Bloom Thyme Friday: A View to a Miracle

As a gardener I am no stranger to miracles – I see them daily. But, there is one miracle that I look forward to in September. These guys…

For the past 5 years I have filled a container with herbs to put on Mr. G’s prep table by his grill. Each year the flat leaf parsley we have there becomes host to these little green creepy caterpillars that become the, oh so beautiful black swallowtails. Last year there were only 3 of them and I put two in a large jar so we could watch them. What a miracle this is. I shake my head over and over on the life cycle of a butterfly.

This year we have more than we have ever had before. So I am going to put some of them in a collapsible butterfly habitat so we can more enjoy the process and get the pleasure of releasing them.

One thing I know for sure. They love flat leaf parsley.

MORE MIRACLES…

That one small leaf can become a gorgeous blooming plant.

In August 2017 H planted a single leaf and today it looks like this…

I love looking back at H planting that first leaf!

In September 2018 C planted his single leaf and while his African Violet is not blooming, it is growing strong.

WHILE ON THE SUBJECT…

Speaking of miracles, these boys and their baby brother, who make me a grammy, are beloved miracles. To all the grandparents out there, can you even fathom the depth of your love for your grandchildren? Miracles. Blessings. They fill up my heart to the very brim.

And these two boys and baby Wy have been growing right along with those leaves…

Miracles x 3!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Champagne Wishes

 

Music Box…
I think Sweet Drfit saved the best for last….
Enough to share with a friend…
Pink and purple… perfect combination I think.
The Faun is just showing off!
Lady of Shallot DA. The blooms are few this time of year, but no less beautiful and fragrant.
Darcey Bussell DA…
Yellow and purple are a great combination too. Rose: Popcorn Drift
Today’s view from the Potting Shed…

As you know, Fall is not my favorite but it is a time of many miracles … butterflies, changing leaves, and cooler temps to name a few. God’s artistry is on display in bold ways! I plan to enjoy every one!

Wishing you a week of miracles in the garden and out!

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Welcome to My Herb Garden

This week I had some extra time to just “be” in my herb garden. It is a very special place for me. The fence was the first structure that Mr. G built for me after we moved into our “new” home. That was over 30 years ago. Pardon me while I shed a few tears. Looking back, 30 years seems like a blink… have you noticed that — looking back is like a quick vapor and looking ahead seems like forever. Those 30 years are filled to the brim with memories. Mr. G building the fence with 2 littles in tow. My daughter and son planting seeds; picking herbs we would use in cooking; harvesting lavender and other flowers and herbs that we used in crafts — some we sold as the Ladybug Herb Garden.  (My daughter’s “baby” name was Ladybug.)

I wish I had a list of all the herbs, veggies, cutting flowers and roses (they’re herbs too) that have had a home in this happy, fragrant 16’ x 18’ space.

Let me show you around…

Basil that has gone to seed and making the pollinators happy growing in a tangle with chives and a very prominent black eyed susan that I didn’t plant. It is always a big surprise as to where the black eyed susans will show up each year!

Thyme that makes it’s way into egg salad, chicken salad and bean dishes. And is the perfect ground cover for herb gardens.

Zinnias and Cosmos (Mr. G’s Fav) running amuck in that beautiful way they do in the fall.

Nasturiums — because they are so dependably pretty and fun to add to salads.

Lambs Ears because of it’s color, texture and the fact that every child loves it. Behind the Lambs Ears is the lovely ‘Pretty Polly’ Almond scented geranium.

Okra … that should have been picked last week. Note: I don’t have a full on vegetable garden but add favorite veggies here and there around the garden, on the deck and on the driveway!

Banana peppers … that should have been picked last week. Zinnias were hiding them.
Chard … for smoothies and just for pretty.
Rosemary … because it’s beautiful, fragrant, delicious and has been used for years in a family favorite recipe – rosemary baked potatoes!

Plants that are here but have finished for the season…

Peonies, yarrow, sweet peas, sweet william and larkspur had their moment and have come and gone. The world they lived in was much more tame!   Look, no jungle in late May!

Herbs you don’t see in my “Herb” garden…

Mint… the last plant my mother bought for me was apple mint. That was more than 25 years ago. While I’ll never be without mint for the memory of her and for the fact I use it all the time, it is planted safely in a pot where it’s “roaming” tendencies are kept in check! 😳

Oregano… has been taken out to the veriest back of the property where it can run amuck. It’s yummy but it is like mint in that it desires world domination!

Sage… It is one of my two favorite herbs. I love it for so many reasons — I love the flavor and I love the holiday memories attached to that flavor and that smell and I love how it looks. You don’t see sage in the herb garden because it lives and thrives in another area of the garden where conditions are dryer. While it looks so good with the other herbs, it’s happier elsewhere.  And, it does very well beside it’s neighbor that doesn’t like the herb garden all that well either… Lavender – my other favorite. Who doesn’t love lavender!?! Is there a more relaxing fragrance in all the world? Not for me. I do plant both sage and lavender in the herb garden each year and while they mostly survive for a season, they don’t thrive. So, to have plenty, it is best to have “extras” where they are happier!

And, this brings us to Roses… they greet you as you enter. As it should be.

Thanks for stopping by for my herb garden tour. Now you know that my herb garden, like all the other “rooms” in my garden are a combination of plant types. Most of them tasty and many so aromatic — making it a destination I can get lost in!

Let’s all take a deep breath and inhale the earthy fragrance of herbs. I’m wondering what are your favorites? Is it sage or lavender or….

I bet there’s a story behind your favorite and I’d love to hear it! ❣️

Bloom Thyme Friday: Cute Critters and Varmints

Can we just talk about raccoons for a minute? Yes, they are cute, but boy are they evil in my garden. We have always had them. Tons of them. Each year they play havoc. Last week they were over the top in their regardening and ungardening efforts.. Actually threw plants out of the ground.

A bit about raccoons …

In the animal kingdom raccoons are the leading carrier of rabies. So don’t get too close. They are not cute, cuddly pets. As my dad would say, they are varmints. Indeed.

I know they hate cayenne pepper, but how much would I have to spread to make them “uncomfortable”.
🌶🔥🌶🔥🌶

 I may need to find out.

As I walk the garden in the mornings assessing their damage, I hear the voice of Mark Windham ringing in my ear… “Raccoons: Cute but evil / Possoms: Ugly but helpful. Did you know that possums consume a ton of ticks. YUK! And, THANK YOU.

How do I know raccoons are the culprits? My handy Bushnell Critter Cam (thanks Connie for the tip) catches them red handed. And those little hands of theirs are rototillers! Sigh.

Varmint. Other pictures have shown that he has a big “community.”

This could be in their future … bon appetit varmints.

OTHER VARMINTS I’M DEALING WITH…

With the high temps (mostly in the high 80s & 90s) many roses are taking a nap and I am encouraging that since the Japanese Beetles are still about. The Japanese Beetles came in slowly this year, but as of this morning, they are at a fever pitch.

Many blooms are just covered like poor “Lady Ashe” … they just love her. 

However, Lady Ashe’s neighbor ‘At Last,’ did not have one JB on any blooms. #notetoself

If you are local, Frazee Gardens has an absolute wonderful collection of David Austin roses right now and they have several ‘At Last’ roses that are blooming like crazyl! I took a video while I was there last night. Aren’t they fabulous!?! Go grab them up!

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

If I had to pick my favorite bloomer this week, it would be the lilies.

The temperatures today are so pleasant — topping out at 82 and I see little wrens playing in the bird bath. All’s good here. I pray all is good in your world too.

Happy BLOOM THYME FRIDAY, friends!

What’s your favorite bloomer this week?

Bloom Thyme Friday: An Unexpected Treasure

As you must already know my life’s greatest garden treasure is Mr. G. who is the very best at supporting my garden obsession. One of the reasons he is so good at this — his grandmother was a gardener who loved the same style and many of the same plants as me — Our garden reminds him of the special times he had walking in his grandmothers garden, hearing her talk about the plants she loved and helping her when needed.

I so wish I could have seen her garden – more specifically, her in her garden and hear the garden stories. I did meet her and she was lovely, but not gardening at that time. well, not outside, but she did have a vast collection of house plants — something I am well on my way to having too. 🙄

I also had hoped to see pictures of her garden, but through the years none surfaced.

Until last weekend.

Greg’s mother passed away last November, she was lovely too and enjoyed flowers but she was an inside girl.

This past weekend we were doing that task that all of us hate, going through our loved ones possessions. But, like most of you know too, you so often uncover treasures. Unexpected treasures.

Here was mine.

Though the picture is black and while and faded – I can SEE a good portion of her garden and HER in the garden. And, YES, she did garden in dresses and stacked high heels Mr. G tells me. Much different than my cargo pants, bogs, t shirt and often a very handy garden apron. Thank you Mamaw Levis for preparing him well to love our garden too. I still wish we could have strolled in our gardens together in the mornings with our coffee in hand. She loved her coffee too!

And then there is this iris…

A treasure I have in my garden is a fragrant iris that she had in her garden and my mother-in-law had too. I actually see iris foliage in the garden picture above. Could it be the same one…

Treasures INDEED.

 

BLOOM THYME…

For now the torrential downpours have subsided and the HEAT is soaring. We are hoping the sky hasn’t forgotten how to rain. … it was VERY good at it for a few weeks.

Glad we have long garden hoses!

Here’s some of this week’s bloomers…

I suspect we have the spring rains to thank for our fluffy Annabelle border.

 

Many of the Clematis still going strong…

First blooms of Papi Delbard rose. My good friend Paul Zimmerman did not over sell this rose! Thanks Paul.

Bokay for my kitchen…

 

Another bokay to share…

OTHER THINGS CATCHING MY EYE THIS WEEK…

 

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

I hope you are surrounded by treasures.