New Pictures of the Rose and Perennial Court

February 2003

"A little tune for those light feet
that [dance], among the leaves and flowers
In someone's garden (Is it ours?)"
-- Cicely Mary Barker, "The Song of the Columbine Fairy"



This winter, we took the plunge again and did major planting in the Rose and Perennial Court

From Jane's Herbs & Things, we got twenty new old-fashioned own-root shrubs, all but two of which went in front: Princesse de Sagan (pink bicolor), Clotilde Soupert (Polyantha white scented), Archduke Charles (China red),Dr. Grill (Tea apricot/pink), Heritage (David Austen light pink),Mme. Alfred Carierre (Noisette white climbing), Perle D'Or (Polyantha apricot scented), Landmark (Shrub especially lovely light pink),Erfurt (Hybrid Musk small light pink single flowers in clusters),Spice (Shrub small white), Natchitoches Noisette (Found pink),Radiance (Shrub medium pink heavily scented),Papa Contier (Shrub medium pink), Ducher (China, a large, well-grown, bushy specimen, white scented) were planted in the circle. Mme. Lombard (Tea apricot/pink),Reve D'Or (Noisette yellow climbing scented), Souvenir de la Malmaison (Bourbon white/pink scented - this is my second try with this one), and Mrs. Dudley Cross (Tea cream) went on the north side of the path. Dortmund (Climber clusters of single red flowers with white centers) and Claire Matin (Climber light pink single flowers in clusters) were planted to climb a post in the Herb Circle, across from Prosperity (Hybrid Musk clusters of white flowers), which has grown quite a bit since last year and now reaches the top of the arch.

From Home Depot came four Hybrid Teas, which I don't expect to last long, but were too pretty to resist:Sunsprite (yellow and very like Yellow Spice), Dolly Parton (bright orange and heavily-scented, like Tropicana but with more petals),Blue Girl (heavily-scented light purple like Sterling Silver - planted this among some Purple Queen for a terrific color combination), and one that was a reddish purple rimmed in crimson, similar to Angel Face but with a larger flower; also two miniature bicolor roses, one yellow with a red picotee, and one pink and white candy-cane striped.  All of these went in the circle.

Care was taken with color combinations when planting - for instance, Perle D'Or, with its delicate apricot blooms, went in front of some Jamaican Crotons, which have burgundy foliage splashed with cream - most satisfying.  All weedings (except seeded ones, dayflowers, and nutgrass) were laid back in the beds around the new plantings as mulch - this has the added effect of making the new plants look like they have been there a while. 


Of course, since these are very young roses, they will not have loads of flowers until they are better established, maybe in two or three years.  At this point though, there wasn't a lot of color to show for all that hard work, which is a let-down even when you know you'll be rewarded in the future.  So I did something new for us - went to Home Depot and got: twenty-four small pots and a flat of short Snapdragons, twenty-six tall Snapdragons in all colors, four flats of dwarf blue/purple Ageratums, and one flat of all-white Periwinkles (Vincas).  These annuals were all chosen for their heat-tolerance and quality of long-standing in the garden.  The tall snaps got placed in front of the roses on the inside of the circle, the short snaps went in front of those, and then the entire inside of the circle was lined with ageratums.  Instant color pop!

Some short snaps also went in the front paralleling the sidewalk, with six new variegated liriope so the front is now pretty much lined with liriope and interspersed with color.  The effect can be seen in the picture below.  Also, last year, we painted the house and put on a new tile roof with slightly purplish concrete S-tiles (much cheaper than clay barrel tiles, which they are supposed to imitate).  The house paint is a cream color, which was partially a mistake (I think it's way too dark), but we'll just have to wait for it to fade.  We were trying to match the old paint with a dirty old chip and a customer help person who didn't know what they were doing.  Anyway...  The front door and back side of the front wall were painted a bright blue of my own devising (it had to have some violet in it but also be very blue, so this took a patient customer service person who *did* know what to do), and the trim and shutters a purple called Ugandan Violet. I know I wrote about this before and promised pictures, but it just occurred to me none had been posted yet.  So this is the first time you will see the new paint job.  I was going for a California mix of colors.  If you hate it, I don't have to know about it, because except for the cream, I love it.  And it's my house, right?  This picture was taken at the perfect time of day and the colors look very true on my monitor.  Yes, the door really is that bright.  It's the same color as the Potager boxes, actually.  At this particular time of day, the violet shutters and cream paint seem a little dark, but the blue pops. :)  


I also separated some of the large blue irises and moved extras around the inside of  the circle.  The white periwinkles were planted in a line fronting the north side of the path, under the roses but behind a single layer of Blackie sweet potato, which has now spread all over the mound and made a low groundcover for this bed as well. 


Looking at the walk to the front door from the driveway revealed good texture contrasts, but too little color at ground level, so I planted a Spider Plant (yup - ye old standard houseplant) with white margins in this shady corner for a starting punctuation point, and seven magenta dwarf Pentas in a couple of spots along the path, which solved that problem very nicely.  The Spider Plant has wider leaves and wider margins, so it makes more of a statement in this spot than a liriope would.  This picture shows some of the new pentas, but the young spider plant is not too visible under the variegated ligustrum at the corner.


I like the view from the driveway on the southwest corner because the combination of foliage colors is pleasing to me there.



This area just keeps getting better, in my opinion, because the textures and colors are interweaving and layering themselves as Irises walk, blue Spiderworts and pink upright Ruellias seed, and purple groundcover Ruellias and pink Portulacas creep.  Silouhetted against the stark light driveway, there are appear to be some empty spots, but these will fill in as the bushier new roses planted there grow.  Ducher, for instance is a robust China shrub, so it was used in one of those areas that needed structure in the backbone (center) of the bed.  The more dainty ones are planted to be seen in front of these, either from inside or outside the circle.

Below is a truly awful pasting together of snapshots, but it does give a true impression of what it feels like to stand on the path looking at the center of the circle, and the proportions involved.  Ours is a small garden, so it's pretty amazing to think of the number of roses it contains!



Home  ** What's New? ** How It All Started * Garden Update October 2004 * Garden Diary 2008 * Garden Diary 2009 * Garden Diary 2010 * Garden Diary 2011 ** New! Garden Diary 2012 ** Rose and Perennial Court * Rose Update Feb 2003 * Front Garden Update 2008-9 * Behind the Wall * Herb Circle * Tropical Edibles Area ** New! Growing Dinner: Visit to a Homegarden ** Potager  * Potager 2004-5 * Potager Plan 2008-9 * Edibles 2008-9 * Crop Chart 2008-9 * Edibles Planting Schedule * Warm Season Planting 2005 * Succulent Beds * Wild Edibles * Caterpillars to Butterflies * Building Healthy Soil * Ecological Gardening * Index of Plants and Techniques Featured * Annual Vegetable Chart * Long Lasting Markers: Jewelry for Your Plants * Build a Gardening Notebook