Gardenscape

Recently I started playing a gardening game called Gardenscapes in which you get to restore a neglected garden to its former glory.  It is a lot of fun re-doing the fountains and hedges, reviving and cleaning up old plants.

In the real world I do that in my backyard too. For many years I have lived in my house and neglected the yard. We had grass put in when my boys were young.  The last four years I became interested in gardening when I inherited some of my mother-in-law’s plants. I realized gardening is a great mental and physical benefit so I started hauling out almost all of the grass in the backyard to create my garden. I am so glad I did because my garden now is so colorful and lush. I have put in a lot of back-breaking work but when flowers bloom, it was totally worth it.  It has frequent visitors such as birds, bees, ladybugs, butterflies, slugs, and worms of all kinds.  There is a healthy ecosystem in my backyard.

Although it looks like a “jungle” as my mom and kids like to call it, I really like that the inner garden is disguised by the big trees and bushes maturing over the years.  It makes the garden feel like a “secret garden”. Below, I have two official entrances to my garden, each are flanked by trellis arches with clematis and passion flowers growing on it.

Passion flower trellis

Did you see the passion flower fruits that are hanging off of that trellis? I was so excited to see them since I didn’t know whether the kind I grew would bear fruit!

Clematis trellis
This view is from the back of the garden.
Right side of the garden

The above picture is the right side of the garden and starting from the front right is my sage, magnolia souvlangiana tree, blue chicory, purple daisies, pink rose bush, and pink Strybing Beauty bush next to the tall brugmansia tree on the far right.

The scenery above is a view into the front of the garden.  In the front I have a holly hock bush, pink geraniums, foxgloves on the right with the yellow Charles Grimaldi brugmansia in the back. On the far left, I have the purple and white foxglove bushes, a White Bouquet tansy ground cover, orange At Last roses, and an orange tree behind it.  I have some poppies growing in this area that hasn’t gotten tall enough to make it in the picture.

Finally, below are a collection of some new flowers blooming these past few weeks. My pink Pompom poppy finally has a couple of flowers that didn’t look diseased, most were in very bad shape.  I tried growing them many times but this is the first year that it flowered.

Poppy
Purple Emperor nasturtiums
Princess Victoria Louise poppy

Roses

Recently I planted some really amazing new roses in my garden.   One in particular is called Koko Loco and it changes colors as it aged. It starts out a deep salmon pink color, then to cocoa, eventually fading out to an almost lavender color.  This is not your average rose! I love growing uncommon things.

Another rose that is particularly beautiful to me is the Love Song rose. It has the most perfect purple lavender color ever.

This Sparkle and Shine rose has an amazing yellow color that I like and I don’t usually like yellow flowers. It has good form and reminds me of a hibiscus and peony. It is such a cheerful color in the garden.

Another phenomenal beauty is the Plum Perfect rose, which also has a beautiful, vibrant plum. I love the double flower form of this rose.

Below are a few other favorites from years before. Oklahoma and First Prize are huge flowering roses, in full bloom they are larger than my hand as you can see from one of the pictures. Oklahoma is a deep red, very dramatic.

Below are a few other honorable mentions that are not roses I thought you might enjoy.

Geraniums
Hibiscus
Dwarf pomegranate

Roses

It goes without saying that roses are one of the most classic beauties of all time. Everyone has seen a rose at one time or another. At one point, I thought they were too common and spiky to grow. The spiky stems made it even harder to like. However, overtime they grew on me because of their beautiful petals and sweet fragrance. I am very partial to scented flowers!

“At Last Rose”

The all time favorite rose in my garden right now is this “At Last” rose. It has shades of deep orange like the above picture and then it also has a lighter peachy color like the ones below as well. Every time I see them bloom it always amazes me by how beautiful the colors are. So far this one is fairly easy to maintain. When I have time I will probably propagate this plant and spread them all over my garden.

Roses are one of the moderately easy to grow flowers. I say moderately because they are not the kind of flowers you can just leave them dry or unattended like succulents. They require regular pruning to encourage new flowers, particularly after they bloomed. If they get too leafy and had too many side shoots, you have to prune those so that the plant spends its energy on flower production instead of more leaves. They need fertilizer to keep them blooming. They also need moist soil. All those things will help them to be prolific bloomers.

I love pink roses and have been looking for many varieties of pink roses. The rose on the top left is called “First Prize” has a marbleized effect. The one on the top right is the “Peace” hybrid tea rose and it has shades of peach and pinks that sometimes changed throughout the day, like captured on the bottom right. I love it best when it is both pinks and peaches together. Extremely exceptional!

The yellow mini roses are such cuties. They are mini in every way and one of the most adorable! I wish I can place them all over in my yard as well. I started to like yellow flowers because of them.

This reddish, with a hint of pink rose above is the “Oklahoma” hybrid rose, I put my hand next to it for comparison of the size of the flower. It was almost 5 inches in size.

The above gorgeous reddish pink rose bush was supposed to be an indoor plant but I put it in the ground and it seemed to like its new home because it is blooming heavily.

This mini pink rose is also most ADORABLE! It started out a light pink like above and then faded out to white after long exposure to the sun. It was another one of the mini roses that should have been in a container but I liked the colors so much I wanted it to survive and multiply outdoors. I tend to over-water container plants and eventually kill them so whatever plant I treasure, I put it in the ground. I dislike growing things in containers!!!

Take time to enjoy all the roses out there in the world. They can be found almost anywhere in warmer or cooler climates. Once established in the ground, they are extremely hardy and can tolerate just about anything. The best thing is that they bloom almost year-round if you live in warmer climates.