What a huge and healthy ageratum! Golden Fairy Tale does have a wonky shape, but I like it. In general, I dislike uniformity in gardens and prefer a more romantic look.
I guess I won't be ordering anything from Palatine this year. The new roses aren't that exciting, and the older ones are ones I already have or ones I don't want.
Besides, this is going to be a year of major changes in my garden. The protracted drought has finished off many of my own-root weaklings. I really welcome the need to get rid of them. I can't believe I carefuly nursed roses that I planted in 2008, for example, and then saw only one or two blooms in all that time despite my best efforts. I'm better off without them, but I wish I had never bought them at all. I probably could buy a mansion with the money I wasted on own-root hybrid teas from Vintage Gardens, Rogue Valley, and some other nurseries.
So, that's one change, but there's also the PG&E gas pipe that will be replaced and will eliminate many roses currently planted on or near the PG&E easement.
Then there's the big fish pond. It is completely dry. This may be due to evaporation, of course. I have always replenished the water lost to evaporation in the past, but this year's conservation efforts have precluded that practice. If it's just evaporation, the winter rains should refill the pond, but if it's due to a leak, I'll have a new 20' x 14' flower bed to fill. I'm almost hoping for a leak. The pond was not a good idea. It took a major effort to dig the hole and line it with concrete, but then every earthquake in the area would create cracks in the concrete, so I bought a liner. That liner lasted about 15 years and then had to be replaced. It has now been 15 years since the second one was installed. In the meantime, every time I filled the pond with fish, a blue heron would park itself on my roof and periodically swoop down to kil the fish. All in all, another massive waste of time, energy, and money.