Archive for May, 2009

Pole Beans and Pink Rose


Our pole beans have now completely covered the 5-foot tall wire fence I erected for them last March. I love this fence structure, because it is strong enough to support the weight of the beans. I made the fence using two wooden posts and a steel wire frame that is used for supporting concrete in construction. But perhaps I should have made it taller. The vines are already 8-9 feet long.


This photograph is a pink climbing rose called America that I planted as a bare root a few years ago. I love this climbing rose. I have planted several climbing roses including Cecil Brunner and Blaze, but this one is my favorite. It has done really well in our yard. It produces lots of beautiful pink flowers, and it has not gotten any black spot or mildew diseases. It grows a moderate amount, but it’s not too vigorous like Cecil Brunner. I got so tried of pruning the numerous long thorny vines of Cecil Brunner, that today I pruned two of ours to the ground, and I plan on uprooting them next weekend.

May 31 2009 | Beans and Roses | Comments Off on Pole Beans and Pink Rose

Jasmine Fence


The star jasmine growing up one of our side fences is in full bloom right now. The fragrance of its white star-shaped flowers is exquisite. The flowers have a wonderful sweet smell that pervades the air. We often open the windows near the jasmine fence so we can smell the fragrance from inside the house. The jasmine growing along this fence has 2-inch thick trunks that must be decades old.

Jasmine is a great plant to grow along a fence. However, once jasmine gets established, it grows very fast, like ivy. When we replaced this fence 3 years ago, I cut about 2/3 of the vines off to make way for the new fence. Within two years, it had grown back completely.

Jasmine really needs to be pruned severely every year to keep it in check. Our Jasmine grows quickly up the branches of our nearby cherry tree. After a few years without pruning, it almost completely covered the tree with vines, blocking out most of the light to the tree’s leaves. Now, I cut off most its new growth each fall.

May 31 2009 | Jasmine | Comments Off on Jasmine Fence

Pink Peonies


This is a picture of peonies that were picked from a garden in front of the house we were staying in during our visit to western Kentucky last week. I have never seen peonies growing where we live in California. Now that I have seen how pretty they are, I am interested in trying to grow them in our yard. The bushes are smaller than I thought they would be. These flowers were from bushes that were only about 2 feet tall.

May 31 2009 | Peonies | Comments Off on Pink Peonies

Flowers in Kentucky


We are visiting family in rural Kentucky this week. This is my first trip to this part of the country. It’s interesting to see what plants people are growing in their gardens in other parts of the country.

Many beautiful plants are growing in Kentucky gardens this spring, such as this lavender clematis that is blooming right now. Clematis is a deciduous flower vine. The vines grow up a support, such as a fence or post, and are covered with colorful large flowers this time of year.

I have noticed many differences about the way people garden here compared with how we garden in California. One of the most interesting differences is that people here in Kentucky seem to get away with relying almost entirely on rain to water their plants. Typically, enough rain falls in this part of the country in the spring and summertime to keep their gardens watered without supplemental irrigation. It’s interesting to me that people here can grow so many water hungry plants without constantly having to water them. It has already rained a few days since we have been here.

May 25 2009 | Clematis | Comments Off on Flowers in Kentucky

More Great Roses




These are more pictures of roses I am growing in our garden. The first picture shows a beautiful pink rose that I inherited from the previous owners of the house. It’s flowers are always so perfectly shaped. They almost look fake. These roses form in clusters that look like bouquets of arranged flowers. Although they don’t have any detectable smell. I don’t know what type of rose it is.

The second picture shows a Mr. Lincoln red rose. I have had this rose for about 6 years. Every year it looks more healthy and has more flowers. The flowers are very large when they are fully open, about 6-7 inches wide, and they have a wonderfully classic red rose fragrance as they are opening.

The third picture shows a new rose bush that I just planted last week. It’s a Floribunda rose called Surprise. It’s flowers are initially yellow, fading to a deep pink as they age. The flowers have an interesting candy-like smell as they are opening.

Roses are a joy to have growing in the garden. They are so beautiful, and many of them will bloom repeatedly from spring through summer and fall under the right conditions, unlike a lot of other flowering plants. They are also relatively tolerant of a variety of weather conditions. But to really flourish, they need lots of sun and lots of watering.

May 14 2009 | Roses | Comments Off on More Great Roses

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