15 Months

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We’re 15 months into our new home and garden and progress is being made. Maybe not as quickly as we’d like, but every day it feels a little bit more like home. Now, that I’ve said that, I’m going to blow your mind by telling you that we’ve been talking about leaving.

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20160802-DSC_3577Top – Bottom: Phlox and dovecote garden, Elie Beauvillain

This is a beautiful area, we love our neighborhood and we’ve already put so much into this house, but we’re not thrilled with how crowded it is here. I mean, who knows what life will bring but we’ve realized maybe this isn’t our forever home, after all. Remember that ridiculous list of things to do I mentioned in the last post? Now, we’re asking ourselves, “Do we want to throw a ton of money at this? Is it worth it?” You might remember, our daughter also recently moved to Asheville and is going to school right now. A lot will depend on where she ends up as we would like to be near her. So, time will tell, and I guess we’ll just put a pin in this discussion for a while.

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20160808-DSC_3655Top – Bottom: Oriental lilies, Red Smith’s Parish, Clotilde Soupert, mystery Dahlia, Boscobel

In the meantime, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the laundry room reno, thank heavens. We also made some small improvements in the garden, including adding a couple of cedar arches to support Mme Ernest Calvat and St Swithun, put up another trellis for Rêve d’Or growing like crazy on the front of our house and stretched supports for The Generous Gardener for across the screened in porch.

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20160811-DSC_3855Top – Bottom: Rooted clematis cutting, rooted rose cutting, Basye’s Purple, Double-Click Cosmos

I’ve been enjoying potting up the clematis, boxwood and rose cuttings that have rooted. I barely have any baby roses this year, what with the garden still being so young and also I lost a bunch in the extreme heat and rain we had a few weeks ago. Still, it’s thrilling when you see those tiny roots forming and worth every ounce of effort. We moved the potting bench, and, finally, a pile of logs to a better location. You should have seen the cutie-pie toads that we found.

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20160812-DSC_3923Top – Bottom: Mandevilla, Strawberry Hill, Cactus Zinnia, mystery Dahlia, A Shropshire Lad

I’m loving the dahlias right now. I put in several from Floret, Swan Island and Longfield Gardens last spring. The tubers from Floret never came up which was a bummer, but the others are doing well. I still have my Café au Lait’s, but I’m really just bored with them (overkill on the interwebs, methinks) and besides, they’re thrip magnets in our garden.

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20160817-DSC_4217Top – Bottom: Strawberry Hill (1 & 2), A Shropshire Lad, Sonic Bloom, Mme Ernest Calvat

The heat spikes and rain are still affecting the roses, but we still have blooms even if they’re a bit sporadic and faded. Cornelia has reached the top of the dovecote post. In fact, she threw out a cane so long I had to spiral twist it around the post to the top! We recently realized that the colors of the flowers on Cornelia exactly match those of the oriental lilies in that bed. A happy accident.

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20160818-DSC_4250Top – Bottom: Piñata, Sunny Smile, Lichfield Angel

Actually, we’re surprised at how big a few of the roses have gotten. Our soil tests have told us that the pH is low (about 5.3), organic content practically non-existent and nutrients? What nutrients? The roses in the raised beds are doing well, as to be expected, but some of the ones in the garden have really taken off and we think it’s because we’ve been amending with cow manure, alfalfa meal, worm castings and so on. We will be adding lime this fall to bring that pH up.

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20160814-DSC_4024Top – Bottom: Our home, Basye’s Purple, Strawberry Hill, Cornelia, Salmon Star

The cosmos are going strong and the zinnias (a cactus variety) are beginning to do their thing. The snaps are blooming, the dwarf sunflowers I started last minute are opening, the pumpkins (also last minute) are taking over the world, the violas I started for fall are flowering now, too. I pulled all the calendula due to them getting fungusy from all the rain. The baby doves have fledged. We have a rat snake that lives under our deck (!!), we saw our first hummingbird moth of the season. The tree frogs have left. The firewood is getting stacked. The bulb catalogs are pouring in. August rolls on.

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20160816-DSC_4121Top – Bottom: Munstead Wood, Lady of Shalott, our home, Benjamin Britten, Cleome

A note about these photos: I apologize for these infrequent, photo-heavy posts but I get so behind on the blog these days. I organized the photos by date, so what you’re seeing is chronological–if that helps give you an idea of how things are shaping up here.

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20160816-DSC_4160Top – Bottom: Claire Austin, Inspire Terracotta, Pretty Lady Diana (3 & 4), Pumpkin

By the way, we recently attended a talk by Dr Mark Wyndham about Rose Rosette Virus. I found it so interesting and helpful. I took a lot of notes and I’ll be sure to share what I learned as soon as possible. RRV is a real problem but the good news is there are ways it can be managed. Stay tuned for that…

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And last, I’ve been updating my shop with some of my favorite sparklies for fall. If you have a few minutes, take a look and let me know what you’d like to see more of. Your support is so greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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16 thoughts on “15 Months

    1. I left mine in the ground last winter so they would just die and they came back! They’re like some kind of unstoppable, evil genius. 😉

  1. Laurie, you are full of surprises! Talk about leaving a place more beautiful than when you arrived! If you put a for sale sign in your yard, you will have a flock of people at your door wanting first dibs.

    I filed your last post in case I ever find jewelweed. I live in a rural area but I have never seen it.

    Off topic here, but, Laurie, my Apothecary’s Rose is blooming. Have you ever heard of that happening?

    1. Hi Andrea! Welllll…it may be a few years yet before we leave, if that’s the road we decide to take. And I hope we have a flock of people wanting to buy it, that would make things a lot easier! 😉

      No, I have never seen Apothecary’s Rose repeat, and never heard of that happening, either. That is so crazy and I’m intrigued. Would you mind emailing me a photo of your plant? (hedgerowrose@gmail.com)

  2. I sent photos in a email, and another email with a link to Garden Web, where it was suggested I might have Duchess of Portland, instead. So far, she hasn’t suckered at all, like gallicas are prone to do. Let me know what you think.

  3. Such loveliness!!! Your garden is looking wonderful. And it’s all so neat and… contained looking. Mine is practically a jungle.

    You never know which way your life will twist and turn. Even if you do leave your lovely home and garden, it will have served you well, brought you joy and taught you things that only it could teach.

    Wishing you a lovely late summer.

    1. Haha, oh Anne you aren’t seeing what’s on the fringes in these photos: the multiflora roses, poison ivy, scrub trees, bittersweet vines, that are trying to take over the yard! It feels like a constant struggle, but there are worse things.

      That’s so true, you never know what life has in store and to think you can map out a plan is pretty hilarious. Thank you for your words of wisdom, I knew you would understand! Hope you are also enjoying these beautiful summer days. 🙂

  4. Those ruffly terra cotta pots are so cute. I didn’t know you could take cuttings of clematis! I’ve refrained from getting some of the more unusual ones because we plan to move in a few years and I don’t want to leave them behind, but with the prospect of cuttings…

    I can totally understand about wanting to live in a less busy area. I live in a small town and it’s become so crowded over the past few years because people commute through it and there are no turning lanes (among other things). And before that I lived in Raleigh, which has had a population boom in the past twenty years and was just exhausting to keep up with.

    When did your dahlias start blooming? I’ve found that try as I might (even starting them in pots in January) I can’t get them to bloom before September, when they shoot up and become glorious for two months. It’s just too hot for the poor things.

    1. Hello, hello! Aren’t those nice pots? I got them at Home Depot if you’d like some for your garden. They’re the ‘frost resistant’ kind and the price was good. I hate spending more on the pot than the plant, you know what I mean?

      Yes! Clematis from cuttings! Some take longer to root than others, it really depends on the variety. I had some Huldine cuttings last summer that took 2 months to root and some Crystal Fountain (?) this year that only took a few weeks.

      You know, we looked at Raleigh is a possible area to transfer to and decided against the whole eastern side of NC for that very reason–too populated. I think we are just a bit shell shocked, even being in less crowded WNC, because we came from such a small, isolated town. The increase in population–in the world, actually–is a hot button for me. It really freaks me out. That’s so bizarre about the no-turning lanes in your town. That reminds me of parts of New Jersey, where you have to turn right to turn left. 😉

      The dahlias started blooming for me I think a few weeks ago. I think of them, like you said, as late summer/autumn flowers. Do you forget to stake them with sturdy enough supports, too? I can’t seem to get it through my head, every year, that they’re going to need something stronger and taller than a spindly little bamboo cane, haha!

      Hope you have a great week!

      1. Frost-resistant pots– never heard of them! Must try.

        We’re looking at the Sanford area for work reasons. And! There’s an awesome nursery there (Big Bloomers Flower Farm) which carries an amazing selection of off-beat perennials, native shrubs, ferns, and very unusual herbs. Barely any roses, though. But it’s my favorite place to shop for things I’d have to mail-order but don’t want to pay shipping for. I like to touch plants before I buy them. All of their plants are very inexpensive compared to what I’d pay at an in-town Gardening Center (where everything is weirdly clean). Anyway– the Sanford (and Pittsboro) area is lovely, but it’ll probably boom in the next 20 years as the capital-area suburbs push closer. Someday I’ll make it to the mountains.

        I stake my dahlias with big tomato stakes, but somehow they manage to pull those down too. Next year I’m just going to stick a broom handle in the ground for them.

        1. We looked into the Sanford area when we were moving and I remember thinking how pretty those historic buildings are there. Some really lovely houses. Thank you for the heads up about Big Bloomers Farm! Sometimes my husband travels that way for work so one of these times I think I’ll go with him so I can check it out! 😀

  5. Thanks for the awesome photos- it’s great to see your garden! I hear you on the crowded/congested nature of Asheville right now. It’s amazing to me how popular the area has become. Having grown up there, in my little town we had one stop light. Now there are traffic jams, apartment complexes and stores everywhere. My parents really struggle with the congestion as well – I guess the secret is out that Asheville is a great place to live! On a different note, I was wondering what your experience has been with A Shropshire Lad rose? My plant doesn’t bloom very much and when it does the blooms rarely last more than a day or two – sound normal for this rose?

    1. Hi Cole, thank you!! I can’t even imagine Asheville being a little town…with one light. Yup, it’s incredibly congested, and, as you know, the traffic on the highways is just the worst in the summer. I can’t really complain because we’re part of the problem, being that we also relocated to the area. (I just hope that if we end up moving again, we left our little corner a little better than when we found it.) A Shropshire Lad: Yes, the blooms are very, very sparse for us, too. It’s also slow growing and a blackspot magnet. The problem is, and the reason I haven’t dug it out yet, is that when it does flower it’s one of the prettiest roses in the garden. Same for you, too? Two Austins that we put in that are pretty marvelous so far, though, are St Swithun and James Galway if you haven’t tried those yet!

      1. I grew up near Weaverville, and the growth has been incredible over the past 15 years. It’s a whole new place! With a Shropshire Lad, I haven’t had any blackspot issues so far, but it is on its own roots and just sits there, not growing or blooming much. I think I’ll give it one more year and see what happens. I do grow James Galway, which grows and blooms in mostly shade for me. What a great rose! I haven’t tried St. Swithun – thanks for the recommendation! Have a good weekend!

        1. Thanks Cole! James Galway is in a shady spot in our garden, too. I keep thinking maybe I should move it…and then it blooms again. 🙂

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