BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

The lazy, hazy days of summer are certainly here!

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

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.

BLOOM THYME

James Austin DA just making this bokay sing!
Sweet Drift

The phlox blooms are beginning to fade but they are still very attractive to the pollinators!

Dahlias in the cutting garden are going to find their way into bokays today!

Flamenco Rosita (Ivor’s Rose)
Fred and family are keeping cool in the pond. Wish it will big enough so that Mr. G and I could join them!

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…

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: NOTES, LISTS & BUCKETS

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!

REDESIGN

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.

LABEL PROBS

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!  

From last July…

Today … whoever she is, she’s pretty but kinda clashy with my apricot roses. 😏

BUCKETS

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.

Thanks Jan!

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!

BLOOM THYME

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! 😲

  • 7 Annabelles
  • 13 BoBos
  • 3 Little Limes
  • 4 Pinky Winkys
  • 2 Limelights
  • 3 Twist and Shouts

HEALTH CARE

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. 😘

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.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: NOT THE TUNNEL OF LOVE

This week the moles have moved in and are creating havoc with their tunnels! 😫

We have them from time to time, but they are usually in Mr. G’s “turf” garden (lawn) and not in the mulched areas (my gardens)!!!!  But, this year they are all over the mulched area. Some areas look like a rototiller has gone through!

While I was out in the garden this morning I was a bit overwhelmed by all their damage and then a💡light💡went on! GRUBS. LARVA. JAPANESE BEETLES. Are they going for the Japanese Beetle Larva. We have not had many Japanese Beetles for several years so I am sure that there were more tasty morsels in the “turf” garden. But not this year! We had thousands of Japanese Beetles on the roses and of course they are in the “mulched areas.” While I sent many of the Japanese Beetles off to their heavenly reward via a bubble bath, there were many I did not get … so you know what happened. They have been here since the middle of June and while I am no expert on Japanese Beetles and am not quite sure how big the larva are at this stage – I’m sure if I were a hungry mole, size wouldn’t matter — plus we have a ton of red worms.

Even if they might be helping with the JB population, they need to go! I can tell you this … Mr. G has that “Rambo” look in his eyes and I am thinking of going to Pet Smart to get the very best kibbles on the market to entice all the neighborhood cats to come help us with this situation. If you have more information, thoughts or tips, leave them in the comment section — please!

On a happier note, since the JBs are are gone there are more blooms!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Lady Ashe … She is gorgeous. She is listed as a climber but she doesn’t get too tall for me. I bought her at Chamblee Nursery … you can too https://www.chambleeroses.com/order/Own-Root-Garden-Roses/Lady-Ashe/469
Lady Ashe
Music Box … Easy Elegance Collection
Music Box more open…
Quietness Buck Rose … another purchase from Chamblee
Quietness

 

Bokays from this week…

#allthepink

As I finish this post a storm is moving in and I am grateful for the rain, grateful for blooms and grateful for garden friends.

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday

Bloom Thyme Friday: Bokay Day

The rain held off this morning and I was able to do some work in the garden. What started out as Japanese Beetle “bubble bath” day and garden “clean up” day, soon moved to BOKAY DAY. I just couldn’t help myself. With a garden the size of my garden there is always something to pick and the JB are SOOOOO attracted to the roses that they leave many of the other beauties alone. I became mesmerized by the bloom explosion that was happening today and decided that today was to become BOKAY DAY. So I’ll make bokays and share them. #favoritedays

Since I can’t share a bokay with each of you today, I thought I would share my favorite bokay makers and a few tips and tricks for your fresh cut bokays.

PERENNIALS (Bloom year after year)
Roses
Oriental Lilies
Yarrow
Coreopsis (Favs Moonbeam & Creme Brûlée)
Phlox
Dianthus
Bellflowers
Daisies
Stokes Asters
Ferns
Herbs (Lavender / Sage / Thyme / Mint)

 

ANNUALS (Bloom for one season)

Zinnias
Larkspur (reseeds)
Nigella: Love in a Mist (reseeds)
Superbenas  (Proven Winners)
(Favs Violet Ice / Whitecap / Royal Chambray
Senorita Rosalita Cleome (Proven Winners)
Herbs (Rosemary / Parsley)
Euphorbia Diamond Frost (Proven Winners)

Superbenas!


SHRUBS

Hydrangea (Favs Bobo / Pinky Winky)
Boxwood
Lilacs
Viburnums
Evergreens

 

MY MORNING HARVEST…

 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Morning is the best time to cut flowers.
  • Choose the freshest flowers — best to pick those not yet fully open.
  • Take bucket to garden with you.
  • Place in water immediately after cutting.
  • Let “condition” before arranging … even as little as one hour can be very helpful in their recovery and being ready for arranging. I go for at least 4 hours.
  • Cut under water if possible before adding to bokay.
  • Use preservative in water.
  • No greenery underwater… begins to decay quickly and that takes away from the life of the arrangement.
  • Every 3-4 days, recut stems, add fresh water (with preservative) to your vase.

P. Allen Smith’s Floral Preservative Recipe

Equal parts lukewarm water and lemon lime soda
One aspirin
Half a teaspoon of bleach

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Here’s a video of one of my evening garden walks this week after work. In the video you will see many of the annuals and perennials I mentioned above. Most of them are very hardy and have done fine in all the heat we have had this year. We do water occasionally, but not extensively.

 

Well, it is time for me to get back in the garden and continue with my original plan … Send more Japanese Beetles to a soapy “bubble bath” ☠️ and garden “clean up.”

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Bloom Thyme Friday: A Thing for Glass

I have a thing for glass. If you know me you might say I have a thing for several things … family, roses, flowers, jute, coffee, books and JESUS … And not in that order! LOL But, today we are going to talk about glass.

Sunday there was a friend in the garden who decided to take some flowers home with her. I sent her to the potting shed for a vase to put them in. Know this… vase means bottle, jar or something of the sort.

She found an appropriate bottle but we realized the myriad of flower containers in the Potting Shed had diminished to a couple. Oh no! 😱😳  So, I headed into the garage where I have another “supply.” If you went to my attic, you would find yet another “supply.” #dontjudge

As I lovingly took them from the garage shelves and put them on the Potting Shed potting bench I just kept looking at them. All different. All conjure up memories, stories and the like.

They sparkle. They shine. They represent special dinners, yummy snacks and everyday life … jams, jellies, spaghetti sauce, soups, spices, honey, smoothies, pickles, and containers friends have saved for me because they know I have this “thing.” Then there are the classic Ball and Mason jars which truly take me down memory lane to my mother who spent her summers and falls “putting up” the food we would enjoy all winter. For our family often it was out of necessity but no less delicious. Rarely do I have canned food that is as delicious as the food she served us. She had a “thing” about serving good food!

So today you get to see what I saw as my beauties were laid out on my potting bench. I left them there for a couple of days just to enjoy their size, shape, color. More than once I have thought about the container designers. Did they know the their beautiful glass container would have another life as vases for my home grown bokays, my sprigs of something (link)  and holders for dried flowers and seeds in my potting shed. And, the label designers… I hope they didn’t know that I would use gallons of GOO GONE to remove their creation to make them my own. They will leave here and have yet another life once the flowers have faded.

Note the brown bottles on the shelf. LOVE THEM so much! They play off Annie’s Moo Poo tea packages so well!
The smallest ones are the ones the children pick and stuff full of flowers!

While you are being dazzled by the beautiful containers, DON’T MISS the amazing stem of The Fawn (Faun) rose—a ground cover rose. These blooms are small but just about perfect. This rose is new to me and I have read it is very disease resistant. I’ll admit I have struggled to keep the leaves on this rose healthy, but the blooms ARE amazing. And, I will keep it and keep trying. The blooms are worth it!

Now I’m wondering what it is that you have “a thing” for. That thing that you tend to have too much of.  That thing(s) that makes you soooo happy!

Keep enjoying the simple things, keep blooming and Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Nips and Tucks

Yes, is it summer thyme and time to trim up the perennials and annuals that have been beautiful companions to my roses and clean up the beds of debris and fallen blooms and leaves. There are areas that are definitely moving into the jungly stage. I also like to add a bit of mulch this time of year. Fresh mulch just looks so good and it is so helpful in moisture retention.

Some of the roses need a good hair cut too so they can move into making a beautiful fall display of blooms—which we will get to enjoy now that the Japanese Beetles are in their final decent! (Here’s a bit more on pruning.)

To add to the excitement of the summer trim, we have a fall rose show coming up in our ARS Illinois Indiana District to be held in St. Louis (more information on that here). If all goes as planned, I will have some fresh blooms to take to the show. Now I am not the most competitive or competent horticulture exhibitor, but it is quite thrilling to see a blue ribbon on one of my babies. It does happen from time to time.😉 I’ll have a better chance in the arrangement category. I love that best! But, there are so many talented people in this district! #stiffcompetition

Here’s a bokay I picked last weekend to take to a friend’s dinner party...

TIMING

Most roses will repeat bloom in 40 – 50 days after a trim. So wish me luck. It really is a win win situation … I’ll take the beautiful blooms anytime. But, if I have an award winner at the show, you will hear about it. 😱

JUST BE

Wednesday I had a day off and a chance to “just be” in the garden. No real agenda.  A little work, but mostly plotting and planning. There is nothing quite like taking some time to “just be.” So grateful for that day.

BLOOMERS THIS WEEK

Here are some of the pictures from this week…

Lady Ashe

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday from my jungly summer garden!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Rugged Roses and Rain


This has been a week of roses and rain. The rugosas are blooming a full two weeks early … and way ahead of anyone else. Even the peonies are not quite ready. And while they are trying to be gorgeous, the rains keep coming and beating them down. I just read the weather report and there is NO rain in the forecast for the next 4 days–yes! 😍☀️🌺🌹💃

Rugosas are often referred to as “rugged roses” because they can take most any condition. They are workhorses in my garden and they will most likely grow for you too. They are recommended for growing zones 3 – 9–which takes in a good many of us. If you are growing rugosas in the deep south, I would love to hear how they do and which ones you are growing. Occasionally I hear of people having trouble in our hottest areas.

I have about 15 rugosas … Hansa, Roseraie de la Hay, Therese Bugnet, Moje Hammarberg, Belle Pointevine and Blanc Double de Coubert. They form a thorny, beautiful, fragrant backdrop. The spring bloom is the most spectacular, but they do repeat bloom if you deadhead!

Here’s what mine are doing–in between downpours!

The largest one you see here is Roseraie de la Hay.
In front of the gate is Hansa.

If you turn up the volume, you can hear the birds on the video!

The lovely Therese Bugnet.
Roseraie de la Hay

 

Moje Hammarberg

Here is the fist bokay of the season. It may look gloomy outside this afternoon but it’s all lovely rose fragrance inside.

Early or late, these beauties are always welcome.


COMING ATTRACTIONS…

Look at this video of  Peggy Martin today … all loaded up with blooms. She’s gonna be amazing–just like her namesake! Stay tuned!


Rain or shine, I hope you are having a wonderful

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

I meant to work in the garden but…

Seriously, after work I went out to the garden to work. I meant to work, I really did. I had several things on my list. But then there were the blooms … they beckoned me. And before I knew it I was making bokays.

Here’s my “work” for the evening…

IMG_2296

 

IMG_2302

IMG_2306

I’ll get back to garden “work” tomorrow afternoon. 😉

Kind of reminds me of something my dad always said…

“Work is work and if it were too much fun, they’d call it play.”