Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The garden center's shelves are restocked

We may be woefully short of rain but at last the garden centers are busy restocking their shelves with plants.  I've wasted no time getting busy.  Although our daytime temperatures remain unseasonably warm and our extended forecast is showing no rain until the end of the month, nighttime temperatures remain cool so I'm making use of the time available to plant before summer really arrives.

The week started off with a mail order delivery.

I'd almost forgotten about this delivery.  At last June's Garden Bloggers' Fling in the DC area, I won a David Austin rose in a raffle.  Although I placed my order promptly upon my return, the grower informed me that the company would ship my selection bare root in February.  This box arrived Monday morning.

It was well-packed but one of the roots was broken in shipment nonetheless.  I've admired 'Lady Emma Hamilton' in many blog posts so I was thrilled to get one of my own.

It went into the ground the same day in a sunny spot in the front garden


At the same time, I discovered that my local Armstrong Garden Center, part of a chain of 32 California stores, had stocked up.  I wasted no time looking for plants to dress up the area surrounding the lath (shade) house my husband built for me as a Christmas present.  The newly planted area doesn't look like much yet but I have high hopes for it.

I concentrated my attention on the sunny strip along the south property line, which was opened up when the neighbors had the oleander hedge on their side removed


The first plant that went in on the south side of the structure wasn't actually a recent purchase.  It was another David Austin rose, 'Golden Celebration', which I purchased as a 4-inch plant from Annie's Annuals & Perennials last year.  I'd planted it in a large pot but it grew amazingly fast and I didn't think it would be happy in that pot much longer.

The rose earned pride of place at the southwest corner of our property, where I hope it'll get all the sun and space in needs


Sticking with the blue, white and yellow color scheme I'd started when I planted the window boxes attached to the lath house and transplanted divisions of Agapanthus and white Argyranthemum outside its exterior, my new plant selections followed the same scheme.

I planted 3 divisions of blue Agapanthus  and Argyrantemum 'Go Daisy Mega White' here in December and filled the green and yellow pot with a Plumbago and pansies.  I planted the yellow-flowered Euryops 'Sonnenchein' in this area years ago but it's getting a boost from the additional sun exposure created by removal of the oleander hedge.  I'm not certain what I'm going to do with the empty terracotta pot but I may pop in a cutting of the Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' that originally occupied this pot.

Here's a closer look at the new plants I've added in this area.  Clockwise from the upper left, they include: one Abelia 'Radiance', 3 Convolvulus 'Compacta', 3 bearded Iris (1 'Magic Man' and 2 'Autumn Circus), 3 Lomandra 'Finescape', 1 Pelargonium cucullatum 'Flore Plenum' (a cutting from a plant I have growing in the backyard), 1 Salvia melissadora (purchased at the Huntington's fall plant sale in a 2-inch pot), 3 Salvia 'Mystic Spires', 2 flats of Thymus sephyllum 'Elfin', and, in the center, Rosa 'Golden Celebration' and 3 Lavandula stoechas 'Double Anouk'.


I also filled in some of the open space on the slope facing the lath house door.

I added 2 6-packs of Crassula radicans 'Small Red', 2 more Crassula falcata, and 1 Senecio fulgens


I haven't done much of anything elsewhere in the garden other than general clean-up.  However, the Freesia I'd found marked down 50% when I visited Roger's Gardens last week found space in the backyard border.

The coral pink Freesia provide a perfect accent to the Leucadendron 'Jester' and Grevillea 'Superb' I planted here from small pots 2 years ago.  Both the Leucadendron and the Grevillea are finally gaining some substance.


I've got a nursery trip to Ventura and Santa Barbara planned with a friend later this month and 2 more mail order deliveries should arrive within the next couple of weeks.  Now, if only Mother Nature would deliver some rain...


All material © 2012-2018 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

30 comments:

  1. David Austin Roses. Impossible to go wrong. Do you know, restocking the garden is the most fun (apart from the money) I have in gardening. Sometimes plants live up to the hype. I like the property divider by the way, Kris, much brighter than hedging.

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    1. The Pittosporum installed by the neighbor, which we shared the cost of, will make much better screening material than the former thicket of oleander did, Ian. I just hope they manage through what looks certain to be another year of drought.

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  2. Kris, this is fantastic! 'Lady Emma Hamilton' is a gorgeous rose, great choice! I've never seen David Austin roses in person, they are unknown here, I dream of having them in my garden one day. Today despite the 104 F I made a superhuman effort and began to prune my roses. By the way the shade house looks great!

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    1. 'Lady Emma' and 'Golden Celebration' are my very first David Austin roses, MDN. I was very impressed by how vigorous 'Golden Celebration' was last year, even while growing in a pot with less sun exposure than she'd have liked.

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  3. Oh, I hope you enjoy Lady Emma, it's made the cut here through many rose reductions. I especially love the red stems and bronzy new growth.I'll bet that slope facing the lath house is going to look terrific in a few months.

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    1. I don't have many roses, Kathy, but I fell for 'Lady Emma' the first time I saw it in another blogger's post and my appreciation has only increased with every subsequent viewing.

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  4. Congrats on the new plants and the planting! I bought a few discounted (40% off, last season’s inventory) perennials last weekend: 2 Eryngium planum, 2 dark purple Dierama pulcherrimum, and a Melianthus major, all 4” pots and all for only $20 bucks! We’ll see if the NWFG “festival” has any plants to tempt me....

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    1. I can't remember seeing plants with 50% markdowns here in prior years, Loree, although I know those reductions are fairly common in colder climates. Scoring that kind of bargain was a real boost to my shopping experience. I hope you find some great plants at the festival! I'm sorry I'm going to miss it.

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  5. Some nice new plantings there! Still quite a way off yet before we see new plant stocks filling up shelves here, perhaps two more months or so...

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    1. I'd gladly accept a delay in stocking shelves in exchange for some of the rain that graces you in the UK, guys!

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  6. I certainly have bought my share of plants in recent months, but your post makes me want to go shopping NOW. You got some great plants.

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    1. While I seem to be getting more minimalist in other aspects of my life, that doesn't seem remotely true of my behavior in the garden. I want every cool plant I see, and even many that are ordinary but just pretty.

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  7. How exciting with both the new lath house, and the new plant arrivals! I believe I visited the same sale as Loree (I was very tempted by those Dieramas, too) and fell for several Polygonatums and at least one dark purple Epimedium. I'm still traveling, and though the snow is half a foot deep over here, I know spring is in full force back in Oregon. I do hope you get some rain soon, to nurture your new friends along!

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    1. A purple Epimedium! I love epimediums and have even tried growing them here, despite the fact that I'm WAY outside their preferred climate zones. Safe travel, Anna!

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  8. If I remember from the old Gardenweb rose forum, 'Golden Celebration' gets huge, which should be perfect for that spot. So glad to hear there's been some restocking!

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    1. The speed with which 'Golden Celebration' grew from a very small plant, in a clay pot yet, surprised me, Denise. I hope it thrives in its new location.

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  9. You are so lucky to grow Agapanthus and have it flourish! I spent a lot of time up in Santa Rosa and always admired it there. Alas, I have tried it here both in the ground and containers but it just does not do well. Try again? Maybe. And that Lady Emma is just gorgeous: am not familiar with it but will investigate. And will hope you get some rain some day soon!

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    1. Agapanthus is so common here that it's almost dismissed out of hand, Libby. It's gorgeous when flowering en masse, though, and it loves soCal, dry as dust as we may be.

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  10. A DA rose is on my wish list - what a great raffle prize for you! Planting a new space is so much fun. I could almost smell the earth from your descriptions!

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    1. The Fling organizers distributed an amazing number of raffle tickets but, yes, I was still lucky!

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  11. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun Kris, ENJOY!!

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    1. The lack of rain is depressing, Christina, but I'm trying to make the best of things and just enjoy the warm (but not yet hot!) temperatures.

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  12. You are like me, you get withdrawal symptoms if you can't buy plants. Emma Hamilton is a wonderful choice.

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    1. I'm running out of space for new plants, which has me eyeing the upper section of my back slope, currently covered in ivy, honeysuckle, and weeds...

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  13. Your hubby build a beautiful shade house for you. It's so nice. And, you have such unique collection of plants, and they are so nicely planted. Ah! I guess that's the beauty of living in southern CA -- lots of things can be planted. I also need to order some David Austen Roses. They are always so beautiful and lovely.

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    1. I'm enjoying my new shade house, KL. I wonder how long it'll take for me to fill it up? I'm well on my way, I think!

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  14. Hurrah for new plants. You always impress me by getting things in the ground and not leaving them to languish in their nursery pots for years.

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    1. I'm better about that of late than I have been in the past but of course that could be temporary...

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  15. David Austin roses are gorgeous! They eem to be really happy in California. I have to admire them in other people's gardens because they would not do well here unless they were sprayed regularly.

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    1. I don't have many roses and my only prior experience with the David Austin varieties was last year's experiment growing 'Golden Celebration' in a pot but I was impressed by it's vigor and, hey, 'Lady Emma Hamilton' was free so definitely worth a try!

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