Many of you have asked for the recipe that my daughter affectionately named “Christmas Cran.”
I was introduced to this recipe when I bought my first microwave and was given the gift of a free microwave cooking class!
Several of the recipes I learned in the class I still make — but none more consistently than the cranberry sauce! Our family enjoys “Christmas Cran” every Christmas AND every Thanksgiving!
Sweet, citrusy goodness….
3/4 – 1 Cup of Sugar
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice (I usually add more cinnamon)
1/2 cup of apple or orange juice (This year I used the juice from the tangerines I had on hand and it was fab.)
1 lb of whole cranberries
1 medium apple – peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (They go in AFTER the cooking process.)
Combine SUGAR, SPICES and JUICE in 2 qt casserole…
I love Amaryllis and love to give Amaryllis bulbs as gifts. A couple of years ago, Mr. G and I gave away 30 or so. Many of the recipients had never grown an Amaryllis or even knew what one was! It was a lot of fun hearing their stories. Even those with brown thumbs had success! If you’ve never grown an Amaryllis, it really is very easy and very rewarding!
I found these Red Lion Amaryllis at Lowe’s last week. Such cute packaging! Excellent for gift giving!
You will need: Healthy Bulb (It has been my experience that bigger is better.), Light Potting Soil, Pot 2 – 4″ inches wider than bulb. Or, buy a “kit” that comes with everything you need, making it super easy to get started!
The first thing I do with all indoor bulbs is soak them in Annie’s Moo Poo tea. If you have followed The Garden Diary for a while you know that all plants get their start with me this way. For more on moo poo tea, CLICK HERE. She’s also on Facebook, follow along here.
The top of the bulb should show (about a third of it’s height).
Soil line should be 1” below rim of the pot to make watering easier.
Place in sunny, warm room (65 – 75 degrees)
When new growth shows, begin watering whenever the soil is dry.
When you water, be careful not to get the part of the bulb that sticks above the soil wet.
Turn the pot often toward light to promote balanced growth.
When buds are about to open, move to a cooler, darker room to prolong the bloom time.
Amaryllis take 6 – 8 weeks to bloom.
Tall amaryllis may need staking; we use dowel rods for support.
As gardeners, we learn just how important the right companions are to our plants. Many act as a host to beneficial insects to help combat those who come to destroy! They can also cover up shortcomings when a plant’s beauty begins to fade.
It is the same way for us! We need the companionship of others. They help us grow and learn, but so much more–with the right companions, success is more fun and failure is not so bad.
In a group we can accomplish much more together than we can on our own.
As you know, I am a big believer in Social Media! I truly believe social media is shrinking our world and giving us easy access to those who used to be so far away … some even in our own neighborhoods. Our pace of life is often fast and on the go! Multi-tasking has come and gone out of favor more than once.
We are busy.
We are connecting online.
Is it enough?
Of course NOT!
We still need face-to-face.
Much joy is brought to my life by being up close and personal with family, friends and those who share my love of gardening and roses.
JOIN THE FUN.
I am a member of several rose organizations. Two of them are below…
In this organization I have met some amazing people of all ages. We are all at different stages of the gardening experience and have different passions. Some are into just growing while others with the competitive spirit, enter the most amazing blooms and arrangements in competitions! We have those who use chemicals and others who are all organic.
But it is so much more.
We spend time enjoying all things “rose” together. We learn, we laugh, we celebrate successes and we deal with failures & issues together. It’s not just roses that keep us together, over the years–we have become family.
The American Rose Society exists to promote the culture and appreciation of the rose, through education and research to members, to local rose societies and their members and to the public. Read on for more information…
As a member of the ARS, I receive their award-winning magazine and informative newsletters. I have learned about the bigger picture of roses on an international scale! I’ve had the opportunity to attend national conferences where you meet and learn from rose lovers from around world. At these conferences, I have met many rose loving friends who I first “met” online, as well as experts in the field who have become cherished friends.
Our newly installed ARS President, Pat Shanley, joined us on Rose Chat a few months back to share her dreams and goals for ARS. Take a few minutes and listen to this passionate and energetic leader share her story…HERE.
Yes, growing roses and spending time with my rose companions is very “beneficial” to my health! :)
Feel free to share this post and/or the Rose Buzz graphic to help spread the news!
ARE YOU ARE A MEMBER?
Share in the comments below the benefits you receive…
2015 was a beautiful rose year in my neck of the woods. To pick only 5 roses from this year provides quite a challenge. But, I do want to get down to some of the top performers in my Zone 5 garden and share some standouts with you.
Dick Clark – Grandiflora: This was the 3rd year in my garden and it was a blooming machine. Staying healthy all the way to October. Very little disease. I have to say the first year this rose was not impressive in the blooming department but that was all forgotten this year! Many roses do not show their best self until the third year. Maybe you’ve heard this about perennials and shrubs…
Little Mischief – Shrub: (Easy Elegance Collection) These adorable deep pink sprays look amazing in the garden as well as in arrangements. I should know… arranging these little blooms put me in the winners circle at our local district rose show!
Music Box – Shrub: (Easy Elegance Collection): This is a shrub rose with a pretty little bud and a hybrid tea like bloom. True to the series name, this rose is easy and elegant and completes the package with a lovely fragrance.
Moje Hammerburg – Rugosa: This rose could not be easier or prettier or more fragrant. A medium size Rugosa — some of them can get quite large! If you are not familiar with Rugosas, let me tell you there is not a more hardy, disease resistant family of roses.
There were so many beautiful roses this year. Look at some of my recents posts and you will see many more!
THE 2016 LIST
Like many of you, I am now beginning to make a list of wants and needs for next year. One that is already on the list is my second Tahitian Treasure from Star Roses and Plants. She was a late bloomer and it took the 3 years for her to really show off. But this rose was fabulous this year. Pretty, fragrant, disease resistant and very long lasting in a vase!
More information @ http://www.starrosesandplants.com/plants/grandiflora-rose/tahitian-treasure
AND, JUST ONE MORE…
Honorable Mention for 2015…
Belinda’s Dream: A rose from the Earth Kind Rose collection. This floriferous rose has beautiful form, is disease resistant and has a beautiful fragrance.
This picture show’s Belinda’s Dream growing in a large pot on my deck. She will over winter in her pot in our dark, slightly heated garage. Fingers crossed she will emerge in April ready for another wonderful year! Note: All my roses that I over-wintered in the garage last year did very well!
WHAT ABOUT YOUR GARDEN?
If you have roses that have done particularly well for you this year, please share the name and your growing zone in the comment section below. We learn best from each other!
Today I had some extra time to enjoy the garden and spent most of my time cutting blooms.
Around here you know that October could throw you a curve ball at any time and before you know it frost is upon you. That means every bloom in October becomes very precious. And, the cooler temperatures just intensify the colors!
My watering can was filled to the brim. Actually I filled two watering cans! Out of the “harvest” I was able to make 6 arrangements. Oh happy day! 🌹🌹
This is the largest one! It promptly went on my kitchen table.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL…
Here are some of the harvested blooms up close and personal…
Leave a comment and let me know what’s blooming in your garden these October days. I know many of you are on the other side of the world and spring is just getting started and some of you will have blooms until November!
It’s time for me to admit that fall is here and winter is coming and it’s time to prepare the garden for it’s long winter’s nap. In my Zone 5b garden that could mean most anything as I’ve seen winters with more days than I care to count below 0 and then there are the mild midwest winters like last year.
Regardless, good fall care makes spring all the sweeter.
STOP FERTILIZING & DEADHEADING
About 6 weeks before expected frost, it is time to stop fertilizing and deadheading the roses. Since in my neck of the woods, the first frost date can be anywhere from October 5 – October 28.
Stopping the deadheading process tells the roses it’s okay to begin to go to sleep and start producing seeds in the form of rose hips. (Read more about rose hips here.) Don’t trim those off either–the birds find them particularly yummy.
Remove all diseased leaves from around your roses. Black spot and other fungal diseases are not discouraged by cold temperatures and will just over winter and be there next spring– so they must go! Don’t add any of your diseased leaves to your compost pile … they will overwinter there too!
I don’t do much pruning in the fall (Read about spring care here.), unless there are rose canes that have gotten extra tall or spindly. Those I trim back to prevent them from flapping in those cold winter winds as there is a danger of loosening around the roots and making the roses more susceptible to damage from the cold. Pruning says, “Let’s get busy growing.” That is the wrong message to send in the fall!
I think it is very important to add an extra layer of mulch to protect the roses through the winter. And, for roses that are more tender, I will mound the mulch much higher on them–to about 1/2 the height of the shrub.
Now it’s time to sit back, relax and pour through those beautiful catalogs and websites and get to dreaming, plotting and planning. Spring will be here in about 169 days. :)
While the Rose Chat crew was at the American Rose Society National Fall Convention last week we had the opportunity to hear from our rose friends from around the world. We took the time to do some mini interviews so they could talk to you and let you know what they have been up to.
We invite you to visit our You Tube Channel and listen in. Most of the videos are less than 2 minutes but our rose friends sure packed a lot into their time!
There were so many wonderful things about the American Rose Society Fall Convention, but one of the things I will never forget is meeting and hearing from the top hybridizers from around the world. They are without exception, amazing men dedicated to bringing us the most disease resistant, sustainable, beautiful roses.
You can hear from them too and get some information that is hot off the press!
Check out their video at the bottom of this page. 🐝
With all the new sustainable and beautiful roses coming out it has never been a better time to surround yourself with the beauty and the fragrance of roses. Whether you have a big yard or a patio, there are roses to fit every spot. I can tell you there is nothing quite like picking your own roses to add to the dinner table or to take to a friend.
And, there is no better way to learn about roses than to join the American Rose Society. We have just installed Pat Shanley and Bob Martin as our President and Vice President and there are none more qualified or more excited about what the future holds. None are more committed to bringing us the very best.
Jump over to ROSE.ORG and take a look around … then SIGN UP! The American Rose magazine that you will receive bi-monthly and the newsletters you will receive bi-monthy will entertain, inspire and educate you as you learn and grow with roses.
If you have any questions, I would be happy to help.
For those of you new to rose shows, there is never a better time to see what can grow in your area and to meet with the experts on the subject of roses than a local rose show.
If you are in the Indy/Illinois area your time is now … Saturday, September 26. You will see the most beautiful roses from the area and hear from two of the greats in the rose world. And have the opportunity to meet with others who love roses and gardening too.
All the way from NY, noted author, rose historian and garden expert who knows how to have fun growing roses… Stephen Scanniello. (See more info below.) You can follow Stephen on Facebook HERE. Stephen is also the President of the Heritage Rose Foundation-doing great work to educate about and preserve our historical roses. Follow them on Facebook HERE.
Also with us is noted rosarian, ARS rose show judge and rose show photography expert, Bruce Monroe. (See more below.)
What a great time this is to learn from the best of the best! 🌹⭐️🌹
Registration cost for the meeting and rose show is $50.
Since time is running short, no problem, just register at the door on Saturday morning!
Need more information? Download the Illi-Ana newsletter for schedule of events and registration form and much more! … 2015 Summer Illiana.
La Quinta Inn & Suites
5120 Victory Drive
Roses in Harlem by Stephen Scanneillo
An accomplished international rose personality, author and lecturer.
Stephen donates a portion to his time to the children in Harlem. He teaches rose care, developing and maintaining rose gardens in the community.
Photographing Roses by Bruce Monroe
Accomplished rose gardener, rose show judge and photographer of roses.
Bruce is an expert in all phases of rose growing and will share with us his tips for presenting photography at a rose show.
Don’t have time for a whole day?
You can still stop by to see the beautiful roses!
The rose show is open to the public from 1 – 4 pm on Saturday afternoon.
Please share the graphic below on all your social networks to help us send out reminders to everyone!
This week I am heading to Syracuse, NY for the American Rose Society’s Fall Convention!
Rose lovers and rose experts from around the world are ready to celebrate the rose and rose friends. (Details here.)
Whether you are in Syracuse or not, you can follow along on social media. And, if you are posting pictures of your roses, tag them #ItsARoseThing so they show up on our live feed on the big screen! If you are there, please stop by the Rose Chat booth on Saturday and say hello.
If you are on Facebook, check out the convention page HERE.
If you are not a member of the American Rose Society, this would be a fabulous time to join! The top-notch American Rose magazine that comes with membership is so worth it! Get the info here @ rose.org.
Don’t forget to tag your rose pictures and posts … #ItsARoseThing!
It had been about 2 weeks since I had spent more than a few minutes in my garden. Today was my day.
The garden is my “Tara” and time away is not good for the garden or the gardener. So in spite of the temps that were soaring in the 90s, I spent most of the day in the garden. Mr. G was wise enough to talk me out of the trees and made me come in during the hottest part of the day. I made him an apple pie first thing this morning before I even went out and a little bokay to go beside his chair as a reward. :)
He was happy, but did do a lot of head shaking as he came around to check on me.
I can’t tell you how rewarding the time in the garden was. I feel like I can take on the world. Can you identify?
I hope you had the pleasure of spending Labor Day doing what you like best … even if that was laboring at your favorite task.
Contrary to popular belief, roses are simple creatures with basic needs like…
SUN: You’ve heard it said over and over …. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Pick a spot with 6 – 8 hours of sun!
WATER: All living things need water. The best tip for watering I can give you is—water deeply. Shallow watering leads to shallow roots—which leads to plants that are more susceptible to dry conditions. Send those roots down deep!
NUTRITIOUS SOIL: This is the most important part! Good soil is the best gift you can give your plants. Roses don’t like like “wet feet,” (Neither do most other plants!), so drainage is key. For those of you in my region (midwest Zone 5) you are probably dealing with clay soil. Amend clay soils with compost and aged manure.
DEADHEADING: To keep your roses blooming throughout the season, remove spent blooms.
FERTILIZER: We ask a lot of roses … Be your best self and bloom all season long, so they appreciate a boost! For shrub roses the best time to fertilize is the spring. For hybrid teas and floribundas, they will appreciate some fertilizer in early spring and mid summer.
MULCH: 2-3″ of mulch helps retain moisture and provides a weed barrier. It is one of my fav parts in the process as it adds the finishing touch in the garden!
GOOD COMPANIONS: We all benefit from good companions. They truly help us be our best self and in the case of roses, many of those companions play host to the good bugs they need to fight the bad bugs lurking about!
YOU! Like in all good relationships, there is no substitute for time together. They like to show off for you and the more you visit the more you will recognize what is working and what is not! Maybe it is time to take a selfie of you and your roses and post it on social media. That will surely prove how much you love them. :)
We have not had significant rain for 3 weeks and temps are soaring into the 90s. This is hard on all plants (and people).
As we’ve talked about before, I have a “system” (read about that here) that helps with a portion of my garden and those areas hardly know what the real weather conditions are, but for the rest of the garden, very little watering is happening due to the fact that the gardener (me) has been in a very busy season and has had very little time.
Proving once again that roses are not the divas many believe they are, here are pictures of my roses this week. Yes, many of these blooms are coming from areas that have not had the benefit of extra care!
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope this week is filled with all that you need to be your best self and that you have time to “stop and smell the roses.”
August is coming to a close. When you say goodbye to August, you say hello to September and that means fall is upon us.
The garden is looking like a patchwork. Some flowers are blooming just like it is still spring and some have completely faded. The rugosas are sending up a few flowers but mostly are making their beautiful hips. The hydrangeas are fading into their fall hues. The crab apple tree that stands in the middle of many of my flowers is dropping it’s leaves and apples giving a distinct fall look.
While I do miss the freshness of spring, fall in my world is filled with wonderful things!
Today my “fun thing” was working in the garden and taking pictures of bloomers! I took a ton of pictures and here are the ones that made the “cut”…
MORE FUN THINGS…
In two weeks I will travel to Syracuse, NY for the American Rose Society’s National Convention. The Rose Chat crew will be interviewing rose lovers and hearing their stories as well as acting as Rose Show Awards Masters of Ceremonies. We can’t wait! If you are going to Syracuse, we look forward to seeing you. Come find us at our booth!
Every season brings new garden adventures…some we like and some we want to avoid–like spider mites and black spot. They can make themselves known in the early fall even if we have not had problems throughout the summer. It is best to be on guard! Early detection is key and there are many ways to treat … whether organic or inorganic. Find the one that is best for you. If you need product suggestions, I’ll be happy to help!
We all want blooms right up to the first frost. The better we care for our roses in the fall the more likely that is to happen. Around here the first frost is usually mid October. The bokays we bring inside and share at this time become more and more precious!
Enjoy this special season and do take time to “smell the roses!”
This year I have talked a lot about water in the garden. Mainly because we have had so much rain. Seriously, in my area we set a record for rain in July … breaking a record that was set in 1835. That’s a lot of rain.
When you have as many plants as I do, water is very important. Not only is it needed for plants to survive–roses just happen to really like it! I will tell you that I love hand watering my roses. I like to be up close and personal with them and watering is a great time for that. I even find it very relaxing! However, when you have as many as I do, that is not always possible, so a couple of years ago I began to dream of a “system” of water. One that would provide water to some of my garden areas … not all … just some. Water that came at just the right time, in just the right amount and was programmable with a timer!!!
My engineer, Mr. G, started researching some simple solutions. One of the main criteria for the solution was that it could be easily moved. He knows me very well and how I love to move plants around!! If you are a gardener you totally get that! :)
Believe it or not, we decided that this would be the year we would take the “plunge” and add a “system” of water to some of the garden areas. Dream come true … pushing some buttons, setting a timer. The roses were going to love it. I was going to love it.
But it just kept raining. And raining. And raining. No need to push any buttons. And, the roses loved it.
While it rained, Mr. G brought home pieces and parts of water systems for me to choose from! I learned about different sprinkler heads, shrublers and timing systems.
I’ve been excited to get things set up and geek out over water flow direction, water amounts, etc.
Finally we have a dry week and then another dry week. And scorching temps! The time had come! This week was our driest week of the summer and I was ready to set that timer, push a few buttons and watch water come at just the right time, in just the right amount. Big week! Great right?
Well last night was the ultimate in the water adventure so far … at 10 :30 pm, I jumped up out of my chair and in somewhat of a panic I asked Mr. G if I could have his biggest flash light. He looked at me with a look that said “what are you up to now!” I exclaimed, “I need to turn off my timer!!! It had been pouring rain all day and I feared my great new “system” was about to drown my babies!
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the rain–so much more nourishing than what will come from my “system,” but know this … when the rain stops and the drought comes, I am prepared! I am already! I am eager! …to push the buttons on my timer and smile! Especially on those extremely busy days when there is just not enough time to give each one of them my attention. :)
Roses and Water
Roses love water; however, they do not like wet feet so provide them with good drainage. Something of grand importance in my area where we have so much clay in our soil.
Water when the top 2-3″ of soil is dry. As you observe your roses, you will begin to recognize the signs.
Water deeply. The roots of your roses go down to about 18″ … that’s where the water is needed. Less frequent but deep watering is ideal.
The best time to water roses is in the early morning. Giving them plenty of time to dry before nightfall.
Keeping the leaves as dry as possible especially at night can help deter the fungus that loves your roses too.
Mulch! Not only does mulch give our garden beds that finished look, it is extremely helpful in retaining moisture!
Here are some pictures from this week in the garden…
I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but around here it is HOT. As you know, it has been RAINY and I mean RAINY. Now it is HOT and I mean HOT. Or at least around here the 90s are HOT. In the deep south my friends are hotter but 90 is hot enough for me … HOT.
I thought as the temps soared, I would have very few roses blooming but that has not been the case. Although I am wilting, the roses aren’t. There are certainly a few that are laying low or sending out small blooms, but today we are going to focus on the ones that don’t seem to be bothered by the heat…
Some of these lovelies made their way to a vase…
I have a new shrub rose that I planted a few weeks ago, Sunshine Daydream.
I’m excited to see what it’s going to do. It’s another pretty, fragrant yellow! :)
Yesterday I had the pleasure of creating some bokays for a special friend’s art exhibit. Check out the artwork of Kelly Wilkerson at Blue Bossa Prints here. Despite all the rain this week, I had plenty of flowers to choose from. The big question was which ones should I use. The Belinda’s Dream roses paired with the Stargazer lilies won my heart and filled the vases quite nicely.
Take a look at my options for vases this week…
Here are a couple of bokays I made earlier this week…
Lovely creamer from P. Allen Smith’s garden shop with Drift Roses … a true fav.
And here are the flower bokays for Kelly’s very first art exhibit…
Hope things are blooming in your world this week… whether it is in the form of actual flowers or beautiful snow that they are having in my friend Elspeth’s world in Australia!
Do you have a favorite flower you like to see in arrangements?
The Heritage Rose Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1986, devoted to the preservation of old roses.
The delightful and inspiring Peggy Martin, Vice President of the Heritage Rose Foundation, joined us this week to talk about the work of this organization and also about the incredible journey of hope and discovery she has experienced since Hurricane Katrina swept into her life and took her home, her roses and her parents. It’s an episode you don’t want to miss.
To listen to the podcast, click the logo below.
For additional information, visit the foundation’s website here.
Many of the roses in my garden are old garden roses. I love their beauty, their fragrance and their stories. The oldest rose in my garden is the Gallica, Rosa Mundi–the earliest known stripped rose. This rose has everything I expect from an OGR … beauty, fragrance and a great story or at least a great legend…
Legend has it that Rosa Mundi was named after Fair Rosa-mund, a mistress of Henry II, England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. In The Book of Old Roses, Trevor Griffiths tells the story of their tragic affair. Henry was forced to marry a princess who, brooking no competition, is said to have murdered the lovely Rosamund. By Henry’s order, Rosamund was buried at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford, England, and each year on the anniversary of her death, he ordered her tomb to be decorated with masses of Rosa Mundi. -Virginia Kean / Historical Rose Society.
My good rose friend, Ann Chapman, writes quite a different story about Rosa Mundi in her beautiful book, The Women in My Rose Garden. If you aren’t familiar with Ann, watch this video…
The weather man says 90% chance of rain today and it is sure coming down. ☔️ It rained yesterday. Wednesday we had 1 1/2″ of rain and Monday (or was that Tuesday) we had 4″ of rain. It’s getting hard to keep track!
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I’ve decided to learn a bit more about rain. Next I may need to read up on jungles and rain forests!
For now, here are some rainy facts…
THIS JUST IN: In my next of the woods July broke the 1835 record for rain!
The highest amount of rainfall ever recorded in one year is 25.4 meters (1000 inches) in Cherrapunji, India.
With all the rain we are getting, things are very jungley here! And hot. And humid.
I had the day off, so I went out in my usual July fashion and started taking some control! Things were moved, things were added, some things “are on the fence” and some things were eliminated!
While I am easy breezy on the plants in May and June because I am so excited that they came back from the dead, things begin to change in July … plants have to PROVE themselves to me in July. Do you get a little crazy in July? Maybe it’s the heat. There sure was plenty of heat out there today. In an attempt to “beat the heat,” I wore a very large hat that is supposed to protect from UVs. I don’t know for sure if it did protect, but I can tell you for sure that it made for some interesting hat hair! 😳😱
Regardless of the heat and the “prove me” stage, these guys were rocking my world…
Remember when Paul Zimmerman, award-winning Rosarian and author, announced on the Rose Chat Podcast that he was teaming with Heirloom Roses to launch a new collection of roses with his endorsement … Easy PZ Roses? The time has come!
Take a look at these amazing roses with the stamp of approval from one of the premiere advocates of sustainable, easy care roses. I am excited about all these new roses, especially Good Ol’ Summertime. Look at that color! I simply can’t wait to have this one growing in my garden! Luscious! Click on the pictures to read all about this beauty!
If you didn’t get to hear Paul’s Rose Chat podcast … take a minute and listen in. No one can tell the story of Easy PZ better than Paul, plus you get to hear what’s going on in his garden at The Funny Farm. Click here.
Thanks for stopping by.
If you are one of the lucky ones who is already growing some of these beautiful roses, let us know how they are doing in your neck of the woods!
For the last week I have had the pleasure of walking the beaches of Southern California. What a pleasure. Sunshine. Blue skies. White sand. Pristine beaches. Wide walking trails. Rose Gardens. Yes, rose gardens. Many of the beach homes have lovely rose gardens just outside their doors. To say the roses in California are larger than the roses in my garden would be a gross understatement.
Roses love Cali and Cali loves roses.
I can’t wait to show you some of the pictures I took…
But the prettiest rose I saw while in Cali, was David Austin’s Falstaff Rose that Mr. H found so lovely…
Falstaff is a most fragrant rose!
Here’s what David Austin Roses has to say about it…
Falstaff bears large crimson flowers with a shallow, cupped shape. They are of exquisite form and quality, packed with numerous petals which interfold at the centre. This helps to create a lovely, glowing effect within an enclosed saucer of outer petals. The blooms are a rich, dark crimson colouring at first, eventually turning to a wonderful shade of rich purple. There is a powerful Old Rose fragrance. The growth is strong, bushy and rather upright, with the flowers nodding nicely on the stem. The foliage is quite large and rather modern in character. This variety is named for the well-loved Shakespearean character, who was the faithful companion of Prince Henry.
Today I leave the rainy midwest for the sunny Cali coast. My primary reason for going there is to have more adventures with H. While it will be wonderful to see his parents, he’s the main attraction. The world is a different place when you see it through the wonder of a child. Here is Mr. H when I first introduced him to the garden and in particular the fish pond. I am not at all sure who was more excited. But, I do love to look at the pictures from this day and see the wonder in his eyes!
As you can see from the picture below, things have changed a great deal since the first garden picture was taken.
Now Mr. H is leading the charge for adventure…
Stay tuned. This will be a week of amazing adventures and cuteness and sweetness.
I’d love to hear the adventures going on in your world this week. We can’t all be together, but the stories you share with me make me feel I’m a part of your adventure!
When my children were small one of our favorite shows was Sesame Street. In fact, I am proud to say that I carry many of the lessons I learned during that era with me. Important things like…
EXIT is the “way way out.” -The Alphabeats
Life is better with cookies. -Cookie Monster
Even grouches are lovable and need friends. -Oscar the Grouch
How to deal with misunderstandings and how to be a friend. -Big Bird
How much fun it is to take a bath with a rubber duckie. -Ernie
It’s not easy being green. -Kermit the Frog
Fashion is not to be taken lightly and always remember to wear lipstick. -Miss Piggy
DRUM ROLL… The big one for this week… why do we need the rain anyway! Remember the catchy little tune—It’s A Rainy Day? Well today I can’t get it off my mind. The phrase that pays from this video is “every living thing needs water.” I sure wish we could share some of our “blessing” of water with our Cali friends!
After two weeks of mostly rainy days, I can tell you that I am more caught up on inside jobs! My linen closet is even organized!
Many areas in my garden are soaked and soggy but some are just glistening…
Click on any of the pictures to start the gallery feature…
For all who love roses and love growing roses, the American Rose Society 2015 Fall National Convention is where you will want to be! Esteemed speakers are gathering from around the world to celebrate the rose, and provide you with an experience of learning, enlightenment and friendship!
The best exhibitors of roses in the country will be there to compete for top prizes, along with top rose photographers and arrangers.
ON THE PROGRAM
Where else would you find rose greats like Michael Marriott, Will Radler, Alain Meilland, Thomas Proll and Steve Hutton gathered in one spot to teach and inspire us! Read about each of these guys here.
Don’t miss out and register early to reserve your spot!
Days when I welcome visitors into the garden are some of my very best days!
I get to see old friends, I get to meet new friends and my roses and their companions get to enjoy all of the special attention!
This year we had two garden days.
On the first day a garden club came for a mini lecture on roses and a rose-by-rose account of the roses in the garden. As you know I have a lot of roses (and it was too hot out for them to stay all day), so we settled for talking about groups of roses. Talking about my garden is something I love to do, so I loved their excitement and their enthusiasm for “the talk.” :) They were just the sweetest group! I hope they come again!
That same evening was “open garden” for my master gardener group. It is a special time indeed when you get to invite those in your garden group. Most of them had never been to my garden so that made it all the more fun. For this event I had a lovely co-hostess, Campbell. Campbell has become interested in gardening from an after school program in an outdoor learning center. The Avon Outdoor Learning Center is one of only a handful of such centers. To read more about this amazing place, read on.
The next day was for those who received an invitation because they had expressed an interest in seeing the garden. What a special day that was. Having a whole day to spend extra time with friends in the garden was just over the top. Many of them know each other but don’t see each other very often so it was like a reunion. They tell me it is a gift to them to get to come, but I can tell you, I don’t know about that, but I DO know it is so much fun for me to have them here.
A garden is at it’s best when it is filled with friends and mine was filled to the brim! As fun as this year was, I am already planning for next year.
AND, A GIFT TOO…
A special treat for those who came was the chance to win a rose from Country Harmony–a local IGC. Country Harmony has a amazing selection of plants, specialty foods and home decor. Eloisa Garza, my friend from both the Indianapolis Rose Society and the Hendricks Co. Master Gardeners, won the gift certificate. She was so excited as she is just getting started with roses and can’t wait to add a new one! Big thanks to Country Harmony for the donation! To see what’s going on at Country Harmony, follow them on Facebook here… https://www.facebook.com/CountryHarmony
Here is a gallery of pictures from this special week… (Click on any of the pictures to activate the gallery feature.)
Masters of the gardening world…
A closer look…
Garden Club greats…
Let’s talk roses!
Win and get some lemonade!
Thanks Country Harmony!
We are so glad you are here!
Gardening is for all ages!
Garden talk by the potting shed…
Me and the winner…
Enjoying the shade
Mother, daughter and friend…
Campbell, the co-hostess!
Two of my besets garden buddies…
An impromptu anniversary bokay!
Friends from far away and near…
Mr. G and two great garden friends…
Cuties … first time garden visitors
Me and one of the best gardeners I know …
More garden talk in the herb garden
Another generation being inspired to garden… She took notes for her new rose garden!
Friends and family…
In May we had special visitors to the garden too…
Wilbur Tague, a friend and local photographer, called to see if he could bring by a couple who were looking for a special place to have their wedding pictures taken. And here they are. Meet Tara and Gabriel… Aren’t they adorable? I just loved it that they came!
Thanks for stopping by! To read about last year’s open garden day, click here.
Warning rose lovers, if we see you on the road, we just might ask you a question or two about your favorite rose(s) or your best tips for growing roses. Yes, we have iPhones with video cameras and Selfie Sticks and we aren’t afraid to use them!
JUNE IS NATIONAL ROSE MONTH:
What a great time to plant a rose and join the American Rose Society where you’ll learn more about the world’s favorite flower and meet a ton of rose friends!
If you are local to me, join the Indianapolis Rose society–or come for a visit and check us out. Our meetings are open to the public! More info here.
Starting today members of ARS can vote for their new Vice President. This is a Triennial Election meaning that the chosen VP will serve for 3 years and then automatically become President.
We all have hopes and dreams for the organizations we love. If you need more information on the two men running for VP you can listen to their plans for the future of American Rose Society via the Rose Chat Podcast below…
WHEN TO VOTE: Any time between today and July 31 at noon.
Find the six-digit identification number on your May/June issue of the American Rosemagazine. Every member has a unique number. If you can’t find your magazine (I had to look and look!)… you can request a replacement number and magazine by July 24. Go towww.rose.org– click on the VOTE box.
IN OTHER NEWS
When I returned from the Biltmore last night I found so many roses blooming! Spring is so fun!
Today was a very special day for rose lovers — the judging of the Biltmore International Rose Trials. Since 2011, The Biltmore historic rose garden has been home to these trials. It is my extreme pleasure to serve as a juror to the wonderful event that showcases the work of the amateur as well as the professional hybridizers. More about the rose trials here.
Under the supurb direction of Paul Zimmerman of Paul Zimmerman Roses, this event is a highlight in the rose world where after two years of observation in no spray and limited care conditions, the winners are announced. Dressed in our garden party best, the jurors come together to be about the serious work of finding the roses we can look forward to having in our own backyards and yours.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
Award of Excellence / Best Established Rose
Honorable John Cecil / Best Open
Popcorn Drift / Nova Flora
Edith Wharton / Best Floribunda
Tequila Gold / Meilland
Gilded Age / Best Climber
FlyingKiss / Ping Lem
Chauncy Beadle / Best Shrub
Lord Burleigh / Most Disease Resistant
Peachy Keen / Bill Radler
William Cecil / Best Growth Habit
Phloxy Baby / Bill Radler
Pauline / Best Hybrid Tea
Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil / Most Fragrant
George & Edith Vanderbilt / Most Outstanding
Savannah / Kordes
JURORS HARD AT PLAY (I mean work!)
Yes, today was a very good day in a very beautiful place!
This week the rugosas are taking a back seat as many other roses are taking center stage. As each of them bloom, is is like seeing old friends and many of them ARE old. They have been in my garden for a long time and they have been in the garden world a long, long, long time.
Meet some of the “oldest” roses in my garden.
Rosa Mundi (Gallica)
Gallicas are the oldest of the garden roses, having been grown by the Greeks and Romans! Gallicas are spring blooming shrubs with wonderfully fragrant blooms of pink, red and even some purples. My favorite Gallica is Rosa Mundi …. the earliest known stripped rose that dates back to the 1500s.
Legend has it that Rosa Mundi was named after Fair Rosa- mund, a mistress of Henry II, England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. In The Book of Old Roses, Trevor Griffiths tells the story of their tragic affair. Henry was forced to marry a princess who, brooking no competition, is said to have murdered the lovely Rosamund. By Henry’s order, Rosamund was buried at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford, England, and each year on the anniversary of her death, he ordered her tomb to be decorated with masses of Rosa Mundi. My good friend Ann Chapman says that’s not the way it went down. For the rest of the story, check out Ann’s fascinating book… Women in my Rose Garden here. You can follow Ann on Facebook here.
Damask roses are very old, having been grown in Biblical times. They are known for their distinctive, rich damask perfume and beautiful pink or white blooms. My favorite Damask rose is Madam Hardy … amazingly fragrant white blooms with a unique green eye. Madam Hardy was named for the wife of Empress Josephine’s head gardener … Mr. Hardy. :)
I have had this rose in my garden for more than 20 years and hope to never be without it. A profuse one-time blooming Damask rose. Stunning and over the top fragrance. She never lets the winters bother her in this Zone 5b garden.
This semi-double Damask has more charm and fragrance than the law allows … so don’t tell anyone I have her! LOL This one-time bloomer has been charming rose lovers since before 1750! That’s staying power! I love the “flouncy” growth habit of this rose. I love the way it looks against the herb garden fence.
Queen of Bourbon (Bourbon)
Bourbons were the roses of Victorian England. They produce beautiful, large, full old rose blooms on vigorous growing bushes with blooms of wonderful, heady fragrance. Many Bourbons repeat bloom. One of my favorite bourbons is the Queen of bourbon although it does not repeat bloom for me.
However, when she blooms, she blooms and I can’t wait to say to her, “welcome back, I’ve missed you.”
Les Reine de Violettes (Hybrid Perpetual)
These roses were developed as hardy garden plants between 1840 and 1900, by crossing the Portland, Bourbon and Gallica roses and were mostly used as cut flowers. My favorite Hybrid Perpetual is Reine Des Violettes (Queen of Violettes). Lovely, lovely, lovely. She is doing great this year but some years she is “attracted” to Black Spot so it pays to keep a watchful eye on her.
I am so excited to share with you something new in the world of roses from my good friend Paul Zimmerman… an online class.
Uncover the secrets to the garden roses of your dreams with expert guidance from Paul Zimmerman, the owner of Paul Zimmerman Roses and exclusive rose consultant to the Biltmore Estate. First, find out how to shop for healthy roses at your local garden center and learn how to prepare your soil. Then, get tips for planting a variety of garden roses, discover which fertilizer is best and build a unique watering program for your plants. Next, get insider advice on pruning and grooming your roses, from selecting the proper tools to grooming your garden throughout the active growing season. Paul will share simple, effective ways to treat common diseases while still allowing your roses to develop an inner immune system. Plus, find out how to prepare your plants for dormant season and get a head start on planning next season’s garden!
For more information on the new resource, read on or click the picture below. And, if you sign up here, you’ll receive a 50% discount! :)
Rose season is officially here in my garden and in the rose world at large (see rose calendar below).
The rugosas are exploding, so the fireworks are on as I have quite a few to explode! :)
Harrison’s Yellow is still adding the sunshine and new roses are opening every day. That is something to buzz about!
Blanc de double Corbert
Other roses taking off …
Honey Bun … Proven Winner OSO Easy Series
Smoothie … Proven Winner’s OSO Happy Series
Little Mischief … This rose is from the Easy Elegance collection from Ping Lim. This small shrub is covered in blooms!
Madame Hardy: Damask
COMING SOON TO THE GARDEN…
Celsiana (Damask prior to 1750) … This is a very large shrub just full of buds and ready to explode any day now. The fragrance of this rose is over the top! It is a one-time bloomer, but soooo worth it.
Lady Salisbury (David Austin) … Look at all those buds! I just cannot wait to see the delicate blooms of this rose. Hopefully, I will have pictures to share in a few days.
Felicite Parmetier (Alba 1830s) … This is another one-time bloomer but the fragrance is out of this world!
Biltmore Rose Trials … Who will be the winner?
The Biltmore International Rose Trial is coming up next weekend! I have the honor of being a judge for the wonderful event under the direction of Paul Zimmerman. For more on the rose trials, read on here.
The Rose Chat Crew checking out the winners.
Miracle on the Hudson
Chris VanCleave, Lynn & Chris Hunt, Me
Me and Mr. G
Pat Shanley (ARS VP) & Jolene Adams (ARS President)
Lucas Jack, Christ Van Cleave, Teresa Byington, Paul Zimmerman
Click on any of the pictures in this group to start the gallery feature.
If you are going to be at the Biltmore next weekend, let me know so we can meet up. The Rose Chat crew will be there and we’d love to see you.
INDIANAPOLIS ROSE SOCIETY MEETINGS (All meetings are open to the public and we’d love to see you there!)
SAT, JUNE 20, 4 PM
PROGRAM: Mark Nolen—Preparing Roses for a Rose Show
Mark, winner of numerous rose show awards including last year’s Queen of Show, will take us through the steps he takes to get his roses ready for a rose show. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Mark and Cathy’s beautiful garden.
POP BOTTLE DISPLAY: Bring your roses for “show and tell.”
SAT, JUNE 27 / 5 pm
GARDEN TOUR / PITCH-IN: Nick & Anne Stanley
A wonderful opportunity to see one of the areas most beautiful gardens.
POP BOTTLE DISPLAY: Bring your roses for “show and tell.”
On November 20, 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…
“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.”
As you can imagine these big boy roses behind me need a drink now and then, and they are going to be getting a drink while I make a garden fashion statement. The amazing no kink (yes no kink) Flexilla garden hose now comes in a variety of colors. I chose CRAZY FOR COCOA. It fits in so well with my cottage garden landscape. No kink and safe to use for drinking! Check them out. I think you just might need to make a garden fashion statement too while you are making the chore of watering your plants much easier!
I already have one of these hoses in the original Flexilla green so I know they work for me, but there is more you might want to know…
Flexzilla hoses feature a Premium Hybrid Polymer material that redefines flexibility.
Flexzilla hose characteristics offer zero memory allowing it to lay-flat exactly where you drop it and won’t work against you during operation or coiling after use.
Flexzilla offers extreme all-weather flexibility, even in sub-zero conditions. Flexzilla is currently in use by oil companies located in Alaska!
As most of you know, recently I had the grand pleasure of meeting with so many of my garden blogger friends in beautiful, historic Little Rock, Arkansas for Garden 2 Blog 2015. Our time in Little Rock started at the gorgeous Capital Hotel—considered the front porch of Little Rock. I can assure you they roll out the red carpet for their guests!
Our ultimate destination was P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm, or as I often refer to it as “Gardener’s Mecca.” The Arkansas red carpet just keeps rolling. Moss Mountain Farm offers you beauty filled with focus — their focus is on farming/gardening/decorating inspiration, information and conservation. Whether you are into heritage poultry, flowers and bedding plants, herbs, vegetables, home decor, test gardens, sheep, or … or… or.. (you get the picture!), you will find it — all on a mountain top that overlooks the Arkansas River. For this garden girl raised in the mountains, it is a balm for the soul.
While I love all of the above, it is the rose garden that beckons me. Look for a ton of pictures from the beautiful rose garden in an upcoming ROSE BUZZ post! 🐝🐝🐝
In addition to our beautiful surroundings, there is the wonderful food, decor and oh the friends! As you know I am a bit “crazy” over gardening, imagine how much fun it is to be face-to-face, arm-in-arm with a bus load of “like minds.” Over the top!
We are completely “spoiled and pampered” by P. Allen, his crew and our wonderful sponsors who share with us information not only on their products but what’s coming up and trends they are seeing in the gardening world.
OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS…
BONNIE PLANTS Bonnie Plants, now leaders in the industry, began in 1918 as a family business of Bonnie and Livigston Paulk in a small Alabama town.
Lois, Su, Byron and Amanda led us through the fascinating world of the tomato! What gardener wouldn’t “relish” the chance to get all nerdy just diving into the subject of tomatoes!?!
And if you haven’t already, download their iPhone app… we did!
Something new in the world of cut flowers…
The American Grown brand is a diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms representing small and large entities across the country to provide beautiful cut flowers and foliage.
Kathleen Williford and company knocked our socks off with their amazing designs at the “FARM TO VASE DINNER”. Read more about their tour schedule for Farm to Vase dinners here. http://www.americangrownflowers.org/fieldtovase/ There just might be one coming to a farm near you!
As a former florist I can tell you this was truly some of the most beautiful displays I have ever seen. See what I mean…
CRESENT GARDEN Crescent Garden has containers for every need … Their beautiful line of containers is very deceiving. They look so “real” that you expect them to be very heavy. But, these products are lightweight, durable and will fit into any landscape.
Paula Douer, Mark Rosas and Cesar Castillo shared their company story and led us through fun design exercises showcasing their amazing products.
Highly functional, affordable, easy to use and easy to clean products that will be very attractive to the birds in your life! Joe Murfin and his team shared their commitment to quality for all of their American made products.
A no-kink, highly flexible hose—need I say more! In a color that will allow you to make your own garden fashion statement!
Corbin Mollman, Rachel Perez and Andy Perez were with us to demonstrate this amazing garden hose … one that is safe for drinking and can be left out in the cold!
I always love to hear from Jobe’s Organics. They are doing so much to bring us the very best in organic fertilizers. Clemente Conde, Jen Neve, Martin Rainey and Rebecca Cantu reminded us of how important it is to take good care of our soil. Jen, project director for Oppenheimer Biotechnology, shared with us what they have learned from their work in oil spill cleanup and leaving the soil better than it was before!
SAKATA HOME GROWN
Tracy Lee and Alecia Troy shared with us what is going on with this 100-year-old seed producer headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA. We had the opportunity to choose seeds to take home and try! You can find these seeds on retail seed racks and via mail order seed catalogs! More here.
Home for farm fresh flowers, based in Humboldt County, CA, where the foggy conditions are perfect for tulips, irises and stunning Oriental and hybrid lilies—one being my personal favorite—the Stargazer Lily! Take a look at some of the beautiful flowers provided for us by Bill Prescott and the good folks at Stargazer Barn.
Aromatique is the creator of decorative fragrance. Steve Lawrence, Carolyn Gay, Will Humphreys and Netta Thomas gave us the opportunity to make our own signature potpourri using a variety of oils and native botanicals. Here is my creation…
Click on any of the pictures below to activate the full gallery feature…
There a color just perfect for you…
These Stargazer Barn lilies were spectacular!
Thanks for stopping by. P. Allen Smith’s rose garden pictures coming soon! And, oh what a rose garden it is!
Last night we had rain all night … sometimes it was deafening! But, oh what a welcome sound it was. We needed it and today promises more of the same. So I was out early and caught a few minutes between showers to take a video of some of the blooming going on right now. Harison’s Yellow and the rugosas are putting on quite a show, but the peonies are not far behind.
Well, I counted the days until spring and that was great but it appears spring was anxious to leave. I think we had about 1 week of spring and now it is S U M M E R! And, around here that means the roses start blooming. If the heat continues, many of the roses will bloom 3 weeks early. While they are beautiful anytime, that does not bode well for my garden tours that are coming in early June! Sorry my garden club and master gardeners buddies … not sure what you will see in June but we’ll find something! :)
Today I made my last garden walk before leaving for P. Allen Smith’sGarden 2 Blog event in Little Rock, Arkansas. I simply can’t wait to be back at Moss Mountain with Allen and so many of my garden friends from all around the country … and Allen’s amazing rose garden should be at peak! More about this event here. More info and more pictures to come from Moss Mountain!
Here is what I found on my garden walk today…
Often the first to bloom, Harison Yellow, the Pioneer Rose. Welcome back friend; it has been too long! Read more about Harison’s rich history here.
The Rugosas (fireworks of the spring garden) are showing a bit of color and hopefully will stall for a week so I can “experience” their beauty and fragrance.
Rugosa Theresa Bugnet is showing off her first bloom…
Rugosa Blanc de Double Corbert … fragrant!
Champagne Wishes … this is a rose I just bought and it came with open bloom. I think I am really going to like this lovely rose from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance series. The tag line for this series is All the beauty but none of the work. I have several in this series and will share pictures and info as they bloom.
Some of the rose companions are coming on strong as well.
Peonies … should be stunning when I return!
POTTING SHED BLOOM
Even the geranium cutting in the potting shed is in bloom!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How are things in your garden this week? Have any Rose Buzz to share?
While many o my roses are easy care, no spray varieties, I do have a few roses that are more diva like and require more of me. I love them and think they are worth it. They live in my Exhibition Bed (my only raised bed) along side a few that don’t require much at all so it all balances out.
I have an Exhibition Bed because I hope to one day have one of my roses crowned Queen of Show … someday! You gotta dream. If you wonder what beauties you might see at a rose show, check out the Indianapolis Rose Society’s posts on rose shows here. If you love roses and aren’t a member of a local rose society, I would highly recommend finding one in your area. I have learned so much from my society and the added bonus is you get to be with others who love what you love. Find more on rose societies at ROSE.ORG.
Back to the Exhibition Bed…
This winter the Exhibition Bed took a big hit. Our winter was cold but so was the Polar Vortex winter 2 years ago and they did quite well after than horrible winter. I think this year was harder because we turned super cold BEFORE we had the thick blanket of snow that we had during the Polar Vortex. And, since these roses are in a raised bed… the cold was just harder on them. My plan is to provide extra care for these roses next winter with higher mulch and maybe even a covering. Mr. G, the designer and builder of all things for my garden, will think of something! :)More about Mr. G’s building stuff here.
To date I have lost 2 Gemini roses in this bed but the others are coming back… just a little slower.
Current Exhibition Bed Inhabitants…
2 Dick Clarks
1 Cherry Parfait
1 Neil Diamond (Doing well!)
1 Falling in Love
2 Golden Gate (one is struggling)
1 Joy (Doing very well!)
1 Corretta Scott King
As you can see from the pitiful picture below, they are indeed getting off to a sad, slow start. But, this is our benchmark … May 3, 2015 … let’s see where this goes.
Speaking of raised beds… Mr. G built himself 2 small raised beds for tomatoes. Look at the “decor” he added …
He knows me!
2014 EXHIBITION BED…
On a happier note, here are some pictures from the Exhibition Bed last summer… (If you click on one of the pictures below, it will start the gallery feature for better viewing.)
The Peachy Keen™ Rose, an exceptionally disease-resistant landscape shrub, so impressive you’d swear it was a Knock Out® Rose!
Many of the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas had to be cut back to the ground 4 weeks ago but they are coming back strong!
Gertrude Jekyll was cut back to about 3” from the ground and baby look at her now. She is ready to grow. And, if you know anything about this rose you know that when she’s happy you are happy. She is gorgeous! Classic old rose form and very likely the most fragrant of all the David Austins.
Here’s one that surprised me today…. The Queen of Bourbon rose appears to have a bud! This is the first “bud” in the garden so far. Exciting! Read more about her here.
Look closely. Yep, it’s a bud…
The frost came this week and those that were a bit taller like The Generous Gardener … had a bit of burn. I’ll just trim and she’ll be fine.
Next week the temps are going to soar into the mid 70s, so we could have an early bloom cycle!
Since I am that person who counts down the days until spring—starting the day after Christmas, I am looking for ROSE FIREWORKS when spring finally comes. My old garden roses and the rugosas are happy to oblige. They are very predictable “spring fireworks.”
Look at these Rugosas! Hardly a bit of winter die back. Lush, green and on their way.
You’ve been with me as we counted down the days until spring. It is here and just when I thought that winter had taken away all the pretty things forever, they started coming back. This week was a week of big change in the garden … from dark and dreary to beautiful rebirth! Take a look…
My good friend Kathy Torgerson of Johnson City, Tennessee, is often posting pictures on Facebook of her 91-year-old mother. These pictures always get my attention as they represent a lovely, vibrant, active woman … one who is still working in her rose garden.
This is the most recent picture posted! Once I saw this picture, I knew I had to know more!
I sent an email to Kathy asking if her mother would consider telling me her story and answering a few questions about growing roses. Kathy answered immediately, telling me Nell was delighted. Nell was not the only one delighted! When I first asked, I had no idea just how interesting things were in the world of Nell.
Learning more about this beautiful woman has been a great pleasure to me. I find that the more I know about Nell, the more I want to know. How many people do you know who spent time working in a “secret city” of war and bombs?
So, grab a cup of coffee and sit down to meet my rosey friend, Nell. You are sure to be entertained and inspired!
NELL’S STORY: A SECRET CITY, AN ELOPEMENT, A FAMILY AND ROSES…
Nell Phillips (91) was born in Kentucky but grew up in Middle Tennessee. She went to business school in Nashville after graduating high school. She and her best friend worked in Memphis at the McDonald Aircraft factory where bombers were being built for World War II, then they took jobs in Oak Ridge, TN – The Secret City, where thousands of people converged to make a town where one had not been before and where only a very small number of people knew that they were actually working towards the completion of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, to end World War II. She met the love of her life there, fellow worker Joe Phillips, and they eloped to Georgia to be married on August 11, 1945. While on their honeymoon they learned that the war was over and that the Secret City workers had played a huge part in its ending. They had a son, Gary, while still living in Oak RIdge, then they moved near Milligan College, TN in 1948 for Joe to join his brother in ownership of a gas station/grocery store. In 1957 they moved to what had been farmland in the relatively new northern part of Johnson City, TN and built the brick ranch where they added a daughter, Kathy, to the family.
While Joe raised apple trees and had a big vegetable garden in their extra lot, Nell started her rose bed and beautiful phlox beds, tulips, daffodils, geraniums, pansies and all varieties of shrubs. People tell her if she drops a toothpick, a tree will grow. She worked in the medical records department of Johnson City Memorial Hospital while Joe became an appliance salesman. She took care of Joe at home as his health deteriorated due to diabetes and even after he lost both legs, she managed on her own to keep him well loved and cared for till he died in their bed in 2002.
Nell still maintains the house and yard, with the help of her grandson, does her daily crossword puzzle, maintains friends from 16 years old to 86, and despite surgeries, illnesses and falls, lives independently and vibrantly. She credits her yard work, especially her roses, for keeping her going.
ON GROWING ROSES…
How long have you been growing roses? About 50 years. We built the house in 1957 and I started the rose bed a few years later.
Who was your inspiration for growing roses? No one. Roses have always been my favorite flowers, so I just wanted to try.
Why have you continued to grow roses? It’s my hobby. It’s a challenge but I like challenges.
What were some of the first roses you planted? My first was an American Beauty. Then Double Delight, Mr. Lincoln, and Carole Lombarde. I had a Peace until a few years ago when it froze out.
What would be your top 3 favorite roses of all time? Double Delight, American Beauty, Mr. Lincoln
What is your favorite rose story? My favorite is about my only granddaughter, Kathy’s daughter Joanna. She has Down syndrome and she is my “buddybuddy”. After 4 grandsons that I love dearly, I was so excited to have a granddaughter. On her first birthday, I took a beautiful pink bud from my Queen Elizabeth for her party. That started our tradition. Every year for her birthday, even if we’ve had a drought or beetles have eaten them, I have at least one Queen Elizabeth to take to her. And that’s been 31 birthdays so far.
How many roses do you grow today? I think I currently have ten.
Your biggest success in growing roses? My Queen Elizabeth and my Mr. Lincoln. They look like florists’ blooms. And Mr. Lincoln was my husband’s favorite, so they remind me of him.
Biggest challenge in growing roses? Bugs! The Japanese beetles and I have a running battle in the rose garden. I get so mad at them, I pull them off and stomp on them! Except for my Peace, I haven’t lost any. I got a Pink Peace a few years ago, and it’s doing beautifully. The blooms are as big around as plates. Also the weather. In East Tennessee, if you don’t like the weather one day, just wait till the next and it will change. So it’s hard to depend on the weather.
If you could say one thing to the world of rose lovers what would it be? You have to be committed to grow roses. They take work and worry. But I love them. They are my great joy. Sadly, I am allergic to them. I can’t have them in my house and it’s even hard for me to have them in my car to take to friends. Kathy usually has to deliver them, because I can’t be enclosed with them that long before I get sick. But that’s my favorite thing to do, to cut bouquets of them for sick friends, for friends’ birthdays, or just to share them. Kathy promises that I will have beautiful roses on my casket when I die, to make up for the ones I couldn’t enjoy for myself while alive! I think they are one of God’s most beautiful gifts to us.
I agree with Nell … roses are one of God’s most beautiful gifts to us; right under the wonderful people He places in our lives, wonderful people like Nell.
Thank you Nell for sharing your story! And, Kathy, keep posting those pictures! Now that we know about Nell’s world of roses, we just may need to know more about what was going on in that “Secret City.”
This week I am beginning to uncover the roses that I mounded with mulch to protect them from winter. I don’t mulch all of my roses. In fact I mulch very few—just the hybrid teas and the most tender roses. Most of my roses can take whatever winter throws at them … as was proven 2 years ago during the polar vortex. I worried and worried all that winter that all the roses would be lost but not so, they flourished last summer.
Last fall I piled about 8” of mulch on these roses and it is always a fun process to uncover them and see how they did.
So here we go … Let’s take a look… Don’t be scared … It’s gonna be ugly!
This is Gemini … we have black canes, a broken cane, a frayed cane (wonder what happened there?) and a bit of green. The farther down I went, things did not get much better, but there is enough. With some tender loving care and some nutrients, Gemini will be okay–once I cut back all the black, the dead, the frayed and the damaged. Fingers crossed that “whoever” or “whatever” is responsible for the broken and frayed canes, does not return.
Gemini last summer… :)
Joy had a better winter… as I uncovered I found a lot of green and that made me very happy as this is one of my favs.
Joy doesn’t look like much now but this is what she can do…
To read more about this rose, click here for an article I wrote last summer.
Spring has officially sprung and I am back at it. I could not be happier!
How about you, what chores are you doing in the garden this week?
As many of you know I have loved roses since I was a teenager but I didn’t start my dive into old and historical roses until the 80s when I read the journal of a young woman who left the comfort of her home to join her husband in a journey west. One of the experiences she described was painstakingly taking cuttings of the roses and plants she just couldn’t live without. As I read her story, I felt as though I was going on the journey with her. Roses were not just for beauty to the women of this era. They were also a source of flavoring and vitamin C (from their hips). Even the most thorny roses were of value as they were used as living fences to protect vegetable gardens and such.
Also during this time we were given Harison’s Yellow (Hybrid Foetida) rose from a friend in Tennessee who had received it from a family member in Ohio. We learned that this rose had been passed through their family for some time. I started doing some investigation and found out just where the rose originated. You can read the history of Harison’s Yellow here.
I continue to love old garden and historical roses and have several in my garden. What a joy it is to visit gardens that have these lovely old beauties. One such garden is definitely on my garden bucket list … The award-winning Sacramento City Cemetery Rose Garden. This garden is home to old or antique roses collected from cemeteries, old home sites and along roadsides in northern California. The establishment of the garden was done by Fred Boutin, an internationally recognized rosarian and authority on “found roses,” and Jean Travis, a member of the Heritage Rose Group. Members of this group work to collect, plant and maintain these roses which were popular from the California Gold Rush era through the Victorian/Edwardian era (1850-1915). The collection now includes more than 400 plants–over 200 varieties.
For those of you who love fragrant roses, these roses are some of the more fragrant roses that exist. Many have been used in perfumes.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to have Anita Clevenger, Curator of this garden, with us on Rose Chat. Did you know that cemeteries used to be a place to gather for picnics regularly? Hear about that and more by clicking on the Rose Chat logo below.
If you live in the the Sacramento area, their annual Open Day in the Garden event is April 18 and they have many activities planned including the ever popular Rose Sale! Hundreds of roses are available and they always sell out. So, it pays to get there early! :)
For the list of other events in the garden this year, read on.
When winter approaches I typically bring potted plants I want to save into the Potting Shed where there is controlled warmth and light (geraniums, mint, lavender, etc.), except for my large potted roses, they are taken to the garage (no windows). The roses go dormant and “spring” back to life in the spring. Because of “over crowding” in the Potting Shed, I took this pot of herbs to the garage too.
Last week I brought the pots out of the garage and couldn’t believe how well these herbs sprang back to life. They never lost their “green” completely and now they look almost robust! Today they are outside getting some sunshine and intermittent light rain. Let the thriving begin!
The roses left in the garage are doing quite well too.
I typically cut any spindly growth completely back and let the roses start fresh. But this one is recovering so fast that I may do minimal pruning and she how she does. Meet the “winter in the garage, in the dark version of the Coretta Scott King” rose. Anemic though she may be, I think we are going to start from here and see what she does.
Around here the spring garden season kicks off with the planting of the sweet peas on St. Patrick’s Day! I know it sounds early but it works every time.
Sweet Peas are well named as they are one of the sweetest little flowers in the garden and I love to tuck them into bokays! They are a wonderful rose companion!
The Victorians, who also went crazy over bokays, used them too. With Tussie Mussies in hand, the Victorians used the subtle messages of flowers and herbs to convey not-so-subtle meanings. Sweet peas were used to convey departure, delicate pleasure and many thanks.
As I write this I have in mind the many such “subtle” moments in the movie, The Age of Innocence, one of my favorite movies. If you’ve seen it, you know just what I mean… the costumes … the society … the flowers.
MANY THANKS TO HENRY!
The Victorians and I have Henry Eckford to thank for the lovely sweet peas we know today. He is credited with developing over 100 varieties of this dainty beauty.
PLANTING SWEET PEAS
Before I plant my sweet peas I soak them over night to soften the hard shell.
Like all plants, sweet peas prefer well-drained, fertile soil. I plant them about 1” deep and about 2” apart. Water them in and provide a trellis and you are done! They will do the rest!
We have the sweet peas trailing on some wire fencing that we added over the picket fence…
Note the name on the plant tag… Eckfords Finest. Burpee has put together some of his “finest” varieties and you can find them on their website here.
VARIETIES I’M PLANTING
This year I have found several varieties at various garden centers as well as big box stores…
High Scent: Couldn’t pass this one up! Package says it is the most fragrant of all the sweet peas!
Mammoth Mix: These bloom early. Bonus!
Galaxy Mix: Large flowers!
Eckfords Finest: Just have to have this one!
ONE MORE THING ABOUT SWEET PEAS!
As sweet as the sweet pea is to look at and many of them have the sweetest fragrance … DO NOT EAT THEM.
TIME TO GET THE GARDEN PARTY STARTED!
Spring is truly just around the corner. Are you ready? What is your first task in the garden?
Miranda Lambert Rose – Photo Credit: Certified Roses
Country music fans around the world are rejoicing tonight on the announcement today that Certified Roses is introducing a rose named for Grammy award winning singer – songwriter Miranda Lambert.
Miranda Lambert Hybrid Tea Rose- Photo Credit: Certified Roses
The rose is a fragrant hot pink hybrid tea that will be turning as many heads as her namesake. Large 5″ blooms on a large bushy shrub is a virtual bouquet making machine with an intense “rose & fruit” fragrance. Source: CertifiedRose.com
Miranda Lambert – Founder of Mutt Nation Photo Credit: Certified Roses
When Miranda is not on the road singing to sold out crowds, she devotes much of her time to Mutt Nation. This foundation was founded by Miranda in 2007 with the mission to end animal cruelty, neglect and homelessness. Certified Roses has pledged a percentage of the proceeds from the sale…
Tonight on Rose Chat Chris and I were joined by Pat Shanley, incoming President of the American Rose Society.
Many of my rose loving friends are concerned about the effects of chemicals in their garden. Pat offered so much insight and encouragement to those wanting to grow a beautiful yet sustainable rose garden. Pat does not spray her beautiful rose garden and has joined with other environmentally concerned rose gardeners to write a book, The Sustainable Rose Garden.
Read the Midwest Book Review…
Roses, with their bright colors and sweet smell, have earned a special place among floral enthusiasts. “The Sustainable Rose Garden” is a collection of essays written by rosarians for fellow rose lovers. Speaking on the sustainability of roses and their surprising impact on the environment, there is much to ponder about how roses can be improved for their future. With nearly forty contributors, “The Sustainable Rose Garden” is a read that is very much recommended for the environmentally conscious rose lover.
Pat also shared her vision for the future of the American Rose Society, America’s oldest horticultural society. Pat’s vision is a society that is relevant in today’s world–a society that breaks down barriers and unites everyone who loves the rose. Pat is often described as a woman of “boundless energy,” and tonight we had a glimpse of that!
To listen to our chat, click on the Rose Chat icon below…
March is coming in like a lion! But, it is beautifully peaceful in the garden and the birds are loving it. So, I guess if you can’t beat them, you join them! Today I will enjoy the snow we have and the snow we continue to get for the rest of the day. Mr. G says it is a church, soup, movie and brownie day – in that order.
Hearing the happy birds chirping…
Yesterday I saw pictures of my friends in the south pruning their roses. No roses are being pruned here!