Bloom Thyme Friday: Roses for You!

If you read the Springhill article in last week’s Bloom Thyme Friday, you know that roses are planted more than any other plant. It was fun to read the favorites for each state. LINK  

GARDEN ROSES

You hear a lot about types of roses and there are many: hybrid teas, grandifloras, noisettes, polyanthas, old garden roses – just to name a few! I believe all of them are beautiful and have their place. I especially love old garden roses and will even give some room to a diva or two. However, most of the roses in my garden are ones I simply call “garden” or shrub roses. Even though my garden is large, it is a cottage garden and is home to all kinds of shrubs, perennials, herbs, veggies, annuals, and roses! So I want roses that work well with the other plants, aren’t difficult to care for and are great for cutting and sharing! Note: I have about 175 roses tucked around all those other plants!

FRAGRANT GARDEN ROSES

Contrary to what you might have heard, there are easy care shrub roses with fragrance.

Here are a few of the fragrant ones in my garden…

SAVANNAH: Large vigorous shrub with large full blooms filled with deep rose fragrance. A standout in the garden!

Savannah

MOTHER OF PEARL: A fabulous bloomer with gorgeous peachy pink blooms. Light sweet fragrance. I keep adding more! I think I’m up to eight of these! They pair very well with white lilies in the garden.

Mother of Pearl

QUIETNESS: Such a pretty soft pink bloom with medium rose fragrance. Delicate looking blooms on a sturdy shrub.

Quietness

MUSIC BOX: Small hybrid tea type blooms on a large, blooming machine. Light rose fragrance. Confession time: I have 9 of these roses. They look so pretty in the garden and last well in a vase! (Easy Elegance Collection)

Vase of Music Box roses

CHAMPAGNE WISHES: Rich creamy white blooms with an ivory center on a medium-sized shrub. Sweet fragrance.  (Easy Elegance Collection)

Champagne Wishes
Champagne Wishes

AT LAST: Great bloomer, lovely petals, with ruffled edging and the orange/peachy color is divine and right on point with today’s color preferences. This one has a wonderful medium to strong fragrance. Proven Winners has a real winner in this rose!

At Last

THE GENEROUS GARDENER (David Austin Climber): A well-behaved climber – about 8′ – 9′ in my garden. The blooms are large and open beautifully. A lovely old rose/myrrh fragrance.

The Generous Gardener

EARTH ANGEL: This one is relatively new in my garden and has taken a while to become her best self. Now in her 3rd year, I can say that I need at least one more! Beautiful, fragrant and few roses match her in beauty and charm!

Earth Angel

SPEAKING OF FRAGRANCE

We know that fragrance is very subjective and this is truly a subject where there is much more than meets the eye… errr nose. 


Recently I had the chance to have the delightful Rebecca Koraytum of David Austin Roses as a guest on the Rose Chat Podcast. She gave a lot of insight on “THE FRAGRANCE OF ROSES.” You can listen here

GARDEN ROSES WITHOUT FRAGRANCE

This list of roses is beautiful in the garden and wonderful in a bokay – however in most cases, these don’t have fragrance. I don’t let that stand in my way and still consider them very valuable. Fragrance can be added with lavender, lilies, mint, lemon balm, and a bevy of other herbs and flowers. Just like gardeners who grow them, roses grow best with good companions. 

THE FAUN: A blooming machine with gorgeous blooms all summer long. Sometimes I get a hint of fragrance with this one. The cupped blooms on this one look very old fashioned but this one was released in Denmark in 1983.

PETIT PINK: Covered all summer with the sweetest sweetheart blooms. Lasts and lasts in a vase and dries very well for dried arrangements!

Petit Pink

POMPONELLA: Large shrub with arching canes of beautiful clusters of blooms. Just so pretty and a mild fragrance.

POSEIDON: Full blooms in a wonderful lavender color. The petals have beautiful ruffled edges.

Pomponella, Posiedon, and Earth Angel are Kordes roses. I find that Kordes roses do very well in my garden (Zone 5b) and there are many on the market. Note: More than 30 years ago the Kordes Company (Germany) made the unpopular business decision to stop spraying their rose fields. The result was that they were way ahead in the sustainable rose department.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT

Friends, these lists are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many great garden roses today and more on the way! Yes, we’ve come a long way from when that first Kock Out rose was released. Letting the world know that roses truly could be grown without chemicals and realizing that is exactly what many gardeners are looking for! Today many dedicated hybridizers are committed to bringing beautiful and sustainable roses to our gardens. I have the pleasure of testing the new roses from time to time and I can tell you, the future is bright.

There are rose trials going on constantly and awards being given to outstanding garden performers each year. Much of this is done regionally and that takes “finding the right rose for the right place” to the next level!

My good friend Dr. David Zlesak works closely with the ARTS trials (American Rose Trials for Sustainability). Each year they release more regional winners. Take a look at their website here.  Dr. David joined me to chat about the ARTS program on Rose Chat a few months back. You can listen here.

EASY ELEGANCE COLLECTION

Most of the roses in the Easy Elegance (Link) collection I would recommend. Another line to be looking for is the True Bloom (Link) collection. Easy Elegance roses are available at most Lowes and as the True Bloom plant inventory is built, they will be sold at Lowes and Home Depot. Currently, they are mostly found on the west and east coasts.

WHERE TO BUY

I have also been getting a lot of questions about where I buy my roses. While I buy local when I can, these roses can be tricky to find in my neck of the woods, so I look to online sources. Here’s a list of suppliers with a link to their websites. Take a look around, these websites have loads of information…


High Country Gardens (Link)

Heirloom Roses (Link)

Roses Unlimited (Link)

Antique Rose Emporium (Link)

Palatine Roses (Link)   

David Austin Roses  (Link)

Chamblee Roses (Link)

Jackson and Perkins (Link)

TRUTH BE TOLD

Truth be told — no plant is NO CARE. Even the Garden of Eden has its “issues.” Each garden has its own variation of soils, climates, and disease/pest pressure. There are many bugs and diseases that can “love” your plants too. Fortunately, by regularly spending time with our plants to not only enjoy them but also to see what’s going on, we can keep them from being loved to death by pests. 😉

Until next time, here are The Generous Gardener, Quietness and Music Box working together…

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Open Garden and a Rose Explosion

We have had more rain than my liking but the roses have loved it and many have responded with record-breaking blooms (well for my garden). It is wonderful to see them and to share them!

I was contacted by a garden club I had spoken to a couple years ago (before COVID) and they wanted to come see my garden. After so long of saying “no”, it was good to say “yes”. They even had me saying ‘yes’ to the next time I would come to do another program! Great to be planning again. 

I also invited my master gardener group as it had been so long since I had seen so many of them! 

In a week of rain, it was a wonderful morning – hot but with a great breeze. It was a balm to my soul to see so many people enjoying the garden.

UP AND OVER

As though they knew that people were coming, my climbers chose to be their very best selves on Open Garden day. I love most anything that vines or climbs in the garden and probably have way too many climbers in the garden! And, I have on more than one occasion invited a climber that ended up being a nightmare … yes I had a porcelain berry vine that was bent on world domination. And, I still see bits of yellow trumpet vine lurking about. 

If you have been following for a while you may remember the tears when Peggy Martin died back to the ground and didn’t cover her arbor for almost two seasons. And the time New Dawn did the same thing. It doesn’t all go according to plan, but this year the arbors are doing what I dreamed they would do… cover the arbors with beautiful flowers and all do it at the same time. Seeing them looking so good sure made the time on the ladder in dubious fall weather so worth it!

Front Arbor: New Dawn and Peggy Martin and Etoile Violette Clematis

Back Arbor: Peggy Martin, Francis E. Lester and Etoile Violette Clematis

THE MOST GROWN FLOWER IN EVERY STATE

Did you see this article by Spring Hill Nursery? To find out, what was the most grown flower in every state, they shared a list of 20 flowers with Americans in every state and the District of Columbia and asked them to choose the flower they plant in their gardens most often. Read on to see what gardeners in your state are most likely to grow! (Link)

GOD BLESS THE QUEEN

I can’t imagine what it has been like for Queen Elizabeth to say goodbye to her devoted prince after nearly 74 years of marriage. But it was good to see her smile as she accepted a new rose that was given in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday. The ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ rose will be planted in a mixed rose border of Windsor Castle – and there’s so much more to the story! You can read the entire Town and Country article by Annie Goldsmith here…

IAN GAVAN / GETTY IMAGES

BOKAY DAY

With the flowers at peak this week it was time for a BOKAY DAY.  I packed up trugs, buckets and tools in my trusty wagon and got busy. What a pleasure it is to be close up and personal with all the blooms. Seriously, it was quiet, peaceful and the fragrance of roses filled the garden – it was as though for a few hours I was in another world.

Once the bokays were made, we were off to make deliveries.

Here’s a few pics of how the morning went…

TIPS TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR CUT FLOWERS

  • Morning is the best time to cut flowers.
  • Use sharp snips or pruners.
  • Choose blooms not yet fully open.
  • Place in water immediately. (Take bucket to garden!)
  • Re-cut stems under water before adding to arrangement.
  • Remove leaves that will be under water.
  • Use flower preservative in water.
  • Change out water and recut stems every day or two!

WHAT A WEEK!

It has been a busy but wonderful week in the garden. So much beauty to be a part of – both people and flowers. May I never take it for granted and may I never forget who the real master gardener is.  

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. Sir Francis Bacon

Gardeners, we are in great company. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: ROSEMANIA / WEEDMANIA TOO

This week many of the roses are blooming machines and rosemania in the garden has begun. The potting shed has never looked better as it is now covered in beautiful Ghislaine de Feligonde roses. The bourbons, damasks, portlands and other old garden favs are trying to see who can have more flowers or more fragrance! 

WEEDMANIA

My word. We have so many weeds. SERIOUSLY SO  MANY.

OXALIS: She tries to woo me with her cute little leaves that look like good luck charms and her sweet little yellow blooms, but she is simply taking over. 

CLEAVERS: Galim Aparine … I don’t ever remember seeing this in my garden before but it’s here now. Sticky, clingy, and good at hiding. Luckily they are easy to pull!

THISTLE: We can grow some award-winning thistle around here and I just found a 2′ thistle hiding in the rhododendron.

WILD STRAWBERRY: The cutest of them all but she was not invited. I don’t remember ever seeing much of this lovely before but this year just may be the “year of the wild strawberry.”

Is it a weedy year for you? Who will be your weed of the year?

NATIONAL ROSE MONTH

June is National Rose Month. Isn’t it great that roses have their own month and it coincides with brides/ wedding month. 

Roses have such a rich history and becoming the National Floral Emblem is part of that rich history. I did a post on the details a few years back. You can read it here. 

There is a reason that June is bride’s month … June gets its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. So, the thought was that if you were married in June you would be blessed with prosperity and happiness. Who doesn’t want that blessing!

NEW TOYS

There are three products I purchased this season that I am just loving.

Jute covered twist tie. I love anything that vines, so I am always tying up something. I have a plethora of products that I use but this is absolutely fabulous. It looks so natural! And is holding up well. I found this at a garden center in England and so far I have not seen it locally. Hope we can find it! I’ll need more!

Pot Feet! I bought two different kinds. Love them both. Many of our large pots are on rolling trays but for other containers these are great! Both of these came from Amazon.

JOY OF THE SEASON

We had our first real dinner in the garden this week. Mr. G grilled steaks. It was a real feast as we not only had steaks, we had fresh whipped cream on our berries. 😉 Yes, the food was wonderful and so was my view … Mr. G, of course, … and the garden. 

Until next time….be well, be safe, and enjoy your view!

JUNE IS NATIONAL ROSE MONTH

June is National Rose Month. Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war and politics.

Did you know that the rose was almost overshadowed by the marigold? On January 12, 1959, the president of the W. Atlee Burpee Co., David Burpee, wrote newly-elected Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, proclaiming the virtues of the marigold and calling it “the flower of the people.” David Burpee was vigilant in the fight. He was known for using PT Barnum’s model for promotion and advertising — just like his dad! For nearly 10 years Burpee and Dirksen campaigned for the marigold.

Many other flowers were considered too … there were even those who strongly suggested the corn tassel be our national flower. What?

A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE

But, we know the end of the story… In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…

“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.

We see proof of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age. We have always cultivated roses in our gardens. Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today. The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States. We find roses throughout our art, music, and literature. We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.

The American people have long held a special place in their hearts for roses. Let us continue to cherish them, to honor the love and devotion they represent, and to bestow them on all we love just as God has bestowed them on us.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 has designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation declaring this fact.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the rose as the National Floral emblem of the United States of America.”

president

THE ROSE IS IN GOOD HANDS WITH THE AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY AND OUR LOCAL SOCIETY…

arslogoprintThe American Rose Society was founded in 1892,the American Rose Society is the oldest single plant horticultural society in America.  The ARS is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses. ARS supports its members by providing educational programs, resourceful publications, and continuing research. We have more than 300 affiliated rose societies in our national network.

I am an active member and have met some amazing people and draw routinely from their wealth of information. For membership information, click here.

INDIANAPOLIS ROSE SOCIETY…

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 in the evening at the Sullivan Munce building in charming downtown Zionsville! That is except for special events and they are usually on the weekend.

Our time together ranges from member garden parties, wine and roses parties, and tours (always popular as there are some amazing gardens) to workshops on rose pests and diseases, general rose care, as well as recommendations for growing roses in our region! It is amazing how much we learn from the experts we bring in and from our local members! There’s always fun, food, and prizes involved too. Read more here.

NOTE: During COVID our meeting schedule has changed. Check the website for updates.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Warp Speed

Spring is full-on around here and things are moving at warp speed. We went from winter to having some very warm days … so there’s been rapid growth on many of the roses and most of the perennials. It’s not just the weather that has me moving so fast, it’s the grandbaby coming and an upcoming trip. As I write those words…. upcoming trip … I can’t believe it’s true. Like so many of you, the separation from our family and all the uncertainty has been one of life’s most painful curveballs. But the flight is booked and soon we will be covered up in grands! 💙💙💙

GARDEN CENTERS

We have visited a few garden centers and I cannot believe how well-stocked they are and how early! They have surely heard all the statistics and trends that gardening is on the rise. I keep hearing that in 2020 there were anywhere from 16,000  – 20,000 people saying they are first-time gardeners. So 2020 was NOT just the year of the pandemic, it was also the YEAR OF THE GARDENER. A silver lining for sure!

I read another article on garden trends from the Farmers’ Almanac:

  1. Balcony Gardens Will Be Big
  2. Houseplants, Indoor Gardens and Windowsill Gardens
  3. Bringing the Inside Outside (I love this one!)
  4. Tiny Gardens Galore
  5. Permaculture Practices
  6. The “Cottage Core” Aesthetic (Curious and want to know more… read on here.) 
  7. Online Gardening
  8. Gardening by the Moon

Read more here on the Farmer’ Almanac website. They have so many great articles! 

Cottage Core

BROOD X 

Have you heard about Brood X …. I recently read a headline that BILLIONS OF BROOD X CICADAS ARE SET TO EMERGE IN SPRING 2021. Guess what? Indiana is a hot spot for them. Oh Joy! 😳 When I hear this my mind immediately goes to Biblical Plagues but I guess they aren’t THAT bad. BUT, they are kinda creepy looking (especially in mass) and loud. I think we are to start seeing them in mid May… so much for quiet happy hours in the garden. Groups can be up to 100 decibels. 📢 Seriously, I can do without those. If they had come in 2020, they would have fit right in. 

NEED TO KNOW MORE? There’s actually a website called Cicadamania. Everything you could ever want to know and more, including where they are expected to be and when!  Link here.  

NEW SHRUBS FOR THE GARDEN

ICEBERG ALLEY SAGELEAF WILLOW

When I saw a picture of this shrub, I thought it would be so so so good in my garden with the silver foliage!


Once I saw this VIDEO (link) from First Editions, I knew I had to have it. So I now have two.

SPICE BABY VIBURNUM


This Proven Winners plant tag caught my eye with the pretty blooms and the words petite and fragrant. We have many many viburnums of all types and we love them (so do the birds), however, they are NOT petite! This one is said to reach 3.5 – 5′ high and 3.5 – 6′ wide. Not tiny but will work very nicely. Looking forward to watching them grow! More info here.

UPDATE ON MILK JUG WINTER SOWING

Three of the five containers did VERY well. Ammi (I’ll have to keep my eye on her), Sweet William, and French Alouette Larkspur. So far nothing from Magic Fountain Delphinium and Munstead Lavender.

I will totally do more of this next year. For a simple, inexpensive pack of seeds, SO MANY PLANTS and it was so easy. (See the beginning of the project here.)  

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

My baby Peggy Martins are recovering from an attack from spider mites. TIme will tell how they continue to do.😞


I potted up the baby Formosa lilies from seeds given to me from my good friend David. This was the first time to use my new transplant tools (Amazon). All I’ve had in the past were my handy dandy 20 something-year-old tiny trowels from Smith and Hawkins. They are great for most small work, but I was going for something even smaller and sharper. I found this set and compared to the heavy-duty S&H tool, they seemed very flimsy to me at first. But they were perfect for this delicate work. 

Munstead Lavender is doing great! Munstead is the only lavender I have tried (and I’ve tried sooooooo many) that comes back reliably. (I’m in 5b.)

My topiaries and geraniums are coming in and out as they get used to living outdoors!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

BACK TO WORK

Time to get back to work. That mountain of mulch won’t move itself. Yes, time to get back to WARP SPEED SPRING GARDENING. Babies don’t wait. 🇬🇧 Halleluia! 💙 💙 💙 💙 ✈️

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your time in the garden — and if you are on the BroodX map, enjoy the peace and quiet while you can! 

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Dirty Work, Surprises and My Real Garden

Garden cleanup is dirty work. Snatching leaves and debris from the base of roses has its price! That is one of the reasons why rose growers always push regular tetanus shots! I have unearthed so much… leaves from trees we don’t grow and trash from items we don’t use. Oh, those windy days! I also found damage from the marauding deer.  Some things I can fix with an easy prune – and all will be forgiven — if they don’t return! We keep spraying with Liquid Fence and it seems to be working. But, I did see hoof prints in the veriest back where many of the old roses are. Please don’t munch there!!! I want blooms! 

Loving these cleanup bags!

Yes, the work is dirty but I love it. As I weave in and out of the “needy” garden beds, like every spring, I am overcome with gratitude that I have the pleasure to tend this garden… a garden that started as a blank slate more than 30 years ago.

Spring cleanup gives me the opportunity to be up close and personal with each plant, checking them out and getting them ready for their 2021 debut. I also had a couple of big surprises…

BIG SURPRISE #1:

Sweet Peas that wintered over! That is a first for me! I believe these are the Midnight Blues sweet peas from Sarah Ravens that I bought in England! Those were the sweet peas that bloomed right up to frost last year! They are conveniently growing right where I decided to put my teepee this year. These were seeds I bought when shopping with my grandson, making them even more precious!

BIG SURPRISE #2:

It is March and some of my roses have leaves. Very early. This time of year we usually spray a dormant oil — we better hurry! Praying Mother Nature is kind. Remember the horrible freeze we had on May 7, 2020, and we were out covering everything we could! My lilies and peonies never recovered! And the Sargent Crab’s blooms were stopped in their tracks. Most of the roses were covered and did fine.

SPRING PRETTIES

SWEET PEAS

Sweet peas are soaking today and will be planted tomorrow when the rain stops. So many pretty varieties! EXCITING. And should the Midnight Blues really do their thing, it will be a very special sweet pea year. I hope to be in England when sweet peas are blooming this year. Fingers crossed!

MY REAL GARDEN

Just when I was pining for my family in England and the world’s connection was slipping through our fingers, up pops Ann-Marie Powell, a spunky, people-loving, UK garden designer and author into my garden world. 

On March 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm UK (7:30 am for me 😳). Ann-Marie made the decision to do something new – start lunchtime daily IG live feeds from her REAL GARDEN. A garden that her busy lifestyle before COVID lockdown left little time for and had become somewhat of a construction site due to a recent home reno. So, as she plotted and planned to refresh her REAL GARDEN, she invited others on the journey to a real garden experience. She even invited others to share their REAL GARDENS and go live with her and they did! The MY REAL GARDEN account grew to nearly 20K in 2020.

On April 1, I started going on the journey too. I tuned in enough to feel like I know Ann-Marie’s garden almost as well as I know my own! I have been on REAL GARDEN garden tours via IG live all over the world. Going behind the gate and seeing the good, the bad, and the “I need help areas.” As we all know, there is nothing like REAL moments to connect people! And for gardeners … sharing those experiences with other gardeners is mecca! It was a wonderful way to connect during COVID.

Midway through the year, Ann-Marie had the idea to do a book about the MY REAL GARDEN PROJECT and asked us to submit pictures, tips, stories, and info about our garden – all of us! 

This week the MY REAL GARDEN book launched and yes I am in there. I haven’t received my copy but am so excited to see it. The book is a representation of everyone in some way. The proceeds from the book are going to Greenfingers, a charity close to Ann-Marie’s heart — an amazing UK charity dedicated to supporting children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and benefit from. Don’t you absolutely love that!!! More here

This experience was unique and special in so many ways. Often I got on the maps app to see where people sharing their gardens were located in conjunction to where my family lives and I felt the world shrink. 

You can join too on Instagram. I think the book will be for sale on the website …  visit here.  

BIG CHEERS AND THANK YOUS to Ann-Marie for her ingenuity, creativity, and being the architect for this community where we encouraged each other to bloom right where we were planted – during a most difficult year.
🥂🎉🥂🎉🥂🎉🥂

FIRST DAY OF SPRING

On the first day of spring, we shopped for shrubs and a few spring flowers and headed home with a full SUV! Happy days are here again! Robin Williams is quoted as having said, Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party!  I couldn’t agree more!!   🌷🥂🌷


Friends, party on! 🌱🎉🌱🎉🌱

Bloom Thyme Friday: Hellebores, Bangs and Saying Goodbye

Hellebores . . .

The garden centers and even Trader Joe’s have the most beautiful Hellebores right now! While I have several, I was very tempted to buy a deep red one I saw this week. 

Hellebores —  also called Christmas rose or Lenten rose  aren’t in the rose family. Actually they are closely related to buttercups and anemones! These shade loving, low-maintenance and deer-resistant elegant beauties add so much to the spring garden.  

This week my hellebores were a mess. Last year’s scraggly foliage was everywhere, hiding all the beautiful buds.

While grooming the hellebores I kept thinking of conversations with my mom…. back in the day when I thought long bangs were very fashionable. Many times I heard, “Your bangs are too long, I can’t see your face.” 😂 I rarely liked the trim my bangs would then get!!  I hope the hellebores like their new “do”. 💇🏼‍♀️ It was severe but I think they look very fashionable and the blooms will soon steal the show! They are on course to bloom right on time for Easter.  For more on Hellebores, hop over to the Missouri Botanical Garden site here. NOTE: All parts of Hellebores are poisonous so be careful in handling! I wear gloves.

SAYING GOODBYE . . .

Big stuff in the garden this week…. saying goodbye to 25 year old sickly crabapple. 🥺 This day has been coming for some time as it became more sickly with apple scab the last few years. The last few springs we had a couple of weeks of pretty blooms and when the blooms came down, the leaves starting peppering down with them and continued to fall. For 90% of the season it looked sickly. We have friends who treated their crab apple tree for scab several times but saw no improvement so we decided to just remove the tree. We have other crab apple trees that are doing well. 


It was impressive the way Mr. G wrangled that tree! He was on his own for the cutting but I jumped in for the cleanup. Needless to say, we both slept well that night!

I know the roses planted in that area are celebrating as they will now get more light and water — and some pretty new neighbors. I had a moment of sadness but quickly said my goodbye and was lost in the possibilities!! More space! More sun! More plants! Today I’m out with pencil, paper and measuring tape. #newplan  

Happy News . . .

Snowdrops are blooming making me very happy. Until recently I was happy to watch for the snowdrops to bloom in the woods near us and enjoy them there. However, you can’t visit England, watch Monty Don on Gardener’s World for two years,  and not fall completely in love with snow drops. So sweet and simple and beautiful. A perfect spring flower. The Victorian flower dictionaries list the Snow Drop meaning as “hope”. I can see why. It blooms so early — sometimes pushing the snow out of the way to make it’s entrance at the end of winter giving us just what we need the most — Hope!

I bought my snow drops at Brent and Becky’s. The variety is Galanthus elwesii Mount Everest. They are sooooo cute. 

My first little babies
Snowdrops in the woods this week.

No one celebrates the arrival of snow drops like those in the UK. It is easy to be drawn into the excitement with all the  “snow drop sighting reports” from UK friends and family.  

That smile … he’s enjoying the snowdrops too.

Crocus are popping up all over the place and the bees are thrilled.

NEW BOOK I’M LOVING . . .

A Year at Brandywine Cottage by David L. Culp

I was first introduced to Brandywine Cottage in David Culp’s book The Layered Garden so I couldn’t wait to have A Year in Brandywine Cottage.


Whether you have read the first book or not, this book is one to sink into. Every page takes you on a walk through David’s amazing garden and gives you something beautiful to take away … a tip, an idea, a plant or a recipe. Seriously a dandelion salad never looked so good as the one featured on Page 54. Each step of the way you are encouraged to “look closer.” Every page celebrates the garden and the gardener and as you go on a journey through all seasons, you not only feel privileged to have this inside look at David’s garden life but you are also inspired to “look closer” at the world around you and live your best gardening life too. 

LOOKING BACK TO GO FORWARD…

Our phone holds so much information and one of the best parts of that is the photographs we take. Part of my plans for the current spring are based on looking back at pictures of seasons past. When did it bloom? How did it look? What do I want to change?


I also go through the blog and read articles I’ve written as well as the journal I’ve kept of bloom times, varieties, etc.


With the dawn of a new decade – 2020 – I decided to keep a running list of daily happenings that included life and garden highlights and “lowlights” too. Little did I know just what I would be writing about.

I am now reading what I wrote in March and as I read, I can’t help but be stunned by the use of words that before 2020 were practically foreign to me. Words like….

  • Pandemic
  • Covid19
  • Self Quarantine
  • Cabin Fever
  • Travel Ban
  • Mask Mandates
  • 6′ apart
  • Uncertain Times / Unprecedented Times
  • 15 Days to Flatten the Curve
  • Toilet Paper Shortage

I don’t want to forget where we have been, but am so glad that now we are hearing much more positive and hopeful words… 

  • Vaccines
  • Herd immunity
  • And, a favorite new trend – more people gardening than ever before!

Yes, so many had more time to work in their gardens than ever before and many, many people found their way to making a garden for the first time! 


Now we are ALL gonna be heading to the garden centers — together! It’s a first come/first serve world — but no pushing or shoving  please. 😁  I’ve already heard from more than one source that we should expect shortages and no special orders! 

Friends, our wait is over … spring is officially upon us. Garden Centers and big box stores are gearing up for what looks to be a big gardening year!! Stay safe and have fun getting out there to find your prizes! And, love your neighbor as yourself even if they get the best tomato plants before you get there! 😂

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Springing Forward

It’s that time! Time to spring forward. I know Daylight Saving Time is not loved by all but it was especially loved by me when I was working full time and wanted more time in the garden after work. (Yes, it’s ‘saving’ not ‘savings’.😉 )

ABOUT DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

Warning… Rabbit Hole! 😳🐰

  • Benjamin Franklin was the first to speak of this idea when he observed people using candles long into the night but sleeping past dawn. (I must say I am a BIG proponent of getting up before dawn and starting the day with candles and watching the sunrise! Watching the day’s light arrive is transforming to my mood and spirit in ways nothing else can do.)
  • In 1907 Englishman William Willett led the first campaign to implement moving clocks forward 80 minutes between April and October for people to enjoy more sunlight. However, he did not live to see DST implemented.
  • Germany was the first country to take the plunge and introduced DST in 1916.  The idea was to conserve fuel for war effort. The ideas quickly caught on in many other countries. 
  • All European countries, except Belarus and Iceland use DST.
  • During WW2, President Franklin Roosevelt introduced year-round DST.  Again, to conserve fuel. It was referred to as War Time.
  • The Uniform Time Act of 1966 standardized time zones and daylight saving practices in the US. However, allowing individual states to pass laws exempting themselves.
  • Hawaii and Arizona do not “spring forward.” 
  • In many states legislation has been introduced to LOCK THE CLOCK and permanently choose Standard Time or DST. 
  • 2021: Spring Forward: March 14 / Fall Back: November 7

FORSYTHIAS & PRUNING

I’ve started the official 2021 watch for blooming forsythia. Around here when forsythia starts blooming we start pruning – roses will get their spring clip! Last year the forsythia bloomed on March 24.

Apart from being the harbingers of rose pruning, they are a sentimental favorite of mine. They were a favorite of my mom and dad and were plentiful in our yard when I was growing up. I brought cuttings from my Dad’s forsythia the year he passed but they did not take – it was in January so not much surprise but I was hopeful. While I don’t have those plants, I sure have the memories and they are sweet. 💛

To go down my family forsythia rabbit hole 🐰, read an article I wrote after my dad passed away … HERE

GHISLAINE de FELIGONDE

This winter Ghislanie de Feligonde was busy … she threw out several extra-long canes! She is now not only going up the side of the potting shed but across the front too! This week’s wonderful weather was the perfect time to get her all tied up again. I simply CAN NOT WAIT until she blooms.

MY ORCHIDS

I have bought orchids many, many times and always hoped they would rebloom. I only remember one time that happening and the blooms were tiny and unimpressive! So, I am pleased to announce that the beautiful orchid friends gave me 15 months ago has rebloomed – and it is amazing! I give the credit to the excellent plant given me and being home to care for it regularly! I water it once a week with 2T of a water-soluble orchid fertilizer and keep it in my window (that faces west – certainly not ideal). Mr. G gave me an orchid about the same time and it is shooting up some buds too! So there’s more to come! 🎉

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

LITTLE MIRACLES

Formosa Lily seeds a friend gave me have germinated. Aren’t they just the cutest!! ThatThanks David!

Loving the Peggy Martin branches that are framing the lily babies!

Action in the milk jugs! Sweet William has germinated and looking oh so cute and making me very happy. (Read more about the milk jug project HERE.)  🌱🌱🌱🌱

Just when you think the garden is so dead that it will never EVER come back, beauty starts popping up all over the place!

LATEST PODCAST

Last week on the podcast I chatted with Kristen Smith, Rose Evaluation Manager for Star Roses and Plants, about their beautiful new roses (like the damask scented new beauty from Will Radler of Knockout fame!) and other amazing garden plants that are well suited for today’s gardens and today’s gardeners! 

I have so many on my list… the new Lilac, dwarf boxwoods, and the clematis! Oh my! Check them out for yourself HERE.

TO DOS

We wait and we wait and then all of a sudden it is TIME to get busy! First up, I will cut back all the old yucky foliage from my hellebores. They are on the brink of blooming! 🎉

Cleaning up beds and pruning roses will be in full force the next two weeks. With 175 or so roses, it will take me a “minute” or two. 😁

Putting down sulfur in my beds to begin to lower the pH. Last year’s soil tests revealed the pH was on the rise. Roses and most of the plants I grow appreciate a pH of 6.0-6.5. My readings were 7.0 – 7.4.

Plant sweet peas! Traditionally you hear to plant your sweet peas on St. Patrick’s day but know this… when it’s cold they will just sit there until just the right temp for their sweet selves. And, in Indiana, you just might have to wait a bit before you see them. Still, it is a good benchmark and works for me! Read your seed packet for the best time for you!

I’ll be growing my sweet peas in the herb garden on teepees made of bamboo stakes as I did my pole beans last year. I also love to put them on the herb garden fence to drape around! I just love them and most anything else I can drape over a fence! I have to say that the sweet peas I saw growing in England, barely resembled the ones grown here. Their sweet peas are perfection – huge, long-stemmed, and luscious! #climatechallenges #butworthit

Friends, whatever is on your to-do list, have fun springing into spring! 📝

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: PLANS & PROJECTS

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The deep snow is melting and there are signs of spring everywhere. One of my favorite things to watch for are violas I planted in years past that pop up and show color even in winter! Took this picture yesterday … icy but still showing color! #lovethespirit 

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We have survived the long, lonely winter with home projects, cleaning out drawers and closets, going through “collections” and doing a bit of sprucing up. This week a simple reorganizing of the guest room closet (which is very small) turned into a full blown project of painting and moving shelving. 

Now it is time to get “full blown” into garden readiness. So more time in the potting shed it is. Time in the potting shed is good for the plants but it is OH SO good for the gardener. That tiny space and those projects bring immense joy.  I think most, if not all of that joyful feeling comes from dirt… touching it and smelling it. Yes, dirt is quite magical! Are you with me? 

First thing was to “pot up” the scented geranium cuttings I took last July. They have gotten huge. Last year I had several different varieties but decided to only winter over two since I have winter space issues — Attar of Rose and Rober’s Lemon Rose.

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WINTER SOWING

Next was to try my hand at winter sowing in milk jugs that we talked about a few weeks ago. Read about that here. 
In the cartons are ….. 

  • Larkspur
  • Sweet Willian
  • Ammi: Dara
  • Lavender
  • Delphinium

Starting slow… if this works for me, I can see doing a ton of them next year!

Mr. G is more than ready to start his outdoor projects which include removing a sick crabapple tree and “pruning” two 25+ year old honey locust trees. We still can’t believe how small they were when we planted them – they are huge now. So while he waits, he is being a rock star on “honey do” projects, building birdhouses, and coming up with ways we can discourage the deer who are becoming way tooooooo comfortable in our garden. We are using DEER NO NO from Gardener’s Supply and spraying with Liquid Fence. We are hoping that now that the snow is clearing maybe our repellents will be more effective! If you have ideas on “discouraging” deer, please let us know. They really MUST move on if we are to have a garden this year! These pictures are taken right out our back door and they are here most every night. 😩

GREAT READ… 

An article from New York Times column, In the Garden with Margaret Roach – The Smart Way to Grow Roses.

In this article Margaret shares many tips on rose selection and quotes from noted rosarian, former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in NYC, and gifted author Peter Kukeilski. Peter is a lovely person and the author of one of my favorite books to recommend, Roses Without Chemicals. He has a new book out, Rosa, that is on my list.

LATEST PODCAST…

I had the pleasure of chatting with Rebecca Koraytum of David Austin Roses last week. On the show, Rebecca brings us up to date on how things are going at David Austin Roses since the pandemic and talks about their new roses. She also shares her insights on emerging rose trends and gives us a verbal peek inside her personal rose garden! Listen Here.

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More and more people are getting their vaccines giving us more and more hope of a world that will begin to open! First on our list of course will be getting to England! 

I hope signs of spring are all around you and that you are knee deep in plans and projects! 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱