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First Flowers of Spring

The winter of 2009/10 has been good for the garden. There was more than adequate rainfall to thoroughly saturate the soil and wash away the summer's dust and grime. Temperatures were mostly moderate, but Silicon Valley did have a few nights of freezing temperatures. I put newspapers over some newly planted lettuce seedlings and they survived.

The gardener and I battled to see who could prune the most roses, with the roses benefiting from the competition. Once all the remaining leaves had been removed, the roses received a liberal dose of systemic fertilizer. Like most gardeners, the wait between January and when the first flowers appear is always hard. I keep checking the plants to see if any buds are swelling and looking for aphids. With this year's prolong cold and damp weather, it seemed like forever. But now at last the roses are having their 2010 debut. And they are outstanding. Take a look for yourself as these all come from my garden.

pink and white azaleas


Pink & White Azaleas

This plant is in a protected bed by my front door. The variegated pink and white flowers have a ruffled edge. This plant produces abundant flowers each spring. If flowers have a personality, these are happy flowers!

a six inch pink rose

Six inch Rose

One of the first blooms!

This rose was so impressive, we cut it and put it in a vase on the kitchen table. The open flower measures six inches across. It has lasted about a week. This plant has always been a steady producer and this year is no exception.

a large salmon colored tea rose

Salmon Rose

Very large Tea Rose

A very upright and stately rose, this plant demonstrates why gardeners love tea roses. The opened flowers are quite large and it has a wonderful fragrance.

a cream colored rhododendron


Ivory and White

Rhododendrons are late-blooming plants and this one is just coming into bloom. When I saw this one in the nursery, I just had to buy it. And, it's not disappointed me with its creamy white flowers and rose-pink edges. As you can see the flowers just engulf the plant. It is about two feet in height.

white old English roses

Old English Rose

Prolific bloomer

These Old English Roses always put on a great show. This bush is just covered with multi-stemmed creamy white with a tinge of yellow flowers. I liked this one so well, I bought another for my back yard.

a yellow-orange rose


Tree Rose

This brightly colored orange and yellow rose is actually a tree rose. This is the second year for this bush. It's off to great start this year.