April’s End

April has been such a lovely month!  There is so much flowering in the garden at this time of year that it is hard to take it all in and I want to enjoy it all before some of the more delicate flowers start to go over as the heat sets in.



I plant very thickly in my garden and I encourage plants to grow together and tumble on top of each other.  It’s not always an easy way to garden in Florida as it can quickly become unruly if I don’t keep on top of it, but I would far rather see plants than bare earth.  Here Bermuda’s Anna Olivier is growing together with Gardenia and pale blue Salvia.  It is an unexpected combination that I certainly didn’t plan but it is very lovely and I’m glad it just happened!



All the roses have been beautiful this month and I have particularly enjoyed this little Noisette – Jeanne D’Arc. It’s only in its second year and has lovely sprays of creamy white flowers.


I have tried a couple of David Austin roses this year in big pots and have been amazed at how beautiful they are.  This one in particular has been stunning.



This is Munstead Wood.  The color of the flowers and the number of them for such a young rose have been wonderful.





Another David Austin that is new to me is Lichfield Angel, a creamy blush rose that fades to different shades as the flowers age.



Supposedly both roses are disease resistant but I have them in big pots to avoid the soil nematodes that destroy many roses at the root here in the sandy Florida soil.



Carnation Rose


Souvenir de la Malmaison

Jasmine is everywhere in the garden and it is so heavily perfumed in the early morning and evening.  It grows in the courtyard and over an arch which leads into the woods at the back.



An old pine tree had to be removed recently at the edge of the woods and it gave us the opportunity to clear back some of the undergrowth there which formed a natural circle.  This month we had a gazebo built which turned out so well and I am really excited about creating a little woodland garden around it.


This view is from across the little stream.  It is just bare earth and trees stumps right now, but I will probably continue the stone wall around and then fill the beds with a mixture of azaleas and camellias.  I would like to add some native plants too as they will blend in well with the woodland there and provide food for the birds.  The big shrub on the right is a huge variegated gardenia which competes with the jasmine in fragrance.

The star of the show right now is the cutting garden which has overwhelmed me with how beautiful these flowers are.  I know many of you in England are probably wondering why I am waxing lyrical all the time about these very “Englishy” looking flowers, but it is such a treat for me to see them growing so well here if planted at the right time!

Flowering profusely now are Orlaya Grandiflora, Larkspur, Zinnia, Calendula and Cosmos.







I am picking big jugs of them several times a week, especially the zinnias.


There are lots of cornflower and a few sunflowers starting too




I usually pick flowers in the evening and let them sit in cold water for a day to drink before putting them in a vase.


My arrangements are always a bit carefree and haphazard but like the garden it’s what makes me happy!

-Kate xx

…Just as a side note…Wordpress crashed on me this week, taking most of, if not all of my photos with it.  It will probably take me many weeks to get everything restored back into the blog posts.  Frustrating and painstaking to say the least.  I have often had doubts about   doing the blog but the fact that I was so devastated and then determined to put it all back together again has shown me how much it means to me!

37 thoughts on “April’s End

  1. such a pretty garden you have, Kate and a credit to all your hard work. Lichfield Angel is probably my favourite David Austen rose – such a subtle colour. I love your vase which is more elegant than haphazard in my opinion! What a shame about WordPress crashing – a cautionary tale for all of us users and I do hope you can restore your lovely images xx

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    1. That is so sweet of you Ann! Thank you very much! Yes…I have learned a lot by this and will need to get serious about doing a regular back up. So glad that you like Lichfield Angel too…completely new to me so its great to hear it is someone’s favorite! xx


  2. It’s all beautiful! Love your new gazebo.

    Most of my roses are in pots too. I recently got ‘Carnation’ as a baby.

    Your lovely gardens inspire me to keep working in mine.

    Have a nice evening and day tomorrow.



    1. Hello Lorraine! Thank you so much for your kind comment! I didn’t realize that you had your roses in pots and they all look so lovely that I am hopeful that these will do well then. Enjoy your Sunday and your lovely garden.


  3. Fabulous photos of your lovely space! So much to take in, and all beautiful. I just love the rich color of your Munstead Wood rose, and then all those happy colors combined in your cut flower arrangements…charming. I know you’ll enjoy creating your new garden around that beautiful gazebo, can’t wait to see it. Kate, enjoy your wonderful gardens, and thanks for sharing them. _Janice


    1. Thank you so much sweet Janice! Your kind comments mean so much. I love the color of Munstead Wood rose too and it is not normally a color I would pick so I’m so glad I did. Have a lovely Sunday!


  4. Hi Kate, I’m so sorry to hear about WordPress crashing and losing your photos! 😦 What an utter disaster — have you considered switching to Blogger? I hope you get it worked out. But I’m so glad you’ll be continuing to share photos of your beautiful gardens with us. You new gazebo is lovely (it was one of the things I most wished for here until I got one, and I love having it, as it is such a nice focal point). And your flowers are magnificent — I can almost smell the jasmine! I hadn’t seen the Orlaya before — I might have to look into growing it. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing the beauty. -Beth


    1. Oh you are so kind Beth…Thank you! I was pretty upset when I realized what had happened but I’m quite philosophical about it now as it will force me to back things up properly and also to rework things and to learn some new quick shortcuts too, so although it may take some effort I think it will all be ok! Thank you so much for your lovely comments too – you are always very generous. I’m so glad you get a lot of enjoyment out of your gazebo as I have always wished for one too and then the perfect space just appeared! I think you would absolutely LOVE the Orlaya!! I can only imagine how pretty it would look in your garden. I grew it just for cutting but it is beautiful just in a border too. Johnny’s Seeds have it and its very easy to grow. Hope it works out for you! Thank you so much again!
      -Kate xx


  5. Your Anna Olivier always impresses me – such a pretty rose! Lichfield Angel is beautiful, and so are your photos of itl! We’ve just had to pot a couple of last year’s hybrid teas into larger pots (again) – not sure where this stops as they seem to keep growing, sending roots down to the bottom and getting wilty before filling out the sides. Do you have any advice?
    Your enormous gardenia is to-die-for – not a good candidate for growing here, I’m told… :/
    Your cutting garden is an inspiration 🙂 Sarah wants to try zinnias, but we aren’t sure when is the best time to plant… looks like we’d be late for this year! And I need to pay attention to the idea of cutting flowers the night before!
    So sorry about the photos getting lost – hope getting things back to rights isn’t too big a hassle! You’ve done such a lovely job with your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy! You are always so sweet and say such lovely things – Thank you so much!! That is so interesting about your roses in pots as I was wondering the same thing…not at that stage yet but I’m sure I will be if they continue to do well. I was going to perhaps suggest root trimming but then I reread your comment and realized that it is not so much about getting too many roots more that it’s just a big feeder root going down. I’m not sure what to suggest as I don’t think this root could really be trimmed. It sounds like the bigger pots are the only answer but you will need a crane at this rate! I always wonder about things like this and of course my wondering is probably completely wrong (!) but does the rose maybe sense a dry climate and is really sending those roots deep in order to counteract what it thinks is going to be a lack of water. We usually end up with the opposite problem here and I have noticed that any rose in the ground that I have moved has never had particularly deep roots – maybe it never needed to. I don’t know if any additives to hold onto water in the pot and keep it really moist would help? I hope you can grow some Zinnias this year – The Benary’s series are wonderful. You could always sow some seedlings to plant out late summer/early fall if you think it will be too hot to start now – although I know they like heat. I’ve just sowed some more about 2 weeks ago!
      I was devastated about losing all the photos from my posts but am philosophical about it now – Thank you so much..Your encouragement means a lot.
      – Kate xx


    2. Just an add on to my previous comment Amy – I noticed too that both these roses in pots were wilty when it was hot even though they had been watered but they had so much new growth that it was the tender new growth that wilted. They picked up when it cooled down later in the day.


      1. I’m coming back over here tremendously late, but I really appreciate your detailed reply! It helps me think about the possibilities. We’ve been having some warm days that – especially with the high winds at the same time – might account for some of the wilt problem. But I’m intrigued by your idea about the deep roots and the dry climate – just not sure what to do about it :/ A daily hosing off might help, and certainly it might reduce the mildew the roses have been struggling with.
        Since my first comment, I’ve read that actually zinnias can be started here through May, so that is good news! And Sarah just found some 8-packs and has now potted them up on the patio… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I wonder if a daily hosing would help just to create some humidity for them? Your roses are fantastic though – All your Instagram pictures are just gorgeous so you are doing amazingly well despite the conditions!
        – xx


    1. You are so kind! Thank you so much! I love to do it really but sometimes life just gets a bit overwhelming!! I’ll get it all sorted out but it will probably take a while….but don’t give up yours!! You have such a good sense of humor and take on life! xx


  6. Kate, your garden is stunning, I love the planting, layout and the craftsmanship of the walls is so beautiful. I can see why you feel so happy. WordPress problems aside – I hope restoring your photos is not to laborious, what a pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so kind of you Julie! Thank you very much for your lovely comments :)) I’ll get the WP problems sorted but why it happened is anyones guess. I will learn my lesson and back things up properly going forward. Have a lovely week…I’m sure things are looking beautiful over there in the UK. May is such a lovely month there!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so sweet of you! Thank you so much! I am with you on not using chemicals….I’m too lazy to spray (so boring) and I hate that it is just poison for so many beneficials. I really have just tried different roses over the years and it comes down to trial and error for me. Many of the more modern types just don’t do well for me, so most of the ones I have now are the old fashioned types and they seem to do so much better. The leaves are not always perfect but pretty good. I think the toughest of all is Mrs B R Cant…I wonder if that would be a good one for you? I moved her twice last year and she just keeps churning out blooms! xx


  7. Your garden is marvelous! I especially like your old-fashioned Souvenir de la Malmaison. I must find one of these to add to my own garden. I think it is supposed to do well in the Deep South. I love the gazebo! Isn’t it great how the loss of a tree opened up new possibilities…and now the gazebo is leading to more gorgeous ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Deb! SdlM is such a pretty rose so I hope you can find one and enjoy it too. I have it climbing up through some jasmine and have actually rather neglected it so I’m glad it didn’t seem to mind and flowered well despite being so young! I had to take the big tree down because it was a pine which had started to die and was so close to the house and you are right, once gone, it was amazing how a brand new possibility opened up – I think I will have fun with this project. I always think this will be the last one but as you well know there are always projects brewing!…
      Have a lovely rest of the week in that beautiful garden of yours!
      – Kate x


  8. Kate, you have such a dream garden – an absolutely glorious garden! I’m so in love with it! I’ve had a subscription to English Garden magazine for well over a decade and looking at your garden makes me feel like I’m looking at magazine photos! You have done a spectacular job creating this lovely vision! Your new gazebo is so great and I can’t wait to see what you plant around it. I understand your happiness in getting English style flowers to bloom here in Florida. Even though I live in zone 10b, our house is located in a corridor that gets unbelievably humid weather when compared to even a few miles away on the coast. It’s a learning process to know what and where to plant. Well, you’re figuring it out splendidly and I enjoy your style of planting and gathering 🙂 Happy Mothers Day to you! (and, thank you for your very generous comments on my posts – they mean a lot!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lynn! I enjoy your comments so much – Thank you! I’m so glad you appreciate that Englishy look and that is lovely that you get the English Garden magazine – it is my absolute favorite and I read each issue cover to cover, even though most of the plants I can’t grow, it is still inspiring. Hope you had a lovely Mothers Day too and are hanging in there. You are an inspiration because I know you have to endure a chronic condition and yet you are always so upbeat and cheerful.
      – Kate xx


  9. Your garden is looking truly lovely Kate. It’s a credit to you and all the hard work you put in. I am so sorry you lost all your previous posts. That must have been extremely frustrating to say the least. In the past I’ve had several websites built for me by various companies and they all requested information from me in a very specific way. I wondered if you would find this helpful. They asked me to make sure that each Page has it’s own folder with sub folders for text and images. As our blogs are not static like a web site my Blog Page folder also has folders for each year and within those there are folders for each month then every blog post has it’s own folder. Once you have it set up it’s easy to back up by transferring the info to an external hard drive. One other thing that could help you is to set up another blog as a test site. Keep it private and use it to experiment and test things. I hope this helps you… I know how long it takes to get a blog set up the way you want it to be! I am sorry if you already know all of this – just hoping it can help you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gillian, that is so kind of you to give all that advice..I really do appreciate it! What you say makes total sense and I think I need to pay more attention in the future. Probably what I will do is to get some proper IT help here rather than me floundering around trying to fix things as I am severely lacking in IT knowledge!! Thank you so very much and thank you also for your very lovely comments about my garden!
      – Kate xx

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  10. Dear Kate ~ I didn’t see a way to email you so I’ll just post a note here.

    Thank you for your very kind and encouraging comments on my two latest blog posts. They mean a lot.

    Happy Gardening in Florida ~ FlowerLady

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome Lorraine! Sorry if it took me a little while to get over to you but I have been on a family vacation and then catching up since I got back. It is always a pleasure to visit Plum Cottage – hope you are doing better. xx


    1. That is very kind of you Cynthia and thank you so much for visiting! We are very lucky with our springs here and this year it has been particularly lovely because it was cooler than normal. We have actually lived here for about 15 years but because I was busy with my daughters horse showing and riding I did not really have the time to garden as much as I wanted. I think the back border was started about 6 years ago and many of the background plants are huge already – which just goes to show how quickly things grow here!

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