Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden Fashion~ Black ~Loosening the Garden Girdle

"It seemed to my friend that the creation of a landscape-garden offered to the proper muse the most magnificent of opportunities. Here indeed was the fairest field for the display of the imagination, in the endless combining of forms of novel beauty."
~ Edgar Allen Poe, 
"The Landscape Garden",  1850 

The garden arch  served as my mother's headboard while residing in assisted living
In deciding what color to paint the metalwork in the garden, I'm going with Lorene Edwards Forkner's advice at the last So Cal Hort meeting. The new editor of Pacific Horticulture and author of many books, including Handmade Garden Projects-Step-StepStep-by-Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting and More ; black should be used more often in the garden. 

The German cabbage formed rose was almost tossed for non-performance. 
It took most of Saturday to preen away the plants from the beginning to rust arch and prepare it for a renewing coat consisting of 4 cans of glossy heat- resistant Ace spray paint. 

Sunday, I switched to prepping and painting the uprights of an iron gazebo. Earlier this year it sailed into a swimming pool during the Pasadena windstorms that took whole neighborhoods from the electric era back to bygone days for a week.  Salvaged from where it sunk, there is some work to be done ahead- but before this summer is a memory, the structurally sound scroll work panels shall be joined with timber and solidly anchored as a custom arbor in our sadly neglected vegetable path. 

Matilija Poppy (Romneya Coulteri) 
Way back in our wilds, you can see I've finally had success in getting the Matilija poppy hedge to establish. To give you a sense of the size of each bloom- think grade A extra-large fried ostrich egg. 

The shrubby poppy is my legacy to where I live. For long after I am gone, even if the sprinklers are ripped away- the happy faced bloom will pop up about the canyon.  

Roses wave their way in and out of bloom. 'Sexy Rexy' and equally sensuous  'Cinco de Mayo' tango together in the landscape, waving their center petals at whomever decided every thing in the garden should be matchy-matched.  

'Sexy Rexy' up close
Mavens of interior design did away with the notion of matched suites long ago. If we likewise loosened the girdles on our gardens, they would be so much more enjoyable.  

Look closely underneath the chive blossom. See the black and yellow dressing of a bee suckling away?   

The clump of chive stand at the feet of a blueberry bush. It offers handfuls of plump balls for fruit salad and muffins. What is different about blueberries fresh from the garden vs the grocers shelf is homegrown don't taste like cardboard, they taste like zing.  

Across the way, the blue stars of borage blossoms skirt around the new rose Dick Clark. Prolific self-seeders, as delicious to the eye as to the tongue when they razzle dazzle spinach salads, borage is allowed to spread about until the grow lethargically large. Then, like mint, they are yanked out. No need to worry that they won't be back):- 

This is the sky as it appeared during the eclipse. Not really dark at this latitude- but heaven cast a softer light that caused welder's masks to sell out in advance at our local Sears.  

Pulling the lens in tighter, the omni-present bunny rabbit. They are getting so used to us, the day is coming we may get to pet the wild-lings. When the carnivores come, which they will surely do, it will break my heart to hear the food chain in action. 

Speaking of God's creatures up close. Look just above the fern frond on the bottom right. There is a hummingbird posing not an arm's length from where I worked at getting its most photogenic angle with a standard lens. 

Please come back soon. There was much at the Sherman Library and Gardens Private Gardens Tour that I need to ready for you. In the words of Robert Browning- 

"The best is yet to be."...


  1. If the best is yet to be, then I can hardly wait! You're garden is equalling anything I saw at the Encinitas show recently.

    Your camera eye is developing than a level with your gardening skills, too.

    Can't wait for you to come here and give me some ideas of what to plant in the shade for color other than azaleas.

    Seal Beach.

  2. OPPS! Meant to say, Your camera eye is developing ON a level w/yr gardening skills, too.


  3. It is such a pleasure to visit your gardewn, Lydia....And I LOVE how the Bunny's are regular visitors, along with all the other wonderful creatures....!
    It ALL looks so very Beautiful!

  4. Judy- LOL- You should have seen the typos this post went up with originally. Made me consider a more expensive grammar checker- one with titles included. No need to worry about yours.

    Dear Naomi- Thank you. This garden is meant to give pleasure. Your notes tell me it is succeeding.

  5. Well, I guess that German rose could see you had the shovel nearby and decided to shape up. Absolutely loving the combination of Sexy Rexy and Cinco de Mayo, especially with the late spring sun dancing on their petals.


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