Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ivy and Vines

About 4 years ago, we planted 3 very small Boston Ivy plants around our lamp post. The first year it just sat there. The second year it decided to send up 1 weird shoot that refused to connect to the lamp post. The third year it started to climb slowly up the post with the help of garden twine, but only had leaves at the very top of the post. It looked very strange. And then last year, it did this.....

This year I think it needs a clematis to wind through the ivy, don't you? I tried one at the end of the season last year but I doubt that it will come back this year, it was a "Niobe" with huge, beautiful deep magenta-red flowers. It bloomed a bit, but never really took off.

The other clematis I have is a purple "Jackman" that grows happily amongst my white Iceberg Climbing rose. I've had good success with this clematis so perhaps I need to just get another one of these for the lamp post.

The Iceberg Climber (a.k.a. my arch nemesis) is a whole other story...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Busy, busy...and not at gardening

Very busy at work over the next few days. Annual reviews are due. Winnie is sitting next to me waiting patiently. She is actually a very polite little girl. I think she would do well at Downton Abbey.

I imagine her saying something like this...

"So, I gather from your inattentiveness that we will not be playing with the orange duck today?"

"Very well. I will take a quick respite here on my cushion until you are ready. Please alert me when appropriate."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Golden move or not?

In my David Austin bed, I have 6 Golden Celebrations. I bought them bare root and they love their home. They get just enough light so they don't burn. But, I think they are growing out of this space. I pruned them yesterday and really got a look at how much they had grown in 1 year. I need to think of a different place for them. But in the are some shots from last year.

The color is a really pretty soft "sunshiny" yellow in my garden with just a hint of apricot as it fades. I have a Graham Thomas and a Charlotte in the garden which are also yellow but Golden Celebration is my favorite because of the large blooms and soft, buttery color.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pruning Begins....

It's really sunny and warm out today so pruned and oiled 1 rosebed this morning. It takes me about 1 hour to do each bed and I have 5 different beds, so I like to space it out throughout the next few weekends. Here is my arsenal of supplies for the job:

After I prune, I use the sprayer for the horticultural/dormant oil. I put 2.5 tablespoons of the concentrated oil in the sprayer which is about 1/2 a gallon. You can buy the kind that hooks up to the hose, but we don't bring the hose out for awhile in case of a freeze, so this thing works. You can get one at Home Depot for about $6.

The Elmer's glue is for the large canes that I cut. If the cane is larger than a pencil, I put a little glue on the end. Nail polish works too. Keeps out the cane borers. Covering the cuts and spraying dormant oil really keeps the bugs in check around here. I don't have a big insect problem in my garden (except for the beetles and aphids which are pretty easy to get rid of).

1 bed down. Such a good feeling!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Too Cold to Prune

I was going to start pruning this weekend, but we had a cold spell yesterday with a ton of rain, so it's muddy and cold out. Gusty winds are bringing March in like a lion. So instead, we'll stay in and finish the kitchen this afternoon (I say we, but I'm over here blogging while David is busy getting ready to caulk). I did manage to snap a few shots of the tulip bed today. They are coming up pretty fast now. I can't wait to show you what this bed looks like in full bloom. Last year it was pretty spectacular.

I just realized that I am out of bulb fertilizer so ordered some to come in early next week. Around here, if you want your bulbs to come up as perennials, you have to feed them. I usually do it now, when they are starting to come up versus in the fall. I use a lot of Dr. Earth products and love their Bulb Food for my tulips and daffies. Frustrated that Home Depot doesn't have its garden center open yet and my local nursery is still closed until next week. Doesn't this seem late?

We planted over 300 bulbs in this area a few years ago and they are laying under a cover of chicken wire so the squirrels can't get to them. So far, our furry friends haven't figured it out. Hah!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring in the Flower District

It may still be a bit chilly here, but the Flower District is in full Spring Swing . I walk through on my way to work in the mornings. If you walk down 28th Street between 7th and Broadway, you'll catch a glimpse of some of these fabulous vendors. They place the flowers outside on the sidewalk so the fragrance of Hyacinths and Paperwhites waft over you as you walk along. I love the topiaries that are out now. They also have huge bundles of pussywillows and forced forsythia branches out.

Pretend you have a latte in hand, cabs are honking, people are in your way and walk with me down 28th to work as you scroll through the below....

A peek into one of the shops.

Can't wait for my own tulips and daffies to bloom. Have a good day, I'm off to work!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red roses...gotta love them

Just a few favorites....

This is Black Cherry, a floribunda that I got a few years ago. Black Cherry is notoriously my very first rose that blooms in the Spring. I'm betting on her again this year. Last year, this bloom opened on May 18th after a bunch of rain the week before. No scent.

Below is Traviata. This is a Hybrid Tea and was the very first rose I ever purchased. I bought her at the local nursery in the middle of summer when she was completely in bloom. Yes, I know, you're not supposed to buy them then, but I didn't know! I actually can't believe she's still with me. That first year, after I put her in the ground, she shriveled up and went into shock. It took a good year for her to spring back. No scent in my garden.

So, there is much debate about Knock-Out roses. The blooms are really bright and look terrible in a vase. However, for sheer blooming power, they are pretty impressive. I have 2 double knock-out roses. Both have served me well as background filler, so I'll mention them here.

This is Ingrid Bergman, a Hybrid Tea. She is very stately on tall stems with a slight fragrance in my garden. She is fairly new for me, so I only had a few blooms last year, but they were indeed lovely.

I have 2 Cinco de Mayos and I love them both. They are kept in barrels and bloom non-stop. They did get blackspot later in the season, but they weren't the worst offenders, so I'll keep them where they are. I love the pink, orange and red blooms. Just beautiful.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lovely Iris

If you don't get the Schreiner's Iris catalogue in the mail, consider yourself lucky. Because if you get this gorgeous catalogue you will be forced to purchase iris to fill areas of your garden that are already bursting at the seams. I fall for their glossy beautiful iris photos every year. Here are a few from last year....


Well Endowed


Lacy Snowflake
I originally planted a few of these beauties in my front garden which looked great, but the fans take up so much room!

By the end of the year, I had accumulated too many and had to make an iris bed in the back. I haven't seen this bed in its full glory yet, but here's how it looks currently....eek! Nothing at all to write home about....YET!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Heeling in "Easy Does It"

Last year I ordered a bunch of "Easy Does It"s at the end of the season. I had 1 "Easy Does It" that bloomed beautifully for me and at the end of the summer it was my only modern rose that didn't completely defoliate due to blackspot. So I went a little crazy and bought 8 of them thinking that I would replace a bunch of my more high maintenance Hybrid Teas with these.
Such a beautiful apricot shade with ruffles around the edges
As the blooms fade, the color turns to a very pretty pink
The bush itself has a nice shape and even bloomed in this shady spot

By the time I received them, it was November so I knew I had to heel them in since it was way to cold to really plant the roses. I soaked them overnight, dug a big hole and plopped them in. I didn't even snip the tags off of them. I think you're supposed to cover up more of the canes, but I can't dig very deep holes before I hit a tree root. Still seemed to work.

A group of four in 1 hole over winter
This weekend I dug them up and spread them out into holes of their own while they were sleeping. They look really healthy and are already budding. Can't wait for them to bloom. I planted 4 on each side of the front garden to act as bookends.

Nice healthy roots just like always from Pickering

New holes await!

Everyone in their new home!

Next weekend when I officially prune, I'll rake out all of the old leaves and mulch.

See all the buds already?

Monday, February 20, 2012

On President's Day

I used to work in Midtown and exited the N-R-Q subway right into Central Park every morning. I work farther down in the Flatiron District now. I miss how quiet Midtown is in the morning. Flatiron is a zoo since it's more residential. But, you can't beat the architecture down here. This is my home away from home 5 days a week.


Flatiron Building

My Building
  I'm telling you, the coffee carts in Midtown are a 100 times better. I have to go to Starbucks now for coffee versus the $1.25 I used to pay at the carts. Sigh....

But, the good news is that I work right across from Madison Square Park which is one of the many beautiful parks in NYC. The park opened on May 10, 1847 and was named after James Madison (4th president of the United States).

The Lawn

The famous Shake Shack that's in the middle of the park. At 7:30AM it looks harmless. Wait till lunchtime and the lines are around the park. It's one of those secret NY places...

The city always keeps the planters in the square maintained. In Spring and Summer they are spectacular.
Daffodils coming up in Madison Square Park too!
I love this statue at one of the entrances to the park. This is statesman William Seward and was dedicated in 1876. Seward brokered the Alaska deal from Russia which you might remember was called "Seward's Folly". He was Lincoln's Secretary of State.

Do you like that little piece of history?...yep, I googled it.