May 16, 2018

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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  1. Kristin,

    Every year I look forward to your garden posts. You have the most amazing roses I've seen in a home garden! Your love of gardening is apparent, as is your love of your little grandson. He is getting so big! That is so cute that he tried to pin you down!

    Georgia in Ohio (where we won't see roses for a ong time!

    1. Thank you Georgia. As for my little grandson, he is growing so fast and is a little chatterbox too! We love our time spent with him.

  2. Your yard looks like an English garden. I think you should give tours! LOL If I'm in the area next year at this time, I hope I can contact you to see this amazement in person. Even our local municipal rose garden can't hold a candle to your garden.

    1. Hi Sharon. Thank you! Well, I think my pictures may use a bit of magic because the garden is not all that great--pretty in our eyes, but not tour worthy! Next time you are visiting the boys, let me know!

  3. My goodness, Carter has become quite the little man. How fast he has grown! My feeling is that he has the self-assurance thar comes from having a loving family. Your roses are beautiful, as they always are. I am always amazed at your gardening fervor. My grandmother had that gene but apparently didn’t pass it on to me, although I do squeeze out a few container plants every spring because, thanks to her, I can’t imagine a house without flowers. Chloe

    1. Thank you Chloe. We are so proud of our little guy, and he gives our whole family so much joy. Gardening--it's not for everyone is it? In early spring I get exhausted just thinking about what lies ahead. Of course I don't have the energy I once had!

  4. Hi Kristen,
    Your gardens and property are gorgeous. I'm jealous. My husband would be in ahh with your roses.
    I think I told you before, he has his horticultural certificate and loves to play in the dirt.
    Thanks for sharing! Beautiful! Leslie

    1. Hi Leslie! I remember you telling my your husband has a horticultural degree. I think he would think we are pretty amateurish around here, but our climate loves spring roses so it makes rose growing pretty easy!

  5. Amazing garden and amazing photos.


  6. Wow Kristen, your yard is so beautiful. Loving the different variety of roses. What a magical place. I would love if you linked your post at our garden link party this Friday. I know our readers would love to see your gorgeous yard.

  7. Kristen, I just love seeing your gardens! We just had the pleasure of being in your area last week. Your climate is so perfect for growing beautiful plants! Your little Carter is precious too. ;)

    So glad you joined the garden party. Please link up with us again at the end of June.

  8. Your garden is gorgeous! I had both Graham Thomas and Eden roses at our previous home and loved them. wisteria is one of my favorites. Our kids just gave me a vine for Mother's Day. Thanks for sharing with The Garden Party.


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