yellow rose.
Queen Elizabeth lives up to her name with her tall, stately shape and elegant pink blossoms. One of my favorites among the roses I've planted.
This unnamed miniature rose has a vibrant orange color and faint scent. One of my cheap clearance finds at Lowe's three years ago.
The Love Rose looks better from a distance as the underside is a lighter color and it looks a bit messy up close. However, it does bloom like crazy. 
The yellow one is an unknown variety since the tag said it was going to be a pink one. Ah, the dangers of buying a plant that has yet to bloom - like a box of chocolates you never know what you'll get. 
This little miniature rose is a cheerful rainbow of color. Another cheap clearance Lowe's plant that is doing well in my garden. The shade from the Cleveland Pear tree I plant back in October is probably part of the reason it's doing so well.
Finally, Pinata is a climbing rose that blooms in shades of yellow, orange, pink and red. It grows slower than my other climbing roses and is worth considering for your garden. Also has a light scent too. Ever notice a lot of modern roses today don't have much of a scent? Which is a pity because the scent is part of the reason we all love roses.

Well, these are some of the roses blooming in my garden this week. How about yours? Visit Tootsie Time to see who else is participating in "Fertilizer Friday" and showing off what's blooming in their gardens.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15th Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

It's been a while since I updated the strolling garden blog but now that things are green and starting to bloom I hope to update more regularly. The rain situation is still dire out here in West Texas. Rain is hit and miss here and the Lubbock area has not had even 3 inches since January. Cotton farmers have delayed their plantings in the hopes that May rains would occur but so far we've only mostly had a few sprinkles with little measurable rain. And the temperatures are suppose to hit the high 90s before the end of the week. Not good news. We just need a good, long soaking rain to penetrate the ground.
All is not bad news though. The garden is green, vibrant and blooming this month. It's easy to forget we're in year three of severe drought when wandering around in my back garden. The fence repairman made my day when he described my garden as "zen" as he walked around checking out the plants. And I didn't even prompt him. Blooming abvoe is snapdragons, dianthus, pincushion flower, and and purple salvia. The irises, hollyhocks, shasta daisy, and rose blooms are still to come. The wonderful thing about this whole grouping is that it is all perennial to my garden. Didn't have to plant one thing here this year as it all came back from last year.
Close up of the angel statue and rose bush planted in honor of Basil, my sweet tabby cat who passed away. If you want a very robust, striking plant that will keep multiplying I recommend this white saliva plant. I had three originally and have dug up seedlings to put all over the garden. Great as a background filler plant. It does spread out though, so give it some room.
This pretty, small (not even 2 ft. tall) iris bloomed unexpectedly this past weekend. It's the first time in 5 years it has bloomed since I planted it and I adore the color. Softer colors such as pastels and particularly blue-purples stand up to the intense sunlight and heat of West Texas better it seems. I have probably 100 irises scattered around my small suburban property but only about 20 percent ever bloom each year. I must be planting them too deep, or rather the dirt shifts over the bulbs due to dust storms and watering.
Neepeta Walker's Low is a must for the small garden. Blooms for months, the blue colored flowers are like a soft blue cloud in a flower bed, and the bees love it. I'm afraid of bees, and especially wasps, and yet I want to encourage the bees to come into the garden to pollinate the plants and the fruit trees I've planted this spring.
Been dividing the pincushion plants and spreading them around the garden. Awesome plant and I like how their blue heads bob and sway in the wind, which is something we never seem to lack out on the open plains here. The larkspur has reseeded everywhere in the grass and I've been slowly removing it by hand. Will have to get the lawnmower to finish off the rest otherwise the walking path is hard to navigate. Penny the Pill, my garden cat, loves to romping around in the larkspur stalks but she's very naughty and uses it for camoflauge as she tries to sneak closer to the birds feeding in the center of the garden. She gets rather dismayed when I reveal her location to the birds.
The Zebra Mallow got its first flowers this weekend too. They're only about 2 ft. tall and so much better behaved than their taller cousins the hollyhock, which are reseeding everywhere. Have chopped down the same hollyhock plant underneath the dining room kitchen twice now and will probably have to do it again. It would grow to 8 feet tall and block the window otherwise.
One of three clematis blossoms so far. The vines were doing so well and had climbed up to 4 feet on the Climbing America rosebush when three rounds of late spring freezes, the last one being last week which broke a weather record here, killed most of the buds and leaves. Doubt I'll get much of a clematis display this year.

There's lots more blooming in the strolling garden. I'll post more later. Meanwhile, please check out what's blooming in other gardens for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


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