2020 and 2021 have not been easy on any of us. Mercy the lows we have all experienced. The lows teach us so much – especially to appreciate time with family and friends above all else. Mr. G and I have had a great ending to 2021 … special time with our family both in England and the US. Not easy in the current world climate so we are feeling extra grateful.
Something else contributing to a good ending to 2021, learning I have an article in the January/February edition of Garden Gate Magazine. It was incredibly special to host Sr. Editor of Garden Gate Magazine, James Baggett, and Photographer, Jack Coyier, and the bonus was the article! I have followed the career and editorial work of James through the years and have been inspired by him over and over especially when he was editor of Country Gardens magazine. Meeting James and having James and Jack here was truly a bucket list moment. Yes, I did pull out my copy of the magazine where he was first named editor of Country Gardens magazine. Anyone remember the #raiseyourtrowel moment?
The magazine is out and I hope you grab a copy – not just for my article but in true Garden Gate fashion, the magazine is filled to the brim with information and inspiration to launch your garden year! If you cannot find a physical copy, you can purchase a digital copy for under $5.00 HERE.
THE ULTIMATE JOY
Luke 2 records the miraculous story of Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, and the journey that brought them together to bring us the best gift of all. We are incredibly grateful for the baby in the manger that was willing to go to the cross for us promising eternal life with him.
The sweet voice of Linus tells it well…
Ready or not, soon we turn the calendar. Most years that is a very exciting time for me. But, I have learned to be a bit more skeptible on what we might find on the otherside. Regardless of what the world offers, let’s work hard to make our part of the world reflect all the good as we keep the love of Christmas tucked into our hearts. Wasn’t it Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be.” #realtalk
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
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
This week many of the roses are blooming machines and rosemania in the garden has begun. The potting shed has never looked better as it is now covered in beautiful Ghislaine de Feligonde roses. The bourbons, damasks, portlands and other old garden favs are trying to see who can have more flowers or more fragrance!
My word. We have so many weeds. SERIOUSLY SO MANY.
OXALIS: She tries to woo me with her cute little leaves that look like good luck charms and her sweet little yellow blooms, but she is simply taking over.
CLEAVERS: Galim Aparine … I don’t ever remember seeing this in my garden before but it’s here now. Sticky, clingy, and good at hiding. Luckily they are easy to pull!
THISTLE: We can grow some award-winning thistle around here and I just found a 2′ thistle hiding in the rhododendron.
WILD STRAWBERRY: The cutest of them all but she was not invited. I don’t remember ever seeing much of this lovely before but this year just may be the “year of the wild strawberry.”
Is it a weedy year for you? Who will be your weed of the year?
NATIONAL ROSE MONTH
June is National Rose Month. Isn’t it great that roses have their own month and it coincides with brides/ wedding month.
Roses have such a rich history and becoming the National Floral Emblem is part of that rich history. I did a post on the details a few years back. You can read it here.
There is a reason that June is bride’s month … June gets its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. So, the thought was that if you were married in June you would be blessed with prosperity and happiness. Who doesn’t want that blessing!
There are three products I purchased this season that I am just loving.
Jute covered twist tie. I love anything that vines, so I am always tying up something. I have a plethora of products that I use but this is absolutely fabulous. It looks so natural! And is holding up well. I found this at a garden center in England and so far I have not seen it locally. Hope we can find it! I’ll need more!
Pot Feet! I bought two different kinds. Love them both. Many of our large pots are on rolling trays but for other containers these are great! Both of these came from Amazon.
JOY OF THE SEASON
We had our first real dinner in the garden this week. Mr. G grilled steaks. It was a real feast as we not only had steaks, we had fresh whipped cream on our berries. 😉 Yes, the food was wonderful and so was my view … Mr. G, of course, … and the garden.
Until next time….be well, be safe, and enjoy your view!
It is too darn hot to be in the garden much this week and my to-do list is growing by the minute. Things like…
Pick leaves on those roses that have decided that August is a good time to say yes to more blackspot.
Divide and move perennials.
Deadhead spent blooms
Look for sales at garden centers (easy one!)
Water, water, water
Sketch out new areas and sketch tweaks to existing areas.
I bought this graph composition book for $1 a couple of weeks ago in the “back to school” aisle and it has been perfect to make these kinds of notes and sketches. Don’t you love a new composition book of any kind this time of year? And, new pencils and binders and all the school things!!
“Back to School” is difficult this year and that is heartbreaking to me as I have the very best memories of back to school times for myself and my children. Let’s all stop right now and take a minute to pray for the children, parents, and teachers and all that they are dealing with during this most difficult season.
Bokay Days go to a whole new level! Last week when Mr. G saw me packing up various vessels for bokay transport, he went out in his shop and made me this beautiful carrier. He looked at the sizes of vases (spaghetti sauce and jam jars 😉) I usually use and made this beautiful carrier to fit them. It worked perfectly! I have already used my new carrier several times! Mr. G is the very best!
THE VERY BAD AND THE HELPFUL
This week I found something in my garden that no rose lover wants to see … RRD (Rose Rosette Disease). I had noticed this rose was beginning to struggle. Then boom, there it was!
I have been growing roses for more than 30 years and have seen plenty of Rose Rosette other places, I have been fortunate to see very little of this in my garden. RRD is caused by a virus (yes another virus you have to hear about) and a tiny mite that carries it to the roses. I am in my garden every day and spotted it at a very very early stage. I dug the rose out and destroyed it.
At the present time, RRD has no cure but there is fabulous research going on and new ways of managing the problem while we search for a cure (sound familiar??). On August 22 at 2 pm there is a premiere of a new project Paul Zimmerman is working on with a team of RRD experts from around the country. You can go HERE to sign up to receive a reminder for the video. The premiere will include live chat with the panel of experts so you can get your questions answered.
Today I chatted with Paul Zimmerman about the project on Rose Chat and that podcast conversation will be released Sunday evening HERE. While you are waiting for that episode to be released you can catch up on the other recent episodes!
I never want to lose a plant to pests or disease, however, I have a long list of other beautiful roses I want to try in my garden and I am on to picking one of those!
Japanese Beetles are still attacking my Quietness roses and a few of my Zinnias but they are few and far between. I will be glad to see them go. If you are new here and want to know more about my experience with Japanese Beetles, read on HERE.
The phlox blooms are beginning to fade but they are still very attractive to the pollinators!
I hear cooler weather is coming next week and I am surely looking forward to it!
Friends, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing well and do take care! Let’s embrace the season and maybe have some ice cream…
Tis’ the season to” take note”. I love notes and lists. Like Santa, I’ll be making lists and checking them twice. My lists will include plant winners, losers, and new ideas!
One of the things that becomes so obvious this time of year is who has outgrown their space and needs dividing or who needs to be replaced. As well as, where the garden design may need a tweak. This is one of my favorite parts. I really have to hold myself back from letting my creative juices go too crazy and start tearing out too much. But, it’s hard as there are so many new plants and so many new ideas! Right?! Mr. G and “his look” will help keep me in check. 😉
I can tell you now that my tall Bright Eyes phlox have suffered this year with powdery mildew. It’s been so hot and so humid that it is no surprise! White Bright Eyes not only suffered she was engulfed to the point I cut her all the way back. So I need to rethink her prominence in one of my garden beds.
You have heard me talk about my love for oriental lilies and how I went the extra effort to save them from the late freeze. Well, most of my effort was in vain — as I feared it would be. So, when I did leave the house for the first time … I headed to Lowes and quickly grabbed several things including several bags of lilies. Remember those weird, scary first times to be out this spring – masked, gloved with heads down. Regardless of the shopping trauma, I was thrilled to see my fav Casa Blanca lily bulbs and bought two bags. To date, ALL of them have bloomed deep pink. BUMMER.
I have already placed an order for Casa Blanca lilies at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs – a much safer bet on getting what’s on the label I think. I have never had this happen before but this is a very different year!
Today … whoever she is, she’s pretty but kinda clashy with my apricot roses. 😏
I don’t know about you but I love buckets, especially metal buckets! And, if you visit my garden you will see buckets strewn around in almost every garden bed. Sometimes visible and sometimes tucked away almost hidden. They are there for those times I go to the garden just to walk about and things need a trim. I ALWAYS take snips with me. LOL And, most ALWAYS need them.
This time of year you will also see little buckets with soapy water dotting the area and dead JBs. But, you don’t need to see that again this week. My post a few weeks back was surely enough to hold you on that one. 🙄 If there is anything you want to see or know about Japanese Beetles, you can “experience” that on the previous post HERE.
BUCKET CHALLENGE FROM TWO WOMEN AND A HOE
There are so many wonderful people in my garden world but Jan Bills is one of the most wonderful of all. In her book, LATE BLOOMER, a book of tips and tricks around gardening in the second half of life, she includes a Pink Bucket Challenge…
QUOTE FROM HER BOOK: THE PINK BUCKET CHALLENGE
“Each day after work (NOTE: she designs and installs gardens for others), I challenge myself to get in my garden accompanied by a $5 pink bucket purchased at a local garage sale. My objective is two-fold: visit and weed my gardens daily without feeling inundated while serving two important facets of life: my health and my gardens. Once my bucket is full, I retreat or not, the choice is mine. This stress-free and trouble free practice gives me permission to do only what is reasonably required and expected. I set the parameter and expectation. This simple little ritual leaves me guilt-free and weed-free. Perhaps you’ll grab a bucket, fill it once or twice and then retreat to your favorite garden chair. I believe it is just as important to be present in our gardens as it is to work in them.” Jan Coppola Bills.
I truly believe that gardeners of every age and stage need reminders and permission to just “be” in their gardens.
MY FAVORITE BUCKET
This sweet bucket comes from Mr. G’s dad’s family. They were farmers. This was a simple tool used in their everyday life. No matter what’s inside this bucket, it is always filled with memories. When beloved family members are no longer with us, the simple things from their everyday life go straight to our hearts and keep us connected. Don’t you think?
I especially love this bucket when it is filled to the brim with delicious bokay makers!
We are moving to that stage where colors are getting intense making me so glad to see all my white hydrangeas who calm things down. While I was taking pics this week of my hydrangeas, I had to come to terms with just how many I have. So I made a list! 😲
3 Little Limes
4 Pinky Winkys
3 Twist and Shouts
Just had to share…. I am one of those people who go to bed excited about the first cup of coffee I will have the next day. So, imagine how happy I was to see this bit of health care wisdom on social media this week. HAHA
Friends, so glad you stopped by.
It’s still crazy out there in the world. I am praying that you are well and have plenty of time this week to grab your favorite “health care” drink and just “be” in your garden and enjoy all that God has provided. 😘
And this season as gardeners we have needed all the patience we can get as we deal with weather conditions. Weather dictates most everything we do.
As I write a gentle rain is falling, it looks and sounds beautiful. The birds are loving it but I’m practicing patience as I wait on sunshine. Much of the garden is sitting in water and rain predicted for all day tomorrow too. 😏 We gardeners surely do hate to complain about rain. However… GULP! GULP!
We are coming out of a very cold, dreary period … it has actually set records for lack of sunshine and for lowest temps. Funny thing about that, England is having their sunniest spring on record. I think I have their answer … my daughter is there. She always brings sunshine to my life.
We NEED a bit of sunshine. Our spirits need it. Our plants need it. Work on my new outdoor potting space needs it. My Sweet Bay Magnolias especially need it.
SWEET BAY MAGNOLIAS
We have three SB Magnolias and love them. Last year at this time they were leafing out so beautifully and getting ready to bloom. The freeze we experienced a couple of weeks ago nipped them good. All baby leaves turned black. We feared the worst. But, this week with the warming temps, we now see leaves! Whew, that was close. Can’t imagine losing them.
The warm temps are sure paying off… blooms (and veggies) are popping all over the garden!
Caution: Excessive images coming. Hope you like pink and purple.😳
Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.
Click on individual pics for additional information on varieties, etc.
🍅Tomatoes planted in containers last weekend by my son. 👨🌾 We always have garden days together for Mother’s Day but this year it had to be later and socially distanced. No hugs. 😭 TOMATOES: Summer Sandwich (formerly Steak Sandwich), Romas, Mr. Stripey and several cherry tomato varieties.
🌱Peas coming along nicely.
🌱Zucchini are growing in containers as we did last year. This year’s varieties are Romanesco and Rhonde de Nice (a round Zuc)
🥔Potatoes (Kennebecs) jumping up along with a “volunteer” Cosmos to the right side.
🥗Lettuce (Black Simpson) is being enjoyed by all!
So many roses are loaded with bud and just ready to burst!
And some ROSES are reaching their peak…
Below is Ghislaine de Feligonde reaching for the sky over the Potting Shed.
She looks like she’s enjoying today’s gentle rain.
RAIN OR SHINE
If you need a rainy or sunny day activity … I think you will enjoy my recent interview with Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium. His talks should come with a warning, he makes it hard not to fall in love (or deeper in love) with roses — plants he calls THE ULTIMATE GARDEN PLANT. And, he uses them so beautifully. You can listen HERE.
Friends, spring is happening! Until next time be well, be safe, and be happy in the garden.
Between winter, these cold snaps and “shelter in place”, I have had too much time on my hands. Keep looking at online catalogs etc. I have added – let’s just say SEVERAL roses to the family.
Just when I told myself I was officially DONE and truly had all the roses I need at this time, this happened… I was chatting with Mike Shoup of Antique Rose Emporium about his upcoming Rose Chat Podcast. (Release date May 24. Don’t miss it — Mike is amazing and you will be inspired. When he speaks about roses it is though he is reciting poetry!
As we talked I noted one of his favorite roses is Penelope and he told me all the great things about it (and there are many). I was doing okay and still good with my decision for NO MORE ROSES THIS YEAR… until I saw their Facebook post of a picture of an entire shrub line of Penelope roses in full bloom at the Antique Rose Emporium. 😳
I tried to get my good friend Linda Kimmel to talk me out of it – but alas she was no help. At the mere mention of Penelope, she launched into a story of how her Penelope was so beautiful and such a good rebloomer than it won an award in a rose show and beat out some very prestigious contenders and on and on she went. No. Help. At. All. 🙄
I caved. 🤦♀️ Wouldn’t you? Do you grow this rose? Do you ever “cave” when it comes to plants? If so, please leave me a comment. Safety in numbers. 👊🏻
Penelope now lives in Brownsburg in a prime spot where I will see her constantly. I keep apologizing to her for all the cold. It must be a shock coming from Texas to Indiana where it is even colder than usual for this time of year. 🥶
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH PENELOPE:
Penelope is a fragrant Hybrid Musk Shrub Rose bred by a historical favorite, Rev. Joseph Hardwich Pemberton in 1924.
David Austin’s website says it is deliciously fragrant and ideal for hips. Link.
High Country Roses website says it is known for its healthy vigor and shade tolerance! Link
Note: HELP ME FIND says resist the urge to prune this rose too heavily – it doesn’t like it. Hopefully, winters won’t do that either. More info here.
Early this week we had record low temperatures. For the first time I can remember we had a FREEZE (not frost) WARNING in May (26 degrees). I turned my garden into a POT AND TENT CITY. Was so very thankful for all the pots I have kept on hand. Almost got rid of them last fall!!!
My garden is way too large to cover everything. So I went with the veggies, peonies and as many roses as I could.
The sergeant crabapple suffered greatly.
The hostas and lilies suffered greatly.
Tips of roses not covered suffered too.
Time will tell how much other damage we had. Each day I am seeing more signs. I’ll keep you posted on how the recovery goes. A big surprise was how well the clematis did. I have a ton of clematis and many of them are covered in buds.
Yes, time will tell.
So, while the temps prevented outside fun, we went in to enjoy hot soup and homemade bread…
Handsome Fred (the frog) is back out and conversing with the goldfish so all is well for spring!
Bloomerang lilacs …
Pansies and violas are still bright spots. They like cool weather.
First lettuce picking! Always a great day.
And, then there’s this guy — the dream maker. Mr. G is busy making furniture for my new and improved potting area! More pics to come!! It is soooo fun. I can’t wait to show you. He is the very best. #swoon
The weather app is giving out better news for the days to come – if our tender plants can survive the downpours of rain. Happy Days!
COVID-19 & GARDENING:
On the Rose Chat podcast, we are featuring stories from those in our garden community on what it is like WHEN GARDENERS SHELTER IN PLACE. Listen in to these short, insightful stories told by the gardeners themselves… LINK
Friends, wishing you safety, health, and fun in the garden.
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.)
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. 😊
This morning I got up extra early just to grab my coffee and a blanket and head to the sun porch to greet the morning. It was so wonderful.
Before we get started know this… regardless of the title of this post, I don’t “hate” much of anything. I just like some things”more.” Spring is an exception in the other direction. I am completely over the moon crazy about spring and all that it means and all that it brings.
How can anyone not like the cooler temps, vivid flower colors and God’s magic of the changing scenery. And, it’s hard to beat the cool mornings. I do love all those things… but I miss my outside time, flower picking, collecting fresh herbs for cooking, summer nights, hummingbirds and finches when they are so yellow.
Pretty blooms. Magical in the morning. So healthy. And, sometimes — SO INVASIVE! If you plant, be careful of variety! I didn’t plant any this year and they are everywhere. And, I forgive them.
Yellow Trumpet Vine.
(Campsis radical f. flava) A beautiful native that the hummingbirds flock to.
That drapes beautifully over our pergola that holds our facing swings.
I love the cozy feeling this vine gives our swing time. BUT, it has made us crazy. It is popping up everywhere and we may never get it under control. I still see it for sale but I wouldn’t recommend it in my area. Resist.
POTTING SHED OVER CROWDING…
I am beginning to bring ‘inside plants’ that have been outside this summer and ‘outside plants’ that I want to overwinter in my Potting Shed/Garden Office. I am only half way through the process and there is little room left for working!
But, I love how it looks full. I will be crying out for help this winter as the darkness and dryness threaten to take them from me.
But for now they are lush and beautiful…
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…
Petit Pink peeking through the fence. (OSO Easy Series)
James L. Austin (DA)
James L. Austin Up close
Petit Pink (OSO Easy Series)
Sunrise Sunset (Easy Elegance)
Peter III Blue Aster
Nasturiums still going strong
Mother of Pearl
Head over Heels (Easy Elegance Collection)
Fingers crossed that fall lasts a long, long, long time.🍂