Bloom Thyme Friday Flashback

We are having a very dark week and I’m going back to sunny days in May (when it wasn’t raining… and it rained a lot!) ☔️

Let’s start with Niobe Clematis: Gorgeous blooms for months! She cared little about the torrential rainfall — just did her beautiful thing!

Reine des Violette: This almost thornless, one-time blooming OGR gives so much in beauty and fragrance that you forgive her for leaving so quickly!! Hybrid Perpetuals usually rebloom but she hasn’t in 5 years. She is in a bit of a shady area so that could be the issue.
Sweet William (Dianthus): Makes spring so special with it’s dependable mass of bloom! Great in a vase!

Rosa Mundi (Gallica Rose) and friends…
Rosa Mundi is a beautiful and fragrant one-time blooming machine! I dream of her blooms in winter! She is fantastic!
Easy on the Eyes Rose: This disease resistant, fragrant beauty blooms all summer long and is indeed easy on the eyes and gets a lot of attention in the garden. I don’t think I ever saw a spec of disease on this one. Thanks Tom Carruth! 2018 release from Weeks.
Peonies: The rain beat them down too quickly, but I had plenty to bring inside! Their season is always short and sweet but I couldn’t do without it! Even after my blooms were gone, I bought bundles from the grocery store to bring home.

IN OTHER NEWS:

BULB UPDATE:

As of today, all bulbs are planted. Daffodils, Alliums, Crocus. I was so surprised how soft the soil still is. It was a pleasure to be digging!I have a lot more garden clean up to do and am hoping that will happen this weekend as the weather looks to be just perfect for some outside work — once the rain moves on!

ROCKY:

We have a raccoon that is making our bird watching fun most unpleasant. One evening while sitting in our chairs we heard a loud thud from outside. A few minutes later, we heard another thud. I said, “I am sure it’s just a raccoon on the bird feeder.” Not really sure that was it at all. Mr. G goes to investigate and the fattest raccoon you have ever seen, was climbing up our window (how do they do that) to try to get to the feeder and he did! Got right in the middle. Raccoons are a year round problem here. We are spreading around more cayenne pepper. But, if you ask me he kind of likes it — or at least sees it as a challenge. Any tips??

AMARYLLIS:
It’s time to plant amaryllis… I’m waiting a bit later than usual to plant them this year so that I have blooms in January when I return from England. I’ll really need them then!
Look at these amazing bulbs I found! You probably can’t really tell the size but they are huge! The last time I grew a Mount Blanc – it had 14 blooms – at one time. A record for me! Seriously, I have a picture somewhere! Apple Blossom is always pretty. I wanted red this year but didn’t find any large bulbs. #sizematters

I also had to buy this Smith and Hawkins pot for old times sake. I miss the Smith and Hawkins store so much. Trips to that store made my winters so much more pleasant! It is where I did so much spring dreaming! Anyone else remember those amazing places for gardeners. Glad Target keeps the memories alive with their S & H garden collection.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS:

Repotted a very leggy Swedish Ivy that was in a tiny pot. Swedish Ivy is not a picky plant. I don’t ever remember buying this plant but I sure like it. If you are new to houseplants, this would be a great one to buy!
Took some cuttings from the Ivy and potted up a broken stem of the Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus. We’ll see what happens with them. Hope they take. I love having new babies. (Like I need more. 🤦‍♀️)
Window garden still looking good. The sun found us a bit today!

GIVING THANKS:

I hope you enjoy this very special week. A time to stop and think about all the people and all the things we have been blessed with. And cook all our favorite foods! Yummmmm.
Til next time… know that I am thankful for you and the Giver of all good things…

Thyme to be Festive    

I sure enjoy the bounty of beautiful foliage, evergreen boughs and dried flowers when it’s thyme to decorate for the coming holidays.

This week I started outside to dress up the Potting Shed…

Someone left us a treasure.

Then I came indoors…

Since I have so many boys in my family, it is always popular to use trucks. The current truck trend is helping me out so much. Last year the whole house had a truck theme. This year I have “warned” Mr. G that we are going to incorporate some other things! Not sure what yet, but I can tell you it will have a good bit of red and loads of twinkle lights.

Last year’s mantel…

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…


The Thanksgiving/Christmas Cactus is blooming right on time! And it is bright and beautiful. Fabulous on a gray day.
The Attar of Rose scented geranium cuttings have roots!
The African Violet baby leaf has babies! Even after years and years and countless African Violets, I’m always thrilled to see this! My Aunt Myrtle is somewhere celebrating with me.

Can you help?

Every year I start a bowl of dried roses. I don’t plan it — it just happens. I look at a bokay getting past it’s prime and pick off a few blooms, find a bowl and it begins. I am now looking  at 4 years/4 bowls of blooms and I love them!!! But, one has to go. I will move it to a jar or something, but 4 bowls is tooooo many. To keep them from fading, I keep them in my dining room cabinets and things are getting a bit crowded. This is hard for me —  it is as though I gave birth to them. #goodgrief #girlhasaprob
Here are the choices. I won’t tell you which year they are… just pick one to send to the jar. ….Sounds sinister.

ONE…

TWO…

THREE…

FOUR…

ONE?  TWO? THREE? FOUR?
Tis the season to organize — especially cupboards! Or at least I find myself organizing before I get ready for the big feast.
Til next time… grow and bloom where you are planted!
Hey, if you are on Instagram, join me there. If you aren’t … think about it. There’s a great deal of gardening going on there!

ASSESSING THE 2019 GARDEN SEASON

As I look out my kitchen window today, things are so different. We had a hard frost and that is a game changer. We moved from a fall look to winter vibes very quickly.
Pssst: I prefer this view to the current one…
Most of the leaves are down and the morning glories that were glorious last week have a melted look.
This is the time I start pouring through the pictures from the growing season and decide what is next.

Some of my first 2019 observations…

…that most of my plants can tolerate more water than I ever dreamed possible, as we experienced record-breaking rain in April and May and early June.

…that the roses actually LOVED all the rain — convincing me that I should water them more!

Even though the weather was weird and the Japanese Beetles were plentiful, there were still plenty of blooms to share!
…that the Enchantress Zinnia really is enchanting and has earned a place in the 2020 garden.
—that I have taken my love of oriental lilies to the next level.

THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS…

I HAVE now planted the last 3 roses (that were “still” in their containers from spring.  Ispahan (Damask) was planted next to Kazanlik (Damask) and a second Madam Hardy. Also planted a second Lady of Shallot next to the first one. I will mulch them with shredded leaves and pray the moles who have been digging tunnels everywhere, leave them alone. But there is a good chance they won’t. Seriously, why can’t they just take a break and hibernate!!!!
I HAVE NOT gotten the garlic planted. SOON!
I am planting this new garlic picked totally for it’s name! I hope it doesn’t disappear this winter as last year’s crop did. Not sure what happened… There are a lot of “varmints” around here and perhaps they found my garlic babies irresistible.  I planted some in the raised bed and some in the herb garden, but not one plant came up. A situation I hope not to repeat. Growing your own garlic is not only delicious, it is fun!

I HAVE tied up the arching canes of New Dawn and Peggy Martin. And, had a wonderful view from the ladder.

I HAVE NOT cut back the roses and many of them NEED it badly as they have grown so tall. I will take them down to waist high and do another pruning in the spring. SOON!
I HAVE NOT yet planted any bulbs, but have drooled over bulb catalogs and have bought a few. SOON!
Can you tell that this fall has been a season that has been short on garden thyme? Well, that is true.
I did HAVE the pleasure of making a special bokay for a special friend’s event! No flowers from my garden, but I did find some beauties at Trader Joes and Kroger!

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…

The Christmas (Thanksgiving) cactus is starting to bloom. The blooms are welcome anytime!
I have been going through seed packets and I am so excited to plant these next year. (Purchased in England)
In prep for winter, Mr. G has now turned off all my water supplies! 😩 You have to do that kind of thing here.  Now getting water for the inside plants is more of a challenge. He does fill this container up for me as I need it and it works well.

SOMETHING NEW…

I’m beginning to notice the air plants you see everywhere these days. Do you grow them? Thoughts?

Bloom Thyme Friday: Heavenly

Well friends I have turned the corner and have said a proper goodbye to summer with the last rose bokay I picked this week. I am embracing the fall beauty around me!

Side Note: One garden friend on seeing my recent bokay asked if I should be still cutting my roses. She has heard me say on more than one occasion that we should stop deadheading our roses several weeks before the first frost to encourage them to begin to make hips (seeds) and go to sleep in protection of the cold to come. That is true. However, once a week I do scour the garden of nearly 200 roses to find the best of the best. My Cherry Parfait rose had about 25 blooms and 15 or so buds and I just picked one.  So I do limit my cutting during this time! (But, it’s super hard to do so.)  I’m so glad she asked!
WHAT I’M LOVING…
The most beautiful thing right now is the Heavenly Blue Morning Glory vine… that has completely invaded the Potting Shed’s personal space.
Morning Glories (Ipomoea) are natives albeit “very happy overachieving natives” who can spread their beauty around in ways that look like an invasive! 😳 Their ability to self seed gets them into trouble!
Yes, it is heavenly!
Bees love, birds love, butterflies love and even my camera lens loves these amazing blooms. A fall highlight!

NOT SO HEAVENLY

A morning glory family member, Bind Weed, is a much more aggressive plant and drives our farmers crazy. Do do check your variety and your local cooperative extension for information on growing any of these vines in your area.
Birds do contribute to the problem! As I mentioned in a previous post. I have a very healthy vine of Grandpa Ott blooming this year and I have not planted that variety for many, many years! I suspect some little bird left me a present.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…

Hudson’s African Violet is still going strong and has been blooming for several weeks. Cooper’s African Violet is smaller but it’s on the verge of another bloom cycle too. (Both started from a single leaf.)
While we are on the subject of the boys… guess who turned 6…  my, my, where does the time go. 😢
Still haven’t potted my roses. Maybe tomorrow! 🤦‍♀️ But we have new tiny leaves.
And, I bought one new plant ….. a cute little peperomia.
And lastly, this beauty is bringing me all kinds of happy —  but alas I can’t remember her name. Do you know it???

If it is cold where you are, I hope you are safe and warm and enjoying a mug of something delish.

If it’s spring where you are, enjoy it enough for me too and share pictures. 😊