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Wordless Wednesday: Reflection

March 10, 2010


Got Roses?

March 8, 2010

Recently I’ve seen posts in the blogosphere railing against roses, but I am an unashamed rose worshiper.   The conventional wisdom is that roses are demanding and must be sprayed for diseases and pests.    The problem with conventional wisdom is that it doesn’t apply everywhere.   There are roses for every climate.   I’ve only grown roses in my climate though, so my experience may not apply.  I must state a caveat that I’m not a master gardener nor an expert rosarian.  I can’t advise on sprays because I don’t need ’em!

Rose growing in Utah is actually pretty easy.  Because of our arid climate, roses do not suffer from disease much here.  Blackspot can occasionally appear but is very rare.  Compared to the defoliation reported by some people in the east, a couple of spots are hardly worth mentioning.   Some roses can mildew in the right conditions, but that seems to be more dependent on the variety of rose and not widespread throughout the garden.   A mildew magnet of a rose, can be promptly shown the shovel.   For example of my 80 or so roses, only two have been mildew messes.

Belle Story

I’m not particularly fond of hybrid teas, so you won’t see much of those in my garden.  I like roses packed with petals, or wide open singles or semi-doubles that show their gorgeous yellow stamens.  I  like my roses to have a nice shrub form that blooms all the way to the ground.

gorgeous but non-fragrant Pierre de Ronsard (Climbing Eden)

Now you may find some pests on your roses here. The most common is aphids. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen actual aphid damage. But they sure are ugly. You’ll usually find them on the buds early in the season. I always cringe when I read of people freaking out and running for some pesticide to kill aphids, because it’s just not necessary.  Some folks take delight in squishing them on the bud, but that grosses me out. If they’re bugging me (groan) I get the hose out and spray them off with a strong jet of water. Soon enough the ladybugs will arrive and chow down.

icky aphids

I’ve read that monoculture is pretty bad in all gardening, that a wide variety of plants will attract beneficial insects, and keep disease from being widespread. At my place, roses mingle happily with perennials and grasses. Variety seems to keep everything in balance.

Robert le Diable with columbine and Red Rocks penstemon

Now an ugly pest here are the thrips. They like to chew on light colored roses. To the naked eye they look like little slivers crawling around the rose bloom. They leave brown edges.
Thrips and the damage they caused on Crocus Rose

I will have to do a part two on roses, but I’ll leave you with some pretties.
This rose always makes me smile, my happy rose. It’s a great cut flower too, but no fragrance.

floribunda Betty Boop

Charles Darwin with clematis

The quartered blooms of Tradescant- red swirly goodness.


Happy Monday!

PS. Unless I stated that the rose isn’t fragrant in this post, it is fragrant.  More on fragrant roses another time.

Hoping for Spring

March 2, 2010

female house finch



male house finch

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. proverb

Wildflower Wednesday: Glorious Globemallow

February 24, 2010

For Wildflower Wednesday, I’d like to focus on globemallow, or cowboy’s delight.  Isn’t that a wonderful common name?  If we’re going to talk about native plants I might as well show some globemallow in a natural environment.  Plant geeks must stop their bike rides to check out interesting plants along the way.

sea of globemallow on the Gemini Bridges trail

The above picture was taken on the Gemini Bridges trail (click for climb-utah’s bridges photos) in Moab, Utah. If you’ve ever been to Moab (click for DiscoverMoab) and traveled this trail, you will recognize the Gooney Bird Rock which is right across the road from the sea of globemallow I photographed.

Gooney Bird Rock

I googled cowboy’s delight and found that it refers to sphaeralcea coccinea, a small globemallow that has volunteered in my garden.  It never makes a mass, just pops up here and there and I let them be.  I tried to transplant some once and they promptly croaked.

The globemallow most commonly sold in the nurseries around here are sphaeralcea munroana- Munro’s Globemallow and sphaeralcea grossulariifolia. As you can imagine I had to look up the spelling of those names. I love to look up native plants and to look at the distribution maps and photos.

sphaeralcea grossulariifolia with fragrant evening primrose oenothera caespitosa

On another road in Moab, to Hurrah Pass down in the bottoms there was a sight that lives on in my memory of masses of orange globemallows and white primroses at the base of a sheer cliff. The mix of orange and white inspired the planting in the above picture. My small garden doesn’t have grandeur but we make do with what we have.

Globemallow with 'Siskyou Blue' fescue and Rocky Mountain columbine

At Conservation Garden Park in the dry garden there are beautiful globemallows. This xeriscape is beautifully designed and full of inspiration. My home garden has so far to go. These photos were taken during the photography class mentioned in the Rainbow post. By the way, for Utahns, Conservation Garden Park has all of their Free Classes listed for the season. You can click on the link above, or Slow the Flow over in my sidebar.

Globemallows at Conservation Garden Park

Last here is something I purchased as cushion globemallow, sphaeralcea caespitosa which is not low and cushiony at all and is also indistinguishable from my grossulariifolia, which is in turn indistinguishable from munroana (at least to me). Maybe something fishy is going on at the nurseries.

Orange you glad you saw some globemallow today? Groan, yes I’m a dork. Thank you to Gail at Clay and Limestone, host of Wildflower Wednesday. I really enjoy participating.

Winter Light

February 21, 2010

This month’s theme is Winter Light for the Picture This contest and Gardening Gone Wild. The judge, Roger Foley of Foley Photo talked about how “winter sunlight can be bold and graphic in the way it falls on a garden” I was fixated on finding some of that. I had two problems when I went on my quest. First, this February we weren’t getting ANY snow. Secondly, I’ve realized over the month that I don’t have any trees really placed to have shadows fall in graphic lines in my yard. I’ve placed most of my trees to cast shade from the west in summer to have a respite from the heat. On Friday we finally got some snow that stuck. When I looked out the window yesterday day morning I saw my arbor casting graphic shade lines on the snow. I squealed and ran for the camera. I’ll tell you now though that it didn’t create the picture that I’m submitting for the contest. Enough blather, here is my submission first…

Winter Light- Snowdrop

Snowy Snowdrop

My family again help me pick the submission.   What I liked about it was how the snow was just beginning to melt.  Close up it looks like bubbles, and the ice had formed a little cage that reminded me of those sugar cages that expert bakers make.

I also really liked the photo below.   The sun lighting up the snow was showing up as blues and reds in my view finder.  I took a  ton of pictures but only one showed any colors.  The plant is salvia pachyphylla (sold with the common name mojave sage around here).    It’s a western native with beautiful purple blooms.   I loved this plant so much this year that I added 5 more.

salvia pachyphylla

The dogs came out when I went to the backyard. Henry paused on patrol right at the end of the graphic shade lines caused by the arbor. Henry patrols the perimeter looking for cats, birds, any invader. I’ve lost a few plants when we’ve altered the garden and he’s cut a new path. The rest of the pics can be clicked to enlarge.

Henry on patrol

Hershey bounded around wanting to play, but since I was taking photos, she keyed in on Henry.


Can you see the patrol trail?

Here’s the bucket handle again that made an appearance in my Jan Picture-This.

early morning moon pictures

Getting further from the garden, an early morning picture from the field down the street.

And much further from home, a picture in American Fork Canyon.

Thanks for checking out my search for winter light.
My sister just joined the blog with her first post today.  My contest entry has sadly pushed her post down the page.  I’d love it if while you’re visiting you could take a look.   Thanks for visiting our blog.

Wishing and hoping and thinking and praying

February 21, 2010
Paw, mad at the world


  These poor cats.     

 Paw, Jade and Kiki spend their days at the window wating for spring to return, dreaming of bees buzzing and birds chirping. Paw has been rather mischevious and acting out this winter. Do cats get SAD (seasonal affective disorder)?  I know I’ve been acting out, spending too much money on house plants I will inevitabely kill within the year. 

Here they are in happier times sunning themselves on the rocks.     

warmer times

   Not quite ready  to venture out, Jade settles for feeling the sun warming her fur at the front door.     


   Maybe she has memories of this…     

Jade and tulips

    Maybe today is the day…   

Kiki at dawn

Kiki at dawn

Too bad they couldn’t help with my raised veggie bed construction. It would lift their spirits. Just ask the Hub.



Happy hopeful Sunday!!

Changes afoot at Bloomin Rs: An introduction

February 20, 2010

My sis is coming!  Anyone have one of those siblings that does everything better than you?  Well I have one of those.  When we were young we used to fight, but nowadays, my sister is my best friend.   My garden philosophy is rather scatterbrained, but my sister has focus.  I started this blog to focus on plants that do well in Utah.   But I realize that it’s missing the more in-depth opinion on xeriscape and native plants.  My sister has been doing that longer and more intensively than I have.   Our gardens look very different and I hoped if we were to run the blog jointly it might have more extensive interest.

Sis has chosen the name R those Weeds, however it could have it could have easily been sun goddess or lizard girl because of her love of stretching out on a rock in the desert to just soak up the sun.  Here I’m just showing you her feet.

And here is just one little planting from her garden.  You can also see a view in the last photo of the Palmer’s Penstemon post.  She can reveal the other views of her garden.

salvia, mexican primrose, desert 4 o'clock

So a warm welcome to R those Weeds- my sis, garden buddy, and companion for plant shopping and all other garden geek activities.