Sounds like a song! HA! But, it’s true. ☀️ The sun is out and the garden is drying – although we still have some soggy areas. It is great to be in the garden every day again. And I’m seeing so clearly that I am launching into a new project. Since most of the garden “rooms” are doing well, I am ready to tackle something that is in need of some help – total revamp of the herb garden.
The rain damage and the horrible deer damage of that area has me totally rethinking that space. When I I was ready to start getting my ideas on paper, I went to find a book that I bought when I first designed the herb garden in 1989. I bought this little book on a date with Mr. G. He knew how much I loved Smith and Hawkins (anyone remember Smith and Hawkins?). S & H was an upscale garden center in our area that had a profound effect on my garden life! You saw the best of everything there — plants, tools, garden shed supplies, and books. When I opened HERB by Jane Courtier it brought back so many memories. I even found a note I had left there. Once again I was inspired! FUN STUFF.
I enjoy the herb garden so very much. It was my first real garden “room.” Truly one of my happy places. Herb gardens smell so very good and are packed with memories. There are the thanksgiving smells (sage and thyme), Italian feast smells (oregano, basil, and chives), fragrant drink makers (lemon verbena, mint, chamomile), along with lavender and roses (yes roses are herbs too). So, so many. Through the years I have packed that space with bits of everything. As I work through this process, I am doing things so differently. I don’t need as much as I once did, I now have a flower cutting garden so I don’t need to pack it with flowers (although it will be hard not to).
I am literally gutting the space. Most of the roses have been moved. Flowers moved, some tired, leggy perennial herbs have been removed and new fresh plants purchased. Mr. G says he’s in to make short raised beds. So I am off to the races!
While I lose planting space, having small raised beds gives me options I don’t have now – like easier winter protection. Hopefully, easier protection from deer too. And, new spaces to plan and plot! YES!!
As of now, there will be 4) 4’X4′ raised beds with walking paths around each. Two roses that are staying in place are (Moje Hammarberg on one front corner and Celsiana on the other). I am keeping the birdbath where it is now (in the middle). For now, I will use mulch for the paths around the boxes. I am undecided as to what the entrance path will be. What do you think? In the past, I have used flagstones and most recently round stone pavers.
The emotional side… This is an exceptionally great picture of the herb garden from a few years ago on a perfect day when everything looked… well just about perfect. I think I won’t look at this picture much for a while! 😳😢 Instead I will think about how it looked with water and deer damage. Onward I go to this new thing! Wish me luck!
The ugly side of things is that when the rain stopped the Japanese Beetles came from miles around.
Luckily, there are still pretty summer blooms that we are enjoying.
Wishing you blue skies and bright, bright sunshiny days! 🎶 🎶
Yes, the garden has become a soggy jungle. 🐒 My apologies to those of you who are experiencing drought, I do pray rain is coming soon for you. But my garden is drenched. With almost daily rain and a healthy bunch of storms, pathways have flooded, large tree limbs are broken and much of the garden has standing water. Mr. G’s grassy areas are a mess.😞 Today we are getting sunshine (and steam) so I ventured out for a look-see. Sad. Broken plants, mulch has moved on to the neighbors garden, everything is just icky and in need of a good cleanup. I hate wet and icky. Good for us we almost always have a few bags of what I call “emergency mulch.”
THYME OUT FUN
It’s not all gloomy! One dry afternoon I spent some time in THYME OUT (my outside potting area) and had a blast trimming up some of my small topiaries. It is great therapy! This outside girl is going to need more than “topiary therapy” if we don’t get some regular sunshine. There has been way to much inside time. I learned years ago, I am solar powered!! ☀️
LATEST ROSE CHAT PODCAST
Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Malcolm Manners about his work with Rose Mosaic Virus, work in the rose district in Harlem and so much more! Once you listen to this podcast you’ll know why he was named Great Rosarian of the World in 2013. Listen here.
COMING SOON: We are currently working on a new series called ASK THE EXPERTS.
Subjects we are tackling are:
GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY: Pat Shanley
DESIGNING A ROSE GARDEN: Carolyn Parker
GROWING YOUR ROSE SOCIETY: Ron Daniels
ALL ABOUT SOIL: Gaye Hammond
If you have questions for any of our experts, please send them to me via email HERE.
ARS GREEN THUMB WEBINAR
The American Rose Society has been doing a series of Green Thumb webinars. All of them have been great but I am particularly excited about this one!
TOPIC: Going the Distance
PRESENTER: Will Radler (Father of the Knock Out rose)
DATE: Sat, July 24, 1:00 – 3:00 pm (Central Time)
$10 (Non aRS Members)
FREE For ars members (use THE MEMBER CODE in email FROM ARS)
Take a ringside seat and enjoy the inspirational tale of The Knock Out Rose® as told by its creator, Will Radler. One might expect that the world’s best-selling rose was conceived in a laboratory under the direction of a seasoned rose breeder holding many horticultural degrees. Instead, a nine-year-old with two quarters in his pocket changed the rose industry forever. Radler shares a blow-by-blow account of his journey from fringe contender to international champ. The behind-the-scenes details will both amaze and inspire you. Making it to the main event is one thing. Sustaining is another. Radler, with his unconventional methods, is certainly doing something right with 50 plant patents to his name. Fast forward to 2021. Modern day rose breeding has evolved dramatically. Going toe-to-toe in today’s industry presents both opportunities and challenges. Learn an insider’s perspective of the state of the revitalized industry.
Webinar Topics Include:
The Rose Industry Today
Diseases (and perception of diseases)
IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
Not everything has been beaten down by the rain and storms! Some plants are letting their light shine and making me smile.
BETTER WEATHER AHEAD
Well, it looks like better weather is coming soon – after a bit more stormy weather. Fingers crossed.
Summertime and the living is easy! WHAT? Not for gardeners! It’s our time to roll up our sleeves and get busy.
But when Ella sings it … you feel it!
CURRENT JOB LIST:
With all the storms and rain the jobs are endless, so I have made a list to keep me on track!
Plant 3 new roses (Bliss Parfuma (2) and Perfume Factory)
Move roses that are competing for space. I believe several of these will be potted up and gifted.
Divide the spring blooming Sweet William and share.
Start foxglove seeds
Start lavender cuttings
Add to “Plotting and Planning” Inspiration Book
PLOTTING AND PLANNING
Summertime is the second best time for plotting and planning. In my opinion, winter is the best time as you have more time and the sky’s the limit on what you can do. You are far removed from garden’s reality and your creative juices can go wild. 👩🎨🪴🌸🌹🎨👒🌻🌺
Summer plotting and planning is reality time … being in your garden to see what IS working and what IS NOT working leads to tweaks. Most likely you are visiting other gardens too and getting new ideas and plants! So very thankful that gardens are being opened again. I have two to visit next week and I am thrilled.
This week PLOTTING & PLANNING is moving to DIGGING. I have been digging up plants, moving plants, trimming plants and making lists of things to add and things to change. So F U N!! Don’t you just love this part!
You are probably thinking, “Is this the best time to divide and transplant?” That answer mostly likely should be “no”, but I garden with the theory that when you have time and tools – it’s the right time. But, don’t forget to keep the newbies and transplants watered.
As I mentioned in a previous post this is the year of the weed! They threw a party while we were away and invited all their friends and family. We have had a huge amount of rain this week, so weeds are extra happy but the rain sure makes them easier to pull!! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m kinda getting attached to the wild strawberry.
Yes, DEER. We have never had deer in the summer before! It’s not just what they eat, to get to the objects of their desire, they are trampling other plants – a lot of them. 😫 The deer have ravished the herb garden and the hummingbird garden and peppered their presence throughout the garden. 😫 My delicate, beautiful Dreamland geraniums – smashed to smithereens.
Here are some things I now know about the deer diet that I never knew before…
They love poppies – ate the tops of all of them all.
They love yarrow – sheared all the blooms and I have a lot of yarrow. (Almost a Chelsea Chop – hope they do rally and flower.)
They love parsley and are very good at eating just the tiny leaves and leaving the stems.
They love roses but haven’t eaten as many as I thought they would. 😫🙏🏻 Maybe they are grossed out by the Japanese Beetles too.
They love asters – strategically nipping all the little buds.
They love tomato plants but so far have only eaten one. You know what that means, Mr. G is on the warpath and armed with DEER AWAY spray. Not good to come between Mr. G and his tomatoes. Hopefully they will move along soon! 🙏🏻🙏🏻
Yes, they are back and the spa treatment has begun. A nice soapy bath to send them to beetle heaven. So far I am seeing fewer than before. Hopefully, my drowning them before they make it to the ground is paying off. Or they are just going to come a bit later. Time will tell. To read my “comprehensive” article on Japanese Beetles … read on here.
Here’s are the standouts for this week…
LONG WEEKEND AHEAD
This week we have had heat, storms and torrential rain but the weather outlook for our long weekend is perfect. Sunny and 75ish! We plan to soak it up. 😎 All meals and all activities are outside!
Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday weekend and may God Bless you and our wonderful country.
If you read the Springhill article in last week’s Bloom Thyme Friday, you know that roses are planted more than any other plant. It was fun to read the favorites for each state. LINK
You hear a lot about types of roses and there are many: hybrid teas, grandifloras, noisettes, polyanthas, old garden roses – just to name a few! I believe all of them are beautiful and have their place. I especially love old garden roses and will even give some room to a diva or two. However, most of the roses in my garden are ones I simply call “garden” or shrub roses. Even though my garden is large, it is a cottage garden and is home to all kinds of shrubs, perennials, herbs, veggies, annuals, and roses! So I want roses that work well with the other plants, aren’t difficult to care for and are great for cutting and sharing! Note: I have about 175 roses tucked around all those other plants!
FRAGRANT GARDEN ROSES
Contrary to what you might have heard, there are easy care shrub roses with fragrance.
Here are a few of the fragrant ones in my garden…
SAVANNAH: Large vigorous shrub with large full blooms filled with deep rose fragrance. A standout in the garden!
MOTHER OF PEARL: A fabulous bloomer with gorgeous peachy pink blooms. Light sweet fragrance. I keep adding more! I think I’m up to eight of these! They pair very well with white lilies in the garden.
QUIETNESS: Such a pretty soft pink bloom with medium rose fragrance. Delicate looking blooms on a sturdy shrub.
MUSIC BOX: Small hybrid tea type blooms on a large, blooming machine. Light rose fragrance. Confession time: I have 9 of these roses. They look so pretty in the garden and last well in a vase! (Easy Elegance Collection)
CHAMPAGNE WISHES: Rich creamy white blooms with an ivory center on a medium-sized shrub. Sweet fragrance. (Easy Elegance Collection)
AT LAST: Great bloomer, lovely petals, with ruffled edging and the orange/peachy color is divine and right on point with today’s color preferences. This one has a wonderful medium to strong fragrance. Proven Winners has a real winner in this rose!
THE GENEROUS GARDENER (David Austin Climber): A well-behaved climber – about 8′ – 9′ in my garden. The blooms are large and open beautifully. A lovely old rose/myrrh fragrance.
EARTH ANGEL: This one is relatively new in my garden and has taken a while to become her best self. Now in her 3rd year, I can say that I need at least one more! Beautiful, fragrant and few roses match her in beauty and charm!
SPEAKING OF FRAGRANCE
We know that fragrance is very subjective and this is truly a subject where there is much more than meets the eye… errr nose.
Recently I had the chance to have the delightful Rebecca Koraytum of David Austin Roses as a guest on the Rose Chat Podcast. She gave a lot of insight on “THE FRAGRANCE OF ROSES.” You can listen here…
GARDEN ROSES WITHOUT FRAGRANCE
This list of roses is beautiful in the garden and wonderful in a bokay – however in most cases, these don’t have fragrance. I don’t let that stand in my way and still consider them very valuable. Fragrance can be added with lavender, lilies, mint, lemon balm, and a bevy of other herbs and flowers. Just like gardeners who grow them, roses grow best with good companions.
THE FAUN: A blooming machine with gorgeous blooms all summer long. Sometimes I get a hint of fragrance with this one. The cupped blooms on this one look very old fashioned but this one was released in Denmark in 1983.
PETIT PINK: Covered all summer with the sweetest sweetheart blooms. Lasts and lasts in a vase and dries very well for dried arrangements!
POMPONELLA: Large shrub with arching canes of beautiful clusters of blooms. Just so pretty and a mild fragrance.
POSEIDON: Full blooms in a wonderful lavender color. The petals have beautiful ruffled edges.
Pomponella, Posiedon, and Earth Angel are Kordes roses. I find that Kordes roses do very well in my garden (Zone 5b) and there are many on the market. Note: More than 30 years ago the Kordes Company (Germany) made the unpopular business decision to stop spraying their rose fields. The result was that they were way ahead in the sustainable rose department.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Friends, these lists are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many great garden roses today and more on the way! Yes, we’ve come a long way from when that first Kock Out rose was released. Letting the world know that roses truly could be grown without chemicals and realizing that is exactly what many gardeners are looking for! Today many dedicated hybridizers are committed to bringing beautiful and sustainable roses to our gardens. I have the pleasure of testing the new roses from time to time and I can tell you, the future is bright.
There are rose trials going on constantly and awards being given to outstanding garden performers each year. Much of this is done regionally and that takes “finding the right rose for the right place” to the next level!
My good friend Dr. David Zlesak works closely with the ARTS trials (American Rose Trials for Sustainability). Each year they release more regional winners. Take a look at their website here. Dr. David joined me to chat about the ARTS program on Rose Chat a few months back. You can listen here.
EASY ELEGANCE COLLECTION
Most of the roses in the Easy Elegance (Link) collection I would recommend. Another line to be looking for is the True Bloom (Link) collection. Easy Elegance roses are available at most Lowes and as the True Bloom plant inventory is built, they will be sold at Lowes and Home Depot. Currently, they are mostly found on the west and east coasts.
WHERE TO BUY
I have also been getting a lot of questions about where I buy my roses. While I buy local when I can, these roses can be tricky to find in my neck of the woods, so I look to online sources. Here’s a list of suppliers with a link to their websites. Take a look around, these websites have loads of information…
Truth be told — no plant is NO CARE. Even the Garden of Eden has its “issues.” Each garden has its own variation of soils, climates, and disease/pest pressure. There are many bugs and diseases that can “love” your plants too. Fortunately, by regularly spending time with our plants to not only enjoy them but also to see what’s going on, we can keep them from being loved to death by pests. 😉
Until next time, here are The Generous Gardener, Quietness and Music Box working together…
We have had more rain than my liking but the roses have loved it and many have responded with record-breaking blooms (well for my garden). It is wonderful to see them and to share them!
I was contacted by a garden club I had spoken to a couple years ago (before COVID) and they wanted to come see my garden. After so long of saying “no”, it was good to say “yes”. They even had me saying ‘yes’ to the next time I would come to do another program! Great to be planning again.
I also invited my master gardener group as it had been so long since I had seen so many of them!
In a week of rain, it was a wonderful morning – hot but with a great breeze. It was a balm to my soul to see so many people enjoying the garden.
UP AND OVER
As though they knew that people were coming, my climbers chose to be their very best selves on Open Garden day. I love most anything that vines or climbs in the garden and probably have way too many climbers in the garden! And, I have on more than one occasion invited a climber that ended up being a nightmare … yes I had a porcelain berry vine that was bent on world domination. And, I still see bits of yellow trumpet vine lurking about.
If you have been following for a while you may remember the tears when Peggy Martin died back to the ground and didn’t cover her arbor for almost two seasons. And the time New Dawn did the same thing. It doesn’t all go according to plan, but this year the arbors are doing what I dreamed they would do… cover the arbors with beautiful flowers and all do it at the same time. Seeing them looking so good sure made the time on the ladder in dubious fall weather so worth it!
Front Arbor: New Dawn and Peggy Martin and Etoile Violette Clematis
Back Arbor: Peggy Martin, Francis E. Lester and Etoile Violette Clematis
THE MOST GROWN FLOWER IN EVERY STATE
Did you see this article by Spring Hill Nursery? To find out, what was the most grown flower in every state, they shared a list of 20 flowers with Americans in every state and the District of Columbia and asked them to choose the flower they plant in their gardens most often. Read on to see what gardeners in your state are most likely to grow! (Link)
GOD BLESS THE QUEEN
I can’t imagine what it has been like for Queen Elizabeth to say goodbye to her devoted prince after nearly 74 years of marriage. But it was good to see her smile as she accepted a new rose that was given in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday. The ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ rose will be planted in a mixed rose border of Windsor Castle – and there’s so much more to the story! You can read the entire Town and Country article by Annie Goldsmith here…
IAN GAVAN / GETTY IMAGES
With the flowers at peak this week it was time for a BOKAY DAY. I packed up trugs, buckets and tools in my trusty wagon and got busy. What a pleasure it is to be close up and personal with all the blooms. Seriously, it was quiet, peaceful and the fragrance of roses filled the garden – it was as though for a few hours I was in another world.
Once the bokays were made, we were off to make deliveries.
Here’s a few pics of how the morning went…
TIPS TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR CUT FLOWERS
Morning is the best time to cut flowers.
Use sharp snips or pruners.
Choose blooms not yet fully open.
Place in water immediately. (Take bucket to garden!)
Re-cut stems under water before adding to arrangement.
Remove leaves that will be under water.
Use flower preservative in water.
Change out water and recut stems every day or two!
WHAT A WEEK!
It has been a busy but wonderful week in the garden. So much beauty to be a part of – both people and flowers. May I never take it for granted and may I never forget who the real master gardener is.
God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. Sir Francis Bacon
This week many of the roses are blooming machines and rosemania in the garden has begun. The potting shed has never looked better as it is now covered in beautiful Ghislaine de Feligonde roses. The bourbons, damasks, portlands and other old garden favs are trying to see who can have more flowers or more fragrance!
My word. We have so many weeds. SERIOUSLY SO MANY.
OXALIS: She tries to woo me with her cute little leaves that look like good luck charms and her sweet little yellow blooms, but she is simply taking over.
CLEAVERS: Galim Aparine … I don’t ever remember seeing this in my garden before but it’s here now. Sticky, clingy, and good at hiding. Luckily they are easy to pull!
THISTLE: We can grow some award-winning thistle around here and I just found a 2′ thistle hiding in the rhododendron.
WILD STRAWBERRY: The cutest of them all but she was not invited. I don’t remember ever seeing much of this lovely before but this year just may be the “year of the wild strawberry.”
Is it a weedy year for you? Who will be your weed of the year?
NATIONAL ROSE MONTH
June is National Rose Month. Isn’t it great that roses have their own month and it coincides with brides/ wedding month.
Roses have such a rich history and becoming the National Floral Emblem is part of that rich history. I did a post on the details a few years back. You can read it here.
There is a reason that June is bride’s month … June gets its name from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. So, the thought was that if you were married in June you would be blessed with prosperity and happiness. Who doesn’t want that blessing!
There are three products I purchased this season that I am just loving.
Jute covered twist tie. I love anything that vines, so I am always tying up something. I have a plethora of products that I use but this is absolutely fabulous. It looks so natural! And is holding up well. I found this at a garden center in England and so far I have not seen it locally. Hope we can find it! I’ll need more!
Pot Feet! I bought two different kinds. Love them both. Many of our large pots are on rolling trays but for other containers these are great! Both of these came from Amazon.
JOY OF THE SEASON
We had our first real dinner in the garden this week. Mr. G grilled steaks. It was a real feast as we not only had steaks, we had fresh whipped cream on our berries. 😉 Yes, the food was wonderful and so was my view … Mr. G, of course, … and the garden.
Until next time….be well, be safe, and enjoy your view!
June is National Rose Month. Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war and politics.
Did you know that the rose was almost overshadowed by the marigold? On January 12, 1959, the president of the W. Atlee Burpee Co., David Burpee, wrote newly-elected Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, proclaiming the virtues of the marigold and calling it “the flower of the people.” David Burpee was vigilant in the fight. He was known for using PT Barnum’s model for promotion and advertising — just like his dad! For nearly 10 years Burpee and Dirksen campaigned for the marigold.
Many other flowers were considered too … there were even those who strongly suggested the corn tassel be our national flower. What?
A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE
But, we know the end of the story… In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…
“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.
We see proof of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age. We have always cultivated roses in our gardens. Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today. The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States. We find roses throughout our art, music, and literature. We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.
The American people have long held a special place in their hearts for roses. Let us continue to cherish them, to honor the love and devotion they represent, and to bestow them on all we love just as God has bestowed them on us.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 has designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation declaring this fact.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the rose as the National Floral emblem of the United States of America.”
THE ROSE IS IN GOOD HANDS WITH THE AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY AND OUR LOCAL SOCIETY…
The American Rose Society was founded in 1892,the American Rose Society is the oldest single plant horticultural society in America. The ARS is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses. ARS supports its members by providing educational programs, resourceful publications, and continuing research. We have more than 300 affiliated rose societies in our national network.
I am an active member and have met some amazing people and draw routinely from their wealth of information. For membership information, click here.
INDIANAPOLIS ROSE SOCIETY…
We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 in the evening at the Sullivan Munce building in charming downtown Zionsville! That is except for special events and they are usually on the weekend.
Our time together ranges from member garden parties, wine and roses parties, and tours (always popular as there are some amazing gardens) to workshops on rose pests and diseases, general rose care, as well as recommendations for growing roses in our region! It is amazing how much we learn from the experts we bring in and from our local members! There’s always fun, food, and prizes involved too. Read more here.
Spring is full-on around here and things are moving at warp speed. We went from winter to having some very warm days … so there’s been rapid growth on many of the roses and most of the perennials. It’s not just the weather that has me moving so fast, it’s the grandbaby coming and an upcoming trip. As I write those words…. upcoming trip … I can’t believe it’s true. Like so many of you, the separation from our family and all the uncertainty has been one of life’s most painful curveballs. But the flight is booked and soon we will be covered up in grands! 💙💙💙
We have visited a few garden centers and I cannot believe how well-stocked they are and how early! They have surely heard all the statistics and trends that gardening is on the rise. I keep hearing that in 2020 there were anywhere from 16,000 – 20,000 people saying they are first-time gardeners. So 2020 was NOT just the year of the pandemic, it was also the YEAR OF THE GARDENER. A silver lining for sure!
I read another article on garden trends from the Farmers’ Almanac:
Balcony Gardens Will Be Big
Houseplants, Indoor Gardens and Windowsill Gardens
Bringing the Inside Outside (I love this one!)
Tiny Gardens Galore
The “Cottage Core” Aesthetic (Curious and want to know more… read on here.)
Gardening by the Moon
Read more here on the Farmer’ Almanac website. They have so many great articles!
Have you heard about Brood X …. I recently read a headline that BILLIONS OF BROOD X CICADAS ARE SET TO EMERGE IN SPRING 2021. Guess what? Indiana is a hot spot for them. Oh Joy! 😳 When I hear this my mind immediately goes to Biblical Plagues but I guess they aren’t THAT bad. BUT, they are kinda creepy looking (especially in mass) and loud. I think we are to start seeing them in mid May… so much for quiet happy hours in the garden. Groups can be up to 100 decibels. 📢 Seriously, I can do without those. If they had come in 2020, they would have fit right in.
NEED TO KNOW MORE? There’s actually a website called Cicadamania. Everything you could ever want to know and more, including where they are expected to be and when! Link here.
NEW SHRUBS FOR THE GARDEN
ICEBERG ALLEY SAGELEAF WILLOW
When I saw a picture of this shrub, I thought it would be so so so good in my garden with the silver foliage!
Once I saw this VIDEO (link) from First Editions, I knew I had to have it. So I now have two.
SPICE BABY VIBURNUM
This Proven Winners plant tag caught my eye with the pretty blooms and the words petite and fragrant. We have many many viburnums of all types and we love them (so do the birds), however, they are NOT petite! This one is said to reach 3.5 – 5′ high and 3.5 – 6′ wide. Not tiny but will work very nicely. Looking forward to watching them grow! More info here.
UPDATE ON MILK JUG WINTER SOWING
Three of the five containers did VERY well. Ammi (I’ll have to keep my eye on her), Sweet William, and French Alouette Larkspur. So far nothing from Magic Fountain Delphinium and Munstead Lavender.
I will totally do more of this next year. For a simple, inexpensive pack of seeds, SO MANY PLANTS and it was so easy. (See the beginning of the project here.)
POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS
My baby Peggy Martins are recovering from an attack from spider mites. TIme will tell how they continue to do.😞
I potted up the baby Formosa lilies from seeds given to me from my good friend David. This was the first time to use my new transplant tools (Amazon). All I’ve had in the past were my handy dandy 20 something-year-old tiny trowels from Smith and Hawkins. They are great for most small work, but I was going for something even smaller and sharper. I found this set and compared to the heavy-duty S&H tool, they seemed very flimsy to me at first. But they were perfect for this delicate work.
Munstead Lavender is doing great! Munstead is the only lavender I have tried (and I’ve tried sooooooo many) that comes back reliably. (I’m in 5b.)
My topiaries and geraniums are coming in and out as they get used to living outdoors!
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK
BACK TO WORK
Time to get back to work. That mountain of mulch won’t move itself. Yes, time to get back to WARP SPEED SPRING GARDENING. Babies don’t wait. 🇬🇧 Halleluia! 💙 💙 💙 💙 ✈️
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your time in the garden — and if you are on the BroodX map, enjoy the peace and quiet while you can!
Garden cleanup is dirty work. Snatching leaves and debris from the base of roses has its price! That is one of the reasons why rose growers always push regular tetanus shots! I have unearthed so much… leaves from trees we don’t grow and trash from items we don’t use. Oh, those windy days! I also found damage from the marauding deer. Some things I can fix with an easy prune – and all will be forgiven — if they don’t return! We keep spraying with Liquid Fence and it seems to be working. But, I did see hoof prints in the veriest back where many of the old roses are. Please don’t munch there!!! I want blooms!
Yes, the work is dirty but I love it. As I weave in and out of the “needy” garden beds, like every spring, I am overcome with gratitude that I have the pleasure to tend this garden… a garden that started as a blank slate more than 30 years ago.
Spring cleanup gives me the opportunity to be up close and personal with each plant, checking them out and getting them ready for their 2021 debut. I also had a couple of big surprises…
BIG SURPRISE #1:
Sweet Peas that wintered over! That is a first for me! I believe these are the Midnight Blues sweet peas from Sarah Ravens that I bought in England! Those were the sweet peas that bloomed right up to frost last year! They are conveniently growing right where I decided to put my teepee this year. These were seeds I bought when shopping with my grandson, making them even more precious!
BIG SURPRISE #2:
It is March and some of my roses have leaves. Very early. This time of year we usually spray a dormant oil — we better hurry! Praying Mother Nature is kind. Remember the horrible freeze we had on May 7, 2020, and we were out covering everything we could! My lilies and peonies never recovered! And the Sargent Crab’s blooms were stopped in their tracks. Most of the roses were covered and did fine.
Sweet peas are soaking today and will be planted tomorrow when the rain stops. So many pretty varieties! EXCITING. And should the Midnight Blues really do their thing, it will be a very special sweet pea year. I hope to be in England when sweet peas are blooming this year. Fingers crossed!
MY REAL GARDEN
Just when I was pining for my family in England and the world’s connection was slipping through our fingers, up pops Ann-Marie Powell, a spunky, people-loving, UK garden designer and author into my garden world.
On March 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm UK (7:30 am for me 😳). Ann-Marie made the decision to do something new – start lunchtime daily IG live feeds from her REAL GARDEN. A garden that her busy lifestyle before COVID lockdown left little time for and had become somewhat of a construction site due to a recent home reno. So, as she plotted and planned to refresh her REAL GARDEN, she invited others on the journey to a real garden experience. She even invited others to share their REAL GARDENS and go live with her and they did! The MY REAL GARDEN account grew to nearly 20K in 2020.
On April 1, I started going on the journey too. I tuned in enough to feel like I know Ann-Marie’s garden almost as well as I know my own! I have been on REAL GARDEN garden tours via IG live all over the world. Going behind the gate and seeing the good, the bad, and the “I need help areas.” As we all know, there is nothing like REAL moments to connect people! And for gardeners … sharing those experiences with other gardeners is mecca! It was a wonderful way to connect during COVID.
Midway through the year, Ann-Marie had the idea to do a book about the MY REAL GARDEN PROJECT and asked us to submit pictures, tips, stories, and info about our garden – all of us!
This week the MY REAL GARDEN book launched and yes I am in there. I haven’t received my copy but am so excited to see it. The book is a representation of everyone in some way. The proceeds from the book are going to Greenfingers, a charity close to Ann-Marie’s heart — an amazing UK charity dedicated to supporting children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and benefit from. Don’t you absolutely love that!!! More here.
This experience was unique and special in so many ways. Often I got on the maps app to see where people sharing their gardens were located in conjunction to where my family lives and I felt the world shrink.
You can join too on Instagram. I think the book will be for sale on the website … visit here.
BIG CHEERS AND THANK YOUS to Ann-Marie for her ingenuity, creativity, and being the architect for this community where we encouraged each other to bloom right where we were planted – during a most difficult year. 🥂🎉🥂🎉🥂🎉🥂
FIRST DAY OF SPRING
On the first day of spring, we shopped for shrubs and a few spring flowers and headed home with a full SUV! Happy days are here again! Robin Williams is quoted as having said, Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party! I couldn’t agree more!! 🌷🥂🌷