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The sun was clear and hot. The wind was just enough to keep it comfortable,
and the roses are starting to pop! This is the kind of day and the condition
of roses which makes me know the Southern California desert is the greatest
place to grow them! Most are completely clean. The only exceptions? Those
which are in less than great spots and are too crowded. The lilacs have
exploded! Blue Skies is the best of the bunch. Every branch tip is a huge
pyramid of bloom. All are on the top of the great bush, and look wonderful
against the Persian turquoise sky. The temperature and humidity were perfect
to carry their fragrance twenty feet across the garden. What a thrill!
The author's garden later that summer.
Taboo proudly carried huge, black velvet opening blooms with blood red
centers, against its plum/green foliage. The combination would have made
Countess Dracula's heart race! LOL! Barcelona, Only Love, Kardinal (1930s),
Night and Nigrette were also nearly black. Double Delight, the paisley leafed
Liggett clone, bore nearly sixty opening and full blown flowers! It's badly
virused, grows like a danged weed, and blooms more heavily than any other
I've ever seen. Mrs. R. G. Sharman-Crawford (Barbara Worl) has nearly
doubled her size! There are crimson buds popping all over the bush. The light
is bright, but the air is cool, so the outer petals are the expected
mauve-pink, while the inner ones glow with a darker pink. Secret offered
thirty plus buds and blooms against its dark, dense, totally clean foliage.
Basye's Legacy has burst forth with fresh, shiny, bright green foliage and
should begin throwing buds very soon. Montecito is a mountain of white! All
those single blooms fluttering in the breeze like a swarm of huge, white
butterflies. Twilight Mist has popped new bronzy foliage all over the large
plant. There were nearly a hundred open blooms fluttering in the wind! What
a sight! Those colors are impossible to describe, with peach chiffon, cafe au
lait silk, ivory and lavender pink all appearing in the same clusters.
Autumn was still harder to share. Old gold, crimson veins, buff, purple,
orange and all the colors of a sunset all in one, intensely fragrant bloom.
Nellie Mosler clematis is eating the fence! There were easily two dozen huge,
lavender blooms studded all along its canes. Fedtschenkoana is pushing new
growth in all directions. The afternoon sun illuminated the new canes and
prickles like ruby slivers with gray/green and lavender jade cabochons. Its
smoky Noble fir scented foliage was detectable from many feet away. Flamingo
is visible from all over the West end of the garden. It's thrown itself into
the Mexican Elderberry and is popping its huge, brilliant pink, single blooms
with their maroon stamen and clove fragrance all through the tree.
Nigel Hawthorne boasted nineteen open blooms, while Tigris only held three.
Neither were easily studied, as Nessie waved her double, pink, incredibly
fragrant wands through the air like she was swimming against the current. I
wanted to cut some blooms, but it seemed a sin to mar the yards long canes
with their large clusters of flowers. Which ones would I have wasted? Too
difficult to decide, so they remain on the monster plant to perfume the air
another day. Why is my camera never where the flowers are?
Nearly every plant on the hill is loaded with buds. When these pop, they'll
hear them for miles! LOL! What a crime to have to work when there is so much
to expect and so much excitement coming so close, in the garden!
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