Archives For March 2014

Cabbage Roses

March 31, 2014

A cabbage rose is a type of flower whose petals resemble a head of cabbage. Other names include Rose Centifolia (hundred leaved/petaled rose), The Great Holland Rose, Provence Rose or Rose de Mai. It is a hybrid rose developed by Dutch rose breeders in the period between the 17th century and the 19th century; although the exact hereditary history is not well documented.



Individual plants are shrubby in appearance, growing to 1.5–2 m tall, with long drooping canes and greyish green pinnate leaves with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are round and globular, with numerous thin overlapping petals that are highly scented; they are usually pink, less often white to dark red-purple.



The cabbage rose is particulart the French city of Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world. It is widely cultivated for its singular fragrance—clear and sweet, with light notes of honey. The flowers are commercially harvested for the production of rose oil, which is commonly used in perfumery.



Once cabbage roses have been planted, it is important to water them regularly. The roots should be completely soaked when watering, but the ground should not become soggy. It is a good idea to mist the leaves and blossoms of the plant lightly if it is very hot outside. This should be done in early morning or late evening, as doing so in the afternoon could cause the water to burn the foliage. Cabbage roses need to be fertilized weekly, and this is best done by applying the fertilizer at the same time the plant is being watered.

Content for this blog post comes from Wikipedia, Historic Roses, and Wise Geek.

38.1 Lady Carlyle

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Easter Tea Party

March 31, 2014

Artful Affirmations shared a beautiful Easter tea party on her blog!

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Don’t you just love the white chocolate bunnies sitting in tea cups?



Visit Artful Expressions for more photos here.


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March 30, 2014

Jasperware is the term used to describe the type of pottery developed by Josiah Wedgewood. Authorities described it as a type of porcelain and it is noted for its matte finish and is produced in various colors. This type of fine grained stoneware was a result of a series of experiments on the techniques of porcelain manufacturing and its name is taken from the fact that the product has the same hardness as the stone jasper.


Jasperware was first made in 1775 and has been associated with the neoclassical sculptor and designer John Flaxman who supplied the designs to Wedgwood. In its natural state, it is white and then is stained with metallic oxide coloring agents. Jasperware is most common in pale blue coloring but it has been produced in other colors as well as such dark blue, sage green, lilac, yellow and black. The earliest produced jasperware was stained all throughout and was known as “solid” whereas the later and newer varieties were just colored on the surface and are therefore called “dips”.



Items made of jasperware were varied including furniture mounts, vases, plaques, tableware, cameos, and portrait medallions. The popularity of jasperware was its height in 1795, which was the year of Josiah’s death. Like with every trend its popularity has come and gone with the times and jasperware produced in recent years is as collectible items  and not in the numbers it was previously.


Like with any stoneware the Wedgwood Jasperware can often be dated through the style of the markings or backstamps. Before 1860, the marking was the word “Wedgwood” accompanied by a single letter and other pottery marking. Between 1891 and 1908, the marks are “Wedgwood” and “England” then from 1908 to 1969, the marks changed to “Wedgwood” and “Made in England” and from 1970 to the present production, mark used is “Wedgwood Made in England”.

To date Jasperware is still being produced by Wedgwood UK and older pieces are being sold at antique houses and online auction sites.


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Easter Tables

March 29, 2014

Architecture Art Designs shared 28 inspirational tables on their site and I had a hard time picking my favorites! Check out all 28 here.




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March 28, 2014

I can just imagine three friends for many years enjoying lemonade and gossip in these wicker chairs! May you enjoy time relaxing with a friend this weekend, too!

Zest of 1 lemon, in wide strips
2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped hulled strawberries
2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 10 large lemons)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Make the lemon syrup: Bring the lemon zest, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring, until the sugar dissolves; let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry syrup: Toss the strawberries and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl and let sit at room temperature until the sugar dissolves, about 45 minutes. Strain the strawberry mixture; reserve the strawberry syrup and berries separately.

Make the lemonade: Combine the lemon juice, lemon syrup, salt and 2 cups cold water in a pitcher. For each drink, put about 1 tablespoon of the strawberry syrup in a tall glass. Fill with ice, then top with the lemonade and some of the reserved strawberries.

Recipe Source:


Need a special lemonade recipe? Check out this one with fresh raspberries and mint.






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The Archduke Charles Rose

March 27, 2014

Archduke Charles Rose – The ‘Duke’, a China, has been around prior to 1837 and blooms profusely with two to four inch blooms, delicately formed, with what has been described as a subtle ‘banana’ scent.


Known as the ‘chameleon’ rose, the blooms are a rich pink, glowing rose and deep crimson changing with age. The three foot tall, four foot wide plant is compact, vigorous and leafy with good foliage. Known as the ‘San Marcos Rose’ to the Texas Rose Rustlers before it was properly identified, it was found growing all over the Central Texas area around old homesteads and in San Marcos in numerous locations. Extremely shade, alkaline, and drought tolerant, this rose is a very handsome addition to any garden.


Thomas Rivers called this rose “changeable as the chameleon”. The full, very shapely flowers open with crimson outer petals and neat pink centers, then darken to solid crimson. The heat of the sun speeds the process: what appears to be a bi-color hedge in spring and fall will be all red roses in mid-summer. The neat, erect bush and constant bloom help make this one of the most popular large shrub rose varieties.



Content from: Antique Rose Emporium and


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The American Robin

March 26, 2014

The American Robin commonly, often just called a robin, was named after the European Robin because of its orange-red breast. Ironcially, these birds are not related to each other for the American Robin is part of the thrush family while the European Robin is part of the flycatcher family.



The American Robin are the largest North American thrushes with large round bodies, long legs and a fairly long tail They are more active during the day and they assemble into large flocks during the night. They are easily recognizable by their bright orange-red breast, face, throat and cheeks edged with grey, a white belly and olive-brown upper parts.

Both males and females pretty much look the same though some have said that the brown in the foreheads of the females is shaped like a “V” while the ones in the males is more ”U” shaped. Robins that have not yet reached maturity do not have speckled brown upper parts and they do not have red feathers so that the adult birds do not attack them in territorial disputes.


Robins are commonly seen in lawns across North America where they tug worms out of the ground and though they are at familiar with towns and urban areas they are at home with wilder areas too. They usually prefer large shady lawns.

The American Robin’s diet consists of insects such as grasshoppers, beetle grubs, caterpillars and earthworms and fruits such as berries and cultivated fruits. The nestlings are fed earthworms and other soft bodied animals.  They are readily attracted to newly turned gardens where earthworms and other grubs are easily found. During fall and winter they eat a lot of fruits and it is said that if they eat too much honeysuckle, they become quite intoxicated.



The American Robin can produce three successful broods per year and are the first North American birds to lay eggs after their summer range. The nest is usually made from grass, moss and dead leaves in holes of trunks, barks and walls. Incubation is done by the female but both parents feed the young together.


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Wank to learn more about backyard birds?

Check out this handy guide book:

Blue & White Tea Party

March 25, 2014

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Blue Eggs

March 24, 2014

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Here are a few common gardening questions with some advice from online sources:

1. Why haven’t my seeds sprouted?

All a seed needs to germinate is ideal conditions regarding water, light and temperature. Some seeds sprout faster than others and they need to be fresh and alive to sprout. Seeds also vary as to how long they last in storage conditions. Carrots and parsnip seeds are known for losing viability quickly so they need to be purchased fresh for planting each year.

Some seeds sprout readily within a week, others may take longer having turned dormant to avoid harsh conditions. Others may need soaking to soften the seed coat and others just need more time.

It all just depends on what you are waiting to sprout.



2. How should I handle invasive weeds?

The priority is to stop the weed roots from spreading into your plot. You need to build a perimeter trench around the plot and line it with thick sheet plastic. The perimeter should be deep and wide and then you can kill the weeds in the sealed area by, turning it over to grass and mowing it weekly, blocking out the light in late winter buy covering the ground with layers of newspapers. By the next winter, they should be ready to fork over. Another method is to cut off every weed to ground level using a sharpened hoe repeating the process till they stop coming over.

3. Why aren’t my hydrangeas blooming?

The Blue mophead or Hyndrangea macrophylla is the most common and most popular variety of hyndrangea. The quickest answer as to why is it not blooming is probably because it is being pruned too much. Pruning should not take place until after the new growth commences in the spring and then prune only the dead wood. Full sun is best for profuse blooms, use organic fertilizers and mulch to retain moisture.



4. When is the best time to transplant my deciduous shrub?

The best time to transplant lilacs and other deciduous shrubs is when they are dormant. That would be when the leaves have fallen or before new ones emerge in the spring. Rule of thumb though is to wait until early spring to transplant.

5. How can I make sure my indoor tropical plant gets enough light in the winter?

The best way to ensure enough light indoors is to make use of artificial lighting. A standard florescent tube light will suffice, just hung it 5 feet above the plant and turn it on for 16 hours a day (put a timer on it).

6. Can I grow vegetables in containers?

There are a lot of vegetables that adapt readily to growing in containers such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Use commercial soil and place containers in full sunshine; also punch holes at the bottom of the container to provide drainage for the water as to avoid root rot.

Peppers don’t need support but tomatoes and cucumbers do, you can use a tomato cage just place the wire cage over the plan as you transplant it into your container.



7. How late in the year can I plant a tree, shrub or perennial?

Any plant that is grown in a container can be planted as long as the ground is workable and you can properly dig a hole in it. You’ll want to dig a hole that is twice as wide as and just as deep as the container. If the roots of the plant seem very compacted after removal from the container, gently wash off as much soil. Fill the hole with water halfway, put the plant and then fill it with existing soil.

8. How do I stop black spots on my roses?

You can minimize the impact of the black spots by applying fungicide weekly at first sign of the disease. Another solution is to replace your roses with one of the newer varieties resistant to black spot. In the fall, you can rake and destroy the fallen rosebush leaves this will reduce the source of the disease.



9. When should I prune my lilac and roses?

Many shrubs require little to no pruning and the necessity to prune excessively is mainly because the plant was planted in the wrong place. The general rule is to prune flowering shrubs after they flower. Incorrect pruning doesn’t kill the plant necessarily it just means that it won’t be blooming in the next season for the buds have been cut off.

10. How do I identify my soil type?

There are six basic kinds of soil: clay, chalk, loamy, peaty, silt, stony.

Clay soil is the heaviest and will stick to your boots when wet or moist.

Chalk is thick with white particles and bits. Sticks to your boots when wet but dries quickly when hot.

Loamy soil is easy to dig and only sticks when wet and is considered to be a gardener’s dream soil.

Peaty soil, is dark with lots of floating bits when mixed with water and is usually acidic.

Stony soil is any of the above types of soil that contains stones which may slow down cultivation but doesn’t harm the plants.

11. How often are plants in containers watered?

Since plants in containers have limited access to soil and moisture to tap into they need to be watered more frequently compared to plants growing in the ground. During the hot and dry summer months, they might need to be watered daily.

12. Which vegetables should a beginner gardener try to grow?

This actually depends on what you want to grow considering factors such as what’s easy to grow, costs or varieties available. If you only have about an hour a week to work on your garden then you might want to look into growing salad greens. They don’t require a lot of time, doesn’t need much space and they mature quickly so you can make plenty of harvest throughout the season.

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