A Delightful Evening in the Garden

This is my newest geranium. (Pelargonium hortorum), or Zonal Geranium. I love geraniums for their vibrant color and hardiness. They do well both indoors and out. I remember admiring them as a child when we visited my aunt’s house in Toronto. I can still picture their bright red color on her window sill. In Southern California most are grown outdoors, and that’s where mine are, planted in containers. This way I can adjust their position in different seasons.They like sun, but mine seem to do best in partial shade, especially during the very hot summer months.

If you’ve visited my blog in the past, you probably know that I also have a great love for African Violets. Not so much for their hardiness, because they need more tender care, but for their color as well.

We are having a very warm spring in Southern California. It was in the high 80’s yesterday, but one of the wonderful things about living in California, is that evenings and nights cool down beautifully. I took advantage of the cooler temperature last evening, to water plants and enjoy the wonderful scent of Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnam). Below is a photo of the jasmine in our side yard. It smells heavenly right now. As you walk along our side path, you brush up against the blossoms and they give off even more of their scent. I wish you could smell them.

After watering the roses out front, I  headed into our backyard to enjoy the sunset.

This is what I saw when I looked over our back wall. It looks like we live in a forest doesn’t it?  It was the perfect ending to a delightful evening in Southern California.



A Trip to the Local Garden Nursery


It’s Thursday which means it’s Artist Date Day. In my last post I showed the African Violet Pot I’m making in my slip casting class, and even though it will be a couple of weeks before I finish the project, I thought it would be fun to select a new plant. A visit to the local nursery would also be the perfect place for this week’s Artist date,  because it’s certainly colorful and has a creative atmosphere. Both are requisites for an Artist Date.

I love the green house at the nursery where they keep the African violets and orchids. Here are only three of the many gorgeous plants I saw while browsing.
It’s a good thing that I traveled by motorcycle and not car today, or else I would have come home with more than just the one African Violet.
After this lovely white orchid I’ll leave you with a splash of color.
It really was the perfect place to go for this week’s Artist Date.

Can my Mandevilla Plant Be Saved?

front-flower-2The mandevilla has become a popular patio plant in recent years. Its brilliant flowers add color and a tropical look to any patio. When we purchased our plant, it came with a trellis because it’s a hardy climber and needs to be supported. In most areas the mandevilla is considered an annual, but in Southern California it’s a frost sensitive perennial. They like sandy, well drained soil and do well in the ground and in pots. They grow best in bright indirect light or filtered sun light. Our plant is on the front patio, and gets morning sun. As you can see, it was very happy in this spot during the winter and spring season. In mid August we took a ten day vacation, and unfortunately during that time, Orange County suffered a heat wave, and our irrigation system did not deliver enough water to the plant.

Below you can see what it looked like when we returned home. I’m both sad and embarrassed to post this photo.

Sick-PlantBeing an optimist I immediately deep watered the mandevilla and pruned the dead wood and leaves. I hope to nurse this plant back to good health. I took the photo below this afternoon, and as you can see, the plant is looking a little better. The remaining leaves are turning green and there is some new growth. I will keep you up to date with its progress. I hope that by next week at this time you will see an even bigger improvement.


Bring Your Garden Inside

red-roses-1This morning when I was outside watering my plants and enjoying the beautiful flowers, I asked myself why I don’t cut more flowers and bring them inside where we can enjoy them all day long. I’m always careful to deadhead my plants to encourage more blooms, but why not cut the flowers while they are still beautiful. This way we would have a garden both indoors and out. I took my own advice and above are some of the roses I brought inside today. These are now sitting in our living room on the glass coffee table looking beautiful. Below is a rose from a different bush. This one adorns our kitchen table. Both bouquets are a little past their peak, but the color is lovely and each gives off a wonderful fragrance. Both varieties add something special to the room where they are displayed.

rose-2This may be one of my better ideas. Tomorrow I’ll be outside in the garden looking for more flowers to bring inside. I’ve a feeling that I may be in need of more vases, even if they are empty mason, or spaghetti sauce jars, which make unique containers for displaying cut flowers.