Christmas Cran

Teresa /

It’s that time of the year and many have asked for the Christmas Cran recipe. Here’s my original post. I hope your family enjoys it as much as our family does!

Originally posted on The Garden Diary:

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…

View original 68 more words

Bloom Thyme Friday: Growing Amaryllis

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.


You can keep your amaryllis indefinitely. Here is an article on the “rest and restoration” of your bulb.


Most grow very tall and need some support.

Here are the trellises I made last year with sticks and twine to add some decor and support. Confession: I am somewhat of a twine junky.



What do you grow in the winter? Maybe you are great at house plants. Me, not so much. For house plants, I go for the bullet proof varieties! Amaryllis are perfect for me. Easy. Rewarding.

Would love to hear about your inside gardening experiences.

Rose Buzz: Companions & Beneficials

Rose Buzz_7_white copyAs 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.

Learn. Grow. Share. Serve. Create Awareness. Celebrate.

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.


I am a member of several rose organizations. Two of them are below…

The Indianapolis Rose Society

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

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.

Exciting Times

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!

Rose Buzz_Membership


Share in the comments below the benefits you receive…


2015 Top 5 Roses

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.

Rose Buzz_Top 5_2015

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…

1st Year: Sleep
2nd Year: Creep
3rd Year: LEAP!

So, it is best to give them 3 years in your garden to prove what they can do and be for you. This rose was hybridizing giants Tom Carruth and Christian Bedard.
More information @

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DIck Clark in the garden…
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DIck Clark in a vase…

Petit Pink – Shrub: This easy care shrub from the Proven Winners OSO Happy series bloomed all summer with no sign of disease. Looks good up close and from far away. The long-lasting blooms are small—about an inch in diameter.
More information @

Petit Pink...
Petit Pink…

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!

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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.

More information @  I bought mine the last two years from my local Lowes.

Music Box...
Music Box…

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.

Moje Hammarburg
Moje Hammarburg

There were so many beautiful roses this year. Look at some of my recents posts and you will see many more!


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 @

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Tahitian Treasure in the garden…
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This rose was on my potting shed desk for more than a week when I took this picture!


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.

More info @

Belinda's Dream...
Belinda’s Dream…

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!


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!

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Rose Eye Candy

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.



Here are some of the harvested blooms up close and personal…


Neil Diamond HT from Weeks Roses.


Dick Clark Grandiflora from Weeks.


Lions Fairy Tale from Kordes … This one is so much prettier in person! Such an easy care beauty. I bought this one from Chamblee Nursery.


Music Box (Easy Elegance by Ping Lim) with Double Knockout and Flamenco Rosita (Chamblee Nursery) in the background. All three of these roses fall into the easy care category!



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!


ROSE BUZZ: Fall Rose Care

Rose Buzz_7_white


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.


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.


Rose hips…



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.  :)




It’s October 1 and I’m Thinking About Spring

Yes, it’s October 1 and all I can do is think about spring. 🌷🌸🌹

So, I am going to take advantage of the fact that it is Thursday and do a #TBT post about spring and blooms and such. It will make me feel better about the coming roseless seasons.

My spring was ushered in with a trip to the Garden 2 Blog event and P. Allen’s Smith amazing rose garden and so many wonderful rose friends. Ahhhh….

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And learning from the man himself…


Then there was the Biltmore International Rose Trials and more beautiful roses and wonderful rose friends!



Me and Mr. G surrounded by New Dawn and her beauty and fragrance!


Me and Chris VanCleave all dressed up for our official Rose Chat picture.

Remember the rugosas?



What about Open Garden Day for my Master Gardener friends and neighbors? That was so fun!


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Well, this is a stretch since it wasn’t spring, but how can I leave out Mr. H and his momma coming and our special flower crown day in the garden.

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This picture just steals my heart!

Okay, I have had my “moment” and gotten that out of my system, now let’s go to the orchard and get a caramel apple! 🍎




Next post will be about fall rose care … I promise!


Rose Buzz: Stories from The Convention

Rose Buzz_7_whiteWhile 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!

Here is some Rose Chattin’…

RC Videos Framed



Check back, we’ll be adding more videos later in the week!

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Rose Buzz: Hearing from the hybridizers themselves!

Rose Buzz_7_whiteThere 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. 🐝

Here they are…

IMG_0004Will Radler: Father of the Knock Out family of roses and so much more. (Hear him tell his story on Rose Chat here.)


Alain Meilland, director of Meilland Roses of France who first brought us the Peace Rose.


Steve Hutton, president of Star Roses & Plants.


Michael Mariott, chief designer of David Austin Roses.


Thomas Proll, head of the rose breeding program at Kordes Roses.



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.

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Rose Buzz: Rose Show Coming Soon!

Rose Buzz_7_white 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
South Indianapolis

Detailed Map & Directions:


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!


Rose Buzz Rose Show

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It’s A Rose Thing

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 @

Don’t forget to tag your rose pictures and posts … #ItsARoseThing!







Labor Day: Dirty/Tired/Happy

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.

I saw this on Troybilt’s Instagram feed and LOVED IT. If you don’t follow them … do! They do great stuff.