Our Delphiniums

Here are our delphiniums from last year.   They were very nice.  But its hard to find all blue ones.  The nurseries around here have been selling “mixed delphiniums”  the last couple of years.  Very naughty !   This is why we are buying from NZ this year.  I don’t want mauve,  I want BLUE ! And with a white Bee !


Time For Delphiniums !

Well,  its probably actually a little late to start from seed,  but I am just getting my act together and have ordered the seeds from New Zealand tonight!    I have been dreaming about growing Dowdeswell Royal Aspirations for years,  and now is the time !  This is a picture of their parent stock from their web site.  Go there if you would like to order some too !


Winslow and the Endless Summer Hydrangeas

Winslow and the hydrangeas in Fountain Valley

This is Winslow with the Hydrangeas.  They have since come into their full summer glory and I will post another photo of them as soon as I have one that does them justice.  I finally found the right combination of blueing and water that makes them blue but doesn’t burn them.  They are a darker blue now too, although this variety never gets too intense in color.   They are Endless Summer Hydrangeas:

Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer

First Bigleaf Hydrangea to bloom on new and old wood!
Another first – a Bigleaf Hydrangea plant with flowers that form on the current year’s growth as well as on old wood. Endless Summer® can bloom for more than six months in warm areas, especially if deadheaded regularly, and the flower heads – blue on acid soils, pink on alkaline – are up to 9in across. Unusually hardy as well.


Winters Mix – White Cosmos, Cinereria, Anemone and Sweet Peas

There is not much happening in the garden this January except for the sound of weeds growing.  They are feeding the worms, and so far I have managed to get them out before they seed.  But a few flowers have popped up to keep us company and provide a nice Winters Mix for bouquets:

Flowers of Winter Intermission in Fountain Valley garden of  artist Cathy Hatfield

White Cosmos are always a great filler for winter intermission.  Volunteers though they  be, they are still a welcome presence. Also great for small bouquets when there really isn’t much else around.


Cinereria make great potted plants for the winter on the veranda.  This is one left over from last year that is over under the tree.  Its not happy enough  to get put on the veranda.  But its great for wee bouquets mixed with cosmos and an occasional anemone when one pops up.     Will be buying a new healthy cinereria for the veranda soon.

Red anemone in artist Cathy Hatfield's Fountain Valley garden

I love these little red anemones with the white centers with a blue button on its throat.  They seem so happy and always make a nice wee patriotic boquet just in time for  Lincoln’s birthday and Valentines.   This year one is up early.   I didn’t plant any this year, bulbs were an outrageous .99 each !  Where did my thrift get me – by the time bulbs were down to a reasonable .24,  only bright pink were left.   So we will have some nice bright pinks in time for Easter !

Cupani sweet pea

And the last of todays four pictures of what is out this January,  my favorite sweet pea, a Cupani.  It is winding up through the lavendar, just one lonely but happy looking sweet pea.    I am planting some exhibition Spencers over by the back fence for boquets later,  because they have a lighter scent.   I love the Cupani’s sweet fragrance, but they are too strong for our sensitive noses in the house.   Doesn’t seem fair,  I have always favored the old varieties.   So always learning, have found a place for hybrids.

Insecta Palooza

I’ve never been to Insecta Palooza,  but I  LOVE their poster, so felt compelled to post a link for  you here:

Insecta Palooza


The Sonoma State University Field Stations & Nature Preserves proudly presents the 3nd Annual Insecta-Palooza!, set for 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Sonoma State University’s Darwin Hall on Saturday, October 29, 2011. More information coming soon, in the meantime please enjoy a look at the 2nd Annual Insecta-Palooza!

Baronne Edmond de Rothschild Wins 3rd in Rogers Gardens Rose Show

The 17th annual Rogers Gardens Amateur Rose Show was held today and I brought a lovely brilliant pink rose from our back yard called Baronne Edmond de Rothschild, a hybrid tea first introduced in 1968 by Meilland of France. It is an offspring of “Peace”.
Anyway, our Baronne had a somewhat precarious start in our yard. Somehow it got broken in half before she was planted and struggled for her first three years. But with lots of love, Dr. Earth food and some off tune songs from the local gardner, she came to thrive and has done especially spectacular this spring. I cut the most incredibly perfect rose from her last week and put it in my studio to enjoy while I painted.
Only one Hybrid Tea could be entered in the Rogers Gardens Show, and I picked a New Zealand and Full Sail from out front and the Baronne E. de Rothschild from out back yesterday and put them all in a vase in my bedroom. It was neck and neck, but by this morning, it was an easy choice who to bring. I only worried that there were some yellow spots on her leaves. But this was an Amateur show, and leaves don’t count as much as in a sanctioned show (I was told when I delivered).
Then I had other errands to run and a pup to walk, vegetables to buy, etc. I didn’t get back to Rogers until late in the afternoon, and only one ribbon was left on the winners table, and it was in front of a very familiar rose! A nice lady told me that I was the only winner not there. She said that the comment on my rose was that it had excellent shape, brilliant color and a wonderful center. They brought me out my $50 gift card (no room for more roses, probably a Clematis….) and took this picture.



Here is a picture of the rose where she sits in the garden. She used to be that red/pink rose over by the sweet peas. Now she is the Prize Winner!, and we will have to work double hard to keep the daisy from enroaching on her space.

April 2011

Iris and ranunculs growing in our garden on Jacaranda Street in Fountain Valley
This is April 3 in the garden and almost everything is up.  I am so happy that I found all those Iris Bulbs on closeout at Armstrong Nursery.  They are making a blue river all around the yard.  Mom was in the hospital when they started.  I wish she could have seen them appear, but they are all up now and she is home and can see them in their glory.  They are sharing the beds with weeds and ranunculas.  I haven’t kept up with dead heading the ranunculas and anemones since I am not bringing bouquets in due to allergies that Mom has been experiencing and it is just not worth the risk.   I will make some bouquets for photographing, and have been bringing them to some friends.

To Prune or Not To Prune

Julia Childs rose blooms next to fall's hipsJulia Childs rose blooms next to fall’s hips, and some  rusty leaves, which I cropped out of this photo.  She hasn’t been pruned in three seasons,  so I better get busy.   As soon as it  quits raining tomorrow, I think.  She has such a lovely scent, and grows tall so you can see her at the back of the bed over the other roses,  bachelors buttons, etc.  Last year she was invaded by Brandywine,   but this year I will be stricter with Brandywine.   Actually, Brandywine was so delicious, I might build him his own 10 foot tower.

An Early Volunteer

An Early Volunteer, the first Flanders Poppy arrives in FebruaryAn Early Volunteer, the first Flanders Poppy arrives in February!

I haven’t seeded any this year,  and the garden is full of them, so we will see what happens.  I think they will all  pop well before May.  Of course if they are to thrive, I will have to weed  the bed…..


Anemones up in Fountain Valley, California garden of artist Cathy Hatfield

The anemones have been blooming for a few weeks now,  up early as good Anemones are!  They made cheerful Valentines bouquets, mixed with chineria.    Alas, today I found two seperate sackfuls that I haven’t planted.  So we will have late season anemones too.

Our Friendly Opossum

Opossum in Fountain ValleyWell its Opossum season again, or still.  Winslow looks for these guys at night and almost had a coniption last night when he chased one under the fence into the neighbor’s yard.   The opossum was just the size of a nerf football.   Apparently the opossum is an ancient mammal and seems destined to follow us to the stars.   I would just  be happy if he kept the yard snail free and didn’t leave any fleas behind.  I read that they are highly resistant to rabies,  but it is probably too much to expect for them to be flea free.  But,  as Wikipedia says

“Opossums are omnivores. They eat carrion, worms, eggs, SNAILS, insects, snakes, crayfish, toads salamanders, mice, birds slugs, fruits, vegetables, garbage.”

Do you hear that,  they eat SNAILS.   They can stay.  I’ve named the new one Peter.

Birdhouse Corner

The birdhouse that Darrell Baker made for us is under the Rose of Sharon.  Its California,  I don’t think the birds really use birdhouses here.  But we like it, and painted it to match our own house.  Once a bird sat on the “porch railing” but didn’t go inside.  This is the first flush of the delphiniums there,  behind the delphiniums in other parts of the yard.  The pansies are holding on in spite of advancing weeds.   Some have also been killed from Winslow  “watering” them.  The brandy rose is over 20 years, and I haven’t been babying it this year as much as usual.  It needs a good prune and some rose food.  I have bought the rose food,  but it is still resthing in Grant’s old red wagon.

Working In The Garden

When I started this blog, I had meant it to be more a personal chronicle of my gardening activities and the state of the garden, so I’ll try to get back to that for a while.  Gardening gives me energy, even when it’s just weeding or digging.  I guess somewhere in there, there are still remnants of a farmer.      I came across an article (in the Schuylerite, of the Schuyler Co. Historical Museum) written about my fifth great grandparents, and about my fifth great grandfather, when he was 84 years old (in 1887),  it said:

Mr. Hatfield is enjoying good health, but is compelled to walk with two canes. He makes and tends his own garden: he says he must work so he can sleep well, and has offered to make his neighbors garden if he would take him to it.”

Flanders Poppies

Time to plant the Flanders Poppies.   They like to be in the soil and loath being moved,  but I can’ t tell them from weeds when they come up so I start them in little egg crate thingys.  Then I just put those in the soil with the bottoms cut off and they do just fine. I also like to sew a bunch in a pot for the veranda as they look wonderful blowing in the wind under the bunting.

flanders poppies blooming in the yard

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872 -1918)

Bachelors Buttons Prolific This Year

bachelor's buttons growing in the garden last year

Bachelor’s Buttons pictured above are from last spring/summer crop. This year they are popping up all over the garden, as planned when I deadheaded and threw them about all last spring and summer. I will have to cull them, but maybe I can put them in wee pots and sell at a garage sale or something. I love them. They are great in little silver vases in the bathroom, the kitchen, everywhere. They are great by themselves, or with other flowers, icredible with white sweetpeas or ranunculas. I paint them often. Will find a painting to post of them. President Kennedy wore one on his lapel at his wedding.

Monet Painting in His Garden in Argenteuil

Long before Monet created his famous garden in Giverney, he lived in Argenteuil, a rural escape northwest of Paris. He painted many wonderful paintings there, especially scenes of sailing boats on the river, that you would no doubt recognize from any Monet calendar you have seen or owned. (if you haven’t been lucky enough to see them in person at a museum). This is a painting by Auguest Renoir of Monet Painting in His Garden in 1873. According to the National Museum of Victoria, in Melbourne, Australia: “Monet returned to France from London in 1872 and settled in Argenteuil (a town on a picturesque stretch of the Seine, eleven kilometres from central Paris), where he lived until 1876. His contemporaries Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet and Alfred Sisley joined him and, for a time, Argenteuil became a hub of artistic activity. It was during this time that Monet created some of his most characteristic paintings. In order to observe the effects of sunlight on water more closely, Monet often worked from a boat-turned-studio. In Argenteuil, the rust-red boats, painted in contrasting colours to the blue water and sky and the green water plants, are depicted surrounded by shimmering light – perhaps the true subject of the painting.”

Monet painting in his garden in Argenteuil as painted by Renoir

Nowdays, Argenteuil is also well known for its White Asparagus. Yum!