Privilege Blog

Wholly Undeserved Rainbows, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:41am

My garden’s still kind of a mess. Somehow I’m not too bothered. It’s easy to find reasons for good cheer.

The front yard is worst off, it’s got two big bare spots. My Pieris Japonica up and died a couple of months ago (for no reason that I could determine), as did my pink Cecile Brunner (because very clearly I let it get overrun by aphids and fungus). I’m planning to replace Ms. Brunner this fall, meanwhile I’m splashing biological fungicides around like gin in a pub on a summer night. An imaginary pub, that is.

Also we had a hard rain just recently, very unusual for May in California. It left the red climber in disarray.

Close up, still gorgeous.

And we should always take advantage of the superpower of white roses; they glow at twilight. Nice work, girls!

The side yard meanwhile, the erstwhile butterfly garden, was absolutely jungled by weeds. Now that I’ve cleared I can see I got there just in time. Sorry buddy.

Ah well, Passiflora flourishes.

One day with 11 blooms at once. And did you know that butterflies quite like thistles?

The back yard is probably in the best shape of all. The fuchsia, in its pot, is budding out again.

We’re lucky the sun rewards the innocent.

Rainbows are so generous. I’ve gotten more comfortable with easy sentiment, sometimes it’s what we need.

One particularly happy Phormium.

Have a wonderful weekend.

46 Responses

  1. My roses were pummeled by the rain as well. That was quite a downpour! I don’t remember ever having a rain like that in May.

  2. Beautiful white roses,Lisa,pure joy to look at!
    We have a lot of rain,completely unusual for May,but than-there are rainbows,too :-)
    Have a lovely weekend!

  3. I am permanently scarred by trying to grow roses in Seattle! Mildew, rust, thrip! They were science projects more than anything else. The white roses are gorgeous.

  4. How I love white roses. Your garden may not be perfect, but it is certainly lovely.

  5. I wish I knew better how to help our climbing roses climb, reforming them from their current ungainly sprawl, but such is life. (I don’t want them *tidy* or almost-espalier, mind you, just less floppy-looking and more coherent?)

    Congratulations on getting work in your garden done! And that so much survived!

    1. @KC, “less floppy-looking and more coherent.” Yes! Kind of like prose. You don’t want to strip all poetry but you would like it to make sense.

  6. I’m so glad that you can find reasons for good cheer. Your garden is very beautiful and I am moved by your acceptance of things you cannot change – very hopeful and very mature but very hard to do.

    1. @Maria, Thank you! And I swear the hope is genetic – it was the best gift my mother ever gave me. It springs from taking the time always to look closely at the world, as my youngest sister reminded me recently, and find it wonderful.

  7. I think it’s looking lovely! And I saw y’all got lots of rain. Hopefully it hasn’t caused mudslide issues.

    1. @K-Line, Thank you:). And so far no mudslides that I have heard of, at least not in the Bay Area. I may find out I’ve missed something when I turn on the news tonight.

  8. The white roses take my breath away. And the rest of your plants are so different from what grows in my NY yard that it’s interesting to see. We have lots of what I think of as the Three Ds – day lilies, daisies, and daffodils – although not arriving in that order. Meanwhile just this morning I planted our window and deck boxes of annuals – mostly petunias, dianthus, and verbena. It suddenly feels like summer. Glad you are not anxious about your naturally evolving garden.

    1. @MJ, I never knew the white roses would play such a starring role, but I am glad they do. I remember from the East Coast the day lilies. Three D’s, I like that:).

      Verbena here of course is often a perennial;).

  9. BravaLisa! Two things I’m stealing from your post. (I’ve done this before but not fessed up). First “jungled” as a verb looks to be very handy. Second I’ve also “become more comfortable with easy sentiment”, a quick description of the welcome relaxing some of my old wasp starch and artsy academic snobbery. (See why shorthand is helpful?) Thanks as always. And congratulations on your sweetly disheveled garden-looks lovely!

    1. @Wendy, “old wasp starch and artsy academic snobbery” from now on to be known as OWSAAS. I know it well;). Doesn’t even allow for Puccini, much less Rent…

      Also any time my words are repeated? Best day ever. xoxo.

  10. I think a perfect garden is probably a myth, or at least impossible without a horde of gardeners on constant duty. My own dreams of gardens are always grander than my actual abilities and energy levels allow. I think your garden is lovely, and it is good to allow Nature a little free reign….she will claim it anyway.

    1. @Mardel, She will claim it anyway, yes, over the years I try more and more to get out of her way but she keeps on coming.

  11. Why are your rainbows “wholly undeserved”? You deserve rainbows for the rest of your life, maybe even 2 per week, from now on. xo

  12. Love how you “talk” to your flowers and plants. I’ve said “ sorry buddy” a few times myself.

    1. @Elaine, I’m in good company! And yes, especially when I prune, I’m prone to apologizing for cutting off parts.

  13. You have a nice collection of plants. My skill at growing roses is abysmal. Between the bugs and fungus, I gave up. No roses for me. I simply admire the roses grown by others. The rainbow in your garden is magical.

    1. @Susan, I am beginning to think it’s not skill with roses, it’s just luck. Once fungus and bugs find prey they are so reluctant to give it up. And I only use organic treatments/sprays, so what happens will happen.

  14. Your Rose Campion looks well! I have that here in Virginia too. It’s just getting ready to bloom.

    1. @Susan L, Rose Campion is such a cheerful and reliable bloomer here, although it migrates around the garden, only flowering for a couple of years in any given spot. I am interested to hear it’s happy in Virginia too!

  15. I really appreciate that you continue to post on your blog.
    Yours was the first one that I discovered and I enjoy your posts

  16. I love the white roses, but I’ll admit to a soft spot for thistles — they have a lovely, gentle honeyed scent (at least the ones I know do, especially on a warm day) and I know that butterflies and other pollinators love them. So glad you’re making some room for them.

    1. @Frances, :). I have never sniffed these, I will this year, as soon as they bloom. A soft spot for the prickly indeed.

  17. Your rose campion is lovely. I have stopped trying to grow it since it flourish for three years and then die out. I love your roses. My husband bought me a rose tree this year for Mother’s Day. It is gorgeous, something that I have always wanted, but never mentioned to him.

  18. What a lovely garden – it has a beautiful relaxed feel about it, not dishevelled at all. Gardens are for people and for living (to paraphrase Thomas Church somewhat loosely) rather than for obsessively grooming, although if people are into that, who am I to criticize? We live in a part of Canada akin to the northern fringes of Maine or Vermont, so I am jealous of your beautifully greened out garden- ours is just coming to life, the green nimbus around the trees is still that very fresh, lime, yellow-green. My husband and I are almost 70, so each spring is very precious. Who knows how many more we can enjoy with health and vigour intact?

    1. @sensitivepoet, Your garden sounds lovely, I love the way you describe the nimbus. And beautiful and relaxed but not disheveled would be my aesthetic goals, perhaps even my ethical ones, in all things.

  19. You’ve been through a lot, Lisa – you DO deserve rainbows! And lollipops – and hugs – and kisses – and all the happy thoughts that blooming roses bring with them!

    1. @victoire, Thank you:). I suppose even if I’ve not done a perfect job I’ve tried really hard, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to allow myself to say so.

  20. A garden is always evolving…this I have learned from decades of planting!
    Just think of the fun you will have perusing the garden centres! I would wholeheartedly suggest that you buy a David Austin rose or maybe several!!! They are hardy and reliable and disease resistant.
    Enjoy your weekend Lisa and hope that the rain eases up…we could use some of it up here!

    1. @Leslie Lord, Rain has finally stopped! My poor garden is drowned! I do have David Austin roses, three of them, but sadly I have found them also susceptible as they are planted next to a hybrid tea that gets terrible leaf diseases but survives on the stalk. Also, why do the David Austin roses lose their petals so easily? At least mine? I have Googled it but find nothing. Hmmm.

Comments are closed.