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April 5, 2017

April in the flower garden...

I think April is my absolutely favorite time in the garden.  It is really our peak flowering time here in Southern California.  And after all the rain we've been blessed with this year is proving to be one of the prettiest ever.  So, I apologize in advance for the overload of pictures.

This gorgeous purple iris was a gift a few years ago from the garden of my good friend Elaine from Sunny Simple Life.  I divided it last year and now I have two beautiful plants putting on an April show for me.  The trick to having your iris flower each year is to let the entire plant die back to brown after they finish flowering.  That can be hard if you like your garden neat and tidy.  So what I try to do is plant it next to something that will be coming on strong right after it and it kind of hides the ugliness.  In this case it's next to a scented geranium which gets huge in May and completely covers up the brown iris leaves.  By the time it needs cutting back, the iris is ready to be clipped to the ground...problem solved.

Another main stay in the April garden for me are the self seeding annuals.  This little white daisy called feverfew all but takes over.  I literally have to "weed" it out of the path ways it is so prolific.  Alyssum is a year round constant for me.  I know some people find them a bit invasive and unruly but I love that about them in the controlled chaos of my cottage garden.  Larkspur, bachelor button and linaria are also self seeding and I love the height and pop of color they add to the beds.

And then there are the roses.  April is when they start to shine but they will flower for me pretty much through November and sometimes December.  I will be sharing them quite a bit in the weeks and months to come.  The top one was a bargain basement find at Home Depot a few years ago.  It turned out to be a climber and flowers in abundance.  I do fight powdery mildew with it but the gorgeous coral color helps me to overlook that.  The pretty peach rose on the bottom is my only David Austin variety.  They tend to like a cooler climate so I have it planted in a spot that gets a bit of afternoon shade and it seems to be thriving.

One of the great things about gardening is the way it changes from week to week.  Just when I think it can't get any prettier, something else will make an appearance and take my breath away.

Of course, come August and September it will be all that I can do to keep it watered before the heat of the day sends me scurrying inside. But for now, me and my trusty gardening buddy Jackson just can't get enough of what it has to offer, the sights, the scents and the  much needed reminder of what's beautiful in our crazy world.

I hope you have some time to spend in the garden today.  Even if it's just a walk in the neighborhood or tending a few pots on the patio, it truly does have a way of refreshing the soul.

xo, Patty

April 3, 2017

An awkward hello...

Hello there.  It seems this year is flying by at break neck speed and despite my best intentions I have just not been able to establish a regular blogging flow.  It's not like there hasn't been plenty to share, it's just one of those out of the habit things I guess, and now that it's been so long I'm struggling with where to start.

My hope is that like with any long time friend, once the awkward hello's are over, you just start talking and the ease and flow returns.  So here goes...