It’s raining buckets right now so a perfect time to catch up with all of you. But first, thank you for your comments on my giveaway post. I read and treasured each and every one and they put such a spring in my step!
Autumn leaves on ‘Basye’s Purple Rose‘
Fair warning: I feel like this post might be a whole lotta nothing. I couldn’t even come up with a snappy title, am I boring or what? It’s this weird transition we’re in of it should be winter but it feels like spring what should I do with myself, who am I, and all other existential questions. But there are things, there are photos, and they needed a place to go so let’s dive in!
I thought I’d share with you some future plans for this particular area of the garden. More raised beds will be added with mulched paths between, so, basically no more lawn. On the other side of that wood pile will go the 15′ row of sweet peas, the seeds of which I’ve already sown if you can believe it! So, right now it’s looking a bit sad, but by next spring will look more like a garden (she says hopefully.)
We’ve a long way to go before we have completed all of our plans for this home, but in these last 8 months or so, I’ve begun to really fall in love with this garden. Even though most of the property is shaded by trees, there is a lot of potential here and we’re starting to carve out some nice areas. It feels cozy and sweet and if the light is just-so and you squint your eyes, you can kind of get a feel for how pretty it will be.
With only a couple of minor frosts so far, the cool-weather annuals like stocks, violas and calendula are still blooming away and the bees, as well as myself are pleased about that. How adorable is that ladybug having a little snooze inside a frozen ‘Ivor’s Rose’ blossom?
Our Camellia mystery has been solved. I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seat about that. I found the old plant label, and it would appear we have two Camellia japonica ‘April Dawn’ in our garden. They’re in bloom right now, a few months earlier than they should be. Whoops. What’s neat about this particular variety is that the flowers bloom in shades of light to dark pink, and white with light pink stripes. All on the same plant! It’s a bit like magic, isn’t it?
Last summer, a reader provided me with a cutting (thank you Susan!) of her Red Smith’s Parish. What I love about this rose is the color variation, see how it’s light pink in the front and deep pink in the back? So pretty. She got a bit big for her britches so it was time to transplant….
Here she is getting a container upgrade. I’m tired of using plastic pots, so I’m trying out these recycled paper ones instead. The 8.25/9.5 inch size seem perfect for our young roses.
Our neighbors have been telling us to prepare because it gets really cold in January and February. What’s “really cold” in western North Carolina? Is it going to be like that time in Pennsylvania when I took Eva for an ill-advised walk one midwinter and we almost died? Probably not. But I’m sure it will get quite chilly-beans. In the meantime, I’ve been taking advantage of these mild temps and doing some light gardening like potting up some roses that I started from cuttings last summer into larger containers for their winter homes. Clothilde Soupert, Ivor’s Rose, Veilchenblau, Clair Matin, Lady Banks, Red Smith’s Parish, Etoile de Lyon, Basye’s Purple and more all got some container upgrades and good soil. They’ll stay in a protected area on our screened in porch this winter, with the really, really tiny ones in a plastic greenhouse once it starts getting cold.
I received a birthday gift card to David Austin from my sister and it didn’t take me long to put it to use. I wanted to try their new own-root/2 quart options so placed an order for another Lady of Shalott and a ‘Jubilee Celebration‘. DA accidentally sent me an incorrect rose (‘Litchfield Angel‘) but told me I could keep it while they send me the correct one. Aren’t they just the best? Love them. Anyways, I thought I’d post a photo of what these 2 quart roses look like (straight out of the box) in case anyone is curious.
The blooms on Lady of Shalott. I will be planting our new LoS in a container just like in our previous garden. This is a remarkably beautiful rose.
‘Madame Alfred Carrière’ We planted another b/c I loved the one from our old garden so much. It’s going to grow against the side of the house which means we’d better get moving on that exterior reno.
The ever popular ‘Sally Holmes’. She had a wretched time in our old garden due to the midge and I’d like to give her another chance. I love those single-petal blooms!
I also planted out some larger (2 gallon sized) roses into the garden, mounding up a little pile of compost and mulch around their base to give them a cozy blanket. These cool-ish air temps/warm-ish soil will be good for their root development and get them a leg up for spring. That’s the hope, at least. Into the garden went: Cornelia, Madame Berkeley, Sister Elizabeth, Madame Alfred Carrière, Sally Holmes, cl. Old Blush and Baltimore Belle. Some of these, you might remember, I grew in our old garden and just loved them so much I wanted to add them again.
A dovecote has recently been added. Now it’s no longer that random post just sticking out of the ground…
The blossoms on Cornelia are so sweet. Contrary to what I’ve read, this rose is not “thornless” (at least, mine has never been) but her prickles are fewer.
Venosa Violacea was a top-notch Clematis in our former garden. I think she pairs well with Cornelia.
Cornelia was planted at the base of that wood post that you’ve seen randomly sticking up out of the ground in previous posts, but now, we have it topped with a dovecote! Finally! There will also be a ‘Venosa Violacea‘ Clematis planted with her. I’m so excited to see this area of the garden come together.
Cl. Old Blush
In other news, I was recently asked by a reader for more information about the supports used at the Biltmore rose garden, so as promised, below are some photos of those. Skip this part if you’re not interested. 😉 Have a wonderful holiday season!
What you’re looking at here are the various types of structures and how the roses are spaced and attached. The pillars, which stand roughly 7′ have 1-3 climbers, like ‘Silver Moon’ planted at the base surrounded by shrub roses (I think I counted 9) spaced roughly 1-2′ apart. The arbors, planted with ‘New Dawn’, are planted one at each corner and tied in with twine. There are cables at the top further supporting the weight. The canopy is planted with ‘Rural England’, one at each base, also supported and tied in tightly with twine. The walls are planted with climbers and ramblers supported and trained with metal cables on a type of winching system. The trial rose climbers are planted next to free-standing trellises, one each. Hope this helps!