Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good Advice

I received an exclusive email offer today from one of my favorite catalogs, Charley's Greenhouse & Garden, and they were offering T-shirts for sale with these messages....

Love the bright red color of this one!

....Great advice, no?


This was a day brightener for me. Just wanted to share it with any of my garden blogger friends who might be having a case of the winter blues! :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Snowfall

It was raining when we went to bed last night, but sometime during the night it turned to snow....

This late bloom on my yellow English rose 'Graham Thomas' was heavy with wet snow, and resting on the post of the picket fence.


"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?" ~J. B. Priestley

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Calendula 'Pink Surprise'

I have chosen a special Calendula as the subject for this week's 'Keepers' post. I grow several varieties, but a favorite for the past few years has been 'Pink Surprise.'

Of course, it is not really a true pink, but more of what I would describe as a blushed apricot. The center petals usually show more yellow, which makes for a very nice, soft effect. There can be quite a variation of tones from plant to plant, which adds an interesting element of surprise.

Calendula's are like sunshine in the garden! They bloom both early and late, and are prolific self-sowers. I bought one packet of 'Pink Surprise' seed 3 years ago and have been rewarded ever since with more seed than I could ever use! It has been one of my hottest items for seed trading on the Garden Web Seed Exchange forum.

A couple of twin blooms, wearing a bit of morning dew!
(Click to enlarge)


"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul." ~Luther Burbank

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Petunia 'Dolce Flambe'

Although the frost has finished off most of the annuals, there are a few more noteworthy ones I wanted to mention in my series on the 'Keepers' in my garden. These include those I've enjoyed for many years and those more recently discovered, that I will likely grow again because of their individual merits. Today's post is dedicated to a new favorite petunia....'Dolce Flambe'.

This new variety, by an Italian breeder, is so lovely in it's subtle blending of colors...a pale rose infused with lemon and splashed with white. One catalog described the overall effect as "that of a ripe peach." I started these from seed, as I do most of my flowers.

I noticed that the blooms start out a darker rose (such as the ones on the right in the above photo) and then fade to a softer color. This difference also added to the overall color interest of the plant. The light, creamy yellow companion flower here is 'Dolce Limoncello,' by the same breeder. Though I liked the combination, I think 'Dolce Flambe' would look good on it's own, as well.

Though most blooms had just a white edging, some looked like the flowers pictured above. Cool, aren't they? The blooms are about 3 inches across and the plant height is 8-10 inches tall, blooming from early to late summer. Overall, a winner in my book..... I will definitely grow these again for their interesting and lovely shades of pastel color!


Thursday, November 1, 2007


When I looked out the window yesterday morning, I was greeted with the lovely sight of sparkling frost everywhere, so I quickly got myself dressed and headed out the try and capture some of the beauty, before it disappeared!

Calendula 'Radio'

Scabiosa - Pincushion flower

'Simplicity' Rose

Backside of Yellow Calendula

California Poppy

Zinnia 'Bonita'

Cosmos 'Sensation'

Mountain Ash

Last year our first killing frost was on October 9th, which was a bit earlier than our typical mid-October date here in our zone 6b. This year it came on October 30th, a full 3 weeks later than last year....we almost made it to November.


"Autumn waves goodbye
....while Winter waits in the wings, practicing her lines."