Bloom Thyme Friday: Rain or Shine, I’m Not Gonna Whine

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.🙄

STORMY WEATHER

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.

New Dawn going up and over! Just as she should!
Peggy Martin doing what she does so beautifully. Shout to my beautiful friend Peggy too! xo
Peggy Martin reaching for the sky – beautifully
New Dawn and Etiole des Violette … good companions year after year
Mother of Pearl – I counted 25 blooms on one of the shrubs this morning. I have 3 shrubs of this gorgeous rose.
Freida Kahlo — so much prettier in person

 

Imogen (DA) my, my she’s pretty. She was in the garden last year but I don’t remember her being a standout. But this year that is a different story. LOVE HER.
Sweet Drift and Darcey Bussell (DA)
Most of the garden action around here happens in the back yard, but Mr. G was busy in the front yard so it wasn’t an embarrassment. I tend to forget we have a front yard. 🙂

 

First year for Queen of Sweden (DA) and she is stealing my heart!!

 

Rosa Mundi. What a standout. One-time bloomer but what a bloom.

 

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.🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

 

 

Yes, rain or shine, it’s gonna be fine, but

I AM PRAYING FOR SHINE!

🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Mentors and Memories

Today I want to tell you about two mentors who had so much to do with teaching me and inspiring me in the world of roses although I never met them.

This week as the temps plummeted into the minus category and Spring seemed so far off, I found myself in my Potting Shed/Garden Office going through old things — mostly articles I saved.

I don’t keep everything, in fact, sometimes I am accused of casting out too many things, but I am absolutely thrilled that the things I am going tell you about today, I still have. I know so much is being said and done as people are inspired by Marie Kondo to “tidy up.” I want to encourage you to save some things. In full disclosure — when it comes to the garden, let’s just say things get a bit “crowded” and I might have toooo many things. Is there such a thing as too many plants?

Back to my story….

In the late 80s and early 90s, I was a creative garden-loving, rose-loving young mother of the sweetest two kids on the planet and I loved them dearly. But, occasionally I had to get out and do my thing. And, since I had the most supportive husband on the planet, Mr. G took care of things and kiddies so I could spend an entire day learning more about gardening and in particular, roses. I spent many of those days in a book store drinking coffee and doing research. (Remember when there were Barnes and Nobles everywhere!?!?) Some of those times away I went to a pretty hotel and spent all day and night researching, making lists and drawing up plans.

All of this of course without the benefit of the internet. How did I do it!

I was armed with books, magazines, garden catalogs and a newsletter that I subscribed to … Bev Dobson’s Rose Letter. Bev taught me much about the different types of roses and rose care, she reviewed books about roses, rose hybridization and from Bev I first learned of rose viruses and an indexing program that Jackson & Perkins had started. OF HUGE NOTE, now that I am looking back, I see that she told me in 1992 that the prestigious Jane Righter Rose Medal was awarded to Stephen C. Scanniello and his team of volunteers for their work at the Cranford Memorial Rose Garden. I never ever thought then that I would one day call Stephen a friend. I can tell you with certainty that Stephen deserved that award and deserves an award every year for all of his contributions to the world of roses.

Those newsletters were a treasure trove of information and included names that now pop into my world on a regular basis.

Thank you Bev for making me a better and more informed rose gardener.

 

Mentoring from Far, Far Away….

One of my “research projects” was David Austin Roses. Believe it or not, information was so hard to come by. I first saw these roses in a Wayside Garden Catalog and it was love at first sight. At that time I was growing both modern roses and old garden roses and thought that perfection would lie in putting them together… and thought that will never happen. I knew nothing of hybridization. Then I read interviews in a couple of magazines that showcased Mr. Austin’s work of doing just that and I was smitten from that day forward. Of course, he was a quiet Englishman, who loved roses, was weaving together the old and the new roses and wore a tweed jacket. Who wouldn’t be!?!  😉 … A not so secret crush as Mr. G would point out from time to time.

One of those magazines was VICTORIA who published an article that I kept in my “special box’ … A Shropshire Nurseryman Refashions THE ROSES OF YESTERYEAR by Thomas Christopher  (who wrote In Search of Lost Roses). The article deals with the fact that at that time growing roses in the US was still an adventure with our diverse growing climates. Mr. Christopher ended his article with a quote from Mr.Austin in regard to his roses defying the conventions of roses at that time on whether or not English roses were too diverse to be classed as a single group. Roses shouldn’t conform — roses should be an adventure.” And to that Mr. Christopher said, His roses certainly are.

I’m grateful his roses were accepted as one big beautiful class – The English Rose.

I loved reading about Mr. Austin, the process of bringing these roses to light and having his roses in my garden. I still enjoy his story. A quiet man with an incredible vision. His story and his work entertained me and encouraged me while bringing so much pleasure to my garden experience. I had always dreamed I would meet him one day. I have met Michael Marriott, (technical manager and senior rosarian of David Austin Roses), and have the pleasure of calling him friend, that is rose dream worthy too.

This year I will be even more excited to welcome back after the winter thaw the amazing climbing rose ‘The Generous Gardener’  along with my other Austins. If I could recommend only one David Austin to you, it would be ‘The Generous Gardener.’ She is amazing … so amazing I ordered another one to come in April!

Thank you David Austin for mentoring me from a land far away. I would not be the gardener I am today without you.

 

I just love this picture in Victoria Magazine from around the year 2000 of David Austin with his son.

Shhhhh. Just between us good friends, (Don’t tell Marie K) but I have Victoria magazines that date back to 1988. Stacks of them. Maybe you shouldn’t tell my children either.

NOTE TO SELF and an encouragement to you… anytime we get the opportunity to mentor … to teach … to share with someone else our passion, TAKE IT!

The front left rose is THE GENEROUS GARDENER… her neighbors are Quietness and Music Box.

Thank you so much for joining me on this trip down memory lane. I’d love to hear your stories too if you’d like to share them!

Bloom Thyme Friday: It’s Painfully True

Yes, it is painfully true that I have an over the top case of the garden gimmies – I want way too many plants for spring. Mamma Berenstain Bear would be taking me to task about it too. And, I would plead my case while I submit these pictures for review….

Are you with me? All of these catalogs are just yummy but the David Austin catalog this year is a work of art! It just came yesterday so I haven’t had a chance to go page by page, but I will. #gimmies Wish me luck. Or not. 😍

BLOOM THYME:

Roses on Order…

ROSES UNLIMITED

MOTHER OF PEARL
I ordered two more to add to the two I have in the garden now. Remember those from last summer…

Beautiful.
Easy Care.
Light Fragrance.

PALATINE ROSES

I hear from Paul Zimmerman (Paul Zimmerman Roses) who grows a number of the Delbard roses that they, “some of the finest roses you will ever grow.” They are easy care, fragrant and show-stopping beautiful. They are not as easy to find in this country yet, so if you are looking for Delbards, try Palatine (while they last) and Roses Unlimited (864-682-7673) (while they last). All of the roses I have received from these companies have been high quality!

PAPI DELBARD (CLIMBER)

I happen to know that Palatine is now sold out of this rose but they have so many other beauties!!

SOEUR EMMANUEL DELBARD

 

GHISLAINE de FELIGONDE

Because I can’t get enough of roses that ramble! This rose is shade tolerant — a very good thing in my garden as I watch my tree get bigger and bigger each year. Roses, in general, need 6 – 8 hours of sun. And all do better if they get that much sun I believe. So I will try to put her in as much sun as possible. She is also fragrant and a repeat bloomer. I CAN’T WAIT!! And look at those colors. Yum!

LAGUNA CLIMBER

This climber is from the Kordes collection known for hardiness, beauty and fragrance. I plan to station Laguna at one of the entrances to our garden! Bill Kozemchek tempted me with the rose from his garden last summer….

If you want another great suggestion for a climber, try Jasmina. I have 2 baby ones and they have done very well. Another Kordes that is beautiful, easy to care for and fragrant.

Bill’s Jasmina is not so small anymore. Look at this gorgeous one. Hopefully, mine will grow leaps and bounds the year!

To see more of Bill’s garden you can follow him on Facebook HERE.

HIGH COUNTRY ROSES

Another source of outstanding roses from old garden roses to modern! I bought 2 Veilchenblau from them last summer — when it was so hot and they arrived in wonderful shape and did extemely well when added to the garden!

I have another Harison Yellow and a Madam Plantier coming from High Country.

And then there are SEEDS!

There are several seeds on my list too. So far I have only purchased Zinnias when I found what I believe will be the perfect color. Last year we had some Zinnia “color issues”. My California Giant mix was very prolific and beautiful but many of them were orange tones … not the best look with all the pinkness going on in my garden. I hope these pretty Enchantress Zinnias will be enchanting and fit right in.

Gimmies??? Yes, because I want most of the roses I see, and plants and seeds, but I’m working on it and Mr. G is helping with his “looks.” Not quite Momma Berenstain bear looks, but effective. 😉 I have more than one gift certificate and they make all the difference. My family and friends know what to “buy” me!

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Last weekend, I was scheduled to go to St Louis to speak to a rose society, but instead, I was home with Mr. G watching the snow fall. The postponed invitation was extended again for today… We are home again waiting for even more snow.

If you are in the Crown Point, IN area on Feb 8, I will be speaking to the Lake County Master Gardeners about NEW ROSES FOR TODAY’S GARDENS. Come join us!

GOD’S ARTISTRY

While we wait for spring, God shows us that “to everything, there is a season.” — A BEAUTIFUL SEASON! And, we are grateful.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Christmas Trees & Things

I love Christmas trees. I love most evergreens. I particularly love boxwoods. I know. I know. There are two kinds of people in the world — those who love boxwood and those who don’t. But, I do. Can’t remember without looking if I shared with you my boxwood horror this year. For about 6 years we have had a boxwood hedge around our patio. They did not make it through the winter. I thought it was “winter kill” but I now suspect from the look of things, it was blight. They had to be taken out — all 15 of them! Mr. G was my hero as he took them out one by one. He put up with my tears and was very sweet about it. What a guy! 

Back to the original subject, Christmas Trees, I love them. Fresh ones. Filled to the brim with ornaments and twinkle lights!

This year due to so much travel, we decided not to have a tree but we have twinkle lights everywhere!

CHRISTMAS TREE TRIVIA

The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Alsace in 1576. German Protestants are often credited with the first circulation of the Christmas Tree, using them to decorate their houses. Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther is said to have added the first lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The inspired decoration came out of admiration of the snow glistening from the trees on his walk home Christmas Eve. From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree  

Wooster, a small country town located in north-central Ohio, claims to have hosted the first Christmas Tree in America in 1847. German immigrant August Imgard might be the first to decorate the tree with candy canes; “Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments, gilded nuts and kuchen.” From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree  

Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas tree decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas. (Almost makes me like them. 😳 Almost. )

 

MY 2018 CHRISTMAS TREE…

Lucky for me I still have many boxwoods around the garden. Plenty for making boxwood trees. Such a fun project. When I was a florist I made so many of them and never tired of the project!

 

PROCESS PICS…

BLOOM THYME

David Austin roses in my garden…

This week we lost one of the giants of the rose world – David Austin Snr. Mr. G says I have had a secret crush on him for 30 years. That might be true. When I was putting my first real rose garden together, I was feverishly researching all types of roses (without the benefit of the internet) and happened on the “something and someone new” in the rose world – Mr. Austin. He was a pioneer that followed his heart and used his gifts to bring us the beautiful Engish roses by blending historical roses (for form and fragrance) with modern roses (for repeat blooming and additional colors). I never had the privilege of meeting him, but he was very well represented by Michael Marriott who worked with him for more than 30 years and shares how special he was. 

Thank you Mr. Austin for all the beauty you shared with our world. Well done, Sir.

Whew, that was a long post. If you made it to the end  — Thank You!

Merry Christmas friends. Wishing you a holiday filled with joy, peace, love and plenty of twinkle lights!

Rose Buzz: Bathsheba

One rose that is creating a ROSE BUZZ in my garden this year is a new introduction from David Austin Roses … BATHSHEBA.

Bathsheba is said to be a well-behaved climber (to 9′ or so) with beauty, fragrance and disease resistance. All the things I want to hear.

Right from the start my new small plant began to take off and start growing strong — even  though I didn’t plant it in the most perfect of locations. (I feared it would not get enough sun.) I have been rewarded with adorable buds and breathtaking blooms. Only 4-5 blooms so far but enough to know that this one captures my attention and heart.

LISTEN FOR MORE INFORMATION…

To hear the charming Michael Marriott with the lovely voice and incredible rose knowledge talk about this rose and the other new introductions, listen to the Rose Chat Podcast here…

https://rosechat.podbean.com/e/david-austin-roses-new-intros-for-2018/

If you are growing this rose, let me know what you think and if you have questions, I’m happy to help! Leave me a note in the comment section below.

SPEAKING OF BUZZ….

Did you see the acrobatic bee in my herb garden that I posted on Instagram? He’s my inspiration. I want to have as much fun as he is having as I work in the garden. And I DO have some work to do–all the roses need dead heading! LOL

As I write this morning, my view from my potting shed is one that makes me happy all the time but especially today as we are getting a MOST and I mean MOST needed rain. No one fulfills the needs of the garden OR the gardener like the Creator…

 

LEMONS TO LEMONADE…

There’s been a lot going on in the garden the past two weeks–some good and some bad. 😳 I’ll have a report on Bloom Thyme Friday!

 Keep creating a buzz in the garden! 🐝

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: What’s Next

This lover of spring is noticing how “fall things” have started to creep into my world. 😢 One upside is it’s time for assessing the year and making plans for next year! I really love the making plans for next year part! Hope “springs” eternal for gardeners! 😉

NEW FOR 2018

The last couple of weeks on Rose Chat we have been interviewing the rose suppliers on 2018 releases. I can tell you with great enthusiasm, there are some beauties coming. I’ll be making some room! The first in the series was with Jackson and Perkins and it is out now. Check them out at rosechatpodcast.com.

Yep, it’s that time of year to fall in love with new ones. I don’t know about you but whether I’m adding a couple or a dozen, it always “requires” some REEEE designing and some REEEE arranging. (I love that part!!!) Makes Mr G gets a bit nervous. He’s the kind who likes things in the garden the way they are now — regardless of how they are now. Which is a blessing in many ways! But, I LOVE to move things around! He says he trusts me, but when I get started I see that eye twitch until it is done.  😳 😂

Before I fall full into planning for next  year,  I’m looking at roses that were stand outs in my garden this year.

Here are 5 of them…

5. Quietness: Year after year, this rose quietly steals the show! Beautiful, healthy, easy care and fragrant — the whole package. Purchase your own at Chamblees Roses (Link). You really will love it!

4. Olivia Rose Austin: These pictures say it all. Well almost all. Until we have scratch and sniff blog pages, you can’t fully experience all this rose has to offer. The fragrance is not to be missed. You can have one (Full disclosure: I have two. LOL) too, just follow this link. David Austin roses are in the charm and fragrance business for sure!

3. Peggy Martin: A one-time blooming show stopper! She filled the early season with grace, beauty and charm. All are words I’d use to describe her lovely namesake! Just talking about her makes me miss her! 😘 Love you Peggy. This rose is available at Chamblees.

2. At Last: New to my world but made a big impression. Lovely color. Quick to repeat and a light sweet fragrance. Can’t wait to see what she will do next year! Locally, Country Harmony had this rose. (Link)

1. My Girl: As I look out at the (3) My Girls, I can’t believe how well they have done! 2 are in pots and one is in the ground. Loads of blooms and probably the most healthy roses in my garden this year! A deep pink color that is hard to photograph but trust me it is gorgeous! This beauty is from the Easy Elegance collection–found locally at Lowes and Frazee Gardens (Link).

This My Girl is in the ground…
This My Girl is in a pot on the deck.

SPECIAL MENTION…

Special mention goes to Music Box also from the Easy Elegance collection! Strong beautiful shrub giving me loads of blooms for bokays! Here’s a video I did for the American Rose Society

One thing that does get my attention in the fall…

Are you a pumpkin spice “YAY” or a pumpkin spice “NAY” person?

If not pumpkin spice latte, what is your fall drink of choice?

Today I’m wishing you a happy Pumpkin Spice Season and a very happy Bloom Thyme Friday.

Rose Buzz: Some Like It Hot

Rose Buzz_7_whiteI don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but around here it is HOT. As you know, it has been RAINY and I mean RAINY. Now it is HOT and I mean HOT. Or at least around here the 90s are HOT. In the deep south my friends are hotter but 90 is hot enough for me … HOT.

I thought as the temps soared, I would have very few roses blooming but that has not been the case. Although I am wilting, the roses aren’t. There are certainly a few that are laying low or sending out small blooms, but today we are going to focus on the ones that don’t seem to be bothered by the heat…

Lady Salisbury (David Austin) Looks delicate but it one tough rose!
Lady Salisbury (David Austin) Looks delicate but it one tough rose!
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Jackson & Perkins)
Coral Drift
Coral Drift (Star Roses & Plants)
Poseidon
Poseidon (Kordes/Certified Roses)
Another shot of Poseidon with her neighbors
Another shot of Poseidon with her neighbors
Red Drift (Star Roses & Plants) Rarely without bloom!
Red Drift (Star Roses & Plants) Rarely without bloom!
Beverly
Beverly (Kordes/Certified Roses/Winner at Biltmore International Rose Trials)
Petit Pink
Petit Pink (Proven Winners OSO Happy Series)
Charlotte DA
Charlotte (David Austin)
Black Forrest
Black Forrest (Kordes/Certified Roses)
Falling in Love
Falling in Love (A beautiful Tom Carruth HT)
IMG_1370 1
Smoothie (Proven Winners (OSO Happy Series)
IMG_1483
Quietness (Dr. Buck) (left) and Music Box (Ping Lim) (right)
Music Box Up Close
Music Box Up Close
Cherry Pie
Cherry Pie (Proven Winners OSO Easy Series)
Little Mischief
Little Mischief (Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection)

 


Some of these lovelies made their way to a vase…

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IMG_1396

 I have a new shrub rose that I planted a few weeks ago, Sunshine Daydream.

I’m excited to see what it’s going to do. It’s another pretty, fragrant yellow! 🙂

Do you grow it? Any advice on it?

This week’s bloomers…

Yesterday I had  the pleasure of creating some bokays for a special friend’s art exhibit. Check out the artwork of Kelly Wilkerson at Blue Bossa Prints here. Despite all the rain this week, I had plenty of flowers to choose from. The big question was which ones should I  use. The Belinda’s Dream roses paired with the Stargazer lilies won my heart and filled the vases quite nicely.

Take a look at my options for vases this week…

IMG_0769
Stargazer Lilies
Belinda's Dream
Belinda’s Dream
Black Eyed Susans
Black Eyed Susans
IMG_0770
Gemini HT
IMG_0771
Falling in Love HT
IMG_0774
Zinnias
IMG_0950
Zinnias!
IMG_0944
Doris Day holding up in all the rain!
IMG_0934
Lovely Senorita Rosalita Cleome from Proven Winners… a real winner in my garden!
More Stargazer Lilies
More Stargazer Lilies

Here are a couple of bokays I made earlier this week…

 

IMG_0730
DA Boscobel and Anna’s Promise
David Austin's Wollerton Old Hall
David Austin’s Wollerton Old Hall
IMG_0942 (1)
Lovely creamer from P. Allen Smith’s garden shop with Drift Roses … a true fav.

And here are the flower bokays for Kelly’s very first art exhibit…

IMG_0832
Love giving gifts from the garden!


Hope things are blooming in your world this week… whether it is in the form of actual flowers or beautiful snow that they are having in my friend Elspeth’s world in Australia!

Do you have a favorite flower you like to see in arrangements?

Bloom Thyme: New From David Austin Roses

Since the 80s I have been in love with David Austin Roses. A highlight of each growing season is their new releases.

Last week on Rose Chat Michael Marriott, garden designer from David Austin Roses, was with us to talk about the 2015 introductions for the US and Canada.

If you’ve never heard Michael speak, well do listen to the podcast. While I can give you the pictures and a few facts, Michael can escort you to the very essence of these roses with his charming British accent. Michael also gave us a history lesson on the Chelsea Flower Show and his top tips for growing great roses. You can listen by clicking the Rose Chat logo below…

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THE ROSES…

6228
The Lady Gardener

THE LADY GARDENER: It is said of this rose that it “nearly buries itself in perfume and flowers from early summer to frost.” Read more.

6218
The Albrighton Rambler

THE ALBRIGHTON RAMBLER: This rose is said to have “exceptional prettiness and charm.”  Read more.

6226
Thomas a Becket

THOMAS a BECKET: “A particularly strong and healthy rose, with exceptional old rose fragrance.” Read more.

6196
Maid Marion

MAID MARION: “Maid Marion produced some of the most superbly formed flowers we have seen.” Read more.

 

For other articles I’ve written on David Austin roses, read on.


DECISIONS! DECISIONS!

Of course I want them all, but since I have been working on a living fence on the south side of our garden for the last 2 years, I think I am going with the ramblers. Aren’t they just amazing! Most ramblers grow to 20′ … and in some cases 30′. I think these ramblers growing only to about 10′ will fit my space very nicely.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Of course you too can have them all, but I’m curious, if you could choose only one of these pretties, which one would you choose?