Friday, 28 June 2013

Fragrant, old-fashioned roses.

What a treat to see my old-fashioned roses in flower after a year. Old-fashioned roses flower only once a year. I inhale the scent of roses. Delicious.

The roses in my garden are not only old fashioned, but also old. I have many for 25 years. Long time ago I drove to Oostvoorne. To the Rosarium  Belle Epoque. A Rosarium filled with fragrant, (most) old rose varieties.

It was a beautiful day. I smelled all the roses. I chose the ones with the most fragrance. Of course I also looked at color. The roses that I liked, got a note in my catalog.

I still have the old catalog. About the roseConstance Spry’ (an English rose by David Austin) I had written in the margin: Backyard. As peony flowers. Colour like Queen Elizabeth. Smells delicious. The notes are still correct.

IfConstance Spry’ blooms it delighted everyone. Large flowers like peonies draped over the rose arche. They unfortunately flower only for three weeks. On the other side of this rose arche I planted RosaBlush Noisette’. A rose that already was cultivated in 1817. This rose flowers, unlike most old-fashioned roses, endlessly. Until Christmas, if it is not freezing! They make small clusters of flowers. Very light pink.

Old fashioned roses and rain. That's a bad combination. The petals of this, often filled roses stick together by rain and rot. This is a disadvantage. I'll cut out the rotten flowers. However, rosaBlush Noisette’ constantly create new buds. And I hope for better weather!

But on a warm, sunny day the roses smell wonderfully. The garden is a romantic fairy tale. I think at the Rosarium Belle Epoque. The good old days!


Old-fasioned roses
Rose 'Blush Noisette'

Rose 'Constance Spry'

Catalog Belle Epoque


Friday, 21 June 2013

Alliums. Beautiful onions.

The ornamental onions (Allium) which I planted over the last years, are now wonderful in flower.

Alliums are easy growing bulbs. Give them a "dry" place to grow. By this I mean, a place where no puddles of water remain in winter. The bulbs can easily rot in winter. In my very dry border they found the right spot. They even multiply!

To make a big impact, it is important to plant a lot of bulbs. I planted a 100. The investment you made in autumm is forgotten in spring. ( I have planted the Alliums in a sling. The high Alliums I planted in groups of  7, 5 or 3. Odd numbers. That feels good in my opinion.

Allium 'Purple Sensation' (60 cm high) has the same purple color as the Rhododendron that already stood in the border. What a lucky. They flower at exactly the same time. This Rhododendron is the only one that can grow in my clay. A stayer.

But there are more types of Alliums I am growing in my garden. A favorite? It's hard to choose. The spiky A. Shubertii, the large round globes of A. Christophii or  the high A. Stipitatum? I love them all.

Soon will A. atropureum flower, with dark red flowers. I've combined them with the leaf of bronze fennel. Finally will flourish the tiny A. Spaerocephalon (what an uncommercial name!)

It took a long time before we could see the Alliums flower this spring. But I enjoy them every day.

Quite different is the the movie that I found on the internet. You can see an Allium in full flower in one minute!


Allium Stipitatum

Allium Christophii

Allium Schubertii

Allium in my very dry border

Allium and Rhododendron


                                                 Allium in one minute in flower

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Obelisk DIY.

In my garden I have an obelisk that I have made out of wood myself. The first obelisk I timbered had become completely rotten, so  I decided to build me a new one. A voice in my head was telling me: Difficult! But with the knowledge gathered from the first obelisk and using this as an example, I figured that it should not be too difficult?

First Obelisk in the garden.

First of all I painted the wood with primer. I saw the 4 uprights. Subsequently, I screwed the horizontal laths to the uprights. On the uprights I fixed the laths in an X shape. See picture 1. I signed off the angles needed, saw them and screwed them onto the uprights. All very easy.

Photo 1

After a few hours of DIY I had the two sides of the obelisk together. See photo 2. From above I put an extra slat support for firmness. (I would remove that again later..)

Photo 2.

Now I had to make the other two sides . First I fixed the horizontal slats and support slats on top. See photo 3

Obelisk photo 3

Then I fixed the sloping laths I was home all alone, so there was no one to help me. With one of my legs I held the lath in the right position while as soon as possible I screwed them in place so that nothing could change. It must have been comic sight. Alas there are no pictures of this moment!

Subsequently it was the turn for the inner sloped lath . There was that little voice in my head again: Difficult! How to measure that angle? Several times I came about the wrong angle. Too blunt, to pointed, too short, too long! Where had my spatial awareness gone? I simply could not figure out the angle needed, see arrow picture 4. My frustration got to a boiling point!

Obelisk photo 4

At that very moment there was a car honking, my girlfriend! Time to go to the gym. On the treadmill I told her all about the angle which I could not measure. "What's so hard about that?" she asked me, to cheer me up. "Everything," I said grimly. But a little distance to the subject did help. Suddenly I came up with the solution: a piece of cardboard!

In the barn I found a cardboard box left over from Christmas. It was exactly what I was looking for. I stripped off a small piece, folded it to the right size and in the right angle. It fitted. Eureka!

A pice of the box of Christmas stollen

I dragged the “colossus” outside for a picture. It started to look like an obelisk.

I dagged the colossus outside.

On top of the uprights I put a square piece of timber. I drilled a hole in it and attached the knob on top. You can buy this knob at the hardware store. Making an obelisk is in itself already challenging enough! See photo 7.

Obelisk photo 7

Finally. Seal acrylic kit in the crevices of the obelisk. I painted the obelisk in the color of my husband's favorite shirt: Histor 6762 (Jeans blue). Time to take a step back and admire your work.

The obelisk is made.

Still one recommendation: do not try this at home!