Wednesday was that rare spring day in December and I was home all afternoon!! I could not wait to grab my sassy Bog rose boots and get busy. My boots were all clean and ready for service! (They are not clean now.)
There was so much to do as this fall was extremely busy for us and I was not able to put the garden to bed as I usually do. But, I had this glorious day! I suppose the tasks at hand would be daunting to some, but I just couldn’t wait. Just being outside in the garden sent my happiness meter over the top. I could have conquered the world! Sort of. 🙂
There were roses to trim.
I only had time for a few. Giving them the tender care of cleaning up the world around them, trimming the long floppy canes and mounding up some extra soil and leaves around them was a labor of love.
Sticks to pick up (We have loads and loads of sticks!)
Leaves to rake and stack around some tender roses. More long canes to secure.
This is one of my most favorites, Peggy Martin. The rose and her namesake bring me much happiness too. Look at all this growth – she is still going strong, but I know that when the real winter gets here, she’s a bit tender and needs some help. Last year I did not get to see very many of her gorgeous blooms as there was so much winter dieback due to the late cold spells we had. But when she shines, she shines. Remember this image from two years ago…
I saw a post on Facebook that Chamblee Roses has a new crop of Peggy Martin Roses. If you want one, go to Chamblee’s website here. Better hurry, they go fast!
What, other than your family, sends your happiness meter over the top! Do that soon!
And, by the way, did you realize it is only 82 days until spring? I have a stack of garden catalogs just waiting!! There goes my happiness meter again.
Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful Bloom Thyme Friday!
I love Christmas trees. I love most evergreens. I particularly love boxwoods. I know. I know. There are two kinds of people in the world — those who love boxwood and those who don’t. But, I do. Can’t remember without looking if I shared with you my boxwood horror this year. For about 6 years we have had a boxwood hedge around our patio. They did not make it through the winter. I thought it was “winter kill” but I now suspect from the look of things, it was blight. They had to be taken out — all 15 of them! Mr. G was my hero as he took them out one by one. He put up with my tears and was very sweet about it. What a guy!
Back to the original subject, Christmas Trees, I love them. Fresh ones. Filled to the brim with ornaments and twinkle lights!
This year due to so much travel, we decided not to have a tree but we have twinkle lights everywhere!
CHRISTMAS TREE TRIVIA
The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Alsace in 1576. German Protestants are often credited with the first circulation of the Christmas Tree, using them to decorate their houses. Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther is said to have added the first lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The inspired decoration came out of admiration of the snow glistening from the trees on his walk home Christmas Eve.From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree
Wooster, a small country town located in north-central Ohio, claims to have hosted the first Christmas Tree in America in 1847. German immigrant August Imgard might be the first to decorate the tree with candy canes; “Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments, gilded nuts and kuchen.” From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree
Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991.
In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas tree decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas. (Almost makes me like them. 😳 Almost. )
MY 2018 CHRISTMAS TREE…
Lucky for me I still have many boxwoods around the garden. Plenty for making boxwood trees. Such a fun project. When I was a florist I made so many of them and never tired of the project!
David Austin roses in my garden…
The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild
The Generous Gardener
Olivia Rose Austin
This week we lost one of the giants of the rose world – David Austin Snr. Mr. G says I have had a secret crush on him for 30 years. That might be true. When I was putting my first real rose garden together, I was feverishly researching all types of roses (without the benefit of the internet) and happened on the “something and someone new” in the rose world – Mr. Austin. He was a pioneer that followed his heart and used his gifts to bring us the beautiful Engish roses by blending historical roses (for form and fragrance) with modern roses (for repeat blooming and additional colors). I never had the privilege of meeting him, but he was very well represented by Michael Marriott who worked with him for more than 30 years and shares how special he was.
Thank you Mr. Austin for all the beauty you shared with our world. Well done, Sir.
Whew, that was a long post. If you made it to the end— Thank You!
Merry Christmas friends. Wishing you a holiday filled with joy, peace, love and plenty of twinkle lights!
I have always loved the Christmas Carol, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. If you are not familiar, the verse is…
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
This season I have thought of it so often as our family has been in need of comfort and has been given so much joy.
Our need for comfort came as we walked through finding care for our beloved matriarch this year as she needed extra care and in slowly handing her over to her Heavenly Father. Our comfort came from our family, our friends, and our faith. Faith in the scripture that tells us in John 14,
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
We know she was welcomed into her forever home with open arms. JOY!
OH, THE JOY!
Joy in remembering stories and hearing new stories of a life well lived.
Joy in the man that I am privileged to share my life with.
Joy in our grown children who inspire us every day.
Joy in our friendships – we have the best.
Joy in our “littles.” These little boys make our hearts want to sing. Their innocent faces full of wonder and unbridled expressions of love can erase all the murky dust our world sprinkles around us.
Just look at them! JOY!
When we left Indiana is was cold and “frosty.”
But here in sunny California, there are roses and their companions in bloom! JOY!
I leave you with wishes for a wonderful Bloom Thyme Friday and Pentatonix singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen…. JOY!
OH, ONE MORE THING!!
The African Violet cuttings the littles worked on in the Potting Shed a couple months back (read about that here) are starting to grow! JOY!
Yep, just looking at their pictures, I could just break out in song!!!
Wishing you a week filled with all the things that fill you with Joy!
It seems like so long since I posted but it hasn’t been. However, I have been traveling and that warps my sense of time! So many fun things to tell you about.
AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY NATIONAL CONVENTION
I travelled to San Diego for the ARS National Convention as my friend and current president, Pat Shanley passed the gavel to incoming president Bob Martin. They have worked so well together and it was very special to see them honor one another. Diane Sommers was installed as Vice President by her good friend Andy Plasz of the IL-IN District. And, there was my own installation as IL-IN Director.
Then it was time for the Board Meeting … my first board meeting. As I looked around the table of other board members, I found I was in very good company with so much to learn! I am excited for this opportunity to learn from them as we serve our organization. I love people and I love roses and I am always happy to bring the two together.
And by the way, I was honored with an award, a presidential citation for my work as editor of the ARS member newsletter Roses & You. #blush
There were so many opportunities to learn at this conference.
We heard from hybridizers, Tom Carruth and Ping Lim. Tom gave us a lesson on rose breeding — a walk through families of roses that led us to the ever popular and beautiful Julia Child rose.
As many of you know, Ping Lim is the hybridizer of the Easy Elegance Collection that I talk about quite often. Ping now has a NEW ROSE COLLECTION called TRUE BLOOM (details here). I had the pleasure of seeing many of them and can tell you we have so much to look forward too. I can’t wait to try them in my garden!
ROSE PRESERVATION by Connie Hilker of Hartwood Roses — one of my new best rose friends! We were all entranced as she shared her heart, stories and so much information about heirloom roses. So many of them are endangered.
It is no surprise that Incoming ARS President Bob Martin has named Connie the Chairman of the Committee for Rose Preservation. I can think of no one better suited. Yes, roses, especially those “who have been around for a long long time,” are in good hands with Connie. She and I recorded a Rose Chat while there that will include her entire program. Her Rose Chat will be released soon so watch social media.
I was also able to catch up with my good friend Wendy Tilley, owner of TheRoseGardener.com — a place for wonderful products for rose growers and all gardeners. Wendy and her husband Ryan recently moved from the Atlanta Area to Portland. That moved included moving a rose garden. And they don’t just grow a few.
Oh my word the roses!!! A National Convention Rose Show is so over the top! Each rose was eye candy!
We had the pleasure of touring 5 beautiful private gardens. Don’t you just love going on tours of private gardens. All are so unique. Seeing the style and personality of the ones who lovingly tend them makes them special — an honor to be invited behind the gates.
Bob and Dona Martin invited us to a President’s reception “FIESTA”. What a wonderful evening in a truly beautiful place. Take a look….
A beautiful entrance
Our entertainment. They were amazing.
Didn’t get the name of this beauty!
A rose I had never seen before but totally fell in love with, Garden and Home.
Another shot of Garden and Home…
At the end of the convention I travelled by train north to visit with the grandboys and their parents. Truly a perfect ending to a big week. We only had a few days but they were filled to the brim with hugs, hand holding and trips to fun places.
Best greeting EVER!!!
He is the best hugger!
Making garden creations with Mr. H.
My grocery shopping partner!
And, that smile!
With all the travel I am a “bit” behind on putting the garden to bed. I have bulbs to plant and the potting shed is reeking of garlic since I have not gotten that planted yet either. Maybe tomorrow! 😳 I’ll need a warm coat and hat! LOL Did you plant bulbs this year?