It’s October 1 and I’m Thinking About Spring

Yes, it’s October 1 and all I can do is think about spring. 🌷🌸🌹

So, I am going to take advantage of the fact that it is Thursday and do a #TBT post about spring and blooms and such. It will make me feel better about the coming roseless seasons.

My spring was ushered in with a trip to the Garden 2 Blog event and P. Allen’s Smith amazing rose garden and so many wonderful rose friends. Ahhhh….

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And learning from the man himself…

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Then there was the Biltmore International Rose Trials and more beautiful roses and wonderful rose friends!

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Me and Mr. G surrounded by New Dawn and her beauty and fragrance!

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Me and Chris VanCleave all dressed up for our official Rose Chat picture.


Remember the rugosas?

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What about Open Garden Day for my Master Gardener friends and neighbors? That was so fun!

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Well, this is a stretch since it wasn’t spring, but how can I leave out Mr. H and his momma coming and our special flower crown day in the garden.

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This picture just steals my heart!


Okay, I have had my “moment” and gotten that out of my system, now let’s go to the orchard and get a caramel apple! 🍎

HAPPY FALL!

🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁


 

Next post will be about fall rose care … I promise!

😉

A no kink garden hose? Really?

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As you can imagine these big boy roses behind me need a drink now and then, and they are going to be getting a drink while I make a garden fashion statement. The amazing no kink (yes no kink) Flexilla garden hose now comes in a variety of colors. I chose CRAZY FOR COCOA. It fits in so well with my cottage garden landscape. No kink and safe to use for drinking! Check them out. I think you just might need to make a garden fashion statement too while you are making the chore of watering your plants much easier!

I already have one of these hoses in the original Flexilla green so I know they work for me, but there is more you might want to know…
  • Flexzilla hoses feature a Premium Hybrid Polymer material that redefines flexibility.
  • Flexzilla hose characteristics offer zero memory allowing it to lay-flat exactly where you drop it and won’t work against you during operation or coiling after use.
  • Flexzilla offers extreme all-weather flexibility, even in sub-zero conditions. Flexzilla is currently in use by oil companies located in Alaska!
  • Check them out on Facebook here.
There a color just perfect for you...
There is a color just perfect for you! Maybe you will choose Coral Candy–I almost did!

The Ultimate Gardener’s Destination

As most of you know, recently I had the grand pleasure of meeting with so many of my garden blogger friends in beautiful, historic Little Rock, Arkansas for Garden 2 Blog 2015.  Our time in Little Rock started at the gorgeous Capital Hotel—considered the front porch of Little Rock. I can assure you they roll out the red carpet for their guests!

Our ultimate destination was P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm, or as I often refer to it as “Gardener’s Mecca.” The Arkansas red carpet just keeps rolling. Moss Mountain Farm offers you beauty filled with focus — their focus is on farming/gardening/decorating inspiration, information and conservation. Whether you are into heritage poultry, flowers and bedding plants, herbs, vegetables, home decor, test gardens, sheep, or … or… or.. (you get the picture!), you will find it — all on a mountain top that overlooks the Arkansas River. For this garden girl raised in the mountains, it is a balm for the soul.

While I love all of the above, it is the rose garden that beckons me. Look for a ton of pictures from the beautiful rose garden in an upcoming ROSE BUZZ post! 🐝🐝🐝

In addition to our beautiful surroundings, there is the wonderful food, decor and oh the friends! As you know I am a bit “crazy” over gardening, imagine how much fun it is to be face-to-face, arm-in-arm with a bus load of “like minds.” Over the top!

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SERIOUS PAMPERING
We are completely “spoiled and pampered” by P. Allen, his crew and our wonderful sponsors who share with us information not only on their products but what’s coming up and trends they are seeing in the gardening world.

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Our Host…

 

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OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS…

2015-05-13 11.40.23BONNIE PLANTS
Bonnie Plants, now leaders in the industry, began in 1918 as a family business of Bonnie and Livigston Paulk in a small Alabama town.

Lois, Su, Byron and Amanda led us through the fascinating world of the tomato! What gardener wouldn’t “relish” the chance to get all nerdy just diving into the subject of tomatoes!?!

And if you haven’t already, download their iPhone app… we did!

Me and Diane LaSauce checking out the app! We were impressed!
Me and Diane LaSauce checking out the app! We were impressed!

AMERICAN GROWN
Something new in the world of cut flowers…
The American Grown brand is a diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms representing small and large entities across the country to provide beautiful cut flowers and foliage.

Kathleen Williford and company knocked our socks off with their amazing designs at the “FARM TO VASE DINNER”. Read more about their tour schedule for Farm to Vase dinners here.  http://www.americangrownflowers.org/fieldtovase/ There just might be one coming to a farm near you!

As a former florist I can tell you this was truly some of the most beautiful displays I have ever seen. See what I mean…

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Paula of Cresent Garden did a fabulous job telling the story of her family’s moving from Columbia and coming to America–her land of opportunity!

CRESENT GARDEN
Crescent Garden has containers for every need … Their beautiful line of containers is very deceiving. They look so “real” that you expect them to be very heavy. But, these products are lightweight, durable and will fit into any landscape.

Paula Douer, Mark Rosas and Cesar Castillo shared their company story and led us through fun design exercises showcasing their amazing products.

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Go team Diane, Teresa and Michael! Elegant design don’t you think?

 

 

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Who can fill the First Nature bird feeder the fastest??
Look at these serious faces! The competition was fierce! LOL
The competition was fierce! LOL

FIRST NATURE
Highly functional, affordable, easy to use and easy to clean products that will be very attractive to the birds in your life! Joe Murfin and his team shared their commitment to quality for all of their American made products.

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FLEXZILLA
A no-kink, highly flexible hose—need I say more! In a color that will allow you to make your own garden fashion statement!

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Corbin Mollman, Rachel Perez and Andy Perez were with us to demonstrate this amazing garden hose … one that is safe for drinking and can be left out in the cold!

 

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JOBE’S ORGANICS
I always love to hear from Jobe’s Organics. They are doing so much to bring us the very best in organic fertilizers. Clemente Conde, Jen Neve, Martin Rainey and Rebecca Cantu reminded us of how important it is to take good care of our soil. Jen, project director for Oppenheimer Biotechnology, shared with us what they have learned from their work in oil spill cleanup and leaving the soil better than it was before!

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SAKATA HOME GROWN
Tracy Lee and Alecia Troy shared with us what is going on with this 100-year-old seed producer headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA. We had the opportunity to choose seeds to take home and try! You can find these seeds on retail seed racks and via mail order seed catalogs! More here.

STARGAZER BARN
Home for farm fresh flowers, based in Humboldt County, CA, where the foggy conditions are perfect for tulips, irises and stunning Oriental and hybrid lilies—one being my personal favorite—the Stargazer Lily! Take a look at some of the beautiful flowers provided for us by Bill Prescott and the good folks at Stargazer Barn.

 

These Stargazer Barn lilies were spectacular!
These Stargazer Barn lilies were spectacular!

AROMATIQUE

Aromatique is the creator of decorative fragrance. Steve Lawrence, Carolyn Gay, Will Humphreys and Netta Thomas gave us the opportunity to make our own signature potpourri using a variety of oils and native botanicals. Here is my creation…

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My creation… Woodland Breeze.

 


MORE FUN

Click on any of the pictures below to activate the full gallery feature…


Thanks for stopping by. P. Allen Smith’s rose garden pictures coming soon! And, oh what a rose garden it is!

Summerthyme

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Summerthyme Blooms……

Wow, the first day of summer is here. Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday that I was driving you crazy counting down the days until spring through the Polar Vortex. 🙂 You can flash back to that here.

We have had an almost perfect spring. I have hardly had to use my new Flexzilla garden hose or even a watering can!

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Flexzilla demo at Garden 2 Blog… If you  haven’t heard about this amazing NO KINK garden hose, read about it here! http://www.flexzilla.com/

Summer is coming in with a near perfect day that will hover around 80 and the garden is responding with some super blooms.

In thinking about summer I began to wonder just how many Popsicles are eaten every summer. I didn’t find the answer to that question, but I did find these yummy looking Popsicle recipes…

Yummy!
Yummy!

Find the recipes here.  And, if you find out how many Popsicles are eaten each summer, let me know. 🙂

Flowers celebrating …

These are the flowers that are helping me kickoff summer! (Click on any of the pictures to start the gallery feature.)

 


Stay cool and have a Popsicle or two!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Garden 2 Table

I love the concept of garden 2 table … cooking with the fresh food you grow yourself. My mother was a great gardener and she grew just about everything we ate. Because she canned and froze the extras we had food from our garden year round. (You can read more about her here.) But, if I am honest, my veggies keep getting inched out by roses and a couple of honey locust trees that are devouring our garden. However, we still have room for herbs and tomatoes — Mr. G makes sure of that. So, around here we are extremely grateful to area farmer’s markets to provide us with the other produce we love.

So many of my friends tell me they rarely cook anymore since their time is so limited! But, good news, there is someone who is inspiring us to get in the garden and in the kitchen by teaching us just how easy, fun and nutritious  Garden to Table  can be. My friend P. Allen Smith. Allen grows an acre of the most beautiful organic veggies you have ever seen and he is always testing new plants and gardening ideas. PLUS, he is a creative master in the kitchen.

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What’s even better is that he shares his garden experiences and his mastery in the kitchen with all of us. Whether it is via his television shows (check out this listing for dates and times in your area.)

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His latest book…

Or through his wonderful books, digital publications and you tube videos. Take advantage of all of these easy-to-use resources to be a master in your kitchen, especially if you are like me and spend most of your extra time in the garden and need all the tips and tricks in the kitchen you can get.

Follow Allen’s Garden Home Facebook page here  for regular updates on what he’s cooking up in the kitchen and what’s going on in the garden.

SOMETHING NEW AND DEEEELISH

Don’t miss Allen’s most recent video for a Squash & Zucchini Casserole with Quinoa … can you say, “healthy comfort food you can feel good about.” I can’t wait to make this one! Take a look here.

 

And, yes, I did find enough room in the herb garden for zucchini! 🙂

THIS WEEK IN MY GARDEN

Around here we are having rain every day and boy are things lush even though the blooms are surely taking a hit. I did manage to get some pretty pictures after one of the rain storms earlier in the week…

Coral Drift ... I first saw growing in P Allen's herb garden and just had to have!
Coral Drift … I first saw this rose growing in P Allen’s herb garden and just had to have!
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Poseidon Floribunda from the Simply Brilliant collection from Certified Roses. Check out their roses here.
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David Austin’s lovely Claire Austin.
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The healthy blooming machine … Amber Carpet Rose.
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Another shot of Poseidon. I can’t get enough of this rose!
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Etoile des Violette clematis … perfect paring with New Dawn Rose.

Have a fun week in the garden! And…

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Need a chuckle?

This week at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Garden Retreat the Garden 2 Bloggers spent 2 days gardening, learning more about gardening, eating AND DANCING.

Check out our “skills.” 🙂

Bloom Thyme Friday: Garden Blogger Mecca

P. Allen Smith has created Mecca for garden bloggers … GARDEN 2 BLOG.

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A place for information, inspiration, refreshment, education and community! All in one of the most beautiful places on earth — his Moss Mountain home. Take a look here!

There are so many highlights of this beautiful retreat, but I can honestly tell you that I can’t wait for my return visit to Allen’s beautiful rose garden. Allen is a true lover of roses and is committed to a beautiful AND sustainable rose garden.  See the pictures here.

Allen is a gracious host and garden friend. Here is what he says of his Moss Mountain Retreat…

For several years now I have been touting the idea of the Garden Home, a place that blurs the lines between indoors and out. It is my belief that a Garden Home is not just about beautifying our surroundings or extending our living space; it also helps us stay close to the earth and reminds us to be good stewards of our environment.

The Garden Home is about living life at its natural best. I believe we can create a stylish lifestyle in keeping with the tradition of the past, while taking full advantage of modern innovations and still be good stewards of the earth.

I am honored to be invited for a return visit to Garden 2 Blog. I am looking forward to seeing all the changes to Moss Mountain, visiting with so many special friends and meeting new friends! A wonderful group to learn and grow with!

SPONSORS…

Many sponsors of garden/home related products are a part of making this special event happen and will join us to share the latest and greatest from their world. I’ll keep you updated!

 The best of the best from the world of gardening..
    • Proven Winners
    • Berry Family of Nurseries
    • Bonnie Plants
    • Laguna Ponds
    • Jobe’s Organics
    • Troy Bilt
    • Flexilla
    • Heritage Seeds
    • Wild Bird Feeds
    • Le Creuset

GARDEN PROJECTS…

A part of Garden 2 Blog is fun garden projects. Our first project started last week with a video “throw down” for Jobe’s Organics. Jobe’s sent us all the “ingredients” for a container garden of our choice.

Here’s my video…

 

This picture gallery will give you a glimpse of Garden 2 Blog 2013…

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I  hope things are going well in your world this week. Leave a comment and let me know what’s going on in your garden!

Bloom Thyme Friday

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Girlfriends and Girdles

I know it isn’t polite to talk about girdles in mixed company (I’m originally from the south and am aware that this could cause swooning) but, before you swoon, let’s take a look at the burlap girdles that my friends, Carol and Kerrie, designed.

The Friends

Chris (The Redneck Rosarian, Carol, Me, Kerrie and Mimi!
Chris (The Redneck Rosarian), Carol, Me, Kerrie and Mimi!

I have been cyber friends with Carol and Kerrie for about 3 years and have learned so much from them about seeds. You can learn from them too just follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

This  spring I had the great pleasure of spending some time with them at Garden 2 Blog at P Allen Smith Garden Retreat. We had a blast!

This fun loving duo have come up with all kind of things to make gardening a whole lot easier and more fun! Please don’t miss the seed keeper boots in the pic above. Gotta love those!

The Girdles

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Cute packaging!

Back to the girdles … I am so in love with these girdles (grow bags). They are light weight, come in 3 sizes, are easy to store, easy on the budget and look fabulous in my natural setting.

Most of you know how crazy I am about burlap and twine, so you are not surprised that I love these. Here’s how they look on one of my potting benches…

KeeperGirdleesFor more about the burlap girdles, read on.

The Seed Keeper Project

I am also very impressed with their Seed Keeper Project where they recognize school gardens across the country and award a Seed Keeper Home Farmer and a Certificate to a school in every state highlighting their dedication to gardening. Read more.

The Seed Keepers

Never hunt for your seeds again.” If you collect seeds and want to keep them organized, you need one of Carol and Kerrie’s Seed Keepers. They come in 3 sizes and they also come with all kinds of stuff that makes seeding keeping so much easier like dividers, plant markers, seed saving envelopes and more.

I actually have two of the deluxe models and fill them to the brim!  Take a look…

All my seeds can be alphabetical and organized. I just love it!

The Boots

Okay I have to share just one more picture of THE boots …

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You might also enjoy reading…

Rosesof Moss Mtn_POL

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Now We’re Cookin’!

The great folks at Le Cruset offered those of us attending Garden 2 Blog 2013 one of P Allen Smith’s favorite baking dishes … all we had to do was chose our favorite color.

Look at this beauty…. Have you ever seen a more beautiful dutch oven? LeCreuset_001One of my very favorite things to eat is rustic bread and as I thought of what my first recipe would be in the dutch oven, I kept thinking it would be a bread. But, just the right recipe.

You see, I spend so much of my free time in my garden that what I wanted was yummy bread that was easy to make and a winner every time! And, a recipe that could be formatted to include a myriad of flavors and recipe tweaks.

I FOUND IT!

Based on a recipe I found on the Simply So Good website, here is my rustic bread baking experience.

BTW: You will most definitely want to check out this website. It has quickly become one of my go to sites for yummy things! (Read on.)

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Gather your dry ingredients…

3 cups of white unbleached flour
1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon rapid rise or instant yeast

And, by the way, doesn’t my beautiful Le Crueset look smashing with my Sur Le Table sunflower bowl! I am completely crazy about them both!

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Whisk the flour, salt and yeast together.

Pour in 1 1/2 cups water

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Stir to make a sticky, shaggy mess! At this stage you can add some flavor. I added about 1 tablespoon of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of chives but it wasn’t enough to have the robust flavor I wanted, so I will experiment by adding more next time. At SimplySoGood.com you can read about many other flavor combinations that people have tried!

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let set for 12 – 18 hours. I let mine set the entire 18 hours as it fit best with my schedule.

IMG_2612This is what my bread looked like after 18 hours. Yes, it is as sticky as it looks, but that is the way it is supposed to be.

Now it is time to get things heated up!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and put your pot with the lid in the oven and pre-heat the pot for 30 minutes.

As soon as you put your pot in the oven, dump the dough onto a heavily floured surface. I used my pastry sheet (I love this thing!).

With floured hands, form the bread into a rounded ball and cover the ball with flour and let it rest for the 30 minutes the pot is pre-heating.

Once the pot in pre-heated, it’s time to dump the bread into the pot and place the pot with lid back in the oven for 30 minuted.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes until golden brown.

IMG_2635I didn’t oil the pot or anything and it came out perfectly clean! What you see in the pot is a little flour that fell off the loaf as I removed it.

The Masterpiece

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Wish you were here to share a piece of this yummy stuff. Cooking with Le Creuset is not just cooking … it’s an experience and I couldn’t have been more pleased with this experience!

Do you have any suggestions on what my next Le Creuset cooking experience should be?