a journey filled with many familiar paths and some not yet taken... all leading to the ever-changing destinations just waiting to be discovered.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Inspired and In Search of Color...

Meandering through everyone's gardens, stopping to visit
the many bursts of colors and shapes of each beautiful blossom
 inspired me to pull out the camera to see what I could find. 

As a beginner to gardening,
 who took over a yard filled with many rose bushes
 and a few other flowering areas (that are now struggling),
I was hoping to find some of the amazing colors in my own yard/garden. 
I have had many other blooms
 previous to this time on the rose bushes, unfortunately,
 I found that most of them are now in wait, but
soon I will be blessed with more of those!
If I recall from last year,
 with the number of bushes that I have,
 there was something in bloom most of the summer season.

First there is the Hockleberry (I believe that is what it is?).  Hollyhock.
The pink blossoms tower
over a couple of rose bushes placed in the front area
of the backyard flower bed.
When I first moved in, there were rose bushes surrounding the towers,
however, I have relocated some to the left side to make room for
a container garden of vegetables...

The bell pepper that I was so excited about in my last post.
Actually, today we found some cucumbers,
 the squash is holding its own and we now
have some baby tomatoes starting.  
 I am enjoying the learning process for all of the various plants.

Then back to the other side of the pink towers, there are several of the
rose bushes. I have been very fascinated watching the blooms, the
variety of types and the rainbow of colors. 
I have been somewhat confused by a few of the bushes, tho,
as first they will  bloom a velvety white blossom,
 then on the same bush will be a gorgeous pink,
similar to my pink towers,
then the next round might be yellow. 
Never a new color until all of the first color is gone.

I have never seen anything like it!  I truly anticipate each surprise. 

My neighbor, who shares the possum family with me,
has numerous roses as well.  A few of hers are the newer hybrids
that display several colors, but her's blossom with more than
one color at one time.
Needless to say, I find myself in anticipation of a new gift with each
start of a blossom, wondering what color I will be blessed
with as it opens to display it's beauty.

Following along that side of my yard were 7 Azalea bushes.
However, for some reason I have lost 3 already
and one we are trying to nurse back to health.
Right now the ones still left are all green,
but I have yet to see the pink and white flowers
that I had when I moved in.

Which brings us to this Bougainvillea.
Originally, I replaced one with this in purple, 
then this year two of these vibrant pink ones - however...
after planting the first,
and moving on to the second, I found that the roots of
the evergreen trees that my neighbor has, would not allow me
to plant the second, as the roots are taking over. 
Not small roots mind you, these are probably six inches around.
(I'm not a very good gardener yet,
but I was thinking that might be the problem.)
So now I have taken the second Bougainvillea over to the
driveway side, and have set it next to the Honeysuckle,
which from what I understand, completely takes over to the
top of the carport each year.  I know it has
broken free of the clay pot
that it "resides" in, planting itself in the ground.  
 The orange flowers
bursting in all directions when in bloom.

So moving along that side to the front of the house are more roses,
white Calalilies, and more roses that seem to...
The roses on this side in the far front have also had wild blackberry
bushes pop up in the middle of them. 
These two I have been told seem to be old enough to
have "gone back to wild" like they once were
before we humans came along and developed them.

Oh, back where the Azaleas were on the other side,
since I couldn't plant the second Bougainvillea...
I came across two Brush Cherry bushes,
young enough to try in planters. 
I was told indirect sunlight is best for them
so I am hoping they will do well under the canopy of evergreens,
oh, and my apricot tree is also right there.
That's one of my endeavors for tomorrow, the first picking.
Next will be the peach tree which sits further
back in the yard, toward my pink towers.

And finally, the front flowerbed...
last year my roommate threw handfuls of wildflower seeds.
When I inquired what kind they were,
she had no idea! 
A couple of weeks ago, the entire flowerbed
burst end to end with pale pink cones.
Popping up through, are still the baby rose
bushes, and purple starbursts towering above them...
and a few other unidentified plants.

Which is also across from a couple more...
rose bushes, of course....
this in the small bed on the other side of the front steps.
Just behind these are four geranium pots
surrounding the
Flowering Plum Tree, which I am
impatiently waiting to see in it's first bloom,
hopefully this year!


Friko said...

The first flowers may be those of the hollyhock, which is what we call them here. If your azaleas are poorly, you may be giving them the wrong water. Azaleas need acid soil, feed and rainwater only.

When i first started gardening, I knew nothing at all. I bought 2nd hand books, had manuals for presents, joined a gardening group and watched gardening programs on TV.

Now I find gardening a wonderful aid to relaxation. It is also a very healthy pursuit.

Good luck.

Reflections said...

Thank you again Friko.... Hollyhock, I will remember that. I would say the Azaleas are getting the wrong water then as it rarely rains here, I am considered the edge of the high desert/canyon area.

I have picked up lots of books and am trying to learn, although so far I have not had enough time to just "look through to identify my plants". I work pretty long hours so not much time in the evenings to get out in the yard.

I have always wanted a yard like this with a variety of plants, but I don't think I really thought out the time it would take to learn enough to maintain them.

Then I jumped in last year and added all kinds of bonsai (originally for my bathroom until I learned even those should be grown outside in a more temperate climate than where I live), again without thinking about my skill level. I have resigned myself to learning more before adding more plants.

I also learned that I should buy in my own area, so I am getting plants appropriate for my Zone... I was doing okay with many of them last year until we hit a week of 110+ for several days. The extended heat fried many of them! I think I may tend to overwater sometimes too, trying to compensate for the heat. We are already 90+ most days and it's a very dry heat.

I love being out in nature, so yes, when I am not frustrated with losing the plants, it is getting to be relaxing and exciting with the small successes that I have had.

Thank you for your input, I really appreciate and welcome the information.

Reflections said...

Thank you again Friko. I truly appreciate your input with the gardening.

I have bought many books trying to learn. I have very little time to get into the yard during my work week - I tend to have very long hours, so after work it is usually close to dark by the time I can get out there. I also think I tend to overwater trying to compensate for the hot/dry weather. I lost quite a few plants last year when we hit 110+ for about a week.

One of the key things I have learned is making sure plants are Zone appropriate - we are Zone 10 so many do not do well here in the summer heat. I think the people before me spent most of their time "tinkering" both inside and outside.

I am now getting to the point where it is becoming relaxing. I am truly thrilled at the small successes, which is very encouraging.

laurie said...

hollyhocks! yes, i grew some once. the old-fashioned kind bloom only every other year, which was a disappointment the year they didn't bloom. they developed gigantic leaves the size of dinner plates. apparently they have since developed a kind that blooms annually. hope that's what you have.

and i have killed more rose bushes than i care to confess to. small successes ARE the best, with gardens. slow and steady.

Reflections said...

Laurie.... The hollyhocks are the annual ones. They seem to actually bloom from early spring into late fall. From what I've seen and heard so far, they also spread prolifically from all of the seeds that drop. I find them in various places popping up, not just where they were when I moved in. Very beautiful though.