table laid for tea with flowers arrangement and pile of plates

Saw this on a favorite blog…My French Country Home…SO, I just had to share…my lilacs, too,  are in full and oh, so fragrant bloom. Just walking in the garden anywhere near the huge bush, the scent invites me to come closer…and I do! Already I’ve cut more than a dozen little bouquets for the bedroom and living room…I’m sad to say the last few blossoms are beginning to fade…However, last year I found a new lilac variety that “promises to re-bloom” and planted her near the dry creek bed…maybe this season I will find out how true the claim might be.

Roses…last time I wrote about my Autumn Damask rose already in bloom. So many buds opened with the warm, sunny weather that I decided to collect petals…IMG_1251here she is in glorious bloom!

I pluck the petals and spread them on a dishtowel in my old collecting basket.

Once the petals have thoroughly dried, it is then time to store them in a nice little glass jar. Opening the lid to use the petals for baking…oh, sublime…the fragrance is like sniffing a fresh rose!

A few other early blooming roses are shown here…the deep pink is the gently climbing and nearly thornless, Zephirine Drouhin, a lovely Bourbon rose that has a spectacular showing in spring followed by some blooms throughout the season and a final closing performance in fall. The softer pink/peach bloom is Cornelia, a Hybrid Musk rose, that has a large shrubby, sprawling growth habit. Once again, her fragrance is divine…especially as it crawls along the fence by the chicken house!

Bring the fresh, springtime feel to your garden…plant more roses, herbs and perennials…

My package from the Antique Rose Emporium arrived two weeks ago with two more roses for my garden…I’m preparing spots now for Madame Alfred Carriere and a selection from Mike Shoup’s Pioneer Collection, Landmark Rose, that I wanted to experiment with…will let you know how it grows and blooms!

As for herbs, I’ve added more  basils near the tomatoes and by the roses, more chives…photo(18)and lemon thyme between the path stones to give off a nice fragrance!

French thyme and onion chives as a border by the new rose, and seven new Provence lavender plants on the slope, near the dry creek bed, in poor soil and lots of sun in the afternoon!

photo 4(2)This is a new perennial verbena that I found at Wilton Cottage…it has a very different shade of lavender/lilac bloom than the older deep purple variety I’ve used in gardens for years. This is one of my standard perennials for landscape design…it grows and blooms all summer long, does great in full sun, and it has a nice crawling habit that makes it perfect for trailing over stone walls or even as a groundcover.

This poor lavender iris is drooping in the rain storm today…I wanted to get the bloom before they finally gave up…oh, and the fragrance is like softly sweet grape soda, sorta! The yellow and pink iris is one of a very old variety that I dug up at an old house being torn down years ago! Soft fragrance of a dusting powder!

photo 3This beauty is the first bloom on a Tree Peony I planted over 6 years ago and it is finally flourishing by sprouting over 15 flowers! I must admit it has been slow to mature…likely because it gets only 2-3 hours of morning sun!

A pink dianthus I planted over 8 years ago, as a cheap $1.99 potted annual, refuses to quit…it blooms from spring to fall and has worked its way into a happy existence with some alpine strawberries and tiny elfin thyme groundcover…

photo(19)This lovely container sits by my RED French doors leading into the house…every spring I plant it with geraniums and sweet alyssum!

My lemon trees are filled with blooms and tiny lemons beginning to form from the old blossoms. It is very important that the trees get consistent moisture while fruiting as well as a regular feeding of fish and seaweed liquid…

NOW, as to poor MYRTLE!!!

Below is a tragic example of how you should NEVER, EVER trim or prune a crepe myrtle. This poor work is what a garden or yard person might do as a result of seeing some trees hacked like this on old commercial properties. This severe type of pruning is NOT the way to handle these graceful trees. Lopping off branches leaves unsightly knots or knuckles, weak branches and new growth that is more susceptible to powdery mildew, sooty mold and insect problems. Crepe myrtles in no way benefit from this practice!

So my advice…get a nice big glass of Wine and sit by the pool, patio or deck and just enjoy the garden…STOP finding more to do than necessary…However, do ask me if you have problems and I’ll reply with directions/suggestions.

 Image result for crape myrtles pruning

Okay, so now it’s late and I need to take Holly for a walk in the drizzle and then come back for my glass of wine…a toast to all my friends!

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