Bloom Thyme Friday: 2020 Standouts: Part 2

In the spring I was gifted two ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ Caryopteris shrubs to test in my garden. They have reached the status of 2020 Standout for sure

  • I love the color of the leaves.
  • I love the compact size.
  • I love the blooms. 
  • And, most of all I love how well it pairs with Music Box roses. 

I have several Music Box roses and they are standouts every year but adding ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ as a companion turned out to be a great decision. Just look at how fabulous these two neighbors work together. 

Even though my garden is a cottage style garden and it is packed with many, many plants, I am careful about neighbors for the roses. Roses need good air circulation and are extremely grateful for plants that can help hide their “naked knees” that tend to happen by summer’s end. And, summer’s end is when ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ goes from a pretty little shrub to a STANDOUT. Look at these soft, lovely, blue blooms…  What better colors to pair with Music Box. These two plants have been so good together all year. I will be adding more Lil Miss Sunshines in the future and if you are in Zones 5 – 9, you might want this little cutie too.

Music Box is more vibrant this time of year.
 
Don’t you just love these beautiful blooms! Pollinators sure find them yummy. More info Lil Miss Sunshine here

Hydrangeas are just wonderful right now and ripe for the picking. This week I made an arrangement for our dining room table.

If you would like to see the process for holding a large arrangement in a small container, here you go…

It is so fun to work on projects outside as the weather has been just about perfect. While we badly need rain, it’s hard to complain about 75 and sunny every day. The night temps are dipping closer and closer to frost and I am getting things ready to come inside. Which means reorganizing the Potting Shed! It will be my place to “garden” for the winter.

BLOOM THYME 

The garden still has some beautiful blooms…

Mr. G and Me

This week is the 43rd anniversary of me and Mr. G starting our lives together and we are happier every year. Yes, like all of you, life has thrown us curve balls out of nowhere but we stay anchored to God and to each other and are committed to being each other’s best friend, support system and very best cheerleader. Plus, he is just the cutest thing! Look what he served me on the start of our anniversary week. He knows me well – COFFEE!!!

This was last September at the Biltmore International Rose Trial…

As you look at this sweet cup of coffee (and it was outstanding), know this, Mr. G is not the most comfortable man in the kitchen. But he does believe in having the right tools. So, when he decided he wanted to make me a special drink he found the right tool – a frother! We are putting it to good use! In our life together we have learned that it is the little things we do that add up to the big things! Note: During lockdown, he is learning more and more about cooking and is proving to be a very apt student! 🥰  If you would like to make someone’s day … here’s a link to the frother!  I highly recommend it!   

I hope you and your friends and family are enjoying the beauty of fall and continue to be safe and healthy!🍂 What are the little things in your life that are meaning so much these days?

Bloom Thyme Friday: Friends and Roses Part 2

In most of my garden “rooms” you will find roses hybridized by this rose friend – Dr. David Zlesak.

DAY JOB: David is a Professor of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. For the past 11 years, David has been teaching undergraduate horticulture students.

HOBBY: As a kid growing up in Milwaukee, David loved being outside and gardening – especially with his grandparents who had a small farm nearby.

FUN STORY:  When David was 13 he read in the Sunday paper gardening section about Will Radler’s rose breeding hobby. So he wrote to Will for more information. Will (breeder of the Knock Out family of roses) got him connected to the Rose Hybridizers Association and with his love of art, science and roses, he was off onto a hobby that would bring him and all of us much joy in the roses that he has created.

FRIENDSHIP: I met David through American Rose Society events and we have become great friends. Actually, it is hard NOT to become friends with David as he is truly one of the nicest guys around! He is always willing to share his vast knowledge with those interested!

DAVID’S ROSES IN MY GARDEN

Petit Pink (10 of those!) (Lovely sweetheart blooms!)

Above and Beyond (Gorgeous spring-blooming climber)

The newly released Pretty Polly Lavender (Sweetest blooms and fragrant too)

The newly released Pretty Polly (So prolific and great in arrangements)

PODCAST:

Recently I spoke to David on the Rose Chat Podcast about a project that he is also very passionate about — The Clean Plant Network and the very important work they are doing. Listen in HERE.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

THYME OUT…

‘Thyme Out’ is the name for my new outdoor working space and this space is coming together very nicely. Gone are the horrible vines, roots, and trunks of the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle (if you missed that post, read on HERE.

This space has always included a potting bench but Mr. G gave the potting bench a facelift and then surprised me with a beautiful work table. After a few days of seeing me work in the space, he said, “I’m making you another table.” Seriously, I said I don’t need another one it would be tooooo excessive.” He said, “I’m making you another table.” And, he did. And, guess what? I am so glad he did! I have room to spread out! I am spending so much time in this space.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. G is the best. 

To say that he ”gets” me would be an understatement.
To say that he is a craftsman, would be an understatement.
To say that he is a leader and mentor, would be an understatement.
To say that I love him would be an understatement.

And, to say that he is the very best at being a dad and papa … would be an understatement.

HAPPY FATHER’S (& PAPA) DAY, MR. G.

BLOOMING THIS WEEK…

The roses are on steroids this week and so are many other things. Here are a few pics. For more pictures and videos go to my Instagram page HERE.

 

Jasmina from Kordes
My Girl – Easy Elegance Collection
Blue Angel Clematis
Blue Angel and Etoile Violette Clematis
Bokay Makers
‘You Know Who’ can’t be stopped!
Flamenco Rosita
The Faun

 

Friends, thanks for dropping by.

I hope your world is filled to the brim with friends and with beautiful blooms too!  😘

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: Patience is a Virtue

Yes, patience is a virtue… they say.

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.

BLOOM THYME…

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.😳

Pretty little purple pincushions holding their own amoung all the green. (Scabiosa)

Oh, Sweet William how sweet you are![/caption
Baptisia getting started. Easy, Breezy, Beautiful.

May Night Salvia can’t be stopped. Power bloomer.

Not sure of the variety, but these alliums brought their “A” game this spring!

The President clematis has been bringing joy to my garden for years and years. It is usually the first of my clematis to bloom.

PEONIES…

Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.

VEGGIES…

Click on individual pics for additional information on varieties, etc.

ROSES…

So many roses are loaded with bud and just ready to burst!

Petit Pink is covered in buds!

Peggy Martin is ready to be glorious.

And some ROSES are reaching their peak…

Midnight in Paris growing in a container on my deck.

Below is Ghislaine de Feligonde reaching for the sky over the Potting Shed.

She looks like she’s enjoying today’s gentle rain.

Ghislaine de Feligonde… this old-fashioned rambler forms a large shrub with few thorns. Fragrant bloom clusters open apricot, aging to pale yellow. Occasional repeat bloom. Canes can reach 6 to 10 feet. (Taken from High Country Roses website where I bought her 3 years ago.)

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.

If you are local keep an umbrella handy too. 😉 ☔️

Bloom Thyme Friday: Penelope’s Story

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:

Image of Penelope courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium Website.

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.

 

BLOOM THYME

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…

FRED:

Handsome Fred (the frog) is back out and conversing with the goldfish so all is well for spring!

GOING STRONG:

Bloomerang lilacs …

Dogwoods…

Pansies and violas are still bright spots. They like cool weather.

First lettuce picking! Always a great day.

DREAMS…

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.