async defer src="//" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: October 2013

About Me

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Gardening is my middle name. I have been an avid gardener for 50 years.  My goal is to help anyone who wants to start a Cottage Garden, be able to do so without the expense and frustration of beginning gardeners. I hope to encourage readers to share their thoughts and experience and help make this blog a knowledgeable and fun read.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Romantic Old Roses

What is a Romantic “Old Rose”?  Old Roses are admired for their fragrance and large beautiful blooms every garden should have a few. Old garden roses include those rose varieties that existed before 1867. Why that particular date? The first hybrid tea rose, “La France” was discovered growing in a garden  and introduced in 1867 which marked the start of a new era. All classes of roses in existence before that time were deemed ‘old garden roses’ or ‘heirlooms’. Hence new classes were called modern roses.

Romantic?   Can you imagine these famous authors using their prose with any other flower than the rose?
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold”.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

William Shakespeare’s Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet”.

In Victorian England, the mainstay of the garden was the romantic rose. In artists renditions, it was all about the rose. The rose is found in paintings, embedded on China, used as hair ornaments, table settings, weddings, funerals, christenings and anniversaries. Nary did an occasion not merit a spray of roses.  We could learn a thing or two from our cousins across the pond.  In every nursery, you can choose from an abundant array of Romantic Rose varieties.  Romantic Old Roses top the list. In the US, you will be hard pressed to find any nursery that carries these fragrant Romantic Old Roses. Even though they are hard to find, you can Google Romantic Old Roses to Buy and a list will quickly appear.  I have been growing Romantic Old Roses for over 25 years, and they never disappointed me either in bloom, fragrance or hardiness. I have my favorites and if you plant a few in your rose garden I guarantee you soon find yourself buying more. Drop me a line in the comments section and let me know what your favorite rose is.

Once-Flowering Old Roses

Centifolias are also known as ‘Cabbage Roses’ because of the size and shape of their blooms, along with many petals as the name suggests, up to 100 or more. Developed by Dutch breeders in the period between the 17th and 19th centuries they are the classic old garden roses often reproduced in artists’ prints popular today. Centifolias have lax, open, rather lanky growth with a mixture of large and small thorns. Centifolias are once blooming, very fragrant and very winter hardy.

Chapeau de Napoleon. A beautiful rose with clear pink, heavy, nodding blooms and a rich old rose fragrance. It is very similar to ‘Centifolia’, possibly a sport of it, but is distinguished by the greatly enlarged sepals (or wings) of its calyces. These attractively envelop the buds in greenery, giving them the appearance of a three-cornered cockade hat and causing it to be easily mistaken for a Moss Rose. It forms a strong, nicely arching shrub. Introduced by Vibert (France) in 1826. 4 x 4ft.

 Moss Roses are the roses of Victorian England. Moss Roses are actually a blend of Centifolias and Damasks roses that have a distinctive, fragrant moss-like growth on the sepals and smell of pine. The mossing adds great elegance to the flowers and is a result of a sport, or fault in the plant. The majority of Moss Roses were bred over a short period of time, from approximately 1850 to 1870. Moss Roses have inherited the strong fragrance of their Centifolia ancestors and pruning should be as recommended for the Centifolias. Moss roses come in almost all colors, and some varieties are repeat blooming.

'Henri Martin', an 1862 breeding by Jean Laffay.  This once-blooming rose was named for the French historian involved in the creation of the Statue of Liberty, although most who know 'Henri Martin', the rose, wouldn't know the significance of the name.  Like most of the moss roses, it has a strong fragrance and resembles a semi-double Gallica rose in bush form, foliage and flower, except for the mossy buds. 


 Gallica Roses
are the oldest of the old garden roses, having been grown by the Greeks and Romans. They have been involved in the development of all four other classes of ‘old garden roses’ and have influenced to at least some small degree nearly all garden roses down to the present. Later they were bred by the Dutch and French as many of the names indicate. Their great colors range from shades of pink, reds, purples and even crimson- red with stripes and can be grown in poor, even gravelly soil and demand a minimum of attention.
Rosa Mundi

A sport of R. gallica ‘Officinalis’, sharing all of its virtues except colour - the crimson flowers are striped with white, giving them an attractively fresh appearance. Occasionally a flower will revert to the colour of its parent. Although it is only once flowering, it is a very showy plant, producing a mass of blooms with a delicious Old Rose fragrance.  It forms a bushy, compact shrub that is extremely tough, healthy and reliable. Can also be grown as a hedge. (Prior to 1600). 4ft x 4 ft.

Damask rose dates back to Biblical times. They originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and were introduced to the Europeans by the Crusaders. Egyptians, Greeks, Persians and Romans all grew this extraordinarily fragrant, perfume-like rose. Damasks are very cold hardy as some can be grown in zone 4. They are very thorny and have a rather lax and arching growth habit reaching three to seven feet tall. Most  bloom once a year and require good fertile soil if they are to look their best.
'Celsiana’ A Damask rose, strong, vigorous and long-flowering, with large, pale pink, scented flowers in large clusters.

Boursault Ramblers
'Mme Sancy de Parabere’ Boursault) Beautiful, soft pink, five inch flowers of unique formation, with a set of clearly visible outer petals surrounding a rosette of small petals at the center. One free, early flowering. Slight fragrance. 15 ft. Thornless climber, clear pink, very hardy and very early-flowering, especially when planted against a wall.

Repeat-Flowering Old Roses
Hybrid Perpetuals, the dominant class of roses in Victorian England They became the most popular garden and florist roses of northern Europe at that time, because the tender tea roses would not thrive in cold climates, and the Hybrid Perpetuals' very large blooms were well-suited to the new phenomenon of competitive exhibitions.
'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ A velvety Hybrid Perpetual with the darkest crimson flowers of all, and a scent to match. First introduced in 1865, this rose was a firm favourite of the renowned plantswoman Vita Sackville-West, and all the top designers are still scrambling for it today. It is one of the best climbers for a north facing wall, as the deep claret coloured flowers tend to fade in full sun. The main flush of flowers appear in midsummer, but it will continue to have smaller bursts until autumn. They are tolerant of poor soils, have few thorns, and can be grown as an open shrub.


Bourbon roses originated on the Île Bourbon (now called Réunion) off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. They are believed to be the result of a cross between the Autumn Damask and the 'Old Blush' China rose, both of which were frequently used as hedging materials on the island. They flower repeatedly on vigorous, frequently semi-climbing shrubs with glossy foliage and purple-tinted canes. They were first introduced in France in 1823. Examples: 'Louise Odier', 'Mme. Pierre Oger', 'Zéphirine Drouhin' (the last example is often classified under climbing roses).

'Variegata di Bologna’
A sweet-scented Bourbon rose, pale pink with crimson stripes and flakes that grows to 10 feet at Mottisfont.

Albas are the most elegant of all old roses with tall, slender upright growth producing flowers of blush pink or white with charming beauty set against the perfect background of grey-green foliage. Albas are very hardy and thrive under difficult conditions even partial shade. Alba roses have a strong, rich perfume that gives them special appeal in the garden and as cut flowers. Cold hardy for zones 3-9.

Félicité Parmentier was bred in Belgium before 1836, by Louis-Joseph-Ghislain Parmentier. Félicité Parmentier is smaller than many other Alba Roses - rarely grows more than 4-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide and have a more upright growth habit than the bigger lax growing Alba roses. It grows and flowers well even in a fairly shaded position with only 3-4 hours of direct sunlight. Alba roses tolerate more shade than other groups of roses, but they still need direct sunlight to produce flowers. Like many other old garden roses it takes the plant about 4 years to form a nice little rose bush that flowers more and more each year.

The Hybrid Musk group was mainly developed by Rev. Joseph Pemberton, a British rosarian, in the first decades of the 20th century, based upon 'Aglaia', a 1896 cross by Peter Lambert. A seedling of this rose, 'Trier', is considered to the foundation of the class. The genetics of the class are somewhat obscure as some of the parents are unknown. Rose multiflora, however, is known to be one parent and Rosa moschata (the musk rose) also figures in its heritage, though it is considered to be less important than the name would suggest. Hybrid musk’s are disease-resistant, repeat flowering and generally cluster-flowered, with a strong, characteristic "musk" scent. The stems tend to be lax and arching, with limited thorns. Examples include 'Buff Beauty' and 'Penelope'

Noisette rose was raised as a hybrid seedling by a South Carolina rice planter named John Champneys Its parents were the China Rose 'Parson's Pink' and the autumn-flowering musk rose (Rosa moschata), resulting in a vigorous climbing rose producing huge clusters of small pink flowers from spring to fall. The first Noisettes were small-blossomed, fairly winter-hardy climbers, but later infusions of Tea rose genes created a Tea-Noisette subclass with larger flowers, smaller clusters, and considerably reduced winter hardiness.
'Mme. Alfred Carriere', though classed as a Noisette, the full blooms of this rose is more of a Bourbon or Hybrid Tea in shape. The flowers are intensely fragrant, cupped, and double opening the palest of pinks, then cooling to creamy white. Vigorous to about 20 feet and easy to work with, "Madame Alfred" will create a vertical focal point in any garden. Its nearly thornless canes make it a very easy rose to train.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Glorious Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera Daisies are the easiest plants to grow in your garden, and this particular daisy can also be grown indoors to splash up your window during the winter dodrums.   If you want to grow them for indoor enjoyment, fill a container with soil and plant one seed two and half inches down and cover with soil.  Water in and place on a sunny windowsill.

It only grows as a tender perennial in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 through 11.

This plant can be used in container gardens, as a border and in beds.  The plant requires a sunny location and grows to be a foot in height and two feet wide so prior to planting plan for this fact.  The blooms of the gerbera daisy are not only used for cut flowers but also are a favorite of many butterfly species.

While you can buy gerbera daisy plants, it is just as much fun to grow your own from seed.   If you plan to plant your gerbera daisy outside, directly seed into the ground.  To do this, choose a sunny location after a danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees.   Once that environment has been selected and the temperature is right, loosen the soil and add a good amount of compost and peat.  This combination will help the soil retain moisture.

Once this is done, mark off the area so that you have a foot between plantings.  At each planting location, place the seed in the ground two and half inches deep.  Cover up and water in.  Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet then await your seedlings.

Regardless of how you start your gerbera daisies, always make sure to check the soil moisture before watering.  To do this is simple, just stick your finger straight down into the soil and pull up.  If your finger comes out covered in dirt, then the plant does not need to be watered.  If, on the other hand, your finger comes out clean, then you will need to water.

Once the seedlings have germinated, feed with a fertilizer that is cut half strength every week.  After they have their second set of true leaves,   feed once every two weeks with a full strength fertilizer.

To encourage continuous blooming through the season, remove the spent flowers with gardening shears.

Tags: flowers, plants, containers, gerbera, daisy, blooming, indoors, glorious gerbera daisies,



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ten Best Herbs to Grow Indoors

Many herbs—including oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage—are easy to grow indoors just by  taking a cutting from an existing outdoor plant. You can grow herbs indoors this winter and add that fresh just -picked taste to your meals.  Growing herbs indoors is easy you don't even need special lights just a bright window.
 Techniques for Growing Herbs Indoors
Rooting a cutting
Snip off a 4-inch section, measured back from the tip. Strip off the lower leaves and stick the stem into moist, soilless mix, such as perlite and/or vermiculite. Cover with glass or clear plastic to add humidity and keep the growing medium-moist.
Transition to indoors
Before the first fall frost start moving your potted herb plants toward their winter home. Instead of bringing them directly inside, put them in a bright, cool "transitional zone," such as a garage, entryway, or enclosed porch, for a few weeks.
Once they've acclimated, move them to an area with lots of sun (south-facing windows are brightest, followed by east or west views). But protect them from heat and dryness. Most herbs prefer daytime temperatures of about 65 to 70 degrees F, although they can withstand climbs into the 70s. It's especially important that night temperatures drop at least 10 degrees—down into the 50s would be better—to simulate outdoor conditions.
Here are the best herbs for growing on windowsills and the smart techniques you need to keep them happy and healthy until you can plant outside again. Start basil from seeds and place the pots in a south-facing window—it likes lots of sun and warmth.
  A perennial that grows well in containers all year long. Place the pot in an east, or west, facing window, but be sure it does not get crowded—bay needs air circulation to remain healthy.
 Start chervil seeds in late summer. It grows well in low light but needs 65 to 70 degrees F temperatures to thrive.
  Dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the growing season and pot it up. Leave the pot outside until the leaves die back. In early winter, move the pot to your coolest indoor spot (such as a basement) for a few days, then finally to your brightest window.
  Your best bet is to start with a tip cutting from an outdoor plant. Place the pot in a south-facing window.

 You can start this herb from seeds or dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the season. Parsley likes full sun, but will grow slowly in an east, or west, facing window.


 Start with a cutting of rosemary, and keep it in moist soilless mix until it roots. It grows best in a south-facing window. Take a tip cutting from an outdoor plant to start an indoor sage. It tolerates dry, indoor air well, but it needs the strong sun it will get in a south-facing window.
Tarragon: A dormant period in late fall or early winter is essential for tarragon to grow indoors. Pot up a mature plant from your outdoor garden and leave it outside until the leaves die back. Bring it to your coolest indoor spot for a few days, then place it in a south-facing window for as much sun as possible. Feed well with an organic liquid fertilizer.

"Herb, Herbs de Provence Collection 6 Plants (2 Plants Each Variety)"                Click Button
"Exceptional herbs to create the classic seasoning mix."                                      Logo Creative Homepage Banner

Tags: herb, herbs, ten best herbs, grow indoors, plant, flowers, edible, basil, thyme, chives

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flowers Butterflies Love

Flowers Butterflies Love:  Butterflies will be very  happy to come to our backyards if we provide what they need. When planting new flowers take into  consideration nectar plants (flowers) attract  a wide variety of butterflies, and that larval foodplants attract very specific kinds of butterflies seeking plants on which to lay eggs and that will nourish the caterpillars.

If you desire to coax these beautiful winged creatures to your backyard plant the following flowers in you cottage garden.

Since many common butterflies are on the wing throughout the year , as long as it isn’t too cold or hot and dry—we can use different flowering plants to provide nectar throughout the year.

1In late fall, mountain marigold and rabbitbrush robe themselves in golden heads attracting a host of species. During the spring, patches of wildflowers come alive with butterflies.

Late summer flowering shrubs include red bird of paradise, butterfly bush, Mexican sunflower, lantana, desert lavender, and bee-brush; perennials include desert verbena, butterfly mist, floss-flower, and native passion vine. Strategic plantings or massing of these plants will fill a garden with a wide variety of butterflies.  Quite a few of these plants can be started as seeds from
Burbee Seeds Co.

 Some caterpillar food plants make excellent
background plantings, screens, or spots of greenery. Desert hackberry, a tall native shrub of desert washes is the foodplant of the Empress Leilia, and the American Snout. Fern acacia, a tropical-looking, low native shrub that makes a soft accent near a patio or pool, is also the food plant of the Acacia Skipper, and the Mexican Yellow.

Native mesquites are foodplants for hairstreaks, feather tree for sulphurs, kidneywood for the often numerous Marine Blue butterflies; and citrus trees for the Giant Swallowtail—the caterpillars resemble bird droppings.

Providing a butterfly house will also attract certain species of butterflies.     has many varities to choose from.

  The plants listed here make a good start on a butterlfly garden. Many of these species look their fullest and best from late summer through fall, a time when there are normally many butterflies in the garden.


Aristolochia watsonii, Native pipevine, foodplant for Pipevine Swallowtail
Bouteloua curtipendula, Sideoats grama (grass), foodplant for Orange Skipperling
Cosmos sulphureus, Cosmos, nectar plant
Dicliptera resupinata, Twinseed, foodplant for Texan Crescent

  • Passiflora foetida, Native passionvine (vine), foodplant for Gulf Fritillary
  • Petroselinum crispum, Parsley (biennial), foodplant for Black Swallowtail
  • Senna covesii, Desert senna, foodplant for Sleepy Orange, Cloudless Sulphur
  • Thymophylla pentachaeta, Dogweed, nectar plant; foodplant for Dainty Sulphur



Tags: flowers, plants, flowers butterflies love, butterfly, food, garden, gardening, yard, cottage garden