My garden is awakening already!

With the warm weather we've had in the past few days, there are definite signs of life emerging around the garden and it's too soon! My roses are producing buds, my 2007 planted ornamental Pear tree's & Red Maple have new growth appearing and later this week we are due for snow again!

This is the trouble with transplanting yourself from one continent of the world to another vastly different one. You have to relearn all your acquired gardening skills and either change your ways or accommodate new ideas. I have tried to do a bit of both so far, resulting in some success and more failure. You don't see many people growing alot of roses up in our area but I refused to give up on the quintessential english plant.
My first spring in 2006 I planted 3 climbing roses around the porch and they all took and have done really well. So in 2007 I tried 3 bush roses also at the front, but in a different bed and they have all failed! Luckily they had a 1-year warranty, so I will order my replacements soon and try again I guess. Another success has been my clematis planted amongst the climbing roses and this really pleased me, as a few locals said it was impossible with the heat here. I successfully grew a wonderful Passion Fruit in the UK, which even produced fruit very much against the odds. Last year I searched high and low to find one to plant here as I now have great climate conditions for success, but could I find a plant...NO! In 2006 I planted a traditional Dutch Magnolia tree in the backyard, but it never survived the ensuing drought. So the replacement in 2007 has stayed in a barrel, been nursed gently and is currently only rolled out of the garage on sunny days. I hope by establishing it well for a couple of years in the barrel, it will then transplant successfully into the garden. (Front climbing roses & Canna beds - above)
I have learned to love the native Crepe Myrtle (left) that flowers all summer long and thrives in the heat, this year I plan on planting another four. I have also rapidly established a wonderful display of various Canna Lillies, with people even stopping to ask me for extra bulbs when I divide them. My big experiment in 2007 was Alstroemaria in a bed, this is my all time favourite flower and I am waiting to see if it has survived winter nervously.

Last year we made a good sized area of the garden into another seating area and planted roses, a blueberry bush, canna's and a few shrubs including Photinia. The previous year this area was a vegetable garden, but my fear of snakes got the better of me! This year we plan on developing the far corner of the garden (beneath the birdhouse visible in this picture), it won't be as large an area but will have more impact, being visible from our bay window.


Mary said...

Sarah, you're one of those lucky people with a green thumb. In fact, you sound like both hands are green! I love gardens but have only moderate success in my own yard. I do ok with containers, though. In the Spring, I'll refer back to your post for flower names, etc. Thanks for sharing all the info and pics!

SuziQoregon said...

Hi Sarah! Good to see you've got your blog up and online! I need to update my links list soon and get you, Sherri and Mary all added.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Wow, I wish I had your green thumb and drive! I can't imagine having to "relearn" all of the gardening things you knew, as you said. I can't imagine moving to another part of our country, much less another country an ocean away and learning all of the new flora.

We have an ornamental pear tree in our yard, almost 14 years old now. It's already starting to bud out :) My husband pruned our crepe myrtles this past weekend, and they will be blooming by June. I have a clematis, but I'm afraid we waited too long to prune it. Our one climbing rose is already starting to bud out as well :) I have not had great luck with the two shrub roses we planted. They are very spindly and scraggly (is that a word)?! I look forward to seeing and hearing all about yours :)

Have a wonderful day!

Vickie said...

Your gardens are lovely!
Good for you! I love gardening and it's always been trial and error for me. I am a huge fan of xeric and going with as close to native as possible. Here in Colorado, we have really wild Zone 5 gardening climate. 95% of what we plant is xeric and does well. We do have a nice clematis in the front garden along a trellis. Front faces east, so it's partial shade and does well. Heucheras and roses in the front directly in front of the house, a berm along the front sidewalk with lavender, hyssop, dwarf Mugo pine, echincea. Back garden has hyssop and hollyhocks. Last year, DH put in a vegetable garden along the back fence so that the west afternoon sun wouldn't fry everything. It's in a good spot and we had tomatoes and hot peppers, green beans, watermelon and canteloup. Grape vines along the fence. I can't wait for the bulbs to start blooming, if only to see where I need to fill in next fall or plant for fall blooming bulbs.

Sarah said...

Stacy - thanks for the nod on now being the time to prune my Crepe Myrtles, I had no clue!

Vickie - what is Xeric? You garden also sounds lovely and like you too put in alot of work.

Redlady said...


Your gardens are lovely! I wish that I had more of a green thumb and need to learn more to add some color to my gardens. It especially looks lovely with all of the colors. You are a talented gardener and will learn more things about gardening in the US/OK!

Your picture is beautful and it is so nice to place a face with your name and posts/blog now! I am still very impressed with how quickly you picked up on the blogging!

I am enjoying reading your blog very much!


Anonymous said...


You inspired me to work in my yard come spring. LOL

Vickie said...

Sarah: Xeric is drought tolerant gardening. Xeriscaping or 'Zeroscaping' as it is often commonly mistakenly called is using mostly native to the area plants and trying for drought tolerant or resistant.
www.highcountrygardens.com for a great resource. LOVE this catalog and site.
It's taken a lot of loving care and work, but we love our gardens. And always room for more!