As the roses begin to bloom, the season tips perceptibly in the direction of summer. But the heat has not yet arrived, so I am still picking handfuls of Calendula, trying to make the most of their wonderful bright colors and the abandon with which they are flowering. As well, there is sweet broom (Cytisus x spachianus) to slip into a vase, bringing its lovely scent indoors.
The Calendulas kept the vase a mix of yellow and orange...
...which made it easy to decide that rose "Graham Thomas" must be picked.
I have been eyeing Cytisus x spachianus for some days, looking forward to adding it to a vase. It is just beginning to bloom, and most of the flowering stems are found around the base of the still-small shrub because caterpillars stripped many of the upper branches before I noticed. I seem to have removed most of the many-legged leaf-eaters. This happened last year as well, but in that case the damage was done after flowering. Fortunately this plant recovers well from such setbacks, but I did not want to lose a year's bloom so the caterpillars had to go! The upper branches are filling with buds again too.
Lastly I slipped in a single stem of Ixia, with buds still unopened.
Wishing all of you a happy week! And do check the many other wonderful spring vases at Rambling in the Garden!
Weather Diary: Fair; High: 82 F (28 C)/Low: 50 F (10 C); Humidity: 6%-44%
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Susie (Tuesday, 11 April 2017 07:05)
This is lovely Amy. Interesting flowers and nicely designed.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 11 April 2017 11:01)
Thank you so much, Susie - I still never know what to expect with bloom times here, so flower combinations remain a bit mix and match... but exciting ;-) Thanks for stopping by!
Anna (Tuesday, 11 April 2017 12:14)
a lovely colour palette - all matching and complimenting each other so well. Wishing you a happy week too!
Kris P (Tuesday, 11 April 2017 18:44)
I love that rose, Amy! I'm missing the broom in my garden this year - despite the rain, mine dropped dead.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 11 April 2017)
Thank you so much, Anna - It's been a pleasure to have the Calendulas' vibrant colors to work with this year - very inspiring :)
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 11 April 2017 20:02)
Kris - I've had to fight to keep the broom alive - caterpillars in spring and fall and chlorosis in summer. But so far it's put up a good fight on its own account... The Graham Thomas rose has a good reputation in SoCal; my cousin's must be somewhere around eight feet tall, unsupported. I don't think mine will get anywhere near that large as the more intense heat does set it back. Crown Princess Margareta has been a better grower for me, though it is more apricot than yellow.
Annette (Wednesday, 12 April 2017 02:47)
Such a sunny vase, perfect for the season! Can't believe you're picking Calendula already. I always put the petals into salads etc. Broom is just starting to flower here. It grows abundantly everywhere and is probably called invasive. There are no health issues though but they're rather short-lived but quickly replaced by their offspring. Graham is a gorgeous rose, I used to have it in my Irish garden along with Gertrude Jekyll. The latter grows here now in my French one but although it's supposed to be a climbing form, she's a bit giddy but we'll see. Happy Easter, Amy :)
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Wednesday, 12 April 2017 09:37)
Annette - The Calendula has been such a bright spot - quite literally! I shall have to try using the petals; I have never used or grown them before since they were uncommon in the Midwest, where I began gardening. So glad I have begun with them now :)
I have to smile at your description of Gertrude as giddy - very apt! As I remember it, her fragrance is worth everything, but she is not very heat-tolerant (according to the David Austin catalog at least!) so I have been using other varieties instead. Frankly, I do not think Graham Thomas is as good in the heat either; the best have been Wollerton Old Hall, The Alnwick Rose, and Crown Princess Margareta. They get quite a rigorous testing with our summers!
Wishing you a very happy Easter! :)
Cathy (Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:43)
Beautiful colours - quite summery! :)
Cathy (Friday, 14 April 2017 04:44)
Oh perfectly co-ordinated, Amy - and the dumpy vase is just right for them. It's interesting to read which roses do best for you in the heat. Why do you think the caterpillars are attracted to the cytisus - do you know what type they are?
Cathy Thompson (Saturday, 15 April 2017 03:08)
A gloriously sunny vase, Amy! It lifted my heart this morning. We've had wonderful spring weather, but the last two days it has turned chilly and overcast. Thanks for the sunshine!
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 18 April 2017 02:14)
Cathy@Words and Herbs - Yes, colors are heating up a bit here... ;-) Thanks so much, Cathy!
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 18 April 2017 02:17)
Cathy@Rambling in the Garden - Thank you so much :) I've hunted in vain to ID the caterpillars. They're probably something quite common, but I haven't been able to put a name to them yet. At a guess it seems likely that they prefer plants in the pea family... :/ I don't find them on any of my other plants so far.
Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 18 April 2017 02:22)
Cathy Thompson - So glad to see your comment :) I hope the weather will behave itself for you and give you plenty of springtime! Thanks so much!