Bloom Thyme Friday: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

SPIDERY THINGS…

Can we just talk about spiders for a minute. This has been a year of amazing spiders and spider webs. My goodness, I was in the garden this morning and there were webs everywhere. Mr. G even had to remove a spider from the back of my shirt this morning! Too close for comfort!

Even though you could say I have a “healthy respect” for spiders and give them a “wide berth,” I DO appreciate their amazing artistry in web spinning! And, I might add that if you too have a “healthy respect” for spiders … DO NOT google them. In my opinion, the closer you get to the spider and especially if  you google spider bites, the “healthier” the respect is going to be …  can you say Arachnophobia??? I can definitely appreciate them more from afar!

Another reason spiders are on my mind lately is that my little Mr. H loves to hear his momma sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider! He just gets the brightest smile.

And, that smile, well it just does something to me…

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That smile! :)

 

CHARLOTTE…

Mr. G’s favorite book as a child was Charlotte’s Web and, don’t tell, but Mr. H just might be getting that book for his birthday! :)

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN…

The spiders aren’t the only thing thriving in the garden this week. Many of the roses are responding to the wonderful weather–cool and sunny with just enough rain! PERFECT!! Here are some of  big bloomers this week… (Click on any of the circles below to start the gallery feature.)

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday_Yellow

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Some things bear repeating

Some things do bear repeating and the story of Karen Gardner sure does. Karen was our guest on the Rose Chat Podcast this week and boy what a story she has. Let me just briefly tell you that this adorable 20-something was studying at NYC and had a stroke … yes a stroke that left her unable to read, write or even think as she once did. She packed up and moved back home to Oklahoma to begin the 2nd phase of her incredible life — a life and work that is now totally wrapped around the wonderful world of gardening and roses! If you haven’t already listened, take a few minutes to listen to her remarkable and inspiring story HERE. Regardless of your age, she will inspire and delight you!

A couple of pics of Karen and her fiance, Stuart. (Click on any of the pic to start gallery feature.)

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN

Many of my roses are in between bloom cycles and some even have the dreaded naked knee syndrome … therefore I am protecting their dignity and not taking pics. But, some are still hitting it out of the park…

And, here they are. (Click on any picture to activate gallery feature.)

Some rose companions are knocking it out of the park too … like the beloved Zinnias!

 

 

WHO WILL EMERGE ON TOP

Seems like every year different plants have their time to shine. This year I have had some plants that have been great in the past but not so great this year, and some I didn’t expect much from that are amazing!

With September right around the corner, I am beginning to think about those plants that will emerge as my favs for 2014. What has been your favorite so far this growing season?

I hope you have a  wonderful weekend!

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday_Yellow

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Joy

There are many things in my world that bring me immense joy and happiness…

faith  . . .  family  . . .  friends  . . .  flowers

This week in the garden the rose JOY by one of today’s outstanding hybridizers, David Clemons, is knocking it out of the park and giving me a great deal of pleasure. Every day this week as I visit this rose I’m thinking WHERE IS THE ROSE SHOW? I just might have “the one” this week. :) Actually, earlier in the season one of my sprays of JOY received 2nd place at the Ill/Ind District Rose Show, but a 1st place would be very welcome!!!

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Look at how many blooms come at once AND there are more than this picture shows!

Joy after a shower...

Joy after a shower…

David Clemons

David Clemons

David Clemons is known for naming his roses for thoroughbred horses, but for two special roses he chose to name them for special women in his life–his mother Joy, and most recently he named another of his beautiful roses, Tammy Clemons, after his wife. Don’t you just love that!

Joy, Tammy and many other of David Clemons roses (e.g., Whirlaway)  find their way to the awards table at rose shows all over the country regularly and they are major standouts in the garden.

To see other roses by David Clemons … read on here. David’s roses are available for purchase from For Love of Roses @ forloveofroses.com. Take a peak at this site for the very best in mini and mini-flora roses. Richard Anthony, David Clemons and a group of other amazing hybridizers have beautiful roses for sale!

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN…

Here are some other things bringing me immense joy in the garden this week! (Click on any of the pictures to activate gallery feature for better viewing.)

 

I hope today life is bringing you joy in abundance!

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday_Yellow

 

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Exchanging Plants

This week at our rose society meeting I made out like a bandit. Many members brought plants to share! Either their old roses had sent up suckers that are easy to share or they were thinning their rose or rose companion “inventory.”

Either way, while we were looking over the plants being offered, I observed that it doesn’t matter whether my fellow rose society members are 30 something or nearly 90, they are equally “over the moon” excited about getting something new for their garden. I love that!

Here are the lovelies that were shared with me… 
Theresa Bugnet ... picture courtesy of Dammann's Gardens.

Theresa Bugnet … picture courtesy of Dammann’s Gardens.

Theresa Bugnet (Rugosa)
 
 
Belle Poitevine courtesy of marysplantfarm.com

Belle Poitevine courtesy of marysplantfarm.com

Belle Poitevine (Rugosa)
 
 

As you know I am smitten with Rugosas in general, so getting to add 2 more fragrant blooming machines to my garden makes me very happy. I wrote about my other rugosas a few weeks ago when they were in full bloom and you can see the pictures here.

Baldo Villegas pic courtesy of forloveofroses.com

Baldo Villegas pic courtesy of forloveofroses.com

Baldo Villegas (Mini Flora)

This beauty is named for my good friend and favorite “bug man” This rose is often seen on the awards table at rose shows. Very pretty. If you are interested in purchasing this rose, check with ForLoveofRoses.com.

Laguna Climber pic courtsey of http://EdmundsRoses.com

Laguna Climber pic courtsey of http://EdmundsRoses.com

Laguna Climbing Rose

I am told this rose is disease resistant and blooms all summer! Add to that old rose beauty and fragrance and I know this is going to be one of my very favorites! Read more about Laguna here.

Reblooming Iris

Reblooming Iris

Reblooming Yellow Iris

While I was visiting a friends garden last fall, this iris was blooming like it was spring. I just knew then I had to have it! So glad he remembered and brought them to me!

Our rose society  doesn’t have an “official” plant exchange, but we just may change that next year. Do you participate in plant exchanges?

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN…

We are getting much cooler temperatures and rain most days!

Grande Amore dressed up for the holiday!

Yesterday’s unexpected but very welcomed rain!

I wish you a very happy BLOOM THYME FRIDAY and THE LADY is helping me wish you a HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

Let Freedom Ring!!

Let Freedom Ring!!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: A Week of Extremes

This week has been a week of extremes. Extreme heat & humidity; extreme storms (even a tornado touch down within 10 miles of us); and EXTREME visits by the not so welcomed moles.

I have been on an “extreme” Japanese beetle watch since so many of my online garden friends are reporting beetle invasions in their gardens. The last two years we have seen very few and wouldn’t it be nice it that continued. If you are interested in reading more about Japanese Beetles (and who wouldn’t!?!), check out my friend Lynn Hunt’s article–Meet the Beetles.

Back to moles….

Have you ever dealt with moles? Do you have any advice on what we should do?  Mr. G is on “mole” detail and maybe it’s better if I don’t even know what he is going to do about it. Might not be pretty.

But, speaking of pretty, there are some pretty blooms this week. Most of the roses are taking a break but some are keeping on! And, many of the rose companions are just starting to take center stage! (Click on any of the pictures below to start the gallery feature.)

 

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HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND AND HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summerthyme

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Summerthyme Blooms……

Wow, the first day of summer is here. Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday that I was driving you crazy counting down the days until spring through the Polar Vortex. :) You can flash back to that here.

We have had an almost perfect spring. I have hardly had to use my new Flexzilla garden hose or even a watering can!

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Flexzilla demo at Garden 2 Blog… If you  haven’t heard about this amazing NO KINK garden hose, read about it here! http://www.flexzilla.com/

Summer is coming in with a near perfect day that will hover around 80 and the garden is responding with some super blooms.

In thinking about summer I began to wonder just how many Popsicles are eaten every summer. I didn’t find the answer to that question, but I did find these yummy looking Popsicle recipes…

Yummy!

Yummy!

Find the recipes here.  And, if you find out how many Popsicles are eaten each summer, let me know. :)

Flowers celebrating …

These are the flowers that are helping me kickoff summer! (Click on any of the pictures to start the gallery feature.)

 


Stay cool and have a Popsicle or two!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: The Garden is Open

Welcome ... The Garden is Open

Welcome … The Garden is Open

The month of June has been filled with friends in the garden. Yesterday marked the final “official” tour that was planned. For most of the tours I was present and able to be the tour guide, but there were other days when the garden was “open” for select groups to come and enjoy while I was not here. On those days I just left ice and lemonade so they would feel welcome and feel they could linger.

It is amazing to see your garden through the eyes of others and to sometimes have the privilege of hearing their story.

Through this season …

I have had the privilege of seeing my precious grandson’s face as he got his first real look at the fish pond as I held him.

I have had the privilege of seeing the sparkle in the eyes of a 3 year old who picked a bokay to take home.

I have had the privilege of answering questions and sharing my garden stories with others.

I have had the privilege of seeing wonder in people’s eyes and hear them say, can you help me create a garden. (“Yes I can!” will always be the answer to that question.)  :)

I have had the privilege of having a friend tell me, “You just don’t know how much I needed to get away and your garden was the perfect place for me.”

I have had the privilege of receiving texts while I was a state away from a friend I rarely get to see who was in my garden. She was texting me that she had found a little bit of heaven and was going to sit and relax for awhile.

And, the story that I will not soon forget is the note that I received from a friend who came on one of the “open” days. It went something like this…

My sister is going thru chemo and I was with her today as she received her treatment. Things have been difficult. Got your message (that the garden was open) and we stopped by. It was so what she needed today. We sat down and had a drink around your beautiful table and garden. It was like God had a plan that we would stop by. Thanks for the invite. Keep us in your prayers.

One of my greatest gifts from God has been to create and tend this garden — I always receive more than I give for my efforts.

My decision to have “open” days in the garden was a quick decision I made, not one I spent weeks planning. I am convinced that God placed the need for “open” days in the garden. My garden feeds my spirit every day. And, I can’t tell you how much it means to me to know that others found a bit of inspiration, joy, refreshment and maybe even respite here too.

BLOOMS IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK…

I am happy to say that there has been no need to water the garden this week! But, the downside to all the rain is soggy blooms. Here are some blooms that stood up to the rain…

(Click on any picture to start the gallery display…)

Wishing you all the best in your world this week and …

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Garden 2 Table

I love the concept of garden 2 table … cooking with the fresh food you grow yourself. My mother was a great gardener and she grew just about everything we ate. Because she canned and froze the extras we had food from our garden year round. (You can read more about her here.) But, if I am honest, my veggies keep getting inched out by roses and a couple of honey locust trees that are devouring our garden. However, we still have room for herbs and tomatoes — Mr. G makes sure of that. So, around here we are extremely grateful to area farmer’s markets to provide us with the other produce we love.

So many of my friends tell me they rarely cook anymore since their time is so limited! But, good news, there is someone who is inspiring us to get in the garden and in the kitchen by teaching us just how easy, fun and nutritious  Garden to Table  can be. My friend P. Allen Smith. Allen grows an acre of the most beautiful organic veggies you have ever seen and he is always testing new plants and gardening ideas. PLUS, he is a creative master in the kitchen.

PAS Veggies

What’s even better is that he shares his garden experiences and his mastery in the kitchen with all of us. Whether it is via his television shows (check out this listing for dates and times in your area.)

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His latest book…

Or through his wonderful books, digital publications and you tube videos. Take advantage of all of these easy-to-use resources to be a master in your kitchen, especially if you are like me and spend most of your extra time in the garden and need all the tips and tricks in the kitchen you can get.

Follow Allen’s Garden Home Facebook page here  for regular updates on what he’s cooking up in the kitchen and what’s going on in the garden.

SOMETHING NEW AND DEEEELISH

Don’t miss Allen’s most recent video for a Squash & Zucchini Casserole with Quinoa … can you say, “healthy comfort food you can feel good about.” I can’t wait to make this one! Take a look here.

 

And, yes, I did find enough room in the herb garden for zucchini! :)

THIS WEEK IN MY GARDEN

Around here we are having rain every day and boy are things lush even though the blooms are surely taking a hit. I did manage to get some pretty pictures after one of the rain storms earlier in the week…

Coral Drift ... I first saw growing in P Allen's herb garden and just had to have!

Coral Drift … I first saw this rose growing in P Allen’s herb garden and just had to have!

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Poseidon Floribunda from the Simply Brilliant collection from Certified Roses. Check out their roses here.

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David Austin’s lovely Claire Austin.

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The healthy blooming machine … Amber Carpet Rose.

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Another shot of Poseidon. I can’t get enough of this rose!

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Etoile des Violette clematis … perfect paring with New Dawn Rose.

Have a fun week in the garden! And…

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Blooming Machines

This is Bloom Thyme Friday on Sunday. I have had so many friends and family in the garden this week, I didn’t have time to post on Friday. YAYAYAYAYAY  What a blessing!! Don’t you just love having friends in your garden. I know my garden is a “wee bit” larger than most backyard gardens so I get many requests for people to come and I just love that!

Early June is the best time in my garden. That’s when the old garden roses and rugosas have their heydey and fill the garden with the most amazing blooms AND fragrance.

Just in case you didn’t make it to my garden the last week or so, here are a few pics to let you know just what’s going on! (Click on any of the pictures below to start the gallery feature.)

 

Bloom Thyme Friday

Here is my favorite visitor to the garden this week to help me wish you a HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

 

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Actually Mr. H wishes you a HAPPY BLOOM THYME SUNDAY!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: The Charm of Rugosas

Rugosa roses are species roses native to eastern Asia. These profuse spring bloomers are hardy in Zones 3 – 9 and in a variety of conditions: heat, cold, wind, even salty, sandy seaside conditions. Rugosa roses prefers full sun (6-8 hours per day) and average well-drained soil. So, with very minimal care, almost anyone, anywhere can enjoy these dependable workhorses in the garden.  As for their size the ones I have are the largest of the group, Hansa, Roseraie de la Hay and Blanc de double Corbert  are 6′ X 5′ in my garden. Moje Hammerly is 4′ X 4′. There are other rugosas that are smaller in general … do some investigating to find the ones most suited for your location. For more on rugosas, go to the ARS website HERE.

These rugged plants are excellent choices for the organic gardener. Their distinct wrinkled (regose) foliage is very disease resistant.

In my cottage garden they are the back drop and anchor for many of my flower beds. They give me a most outstanding introduction to the garden season with their striking, prolific bloom and the intense fragrance that permeates the entire garden. And, as repeat bloomers, they provide fragrant blooms throughout the season. And, beautiful roses hips to enjoy in our fall garden.

Nothing in my garden is quite like the first bloom cycle of my rugosa roses. They help me say goodbye to winter and say hello to spring! See what you think…

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I have several rugosas and three varieties:

Hansa

Hansa

Hansa: Beautiful foliage and striking magenta blooms.

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Moje Hammarberg

Moje Hammarberg: More compact in growth but equal in bloom power and fragrance.

Roseraie de la Hay

Roseraie de la Hay

Roseraie de laHay: My favorite and the largest of the rugosas in my garden. named for the French rose garden of the same name

 

Blanc de double Corbert

Blanc de double Corbert

Double de Coubert: Pure white flowers and strong fragrance.

If you have some space and are looking for a rose with a major impact, think about rugosas!

I hope you are having a wonderful week.

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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Bloom Thyme: And the Winners Are…

I have had the privilege to be in rose fairyland. Nestled in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the side lawn of the majestic Bilmore estate, the Biltmore rose garden was in perfect form for the second annual Biltmore International Rose Trials. A big shout out to Lucas Jack, Biltmore Rosarian & his crew and to Paul Zimmerman for his leadership and direction in establishing these trials.

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The Dynamic Duo … Lucas Jack and Paul Zimmerman

 The Garden…

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THE WINNERS…

Amidst a flurry of amazing blooms, these roses emerged as the winners:

Frances Medilland / Best Hybrid Tea / Medilland / Star Roses & Plants

Francis Meilland  (Picture courtesy Star Roses and Plants)
Francis Meilland
(Picture courtesy Star Roses and Plants)

Tequila Supreme / Best Floribunda / Meilland / Star Roses & Plants

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise

Bejazzo / Best Climbing Rose / Kordes

Bejazzo

Bejazzo Vased

Bejazzo in the garden...

Bejazzo in the garden…

Honorine de Brabant / Best Established Rose

Honorine de Brabant

Honorine de Brabant

Sweet Drift / Best Ground Cover / Medilland

Sweet Drift

Sweet Drift

Pookah / Best Open Group / Polyantha / James Delahanty

Pookah

Pookah

 

Munstead Wood / Most Fragrant: / David Austin Roses

Mun
Mun

AND, THE BIG WINNER…

Miracle on the Hudson

Miracle on the Hudson

Miracle on the Hudson

Miracle on the Hudson

Miracle on the Hudson / Robert Neal Rippetoe

Best Shrub
Best Growth Habit
Most Disease Resistant
Best Overall Rose

None of these roses were grown with any special attention and no chemical sprays were used. The idea is to grow these roses in conditions that mimic that of a novice backyard gardener.

It was my pleasure to be up-close and personal with these lovely roses, and to join with some of my very favorite rose friends to be a part of a process that will result in more beautiful and sustainable roses for our gardens.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS!

More Pictures…

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House

For more on the Biltmore rose trials, read on.

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Need a chuckle?

This week at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Garden Retreat the Garden 2 Bloggers spent 2 days gardening, learning more about gardening, eating AND DANCING.

Check out our “skills.” :)

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Roses on Trial

This weekend I am heading to the Biltmore Estate as a juror for the 2nd Annual Biltmore International Rose Trials. YAY!!!

WHY HAVE A ROSE TRIAL

”The trials are a valuable way for the home gardener to learn what roses do well and what may be potential candidates for their own gardens,” said Paul Zimmerman, coordinator of the trials. “Trials of this type are usually open to all rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner.”

I so appreciate all the hard work that is done to bring backyard gardeners the very best in beauty, health and fragrance!

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Roses ARE plants too!

PAUL ZIMMERMAN: Whether it is writing his amazing book, Everyday Roses, his articles for the Fine Gardening blog or leading the way in rose trials, Paul keeps us informed and entertained!

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Summer 2013

LUCAS JACK:  As rosarian for the magnificent Biltmore Estate, Lucas brings a wealth of information and inspiration to the world of roses and to the next generation of gardeners.

ROSE CHAT PODCASTS…

Both Lucas and Paul have joined us on Rose Chat several times to chat about the Biltmore garden, rose trials and gardening in general. Below are links to those podcasts. Listen and learn whenever it is convenient for you! :)

Lucas…
2014 Episode…
2013 Episode…

Paul…
2014 Episode…
2013 Episode…

ADDITIONAL INFO…

For additional information on this year’s trial … read on.

Want to see more pictures of the beautiful garden, read on.

Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for updates this weekend!

GARDEN REPORT

Last night at our rose society meeting we each gave a report on what’s  going on in our gardens. There were reports of outstanding iris, peonies and roses — that seem to be stronger because of the Polar Vortex. (Who knew????) Right now the big winners in my garden are the Rugosas and clematis. Love em! Every garden is so individual … what’s making a statement in your garden this week?

Bloom Thyme Friday
HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Garden Blogger Mecca

P. Allen Smith has created Mecca for garden bloggers … GARDEN 2 BLOG.

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A place for information, inspiration, refreshment, education and community! All in one of the most beautiful places on earth — his Moss Mountain home. Take a look here!

There are so many highlights of this beautiful retreat, but I can honestly tell you that I can’t wait for my return visit to Allen’s beautiful rose garden. Allen is a true lover of roses and is committed to a beautiful AND sustainable rose garden.  See the pictures here.

Allen is a gracious host and garden friend. Here is what he says of his Moss Mountain Retreat…

For several years now I have been touting the idea of the Garden Home, a place that blurs the lines between indoors and out. It is my belief that a Garden Home is not just about beautifying our surroundings or extending our living space; it also helps us stay close to the earth and reminds us to be good stewards of our environment.

The Garden Home is about living life at its natural best. I believe we can create a stylish lifestyle in keeping with the tradition of the past, while taking full advantage of modern innovations and still be good stewards of the earth.

I am honored to be invited for a return visit to Garden 2 Blog. I am looking forward to seeing all the changes to Moss Mountain, visiting with so many special friends and meeting new friends! A wonderful group to learn and grow with!

SPONSORS…

Many sponsors of garden/home related products are a part of making this special event happen and will join us to share the latest and greatest from their world. I’ll keep you updated!

 The best of the best from the world of gardening..
    • Proven Winners
    • Berry Family of Nurseries
    • Bonnie Plants
    • Laguna Ponds
    • Jobe’s Organics
    • Troy Bilt
    • Flexilla
    • Heritage Seeds
    • Wild Bird Feeds
    • Le Creuset

GARDEN PROJECTS…

A part of Garden 2 Blog is fun garden projects. Our first project started last week with a video “throw down” for Jobe’s Organics. Jobe’s sent us all the “ingredients” for a container garden of our choice.

Here’s my video…

 

This picture gallery will give you a glimpse of Garden 2 Blog 2013…

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I  hope things are going well in your world this week. Leave a comment and let me know what’s going on in your garden!

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Now you see it. Now you don’t!

If you have been following my blog for a while you know that I have posted my fair share of pictures of my New Dawn Roses. They were spectacular last year (summer 2013).

New Dawn over the Potting Shed

New Dawn over the Potting Shed

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But you will not be seeing pictures like these for quite a while — maybe years, as the Polar Vortex and New Dawn did not agree on conditions fit for roses this winter. I have grown New Dawn for more than 15 years and have never had to do a hard pruning. But, this year I pruned all the way to the ground. Yes, to the ground.

Take a look.

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A clean canvas ready for new possibilities…

Don't mess with a girl with a sharp pair of Barnels in her hand!

Don’t mess with a girl with a sharp pair of Barnels in her hand! The bionic gloves and long reach Corona loppers sure came in handy too!

 

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Job done. Where’s my Coke?

Vita Sackville West once said, “I am not an armchair gardener. For the last forty years of my life I have broken my back, my fingernails and sometimes my heart in the practical pursuit of my favourite occupation.”

I think Vita could identify with the day I’ve had. 

It had been my experience that gardens are ever-changing and I am glad for that. If things were always the same, I most likely would get bored. So, this year we will focus on other plants. There are 3 clematis that also grow in this area and I am asking that they step it up this year! They need to be more than fabulous! I think they are up to the task. Henri I, Etoile des Violette and another one (whose name I can’t remember at the moment) … you are on!

I’ll keep you posted.

MORE  ABOUT SPRING…

How are things going in your garden this week? Anything that didn’t make it through the winter? Are you moving ahead with Plan A or are you like me looking for the positive side of Plan B?

Other than the New Dawn roses, things are shaping up nicely this week. The roses that had to be pruned WAY back are recovering nicely and doing very well!I am seeing some strong growth and am hopeful for June blooms!

Here are some of the bloomers in my garden this week…

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Daffodils we planted for Uncle Tony...

Daffodils we planted for Uncle Tony…

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Easy Elegance

All the beauty, none of the work!

That is the way Ping Lim describes his EASY ELEGANCE line of roses. Ping Lim, the renown hybridizer, has a line of beautiful, easy care roses that has been getting a lot of attention. I’ve been thinking about adding some for the last couple of years.

Last weekend while at Lowes, I noticed they had a very large selection of EASY ELEGANCE roses and I never remember their having very many of them before, so I took that as a sign that this was the time to try them. Wouldn’t you think the same thing????? I know what you are thinking, I am very easy to persuade when it comes to roses and you are right. :) My rose society also has some of the Easy Elegance roses for sale at a very reasonable price, so I have stocked up!

Here are the ones I bought: Music Box, All The Rage, High Voltage, Sunrise Sunset & Sweet Fragrance.

ADDED BONUS: This is the first rose collection to offer a 2-year homeowner guarantee to show how confident they are in their roses. You can read more about these roses here… http://www.easyelegancerose.com/

I am very excited to see how these roses do in my garden!

I’ll keep you posted!!

Sweet Fragrance

Sweet Fragrance

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Sunrise Sunset

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All The Rage

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High Voltage

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Music Box

Ping Lim

Ping Lim

Bloom Thyme Friday

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

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Rose Rosette … The Facts

If you grow roses, you are worried about the devastating disease called Rose Rosette. Tonight on Rose Chat Dr. Mark Windham joined with us to discuss his research on Rose Rosette. We discussed everything from identification and next steps to the research being done!

Don’t miss this very helpful episode of the Rose Chat podcast. Mark warns us not to believe everything we read on the internet, but gives us some sites he endorses for ongoing information. One of the Mark approved site is Star Roses and Plants … check the out here.

Listen to Mark’s podcast here.

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Excited about everything!

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The above is VERY true! Today is a wonderful day and I am excited about everything!

It’s Good Friday and I know He lives.

Gonna be in the 70s for the next 10 days.

I planted roses today in the sunshine!

My spring tree blooms did NOT get nipped by the frost!

Vacation in 18 days! AND…

I am grateful for spring blooms and for GREEN!

Click on any of the pics below to start the gallery feature!

What’s going on in your garden today?

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Getting Started

This has been a week of temps in the 70s and some much needed garden clean up and planting bare root roses. But, before I could plant the new roses, I had to remove the roses that did not make it through our harsh winter. As you probably know, digging out these roses is a tough job. The roots were deep and wide. And, it’s sad to lose them. But, I said my fond farewells and am moving on.

Hope springs eternal for gardeners and I am ready to get the new roses started.

New to my garden this year are 3 lovely roses to test from Week’s Roses ….

Just like her namesake ... sunny and charming.

Just like her namesake … sunny and charming.

Doris Day / Floribunda
Disease Resistant
Old Rose Form
Scent is fruity/spicy
Parentage: Julie Newmar x Julia Child

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I can just hear him singing, “Cracklin Rosey…”

Neil Diamond / Hybrid Tea
Classic Rose Fragrance
Zones: 4 – 10
Size: 4.5 – 5

Look at that red!

Look at that red!

Take It Easy / Shrub
Parentage: Teeny Bopper x Double Knock Out
Slight tea fragrance
Size: Medium Height

And, the Queen is....
And, the Queen is….

I also planted three of the Tom Carruth beauties … Moonstone. All year long I have heard …. And, the Queen of the Rose Show is … Moonstone. It is an amazing rose and one that many of my local rose friends are growing, so I feel it will do pretty well in my garden. Fingers crossed. :)

I have some David Austins coming but we’ll talk about those next week.

NewsflashIn other exciting news….

I received an invitation this week that set my heart all flutter. I have been invited to serve as a juror at the 2014 Biltmore International Rose Trial Competition! Look at the stunning invitation…

IMG_9179I can’t wait!

How about you — are you getting started in the garden this week or are you one of those southerners who is looking for that first bloom or a Cali rose gardener who is now cutting roses for vases!!

Bloom Thyme Friday
Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

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A Peek Inside the Potting Shed…

I have received  some requests to see more of the inside of the potting shed.

This tiny space (8 x 10) is filled to the brim with a desk area and wall of inspiration over it, tons and tons of gardening books, tools of the trade, seeds, over wintering plants, magazines,  and my potting bench with the somewhat famous–dirt drawer. The potting shed and all it’s furniture was a gift of love from Mr. G (the builder of fences, trellises and raised beds AND more) about 16 years ago. Actually it was a gift to the whole family who no longer had to walk around all my garden stuff!

The desk area and my wall of inspiration…

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The potting bench areaPS_004

 

One of the greatest things about the potting shed is that it is attached to the back of our house and has a garden view. It is right in the middle of the action! I am such a lucky girl!

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Bloom Thyme Friday 2014

It is time to start Bloom Thyme Fridays even though I am currently sitting in my potting shed while the weather channel is issuing extreme weather warnings … flooding, gale force winds and dropping temperatures.

Several garden friends have asked if I will give regular updates on what is going on in the garden especially since so many of the roses and their companions were effected by the Polar Vortex kind of winter we had. I will post an article on Fridays sharing what is going on in the garden—Bloom Thyme Friday!

Today on my list is to get the barefoot roses that were delivered this week soaked in Moo Poo Tea and ready to plant on Sunday — if the weather predictions are true and the weather is much better on Sunday.

IMG_9078Last Sunday I was able to plant two new roses: Climbing Colette and Sally Holmes.

 

colette

Climbing Colette

Colette comes to us from our great rose friends at Star Roses and Plants. I purchased Colette from S & W Greenhouse and received a very healthy barefoot plant.

Here’ a little bit about Colette…

  • Scent: Strong, Sweet
  • Bloom Season: Spring to fall
  • Mature Size: 8 to 10 feet
  • Hardiness Zones: 7
    to 9

This rose came highly recommended to me by Marci Martin (Listen to her delightful Rose Chat Podcast here.) and she knows beautiful roses!

I also surveyed my Rose Chat friends on Facebook who grow Colette to get their opinions.

Here are some of their responses.

  • Colette is a Beauty!
  • We just planted one yesterday for a client of ours with four pillar roses in a row growing on upright trellises. Totally lovely.
  • Light color roses usually need afternoon shade here in  SoCal. 
  • I have this rose, it’s very fragrant and looks like an old fashioned rose with so many petals. It was also very fast growing and had flowers all the way up, not just at the top like a lot of climbers. I did find that the heat took a toll on it here in CA. I might recommend afternoon shade based on my experience with it.

 

This beauty is Sally Holmes, a Hybrid Musk…

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Hybrid Musks are a small but very hardy group of roses and Sally is one of the most popular! I have another Hybrid Musk, Francis E. Lester. You can read about him here.

Sally was introduced in 1976 and has been the recipient of countless awards. Every picture I see of Sally is breathtaking—huge 3 1/2″ blooms. I read these blooms are as fragrant as they are beautiful. I am so looking forward to having Sally in my garden. I planted her near my Potting Shed so I could enjoy her up close and personal!

Other details…

  • Shade Tolerant
  • Very few thorns
  • Zone 5 – 9
  • 6’ high (or up to 12’ if trained as a climber) and 4-5’ wide

 

 

The Potting Shed on a much warmer day!

The Potting Shed on a much warmer day!

 

I hope you are having a lovely day regardless of the weather. Even in the storms we see the beauty and creativity of God’s handiwork and get a glimpse of His power too!

So from my Potting Shed on a very cold, stormy day I wish you a very happy  BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

 

Bloom Thyme Friday

For other Bloom Thyme Friday posts, read on.
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Spring Assessment…

The Polar Vortex has come and gone, although I did see that there is a bit of snow in the forecast for next week. So, those of us who thought the weather might be stuck in winter mode can now relax and begin to enjoy spring and breathe!

This morning I was out early assessing the damage and trimming back some very black rose canes.

Here’s what I can tell you so far:

THE ROSES….

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Roseraie de la Hay

The old roses wintered the horrible weather just fine. I’m not sure they even knew we had a Polar Vortex. There are bud eyes (Bud eyes are swellings on the cane where the growth will start.) right to the very tips. Roseraie de la Hay, Harison’s Yellow, Rosa Mundi, Celsiana, Hansa, Madam Hardy and the others look amazing! No die back at all.

Peach Drift

Peach Drift

Drift Roses have had a little die back, as they normally do.

Knockouts will need to be cut back severely, but I always do that anyway!

Hybrid Teas and Floribundas will be cut back to around 4”. That is a few inches lower than I normally would prune them. Most years I prune them down to 12”.

David Austin roses did very well and just have normal die back.

The new roses on the amazing trellis Mr. G built, Francis E Lester and Peggy Martin, have had quite a bit of die back but they are out in the open and susceptible to wind, so it is not surprising.

Dr. Buck’s Quietness rose has no die back at all.

Carefree Wonder

Carefree Wonder

The Meilland shrub rose Carefree Wonder was another rose with very little die back.

I’m still not sure about my New Dawn and Zepherine Drouhin climbers but the Golden Gate climbers will be cut back to about 12”.

Fall plantings…

I completely covered the roses that I planted or transplanted last fall in mulch, and to my surprise when I pulled back the mulch to check on what was going on under the mulch, the roses were green to the point of leafing out. :)

THE COMPANIONS…

Daylilies, yarrow, daffodils and iris are all up and doing fine.

Perennial herbs are right on schedule.

Annabelle and Pinky Winky hydrangeas look amazing.

For lavender and many other companions, it’s too early to tell.

Bloomerang lilacs  look ready to rock and roll.

Dogwood trees, minus a few limbs that we lost in the heaviest of the snows, are loaded with buds.

To say I am pleased is a huge understatement. There were many bitterly cold, windy days that I feared the worst for the garden. So grateful for the blanket of snow!

And, if Rose Midge was eliminated in all that cold and ice… well, that will be something to celebrate too.

As more cold weather is coming this week, I’ll keep you posted. Fingers crossed that the temps don’t dip toooo low. But, I think I can safely say that the Polar Vortex was kinder to my garden that I ever dreamed!

My garden last spring…

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I hope spring is shaping up nicely in your neck of the woods and you are able to enjoy God’s handiwork! Is there anything more wonderful for a gardener to experience than the rebirth of spring!

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Daylight Saving Time, The Polar Vortex and Spring Chores

Okay if you are the geeky, grammar type like me and thought there was a typo in my title because I left out the S at the end of Saving, I have to tell you it really is officially Daylight Saving Time. I know. I know. It just sounds wrong. But, in my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with DST. I just love it. It allows me a whole extra hour of daylight to work in the garden after work, so I’m all in for DST.

THE POLAR VORTEX

The Polar Vortex has left us winter weary around here. We have had a record-setting 50-something inches of snow. And, even though it is still lingering, it is soon to be history! Warmer temps are coming and I am in full spring-fever mode.

First up this spring will be to assess the damage left by our winter companion, Mr. Polar Vortex. My quick tour of the garden last week encouraged me as I saw a great deal of green at the base of the roses I could see. (Some were still snow covered.) So, I think they are going to have a slow but sure start. Roses are not the “Prima Donnas” some think them to be.

Next on my list will be to use a weak mixture of lime-sulfur on the roses that were showing fungal disease last fall. This is something you do only when the roses are dormant. (You can read more about using lime sulfur from Paul Zimmerman on the Fine Gardening blog here.)

SPRING CHORES

I am often asked what I do in the spring to “all those roses.” So here are some tips that I follow for getting my roses off to a good start.

1. PLANT
ING

For early April planting, I buy bare root roses from online vendors. (Click here for a list of rose companies.) When they arrive they are “bare roots” wrapped in wet newspaper and plastic. Very humble beginnings for a plant that will be so lovely later!

Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea...

Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea…

I immediately unpack them and soak them in a bucket of Moo Poo tea for 24 hours before planting. Click here for a great video on planting bare root roses by Guinivere of Roses of Yesterday and Today.

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Planting decisions are dependent on the type of rose…

Grafted Roses: Most hybrid teas, floribunda and grandifloras are grafted roses.

This means that a rose is created by being grafted onto strong, hardy root stock, creating a “bud union.” Plant the bud union (knobby part just above the roots) 3” below the soil line to protect it from harsh winters.

Own Root Roses: Roses that have not been grafted but were started from cuttings, so there is no bud union to protect. In the past I have always planted them as I would any other shrub (to the same depth as they are in the pot they were growing in), however, after such a harsh winter, I now plan to plant even the own root roses about 2″ below the soil line for some extra protection.

Soil: We ask roses to bloom for us all summer, year after year, so it is best to give them a good start by planting them in good, rich soil. Our neck of the woods has horrible gray clay soil so we dig BIG holes–holes much deeper and wider than the root system to allow for soil amendments and deep enough to protect the bud union. To the soil removed, we add compost and a quality grade of top soil. Your roses will appreciate your gifts of more nutrients and better drainage and will reward you handsomely! You will never regret giving your roses a good start.

2. PRUNING

It is  difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune, so I let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning. All you need are protective gloves and a sharp pair of pruners. I must have been very good because Santa brought me a pair of Bionic Gloves and Barnel Pruners from Wendy Tilley, owner of The Rose Gardener Garden Shop and Harlane Garden Labels. Maybe Santa listened to our Rose Chat Podcast with Wendy. You can listen to Wendy too. Just click here.

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Gene Boerner Floribunda

Pruning tips for different types of roses…

Hybrid Teas: For hybrid teas, I shape, cut out any dead wood and remove the canes that cross the middle to create more air circulation in the center of the plant which can help control fungal disease. These roses I will cut back to about 10 – 12″ high to give them a strong start. If you are going to exhibit roses in a rose show, there are some other tips you will need and the American Rose Society website is filled to the brim with excellent information.

Old Garden Roses: To me bigger is better as far as old garden roses are concerned so I do very little pruning. For one-time blooming roses, do not prune until after they bloom! And, when you prune, just thin out old wood, remove any dead wood and spindly canes.

David Austin English Roses: Very little pruning is required as they don’t appreciate a lot of cutting, just remove dead wood and give them a light shaping. Except in the case of some of the ones that tend to get very tall, like Graham Thomas, I prune those down farther to keep them within bounds.

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Sunny Knock Out Rose

Shrub/Landscape Roses: These are so easy… Just shape to fit your space. I have several Knockout and Drift roses and I usually trim them back about 1/2 their size in the spring, but it is not required. I often give them another hard pruning in mid summer to refresh them into another spring-like bloom cycle in early fall.

3. FERTILIZE

After I prune my roses I apply fertilizer. Most any fertilizer will do—but do read labels carefully–too much of a good thing can be harmful! I use a combination of Moo Poo Tea and Mills Magic Mix on my roses.

4. WATERING

Once the fertilizer has been applied you will want to give your roses a deep watering to get those nutrients down to where they can do some good. A good rule of thumb is to water at the base of the plant especially if you are watering in the evening, as wet rose leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases (e.g. Black Spot & Powdery Mildew). Although, if I am watering in the morning I give them a good all-over shower. This is great way to remove any aphids that have shown up for the tasty and tender buds! I think roses appreciate a refreshing shower just as we do, just don’t put them to bed wet.

5. MULCHING

This is one of my favorite parts. Mulch is so good for your roses … retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look!

One thing to remember when applying mulch … when mulch breaks down, it uses nitrogen in the process, so add a layer of compost on top of the soil before you add the mulch layer then the nitrogen in the soil can be used by the rose. If you are working in an established bed and last year’s mulch is still there, leave it… it becomes a “compost layer.” Win. Win.

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My garden…

MY FAVORITE TIP…

My favorite tip is always to visit your roses daily or as often as you can to enjoy their beauty and to get to know them. Getting to know them can be key in early detection of any pest or disease.

And, when you have beautiful roses outside, who can stay in!

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All you need is love…

The Beatles sang, “all you need is love,” but when it comes to Valentine’s Day I would suggest you need just a bit more — flowers and maybe even chocolate. And, on Valentines day … the premier flower to convey the message of love is the rose!

Last year it was estimated that 224 million roses were grown for Valentine’s Day.

A few years ago when I was a florist I can tell you that on Valentine’s Day business was always booming and we did hundreds & hundreds of vases of roses and most of them were red, but we also had customers who were looking for roses other than red to convey a certain meaning as there IS a language of flowers.

The Victorians were serious about their flowers and even developed a very unique “language of flowers” that included herbs, shrubs blossoms and more! Mothers of that era were directed to teach their daughters religion and the art of making a well-made bokay. At least religion was first. But when you see the long list of flowers and what they could mean, it is a little daunting — it was a very good thing that the Victorians were armed with their floral dictionaries to keep things straight. As we learned from Newland and Countess Ellen Olenska in The Age of Innocence … sending an inappropriate message in a bokay of flowers could be social death.

I don’t want there to be any social death when it comes to your sending roses this year and to help you sort out some of their meanings, here are the top colors of roses and what they symbolize.

RedDrift_001Let’s get started with Red — the universal symbol of love and romance.

Of the 220 million roses grown for Valentines Day 51% of them are red.

Red also means beauty, courage and respect as well as you are ready to take the relationship to the next level. Hey, that could be very helpful! :)

In a nutshell, the red rose is the most popular way to say “I LOVE YOU!”

Want to grow red roses in your garden, here are some to consider: The Kordes rose Grande Amore is sure beautiful. Others are Oh My, Mr. Lincoln and Veteran’s Honor, Red Drift and Firefighter. Of course before purchasing roses check your growing zone and better yet get recommendations from your local Rose Society or via the American Rose Society online here.

Beverly in bloom...

Beverly in bloom…

PINK ROSES

Pink roses carry with them the meaning of appreciation or “thank you,” grace, perfect happiness and admiration and even “Please Believe Me.”

Pink is also thought to be the gentler side of red and might be a good choice if your relationship is in the strong LIKE stage.

Pink roses to grow in your garden: Beverly Hybrid Tea is a new beautiful, fragrant and extremely hardy pink rose.

Marci Martin talked to us a few weeks ago on Rose Chat about the beautiful pink roses Falling in Love and Climbing Colette. Marci was so convincing that I have ordered Climbing Colette. Hear these recommendations and many more from Marci herself by listening to her very entertaining Rose Chat podcast here.

_EasyDoesItORANGE ROSES

Now to the bright and bold orange roses … they can mean desire, enthusiasm and passion.

Giving a bouquet of orange roses could be a sign of emerging romantic feelings and the desire to move a relationship beyond the stage of friendship.

They can also be an expression of fascination, or a gift to say “I’m proud of you.”

Orange roses to grow in your garden are Artistry, All a Twitter, Tuscan Sun, Easy Does It & Hot Cocoa.

photo 3-4YELLOW ROSES

Yellow roses convey … joy, gladness, friendship, delight and a promise of a new beginning,

Yellow roses can also mean Welcome Back – When we tie a yellow ribbon around the tree — remember that song?

Yellow can also mean … remember me,  jealousy or “I care.”

I love associating yellow roses with with joy and friendship because I always think of yellow roses as brightening someones day. They sure brighten mine!

Some yellow roses to grow in your garden: One of my favorites is Julia Child, others are Graham Thomas and Golden Celebrations— lovely David Austin yellow roses.

poseidonLAVENDER ROSES

Lavender roses carry with them the meaning of love at first sight and enchantment.

This is another color that was very popular at the flower shop. Lavender roses were highly sought after because they were so fragrant and you didn’t see them as often, so they could really make an impact as a gift.

Lavender roses to grow in your garden… The only lavender rose I grow at this time is a Kordes rose called Poseidon and it is has very lovely fringed petals.

Other lovely lavender roses would be Barbara Striesand, Neptune and the stunning Love Song!

heart+floral+vintage+Image+GraphicsFairy010bVALENTINE’S DAY

Regardless of the origins of Valentine’s Day, it is today a day to celebrate those in your life that you love. I wish you a life that is overflowing with love and filled with beautiful roses.

Well, and a little chocolate.

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David Austin Enchantment Continues

I am putting in another David Austin bed this year. I know. I know. This is not a big surprise, but aren’t you just a little curious about which ones I chose to plant in the new bed? There are hundreds of beauties to choose from and they’re all beautiful.

Boscobel
Boscobel

What David Austin Says:
Boscobel’ bears beautifully formed flowers of rich salmon colouring. They commence as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette formation. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect.

Why I Chose: Michael Marriott of David Austin said it was amazing. He has never steered me wrong. Rose Chat interview with Michael … here.

Golden Celebrations
Golden Celebrations

What David Austin Says: This is one of the largest-flowered and most magnificent of our English Roses. Its color is rich golden yellow and the flowers are in the form of a giant, full-petalled cup. It has excellent shapely growth, forming a nicely rounded, slightly arching shrub with ample foliage. It is very reliable and easy to grow. An ideal rose to mark any celebration or important event.

Why I Chose: I have succumbed once again to rose envy. All the pictures on Facebook and Twitter made this decision for me.

The Generouos Gardener

The Generous Gardener

What David Austin Says: A rose of delicate charm – its flowers being beautifully formed; their color a soft glowing pink at the center, shading to palest pink on the outer petals. When the petals open they expose numerous stamens, providing an almost water lily-like effect. It has strong, elegantly arching growth with polished dark green foliage. This rose would produce a wonderful effect towards the back of the border. It will also make an excellent climber.

Why: It was a wonderful Christmas gift!

The Ingeniouso Mr. Fairchild

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild

What David Austin Says: The flowers are in the form of deep cups filled with crisp, upstanding petals – similar to those of peonies. The colour on the inside of the petals is a deep pink touched with lilac; the outside is of a paler shade. Looking at the bloom in more detail, one can see that the edges are an even deeper pink, giving a most delightful fringed effect – particularly in the earlier stages.

The growth is ideal with spreading, arching branches building up into a well-rounded, mounding shrub; its flowers nicely poised on its branches. It is very healthy and harmonises beautifully with other plants and perennials in a mixed border.

Why: This is another wonderful Christmas gift. Someone loves me.

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

What David Austin says: Its beautiful flowers are produced freely and with excellent continuity. When young, their outer petals form a perfect ring around an inner cup; gradually opening out to form a perfect rosette. The color is a deep rich crimson that takes on a tinge of mauve just before the petals drop.

Why I Chose: Big winner at the Biltmore Trial. And, did you notice the color?? Basically, I just couldn’t live without it. :)

Do you grow David Austin roses? Have a favorite?

Here is a favorite David Austin from last summer…

Charlotte

Charlotte & Neighbors_13_01

David Austin Gardens
To see a video of the beautiful David Austin gardens read on.

Posted in David Austin, Roses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Roses, Bugs and a Rose Nut

Meet a self-proclaimed ROSE NUT, my rose friend, Baldo Villegas. . .

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Baldo with a few of his many award winners!

Baldo is a leading expert for the ARS on rose insects and diseases. Before his retirement in 2011, Baldo was the state entomologist for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

This week the Rose Chat team caught up with Baldo to to get a report on what’s going on in his garden of more than 3000 (yes 3,000) roses. We also wanted the inside scoop on his pruning techniques and some advice about one of his most favorite subjects—BUGS—especially the bugs that bug our roses! Can you say Japanese Beetles and Rose Midge!?!

Our time with Baldo proved to be informing, entertaining and inspiring! He even told us about some roses that he thought every rose lover should grow for beauty AND fragrance! Great ones to add to your wish list.

If you grow roses, want to grow roses, love roses or even like roses, don’t miss this podcast. You can listen on demand here.

You can keep up with Baldo and what’s going on in his garden by following him on Facebook here.

Pssst…

Between you and me, I have to tell you that every time I mention that Baldo grows thousands of roses, Mr. G gets a funny look on his face. #heknowsme  :)

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Gated Community Dressed in White…

ThaIMG_0191nks to Mr. G’s superb handiwork, my roses and their companions live in a gated community. In no way are these gates opening today! We have had 15″ on fluffy snow and it is packed. With the extreme temperatures (-37 windchill / -8 real temp), this snow isn’t going anywhere.

But, the gates are still pretty…

Gate # 1...

Gate # 1…

Gate # 2

Gate # 2

Gate # 3

Gate # 3

Gate going into the herb garden...

Gate going into the herb garden…

Here are some other shots I took this morning as I waded into snow up to my knees — but, man, was it good to be outside!

Beautiful trellis Mr. G built. Peggy Martin rose and Francis E. Lester rose will be beautiful out there--- in a few months!

Beautiful trellis Mr. G built. Peggy Martin rose and Francis E. Lester rose will be beautiful out there— in a few months!

Bird bath in herb garden...

Bird bath in herb garden…

View of the "gated community."

View of the “gated community.”

Hard to believe that in a few months we will be back to this…

Oh, the miracles that gardeners get to see…

Dust and Dawn combination...

Dust and Dawn combination…

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The Queen with her neighbors...

The Queen with her neighbors…

New arbor is across from another rose arbor with New Dawns. They'll be good neighbors I think!

New arbor is across from another rose arbor with New Dawns. They’ll be good neighbors I think!

How about you?

What’s going on in your garden today? Are you like my California rose friend, Baldo Villegas (pictures of his process are here.) and you are pruning your roses this week, OR are you more like me … waiting on spring while you slip and slide through winter?

Posted in Roses, Winter | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Getting the year started off right…

My family and friends are helping me get the new gardening year started off right! Take a look at some of the wonderful gifts I’ve recently received….

HOG WASH: “Perfect Scrub for Mechanics, Gardeners and Kids”
That just about covers my garden experiences!

ROSE JAM SHOWER GEL: “Sweet, tart and wonderfully fresh, this indulgent blend of rose, vanilla and lemon leaves you smelling of a rose garden and nourishing argan oil gets skin gorgeously soft.” Don’t you love the sound of that?

HELPING HANDS HAND CREAM: “A nurturing almond, cocoa butter and chamomile hand cream to give back what life has taken out.” Sounds good enough to eat.

GIFT CERTIFICATES FOR 2 DAVID AUSTIN ROSES: The Generous Gardener and The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild. I am over the moon about these.

BARNEL PRUNERS: Wendy Tilley highly recommends.

BIONIC ROSE GLOVES: Recommended by Chris VanCleave and Wendy Tilly

CLASSIC HAND TOOL SET: from Flexrake …. beautiful!

ROBERTS DISTILLATA ALLE: A rose tonic that the Florentine women of 1867 just wouldn’t be without— need I say more!

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IMG_7753.JPGGifts 5 Gifts 3 Gifts 2Spring, bring it! I am armed and ready!

Posted in Garden Gifts, Roses | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Merry Christmas!

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We wish you and your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and an amazing 2014!

THE COUNTDOWN…

The day after Christmas I will start the official countdown to spring. But, just to get you started—it’s 85 days! :)

I am just crazy about spring and here are two of the reasons why—ROSES & LILACS…

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Spring’s gonna be so much fun!

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Christmas Cran

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. STIR. Add CRANBERRIES and APPLES. STIR.

COVER

Microwave on HIGH for 9 – 10 minutes.

Remove and add NUTS. STIR. (Caution: This is screaming hot!)

Pour into pretty dish and COOL.

Stirring up some Christmas Cran...

Stirring up some Christmas Cran…

Hope you enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Even though we love our traditional recipes, we also love trying new things! Share your family favorites for the holidays!

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Blurring the Lines

At our house we like to blur the lines between inside and outside as much as possible. No we don’t have terra ferma for floors … yet. Did I just say that. Let’s just keep that between us. Mr. G need not know.

Today is one of those rare days in Indiana where it is sunny and even though it is 34 degrees, to me it feels like 70 and I just have to be outside! So, I spent the day “decorating” outside. Through the long winter months I love to look outside my window and see pretty things!

I’ve been on a scavenger hunt today to find things in the garden to add to the vignettes we will enjoy out our windows through the long Indiana winter…

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Treat for the hard-working gardener. ; )

Treat for the hard-working gardener. ; )

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Tools of the Trade

My good friend, Wendy Tilley, TheRoseGardener.com, and her husband, Ryan, have a garden of 350 roses and a business of caring for 85 rose gardens in the Atlanta area. So, they made it their goal to find gardening tools to make their job easier, more fun and give them the ability to be gardeners for a long, long time. This goal led them to some wonderful products for gardeners. Some of these products I already have and highly endorse, and others are high on my Christmas list. (Hey Santa!)

First up is a product that I’ve used for more than 20 years–

Harlane rose markers...

Harlane rose markers…

Harlane Plant Labelsread all about them here.

pruners-trgBarnel Pruners

  • Blade features include high carbon sword steel produced with a hard chrome finish and cold forged blade process.
  • Anodized finish repels sap.
  • Pressure injection die cast handles/body.
  • Drop forged heavy duty steel handles/body.
  • Self oiling center bolt for ease of maintenance.
  • Patented two-position lock for reduced effort.
  • “Auto-Unlock” – squeeze handles to automatically unlock shear.
  • Ergonomic TPR (thermoplastic rubber) non-slip grips.
  • Rotating handle reduces fatigue.

store_189-1

Bionic Gloves...

Bionic technology was first developed for hockey gloves, and evolved to batting gloves, catcher’s mitts and first-base mitts.

This technology is available in garden classic, garden extended-wear, driving/dress, golf and heavy duty gloves.

And, they are machine washable!  Read more.

Easy-Arranger324-571Easy Arrangers … Grids that fit over the top of vases. I have these and they really work! For more details, read on.

Wendy has many other great products for gardeners like the Muletto garden cart and even cute little rose purses!

Check them out here.

ROSE CHAT RADIO GUEST…

I had the pleasure of talking with Wendy on the Rose Chat Podcast. To hear all about Wendy, how she and Ryan got started growing roses, their products and garden advice, listen here.

WENDY SIGHTINGS…

Wendy travels around the South East to garden shows and holiday markets.  Click here for Wendy’s schedule. You can also find Wendy on Facebook (here) and Twitter @thegarose.

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Wordless Wednesday: Early Morning Snow

IMG_6590 IMG_6591 IMG_6592

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2014 Introductions: Certified Roses

Certified Roses is one of the largest rose producers in the US. They have been in business for 60+ years and offer a broad selection of roses at 5,000+ retailers.

In 2014 they are introducing a stunning collection, featuring six internationally award-winning roses from the renowned Kordes® breeding program, the collection is available nationwide.

With today’s gardener in mind, these Kordes varieties truly represent the next generation of roses—combining the elegant look of a traditional rose with environmentally sustainable plants that are low maintenance and naturally disease resistant.

Based in Germany, Kordes is a family-owned business that’s now in its 4th generation of breeding and growing roses. Internationally recognized for breeding exceptional roses, each Kordes rose is put to the test in rigorous trials located at eleven sites throughout Germany. For garden roses, trialing for disease resistance, fragrance, flowering and vigor often requires a minimum of seven years.

Tyler Francis, America’s youngest commercial grower  joined us on Rose Chat this week to talk about what’s coming up in 2014. Listen to the podcast here.

Certified Roses 2014 Selection

Climbing Rosanna

Climbing Rosanna

Climbing Rosanna

  • Coral-pink
  • Strong fragrance
  • Large, double bloom form
  • Very robust and floriferous

Mornin’ Sunshine

Mornin' Sunshine

Mornin’ Sunshine

  • Size 2’ X 2’
  • Spreading growth habit
  • Blackspot and powdery mildew free
  • Extreme heat and drought tolerant

South Africa Grandiflora

South Africa Grandiflora

South Africa Grandiflora

  • 4′ – 5’ High and Wide
  • Moderate fragrance
  • 
Extreme disease resistant
  • Prolific flowering
  • Perfect for mass plantings or creating a hedge
  • Excellent cut flowers

Wedding Bells Hybrid Tea

Wedding Bells

Wedding Bells

  • 3′ h x 2.5′ w
  • Moderate fragrance
  • 
Blackspot & mildew resistant
  • High centered bloom form

Last Year…

One of the Certified Roses introductions for last year was Beverly (HT)–a big winner at the Biltmore Rose Trials last May. I have several of the Beverly roses and they are some of my very favorites. Read more about Beverly here and see why she is such a big winner!

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2014 Rose Introductions: Weeks Roses

This week on the Rose Chat Radio podcast, the delightful Karen Kemp-Docksteader, sales and marketing manager for Weeks Roses, joined us to chat about some wonderful new rose introductions for 2014! Podcast link.

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King Grandiflora Rose
Named for the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, this rose is not only lovely but very disease resistant. Chris, (The Redneck Rosarian) had an early release of this rose and it has performed beautifully for him this entire summer!

Good as Gold

Good as Gold

Good as Gold Hybrid Tea
A very unusual gold color! Karen said it is stunning in the field and she can hardly pass by it without stopping. This rose is known as a blooming machine!

_YoureTheOne

You’re The One

You’re the One Miniature Rose
Karen pointed out to us that “miniature” does not refer to the growth habit of this rose but rather the blooms are miniature. Isn’t it just so cute! Perfect rose show form!

Jump for Joy

Jump for Joy

Jump for Joy Floribunda
Like its parent, Julia Child, this rose is known for disease resistance and beautiful foliage. This is another blooming machine that will fit well into any landscape.

Happy Go Lucky

Happy Go Lucky

Happy Go Lucky Grandiflora
This beauty has the multi-petaled old rose form with a lovely tea fragrance. I find yellow roses hard to resist so this may quickly go on my wish list!

SNEAK PEAK…

Karen shared with us that it is confirmed there is to be a new line of Downton Abbey Roses. Starting with the first in the series, Anna’s Promise.

Look at this beauty…

Anna's Promise

Anna’s Promise

Anna of Downton Abbey

The beautiful Anna of Downton Abbey

We look forward to having Karen back to talk more about this new line of roses! :)

WEEK’S ROSES HARVEST…

Harvest at Weeks Roses begins next week, so follow along with the progress of their work in the fields of roses on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/WeeksRosesCA

Now back to working on my wish list for 2014. How about you, what’s on your garden wish list?

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Growing Amaryllis

Originally posted on The Garden Diary:

I love Amaryllis and my husband and I love to give Amaryllis bulbs as gifts. Last year we 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 had one Smith & Hawkins bulb that produced 8 big, beautiful blooms AT ONE TIME. (See picture below.)

GETTING STARTED
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! For an excellent “how to” video from Bulb.com … click here.

NOTES:

  • The top of the bulb should…

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Warning, Potting Sheds Could be Infectious

As you already know, I love my potting shed to pieces. It is a tiny little space, but it does get a lot of attention. I don’t believe any gardener has ever visited my potting shed without saying, “I want one of these!” — unless they already had one! Or a greenhouse which is still on my wish list.

One of those garden-loving visitors who has said over and over and over, “I want one of these!” is my sister. She, like me, loves to dig in the dirt!

I am happy to report to you that this was the year! A move to a new location was decided for several reasons of course, but one of them was the room for a potting shed. And she has just spent her first summer as the owner of a potting shed. But, I know something that she doesn’t yet know–winters are the very best time to have a potting shed. :)

Look how cute her shed is…

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It is easier to face the facts in the potting shed…

Yes, today it is official, I have to face the fact that winter is coming. Even though I have roses that are loaded with buds, the weatherman is saying frost.

So, I am in the potting shed potting up some herbs, bringing in my apple mint (The last garden gift from my mother about 26 years ago and I would never want to lose it! (Read more about that here.), bringing in some geraniums and repotting a rose cutting I was given and want to be sure it makes it through the winter. The rose cutting is Best of ’04 and I don’t want to lose it to “old man winter.” And, hopefully like Beverly did last year, this rose will give me a few beautiful blooms to enjoy.

All the potting shed plants will be given my love and attention and Annie’s Moo Poo Tea, so I think they will be just fine through these long winter months.

Best of ’04

Best of '04

Best of ’04

Best of 04 is a Whit Wells Miniature Rose and is said to be a “Queen Machine” in a Rose Show. I love hearing that. Maybe someday…. :)

To read more about this lovely rose and others on the For the Love of Roses website here.

Below is a slide show of my days’ activities and even the view today from my potting shed window. I am so blessed to have a room with a view that I find beautiful regardless of the season.

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Thanks for stopping by.

If you are like me and garden in areas with long, cold winters, what are you doing to get ready for winter?

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Earth Kind

I just received three beautiful roses from Chamblee Nursery–Aloha, Belinda’s Dream and Carefree Beauty. Two of these lovelies are considered Earth Kind roses.

Three New Beauties...

Three New Beauties…

photo 2-4EARTH KIND

Earth-Kind is a special designation given to select rose cultivars by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service through the Earth-Kind landscaping program. It is based on the results of extensive research and field trials and is awarded only to those roses demonstrating superior pest tolerance, combined with outstanding landscape performance.
Read more About Earth-Kind Roses.

Belinda’s Dream

  • Classification: Shrub rose
  • Introduced: 1992
  • Size: Medium shrub (5’X 5′)
  • Bloom: Very double, 100+ petals, up to 4″ diameter. Successive flushes of bloom spring, summer, and fall.
  • Fragrant: Moderate
  • Cold Hardiness: Zones 5-9

I had the great pleasure of seeing Belinda’s Dream in all her glory in the Biltmore Rose Garden a few weeks ago. (Read more about that here.)   This rose had first been recommended to me by Peggy Martin as her favorite rose … especially for those new to growing roses. I am not new to growing roses but I just had to have this lovely rose! Wouldn’t you?

Belinda's Dream in the Biltmore Rose Garden...

Belinda’s Dream in the Biltmore Rose Garden…

You can read more about Peggy Martin and her incredible rose here.

Carefree Beauty_PolCarefree Beauty

  • Classification: Shrub
  • ARS Rating: 8.5
  • Introduction: 1977
  • Color: Light rose
  • Size: 3′ – 4′ 3′ – 4′
  • Cold Hardiness: Zones 4 – 9
  • Disease Resistance: Very
  • Fragrance: Mild

To see other Earth Kind roses, read on.

Her is a fascinating article on Dr. Buck’s life and roses by Julie Jean Gustafson Minot–Dr. Bucks Life.

Other Earth Kind roses I have in my garden that do extremely well are New Dawn and The Fairy.

NewDawn_13_004

New Dawn Spring 2013

The Fairy Rose peaking through the fence.

The Fairy Rose peaking through the fence.

photo-30

My rose friend, Chris- The Redneck Rosarian, grows Mutabilis and just raves and raves AND RAVES about it. If I had this rose in my garden, I am sure I would rave too!

Here is a picture of Mutabilis in the Biltmore Rose Garden…

Mutabilis at the Biltmore Rose Garden

Mutabilis at the Biltmore Rose Garden

Peggy Thumb_Pol

Click here to hear Peggy Martin tell her story … From Devastation to Inspiration.

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2014 Rose Introductions: David Austin

David Austin English roses with their old world fragrance and form are modern roses that are so reminiscent of the old gallicas, musk and bourbon roses that I love. The English Roses are some of my favorites — mixing old with new is what my cottage garden is all about.

Every year for the past 20 years I get completely giddy when it is time for the new English rose introductions and I am never disappointed. This year’s introductions are exquisite and are promptly going on my wish list!

Take a look…

Boscobel_Pol

Boscobel-a classic English Rose with pretty cupped flowers that evolve over time from deep salmon to deep pink, and a delightful myrrh fragrance with hawthorn character laced with hints of elderflower, pear and almond.

Heathcliff_PolHeathcliff-a brilliant new deep crimson addition to this hard-to-achieve color range, with a beautifully shaped flower and singular fragrance of Tea Rose and Old Rose played off a minor base note of elegant dry woody cedar.

tranquility_polTranquillity-a glistening white rose in a perfectly rounded rosette shape, with a crisp light apple fragrance.

royal_jubilee_polRoyal Jubilee-a stand-out beauty even amongst other English Roses, Royal Jubilee’s luscious, large, deep pink semi-double flowers are presented on an airy upright bush of exceptional strength.

The Lark Ascending_PolThe Lark Ascending-a very different look in an English Rose, with gently cupped flowers of just 22 petals in a heavenly warm apricot shade splashed with gold at the centers.

photo-29

Michael Marriott

This week on Rose Chat we had the pleasure of Michael Marriott of David Austin English Roses as our guest. He brought us up to date on David Austin, Sr., the new introductions and provided us with many tips for getting our roses off to a good start and keeping them healthy. You may listen to the podcast here.

It’s been said more than once that I might have a crush on Mr. Austin Sr. :) … I wrote about that here.

Are you beginning to start your 2014 wish list?

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Fall Rose Care

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, I start the “stopping process” the first of September.

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.

GENERAL CLEANUP

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!

PRUNING

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.

MULCH

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 WHAT?

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. :)

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Garden at rest….

SNOWDAY_003

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Some things are more important than breakfast…

Recently we had the pleasure of visiting the Biltmore rose garden. We arrived in Asheville on Friday evening too late to go to the garden, but that was okay with me because I wanted to see the rose garden in the early morning!

I was up really E A R L Y and chose to forgo breakfast so I could be the first visitor to the garden. This meant Mr. G was going to forgo or at least delay breakfast too so he could deliver me to my destination.

When we got to the edge of the garden I practically jumped out of the car. Shaking his head, Mr. G headed off to park the car. This is not his first time to be a part of something like this. :)

It worked! I was first on that a misty late summer morning! And, I was greeted with much fanfare by the bees, hummingbirds and gold finches–just the way I like it!

A beautiful start to a wonderful day…

__Biltmore_Misty_001

__Biltmore_Misty_002

The Biltmore rose garden is completely surrounded by a tall stone fence and the setting will just take your breath away.

Enchanting...

Enchanting…

This garden is one of America’s finest rose gardens but gives you a truly international experience…  of the 1400 roses, there are roses that were grown at the end of the 19th century plus many of the modern varieties. There are lovely English borders complete with David Austin English roses like Molineux and Princess Anne; Pink Pet China Roses; roses with French names like Monsieur Tiller to compliment the 250 room chateau–and then there are the American hybrids Blush and Champney’s Pink Noisettes—even though they don’t sound American. For the scoop on Noisette Roses, read an interview with P. Allen Smith here.

Noisettes...

Noisettes…

IMG_4932LUCAS JACK:
BILTMORE  ROSARIAN AND HORICULTURALIST

This beautiful garden design and all of these rose varieties work together beautifully under the watchful care of Lucas Jack and his team of staff and volunteers. Lucas’ expertise and enthusiasm is a winning combination.

We had the pleasure of a personal tour by Lucas. He shared stories of their commitment to historical research in choices of plants for the garden and garden structures, how he keeps the plants healthy as well as his plans for the future. We are in the process of scheduling his next visit to ROSE CHAT, so you can hear all the details from him too.

If you missed Lucas on Rose Chat Radio in July …. LISTEN HERE. You don’t want to miss Lucas’ chatting about his advice for the next generation of gardeners as well as discussing good growing practices and companion planting for roses.

Pomponella....

Pomponella….

Flamenco... from Peter Beale's Roses

Flamenco… from Peter Beale’s Roses

David Austin's Moulenix

David Austin’s Moulenix

Monsieur Tillier...

Monsieur Tillier…

Stokes Hybrid Teas...

Stokes Hybrid Teas…

Mike Athy's pink rose ... very fragrant!

Mike Athy’s pink rose … very fragrant!

INTERNATIONAL ROSE TRIALS

Another highlight of the visit was to see the rose trial roses. Since 2011 this garden has been home to the Biltmore International Rose Trials. During this time, more than 75 varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s horticulture team. Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. One of the big winners in May was Mike Athy’s rose, Athy Fa La. Truly a stunning and disease resistant rose…

Mike Athy's Athy Fa La

Mike Athy’s Athy Fa La

For more information about the rose trial winners, read on.

HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE BILTMORE?

There is so much to see and experience at the Biltmore. The house, the grounds, the mountains, the conservatory ……. the rose garden!!

Thanks Lucas for a lovely day in the garden!

Thanks Lucas for a lovely day in your enchanting garden!

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The Benefits of Dr. Bronner…

We have used Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap as an insecticide for many years. We find it works wonders in the garden and, if you choose the peppermint or lavender, it takes the experience to a whole ‘nother level. :)

10770140_120613143000My good garden friend Jack Falker from Minnesota recently wrote an extensive article about the use of soap in the garden…

FROM THE MINNESOTA GARDENER
(link)
Got Castile Soap? -
Jack Falker

After publishing my last post on spraying non-toxic stuff, instead of the usual fungicides and pesticides, I was reminded by my good friends, Diane and Dick Lawson that they are spraying almost exclusively Castile soap on their garden (which is one of the nicest in the Twin Cities).

I asked Diane, a recently retired high school physics teacher, to explain exactly what Castile soap is vs. the liquid dishwashing soap I’ve been using and was recommending in my article. I was surprised when Diane told me that Castile soap is made primarily from olive and other vegetable oils, which presumably leave a beneficial coating on the plants, vs. detergent soap. In other words, Castile soap is a natural surfactant that remains on the surface of the leaves, much as a surfactant fungicide might, as well as acting as a deterrent to insects.

I remember using Diane and Dick’s Castile formula on my garden a few years ago and that was the summer I saw virtually no thrips or aphids. Diane would contend that’s the case in her garden every year.

Until now, my problem with using Castile soap has been the laborious preparation. They use “Kirk’s” Castile soap in bars, which has to be dissolved in water and then mixed into your sprayer. Their procedure is to dissolve half a bar of Kirk’s in a gallon of water and then mix one cup of that soap mixture into each gallon of spray mixture. For example, for five gallons of soap spray, you would use five cups of the Kirk’s/water mixture.

After talking to Diane the other night and remembering that I didn’t enjoy dissolving bars of soap in water, I “Googled” Castile soap to better understand it and here is what I found… (link) (which includes a picture of a bar of Kirk’s).

I also found this story about making your own Castile insecticidal soap. (link)

If you Google: “Castile soap insecticide” you will find several other articles, as well.

I also found that Target sells Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap in liquid form, so that means you don’t have to dissolve bars of soap in water to use it. Here is the Target shopping site for Castile soap. (link)

I enlarged the label of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and here are the ingredients: Organic coconut and olive oils, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, lavandin extract, organic lavender oil, citric acid, and vitamin E. Now that sounds like something I wouldn’t mind spraying on my roses and, if I happen to get some on me, I’ll just lather up and wash it off!

I believe that adding baking soda to the Castile soap mixture at a rate of 3 TBP per gallon would probably make it a better fungicide, as well.

You could also substitute 2 TBP of Castile soap for the dishwashing detergent in the cider vinegar/aspirin, soap mixture I recommended in my last post (link).

Thanks Jack for such thorough information!

___________

I hope you are having a great September and enjoying the last days of summer. Yesterday we had a very beautiful misty morning…

photo-10

Misty Morning in Farm Country…

It won’t be long until I will be counting down the days until spring. :)

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Steve Hutton Talks Roses

Originally posted on :

This week, Star® Roses & Plants/Conard-Pyle President and CEO Steve Hutton was a featured guest on Rose Chat Radio. He spoke about new introductions for 2014, Star® Roses & Plants/Conard-Pyle’s relationship with Meilland International, and many other topics of interest to rose lovers of all levels of expertise!

To listen to Steve’s full interview, click here.

Steve Hutton

Steve Hutton

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Bloom Thyme Friday: This week in the garden…

Here in my world the temps are lower than normal and that makes for some wonderful garden thyme! The garden is looking more like spring than fall this week as the roses are coming back to bloom! Know that I am totally in denial about the leaves on the trees that are beginning to change color and the cicadas that are singing!

Here are some of my pretties…

Poseidon

Poseidon

Julia Child

Julia Child

Peach Drift

Peach Drift

Francis Meilland

Francis Meilland

Beverly in bud...

Beverly in bud…

Beverly in bloom...

Beverly in bloom…

Here are some of the other blooms I’m getting to enjoy…

13_08_24_BloomThyme_Collage

And we have butterflies everywhere!

IMG_4447

Thanks for stopping by! I am wishing you a wonderful day filled with what you love best!

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Rose Companions: Zinnias

I have always loved Zinnias–they are such  good companions for roses! However, this year I was given State Fair Zinnias from my friend, Ron Daniels, and the only word that comes to mind is WOW. The hotter and drier it gets, the more these beauties bloom and bloom and bloom.

These lovelies are wonderful in arrangements as they just last and last in a vase!

A big bang for your buck! See…

Zinnia_013 Zinnia_016 Zinnia_010 Zinnia_017 Zinnia_011

State Fair Zinnias ... THANKS RON!

State Fair Zinnias … THANKS RON!

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Bloom Thyme Friday

This week most of the roses are taking a break and getting ready for another big flush giving many of the perennials and annuals their “time to shine!” And they are going for it…

See what I mean…

The vines of the Morning Glory have been climbing and twirling around for some time, but this morning the first bloom emerged. Worth the wait!

Morning Glory

Morning Glory

This little bird bath is one of my favorite garden ornaments. It has been in my garden for nearly 20 years. Each year I surround it with something pretty. This is one of the best combinations yet–petunias and euphorbia. What do you think?

Little birds and company...

Little birds and company…

The Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas are in full bloom … almost to the point of outgrowing their space. Love them! Do you grow this variety? I would highly recommend!

Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas on the right side...

Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas on the right side…

Next up are these amazing State Fair  Zinnias–compliments of my garden friend Ron Daniels. Just as Ron said–these Zinnias are blooming machines!

State Fair Zinnias ... THANKS RON!

State Fair Zinnias … THANKS RON!

This Stargazer lily just begs to be mentioned. The Stargazers have had a wonderful and long season this year! And the fragrance … unbelievable!

Stargazer Lily...

Stargazer Lily…

These lovely ladies need no introduction … Say hello to my Black Eyed Susans. They do not know how to be subtle. And, they nestle up to a fence and spill over in the most delightful way ever. And, you know what I think about yellow in the garden—It brings the sunshine in!

Blackeyed Susan making a statement!

Blackeyed Susans making a statement!

Here is the entrance to my herb garden. Love the fragrance of my herbs–love the fence that Mr. G made and especially love the sign that Mr. G made…

Entrance to Herb Garden...

Entrance to Herb Garden…

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite places on earth … My Potting Shed. Another wonderful creation of Mr. G.

L O V E him and all his wonderful creations!

I have never had an unhappy moment in my Potting Shed!

I have never had an unhappy moment in my Potting Shed! The hydrangeas are very happy there too!

Wishing you a wonderful day doing all the things you love to do — surrounded by the people you love best!!

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From Devastation to Inspiration: Peggy Martin

Today I find myself in the middle of the most perfect weather any August in Indiana has ever had to offer. I am gardening and thinking about my morning. This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Peggy Martin on Rose Chat Radio and what a delight she was.

Peggy’s family went through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina where she lost her parents, her home, her husband’s commercial fishing boat and her 35-year-old garden filled with many hard-to-find plants and a rose collection that included 450 roses. Many of the roses were rare and unique varieties. Peggy had been very involved in the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society and worked tirelessly as a volunteer in many garden restoration projects.

Peggy Martin

Peggy Martin

As we talked I could tell that the pain of losing her parents is something she is still going through. I lost my Dad this year … losing a parent is a special kind of loss.

Most of my time with Peggy was spent talking about her garden experiences before and after Katrina.

Can you imagine what it was like for her to go back to the site of her home to see everything devastated. Gone. The entire area had been under salt water for more than 2 weeks. Salt water and plants just do not mix and at first look every living plant seemed to be dead. At closer inspection, two roses were found that had not only survived, one was to beginning to thrive—The Peggy Martin Rose…

This is a picture of the Peggy Martin Rose that now grows in Peggy Martin's new rose garden....

This is a picture of the Peggy Martin Rose that now grows in her new rose garden….

Hardy in Zones 4 – 9, this rose is a vigorous, almost thornless climber that often reaches 15’ high and 6 ‘ wide.

Rose experts from around the world have been brought in to help identify this rose, but no one has any clue as to the actual name or origin. I think that is probably as it should be. Perhaps this rose is now fulfilling it’s purpose in reminding us to never give up even when all seems to be lost.

“This rose has become a symbol among gardeners and rose lovers of a tenacious plant associated with a spirit of renewal and regrowth in the aftermath of a devastating blow of Nature against those living and gardening in the Gulf Coast area.” -William Welch (Prof Texas A & M)

Friends Made the Difference

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” -Helen Keller

During the very dark days and months after Katrina the last thing on Peggy’s mind was creating a new garden and that’s where her friends came in. One of the ways they helped her heal was through rebuilding her garden. One by one they began to bring roses back into Peggy’s life. Peggy’s lovely new garden is now filled with 240 roses and rose companions of every kind. She is currently involved in many rose organizations, like the Heritage Rose Foundation and she is the Chairman for the Old Garden Rose and Shrub Committee of the American Rose Society.

Below are pictures of Peggy’s current garden…

Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 001-1
Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 029-1Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 002Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 007-1Beautiful and charming just like Peggy herself.


It’s All About the Soil

In talking with Peggy I learned that she has been a completely organic gardener for 40 years. She is all about healthy soil and integrated plant and pest management — a system she calls “the easiest way to garden.” During the interview, she gave many tips for creating a healthy garden whether you are new to gardening or someone who wants to take your garden to the next level. She also gave us her advice on rose selection.

The Podcast

During our time together we talked about so much more–like her complete step-by-step guide for taking rose cuttings.

Don’t miss hearing this incredible story from Peggy herself … simply click here for the Rosechat podcast.

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Girlfriends and Girdles

I know it isn’t polite to talk about girdles in mixed company (I’m originally from the south and am aware that this could cause swooning) but, before you swoon, let’s take a look at the burlap girdles that my friends, Carol and Kerrie, designed.

The Friends

Chris (The Redneck Rosarian, Carol, Me, Kerrie and Mimi!

Chris (The Redneck Rosarian), Carol, Me, Kerrie and Mimi!

I have been cyber friends with Carol and Kerrie for about 3 years and have learned so much from them about seeds. You can learn from them too just follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

This  spring I had the great pleasure of spending some time with them at Garden 2 Blog at P Allen Smith Garden Retreat. We had a blast!

This fun loving duo have come up with all kind of things to make gardening a whole lot easier and more fun! Please don’t miss the seed keeper boots in the pic above. Gotta love those!

The Girdles

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Cute packaging!

Back to the girdles … I am so in love with these girdles (grow bags). They are light weight, come in 3 sizes, are easy to store, easy on the budget and look fabulous in my natural setting.

Most of you know how crazy I am about burlap and twine, so you are not surprised that I love these. Here’s how they look on one of my potting benches…

KeeperGirdleesFor more about the burlap girdles, read on.

The Seed Keeper Project

I am also very impressed with their Seed Keeper Project where they recognize school gardens across the country and award a Seed Keeper Home Farmer and a Certificate to a school in every state highlighting their dedication to gardening. Read more.

The Seed Keepers

Never hunt for your seeds again.” If you collect seeds and want to keep them organized, you need one of Carol and Kerrie’s Seed Keepers. They come in 3 sizes and they also come with all kinds of stuff that makes seeding keeping so much easier like dividers, plant markers, seed saving envelopes and more.

I actually have two of the deluxe models and fill them to the brim!  Take a look…

All my seeds can be alphabetical and organized. I just love it!

The Boots

Okay I have to share just one more picture of THE boots …

419610_10150717197213436_452163874_nAdorable!

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Hyperion Daylilies

This week the garden is filled with color but most of the color is not coming from the roses. This is the time for the rose companions to take center stage.

One of the flowers taking center stage is the Hyperion Daylily.

Few perennials are as easy and as rewarding as the Hyperion Daylily. This is truly an oldie but a goodie. It has been around since 1924. Even though it is super easy, it is well behaved and doesn’t move around too quickly and doesn’t need dividing for several years.

However, it is very easy to divide and share. I can’t tell you have many “starts” of my Hyperion Daylilies I have given away through the years. Happy am I each year with this lovely plant blooms.

And, oh by the way, it has a lite and lovely fragrance! :)

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Here are some other lovely blooms in my garden this week…July 26 THIS WEEK

What is taking center stage in your garden this week?

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