28 februari 2008

Some Crocuses and an Iris

We've had a sunny day today - I think Spring has arrived at least a month early this year. The lovely Crocus tommasinianus roseus is in bloom. I like the narrow petals and its colour a lot. The petals are almost white at the outside, which enhances the beauty of the flower.

The flowers of the blue, botanical crocuses have also appeared. Very pretty, I think. In fact, this time of year is almost the best. When the light returns and Spring arrives, you feel your spirits rise and you get your energy back. And so do the plants! Day by day you can see more and more buds appear.

Iris retuculata is an absolute favourite of mine. I
simply adore the exquisite shape of the flower! And the deep, blue colour, enhanced by its yellow, white and black marks, is fantastic!

Cheers! /Katarina

27 februari 2008

23 februari 2008

Some Pink Favourites

Many of my roses are pink. I don't really know why - I just seem to fall for that colour. And many of them have a bushy growth with plenty of thorns - and yet the most romantic flowers. That's kind of strange, don't you think? The combination of beautiful roses and plenty of thorns...

Today I'm going to show you four different rugosa-hybrids that I like very much.

The first one comes from Canada and grows into a tall bush, filled with roses from early summer until autumn. It's called 'Martin Frobisher'.

The second rose has Martin Frobisher as a parent. It's an English rose; the hybridizer is the famous David Austin. This one grows into a low and wide bush. It's called 'Mrs Doreen Pike' (named for one of mr Austin's emplyees). It blooms the whole season.

The third rose is a rugosa-hybrid from Germany. The hybridizer is called Sievers and this rose is quite new to the market. It grows into a medium sized rose bush and it's quite lovely. It's called Sachalin. It starts blooming early and continues until frost.

The last one for today, is absolutely adorable. It's a sibling to Sachalin and the flowers are almost white, flushed with pink - they get paler as they age and if the weather is very hot. This bush blooms all summer. It's called 'Kamtschatka' and is one of my favourites.

Today I noticed that both Kamtschatka and Sachalin have green sprouts - Spring is in the air!

21 februari 2008

Thanks for encouraging comments

This post is merely meant as a 'Thank you' to all of you who have given me encouraging comments on my blog. The world of blogging is quite new to me - and I'm thrilled and overjoyed by discovering and reading so many interesting blogs from all over the world. And - on top of that - receiving nice and warming comments from you all. A big bunch of tulips to you all:

A special THANKS to Threadspider at Spinningyarns who sent me an award a couple of days ago.

I would like to pass this award on to some blogs which are very interesting and joyable to read. (They are listed in a random order.)

The Village Voice is a blog which combines lovely pictures of flowers with delicious recipes. It's from the US.

Everything in the garden's rosy is a great gardening blog from England.

A Caribbean garden is an exotic gardening blog from the Carribean islands.

Windywillow is an inspiring blog from Ireland.

Trädgårdsdrömmar is a delightful blog from Sweden.

Digital Flower Pictures is an amazing blog with the most exquisite pictures of flowers.

Once again - thanks to you all! /Katarina

16 februari 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, February 15

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day originates from Carol at May Dreams Gardens. The idea is to post a report of blooms in your garden by the 15th of each month. This is my first contribution.

February is supposed to be a winter month here in western Sweden. This year has been unusually mild, more like autumn. But during the last few days we've experienced a cool spell.

There aren't many flowering plants yet, but a couple of hellebores are in bloom. The double, white Helleborus niger:

and the spotted Helleborus orientale:

Some Pansies are in bloom, and, of course, the Snowdrops:

But most important of all, is my Camellia. I bought this plant in England in March 2006, when I visited Bristol on a teachers training course. Along with 3 other plants, I carried it through the customs in my hand luggage. And yesterday I discovered the first flower! - How I've waited for this occasion! This camellia is called Silver Anniversary - and it's beautiful!

First came a bud:

then the semi double, white flower emerged:

Some of you might think that a camellia is nothing much to get excitied about - but to us, here in Sweden, camellias are quite exotic and hard to handle. They simply don't like our climate. So,
I keep it on my verandah - otherwise it wouldn't survive.

So, right now I sit in my verandah, enjoying my Camellia, while I wait for other plants to flourish.

Happy growing! /Katarina

15 februari 2008

Toromiro - a very unusual tree

Toromiro - Sophóra toromíro - is said to be one of the most unusaul trees in the world. It used to grow on the Easter Island, but, unfortunately, not any longer... Isn't it sad how so many species disappear from our planet each year?

A long time ago, seeds were taken from this tree by Tor Heyerdal and luckily some of the seeds germinated. The tree now grows in the greenhouse of the Botanical Garden of Gothenburg, Sweden. Attempts have been made by the park to reestablish it on Easter Island - without any success.

Right now the tree is in bloom. I visited the botanical garden yesterday and was met by a frosty sight as I entered the park. There was ice on the pond, which is quite an unusual event this year. (No flowers yet in the circular bed as you can see.)

Inside the warm greenhouse I found the Toromiro with its yellow flowers:

Is it true that it only grows here in Gothenburg, or have you seen it anywhere else?

14 februari 2008

Red Roses for Valentine Day

Valentine Day - it's supposed to be such a romantic day, isn't it?

Romance - the word brings roses to your mind, doen't it? Red roses?

In my garden I have only a few roses that are red. It's not that I don't like red roses, there are just colours that I like even better. However, there are a few red ones among all the other.

Santana is a climbing rose that doesn't grow very tall. It blooms all summer and the flowers are big and beautiful - almost like velvet in texture.

Adelaide Hoodless is a bush with quite small flowers. The individual flower isn't that exciting, but it's a nice variety because it gives you lots and lots of flowers during the whole season.

The last red one for today, is a rose that I like a lot. It's a good bloomer and the red roses with a spot of white in the middle are quite beautiful. It's called Gloire des Rosomanes or Jupiter's Lightning or Ragged Robin or Red Robin. Lots of names for a lovely rose....

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine Day! /Katarina

12 februari 2008

Garden Bloggers Geography Project

Jodi DeLong of Blooming writer, challenged bloggers to write a bit about their hometown. So here I go:

I live in Gothenburg, Sweden, which, as you might know, is situated in Scandinavia. Our closest neighbours are Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Gothenburg lies next to the sea and the Port of Gothenburg is the largest port of Scandinavia.

Lots of people use the sea for recreation, e.g. swimming, sunbathing and sailing. And so do we in our family, during the summer months.

Gothenburg has lots of beautiful parks.
Slottsskogen is a very big park where people meet for strolls and picnics. Trädgårdsföreningen is a smaller park in the centre of town, with nice plantations and a lovely rose garden. But the most well known park is probably the Botanical Garden. It's one of the biggest botanical gardens of Europe and it's a trully beautiful one with plants from all over the world. I just love to walk around in there!

Another park, but of a different kind, is Liseberg. It's known as the greatest amusement park in Scandinavia.

My part of the world is a suburbian area just south of Gothenburg. We live in a typically Swedish wooden house and our garden is average in size. Nevertheless, I've planted almost 75 different rose bushes during the three years that we've lived here. This time of year the surroundings look really dull, but it gets better during summer!

What else can I tell you? Well, Swedes are often considered to have introverted characters. This might be true and the reason is probably the long, dark wintermonths. For months on end, we rarely see daylight. Can you imagine?

- Oh, how I long for the light to return! /Katarina

9 februari 2008

the first crocuses

The first crocuses are in bloom. This morning they were buds and after a couple of hours with sun, the buds started to open. This time of year, when most plants are still asleep, even a common flower like crocus, really makes me happy. It makes me feel alive.

Life is slowly coming back. Both gardens and people thrive under the sun - especially this year, after all the heavy rain and storms that we've had.

It's so fascinating to watch the flowers open. The colour of buds and flowers change with the light. - How I love the first flowers of spring!


7 februari 2008

The Colour Green

Walking through my garden today, I noticed the various shades of green. During summer, when roses and other perennials flourish, the colour green is not that noticeable - at least not in my garden. The flowers tend to dominate.

However, green is a colour that I appreciate very much. It's soothing and refreshing. This winter, when we lack snow, all my different Heucheras are still green. Or, perhaps I should say greenish. A few of them are perhaps more purple than green, for example Silver Scrolls.

The same goes for Palace Purple, which I think looks great next to the silvery foliage of Carnation - Dianthus gratianopolitanus.

The last Heuchera on show today, is definitely greener. I don't know it's name, I got it from a seed, but it's very beautiful this time of year. During summer it's got a light yellowish-green colour.

I really like Heucheras. They add colour and texture to my borders. And - the slugs don't fancy them. (Unfortunately I can't grow Hostas because of the slugs.)

One of my favourite wintergreen bushes, is Mahonia. The green, shining leaves turn into a bronze-like shade during winter. This is a bush that I find beautiful all year around. The blue berries of autumn are very decorative, as are the lovely flowers of spring as they start to open up.

Another bush that adds a touch of green to the garden during winter, is
rhododendron. I've got some 'ordinary' ones with lilac blooms; those are quite huge and old. They were here long before us. My newest one, has green leaves with yellow spots. This variety is a dwarf, called Goldflimmer.

The green colour of the foliage of Helleborus niger, is reflected in its white flowers. This one has got double flowers and is very beautiful. In Swedish this plant is called 'Christmas-Rose'.

Pansies are the promise of Spring. How well blue and green mix together! They remind me of how lucky I am to have my garden. - What on earth would I do without it...


3 februari 2008

February on the west coast of Sweden

No snow in sight as could have been expected. Only strong wind with a temperature around 5 degrees Centigrade. Not that I miss the snow, but I think the plants in my garden are wondering which season it is. Bulbs are starting to show and what will happen to them if snow and cold weather arrive, I simply don't know.

Although our garden in moderate in size, it holds around 70 rose bushes - I love
roses! Especially rugosa and moss hybrids. We also have some trees and other bushes, along with lots and lots of perennials and annuals...
I couldn't live without my garden! (And my family, of course...)

The part of our house that I love the most is our verandah. We installed heating in December and seedlings and tropical plants are thriving out there. (I do too, when I sit there, basking in the sun, with a cup of tea overlooking my plants.)

This is my first entry on this blogspot. I've decided to write in English. I spent a couple of years in England when I was young, and I love the language and would like to keep it up.

I have another blog too, where I use my native Swedish tongue. I started it this autumn. You can find it here:
rosor och ris

In this entry I've shown some of my whitish roses. They
are from top to bottom: Morden Snowrise, Bland Double de Coubert, Schneekoppe and Jacqueline du Pré.

That was all for today. Next time I'll show you some more photos of my greatest hobby: my plants and my garden.

Cheers! /Katarina