I've been taking pictures the last few weeks as everything is blooming--not just the roses, but the fruit trees, iris, wisteria, lavender, and it all looks pretty amazing. If I'm being honest, in late winter and early spring I start to dread the gardening tasks ahead of me. I have to put all that out of my head and resolve to chip away a little at a time. I don't do very much in a day, and I now ask my gardeners for more help than I have ever asked for in past years. Once the biggest tasks are behind us, the reward it a gorgeous garden with only a little bit of daily maintenance, which we enjoy. Today is cloudy and cool, and after posting I'm going to head outside for one hour of weeding, no more, no less. There's a baseball game to watch and knitting to be done :)

(Every garden post I am asked where we live because everything blooms so early. We live in the San Francisco Bay area in Northern California. We are a gardening zone 9 and have mild winters and summers. We do not get a lot of rainfall and have to water the garden bi-weekly starting about now. Our garden is completely organic and has been for 30-plus years.)

The patio off our bedroom.

This tea-rose tree walk was planted by the previous owners. We've had to replace all of the roses over the three decades we have lived here, choosing varieties that repeat bloom.

We've started the veggie garden and I'll make a post on that later. We have six roses on the fence that borders the veggies. The large yellow one is Graham Thomas. It gets massive every year and is one of my favorite yellows. It is a David Austin.

The bearded iris have taken over. When we moved here, a neighbor dug up a clump of irises from his garden and planted it in ours. Thirty plus years later and they have taken over an entire corner of our perennial flower bed.

All of our roses are repeat bloomers, and these that border our bedroom patio are amazing. They are called Red Simplicity from Jackson Perkins. We also have them in pink. 

This amazing climber is called Eden. The following pictures show it closer up. Pictures really cannot do it justice. It's just the most amazing rose. It's fragrant, the roses stay well on the plant, a repeat bloomer and makes beautiful bouquets.

Climbing Eden.

These two photos are from one massive Knock Out plant. For repeat bloomers, this cannot be beat; it will not be without a bloom all summer. I do cut it back several times in the summer as it can get too big. I'm thinking of planting these as a border for our perennial flower bed. Right now I border it with annuals, usually zinnias, but this year it got Cosmos, I'll share pictures later. The kids, Carter's parents, built a white picket fence in their front yard and bordered it with pink Knock Outs. I love it!

Inspecting a pinecone.


We have several neighbors who keep bees. The friendly ones visit our garden.
We had a dinner party last week and roses were the centerpieces. They actually did triple duty. The next day they went to a wedding shower, then finished the following day as flowers for Mother's Day, although they were a bit pooped out by then.

I love orange and red together.

The rose arch on the left of center is called First Prize. The other rose arch to the right, it's hard to see, is the Climbing Eden. They are decorative entries into our little veggie garden.

Carter and I played under the umbrella one day last week. Every time I tried to get up, he threw his tiny arms around me and hugged me tight, buried his head into my neck and put his entire weight on me to try and pin me down. It was so darling. I told him that we would stay out and play as long as he wanted. I cannot resist him!

Climbing Blaze. It's amazing year after year. I can walk under it but my husband has to bend down. When I take Carter on a walk in his little blue car, we stop underneath it for a good long time. Also a repeat bloomer, the first bloom is the best.

We have two wisteria that grow up a lattice support. I don't know the variety, but the flower racemes get very long, up to 6 feet,  maybe even longer, and can drag on the ground. When I walk Carter around the garden we always stop at this particularly long one and he catches it and waves it around and coos and squeals. He is pretty darling. We did not have a good wisteria year unfortunately. When the racemes were just forming and a few inches long, we had a terrific storm and the fierce wind and rain knocked down hundreds of the buds. It made me so sad to see the damage the next morning, so I'm grateful that we even have these flowers to enjoy.

Not that many racemes this year because of the storm. These will keep growing until they reach the ground.

Our pear and apple trees are blooming, but they are getting old. The garden is 75 years old and while that age is fantastic for many things in the garden, fruit trees need to be replaced every several decades or so. We've had our eye on this apple for a few years and we may have to replace it soonish.
As always, thank you for stopping by.
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color and bold

Can you tell that my friend is completely fearless when it comes to setting a table? I love her mix of bold color and prints. Our hostess is a wiz at this sort of thing, and it all comes together so beautifully. Every. Single. Time. Even with two tables of ten for 20 guests at a sit-down dinner!

Do you recognize the flower arrangements? They were saved from this party. The hostess was very kind to give them away to her admiring guests!

I thought you'd like to take a peek around her house too!

Here is a favorite spot of mine. The long, wide hall from the kitchen that leads to the pool has been transformed to the family library. Games and toys in the cupboards for the grandkids and a comfy chair with natural light make this a very livable hall.

A selection of homemade desserts finished the evening. My contribution was the lemon squares. A week before the hostess gifted me with a grocery bag of lemons from her tree,  and the day before a friend gifted me with a half dozen eggs from her coop. I had no choice but to make lemon squares! I've been making these lemon squares for years and they are simply the best--firm but delicate, perfectly lemony and not overly sweet. They are from Jeremiah Tower when he had the Stars Restaurants, recipe here.

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