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.
That one small leaf can become a gorgeous blooming plant.
In August 2017 H planted a single leaf and today it looks like this…
In September 2018 C planted his single leaf and while his African Violet is not blooming, it is growing strong.
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…
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!
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! ❣️
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.
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.
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…
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.
OTHER THINGS CATCHING MY EYE THIS WEEK…
A new clematis getting started
Peggy Martin is finishing up… still looking so fine!
Phlox coming into it’s own!
I love dallies – they are some upkeep for sure but they add so much to the garden in summer.
Love the “yarrow” welcome to the Herb Garden…
Phlox going strong
Forgot to plant my Flamingo Pink Celosia .. so I’m glad I have some germinating in a pot. Still hope!
Yes, it is time to assess the garden! There has been so much rain. So many storms!
So grateful that this morning in the garden is like paradise … if you don’t look too close. The sun is shining (Yes, you heard me correctly. Don’t worry, rain is coming back tomorrow). Back to paradise… sun is shining, nice breeze blowing, temps nearing 70 and birds are singing the most beautiful songs.
On my morning garden walk – which was limited as some of the areas of the garden are water filled – I saw new blooms emerging, like the beautiful phlox that last year gave me blooms for most of the summer. Roses that are still holding their head high and some not so much. Most clematis doing well, however, some are succumbing to the dreaded wilt.
Bloom Thyme This Week….
Twist and Shout (Endless Summer Series) Hydrangea has never looked better. And, has never bloomed this early!
Flame White Eye Phlox Paniculata… simply gorgeous and has a very long blooming season!
During my open garden day someone asked, “Just, How many clematis do you have? I said … “Not sure …. a bunch.” “Ask Mr. G, it’s likely he’s keeping tabs.” LOL #truth
I do have a lot because I love them. Some clematis have already finished blooming but here are this week’s bloomers. You can see from the picture gallery on one of the main gate trellises, Etoile Violette is doing great on one side and the other has succumbed to the dreaded Clematis wilt. It happens. I hate it, but it happens. I will cut down this wilted one and destroy. You can read more about Clematis Wilt here.
Catmint: Nepeta Walker’s Low
These plants have never done better! It is getting near the end of their first bloom cycle. I will cut back and they will bloom again! This has proven to be an excellent edging for our deck — near the potted roses. (Don’t be fooled by the word “low” in the name; these babies are 3′ tall!) Pollinators love them!
Roses in pots are blooming nicely.
Wollerton Old Hall (DA)
Creme Brûlée Coreopsis (Love) Excellent companion for roses.
Ghislaine de Felligonde (Hybrid Musk Rambler) first blooms tell me I am going to love having her in the garden. She first started blooming this week during a torrential downpour and I feared I would not see a petal left.
Little Mischief rose is starting to bloom. I just love it. Who doesn’t want a little mischief in their lives?!?
A small bird, I think it is a finch, is building a nest in my potting shed window box. I’ll need to be careful watering! Yikes.
I hear large equipment at a neighbor’s house and I see they are taking out big limbs near the power lines. I always get a bit nervous when I see trees go down! Especially when I suspect my tree line is next. 😬
If you need me, I’ll be deadheading. And, checking out the tree limb/ power line situation!
Hope you get to experience a bit of paradise today!
Genesis 2:15: God Placed man in the garden (of Eden) to tend and watch over it.
It’s true, rain or shine, I’m not gonna whine. It’s all good. Because of the rain, we have areas that are more beautiful than ever before at this time of year and areas that have been stunted.
The area hardest hit by the “wet” was the herb garden. I plant a lot of seeds in the herb garden and it was very late when I got them out and they are quite small. I believe that all of them, with the exception of the sweet peas will be fine. It might be too hot for the sweet peas before they get to be their best selves. Last year the zinnias were twice as tall or maybe 3 times as tall as they are this year but no worries there. They will be monsters soon enough.
Speaking of zinnias, I planted several varieties that I had not planted before — Enchantress (they don’t look like double giants yet ), Apricot Blush, and Blue Point. So excited to see how they do. Last year my California Giants did so well that they blocked more than one path through the garden — beautifully, I might add. 🙂 And, the pink ones (I don’t remember the variety.) were so “healthy” that they smashed out several of their neighbors before I got them staked.🙄
Last night as we were preparing the garden for events this weekend – another storm came, taking many blooms with it. This morning I see that it also brought many fresh new blooms – so “rain or shine, I’m not gonna wine.” Now if it rains on Saturday and our guests can’t tour the garden. I might whine a bit.
BIGGEST UPSIDE OF RAINY WEATHER
Very little, if any, hand watering. While I love the process of hand watering and getting up close and personal with my plants, my garden has grown to the size that it certainly takes some time to get that job accomplished.
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK
There were so many things blooming this week that I told myself no more than 10 pictures. So, of course I’ll give you 13 plus a video. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
Rosa Mundi and neighbors
If you need me, I’m in the garden deadheading the roses, so they can be their best selves for our guests tomorrow.🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹
In the movie Singing in the Rain… they looked so happy dancing and singing in the rain! As happy as those scenes looked, I will confess I am not all that happy with all the rain we are getting and getting rained on again and again. While gardening in the rain poses some challenges, the horrible weather that some of my gardening friends around the country are having is much worse with tornadoes and even snow storms.
When I heard the rain was coming again this morning I went out to take some pictures (and got soaked yet again) and was struck by how good the garden smelled. I do love the smell of rain! Did you know that the smell of rain has a name — Petrichor. I read a Reader’s Digest fact that tells us the “why” surrounding the smell of rain.”Water doesn’t smell like anything, so why does rain produce a pleasant aroma after it falls? Well, it’s because of a molecule, called geosmin, created by soil-dwelling bacteria. When rain falls, it creates air pockets, which contain small amounts of geosmin. The rain traps and then releases these air pockets, dispersing geosmin into the air, where it’s free to travel to human sniffers.”
As much as I want to be working in the garden and can’t… I am learning how little my plants need me. Many are thriving from all the bounty from above. And, we are quickly moving to the jungle stage as the roses and peonies begin to open.
So here is BLOOM THYME for this week…
Rugosas and Peonies… oh the fragrance in this spot!!!
I forgot I had this beauty! Fun surprise as I absolutely love it!
Therese Bugnet has been amazing. If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably tired of seeing her picture! 🙂
I live in midwest farm country and would ask that you say a prayer for our farming families. They have not been able to get in the fields to do their spring work. Since it is now so late, they run the risk of having no crop this season. The forecast for the next week is for rain each day.
Friends, stay safe and dry and enjoy all the beauty around you . . . AND carry an umbrella! ☔️😉
My Forsythia is blooming letting us know that the ground temps are now around 50 degrees and it “should” be safe to start pruning the roses.
As I took a quick look over the garden this week, I saw some things that made me very happy and a couple things that are iffy.
The brightest spot was seeing Peggy Martin who you will remember died back to the ground last year (Read the story of Mother Nature’s curve balls here.) but, she has now made it up and over the arbor again and I see buds all the way. Praying we don’t get a late frost or freeze like we did last year.
…TIME TO PLANT BARE ROOTS ROSES
Boxes have been arriving this week: 2 from David Austin and 1 from Palatine Roses. These bare roots look fabulous. Some are going in the ground and some are going in pots.
New Ones: Vanessa Bell, Dame Judi Dench, James L Austin, The Generous Gardener (I already have one and just love it!), Ghislane De Feligonde, Jasmine, and Papi Delbard. I simply cannot wait to see how these beauties grow and bloom! I’ll share!
They are all fabulous, but look at this dreamy Vanessa Bell!! Named for the artist, designer and founder member of the Bloomsbury Group – sister of the writer, Virginia Woolf. (DA)
Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire, located not far from the David Austin nursery, has one of the most beautiful private gardens in the country. The gardens are set around a 16th Century hall and feature roses in creative plant combinations, including many of our own English Roses. Wollerton Old Hall is open to the public on selected days throughout the summer. Read more here. http://www.wollertonoldhallgarden.com )
…TIME TO ENJOY BLOOM THYME BLOOMS
Isn’t spring just the best… except for those friends are getting pelted with snow as I write. So sorry! Hoping this will be the last.
…TIME TO GET SOME REST
Today I worked a little too hard and a little too long— if you get my drift. 😉😉 Think I should take a cue from our Southern sister Scarlet who said, “tomorrow is another day!” However, I typically run my life in “no time like the present” mode. 😃
Have a wonderful week. I’m heading for a bit more Advil! My body might be tired/sore but my spirit is soaring!