You see, aside from yesterday being a drizzly day the rest of the past couple of weeks have been perfect sunny gardening weather for me. I even gardened yesterday in the drizzle because I just love gardening when its like that. I like the cooler weather of early spring or late autumn for gardening. If it gets too hot, I'm inside staying out of the direct sun (I'm a redhead with the skin to go with it). So since the weather has been perfect for gardening and we're in for a not-so-nice weather system coming through, I've been spending the last 3 days out in the garden getting up close and personal with the soil, volunteers, newly sprouting bulbs, bareroot roses, transplants... weeds.
An aside (or "rant") about weeds: There is a big downside to living in our San Francisco Bay Area micro-climate (Sunset can't decide if it's Zone 14 or Zone 17). We don't ever get a break from weeds--EVER! There's no cold snap to kill everything off so I can start afresh with a clean slate. If the heat of summer isn't encouraging one kind of weed then the rain of winter is encouraging another. Mulch doesn't stop them. Landscaping fabric doesn't stop them. Hoeing just reseeds more than it eliminates. Round-Up and good ole' pulling is the only thing that works. Deep breath...
The annual "haircut" is performed this time of year and that gets me really up close and personal with the garden. I've been "bitten" numerous times by the roses and bougainvillea with the lovely scratches on my arms to prove it. I've pulled fennel seeds and twigs from my hair every evening when I finally acquiese and come in because it's too dark to see anymore. I've filled up our green-waste cans to the brim and had to begin filling the back of the pickup truck with fennel stalks and bougainvillea branches (Hubby will have to make a separate green-waste run--he's such a sweetie). And you know what? I just love all this work! It's absolutely wonderful! I'm tired and I ache in a good way.
I'm pleased as punch that I've acquired five new rosebushes, and they are all in the ground! They are bareroot roses so they're not photogenic right now, but I'm hoping they will be in a few months. The new acquisitions are: Disneyland, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ronald Reagan, Montezuma, and Sheer Magic. These five newbies bring the total count in the front garden to 18 rosebushes. And I think I've finally maxed out and can't add anymore. There just isn't anymore room. Yes, my name is Cindy, and I'm a rose-aholic. Everyone together now... "Hi Cindy".
Anyway, after the rosebushes were in, I filled in spaces with some lovely little violas in one bed and some apricot foxglove seedlings in another bed. I also sowed lots of different seeds that I hope will germinate. I have very bad luck with seeds. I'm crossing my fingers that some will do well so I can have a lovely bed of flowers around the new rosebushes this spring and summer.
About the photos that accompany this post...
I could probably live my entire existence as a photographer with just a macro lens and be quite prolific and happy creatively. Even when I'm not looking through the viewfinder of my camera, I'm looking at things up close and studying details. There are such amazing forms and shapes around me everyday that I am intrigued by. I'm so fortunate to be able to capture them in photographs so I can study them even more once the moment has passed. The photos in this post are all macro "up close and personal" views of the Rosehaven Cottage gardens right now.
First photo: The pond's edge in the back garden is filled with various containers of full sun, heat loving plants. Water crest grows in the water.
Second photo: Bright orange gazanias bloom year round on one edge of the pond in the back garden.
Third photo: The warm-weather lilacs are covered with buds ready to leaf out.
Fourth photo: A delicate snap pea blossom on a vine. Peas grow best here in winter and early spring.
Left: A little dogwood tree I adopted after it was homeless and in too small of a pot. It has revived enough now that I think it may go in the ground this year.
Below: The prehistoric looking leaf of an artichoke. Artichokes love our micro-climate so much that they grow wild on the hills around here.