About Me

dirtHi! I’m Aimee! This is my gardening blog. My main  website is aimeemajor.com.

At this point, I’m an excited but very newbie gardener. I’m trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can, but I haven’t been truly gardening that long.

I grew up with a love of gardening and plants thanks to my Mom, but I never really had my own garden until October of 2009 when we bought our second home. We started with an empty dirt lot with lots of rocks in it. We had some landscaping guys put in the irrigation system… and then I was off buying roses.

Our is USDA Plant Hardiness zone is 9-10 and our Sunset Western Zone is 18, inland Southern California. We have relatively mild winters and very hot and dry summers (it can get up to 115 degrees F here.) Growing season: mid-Mar. through late Nov. Our climate is a bit chaparral or mediterranean in feel.

Our soil is alkaline clay. The back of the yard gets full sun most of the day (including morning sun) and the front yard gets afternoon sun, to a point.

A bouquet of Grandmother's Hat (left) and La France (right)I’ve always loved roses, I find them very romantic. My first rose was the Hybrid Tea rose, Tiffany, which my grandmother bought for me when I was a child. I have another Tiffany in my yard today! My interest in roses once I had my own garden, though, quickly started to specialize in what are called old or antique roses.

The roses you see in most gardens and big-box nurseries now are Knockouts, Iceberg (floribunda) roses and variations on Hybrid Tea roses. These are lovely, but I quickly started to prefer the fancy bloom look of many of old garden roses (OGRs). The shapes of the bushes were lovely and different and some of them had variable flower colors. You can even find roses that have been around for hundreds of years!

I now have about 80 roses! My favorite classes are Hybrid Perpetuals, Tea-Noisettes, Hybrid Musks, Old Teas and David Austin Roses.


Almost all of my roses were bought via mail order, which I highly recommend! My roses have only been in the ground since late 2009 and some are even younger, but so far, I don’t have to do much to get them to do well, with a few finicky exceptions. The roses seem to really like this area and some even bloom all year even though they are young.

I also am experimenting with irises (especially reblooming bearded irises), narcissus, south african bulbs, lavender, hydrangeas, yarrow, sakura trees, camellias, penstemon, salvia, poppies, cosmos, sedum, western redbud, russian sage and the like.  I try when possible to use plants that are somewhat drought tolerant or native (without having plants that rot in my not-so-great-draining clay soil.)


3 Responses to “About Me”

  1. ruthie chong January 5, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Aloha Aimee,

    Your site is just so refreshing!

    My dream and heart’s desire for many years has been to find a small cottage to buy or even rent and then grow lilacs, roses, peonies, and also have a small vegetable garden.
    I only need a basic cottage. It is the surroundings that matter most to me. Lots of lushness; trees, bushes, plus all my favorite flowers.

    Living in Hawaii for so many years, I now seem to have no idea of where to look for this dream location. I just know that it’s out there somewhere.

    Until now, I was unable to leave the Islands. But, NOW, it’s finally possible, so I’m very excited!

    Please let me now if you know or hear of anything I’ve described.



    • aimeemajor January 5, 2012 at 1:46 am #

      Mahalo, Ruthie!
      If the garden itself is very important to you, I would consider which plants are most important to you and then find out what “zones” those plants thrive in. Where I live, most roses do really well, and with proper drainage, so do lilacs, however my zone is not cold enough for peonies and I wouldn’t describe the area I live in as “lush”. My garden itself (someday) and gardens I visit CAN be, but the general area I live in is quite arid.
      I’d also consider what other factors are important to you, what kind of lifestyle you enjoy. Whether you want to live near a big town or what. Also what you can afford. Housing prices vary greatly based on area. Whether you want “seasons” or not. Hawaii, and to some part, Southern California (where I live) don’t really have distinct seasons. Good luck!

  2. ruthie chong January 5, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    Aloha Aimee!

    I really didn’t expect to hear from you personally. How wonderful. And … thank you for all the suggestions and information. I sure appreciate your help and I will keep an eye on your “site” where I know can learn a lot and save myself some mistakes too. 🙂


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