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: 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: The Charm of Rugosas

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

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

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

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

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I have several rugosas and three varieties:

Hansa
Hansa

Hansa: Beautiful foliage and striking magenta blooms.

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Moje Hammarberg

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

Roseraie de la Hay
Roseraie de la Hay

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

 

Blanc de double Corbert
Blanc de double Corbert

Double de Coubert: Pure white flowers and strong fragrance.

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

I hope you are having a wonderful week.

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

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: 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
sunrise-sunset-rose-david
Sunrise Sunset
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All The Rage
high-voltage-rose-1-bailey
High Voltage
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Music Box
Ping Lim
Ping Lim

Bloom Thyme Friday

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Excited about everything!

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

It’s Good Friday and I know He lives.

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

I planted roses today in the sunshine!

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

Vacation in 18 days! AND…

I am grateful for spring blooms and for GREEN!

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

What’s going on in your garden today?

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Getting Started

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

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

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

Just like her namesake ... sunny and charming.
Just like her namesake … sunny and charming.

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

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

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

Look at that red!
Look at that red!

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

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

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

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

NewsflashIn other exciting news….

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

IMG_9179I can’t wait!

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

Bloom Thyme Friday
Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

Spring Assessment…

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

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

Here’s what I can tell you so far:

THE ROSES….

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Roseraie de la Hay

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

Peach Drift
Peach Drift

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carefree Wonder
Carefree Wonder

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

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

Fall plantings…

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

THE COMPANIONS…

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

Perennial herbs are right on schedule.

Annabelle and Pinky Winky hydrangeas look amazing.

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

Bloomerang lilacs  look ready to rock and roll.

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

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

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

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

My garden last spring…

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

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Daylight Saving Time, The Polar Vortex and Spring Chores

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

THE POLAR VORTEX

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

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

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

SPRING CHORES

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

1. PLANT
ING

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

Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea...
Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea…

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

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Planting decisions are dependent on the type of rose…

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

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

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

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

2. PRUNING

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

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Gene Boerner Floribunda

Pruning tips for different types of roses…

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

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

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

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Sunny Knock Out Rose

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

3. FERTILIZE

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

4. WATERING

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

5. MULCHING

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

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

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My garden…

MY FAVORITE TIP…

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

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

All you need is love…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beverly in bloom...
Beverly in bloom…

PINK ROSES

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

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

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

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

_EasyDoesItORANGE ROSES

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

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

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

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

photo 3-4YELLOW ROSES

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

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

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

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

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

poseidonLAVENDER ROSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, and a little chocolate.

David Austin Enchantment Continues

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

Boscobel
Boscobel

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

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

Golden Celebrations
Golden Celebrations

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

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

The Generouos Gardener

The Generous Gardener

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

Why: It was a wonderful Christmas gift!

The Ingeniouso Mr. Fairchild

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild

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

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

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

Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

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

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

Do you grow David Austin roses? Have a favorite?

Here is a favorite David Austin from last summer…

Charlotte

Charlotte & Neighbors_13_01

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

Roses, Bugs and a Rose Nut

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

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Baldo with a few of his many award winners!

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

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

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

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

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

Pssst…

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

Merry Christmas!

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

THE COUNTDOWN…

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

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

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Spring’s gonna be so much fun!

Christmas Cran

Many of you have asked for the recipe that my daughter affectionately named “Christmas Cran.”

I was introduced to this recipe when I bought my first microwave and was given the gift of a free microwave cooking class!

Several of the recipes I learned in the class I still make — but none more consistently than the cranberry sauce! Our family enjoys “Christmas Cran” every Christmas AND every Thanksgiving!

Sweet, citrusy goodness….

3/4 – 1 Cup of Sugar
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice (I usually add more cinnamon)
1/2 cup of apple or orange juice  (This year I used the juice from the tangerines I had on hand and it was fab.)
1 lb of whole cranberries
1 medium apple – peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (They go in AFTER the cooking process.)

Combine SUGAR, SPICES and JUICE in 2 qt casserole. STIR. Add CRANBERRIES and APPLES. STIR.

COVER

Microwave on HIGH for 9 – 10 minutes.

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

Pour into pretty dish and COOL.

Stirring up some Christmas Cran...
Stirring up some Christmas Cran…

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

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

Blurring the Lines

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

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

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

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Treat for the hard-working gardener. ; )
Treat for the hard-working gardener. ; )

Tools of the Trade

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

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

Harlane rose markers...
Harlane rose markers…

Harlane Plant Labelsread all about them here.

pruners-trgBarnel Pruners

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

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Bionic Gloves...

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

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

And, they are machine washable!  Read more.

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

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

Check them out here.

ROSE CHAT RADIO GUEST…

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

WENDY SIGHTINGS…

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

2014 Introductions: Certified Roses

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

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

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

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

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

Certified Roses 2014 Selection

Climbing Rosanna

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

Mornin’ Sunshine

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

South Africa Grandiflora

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

Wedding Bells Hybrid Tea

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

Last Year…

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

2014 Rose Introductions: Weeks Roses

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

Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King

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

Good as Gold
Good as Gold

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

_YoureTheOne
You’re The One

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

Jump for Joy
Jump for Joy

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

Happy Go Lucky
Happy Go Lucky

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

SNEAK PEAK…

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

Look at this beauty…

Anna's Promise
Anna’s Promise
Anna of Downton Abbey
The beautiful Anna of Downton Abbey

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

WEEK’S ROSES HARVEST…

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

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

Warning, Potting Sheds Could be Infectious

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

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

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

Look how cute her shed is…

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

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

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

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

Best of ’04

Best of '04
Best of ’04

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by.

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

Earth Kind

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

Three New Beauties...
Three New Beauties…

photo 2-4EARTH KIND

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

Belinda’s Dream

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

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

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

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

Carefree Beauty_PolCarefree Beauty

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

To see other Earth Kind roses, read on.

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

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

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New Dawn Spring 2013
The Fairy Rose peaking through the fence.
The Fairy Rose peaking through the fence.

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

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

Mutabilis at the Biltmore Rose Garden
Mutabilis at the Biltmore Rose Garden

Peggy Thumb_Pol

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

2014 Rose Introductions: David Austin

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

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

Take a look…

Boscobel_Pol

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

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

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

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

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

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Michael Marriott

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

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

Are you beginning to start your 2014 wish list?

Fall Rose Care

It’s time for me to admit that fall is here and winter is coming and it’s time to prepare the garden for it’s long winter’s nap. In my Zone 5b garden that could mean most anything as I’ve seen winters with more days than I care to count below 0 and then there are the mild midwest winters like last year.

Regardless, good fall care makes spring all the sweeter.

STOP FERTILIZING & DEADHEADING

About 6 weeks before expected frost, it is time to stop fertilizing and deadheading the roses. Since in my neck of the woods, the first frost date can be anywhere from October 5 – October 28, I start the “stopping process” the first of September.

Stopping the deadheading process tells the roses it’s okay to begin to go to sleep and start producing seeds in the form of rose hips (Read more about rose hips here.). Don’t trim those off either–the birds find them particularly yummy.

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Rose hips…

GENERAL CLEANUP

Remove all diseased leaves from around your roses. Black spot and other fungal diseases are not discouraged by cold temperatures and will just over winter and be there next spring– so they must go! Don’t add any of your diseased leaves to your compost pile … they will overwinter there too!

PRUNING

I don’t do much pruning in the fall (Read about spring care here.), unless there are rose canes that have gotten extra tall or spindly. Those I trim back to prevent them from flapping in those cold winter winds as there is a danger of loosening around the roots and making the roses more susceptible to damage from the cold.

MULCH

I think it is very important to add an extra layer of mulch to protect the roses through the winter. And, for roses that are more tender, I will mound the mulch much higher on them–to about 1/2 the height of the shrub.

NOW WHAT?

Now it’s time to sit back, relax and pour through those beautiful catalogs and websites and get to dreaming, plotting and planning. Spring will be here in about 169 days. :)

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Garden at rest….

SNOWDAY_003

Some things are more important than breakfast…

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

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

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

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

A beautiful start to a wonderful day…

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__Biltmore_Misty_002

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

Enchanting...
Enchanting…

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

Noisettes...
Noisettes…

IMG_4932LUCAS JACK:
BILTMORE  ROSARIAN AND HORICULTURALIST

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

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

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

Pomponella....
Pomponella….
Flamenco... from Peter Beale's Roses
Flamenco… from Peter Beale’s Roses
David Austin's Moulenix
David Austin’s Moulenix
Monsieur Tillier...
Monsieur Tillier…
Stokes Hybrid Teas...
Stokes Hybrid Teas…
Mike Athy's pink rose ... very fragrant!
Mike Athy’s pink rose … very fragrant!

INTERNATIONAL ROSE TRIALS

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

Mike Athy's Athy Fa La
Mike Athy’s Athy Fa La

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

HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE BILTMORE?

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

Biltmore Conservatory...
Biltmore Conservatory…
Thanks Lucas for a lovely day in the garden!
Thanks Lucas for a lovely day in your enchanting garden!

The Benefits of Dr. Bronner…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks Jack for such thorough information!

___________

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

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Misty Morning in Farm Country…

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

Steve Hutton Talks Roses

Originally posted on :

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

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

Steve Hutton
Steve Hutton

View original

Rose Companions: Zinnias

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

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

A big bang for your buck! See…

Zinnia_013 Zinnia_016 Zinnia_010 Zinnia_017 Zinnia_011

State Fair Zinnias ... THANKS RON!
State Fair Zinnias … THANKS RON!

Bloom Thyme Friday

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

See what I mean…

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

Morning Glory
Morning Glory

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

Little birds and company...
Little birds and company…

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

Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas on the right side...
Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas on the right side…

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

State Fair Zinnias ... THANKS RON!
State Fair Zinnias … THANKS RON!

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

Stargazer Lily...
Stargazer Lily…

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

Blackeyed Susan making a statement!
Blackeyed Susans making a statement!

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

Entrance to Herb Garden...
Entrance to Herb Garden…

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

L O V E him and all his wonderful creations!

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

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

From Devastation to Inspiration: Peggy Martin

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

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

Peggy Martin
Peggy Martin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friends Made the Difference

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

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

Below are pictures of Peggy’s current garden…

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


It’s All About the Soil

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

The Podcast

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

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

Girlfriends and Girdles

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

The Friends

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

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

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

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

The Girdles

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Cute packaging!

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

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

KeeperGirdleesFor more about the burlap girdles, read on.

The Seed Keeper Project

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

The Seed Keepers

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

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

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

The Boots

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

419610_10150717197213436_452163874_nAdorable!

You might also enjoy reading…

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Bloom Thyme Friday: Hyperion Daylilies

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is taking center stage in your garden this week?

P. Allen and Pesto

For weeks I have been in the mood for pesto! Maybe it’s because I saw a video by P. Allen Smith for Arugula Pesto and I love Arugula! Or, maybe it’s because my garden friend, Diane LaSauce, posted recently about Kale Pesto (recipe here) and about the pesto she makes and takes to her local farmer’s market.

I decided this weekend was the perfect time. But, when I looked at my trusty food processor, I knew I wanted to upgrade. So, I asked my garden/cooking friends on Facebook Garden 2 Blog page what food processor they would recommend and everyone said Cuisinart.

A quick trip to Costco and I had my shiny, new food processor and was ready to get started.

P. Allen has a super easy video on making the Arugula Pesto…

This was SOOOOO delish and so easy. Give it a try.

Pesto

 

What do you think I should make next in my shiny, new food processor!

Beetle Mania

Every year about this time I find my self in the throes of Beetle Mania as the Japanese Beetles have converged on my garden. Seems they love all the things I love … roses, plums, flowers, grape vines and on and on. Year after year my plants have turned black as they were covered with thousands of these ugly, plant-eating bugs just munching away.

Ugly little critter via Wikipedia...
Ugly little critter via Wikipedia…

But, not this year. They aren’t here. And, before I celebrate, I have questions…

What happened?
Are they coming later?
Is this the end of the world?
Is this the result of the past two years of drought?
Is this the result of a very, very, very rainy spring and early summer?

Are you having them in your garden? Fewer than usual? What do you think happened to them?

The Real Beatlemania

All this talk about beetles makes me think of the REAL Beatlemania. I still miss the Beatles. Do you remember when they were on the Ed Sullivan show? I do. I was screaming. Just saying…

Time to swoon…

I’m feeling faint…

A Rose A Day: Peggy Martin

Peggy Martin RoseThis year I planted the Peggy Martin rose after hearing the amazing story behind the rose. Many of the  historical roses I love are true survivors, but no rose has a more amazing story than the Peggy Martin Rose.

This rose was one of only two plants surviving 20 feet of salt water over the garden of Mrs. Peggy Martin, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in late August, 2005. Peggy lost her home, her parents, her rose garden of more than 450 antique roses she had collected for 30 years, as well as their commercial fishing boat to the storm!

Peggy Martin
Peggy Martin

MEET PEGGY MARTIN…

Peggy Martin has a new rose garden of more 300 roses and has been a no-spray organic gardener for 40 years!

I will have the pleasure of chatting with Peggy Martin about her experiences on August 3 when she joins us for Rose Chat Radio. You can join us too — more information about that here.

Below is a Peggy Martin Rose that is growing in Peggy’s “new” garden…

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

Chamblee’s Rose Nursery acquired cuttings from the original rose in New Orleans in January, 2007.  I bought mine from them this spring. They sent a very healthy little plant that has grown to be about 2.5′ high. For info on ordering this rose, read on.

This rose is obviously extremely hardy as well as a vigorous climber. The fact that it is virtually thornless makes it even more desirable for walkways or around children’s play areas! As far as blooms are concerned, the pictures tell the story of what this rose does in early summer! And I’m told this rose often comes back with another bloom cycle in late summer/early fall.

My Peggy Martin rose will be roommates with Francis E Lester on the wonderful new rose arbor Mr G built. (Read more about that here.) I think they will be very happy together! But, just may compete for space! :)

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Neighbors…. on their way to great things!
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What a beautiful place to “grow up”! Thanks Mr G!
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You’ll see a BIG difference in me next year!

Hard to believe that June is coming to a close. I have enjoyed spending National Rose Month with you and sharing some of my favorite roses. Thank you for going on this journey with me.

What’s Next?

So far I have not seen my first Japanese Beetle but I know they are on their way, so I will be out there protecting my roses! There may not be many rose blooms to see for the next few weeks, BUT that just gives my perennials an opportunity to take center stage–stay tuned–I love to share about them too!

Here’s one of the perennials making a great show right now as a companion to my Poseidon RosesYarrow!

Poseidon and her companion -- Yarrow...
Poseidon and her companion — Yarrow…

A Rose A Day: The Fairy

The Fairy Rose is a pink Polyantha rose that is part of a select group of roses designated as Earth Kind. (Read more about Earth Kind here.) This lovely little rose is disease resistant and can take the heat!  It just keeps blooming even during those hot, hot, hot days of summer! You can also expect the blooms to fade to almost white as the heat climbs!

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I have this rose in the ground and love it’s free flowing shape and how it moves and grooves in and out of the companion beside it but I hear it does very well in containers too.

The Fairy is hardy in Zones 4b through 9b and grows to about 3′ wide and tall.

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Up close and personal….

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Delicate bloom on a strong grower!
Delicate bloom on a strong grower!

A Rose A Day: Beverly

One my favorite rose additions for 2013 is the Beverly Hybrid Tea from the Certified Roses Simply Brilliant Collection. Check out this beautiful collection here.

From the beginning bud stage to fully open, this rose is so very pretty. The foliage is also amazing — almost looks unreal it is such a glossy green.

Beverly is getting a lot of attention this year and not just in my garden! She was a big winner at the Biltmore Rose Trials (details here) in May winning two of the 12 awards…

The award for Best Hybrid Tea and the coveted Most Fragrant Rose award!

IMPRESSIVE!

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Beverly_2This rose is stunning!

A Rose A Day: White Out

Another wonderful ever-blooming addition to my rose garden is White Out from the great folks at Star Roses and Plants who say, “this is the best white shrub rose we have introduced since Sea Foam over 45 years ago.”

I love this rose in my flower border. It is low growing and ever blooming.

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A Rose A Day: The Portlands

Portland roses make up a small, repeat blooming class of old garden roses. There is some question about their parentage but they are most commonly thought to be a chance crossing of Damasks and China Roses.

I have two Portlands in my garden…

Rose de Rescht

Rose de Rescht is a lovely deep pink Portland Rose with a rich damask fragrance that dates back to before 1900. She is hardy in zones 4b through 9b.

This is the second year for Rose de Rescht in my garden, so we are just getting to know each other. To date she hasn’t grown very large, but we did have a nice flush of bloom. And, if she is like my other Portland, Comte de Chambord, I can expect a few more blooms through out the season.

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Comte de Chambord

Comte de Chambord is a Portland that dates back to 1860. I’ve had this rose in my garden several years and it is one of my favorites! Maybe it is the amazing Damask fragrance that is not to be missed. Maybe it’s the beautiful pink color with just a tinge of violet. Or, maybe it is the large, full-petalled old rose flowers that win me over … but win me it does — even though I have to keep my eye on this one for Black Spot.

These pictures give you a good glimpse of what I’m talking about…

Comte de Chambord
Large, flat, quartered old rose loveliness!

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Yes, I’m willing to forgive a little Black Spot for this one. :)

Especially when they look so yummy in a mixed rose bokay!

Old Beauties

A Rose A Day: Drifts

Today you are going to see 3 of my favorite roses–Peach Drift, Coral Drift and Apricot Drift.

As with all the roses in the Drift collection, these roses are amazingly disease resistant and small enough to fit into most any garden whether in a container, in the front of a border or in one of your nooks or crannies of the garden. I love to use them in front of my roses that have more sporadic bloom cycles.

These beauties are ever blooming so they give you season-long beauty!

Drift Collage

Drift roses come in other colors too… check them out here.

These roses are so beautiful and easy that I love to give them as gifts to new rose gardeners!

RED DRIFT ROSES……

RedDrift_001

For information on Red Drift, read on.

Now We’re Cookin’!

The great folks at Le Cruset offered those of us attending Garden 2 Blog 2013 one of P Allen Smith’s favorite baking dishes … all we had to do was chose our favorite color.

Look at this beauty…. Have you ever seen a more beautiful dutch oven? LeCreuset_001One of my very favorite things to eat is rustic bread and as I thought of what my first recipe would be in the dutch oven, I kept thinking it would be a bread. But, just the right recipe.

You see, I spend so much of my free time in my garden that what I wanted was yummy bread that was easy to make and a winner every time! And, a recipe that could be formatted to include a myriad of flavors and recipe tweaks.

I FOUND IT!

Based on a recipe I found on the Simply So Good website, here is my rustic bread baking experience.

BTW: You will most definitely want to check out this website. It has quickly become one of my go to sites for yummy things! (Read on.)

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Gather your dry ingredients…

3 cups of white unbleached flour
1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon rapid rise or instant yeast

And, by the way, doesn’t my beautiful Le Crueset look smashing with my Sur Le Table sunflower bowl! I am completely crazy about them both!

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Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together.

Pour in 1 1/2 cups water

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Stir to make a sticky, shaggy mess! At this stage you can add some flavor. I added about 1 tablespoon of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of chives but it wasn’t enough to have the robust flavor I wanted, so I will experiment by adding more next time. At SimplySoGood.com you can read about many other flavor combinations that people have tried!

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let set for 12 – 18 hours. I let mine set the entire 18 hours as it fit best with my schedule.

IMG_2612This is what my bread looked like after 18 hours. Yes, it is as sticky as it looks, but that is the way it is supposed to be.

Now it is time to get things heated up!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and put your pot with the lid in the oven and pre-heat the pot for 30 minutes.

As soon as you put your pot in the oven, dump the dough onto a heavily floured surface. I used my pastry sheet (I love this thing!).

With floured hands, form the bread into a rounded ball and cover the ball with flour and let it rest for the 30 minutes the pot is pre-heating.

Once the pot in pre-heated, it’s time to dump the bread into the pot and place the pot with lid back in the oven for 30 minuted.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_2635I didn’t oil the pot or anything and it came out perfectly clean! What you see in the pot is a little flour that fell off the loaf as I removed it.

The Masterpiece

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Wish you were here to share a piece of this yummy stuff. Cooking with Le Creuset is not just cooking … it’s an experience and I couldn’t have been more pleased with this experience!

Do you have any suggestions on what my next Le Creuset cooking experience should be?

A Rose A Day: Black Forest

BlackForest_001Black Forest is one of the amazing roses in the Certified Rose Simply Brilliant Collection and it is truly a simply-brilliant winner! In 2010 this rose received the prestigious German ADR award for its beauty and natural disease resistance.

This floribunda shrub took me to the Winners Circle too! I received the  BEST NOVICE  award for Black Forest at the Indianapolis Rose Society Show  (Read more about the show here.).

This rose deserves the award but not for anything special that I did. I just gave it a little fertilizer and lots of love and it is blooming non stop! The blooms are born in sprays that last and last and last whether on the plant or in a vase.

The growth habit of this rose is bushy and spreading to about 3’ X 3’.

WINNERS CIRCLE….

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Truly a winner in a no-spray garden.

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A Rose A Day: Graham Thomas

Graham Thomas is one of the roses that put me in the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis Rose Show last week!   (See pics of the Rose Show here.)

This rose is a rich, radiant yellow David Austin English Rose with a strong tea fragrance. If you want to grow this rose, know that he is very hardy and is sometimes grown as a climber so give him some room or be prepared to keep him trimmed.

For more details on this lovely shrub rose … read on.

The Naming of This Rose

This rose was named for Graham Stuart Thomas an English horticulturalist, garden designer, rosarian extraordinaire and one of the most influential gardeners of the 20th century. He actually chose this rose to be named for him.

Another fun fact about Graham Stuart Thomas — he was was mentored by none other than Gertrude Jekyll. He was starting his career as she was finishing hers so it was a match made in heaven.

Wonderful reference book...

His book, The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book, is a comprehensive reference on roses –especially historical roses.

Back to the Winner’s Circle…

Graham ThomasAfter…

Graham Thomas_002

I was in the company of greatness….

Our society has some wonderfully talented rose growers, arrangers and exhibitionist!
Amazing!

Look at all this beauty! Our rose society is filled with wonderfully talented rosarians!

A Rose A Day: Red Drift

We are more than 1/2 way through June — summer is here and she came in with some intense heat in my neck of the woods. I was up early doing some trimming and general gardening but am glad to come into the air conditioning to continue my celebration of National Rose Month by sharing another rose with you.

Next up is Red Drift. I love the entire line of Drift Roses from Star Roses and Plants but today I am excited to talk about Red Drift — fits well into our National Rose celebration with it’s bright patriotic red color!

This picture tells the whole story of what you can expect from this rose all summer. It is always in bloom!

Here’s a shot of one of my rose borders… Red Drift is showing off even when the roses behind her are taking a break.

RedDrift_001

Here’s what Star Roses & Plants has to say about Drift roses….

Drift® Roses are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniatures. From the groundcovers they kept their toughness, disease resistance and winter hardiness. From the miniatures, they inherited their well-managed size and repeat-blooming nature.

Garden 2 Blog 2012

One of the highlights of Garden 2 Blog (and there were legion) was getting to meet our good friends from Star Roses & Plants–Kajsa Haracz, Jacques Ferare & Kyle McKean.

JaquesPAS_002P Allen Smith has many Drift roses on Moss Mountain, so I was able to see varieties I had never seen before. One of those was Coral Drift. OOH LA LA. Lucky for me, our local IGC, Country Harmony, had Coral Drift, so I am now the proud owner of 2 of those. But, I’ll show you those beauties another day.

Isn’t his garden just amazing…

P Allen Smith's Rose Garden
P Allen Smith’s Rose Garden

In My Garden…

I have 5 Red Drifts in my garden and they are about 18″ high and about 2′ wide. They keep my rose border alive with bloom from early spring to fall. Another bonus for me is these roses compliment other flowers and roses whether in the ground or in a vase. I love to add them to arrangements! Even though I only have 5, there are plenty of blooms to share! The blooms are in sprays which add great interest to vased arrangements.

These blooming machines are extremely disease resistant and a true joy in my cottage garden. All I do is give them a little fertilizer and they are good to go!

If you don’t have any of these beauties in  your garden–I highly recommend you add them. Even if space is an issue for you, they will fit nicely into a container or any nook or cranny and give you season long beauty!

Tomorrow…

Tomorrow I think I’ll share a rose with you that helped get me in the winner’s circle.

A Rose A Day: Gruss an Aachen

This light pink rose was hybridized in Germany by Philipp Geduldig in 1909 has the fragrant, multi-petaled lovely old world charm that I adore. It is considered by most to be the first floribunda. David Austin classifies Gruss an Aachen as an English rose as it has many similiar characteristics of his English roses—40-50 petals, a sweet fragrance and is a repeat bloomer throughout the growing season.

I have also read it is one of the more shade tolerant roses. That was not something I considered when I planted it, but now that the Annabelle Hydrangea is out growing it’s alloted space, they may be competing for the sun!

Since this rose grows to about 3 1/2 high and wide, she will fit nicely in to most any sized garden.

Gruss an Aachen has been on my wish list for some time and this year I finally added 2. Even though they are in their infancy, they have produced some amazingly beautiful blooms.

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A Rose A Day: Francis E. Lester, Hybrid Musk

You know I love historical roses and some of my first roses came from Roses of Yesterday and Today 25 years ago.

The story of Roses of Yesterday and Today intrigues me… It begins with the well-known authority on old roses, Francis E. Lester.

He was attributed with collecting and keeping available many old roses and writing about the subject in his book My Friend, The Rose published by J. Horace McFarland Co. in 1942. I have this book and it drips with information and charm.

According to Thomas Christopher’s book In Search of Lost Roses

Lester was born in England’s Lake District in 1868 and grew up during the heyday of England’s romance with the rose.

He moved to the United States around the turn of the century and spent nearly 25 years in Mesilla Park, New Mexico where he grew a 2 acre rose garden.

In his mid fifties he and his wife moved to California.  He searched the foothills and missions of California where he recognized the old roses from his childhood and  collected cuttings for propagation.

Pat Wiley said it was an honor for him when the British Government allowed him to quarantine roses at Sunnydale Nursery in England for export to the U.S.

I have read everything I could find on Francis and feel like we have a special rose connection. This year my hubby and son built me a very large and very beautiful new arbor and I knew I finally had the place for a big ole rambling FRANCIS E. LESTER rose. I found one  at David Austin Roses. It came a tiny little slip and has already grown to 3′. Oh my, he is going to be impressive and soon. I can’t wait to see him bloom next spring!

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Hubby and Son…. Craftsmen!
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Tools of the trade…
New arbor is across from another rose arbor with New Dawns. They'll be good neighbors I think!
New arbor is across from another rose arbor with New Dawns. They’ll be good neighbors I think!
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Isn’t it beautiful!
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Off to a great start…

Quote from Roses of Yesterday and Today….

The business was called “Lester Rose Gardens” and some of the roses can still be found at that address just up the road from the current “Roses of Yesterday and Today Garden.”  Lester put out the Lester Rose Gardens catalog that served as a model for the rose catalogs for years to come.

He wrote in 1941, “This catalogue differs from many catalogues you will receive;  it has no expensive colored illustrations, and, I hope, no extravagant claims.  But it does offer you the benefit of long experience with roses;  it tries to tell the truth;  and it offers you nothing that has not been tried out and found to be of real merit, not for the expert horticulturist but for the amateur gardener, whom we try to serve faithfully, and whose interests we hold to be paramount.  My occasional personal comments about the Old Roses, I trust, be excused, for they come from the heart.”

All I had to do was read this and he stole my heart and I consider his book to be one of my prized possessions. Reading it is pure pleasure!

 My Friend the Rose

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His book is in good company…
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A prized possession…

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Francis E. Lester Rose in his glory in the David Austin gardens…

Francis E Lester in David Austin's garden
Francis E Lester in David Austin’s garden

David Austin Roses says of the Francis E. Lester rose, “A strong, completely reliable rose which is smothered with huge bunches of small, single blooms. These are white, delicately tinted with soft pink at the edges, later becoming almost pure white, creating the impression of apple blossom.”

This rose was also one of the roses that “passed the test” in Longwood Garden’s Ten-Year Rose Trials.

Aren’t you excited to see what he does next year??? See ya tomorrow … might just have a bit more history… :)

A Rose A Day: Gemini

I planted Gemini this year in my new exhibition rose bed. I found Gemini at Edmunds Roses and in the description was written, “A must have for all exhibitors. It wins often.” I bought 3.

Every bloom on Gemini has lived up to it’s hype, however, it finished it first flush of bloom 2 weeks before our rose show!

Every bloom looked like this… IMG_2208IMG_2206IMG_2395

Gemini didn’t make it to the Indpls Rose Show last week but there’s always next year!

Hope everything is coming up roses in your world today! Come back tomorrow … we’ll have a little bit of rose history. :)

A Rose A Day: Celsiana

Here is the enchanting and very fragrant Celsiana blooming in my garden. Many of you were aghast when you saw this picture on Twitter very early in the season given that I garden in Zone 5b. The truth is, Celsiana was adopted this year from Guinivere Wiley of Roses of Yesterday and Today. She’s a Cali girl–thus the early start!

Celsiana_2I have drooled over this rose in catalogs for years and decided this was the year to adopt one… actually I adopted two. :)

Guinivere sent me the most beautiful plants and I protected them through some very cold days and nights.

Here’s what the Roses of Yesterday and Today online catalog says of Celsiana

Damask
Prior to 1750
4-5 feet
One annual flowering
Zones 4-9

The subject of one of Redoute’s most beautiful rose portraits, and a rose to inspire any artist. Leigh Barr Stamler, St. Louis, MO, says, “Celsiana is incredibly beautiful -
arching canes loaded with soft, lovely roses in the most perfect shade of pink! I sit on the grass in front of her for long minutes every spring, drinking in her beauty.”

A graceful plant with smooth, grey-green foliage and clusters of 4 inch warm pink flowers . . . which open wide with a special crisp twirl of crinkled petals showing tall yellow stamens.  True damask fragrance . . . if you plan to make potpourri, this rose should be included in your order.

I would highly recommend you adopt at least one Celsiana for your garden!

How can you resist….

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A Rose A Day: Gene Boerner Floribunda

Gene Boerner is a beautiful, profusely-blooming floribunda with pointed exhibition form.

GeneBoernerFloribunda
This rose was named for Eugene Boerner who many believe had much to do with the development of the floribundas we have today. He was hired by Jackson & Perkins in 1920 and spent his entire career with them. I think he would be very happy with the rose that bears his name. It has exquisite form, is disease resistant and is rarely without bloom.

A Rose A Day: Carefree Wonder

I don’t know about your grocery store, but many of our grocery stores have potted plants for sale. One that does it best is Kroger. They seem to pick all of my favorites and place them right by the door so I won’t miss them.

Last year I avoided gorgeous lavender plants, tall, fragrant phlox, a stunning butterfly bush or two, and others … But, the one I just couldn’t pass up was the Carefree Wonder rose. It was in full bloom, had a sweet fragrance and promised disease resistance and even shade tolerance. What rose gardener could pass that one by! Actually, I did pass it by but when I mentioned it to Mr. G, he turned around and went back and bought it for me. Yep, that’s my man!

As soon as I planted it, we went into drought mode. But, it just kept on blooming. This year this rose is almost too beautiful to believe.

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This rose is shade tolerant, VERY disease resistant, has a mild fragrance and blooms like crazy. I love, love, love it! Easy … breezy … beautiful.

Did I go overboard?? I do love it! :)

Can’t wait for you to see tomorrow’s rose … it is a beauty too!