A no kink garden hose? Really?

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As you can imagine these big boy roses behind me need a drink now and then, and they are going to be getting a drink while I make a garden fashion statement. The amazing no kink (yes no kink) Flexilla garden hose now comes in a variety of colors. I chose CRAZY FOR COCOA. It fits in so well with my cottage garden landscape. No kink and safe to use for drinking! Check them out. I think you just might need to make a garden fashion statement too while you are making the chore of watering your plants much easier!

I already have one of these hoses in the original Flexilla green so I know they work for me, but there is more you might want to know…
  • Flexzilla hoses feature a Premium Hybrid Polymer material that redefines flexibility.
  • Flexzilla hose characteristics offer zero memory allowing it to lay-flat exactly where you drop it and won’t work against you during operation or coiling after use.
  • Flexzilla offers extreme all-weather flexibility, even in sub-zero conditions. Flexzilla is currently in use by oil companies located in Alaska!
  • Check them out on Facebook here.
There a color just perfect for you...
There is a color just perfect for you! Maybe you will choose Coral Candy–I almost did!

The Ultimate Gardener’s Destination

As most of you know, recently I had the grand pleasure of meeting with so many of my garden blogger friends in beautiful, historic Little Rock, Arkansas for Garden 2 Blog 2015.  Our time in Little Rock started at the gorgeous Capital Hotel—considered the front porch of Little Rock. I can assure you they roll out the red carpet for their guests!

Our ultimate destination was P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm, or as I often refer to it as “Gardener’s Mecca.” The Arkansas red carpet just keeps rolling. Moss Mountain Farm offers you beauty filled with focus — their focus is on farming/gardening/decorating inspiration, information and conservation. Whether you are into heritage poultry, flowers and bedding plants, herbs, vegetables, home decor, test gardens, sheep, or … or… or.. (you get the picture!), you will find it — all on a mountain top that overlooks the Arkansas River. For this garden girl raised in the mountains, it is a balm for the soul.

While I love all of the above, it is the rose garden that beckons me. Look for a ton of pictures from the beautiful rose garden in an upcoming ROSE BUZZ post! 🐝🐝🐝

In addition to our beautiful surroundings, there is the wonderful food, decor and oh the friends! As you know I am a bit “crazy” over gardening, imagine how much fun it is to be face-to-face, arm-in-arm with a bus load of “like minds.” Over the top!

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SERIOUS PAMPERING
We are completely “spoiled and pampered” by P. Allen, his crew and our wonderful sponsors who share with us information not only on their products but what’s coming up and trends they are seeing in the gardening world.

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Our Host…

 

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OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS…

2015-05-13 11.40.23BONNIE PLANTS
Bonnie Plants, now leaders in the industry, began in 1918 as a family business of Bonnie and Livigston Paulk in a small Alabama town.

Lois, Su, Byron and Amanda led us through the fascinating world of the tomato! What gardener wouldn’t “relish” the chance to get all nerdy just diving into the subject of tomatoes!?!

And if you haven’t already, download their iPhone app… we did!

Me and Diane LaSauce checking out the app! We were impressed!
Me and Diane LaSauce checking out the app! We were impressed!

AMERICAN GROWN
Something new in the world of cut flowers…
The American Grown brand is a diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms representing small and large entities across the country to provide beautiful cut flowers and foliage.

Kathleen Williford and company knocked our socks off with their amazing designs at the “FARM TO VASE DINNER”. Read more about their tour schedule for Farm to Vase dinners here.  http://www.americangrownflowers.org/fieldtovase/ There just might be one coming to a farm near you!

As a former florist I can tell you this was truly some of the most beautiful displays I have ever seen. See what I mean…

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Paula of Cresent Garden did a fabulous job telling the story of her family’s moving from Columbia and coming to America–her land of opportunity!

CRESENT GARDEN
Crescent Garden has containers for every need … Their beautiful line of containers is very deceiving. They look so “real” that you expect them to be very heavy. But, these products are lightweight, durable and will fit into any landscape.

Paula Douer, Mark Rosas and Cesar Castillo shared their company story and led us through fun design exercises showcasing their amazing products.

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Go team Diane, Teresa and Michael! Elegant design don’t you think?

 

 

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Who can fill the First Nature bird feeder the fastest??
Look at these serious faces! The competition was fierce! LOL
The competition was fierce! LOL

FIRST NATURE
Highly functional, affordable, easy to use and easy to clean products that will be very attractive to the birds in your life! Joe Murfin and his team shared their commitment to quality for all of their American made products.

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FLEXZILLA
A no-kink, highly flexible hose—need I say more! In a color that will allow you to make your own garden fashion statement!

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Corbin Mollman, Rachel Perez and Andy Perez were with us to demonstrate this amazing garden hose … one that is safe for drinking and can be left out in the cold!

 

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JOBE’S ORGANICS
I always love to hear from Jobe’s Organics. They are doing so much to bring us the very best in organic fertilizers. Clemente Conde, Jen Neve, Martin Rainey and Rebecca Cantu reminded us of how important it is to take good care of our soil. Jen, project director for Oppenheimer Biotechnology, shared with us what they have learned from their work in oil spill cleanup and leaving the soil better than it was before!

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SAKATA HOME GROWN
Tracy Lee and Alecia Troy shared with us what is going on with this 100-year-old seed producer headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA. We had the opportunity to choose seeds to take home and try! You can find these seeds on retail seed racks and via mail order seed catalogs! More here.

STARGAZER BARN
Home for farm fresh flowers, based in Humboldt County, CA, where the foggy conditions are perfect for tulips, irises and stunning Oriental and hybrid lilies—one being my personal favorite—the Stargazer Lily! Take a look at some of the beautiful flowers provided for us by Bill Prescott and the good folks at Stargazer Barn.

 

These Stargazer Barn lilies were spectacular!
These Stargazer Barn lilies were spectacular!

AROMATIQUE

Aromatique is the creator of decorative fragrance. Steve Lawrence, Carolyn Gay, Will Humphreys and Netta Thomas gave us the opportunity to make our own signature potpourri using a variety of oils and native botanicals. Here is my creation…

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My creation… Woodland Breeze.

 


MORE FUN

Click on any of the pictures below to activate the full gallery feature…


Thanks for stopping by. P. Allen Smith’s rose garden pictures coming soon! And, oh what a rose garden it is!

Morning Garden Walk

Last night we had rain all night … sometimes it was deafening! But, oh what a welcome sound it was. We needed it and today promises more of the same. So I was out early and caught a few minutes between showers to take a video of some of the blooming going on right now. Harison’s Yellow and the rugosas are putting on quite a show, but the peonies are not far behind.

Take a look…

Rose Buzz: That was quick!

Rose Buzz_7_whiteWell, I counted the days until spring and that was great but it appears spring was anxious to leave. I think we had about 1 week of spring and now it is S U M M E R! And, around here that means the roses start blooming. If the heat continues, many of the roses will bloom 3  weeks early. While they are beautiful anytime, that does not bode well for my garden tours that are coming in early June! Sorry my garden club and master gardeners buddies … not sure what you will see in June but we’ll find something! :)

Today I made my last garden walk before leaving for P. Allen Smith’s Garden 2 Blog event in Little Rock, Arkansas. I simply can’t wait to be back at Moss Mountain with Allen and so many of my garden friends from all around the country … and Allen’s amazing rose garden should be at peak! More about this event here. More info and more pictures to come from Moss Mountain!


Here is what I found on my garden walk today…

ROSES…

Often the first to bloom, Harison Yellow, the Pioneer Rose. Welcome back friend; it has been too long! Read more about Harison’s rich history here.

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The Rugosas (fireworks of the spring garden) are showing a bit of color and hopefully will stall for a week so I can “experience” their beauty and fragrance.

Rugosa Theresa Bugnet is showing off her first bloom…

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Rugosa Blanc de Double Corbert … fragrant!

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Champagne Wishes … this is a rose I just bought and it came with open bloom. I think I am really going to like this lovely rose from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance series. The tag line for this series is All the beauty but none of the work. I have several in this series and will share pictures and info as they bloom.


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ROSE COMPANIONS

Some of the rose companions are coming on strong as well.

Iris…

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Peonies … should be stunning when I return!

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POTTING SHED BLOOM

Even the geranium cutting in the potting shed is in bloom!

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WHAT ABOUT YOU?

How are things in your garden this week? Have any Rose Buzz to share?

 

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Rose Buzz: Exhibition Bed

Rose Buzz_7_whiteWhile many of my roses are easy care, no spray varieties, I do have a few roses that are more diva like and require more of me. I love them and think they are worth it. They live in my Exhibition Bed (my only raised bed) along side a few that don’t require much at all so it all balances out.

I have an Exhibition Bed because I hope to one day have one of my roses crowned Queen of Show … someday! You gotta dream. If you wonder what beauties you might see at a rose show, check out the Indianapolis Rose Society’s posts on rose shows here. If you love roses and aren’t a member of a local rose society, I would highly recommend finding one in your area. I have learned so much from my society and the added bonus is you get to be with others who love what you love. Find more on rose societies at ROSE.ORG.

Back to the Exhibition Bed…

This winter the Exhibition Bed took a big hit. Our winter was cold but so was the Polar Vortex winter 2 years ago and they did quite well after than horrible winter. I think this year was harder because we turned super cold BEFORE we had the think blanket of snow that we had during the Polar Vortex. And, since these roses are in a raised bed… the cold was just harder on them. My plan is to provide extra care for these roses next winter with higher mulch and maybe even a covering. Mr. G, the designer and builder of all things for my garden, will think of something! :) More about Mr. G’s building stuff here.

To date I have lost 2 Gemini roses in this bed but the others are coming back… just a little slower.

Current Exhibition Bed Inhabitants…

  • 2 Dick Clarks
  • 1 Cherry Parfait
  • 2 Gemini
  • 1 Neil Diamond (Doing well!)
  • 1 Falling in Love
  • 2 Golden Gate (one is struggling)
  • 1 Beverly
  • 1 Joy (Doing very well!)

As you can see from the pitiful picture below, they are indeed getting off to a sad, slow start. But, this is our benchmark … May 3, 2015 … let’s see where this goes.

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May 3, 2015 … Fingers crossed!

Speaking of raised beds… Mr. G built himself 2 small raised beds for tomatoes. Look at the “decor” he added …

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I see this little sign made it through the winter!

 

He knows me!


2014 EXHIBITION BED…

On a happier note, here are some pictures from the Exhibition Bed last summer… (If you click on one of the pictures below, it will start the gallery feature for better viewing.)

Do you garden in raised beds?

Rose Buzz: Fireworks

Rose Buzz_7_whiteI am going to be doing some traveling in May so I have been taking advantage of every moment of good weather to get the roses on their way to a spectacular growing season.

The existing roses have been trimmed, fertilized and prayed over! :) The new bareroot roses have been soaked in moo poo tea and planted.

Of the new ones, there are 4 beautiful new roses from Star Roses and Plants that I am trying this year. I am very excited about these beauties and can’t wait to share them with you…

 

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A good moo poo start...
A good moo poo start…

Many of the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas had to be cut back to the ground 4 weeks ago but they are coming back strong!

Gertrude Jekyll was cut back to about 3” from the ground and baby look at her now. She is ready to grow. And, if you know anything about this rose you know that when she’s happy you are happy. She is gorgeous! Classic old rose form and very likely the most fragrant of all the David Austins.

Gertrude Jekyll getting ready...
Gertrude Jekyll getting ready…

Here’s one that surprised me today…. The Queen of Bourbon rose appears to have a bud! This is the first “bud” in the garden so far. Exciting! Read more about her here.

Look closely. Yep, it’s a bud…

First bud on the Queen of Bourbon...
First bud on the Queen of Bourbon…

The frost came this week and those that were a bit taller like The Generous Gardener … had a bit of burn. I’ll just trim and she’ll be fine.

Late season frosts are not our friends...
Late season frosts are not our friends…

Next week the temps are going to soar into the mid 70s, so we could have an early bloom cycle!

ROSE FIREWORKS

Since I am that person who counts down the days until spring—starting the day after Christmas, I am looking for ROSE FIREWORKS when spring finally comes. My old garden roses and the rugosas are happy to oblige. They are very predictable “spring fireworks.”

Look at these Rugosas! Hardly a bit of winter die back. Lush, green and on their way.

Rugosa starting out strong...
Rugosas starting out strong…

Here’s a peek over the garden fence…

Yes, the garden is waking up and we expect FIREWORKS soon!
Yes, the garden is waking up and we expect FIREWORKS soon!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods.

Any FIREWORKS to report? 🐝

Bloom Thyme: It’s Coming Back!

You’ve been with me as we counted down the days until spring. It is here and just when I thought that winter had taken away all the pretty things forever, they started coming back. This week was a week of big change in the garden … from dark and dreary to beautiful rebirth! Take a look…

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Lovely little violets from Uncle Tony’s garden…
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Test roses from Star Roses and Plants… so excited! I’ll keep you posted!
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Star roses getting a dunk in Moo Poo tea before planting. 24 hours in moo poo tea will work wonders!
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Cistina Plum… lovely!
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Rugosas are getting ready for their fireworks!! Only a few more weeks!
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Rhododendrons always make me think of trips to Roan Mountain!
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Daffodils are bringing the sunshine in!
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The first and very fragrant lilac! Many more to come!
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Sand Cherry. LOVE IT!

 

Wishing you a lovely week and a…

Sweet Peas_Bloom Thyme Friday

Bloom Thyme Friday: Nell’s Story … A Lifetime of Love and Roses

My good friend Kathy Torgerson of Johnson City, Tennessee, is often posting pictures on Facebook of her 91-year-old mother. These pictures always get my attention as they represent a lovely, vibrant, active woman … one who is still working in her rose garden.

Nell getting ready for spring!
Nell getting ready for spring!

This is the most recent picture posted! Once I saw this picture, I knew I had to know more! 

I sent an email to Kathy asking if her mother would consider telling me her story and answering a few questions about growing roses. Kathy answered immediately, telling me Nell was delighted. Nell was not the only one delighted! When I first asked, I had no idea just how interesting things were in the world of Nell.

Learning more about this beautiful woman has been a great pleasure to me. I find that the more I know about Nell, the more I want to know. How many people do you know who spent time working in a “secret city” of war and bombs?

So, grab a cup of coffee and sit down to meet my rosey friend, Nell. You are sure to be entertained and inspired!


NELL’S STORY: A SECRET CITY, AN ELOPEMENT, A FAMILY AND ROSES…

Nell Phillips (91) was born in Kentucky but grew up in Middle Tennessee. She went to business school in Nashville after graduating high school. She and her best friend worked in Memphis at the McDonald Aircraft factory where bombers were being built for World War II, then they took jobs in Oak Ridge, TN – The Secret City, where thousands of people converged to make a town where one had not been before and where only a very small number of people knew that they were actually working towards the completion of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, to end World War II. She met the love of her life there, fellow worker Joe Phillips, and they eloped to Georgia to be married on August 11, 1945. While on their honeymoon they learned that the war was over and that the Secret City workers had played a huge part in its ending. They had a son, Gary, while still living in Oak RIdge, then they moved near Milligan College, TN in 1948 for Joe to join his brother in ownership of a gas station/grocery store. In 1957 they moved to what had been farmland in the relatively new northern part of Johnson City, TN and built the brick ranch where they added a daughter, Kathy, to the family.

While Joe raised apple trees and had a big vegetable garden in their extra lot, Nell started her rose bed and beautiful phlox beds, tulips, daffodils, geraniums, pansies and all varieties of shrubs. People tell her if she drops a toothpick, a tree will grow. She worked in the medical records department of Johnson City Memorial Hospital while Joe became an appliance salesman. She took care of Joe at home as his health deteriorated due to diabetes and even after he lost both legs, she managed on her own to keep him well loved and cared for till he died in their bed in 2002.

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A recent picture of Nell with her grandson…

Nell still maintains the house and yard, with the help of her grandson, does her daily crossword puzzle, maintains friends from 16 years old to 86, and despite surgeries, illnesses and falls, lives independently and vibrantly. She credits her yard work, especially her roses, for keeping her going.


ON GROWING ROSES…

How long have you been growing roses?
About 50 years. We built the house in 1957 and I started the rose bed a few years later.

Who was your inspiration for growing roses?
No one. Roses have always been my favorite flowers, so I just wanted to try. 

Why have you continued to grow roses?
It’s my hobby. It’s a challenge but I like challenges.

What were some of the first roses you planted?
My first was an American Beauty. Then Double Delight, Mr. Lincoln, and Carole Lombarde. I had a Peace until a few years ago when it froze out. 

What would be your top 3 favorite roses of all time?
Double Delight, American Beauty, Mr. Lincoln

What is your favorite rose story?
My favorite is about my only granddaughter, Kathy’s daughter Joanna. She has Down syndrome and she is my “buddybuddy”. After 4 grandsons that I love dearly, I was so excited to have a granddaughter. On her first birthday, I took a beautiful pink bud from my Queen Elizabeth for her party. That started our tradition. Every year for her birthday, even if we’ve had a drought or beetles have eaten them, I have at least one Queen Elizabeth to take to her. And that’s been 31 birthdays so far.

Joanna's first pink rose...
Joanna’s first pink rose…
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Nell with Joanna and Kathy…

How many roses do you grow today?
I think I currently have ten.

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Look at these roses!!!

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Your biggest success in growing roses?
My Queen Elizabeth and my Mr. Lincoln. They look like florists’ blooms. And Mr. Lincoln was my husband’s favorite, so they remind me of him.

Biggest challenge in growing roses?
Bugs! The Japanese beetles and I have a running battle in the rose garden. I get so mad at them, I pull them off and stomp on them! Except for my Peace, I haven’t lost any. I got a Pink Peace a few years ago, and it’s doing beautifully. The blooms are as big around as plates. Also the weather. In East Tennessee, if you don’t like the weather one day, just wait till the next and it will change. So it’s hard to depend on the weather.

If you could say one thing to the world of rose lovers what would it be?
You have to be committed to grow roses. They take work and worry. But I love them. They are my great joy. Sadly, I am allergic to them. I can’t have them in my house and it’s even hard for me to have them in my car to take to friends. Kathy usually has to deliver them, because I can’t be enclosed with them that long before I get sick. But that’s my favorite thing to do, to cut bouquets of them for sick friends, for friends’ birthdays, or just to share them. Kathy promises that I will have beautiful roses on my casket when I die, to make up for the ones I couldn’t enjoy for myself while alive! I think they are one of God’s most beautiful gifts to us.

I agree with Nell … roses are one of God’s most beautiful gifts to us; right under the wonderful people He places in our lives, wonderful people like Nell.

Thank you Nell for sharing your story! And, Kathy, keep posting those pictures! Now that we know about Nell’s world of roses, we just may need to know more about what was going on in that “Secret City.”

Bloom Thyme Friday: Time to Uncover the Covered

The forsythia is blooming and it is time to start giving the roses a trim. More about forsythia here.

Nothing says hard winter like black rose canes.

This week I am beginning to uncover the roses that I mounded with mulch to protect them from winter. I don’t mulch all of my roses. In fact I mulch very few—just the hybrid teas and the most tender roses. Most of my roses can take whatever winter throws at them … as was proven 2 years ago during the polar vortex. I worried and worried all that winter that all the roses would be lost but not so, they flourished last summer.

Last fall I piled about 8” of mulch on these roses and it is always a fun process to uncover them and see how they did.

So here we go … Let’s take a look… Don’t be scared … It’s gonna be ugly!

😳….😁….

This is Gemini … we have black canes, a broken cane, a frayed cane (wonder what happened there?) and a bit of green. The farther down I went, things did not get much better, but there is enough. With some tender loving care and some nutrients, Gemini will be okay–once I cut back all the black, the dead, the frayed and the damaged. Fingers crossed that “whoever” or “whatever” is responsible for the broken and frayed canes, does not return.

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Gemini last summer… :)

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Joy had a better winter… as I uncovered I found a lot of green and that made me very happy as this is one of my favs.
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Joy doesn’t look like much now but this is what she can do…

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To read more about this rose, click here for an article I wrote last summer.


Spring has officially sprung and I am back at it. I could not be happier!

How about you, what chores are you doing in the garden this week?

 

Cemetery Roses

images-2As many of you know I have loved roses since I was a teenager but I didn’t start my dive into old and historical roses until the 80s when I read the journal of a young woman who left the comfort of her home to join her husband in a journey west. One of the experiences she described was painstakingly taking cuttings of the roses and plants she just couldn’t live without. As I read her story, I felt as though I was going on the journey with her. Roses were not just for beauty to the women of this era. They were also a source of flavoring and vitamin C (from their hips). Even the most thorny roses were of value as they were used as living fences to protect vegetable gardens and such.

Harison's Yellow
Harison’s Yellow in my garden…

Also during this time we were given Harison’s Yellow (Hybrid Foetida) rose from a friend in Tennessee who had received it from a family member in Ohio. We learned that this rose had been passed through their family for some time. I started doing some investigation and found out just where the rose originated. You can read the history of Harison’s Yellow here.

I continue to love old garden and historical roses and have several in my garden. What a joy it is to visit gardens that have these lovely old beauties. One such garden is definitely on my garden bucket list … The award-winning Sacramento City Cemetery Rose Garden. This garden is home to old or antique roses collected from cemeteries, old home sites and along roadsides in northern California. The establishment of the garden was done by Fred Boutin, an internationally recognized rosarian and authority on “found roses,” and Jean Travis, a member of the Heritage Rose Group. Members of this group work to collect, plant and maintain these roses which were popular from the California Gold Rush era through the Victorian/Edwardian era (1850-1915). The collection now includes more than 400 plants–over 200 varieties.

For those of you who love fragrant roses, these roses are some of the more fragrant roses that exist. Many have been used in perfumes.

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You can imagine how thrilled I was to have Anita Clevenger, Curator of this garden, with us on Rose Chat. Did you know that cemeteries used to be a place to gather for picnics regularly? Hear about that and more by clicking on the Rose Chat logo below.

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If you live in the the Sacramento area, their annual Open Day in the Garden event is April 18 and they have many activities planned including the ever popular Rose Sale! Hundreds of roses are available and they always sell out. So, it pays to get there early! :)

For the list of other events in the garden this year, read on.

Overwintering Plants

When winter approaches I typically bring potted plants I want to save into the Potting Shed where there is controlled warmth and light (geraniums, mint, lavender, etc.), except for my large potted roses, they are taken to the garage (no windows). The roses go dormant and “spring” back to life in the spring. Because of “over crowding” in the Potting Shed, I took this pot of herbs to the garage too.

Last week I brought the pots out of the garage and couldn’t believe how well these herbs sprang back to life. They never lost their “green” completely and now they look almost robust! Today they are outside getting some sunshine and intermittent light rain. Let the thriving begin!

The roses left in the garage are doing quite well too.

I typically cut any spindly growth completely back and let the roses start fresh. But this one is recovering so fast that I may do minimal pruning and she how she does. Meet the “winter in the garage, in the dark version of the Coretta Scott King” rose. Anemic though she may be, I think we are going to start from here and see what she does.

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Coretta Scott King in the garden last summer…

Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King

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Happy Spring!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Sweet Peas

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Just the sweetest!

Around here the spring garden season kicks off with the planting of the sweet peas on St. Patrick’s Day! I know it sounds early but it works every time.

Sweet Peas are well named as they are one of the sweetest little flowers in the garden and I love to tuck them into bokays! They are a wonderful rose companion!

The Victorians, who also went crazy over bokays, used them too. With Tussie Mussies in hand, the Victorians used the subtle messages of flowers and herbs to convey not-so-subtle meanings. Sweet peas were used to convey departure, delicate pleasure and many thanks.

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As I write this I have in mind the many such “subtle” moments in the movie, The Age of Innocence, one of my favorite movies. If you’ve seen it, you know just what I mean… the costumes … the society … the flowers.

MANY THANKS TO HENRY!

The Victorians and I have Henry Eckford to thank for the lovely sweet peas we know today. He is credited with developing over 100 varieties of this dainty beauty.

PLANTING SWEET PEAS

Before I plant my sweet peas I soak them over night to soften the hard shell.

Like all plants, sweet peas prefer well-drained, fertile soil. I plant them about 1” deep and about 2” apart. Water them in and provide a trellis and you are done! They will do the rest!

We have the sweet peas trailing on some wire fencing that we added over the picket fence…

Climbing up...
Climbing up…
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Eckfords Finest!

Note the name on the plant tag… Eckfords Finest. Burpee has put together some of his “finest” varieties and you can find them on their website here.

VARIETIES I’M PLANTING

This year I have found several varieties at various garden centers as well as big box stores…
  • High Scent: Couldn’t pass this one up! Package says it is the most fragrant of all the sweet peas!
  • Mammoth Mix: These bloom early. Bonus!
  • Galaxy Mix: Large flowers!
  • Eckfords Finest: Just have to have this one!

ONE MORE THING ABOUT SWEET PEAS!

As sweet as the sweet pea is to look at and many of them have the sweetest fragrance … DO NOT EAT THEM.

TIME TO GET THE GARDEN PARTY STARTED!

Spring is truly just around the corner. Are you ready? What is your first task in the garden?

Sweet Peas_Bloom Thyme Friday

Miranda Lambert Rose Announced – Certified Roses Scores An Awesome Introduction With A Purpose

Teresa / TheGardenDiary.com:

Miranda Lambert and Certified Roses have something beautiful for the world of roses and Mutt Nation! Read on…

Originally posted on The Redneck Rosarian:

Miranda Lambert Rose - Photo Credit: Certified Roses Miranda Lambert Rose – Photo Credit: Certified Roses

Country music fans around the world are rejoicing tonight on the announcement today that Certified Roses is introducing a rose named for Grammy award winning singer – songwriter Miranda Lambert.

10458460_915822995135517_5074658861323137813_n Miranda Lambert Hybrid Tea Rose- Photo Credit: Certified Roses

The rose is a fragrant hot pink hybrid tea that will be turning as many heads as her namesake. Large 5″ blooms on a large bushy shrub is a virtual bouquet making machine  with an intense “rose & fruit” fragrance.  Source: CertifiedRose.com

10848541_915835411800942_5352026823878232551_o Miranda Lambert – Founder of Mutt Nation Photo Credit: Certified Roses

When Miranda is not on the road singing to sold out crowds, she devotes much of her time to Mutt Nation. This foundation was founded by Miranda in 2007 with the mission to end animal cruelty, neglect and homelessness.  Certified Roses has pledged a percentage of the proceeds from the sale…

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Pat Shanley and The Future of Roses

Tonight on Rose Chat Chris and I were joined by Pat Shanley, incoming President of the American Rose Society.

unnamed 2Many of my rose loving friends are concerned about the effects of chemicals in their garden. Pat offered so much insight and encouragement to those wanting to grow a beautiful yet sustainable rose garden. Pat does not spray her beautiful rose garden and has joined with other environmentally concerned rose gardeners to write a book, The Sustainable Rose Garden.

Read the Midwest Book Review

Roses, with their bright colors and sweet smell, have earned a special place among floral enthusiasts. “The Sustainable Rose Garden” is a collection of essays written by rosarians for fellow rose lovers. Speaking on the sustainability of roses and their surprising impact on the environment, there is much to ponder about how roses can be improved for their future. With nearly forty contributors, “The Sustainable Rose Garden” is a read that is very much recommended for the environmentally conscious rose lover.
Pat also shared her vision for the future of the American Rose Society, America’s oldest horticultural society. Pat’s vision is a society that is relevant in today’s world–a society that breaks down barriers and unites everyone who loves the rose. Pat is often described as a woman of “boundless energy,” and tonight we had a glimpse of that!
To listen to our chat, click on the Rose Chat icon below…
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The Lion…

March is coming in like a lion! But, it is beautifully peaceful in the garden and the birds are loving it. So, I guess if you can’t beat them, you join them! Today I will enjoy the snow we have and the snow we continue to get for the rest of the day. Mr. G says it is a church, soup, movie and brownie day – in that order.

Hearing the happy birds chirping…

Yesterday I saw pictures of my friends in the south pruning their roses. No roses are being pruned here!

How are things in your neck of the woods today?

Bloom Thyme Friday: Easy-PZ Roses

Things are never dull when Paul Zimmerman is in the Rose Chat house! And, this week was no exception. For tons of fun, rose garden advice, the latest in rose trends and rose trials AND for the roll out of something brand new in the world of roses — Easy-PZ — a new line of roses brought to us by Paul and Ben Hanna of Heirloom Roses.

If you know Paul, you know 2 things … these roses will be beautiful and these roses will be sustainable! You will see them first on the Heirloom Roses website.

Click on the Rose Chat icon below and let Paul tell you about Easy-PZ roses himself … and you don’t want to miss hearing what’s going on in his garden at the Funny Farm! :)

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Bloom Thyme Friday: The Garden is Open

Teresa / TheGardenDiary.com:

While it is cold and icy outside, I am thinking about the June garden the those who are coming to visit. I have several groups coming this year. Sharing my garden and my garden experiences are two of my life’s greatest blessings.
Early June is the bet time to see my garden as that is when the Old Garden Roses and the Rugosas put on their show! This year will be extra special as I have a lovely young lady who has agreed to be my hostess. Campbell is a beautiful 11-year-old budding gardener with grace and enthusiasm. If you come to one of the tours this year you just might meet her.
Below is an article I published last year when I have was having “open garden.”

Originally posted on The Garden Diary:

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…

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Love

Valentine’s Day gives us the wonderful opportunity to focus on love.

Florists, chocolatiers and the now super popular Shari’s Berries helps us to do just that. But, for all those we will never send flowers or chocolates to, we can make sure we give them smiles, hugs, kind words and affirmation.

Recently I saw a quote that simply said, Be kind … everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. I can’t get that quote off my mind. Actually, I don’t want to get it off my mind. It reminds me of the importance of being the kind of person that brightens someone’s day and helps to lighten the load they are carrying.

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Maya Angelou’s words remind us that the feelings we impart, whether they are good or bad, can make a lasting impression.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

I truly believe what 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us … the greatest of these is love.

We’ve been equipped with everything we need to make someone’s day. And, these gifts are not only free but far reaching and in some cases–life changing.

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I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day and a life filled with love, kindness and beautiful blooms.

Love Kindess

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

Psssst … It’s only 35 days until spring! :)

Bloom Thyme Friday: Repeat Bloomers

In the rose world when you mention repeat, you are often referring to how often or how quickly a rose repeats it’s bloom cycle. Some repeat quickly while others do their amazing display of blooms all at once.

Repeat now has another meaning for me. On the Rose Chat Podcast recently our guest was Jennifer Grove, Founder of Repeat Roses. You can listen to Jennifer tell her story by clicking the Rose Chat logo below…

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Repeat Roses provides concierge pickup service to remove hotel and wedding event floral arrangements, and delivers joy to local residents at nursing homes, hospice care and family shelters. Their goal is to deliver joyful experiences that benefit the emotional health of their residents and patients.

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This picture speaks of beauty on so many levels.

 

Many of you know that I am a former florist and I can tell you that it used to drive me and my associates crazy to know that our beautiful creations would most likely end up in the trash in a few hours.

I can also speak as a mother of the bride and a mother of the groom when I say what a great service they are providing. After a big event families want to do something with the flowers, but are too exhausted to organize what Repeat Roses has in place. They take care of containers, redesigns and delivery! They even return to the site to collect and compost all waste to keep tons of organics out of landfills!

How fulfilling for families and event planners — to have the flowers that just contributed so much to their beautiful event, have another life bringing joy to those in their community who most need their spirits lifted.

1898110_248917495281306_1744385698_nI applaud Jennifer for her innovative and sustainable solution to a florist’s nightmare! Please go to RepeatRoses.com to see just what they are doing. And, following along on Facebook to see what’s going on regularly! If you or someone you know is having a special event, maybe you can partner with them too!

Bloom Thyme: New From David Austin Roses

Since the 80s I have been in love with David Austin Roses. A highlight of each growing season is their new releases.

Last week on Rose Chat Michael Marriott, garden designer from David Austin Roses, was with us to talk about the 2015 introductions for the US and Canada.

If you’ve never heard Michael speak, well do listen to the podcast. While I can give you the pictures and a few facts, Michael can escort you to the very essence of these roses with his charming British accent. Michael also gave us a history lesson on the Chelsea Flower Show and his top tips for growing great roses. You can listen by clicking the Rose Chat logo below…

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THE ROSES…

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The Lady Gardener

THE LADY GARDENER: It is said of this rose that it “nearly buries itself in perfume and flowers from early summer to frost.” Read more.

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The Albrighton Rambler

THE ALBRIGHTON RAMBLER: This rose is said to have “exceptional prettiness and charm.”  Read more.

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Thomas a Becket

THOMAS a BECKET: “A particularly strong and healthy rose, with exceptional old rose fragrance.” Read more.

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Maid Marion

MAID MARION: “Maid Marion produced some of the most superbly formed flowers we have seen.” Read more.

 

For other articles I’ve written on David Austin roses, read on.


DECISIONS! DECISIONS!

Of course I want them all, but since I have been working on a living fence on the south side of our garden for the last 2 years, I think I am going with the ramblers. Aren’t they just amazing! Most ramblers grow to 20′ … and in some cases 30′. I think these ramblers growing only to about 10′ will fit my space very nicely.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Of course you too can have them all, but I’m curious, if you could choose only one of these pretties, which one would you choose?

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: Winter Blooms

As you know I am not a big fan of winter, but January 1 is one of my favorite days. Nothing says FRESH START / CLEAN SLATE / DO OVER / ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE like a new year!

Reminds me of a favorite scripture…

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! -Isaiah 43:18


WINTER SURVIVAL: THE POTTING SHED

I have been on vacation all week, so that means a ton of Potting Shed thyme for me. Just playing and playing. I’ve potted amaryllis and daffodils and they are already showing signs of life! Wanna see? Come on in…

Potting Shed Porch...

Pink, White, Red and Red & White ...
Pink, White, Red and Red & White …

I think I have every color of amaryllis planted. They’ll be stunning in a few weeks!! An easy/breezy way to add color to your winter. Such a great return on very little investment in money or time. I have a friend who has a contest with her sister and mother each year to see whose amaryllis blooms first–all are planted on the same day … of course. :) Isn’t that a great idea! For more on growing amaryllis, read on here.

Daffodils are planted outside and inside each year in memory of a special family member who loved them too—Mr. G’s brother, our Uncle Tony. He was a wonderful man and a wonderful gardener.

Tony is 2nd from the left.
Tony is 2nd from the left.
Daffodils getting heading UP...
Daffodils heading UP…

SPRING…

For those in my hemisphere …

Just 77!
Just 77!

Sorry Elspeth. I’m really not trying to rush your rose season. :) I love seeing your roses! You can enjoy Elspeth’s beautiful Australian garden here.

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

The Holidays

Merry Christmas 2

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season.

In our family A Charlie Brown Christmas movie is a big fav. I love the sweet voice of Linus as he recites the Christmas story. Watch here…


 

Next up is New Years! I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

It’s only 87 days until spring! After the long winter’s nap, the garden (and this gardener) will be more than ready to go!

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June 2014

 

 

Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting…

images-9During this season of Thanksgiving, I want to send out a big “THANK YOU” to you for joining me on this gardening journey. You mean the world to me!

Now it’s time for me to start waiting the winter out.

“Waiting the winter out” brings to mind something I learned from Mr. Rogers….  “let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting… ” Mr. Rogers was right, it IS always good to have something to do!


INSIDE GARDENING…

I have several pots of amaryllis and daffodils I will soon enjoy in the Potting Shed. And, will continue to “tend” the gerainiums and herbs that are over wintering there. The shed is a tiny space so the roses and herbs that we had outside this summer in large pots will spend their winter in Mr. G’s woodworking shop. They will be very happy there.

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ROSE CHAT…

RCR 1600Chris and I will keep you in the “rose gardening know” with past and upcoming Rose Chat podcasts. There are 100+ recorded podcasts you can listen to here via your computer or on your mobile devices by using iTunes or the Stitcher App.

We will take a short break from live shows for Christmas, (All the archived show are still there for you!) and start back strong in 2015 with…

Pat Shanley,  VP of American Rose Society, Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses, Paul Zimmerman of Paul Zimmerman Roses, Susan Lyell Young (Rose.Cottage on Instagram) and Richard Anthony and Brenna Bosch of For the Love of Roses plus many more!



 PLANNING & PLOTTING…

One of my favorite winter activities is planning and plotting what I will do to the garden next spring. And, pouring through catalogs to make my plant buying decisions! We have so many options … isn’t it great!



PICTURES…

Another thing that gets me through the long midwest winters is pouring through the pictures I take. Actually, I consider my iPhone one of my most valuable garden tools!

Here’s a gallery of some of my 2014 favorites…



SOCIAL MEDIA…

Many of you are growing in areas where things are blooming right now and I sure appreciate your shares via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks!

Three of my favorites are…

Michele Endersby on Twitter

MyMountainCottage on Instagram and her blog… http://mymountaincottage.blogspot.com

Ann Chapman on Facebook


 

Whatever your season, I wish you all the best and thank you for stopping by!

 

Winter Came to the Rose Garden

This morning I woke up to 16 degrees and today was a day I had set again to do more winterizing in the garden. So, I donned my dad’s hunting coat and one of his old flannel shirts (and my thermals) grabbed my pruners and headed out to prune some of those extra long rose canes and to add some mulch to those that I know to be a little more tender. Most of my roses can take most any weather that winter dishes out. (You can read more about that here.)

All it took was to just “be” in my garden for more than a few minutes stolen here and there and I was transformed. The birds were singing, the frost added an enchanting sparkle and God showed up. Just as he always does when I am in the garden. I cast all my cares on him … and he takes them as his own and I am different for it. The greatest peace I have ever known is in the quiet peacefulness of mornings in my garden. It doesn’t matter the chore, it simply is all that for me. And, if you throw in some potting shed time … well you have the fixings of a perfect day. I hope that you have someplace in your life where you are at peace and God shows up. We know he is always with us and he doesn’t just “show up,” but in the stillness of a special place we “know it’ more.

Here are a few images of the winter roses … 


Bloom Thyme Friday: Fall Cleanup

Many people ask … “What do you do with all those roses in the fall?” Really not much … I tend to keep it simple. There are other chores that get a lot more of our attention in the fall than the roses. Like leaves! We have a lot of trees and so there are a lot of leaves. Mr. G has that process well in hand — with power tools like his leaf blower and tractor.

As far as the rose companions are concerned, I don’t cut back my upright perennials and annuals until the spring–I love the winter interest they provide especially when the snow falls on the different plant shapes. For those that are low and spreading, I do remove them as they can become a host to undesirables.

Now for “all those roses.”  Many of my roses are known to be winter hardy because I know that it is very likely that we will have a harsh winter and I would advise you make decisions on the roses you buy based on your weather conditions throughout the year not just your spring and summer.

  • I will clean up the beds of diseased leaves and debris and add mulch were needed.
  • I will take those in pots into the garage to protect from the winter. They don’t require much, just a drink of water every few weeks.
  • I will provide a heavy layer of much for a few of the particularly tender roses or sentimental favorites that I would hate to lose by adding 4-5″ of extra mulch.
  • I will trim or tie up the long canes of the climbers once we have had 2 hard freezes and the danger of their growing has passed. Today as I came up the driveway, I noticed that Zepherine Drouhin has had a growth spurt and is throwing out arching canes from around her trellis. So, she is going to be tied up!
  • I will also cut back any of the roses that are extra tall to about waist high to keep them from flapping in the winter winds.

For the rest of the roses, they are on their own. Most can take it, but I know that if we have a winter like we had last year, I will lose a few and it is to be expected. But, you know what that means, once I get over the emotion of the loss, I will celebrate the extra space for the new 2015 introductions. Even though I sound tough, I have to tell you I still grieve a bit over the loss of my huge 15-year old New Dawn last spring. I may never fully recover from that one. Remember that story?? If you didn’t see the pictures of the Now You See It, Now You Don’t article, you can take a look here. Yes, that loss just about did me in. It took the bloom season of my rugosas to get me through it! And what a season they had. My rugosas just smiled in the face of the Polar Vortex. That’s just the way they are. Bless their hearts! xo

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Roseraie de la Hay
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Blanc de Double Corbert
Roseraie de la Hay
Roseraie de la Hay and Hansa

Have a wonderful week and happy…

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Bloom Thyme: November Surprises

The weather has been soooo cold and this morning when I took a garden walk I feared all the buds I have been watching would be lost. What a surprise I received …. blooms everywhere. I scrambled to get my rescue bucket and get them cut before the temps dip down tonight.

I hear the temps will be on the rise next week. Wouldn’t it be nice if all those buds out there bloomed. I would love to be like my deep south friends with my own roses on the Thanksgiving table …. probably a pipe dream!

But these pretties made it to the rescue bucket…



In other news I have lost my Barnels. And, I love my Barnels. Hope they don’t end up lost for 15 years like these guys were…

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I found these last fall and it had been at least 15 years since I’d seen them. But, hey they are Craftsman, so there is a lifetime guarantee but I couldn’t part with them.  :)

Lucky for me my good friend Wendy Tilley has her new website up and running and she has plenty of Barnels …. check out TheRoseGardener.com

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Now it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. Tons of fun stuff coming!

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What do you think??? Is it going to be a mild winter OR is the Polar Vortex gonna visit again.

Bloom Thyme Friday: The Winner’s Circle

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at the INDIANA/ILLINOIS Rose Society district meeting. Also on the program that day was Richard Anthony of For Love of Roses. Richard shared with us a presentation of his beautiful roses but, more than that, he brought many roses for us to see in person. Believe me, he has some beauties! And, I just had to share a few of those beauties with you.

If you are not familiar with Richard, let me introduce you…

Richard J. Anthony is a national level exhibitor with 106 Queens of Show (Yes, 106!!!) to his credit after 13 years of exhibiting roses. He has 4 National Queens and 9 District Queens as of the fall of 2014 rose season.

Richard and his partner, Brenna Bosch, work very hard to bring the best of the best miniature and miniflora roses which includes Richard’s own rose hybridizing efforts as well as several new roses from other hybridizers.

For some growing tips from Richard himself, read on.

Thanks to Andrew Hearne for the beautiful pictures on the For Love of Roses website.

Whether you are just interested in growing these lovely roses or are ready to throw your hat in the ring and try your hand at exhibiting, here are some of the top performers…

TOP 5 BEST SELLING MINIATURES

BEES KNEES

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Bees Knees by Keith Zary

An exceptionally fine rose and a prolific bloomer; it is not uncommon to have 40 to 50 blooms on a mature own root bush. READ MORE

DADDY FRANK

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Daddy Frank by Robbie Tucker

This rose is the best miniature red rose available today. Blooms will last on the bush and for exhibition purposes longer than most. READ MORE

TATTOOED DAUGHTER

Tattooed Daughter (Photo Credit:  Bryan Sherman)
Tattooed Daughter (Photo Credit: Bryan Sherman)

A beautiful orange miniature rose with darker orange stripes that was named by Bob Martin after his daughter. This rose will definitely win miniature open bloom with regularity and also best miniature spray due to its unique coloration. READ MORE

DR. GARY RANKIN

Dr. Gary Rankin
Dr. Gary Rankin

Named after a gentleman, scholar, birder and good friend, this miniature rose is as close to perfect as you are going to find in a miniature rose. READ MORE

EMMA GRACE

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Emma Grace by Whit Wells

A rose that takes two or three years to mature but is well worth the wait as the sprawling characteristics eventually disappear and disease resistance improves considerably. READ MORE


TOP 5 BEST SELLING MINIFLORAS

MEMPHIS MUSIC

Memphis Music by Whit Wells
Memphis Music by Whit Wells

A striking dark red sport of Memphis Magic that has bright yellow flecks throughout each petal. The rose definitely exhibits as evidenced by several queens of show. READ MORE

ABBY’S ANGEL

Abby's Angel by Whit Wells
Abby’s Angel by Whit Wells

One of the most beautiful colored roses you can grow. It has great form, substance and well defined centers.  READ MORE

BALDO VILLEGAS

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Baldo Villegas by Whit Wells

Named after one of the nicest and most helpful rosarians. The rose is a beautiful red blend. It is a star in the garden due to the beautiful red and white coloration. READ MORE

DR. JOHN DICKMAN

Dr. John DIckman
Dr. John Dickman

A work horse on the show table and in the garden as well as the dark purple color draws everyone’s attention to it. There is not much you can’t do with this rose from an exhibitors’ perspective. READ MORE

FOOLISH PLEASURE

Foolish Pleasure by David Clemons
Foolish Pleasure by David Clemons

This rose is a great garden rose and throws near perfect quality exhibition blooms that win Queen of Show and work well in all Challenge Classes. READ MORE

With so many pretty ones, I’m not sure how I am going to make my selection for next year! But, it will be fun pouring through my options! For a complete list, read on.



IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK…

Leaves are falling like crazy and November is fast approaching but there are many roses in my garden that don’t seem to be affected by those facts at all. I can certainly understand why … while I was working in the garden Saturday, the temp skyrocketed to 80 degrees. This week has not been nearly that warm and today I don’t think we are going to get to 50 and the night time temps are dipping to the mid 30s. Burrrrr!

I seriously don’t remember having so many buds and blooms at this time of year before, and bringing in vases of roses at the end of October is FUN! As far as I’m concerned, winter can take it sweet time. Speaking of sweet, look at what’s blooming this week…

Click on any of the pictures below to activate the gallery feature…

Wishing you a wonderful week….

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday_Yellow

Bloom Thyme Friday: Precious and Few

This week I have found some of the most beautiful roses of the season … or could it be that because the season is quickly coming to an end and there are so few of them …. they just seem more precious and beautiful. Monday and Tuesday our temp dipped down near freezing which sent me out with a bucket of water on a rescue mission. My hands were actually freezing! A prelude of things to come!

The weatherman has a more pleasant prediction for the end of the week with temps climbing back to near 70. And this means that I must get in the garden and stay there to begin the fall clean up. I have been traveling so much that I fear I am way behind on garden chores.

 I am more than ready to roll up my sleeves and get to gardening!



Here are the pretties I rescued this week. Hopefully some of the buds that got a bit frosty will thaw and bloom on!

Peach Drift
Peach Drift

 

The Lady's Blush
The Lady’s Blush
Quietness
Quietness
Lady Salisbury
Lady Salisbury
Rescue Bucket
Rescue Bucket
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Petit Pink
Petit Pink
Petit Pink
DIck Clark
Dick Clark
Apricot Drift
Apricot Drift
Julia Child
Julia Child

What’s going on in your neck of the woods this week?

Wishing you all the best!

Bloom Thyme Friday Leaf

Bloom Thyme Friday: Inspiration, Ideas and Sweetness

As many of you know I left cold, rainy Indiana for sunny SoCal this week. It has been an amazing week of inspiration, ideas and sweetness.

I have taken scores of pictures and wanted to share a few of the beautiful plants and flowers that inspired me, landscapes that started the creative juices flowing, and a little bit of the “sweetness” too.

INSPIRATION & IDEAS

Click on any picture to start the gallery feature and see my comments…

THE SWEETNESS

Mr. H. . .

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Tomorrow I head back to the cold and rainy weather AND Mr. G … more sweetness! :)

And, I say to the Polar Vortex … If you are coming, I’m ready for you!

I wish you a wonderful week and ….

Bloom Thyme Friday Leaf

Bloom Thyme Friday: Down the Trail Part 2

As promised my good friend and amazing gardener, Colletta Kosiba, is going to tell us all about the plants that the totally adorable Mr. H and I saw on our morning walk in the woods. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here.

Colletta Kosiba
Colletta Kosiba

DETAILS…

Don’t you just love knowing stories about the plants you commonly see or hear about? Colletta gives us just that!

Colletta is a recipient of the Honeywell Award for Excellence in Horticulture presented by the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Design at Purdue University and the State Garden Club of Indiana.

She has been a naturalist at Eagle Creek Park for 20 years.

Every time I’m with her I learn something new. So, let’s get started with the plant with my LEAST favorite name (eeeeek!) but, it sure is a pretty plant…

SNAKEROOT…

Snakeroot...
Snakeroot…

With its fuzzy white flowers, Snakeroot is one of the common native flowers that grow in shady area in the fall. The cultivar “Chocolate” is a stunning addition to the flower garden with its purple leaves. Most of us have heard the story of how Nancy Hanks, (mother of Abraham Lincoln) died of milk sickness from drinking contaminated milk from cows eating snakeroot. Today’s farmers do not let it grow where animals graze.

SIDEOATS GRAMA…

Side Oats Grama
Sideoats Grama

Sideoats Grama a native grass that has an unusual arrangement of the seed heads. The spikelets line one side of the stem and turn a brown color in the fall. The basal clump may turn shades of purple and red in the fall. Growing 2-3 feet, it makes a lovely ornamental grass in your landscape. Sideoats Grama is easy to grow and laughs at dry conditions in the summer.

POKEWEED…

Pokeweed...
Pokeweed…

Pokeweed is a native plant being used as a ”wow factor” in home gardens. The dark berries ripen just in time to feed the birds during migration: that explains why it comes up just about any place in the yard. Juice from the berries has been used for ink and dye. We have Civil War letters written by the soldiers using pokeweed berry juice for ink. The dye is used by food industry to make red food coloring. Pokeweed is the larval plant for the Giant Leopard Moth.

Exciting studies in animals show pokeweed compounds enhance the immune system and have some anti-cancer effects in animals. It will be studied to see if this is true in humans. Poke toxins are used to control the invasive zebra mussels.

BROWN-EYED SUSAN…

Brown-eyed Susan...
Brown-eyed Susan…

This charming native plant is a member of the Rudbeckia family and often called Brown-Eyed Susan. It has smaller flower heads than Black-eyed Susans and less ray florets. You will find this growing mainly in dappled shade, although I have seen them in full sun too. Brown-Eyed Susan is taller and more bushy than it’s black-eyed cousin. Brown-Eyed Susans make an excellent cut flower.

RAGWEED…

Ragweed...
Ragweed…

It must be the year of the ragweed, judging from the abundance of plants I am seeing!
Ragweed has no showy blossoms, so it cannot attract pollinating insects. The plant uses the wind to spread its pollen. The pollen is so small that 100 pollen grains would barely reach across the head of a pin. A quarter of a billion tons of pollen are in the air each season, causing hay fever is some folks. The pollen can travel 1-2 miles. Just shake a ragweed plant in the fall and you will see what I mean. Alas, the beautiful yellow goldenrod that is blooming at the same time gets the blame for the allergies. Goldenrod’s pollen is sticky, not air borne. It feeds the numerous insects that visit the blooms.

QUEEN ANNE’S LACE…

Queen Anne's Lace...
Queen Anne’s Lace…

Other common names are wild carrot & birds nest. In this photo it sure looks like a birds nest, the spent blossoms have curled inwards forming a cup.

Introduced from Europe, the flower heads have many tiny flowers that resemble a round piece of fine lace. Some umbels even have a minute red flower in the center. According to the story, Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace, leaving a red blood droplet in the center of the flower. Early Americans boiled the taproots with wine for a treat. The taproot is high in sugar, second to the beet among root vegetables.


FROM COLLETTA…

I was thrilled when Teresa asked me to write about the plants she and her grandson found on their nature walk last week.  I truly love native plants (those growing here before white man settled this country).  As a charter member to the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society (INPAWS) I encourage everyone to plant natives; not only because they are hardy easy plants to grow, but the native wildlife depend on them for their very existence.

Colletta is also a Indiana Master Naturalist and Indiana Gold Master Gardener. She loves to teach and has many programs that she presents. If you would like to contact Colletta about a speaking engagement, email her @ kcolletta@sbcglobal.net. And please join me in giving a big “thank you” to Colletta in the comment section below!


NEXT WEEK…

Next week I will start tackling the 2014 garden update and share THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY. Let me tell you, this year there has been all three!

See you next week!

Bloom Thyme Friday Leaf

Bloom Thyme Friday: Down the Trail

A beautiful trail...
A beautiful trail…

While Mommie was running miles and miles, H and I strolled down the trail through the woods.

It was a glorious morning and being in the company of this beautiful boy out in God’s creation was–let me just say–over the top! The word “blissful” comes to mind.

We saw so many beautiful things in the woods … some of the plants and pods I was familiar with and some I was not! And since we want to know exactly what we saw, lucky for us, my good friend Coletta, who knows all about native plants in Indiana, agreed to  do a guest post on The Garden Diary next Friday to fill in the details about the plants we saw! :)

Spending time with Mr. H ... blissful.
Spending time with Mr. H … blissful.

Here’s the gallery from our walk in the woods …


We were also on the lookout for bluebirds as Papa and I have seen bluebirds on this same walk. But the bluebirds must have been in a particularly shy mood as we didn’t see a one! For more on bluebird adventures, check out my friend Diane’s blog HERE. Her pictures are divine!

THE GARDEN…

All of the roses that were showing off their best side went with me to the Indianapolis Rose Society Rose Show. Take a look at several show pictures HERE.

My blooms won a few awards…

Blue Ribbons for Joy, Moje Hammarberg, Gemini and Dick Clark.

One of my arrangements won a special Bronze Ribbon. As you’ll see in the picture, the ribbon was fancy and kind of impressive looking but actually it was 3rd place. There are some amazing rosarians and designers around here! ;) This is my second year to exhibit and each year I learn more and it is a lot of fun! If you are in the area and want to learn about roses… Growing and/or showing, join us! More info here. Or, go to Rose.org for American Rose Society info.

YOU…

I wish for you many blissful moments and, I’m wondering what have been your special moments this week? Leave a comment below so we can all enjoy.

P.S. Don’t forget to check back next Friday when Coletta gives us all the “dirt” on the plants Mr. H and enjoyed on our blissful walk in the woods. 😘

Bloom Thyme Friday

Bloom Thyme Friday: Adventures Old and New

Mr. G’s grandfather was quite the adventurer … at the age of 9, he decided to jump on a boat with his much older cousins who were leaving Greece and heading for America where new opportunities awaited! They were “sure” they didn’t want to work in the family’s olive groves! Can you imagine doing that at 9? Well, he did.

Life wasn’t easy in this new world, but he was a hard worker with an entrepreneurial spirit. He worked his way from New York to Ohio on the railroad project to a small river town and began to make ice cream and confections to sell on the street. Soon he was able to buy property for a real confection shoppe where he began bottling pop and making his wonderful ice cream and other treats. Through the late 40s, 50s and 60s the business was booming. Mr. G still measures all ice creams and chocolate milk by the ones his grandfather crafted!

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No wonder Mr. G is so handsome… :)
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Our brave soldier…

We were recently visiting with Mr. G’s mom and came upon several items that had belonged to his grandfather …. A picture of him as a young man, a picture of him as a soldier who proudly fought and was even wounded twice in WW 2. We found his business card, pictures of the “shoppe’ and an amazing bucket that was used to mix the ingredients for the ice cream. There is even a handle low on the back of the bucket for ease in pouring a large amount.

Guess what… that super cool bucket is my new MOO POO bucket. It is perfect and since MOO POO is brewing throughout the summer in our garden, we get to see and use our new found heirloom all the time. We absolutely love it! For more about Moo Poo Teas, visit Annie’s site at ManureTea.com or follow her on Social Media…  Twitter @greensoil and Facebook.

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IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK…

First of all I have to say that hummingbirds are particularly happy in the garden this week. They are everywhere! We love to watch them! Aren’t they just so fascinating!

The heat is up and we are doing a lot more watering. I hear rain is in the forecast BUT it would take a lot of rain to get us where we need to be so… hand watering it is!

Even with the heat, we still have blooms and the pollinators are feasting on many of them today! Especially the sedums. I don’t blame them, the sedums are spectacular this time of year!

The roses that are showing their best side are getting snipped and put in the fridge to exhibit at the Indianapolis Rose Society rose show tomorrow! Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how I do.

If it’s hot where you are, take a break, get out of the heat and …

 

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday_Yellow

Bloom Thyme Friday: Maybe if I change the name????

For years I have had a love/hate relationship with Fall. Yes, I know the changing of the leaves are pretty and who doesn’t love going on a hayride or to a pumpkin patch. BUT, I can very easily get hung up on the fact that Fall means the growing season is over and the  l o n g … l o n g … L O N G  Indiana winter is soon to come.

So, today I have decided to change the name of this season to Autumn. A U T U M N … has a much richer and more pleasing ring to it. Almost poetic… The more I think of the word Autumn, the more I think that I can embrace the season that is just around the corner.

No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face….
~John Donne

What do you think? Can a change in the name make a difference? I’m sure gonna try because I am surrounded by people who L O V E  fall and I don’t want to be a party pooper.

TRUTH TIME

I gotta tell you the whole truth, there really is another reason why I feel differently about this season … You’ve probably guessed it …. Mr. H has a birthday! So, how can you not LOVE the season when you received one of your very richest blessings.

Yes, Mr. H will soon be 1 and by the way things are going now, he is just about ready to take on the world. And, we just might let him!

 

THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN

Our weather continues to be almost perfect— a tad hot but with plenty of rain, so we are are still getting some amazing blooms.

Now I need to work on my love/hate relationship with Mums! Am I alone???

Hope you are having a superb week and…

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday_Yellow

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

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

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

 

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!!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

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!

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!

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, Hansa, Roseraie de la Hay, Theresa Bugnet and Blanc de double Corbert  are 5′ X 5′ in my garden. Moje Hammerly is 4′ X 4′ and Belle Poitevine is 4 X4 too. 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. See what you think…

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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!

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Biltmore Rose Trials

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 Biltmore 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 Supreme

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.

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

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!

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!

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!