BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: FALLING INTO FALL

I am always late to the fall party … spend too much time pouting about the end of the growing season. But, I do eventually get there! And usually, it is just in time for the first snow which we had this week. Fresh snowfall refreshes the soul and makes everything look enchanting.

FALL WORK

When the sun is shining and I’m in the garden I forget what’s to come and just enjoy being there. There’s much to do. I am now on day three of trimming roses. It takes a while because I can never stay on one task. I am a garden project hopper.

I am also adding sulfur to the beds. A soil test revealed my pH was high and it was recommended I add sulfur. The lab I used for the soil test was A & L Great Lakes Labs. LINK HERE

The final fall task will be to rake up debris from some of the beds and add a layer of shredded leaves which we have in abundance this year thanks to our neighbor who is treating all the neighbors on our street by “mowing” and shredding the leaves from their yards! So, they are literally being shredded and bagged for me! So grateful as typically we have to buy mulch!

BULB PLANTING

I love bulbs and have quite a few but I try to resist planting too many as the foliage they leave behind for such a long, long, long time tends to get in the way of the beauty of my spring “fireworks and fragrance” stage when the old garden roses start doing their thing! They take center stage and the bulbs get a nip in their life cycle if you know what I mean.

This year it was harder than ever to resist buying hundreds of bulbs I can tell you! I am following several people on Instagram that are naturalizing bulbs and they made it so tempting.

But I stayed fairly strong and only planted a few additional bulbs. It was great to get them in the ground and dream of when they will emerge doing their very popular jobs — adding beauty to the end of winter and shouting to the world that spring is coming! For the first time, I also planted a few bulbs in a container on the patio to see how well they will do. 

FALL FOOD

One of the very best things about fall is fall food. It is synonymous with comfort food. So far we have had several favorites… Zuppa Toscana, Chicken Pot Pie, and Chicken Noodle Soup! What food says fall to you?

I also made several batches of caramel dip to share. It is way too good to keep around too long so it must be shared! If you are interested, you can find the recipe HERE.  The next treat to share will be Grandma B’s Fruit Cake Cookies. I know. I know. You’re thinking you wouldn’t like them but I’m telling you, they are not only traditional, they are good! Especially if you add extra coconut! Go ahead, give them a try. Recipe HERE

BLOOM THYME

Let’s talk about my orchid!

I have tried orchids several times in the past and while I enjoy them so much, I could never get a robust rebloom. That story has now changed. At the Awards Banquet for the Indianapolis Rose Society in December  2019, I was given a lovely orchid as a gift for serving as President. 

This year the beautiful orchid came back to life in January sending up 2 strong bloom “spikes.” By February it was blooming and it finished blooming in August! It was glorious! Now it is going again!

In this picture taken yesterday, you can see that the Amaryllis is clearly saying “this is my time to shine” and the Orchid is clearly saying “hold my beer.”  😳😆 They both will be bringing me immense pleasure very soon!

February
July

Want to know my orchid secret? I have a good friend who is a master at growing orchids. The most amazing orchids I have ever seen. He gave me some simple advice and that is what I do. Water every week with soluble orchid fertilizer. Amount? One jigger full of the fertilized water. It works.


BACK TO THE BANQUET

Here are a few pictures from that Indianapolis Rose Society Banquet. Such a beautiful evening together with rose friends. Little did we know how different things would be in a few short months and it would be the last of such events for a good long while.  I so look forward to having them again.

LATEST PODCAST

Last week I chatted with Carrie and Joe Bergs about winter rose care where it gets very cold but we talked about so much MORE than just winter rose care. We talked about roses they love, their hobby of exhibiting roses, mentoring others in their area, and the work they are doing for local societies and the American Rose Society. Joe and Carrie enjoy every aspect of growing roses – a lovely rose power couple. LISTEN HERE

Carrie did a previous Rose Chat podcast, “My Favorite Pink Ladies” where she shares about her favorite old garden roses. Listen HERE

BEST PART OF FALL

It is almost time for the best part of fall … Thanksgiving! A time to count our blessings and enjoy special moments and yummy food with those we love. We’ve learned that holidays can look very different but I’m so impressed with how we have learned to find new ways to celebrate and share. Wishing you a very special week.

Friends, when I count my blessings, I certainly count you. It is wonderful to have a community of like-minded friends who share my love of gardening and roses. Thank you.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: LET THE SUNSHINE in

Our first “real” frost came this week. Funny, it was sandwiched in between days soaring to near 60. Regardless, the reality is setting in – winter is coming. BONUS: The sun is shining almost every day and if the sun is shining all is good. I’m solar powered!☀️

Garden work the past two weeks has been about getting the last of the potted plants safely inside. Winters here are not only cold they are dark so I bought more grow lights to add in the potting shed and Mr. G’s shoppe. Isn’t he the nicest thing to let my large Myrtle Topiaries hang out there all winter. He may regret saying yes. This will be their first Indiana winter they are going to need all the help we can give them! #rudeawakening 

Grow lights I bought… Clip On (link) and on stand (link

GERANIUMS VS PELARGOnIUMS

Many of the plants that came into the potting shed were scented and zonal “geraniums” (pelargoniums). They are tender plants and of course, we either have to say goodbye or they come inside. The “true” geraniums like Johnson’s Blue, Rozanne, and Dreamland will greet me next spring.

The pelargonium/geranium thing is a bit confusing. The confusion seems to have started as far back as the 17th century when the first pelargoniums were brought to Europe and were called geraniums probably due to how they looked when the experts of the day in taxonomy were making those decisions for us. Want to know more? The Laidback Gardener clears it up! Read on

Regardless of what you decide to call them, these plants are absolutely necessary for my garden as I feel it would be naked without them! 

Look at this”zonal” beauty. So glad I brought her in!
Here you see pelargoniums (zonal and scented) hanging out with my topiaries happy as clams in the sunshine.

POTTING SHED WINTER POPULATION

Some plants are adjusting well to the switch from outside to inside like the evergreen topiaries who don’t seem to notice they moved. The two small lavender topiaries I started from cuttings last year are a different story. They have definitely noticed! One is struggling, and the other one is giving up! 😕

BLOOM THYME

It will take more than 29 degrees to discourage some plants but others have raised the white flag until spring! Like the Dahlias and the Hydrangeas! WO!

Time to dig.

Next up around here will be trimming roses, digging dahlias, more garden clean up and a bit of bulb planting. (I said I wasn’t going to plant bulbs this fall but I’m weak and stores know just where to place them.) 

Friends until next time, wherever you are, whatever the weather stay safe and well. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Don’t Wait!

One of the things this season of our world has taught me is don’t wait. 

Last year I experienced…  “Sold Out” on seeds and other garden supplies and shortages of ingredients for holiday favorites. From the look of the aisles in the grocery stores, I’m thinking waiting could be risky business. This week the grocery aisles were very skimpy. 😳

One ingredient that is absolutely necessary for our holiday meals is Pepperidge Farm Herb Classic Stuffing Mix. Following in the tradition of Mr. G’s mother … Our family “dressing” is a mixture of the Pepperidge Farm mix, dried bread, butter, broth, eggs, herbs, celery, and onion. This speaks “holiday” in our family like no other! 

Sometimes this mix is hard to find!  During the original COVID lockdown, I looked and looked and finally was able to order online! You can imagine my delight when last week our local Kroger had all I needed! Let’s say I bought plenty!!! Some will soon be on its way to England. 

What food says “holiday” to you?

DAHLIAS / SEEDS

In the spirit of not waiting, I have placed orders for Dahlias and seeds. #priorities 🙄 I didn’t want to see the “sold out” banner again. I am happy to report seeds are already here safe and sound and waiting their time to shine. Dahlias will come in the spring. ☑️ ☑️

DAHLIA ORDER … FROM SWAN ISLAND  

Swan Island was recommended to me by John Hefner. If you know John, you know that he and Donna have the most amazing garden filled with hundreds of roses and yes beautiful dahlias! There are so many beautiful ones to choose from. My greatest challenge is to NOT buy pink ones because I have so many pink roses.  💞 Here’s a link for Swan Island Don’t wait!

The dahlias below are on order and there are “only” a couple more I am still trying to find. ☑️

THE ROSE WITHOUT A NAME

The Rose Without a Name is a children’s book that shares the story of the Peggy Martin Rose. The book beautifully and thoughtfully weaves a story of hope from hurricane and devastation to rebirth and beauty. I can’t wait to read this book to my grandchildren. 

Read more about this book or purchase here.

HOW ROSES TOUCH OUR LIVES

Speaking of books, a good friend, Teresa Mosher, has written her second book, How Roses Touch our Lives. You can listen to her story of the book and of being a gardener of 40 years. (Pssst: She currently cares for and maintains 42 flower beds, around 200 roses, 1500 perennials, shrubs, and trees.😱) LISTEN HERE

Here is my beautiful friend standing in front of her beautiful rose
‘Perennial Blue’. She loves purple!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Beautiful visitor
The Potting Shed Window Box is now dressed for the season.

COMING SOON

November is almost here. And, don’t judge us but that will usher in Christmas music season around here. Mr. G makes sure all our favorites fill the airwaves around here! And I bet if we listen closely, we will hear the sounds coming from a home in England that houses 4 little boys. We may be a house divided on how we feel about fall, but this family is a big fan of Christmas. Maybe not the commercial parts but definitely in the celebrating Christ’s birth with loads of family, friends, food, twinkle lights and watching “White Christmas”. Never too many twinkle lights or Bing!

DON’T WAIT

Yes, these days, if you need something it is best not to wait. Supplies for our everyday lives are important but this unpredictable season beckons us not to wait on other more important things too… to say what’s on our hearts … whether it’s You are special, I love you, I’m sorry or something in between. Don’t wait. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: October Glory

The rains have moved in and the temps are still warm so things are looking lush in the garden again and frost seems to be at least a few weeks out! The roses are at that “messy” stage that comes when you stop deadheading but hips are forming and I do love to see those. Other roses are still giving some beautiful blooms and I’m mixing them with snapdragons and dahlias… 

DAHLIAS

Let me tell you it is hard to go to England or watch Monty Don and crew on Gardener’s World and not fall in love with Dahlias.


This was my second year growing them and I am hooked. And, am spending a good bit of time looking for more. These beauties take late summer bloom thyme to the next level! Some of my dahlias struggled this year as they were in places without adequate sun. Seriously, I don’t know exactly where I am going to plant the new ones — but I’ll think of something – preferably a spot with more sun and there’s always containers!!


Here are my “gateway” dahlias. Most were bought in mixed packages at Lowe’s so I’m not sure of their names. I did plant the beloved Cafe Au Lait but it didn’t do very well for me — again sun was a factor I’m sure.

Click on an image to open the “gallery” feature for a better view.

Cafe au Lait

WINNERS

One of the regional rose trial programs in the US is the American Garden Rose Selections.  They recently released their 2022 winners. As we are planning for what we will grow next year, it is the perfect time to read about these beauties and where they grow best… HERE.

Congratulations to the winners!

Celestial Night
  • Celestial Night by Christian Bedard / Weeks
  • Easy on the Eyes by Tom Carruth / Weeks
  • Pink Freedom by Christian Bedard / Weeks
  • Pretty Polly Pink by David Zlesak / Star

LATEST ROSECHAT PODCAST

GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY with Pat Shanley, Past President of the American Rose Society. Pat has an amazing chemical-free garden and wonderful advice for growing roses sustainably! LISTEN HERE.

ME AND ETTA

I just learned that a photo that I took of Proven Winner’s beautiful rose ‘At Last’ (Song by Etta James) will be on the October page of the American Rose Society 2022 Calendar. I feel like with paper I am going full circle. I switched to online calendars a few years ago but I’m now back to paper! If you like paper calendars, this is a beautiful one. You can order them here

At Last

BLOOM THYME

Like it or not, fall is fully upon us. Things look different these days but if we look, we always find beauty – in life and in the garden…

The Generous Gardener

Friends, I hope your fall is going well. Mr. G and I already have a coffee bet on when the first snowfall will be. What do you think? ☕️🍂❄️

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: September assessment

As September comes to a close, I’m moving to a slower pace and taking more time to “just be.” A former colleague was the master of this and this “busy bee” learned the value of slowing down. It is not easy for me to do but I reap the benefits.

Yes,  there’s plenty still to do in the garden but I’m taking more time to enjoy and appreciate. This has been a wonderful week of sunny skies mixed with drenching rain that we have needed for a long time. The cooler temps predicted for the next few days will be the perfect time to start bringing in my topiaries and scented geraniums, take a few more cuttings and harvest herbs.  

Part of the slower pace includes assessments. Mr. G says I say the word “assess” a lot. The fact that he even mentioned it, tells me I do! 🙄  It’s true, I do enjoy “assessing the situation” and making a plan. 

Previous year’s “assessments” led to a plan of adding more flowers and shrubs that are beautiful way into fall. Before, I had so focused on spring and summer (since they are my favs) and didn’t think as much about fall. The plan is paying off. Even with the drought, this has been a great year for late summer and fall bloom.  Plants I’ve added that have made a difference in late beauty:

  • Caryopteris (Bluebeard) I have two varieties Beyond Midnight  and Little Miss Sunshine from Proven Winners  
  • Dahlias
  • More Autumn Joy Sedum
  • Lantana
  • Adding to the Hydrangea collection

The pollinators have noticed! Their pace has not slowed!

Pollinators are loving the Veronica Blue Salvia and Flamenco Rosita!

NEW ROSES

I am also “assessing” the roses I’d like to add next year. With my overcrowding problem, I am finding new homes for some current roses to make room for new ones. 

Christian Bedard sent me the list of Weeks new releases and they look outstanding! See what you think… 

FOREVER AMBER (Tom Carruth)

A medium-size Floribunda with old-fashioned form and fruity fragrance.

POP ART (Christian Bedard)

A medium-tall Grandiflora with spreading habit and old-fashioned form and strong citrus fragrance.

MIDNIGHT FIRE (Christian Bedard)

A miniature rose with very good disease resistance, very double old-fashioned flowers and a mild tea fragrance.

CHANTILLY CREAM (Christian Bedard)

This rose is a medium-tall Hybrid Tea with large blooms that have a strong fruity fragrance.

Sweet Madame Blue (Christian Bedard)

A Floribunda with rounded and bushy growth. Flowers are lavender with magenta centers and have a strong citrus & spice fragrance.

For more information on these roses, read on here.

LATEST PODCASTS

My last two interviews have been with Matt Douglas of High Country Roses. I think you’ll enjoy them.

NEW ROSE STANDOUTS
Matt shares about some of the newer roses on the market that are proving to be standouts! He also gives us a “peek” at new roses soon to be released! A rose that’s perfect for your garden just might be on Matt’s list. LINK

PRESERVING THE CLASSICS

Matt talks about a new venture he is involved with… finding and bringing more roses back into commerce. LINK

You can access these as well as other Rose Chat podcasts on the media player below…

REVIVING ROSES AND COMMUNITIES Rose Chat Podcast

REVIVING ROSES AND COMMUNITIES with Nate Fisher Nate Fisher is the president of the Lehigh Valley Rose Society and the recent recipient of the ARS Rising Star. After today's chat, you will know why this millennial was chosen as a Rising Star! He's not just growing roses, he growing communities.   Find more information on the Lehigh Valley Rose Society and all its projects here. http://lvrosesociety.org/         ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – http://www.RedneckRosarian.com Creator of the Rose Chat Podcast. Mr. VanCleave is a nationally known rosarian, television personality, speaker and advocate for the rose.   Content Creator & On-Air Personality: Teresa Byington – http://www.TheGardenDiary.com Co-Host Teresa Byington promotes roses as an integral part of the landscape, as a Consulting Rosarian, Master Gardener, writer, and speaker.   SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Rose Chat Podcast Updates: http://bit.ly/subscribeROSE   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop    
  1. REVIVING ROSES AND COMMUNITIES
  2. NEW IDEAS IN WINTER ROSE CARE
  3. CLASSIC ROSES IN MY GARDEN WITH CAROL MACON
  4. HOW ROSES TOUCH OUR LIVES
  5. GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY with Pat Shanley

THE BEST

This weekend Mr. G and I celebrate 44 years of marriage. My “assessment” of him is that he is the very best!  ❣️

Holding his hand through life is my greatest joy.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Dig Deep

Like many of you,  this summer the weather has not been a gardener’s friend. We have had almost no rain for 5 weeks. During most of this time, our ability to water was limited as we dealt with well issues. 


I am looking at my garden as I write today. Every time I look up, I start dividing the plants I see into categories … you are doing well in drought conditions/you are not. 


In almost every case the ones doing the worst are the newest. Shallow roots. 


By definition, roots are that part of a vascular plant normally underground. Their primary functions are:

  • ANCHORAGE 
  • ABSORPTION (WATER & MINERALS)
  • AERATION
  • FOOD STORAGE

You often hear WATER DEEPLY. There is a reason for that. Shallow watering keeps the roots close to the surface to get the refreshing drink… but also where the heat can zap them. Watering deeply sends those roots down to where is it cooler and they are safer from the heat! And, those deep strong roots will keep them better anchored for the “windy” seasons to come. 

LAVENDER

These plants have their “roots” in the Mediterranean so they have dry, hot summers in their DNA.  As you would expect, this summer’s weather has not bothered my established plants very much at all. However, I have 6 new lavender plants in the “refreshed” herb garden and they are not doing well! To date, I have 2 that are already gone and 2 that are almost gone, and two that look a bit sick. Even though they were watered almost every day – they struggled. Those shallow, thin, fine roots weren’t happy dry, or wet in all the heat.  

NOTE: While I have tried almost every lavender on the planet, Munstead is the lavender that not only tolerates our winters best but also gives me the lavender bloom and fragrance that I like best.  With all the new varieties, bloom shape and fragrance differ a great deal. Many of the Munsteads in my garden I started from seed and they are doing very well. 

TURMOIL

Turmoil is not a word I use often, however these days it seems to fit … a state of disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty.  We feel it. We see it on the faces of others. Our hearts are breaking for all that is happening around the world and to our friends experiencing the storms of life and the literal storms that are wreaking havoc. Just like the plants I mentioned earlier, the deeper our roots, the more grounded we are, the better we will withstand what comes our way. My life is rooted in my relationship with Jesus. While that does not remove the hurt or struggle, it gives assurance of who will walk with me. I’m trusting in his ways and his timing. King David was no stranger to turmoil either… When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. PSALM 56:3 

Scripture reminds us how God’s care for us by inviting us to CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FIELD …. 

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither labor nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Luke 12:27  

While we are talking about roots, I would add to that … consider the Black-eyed Susans. Those girls dig deep and have quite the anchor! I don’t think they have even noticed that it has not rained in weeks! 🙄🌼 

BLOOM THYME

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting—a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Let’s dig deep friends. Find our anchor. Surround ourselves with what and who offers us refreshment, strength, and purpose to continue to bloom and to lift up those around us regardless of what this world keeps tossing our way. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: That One Thing!

There is a post on social media these days that asks a question that it appears the whole world is answering…

WHAT IS ONE THING THAT MOST PEOPLE LIKE BUT YOU DON’T?

Here it comes. 

Fall. 

I don’t like fall. 

Before you judge me, know this… in the midwest, fall is beautiful but only about 4 minutes long and it ushers in winter. While I love a beautiful blanket of snow as well as the next person, beautiful snows are few and the cold, dark days of winter are plentiful. Another thing about winter here is that it does not know when to leave. It hangs on and on and on. #badform 🙄 

Note: Mr. G and I will be in line to get one of the first Pumpkin Spice Lattes! So cheers to that part of fall… 😉

July DOUBT

The “season” of JULY has some issues too.

Japanese Beetles come around the 3rd week of June. Add to that some intense heat and drought robbing us of many of our summer roses. Not the garden’s finest hour. As I wander in the garden in July, I ask myself deep questions 🙄 like … Why are you are a gardener? Do you really want to be a gardener? You know, the usual horrible weather conversations gardeners have with themselves. 

ATTITUDE

A few years ago someone sent me a card with the quote, AUTUMN IS THE SECOND SPRING. YESSSSSS. I loved that and it gave me the late summer attitude adjustment I needed.  While I don’t do things much differently than I did before, just thinking that I am getting my garden ready for the 2nd spring makes all the difference.


So what does summer care look like for me?  


In mid to late July, I start trimming back my reblooming roses (shrubs and hybrids – not old garden roses), give them their last dose of fertilizer (I most often use Mills Mix Easy Feed – a great tonic of organic and inorganic plant yumminess) AND last … (this is the best!) … clean up the fallen leaves around them and give them a fresh coat of mulch. Nothing says spring or beautiful garden like a fresh coat of mulch. It is just the best. I appreciate all the health benefits of mulch, but the pretty side of mulch is my favorite!   

NOTE: The 2nd Spring trim is not as low or “severe” as the 1st Spring! Remember that the lower you trim, the longer it takes for the blooms to return. When it comes to climbing roses, they are handled differently as well.

⬆️ Fresh mulch around one of the bulletproof roses in my garden – Petit Pink. No need to do the late pruning, it just keeps on going!


Yes, we are on our way – if the “spring” rains would start, all would be good as we wait on those amazing 2nd Spring rose blooms. 

FIRST FROST DATE

The predicted FIRST FROST DATE dictates much of our late summer/fall care. That date has been established as October 10 until recently I have seen that the USDA Hardiness Zone lists dates as somewhere between October 13 and 21. Good to checks things out for your Zone.


In Zone 5b we don’t fertilize beyond August and we stop deadheading roses in September as the roses need this time to go dormant before winter arrives. Pruning and deadheading our roses signal it’s time to bloom again and will leave them vulnerable to the cold.

ROSE COMPANIONS

Our roses don’t want to be alone! It’s good to have some pretty fall-blooming perennials, annuals, and shrubs that will complement the roses. 

In my late summer/fall garden… 


Shrubs that are beautiful this time of year are the Carpinteria (Bluebeard) that are just coming into their beautiful blue blooms and hydrangeas continue to be beautiful in the fall. 


Annuals that hold their own during this season are…  

  • Dusty Miller
  • Zinnias
  • Victoria
  • Blue salvia
  • Cleome
  • Diamond Frost euphorbia 
  • Cosmos 
  • Snapdragons (that were give a mid summer chop) 
  • Nasturtiums
  • Lantana
Tall Phlox and Snapdragons

Perennials that make a huge difference this time of year in my garden are…

  • Asters
  • Hyssop
  • Sage
  • Tall veronica
  • Sedums (both the ground cover sedums and the tall sedums)
  • A few Black eyed Susans make it this far


Sedums getting ready!

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

Finding foxgloves locally especially in the color I want is difficult to impossible. So last year I put some seeds in the ground and a few plants came up! This spring they grew so strong! They were the best foxgloves I had ever had – strong stems that bloomed for a very long time. 


So this year I decided to do everything possible to ensure we have foxgloves next year. I’ve tossed seeds in the garden. I’ve started seeds inside to get little plants. They are hardening off now. I even put a few of the little seedlings directly in the ground a few weeks ago without hardening them off and so far they are doing great. Also hoping some of this year’s foxgloves will self-seed, but so far I don’t see any evidence of that. 


Last year’s variety was Faerie Queen from Renee’s Garden and this year I am planting seeds I purchased in England – Mr. Fothergills’s Alba. 


Regardless of what happens, I love the process…

ROSE CHAT PODCAST

THE DIRT ON SOIL with GAYE HAMMOND


In the most recent episode, I chat with a great friend, Gaye Hammond, to get all the dirt on soil! Grab your pencil and paper because we’re going to class.  


Gaye takes us on a deep dive into the importance of good soil, moves into soil testing and pH, gives us up-to-the-minute research-based info on fertilizers, and ends with the importance of mulch – and it’s not just for “pretty!”


Gaye is an outstanding resource for all gardeners, especially those who grow roses. LISTEN HERE.

NOTE: On the podcast, the products to use for raising and lowering pH were reversed… Use Limestone to raise pH and use sulfur to lower. Personally, my pH is a bit high and I have bags of sulfur to use this fall.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

SEASONS

Regardless of the season outside, our world is in a difficult season. Once again gardening has become more therapeutic than ever and my garden has become my prayer closet.


Take care friends. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Update on the Herb Garden

If you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned wanting to totally redo my overflowing herb garden that had been damaged by some flooding in that area earlier this year and the frequent visits from deer!


The “herb” garden had become oh so much more! A place I put extras. A place for experiments. And, a place where many plants had run amuck. I needed some order. I needed more options.


So, on one of the hottest days of the year, I got busy. A huge job to dig up everything, decide what to do with the extras, and get the new raised beds down, leveled, and filled. Armed with shovels, my hori hori knife, snips, my trusty wagon, and one of Mr. G’s levels, I got started. It went faster than I thought but still took about 3 days. Plants are still in recovery mode and things look sparse, but the garden is taking shape. I am really going to like it and the opportunities the new design brings.


I still don’t know what to do with the entrance. For now, I have flagstones laying on top of the mulch. Maybe I will like them better when they are better placed and have groundcover around them. We’ll see.

We are continuing to discourage deer. Most recently I have covered some of the most popular items on their menu with bird netting. Mr. G has purchased a new spray — DEER OUT. Read about it here. Tonight will be the first night to use it. 🤞🏻🙏🏻


RECENT ROSE CHAT PODCAST

On the most recent podcast, I chat with good friend Ron Daniels about the amazing growth the Nashville Rose Society has had over the last few years, and he offers tips to others on how they too can grow.

LISTEN HERE

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK


Can you have too many white hydrangeas? I just love them and think they cool things down in the summer heat!


Since confession is good for the soul, here goes…

  • 16) Bo Bos
  • 7) Pinky Winkys
  • 8) Annabelle
  • 2) Little Limes
  • 2) Limelights
  • 1) Limelight Tree
  • 2)Twist and Shout

As I type this, it doesn’t seem like I have that many… hummmm. 🙄

Pinky Winky is probably my favorite in the garden, with Bo Bo coming in a close second. My favorite hydrangea to dry is Little Lime. My least favorite is Limelight. It is just too big for my space – I thought they were Little Limes when I bought them. And, their stems are more floppy than I’d like.

Proven Winners has done something about those floppy stems and improved a few other things in an updated Limelight … Limelight Prime. Read more HERE.

BLOOM THYME


Many of the roses are taking a break as I have trimmed off buds to “protect” them from the Japanese Beetle invasion. They will have their time to shine later. More about that next week.


A few roses are being snubbed by the JBs and that is okay with me. JBs seem to avoid Sweet Drift, Popcorn Drift, Petit Pink and The Faun. I am very good with that. But, I can assure you that they will travel miles to devour a Rugosa. They do seem to love the fragrant ones. Oh well, their days are numbered.