Roses and Wild Growing Things Create Havoc in Sensible Garden Plans

bee and lavender
bee and lavender

Landscaping Mess
As I mentioned in my last post,
I’m bogged down in the biggest “landscaping” mess of my “landscaping” career.

I have been living with this acreage I call a “back yard” long enough.
However landscape designers are expensive and I never agree with any designers’ ideas, be they landscape, home, building, compost piles, etc.

The last landscape designer thought it a good idea to plant on “hills” made of mounds of dirt built-up-on-weedcloth-and decomposed-granite {?} discarding the lawn and anything that bloomed!
She also detested Mexican Feather Grass, a grass I love.

Feather Grass Spring
Mexican Feather Grass

Well… you’ve seen how far that went if you read this blog.

She was the third landscaper to give her opinion.
It is I who is the difficult one but it is MY yard back 40!
Instead I have poured over books, websites, magazines, catalogs and more books, looking for ideas.
Years of pondering and experimenting.


Bog Sage (Salvia) and lover ~ 4-5ft. tall and spreads everywhere forever.

I have looked for plants besides the two I most adore, roses and lavender.
I’ve found possibilities in perennials, grasses, native plants and evergreen shrubs.

I’ve even found a special cherry tree that EATS VOCs better than all other trees! Some trees actually add VOC to the atmosphere.
The cherries are going outside the bedroom windows.

cherry trees
akebono cherry

I’ll, of course, plant more roses…and lavender…tho farmer begs to differ,
saying we have enough roses!
Nay. Nay…
What is life without their loveliness and fragrance? Besides my bees have high expectations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA “Provence” lavender and thyme with purple flowers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Salvia, my maligned Mexican feather grass, miscanthus, crape myrtle and lavender

ceanothusCeanothus ~ California Wild Lilac with a wild rose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Salvia “Indigo Spires”(with another lover)

I am very partial to salvia for it’s endless summer bloom, diversity and capacity to take over wherever there’s an empty space.
I like things that grow wildly, without inhibition or shyness.
There are so many different kinds of salvias to grow here.
I will be adding more than my monster, bog sage.

I plan to add “Dark Dancer”, a delicious deep red variety as well as more “Indigo Spires”, a deep violet-blue beauty with interesting twisted stems and huge flowers.(above with bee)

Dark Dancer salvia

I’ve found some other interesting natives and otherwise plants:
Knautia Macedonia, Pennisetums, Pheasant Tail Grass, Persicaria, Campanula and “Little Carlow” Aster.

I discovered many of my new plants in a book by a landscaper whose work I’ve always admired, Piet Oudolf. If you too like growing things wild, free and natural, you should buy this book:
“Planting. A New Perspective.”

But I could NEVER have enough roses.  I must buy more of these hardy landscape rose~lovelies….
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Scarlet Meidland shrub roses with ceanothus{CA wild lilac}


David Austin rose “Tamara” ~ swoon is my response to this beauty.

rose-grenadaGrenada ~ a floribunda rose that grows to 5 feet(so far) in my courtyard and is covered in fat buds and deliciously scented flowers all summer!

roses in pinkPeace floribunda rose ~ I simply cannot resist this disease-prone, buggy beauty of an old rose!


From the David Austin Roses website comes just a few of the many I’d like to eventually plant~

david austin roses

William Shakespeare 2000’s’ exquisite blooms are of the richest velvety crimson, gradually changing to an equally rich purple. They are deeply cupped at first, the flowers soon opening out to form shallow, quartered cups. This rose has the strong, warm Old Rose fragrance that we expect, but do not always find, in deep red roses. It forms a neat, upright shrub; each stem bearing a number of flowers. It was named the Most Fragrant Rose 2011 in the Hamilton trials in New Zealand. Named in honour of England’s greatest playwright who was himself voted ‘British Man of the Millennium’. A large bed of this rose is planted at Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. A 4 foot shrub but probably larger in my garden.


david austin roses
Evelyn bears giant, apricot colored flowers of a shallow, saucer-like shape, with numerous small petals inter-twined within. {I ADORE this shade of rose!} This is not the most vigorous of English Roses, {Oh, who cares…!} but the individual flower is absolutely magnificent. Its great glory is its wonderful fragrance, which is similar in style to an Old Rose, but with a sumptuous fruity note reminiscent of fresh peaches and apricot. Named on behalf of Crabtree & Evelyn, who used it in their range of rose perfumes. 4 ft. x 3 ft. (6 ft. as climber or more in my California garden)


david austin roses

One of the most perfect of all blooms,
the outer, incurved petals forming a frame for the numerous petals within.
The strong, fruity fragrance and the lovely, fashionable color add extra desirability to this versatile rose. Crown Princess Margareta will form a very attractive shrub with a long flowering season and is ideal for use in mixed borders. The broad arching growth makes it possible to grow Crown Princess Margareta as a free-standing rose set into a lawn. 5 ft. x 4.5 ft. as a shrub


david austin roses

A variety of rather unusual colouring for an English Rose, but nonetheless very pleasing and useful for creating a little excitement in the border. Before the flowers even begin to open, the outside of the buds are a most wonderful dark red with dashes of orange. When fully open the flowers are a lovely mixture of rich, almost tangerine orange on the inside of the petals and a more yellow orange on the outside; the whole set off against the very dark, bronzy green leaves that only slowly become dark green with age. It is a fairly upright but bushy shrub of medium height, that will flower freely and remain healthy. The flowers have a strong, delicious, fruity fragrance with hints of pear, grape and citrus fruits. Lady Emma Hamilton was Horatio Nelson’s lover and we have named this rose to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. 4 ft x 3 ft.


david austin roses

Here is a variety of unusual colouring for an English Rose – strong salmon-pink that changes with age to a particularly strong shade of pure pink. Deeply cupped flowers gradually develop into an open, slightly cupped rosette.
Benjamin Britten is a useful rose to provide a highlight among the softer shades of most English Roses. It is of medium height; vigorous, with dense growth and excellent foliage. The fragrance is intensely fruity, with aspects of wine and pear drops. Named to commemorate the life and work of the famous English composer, conductor and performer. Benefits from summer pruning. 4 ft. x 3 ft. or 8-10 ft. climber

I intend to plant this one on an arbor that’s been languishing in pieces by the back fence for at least 5 years… Along with purple clematis and honeysuckle!

YUM! Don’t you agree? 

But he who dares not grasp the thorn

Should never crave the rose. ~Anne Bronte

white crane


23 thoughts on “Roses and Wild Growing Things Create Havoc in Sensible Garden Plans

  1. Such beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. Think about you.XOXO, Rlte

    1. thanks so much silvia… sorry i’ve not been around much of late. xox

  2. Beautiful images.

  3. Your rose love is evident here in your photos. I love it natural also. The plants are so hearty. Beautiful!

    1. thank you gretchen…i’m so glad you enjoyed the garden tour of sorts. xx

  4. I feel as though I just walked through heaven – gorgeous garden photographs, every one of them. I see your William Shakespeare for next year (if you check out the post on my blog, one year anniversary I’ve added a photograph of my D. Austin William Shakespeare when it was in bloom just for you). I could spend days walking around your gardens – the sight of colors and textures, not to mention sweet fragrances would be memorable to say the least.

    1. mary, thanks for your sweet comment. glad you liked your tour thru my messes tho i’ve yet to actually show them…oy…

      i loved seeing your WS rose!

  5. So much beauty and colour. I could almost smell the loveliness.

    1. hi joss….i’m happy you were able to get a whiff of the flowers…it’s been a good year for them this year here in my little neck of the woods. 🙂

  6. They are all magnificent.

  7. You are truly an artist!!!

    “I must have flowers, always, and always.”
    ― Claude Monet

    1. i guess monet and i have at least one thing in common. 🙂

      1. Yes – you love and create beauty…. 🙂

  8. I don’t own a single rose–I leave that to the sister who loves them dearliy……..oh, but what a lovely red bush you’ve got going on with that wee mix of purple. Go figure you surround yourself with lots of colour! AND would like MORE if you can make it happen.
    Three landscapers, huh? I understand the value of having their wisdom about the area and what’s what–but gosh, it’s more fun for me to just plant and see what happens. Well, unless it takes over the front flower garden and starts heading for the neighbor’s yard. LOL (I have no clue what that was….but it had a really pretty white flower!)
    I like the sound (and look) of the cherry trees as long as they’re in someone elses’ yard. 🙂 Bit messy for me–but they’re lovely to look at in the spring!
    Mostly I like to watch your garden grow and imagine. Cuz that’s one heck of a garden to wander about in and take care of (which is why ‘wild’ is a good thing!). The hubby will wrap his head around more of the roses–a few will need TLC and others will grow like mad, I’m sure. (crossing my fingers on that one…LOL)
    You just keep planting, ma’am.
    And rest once in a while–listen to the burble and just BE. 🙂

    1. yes, 3–embarrassing really. 🙂 obviously i like to do my own thing too but it’s a very big place so a very big expense should i screw it up. however…. be that as it may! the cherries are non-fruiting and i love the raining of cherry blossoms. right now i only have the crabapples. 🙂 yes dear on the orders from headquarters on the resting, etc…. tho i be quite tired of it. xox

  9. Lovely! And the peace rose – that was my mother’s favourite. Thank you!

    1. i do remember you mentioning that. i am so glad you liked tho photos. xx

  10. It is indeed your garden to do with what you will. What you’ve done so far has resulted in some marvelously beautiful visions.

    Meanwhile, I consider importing some streptocarpus and fancy african violets for the windowsill.

    1. susan-i’m glad you are importing growing things for the sill if nothing else. the color will buoy you up. how’s the windows? i am woefully behind on my online world as you might see here in my random leaving of comments. i am not even ON my computer most days anymore, very different for me, the first in many years of such a big change in behavior. it has begun to feel like such an extreme waste of precious time-online stuff. but i do move in and out of that mood…

      thanks for your always sweet thoughts left here. xxx

  11. Color and beauty spilling from my screen. Thank you for your ever changing canvas of delight! xoxo

    1. Hello Kathryn and thank you for stopping by! It’s good to hear from you again. Yes, it’s been a great summer for gardening, as you know. Strange weather but love it cooler. xxx

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