Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Is Everywhere

Everywhere you look now you see signs of spring! A lot of our climbers are putting on shows for us right now and most of them are doing it for the first time. This ‘Tangerine Beauty’ cross vine was one of our rescues last year from the half dead discount section in one of the local big box stores. It put out a pretty good bit of growth last year, but this is the first time it’s bloomed for us.


This is one of two white Lady Banks that I know of, I would like to have all of them but we are running out of room. There is also a pink one that I haven’t been able to find around here. This is ‘Alba Plena’ and she is a vigorous, but welcome grower in our garden. Her blooms are a little smaller that quarters and I think they are just adorable. This rose has very few thorns and doesn’t appear to be bothered by any of the nasty rose diseases.


The Akebia or Chocolate Vine is blooming for the first time as well. I’m told if you have two or more of these vines they can produce a delicious fruit that taste similar to melons. I’ve noticed a faint scent from the blooms but nothing that reminds me of chocolate. I’ve also read the some years they can be much more fragrant than others and no one seems to know why.


This is Lady Banks Victorian Rose ‘Lutea’ and I love it! I don’t know why I didn’t plant this closer to the house so I could enjoy it more. It’s been a favorite of mine since I first saw it growing years ago in a friend’s garden. It has no thorns that I’ve noticed and doesn’t seem to grow as fast as the ‘Alba Plena’.


This is the Potato Vine Solanum Jasminoides. We planted this vine two years ago at the suggestion of our friend Carol and I’m so glad we did. This little vine is quite the work horse when it comes to blooming; it starts in the spring and continues until frost. It seems to be a slow growing vine, so I’m going to make sure it has plenty of nutrients to give it a boost this year.


This is Jezebel, some of you may have seen her nest in an earlier post when she was building it. We chose to name her Jezebel because she seems to be very popular with the boys. She’s been behaving more like a lady since she’s laid her four eggs. Since we are in the garden all the time she has become accustomed to our presence and isn’t as shy as she use to be. She’ll still fuss at you if you get too close.


Louisiana Iris ‘Owen’s Yellow’ is sporting its first bloom for us. This is another rescue from the dollar trailer at our favorite nursery.


Last year I waited for ‘Point In Time’ to open its bloom and just as you could start to see some color the flower spike fell victim to the water hose. One wrong snatch and it snapped right off.


‘Trouper Orange’ is blooming for the first time this year. I was hoping that the blooms would be less red and more orange, but it’s still a pretty bloom, just not what I was expecting.


Everyone has been complimenting us on the way we chose to nestle this ‘Chocolate Chip’ Ajuga up in the rocks. The truth is we forgot it was planted there and I buried the rocks in that spot. It just decided to grow up around them. LOL


Jamie and I decided to go green this year. Even though our garden is full, most everything dies to the ground during the winter. We decided to work on improving the bones with evergreens this year and this Tea Olive is the first addition. We will slowly be replacing some of the tropical plants with plants that can provide interest all year.


Last but not least we finally found a base we liked for the Armillary. But, we are facing a problem with the garden décor right now. I was just discussing this with Phillip from Dirt Therapy yesterday via email. Jamie and I both love garden statuary and we’ve established a pretty good collection so far. Here in lies the problem, when everything grows in, the pieces will become wonderful accents, but right now as Jamie puts it “It looks like a cement truck threw up in the backyard.” Past experience has taught me that when you find a good deal on something you like you need to get it then, otherwise you come back a week later when you’ve changed your mind and it’s no longer available. What to do, what to do? I guess we will just have to stop for now and let things grow in a little and exactly how much is too much anyway?



Phillip said...

Wow, great post Randy. Love the base! Also, I want that potato vine this year. I had it several years ago and it was great. Do you know where I can find one? I've been seeing a purple variety that looks good too.

I hope my crossvine blooms this year!

And, lastly, are you sure that is the white Lady Banks? That doesn't look like a Lady Banks rose.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Great photos. I see so many things I like: the ajuga is so pretty, I love the little robin, I envy your Lady Banks roses, and the Tangerine Beauty is lovely.

Jamie and Randy said...

Phillip, I think we got the potato vine we have from Dothan at Buds N Blooms.

Yea, I'm sure it's a Lady Banks. The one we have is 'Alba Plena' there is also another White Lady Banks with more simple petals called 'Purezza'.

Jamie and Randy said...

Marnie, If you don't have any Lady Banks they are a must. Most especially 'Lutea'. I currently know of five different ones and I would like to have all of them.

Frances said...

Hi Randy, that is a fabulous array of vines. All the Lady Banks roses are wonderful, but the yellow is my favorite. Not quite hardy here, I will enjoy seeing yours. Our Tangerine Beauty is loaded with buds, it looks like it will be a good year for it. I love the stand for your armillary too. It does NOT look like a cement truck threw up there, not from your photo anyway. :-)

Jamie and Randy said...

Thank you Frances! I think we are okay for now, but if we put one more peice in the garden it will be too many. LOL If we find anything we like we will just have to put it in storage some where.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos! I love that Victorian rose! It's very unique looking.

Anonymous said...

I love that pedestal Randy! You could try staining the cement statuary or aging them so they blend in a bit better with the vegetation. You have some wonderful vines & roses blooming right now. That Crossvine is a gorgeous color, good deal finding that on the clearance rack.

Pam/Digging said...

You had me laughing over your comment about the cement truck. I can't tell from your pictures though. Everything looks lovely. Good story about the serendipitous nestling of the ajuga next to the rocks. Sometimes the best things aren't planned.

Dirt Princess said...

You have such a great selections of plants. I am all about the discount rack!!! I have the chocolate chip ajuga everwhere in my garden..I love it. You caught a great shot of Jezebel.

Gail said...

Randy, Phillip is right...this is a great post!
You have several plants that would lovely here: I think I want to get a named crossvine...They are wonderful and ...the potato vine is scrumptious and if I was a disciplined gardener I would get a akebia! They need someone to keep them in check...no one like that gardens at C&L! Have a good ret of the day and week! gail

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a fun post Randy. I can see your garden is way ahead of mine. I love the crossvine. I don't think they would grow here. I do have an akebia. I am with you in that I don't think they smell like chocolate. I have also broken off a perfectly beautiful iris bud and or bloom more than once whipping around in the garden with hose or other implement. It is so aggravating to do that. I love the base of the armillary. It looks like the perfect match.

Chandramouli S said...

It's super cool to have hue blooms in your garden like your Tangerine Beauty. Well, shouldn't that be Black Currant Vine ;) ? So cool to have a bird nesting in your garden, isn't it? Well, you got lucky, but again the fine gardener that you are, Mother Nature would definitely gift you with such treasures. Love your Lilies! I'm crazy about them!

I love props in the garden - only mine is devoid of it due to space constraint. I especially would love to have figurines in my future garden on ground. Like cupid holding a bow of flowering vine! Wouldn't that be a wonderful sight!

Jamie and Randy said...

Welcome to Our Eden! We love getting new visitors! If you have somewhere to plant a Lady Bank and they are hardy in your zone, you should really get one. Lutea is one of my very favorite plants.

I’m not a big fan of the stained concrete, BUT I do like the idea of aging it! I just need to get online and research how to do it now. That’s a very good idea!

I’m glad you got a good giggle out of the cement truck comment. It’s not just the concrete stuff, it’s all the bare trellis and arbors that we have up too, but sooner or later they will be covered in greenery and look much better.

We are most definitely about the discount rack. Ironically, most of the 90% off stuff we get comes from Lowes and on their sister gardening site they tell you don’t waste your money buying them. LOL

For some reason our Akebia isn’t that much of a thug. It barely grew any last year; I’m hoping it does better this year. I don’t mind pruning plants, I find it artistic and relaxing, you can make them do anything you want to if you are patient enough.

If you can grow the Akebia, I would think you could grow the cross vine, but I don’t know for certain. I have broken off so many flower stalks in the past year it isn’t even funny. When the Daylilies start to bloom I just stay away from them. LOL

Jamie and Randy said...

I'm glad Jezebel built a nest so we can watch her, but she built it in a high traffic area so we keep having to take the long way around the garden so we don't disturb her.LOL

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

What a beautiful, tranquil space you've created, for people and birds alike!! We have a relative of crossvine that blooms here, too.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

FANTASTIC! I've not seen the white Lady Banks. I have two of the yellow, but they won't bloom for a few more weeks yet. My akebia is blooming now, but not my crossvine. The deer managed to get up on the patio in late fall and give all of my vines a trim at the base!


Jamie and Randy said...

There is a Red Bignonia that I think is really pretty too. Tangerine Beauty actually has fuzzy blooms.

There are two white Lady Banks, "White Lady Banks 'Alba Plena'" and "Lady Banks 'Purezza' a.k.a. 'The Pearl'. I really would like to find the pinkish/purple one 'Lilac Charm'. :-)

Barbarapc said...

Hi Randy, first visit - great read and so nice to see what's cooking in your garden. I designed a garden for a woman who couldn't pass a statuary store without going in to make a purchase - I'd say until you buy the 4ft high T-Rex and position it next to the Buddah under the concrete moongate, you were well under control - if it's on sale, and it's perfect, it's just got to go home with you.

Jamie and Randy said...

Welcome, welcome, welcome! No T-rexs here! LOL but we do have a Buddah and we want a moongate. :-) Not concrete of course!LOL

sweet bay said...

Great picture of the robin on the nest! Love it. Your pictures are always wonderful.

I love Akebia and the Lady Banks roses too. I've heard of a pink LBs but haven't yet seen it.

Jamie and Randy said...

Sweet Bay,
I'm fortunate to have purchase a used Sony DSC F717 and it takes fantastic pictures. I had to buy a new camera because the F717 is having LCD issues. I'm still learning how to use it, hopefully the photos will be just as good once I learn. It's going to be hard to beat my old camera. Thank you so much for the compliment.

Meems said...

Oh. My. Your spring garden is coming alive in an abundance of blooms and color... and I love the pedestal. I remember seeing a photo of your overall back yard and thought how nicely you've placed all the "cement". Not too much in my opinion... for what that's worth. I'm not one for too many distractions in the garden but your design is very nicely orchestrated.

Love the rose blooms and the cross vine... actually all of the blooms are captured so nicely. The bird in the nest is a treasure!
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Jamie and Randy said...

That's an excellent choice of words. It does become distractions!That's the question we need to ask ourselves when start to place something. Is it a distraction or an accent! Thank you, you've given me a completely different way to approach this!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Fabulous selection of blooms, guys. Count me in as a fan of the base to your armillary. And that akebia...and that Lady Banks...sigh...

Jan said...

I am finally catching up with reading my favorite blogs. It looks like your garden has really started to "spring" up. My white Lady Banks is blooming, too, and after seeing your yellow one, I wish I would have bought one of those, also. I didn't know there was more than one white Lady Banks. Mine looks like your yellow one.
I can understand you wanting more evergreens for winter interest. That is what I have been trying to do over the last few years.

Always Growing

Connie said...

Lots of beautiful things going on in your garden. Love the base you chose in that last photo...wonderful piece!

tina said...

Spring is looking mighty good in your garden. I love your vines so much! I have Tangerine Beauty and it has been a steadying force in the garden. Yours is wonderful.