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. 

Our weather has been quite pleasant this week and we are getting a break from the intense heat. A quick peek at the weather app revealed that the heat will be back on soon … but those hot days are numbered too. 

The COVID news is getting a bit “complicated” again too. Be well and be safe my friends… 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Sharing the Beauty

I was a gardener from a very early age. Our family grew most of what we ate and everyone had to “participate” in making that happen – if you know what I mean. 😳 My dad said I was one of the few kids he ever knew who didn’t mind working in the garden. I knew I would always grow things!


As many of you know my love of roses started when I was around 16 and a friend shared a rose bokay with me. It brought me so much pleasure at a time when I really needed it! I thought then that I hoped to someday do the same for others.  


Through the years, my rose collection and my rose world have grown and grown and along with beautiful plants, I have met some beautiful people who have become dear friends. 


One of those rose world friends is the lovely and charming Peggy Martin. Peggy is THE Peggy Martin of the Peggy Martin rose fame — the rose that survived hurricane Katrina. (Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage in August 2005.)


Peggy and I “met” online when I interviewed her about her experience on Rose Chat. She invited me to come to her home and speak to her rose society several years back and our friendship and friendships with many of the members of the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society was solidified by our time together. 💄

For those who aren’t familiar with the story… Peggy had a massive collection of roses before Katrina, as well as other plant collections. All of that was lost in the storm, but she lost so much more … her parents, her home and their family business. 


After two weeks of being covered in 20′ of seawater, all vegetation was destroyed on their property  – except one rose –  the rose that would become The Peggy Martin Rose. 


After such life changing devastation, Peggy thought she would never grow roses again. But slowly her friends began to share roses with her and a new collection grew and grew. Peggy began to heal and spend time sharing her love of roses and the Peggy Martin Rose story by speaking to groups and serving in many leadership positions with New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society, the Heritage Rose Foundation, the American Rose Society and others. You can read more about this story from a Southern Living magazine article HERE.  

PEGGY’S GARDEN TODAY

This week Peggy shared a video of her beautiful 2021 garden with me. I would love to share it with you… 


Chamblee’s Rose Nursery acquired cuttings from the original PM rose in New Orleans in January, 2007. I bought my first one from them in 2013. It is also available from the Antique Rose Emporium.  I now have five in my garden and have shared many with others. These are pictures of Peggy Martin in my garden through the years. She only blooms once for me but what a bloom thyme it is! 

IT’S MORE THAN A ROSE

When I look at this rose I think about my friend, her grace, her spirit, her story of hope and survival and how much beauty she has shared with the world. Thank you Peggy! 😘

COMING SOON!

There is a children’s book about the Peggy Martin Rose — Rose Without a Name by Carol Stubbs and Nancy Rust to be released in September 2021.

REVIEWS

The Rose Without a Name is a “once upon a time” kind of story that will thrill the children it was written for, but also their parents or older brothers or sisters who will read it with them. It is the poignant story of the rose that survived the monster storm, Hurricane Katrina. It is a story of the strength and resilience of the rose, but also of the rose lady who grew it, Peggy Rose Martin. 

Marilyn Wellan
American Rose Society President 2003-2006

“An unusual rose becomes a delightful character in this lovely picture book by Nancy Rust & Carol Stubbs.  A Rose Without a Name is a story of strength, resilience, and beauty, illustrated with vibrant colors and charming details. Earthworms, frogs, bees, and dragonflies engage readers as they discover how an unrenowned rose earned its name.

The story is ideal for reinforcing early learning science concepts of how plants grow and the effects of weather on the natural world and human communities. The back material offers intriguing information for older learners, parents, and teachers.

With its message of triumph over adversity, lovely art, and interesting back material, readers of all ages will enjoy A Rose Without a Name.”

Gayle Webre
Children’s author and educator

Additional reviews and pre-order option HERE.

BLOOM THYME

Lovely to have blooms even in the brutal heat — heat that doesn’t seem to phase the Japanese Beetles  one bit. 😏


Regardless of the weather, beetle invasion or the storms of life, Peggy Martin’s story reminds us that hope and beauty prevail – if we keep sharing them.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: I can see clearly now…

I can see clearly now that the rain has gone! 


Sounds like a song! HA! But, it’s true. ☀️ The sun is out and the garden is drying – although we still have some soggy areas. It is great to be in the garden every day again. And I’m seeing so clearly that I am launching into a new project. Since most of the garden “rooms” are doing well, I am ready to tackle something that is in need of some help – total revamp of the herb garden. 


The rain damage and the horrible deer damage of that area has me totally rethinking that space. When I I was ready to start getting my ideas on paper, I went to find a book that I bought when I first designed the herb garden in 1989. I bought this little book on a date with Mr. G. He knew how much I loved Smith and Hawkins (anyone remember Smith and Hawkins?). S & H was an upscale garden center in our area that had a profound effect on my garden life! You saw the best of everything there — plants, tools, garden shed supplies, and books. When I opened HERB by Jane Courtier it brought back so many memories. I even found a note I had left there. Once again I was inspired! FUN STUFF.


I enjoy the herb garden so very much. It was my first real garden “room.” Truly one of my happy places. Herb gardens smell so very good and are packed with memories. There are the thanksgiving smells (sage and thyme), Italian feast smells (oregano, basil, and chives), fragrant drink makers (lemon verbena, mint, chamomile), along with lavender and roses (yes roses are herbs too). So, so many. Through the years I have packed that space with bits of everything. As I work through this process, I am doing things so differently. I don’t need as much as I once did, I now have a flower cutting garden so I don’t need to pack it with flowers (although it will be hard not to). 


I am literally gutting the space. Most of the roses have been moved. Flowers moved, some tired, leggy perennial herbs have been removed and new fresh plants purchased. Mr. G says he’s in to make short raised beds. So I am off to the races!


While I lose planting space, having small raised beds gives me options I don’t have now – like easier winter protection. Hopefully, easier protection from deer too. And, new spaces to plan and plot! YES!!


As of now, there will be 4) 4’X4′ raised beds with walking paths around each. Two roses that are staying in place are (Moje Hammarberg on one front corner and Celsiana on the other). I am keeping the birdbath where it is now (in the middle). For now, I will use mulch for the paths around the boxes. I am undecided as to what the entrance path will be. What do you think? In the past, I have used flagstones and most recently round stone pavers. 


The emotional side… This is an exceptionally great picture of the herb garden from a few years ago on a perfect day when everything looked… well just about perfect. I think I won’t look at this picture much for a while! 😳😢 Instead I will think about how it looked with water and deer damage. Onward I go to this new thing! Wish me luck!

BLOOM THYME

The ugly side of things is that when the rain stopped the Japanese Beetles came from miles around. 

Luckily, there are still pretty summer blooms that we are enjoying. 

Wishing you blue skies and bright, bright sunshiny days! 🎶 🎶 

Bloom Thyme Friday: It’s a Jungle Out There 🐒

Yes, the garden has become a soggy jungle. 🐒 My apologies to those of you who are experiencing drought, I do pray rain is coming soon for you. But my garden is drenched. With almost daily rain and a healthy bunch of storms, pathways have flooded, large tree limbs are broken and much of the garden has standing water. Mr. G’s grassy areas are a mess.😞  Today we are getting sunshine (and steam) so I ventured out for a look-see. Sad. Broken plants, mulch has moved on to the neighbors garden, everything is just icky and in need of a good cleanup. I hate wet and icky. Good for us we almost always have a few bags of what I call “emergency mulch.” 

THYME OUT FUN

It’s not all gloomy! One dry afternoon I spent some time in THYME OUT (my outside potting area) and had a blast trimming up some of my small topiaries. It is great therapy! This outside girl is going to need more than “topiary therapy” if we don’t get some regular sunshine. There has been way to much inside time. I learned years ago, I am solar powered!! ☀️

One of my two little lavender topiaries I started from cuttings.
A new one to add to the collection.
There are a few others peppered around the garden.

LATEST ROSE CHAT PODCAST 

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Malcolm Manners about his work with Rose Mosaic Virus, work in the rose district in Harlem and so much more! Once you listen to this podcast you’ll know why he was named Great Rosarian of the World in 2013.  Listen here.

COMING SOON: We are currently working on a new series called ASK THE EXPERTS.

Subjects we are tackling are:

  • GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY: Pat Shanley
  • DESIGNING A ROSE GARDEN: Carolyn Parker
  • GROWING YOUR ROSE SOCIETY: Ron Daniels
  • ALL ABOUT SOIL: Gaye Hammond

If you have questions for any of our experts, please send them to me via email HERE.

ARS GREEN THUMB WEBINAR

The American Rose Society has been doing a series of Green Thumb webinars. All of them have been great but I am particularly excited about this one!

TOPIC: Going the Distance

PRESENTER: Will Radler (Father of the Knock Out rose)

DATE: Sat, July 24, 1:00 – 3:00 pm (Central Time)

$10 (Non aRS Members)

FREE For ars members (use THE MEMBER CODE in email FROM ARS)

 REGISTER HERE 

ABOUT THE WEBINAR…

Take a ringside seat and enjoy the inspirational tale of The Knock Out Rose® as told by its creator, Will Radler.  One might expect that the world’s best-selling rose was conceived in a laboratory under the direction of a seasoned rose breeder holding many horticultural degrees. Instead, a nine-year-old with two quarters in his pocket changed the rose industry forever. Radler shares a blow-by-blow account of his journey from fringe contender to international champ. The behind-the-scenes details will both amaze and inspire you. Making it to the main event is one thing. Sustaining is another. Radler, with his unconventional methods, is certainly doing something right with 50 plant patents to his name. Fast forward to 2021. Modern day rose breeding has evolved dramatically. Going toe-to-toe in today’s industry presents both opportunities and challenges. Learn an insider’s perspective of the state of the revitalized industry.

Webinar Topics Include: 

  • The Rose Industry Today
  • Marketing Challenges
  • Competition
  • Diseases (and perception of diseases)
  • Breeding Priorities
  • IPM (Integrated Pest Management)

BLOOM THYME 

Not everything has been beaten down by the rain and storms! Some plants are letting their light shine and making me smile.

 

Stargazers
Daisies don’t tell and they don’t let the storms bother them.
Trust me … it looks better from a distance. 😳

BETTER WEATHER AHEAD

Well, it looks like better weather is coming soon – after a bit more stormy weather. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for stopping by.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMERTIME

Summertime and the living is easy! WHAT? Not for gardeners! It’s our time to roll up our sleeves and get busy. 

But when Ella sings it … you feel it!

CURRENT JOB LIST:

With all the storms and rain the jobs are endless, so I have made a list to keep me on track!

  • Deadhead Roses
  • Plant 3 new roses (Bliss Parfuma (2) and Perfume Factory)
  • Move roses that are competing for space. I believe several of these will be potted up and gifted. 
  • Divide the spring blooming Sweet William and share. 
  • Trim Topiaries
  • Trim Boxwoods  
  • Weed
  • Start foxglove seeds
  • Start lavender cuttings 
  • Add to “Plotting and Planning” Inspiration Book
  • MAKE BOKAYS
  • Have fun!

PLOTTING AND PLANNING 

Summertime is the second best time for plotting and planning. In my opinion, winter is the best time as you have more time and the sky’s the limit on what you can do. You are far removed from garden’s reality and your creative juices can go wild. 👩‍🎨🪴🌸🌹🎨👒🌻🌺

Summer plotting and planning is reality time … being in your garden to see what IS working and what IS NOT working leads to  tweaks. Most likely you are visiting other gardens too and getting new ideas and plants! So very thankful that gardens are being opened again. I have two to visit next week and I am thrilled. 

This week PLOTTING & PLANNING is moving to DIGGING. I have been digging up plants, moving plants, trimming plants and making lists of things to add and things to change. So F U N!! Don’t you just love this part!

You are probably thinking, “Is this the best time to divide and transplant?” That answer mostly likely should be “no”, but I garden with the theory that when you have time and tools – it’s the right time. But, don’t forget to keep the newbies and transplants watered.

GARDEN REPORT

WEEDS!

As I mentioned in a previous post this is the year of the weed!  They threw a party while we were away and invited all their friends and family. We have had a huge amount of rain this week, so weeds are extra happy but the rain sure makes them easier to pull!! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m kinda getting attached to the wild strawberry.  

Oh DEER!

Yes, DEER. We have never had deer in the summer before! It’s not just what they eat, to get to the objects of their desire, they are trampling other plants – a lot of them. 😫 The deer have ravished the herb garden and the hummingbird garden and peppered their presence throughout the garden. 😫 My delicate, beautiful Dreamland geraniums – smashed to smithereens. 

Here are some things I now know about the deer diet that I never knew before… 

  • They love poppies – ate the tops of all of them all. 
  • They love yarrow – sheared all the blooms and I have a lot of yarrow. (Almost a Chelsea Chop – hope they do rally and flower.)
  • They love parsley and are very good at eating just the tiny leaves and leaving the stems. 
  • They love roses but haven’t eaten as many as I thought they would. 😫🙏🏻 Maybe they are grossed out by the Japanese Beetles too.
  • They love asters – strategically nipping all the little buds. 
  • They love tomato plants but so far have only eaten one. You know what that means, Mr. G is on the warpath and armed with DEER AWAY spray. Not good to come between Mr. G and his tomatoes. Hopefully they will move along soon! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

JAPANESE BEETLES

Yes, they are back and the spa treatment has begun. A nice soapy bath to send them to beetle heaven. So far I am seeing fewer than before. Hopefully, my drowning them before they make it to the ground is paying off. Or they are just going to come a bit later. Time will tell. To read my “comprehensive” article on Japanese Beetles … read on here.

BLOOM THYME

Here’s are the standouts for this week…

Hollyhocks
Pink Pearl Sweet Pea … Beautiful, very floriferous but unfortunately no fragrance.
Annabelle Borders
Bright Eyes and her daisy friends.
Mother of Pearl Rose and her neighborhood.
Etoile Violette around the gate.

LONG WEEKEND AHEAD

This week we have had heat, storms and torrential rain but the weather outlook for our long weekend is perfect. Sunny and 75ish! We plan to soak it up.  😎  All meals and all activities are outside!

Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday weekend and may God Bless you and our wonderful country.

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. 😘