BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMER VIBES

Wow. July has been so summery!☀️🔥☀️The sun is so bright and hot. The humidity is so high making it even hotter but I am not complaining. Really I’m not. I remember winter – those long, dark days that last forever and then some! 🥶 Yes, I want all the summer vibes summer has to give.
🌺☀️🍅🥤🌱🌹🍦🌼🍉🌻

BREAK IN THE WEATHER

We are getting a break in the weather. The weather app tells us that we are going from nearly 100 each day to mid-70s each day for a week or so. I can’t wait.

TREATING THE GARDENER

Recently, I made myself a “pretty” lunch to have in the garden. I know that sounds like really – you don’t do that regularly. Typically,  “pretty” lunches are reserved for when I have guests in the garden while I regularly eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the run until it is time for my afternoon coffee at 3 pm. These days that coffee is ICED! The whole “pretty” lunch thing was made easier when I decided that I was making lunch for the “gardener.” And, I was. 😉😉

What a treat this very simple “pretty” meal that I prepared for “the gardener” was and it fueled my body and my senses for more creative work that afternoon. I know as gardeners we usually push through and “get more done.” I can tell you there will be more “pretty” lunches around here.

A few weeks ago I took a small bistro table from the deck to my new area THYME OUT in hopes of special dinners with Mr. G there. Since we aren’t going out to restaurants right now, I wanted to create a new “restaurant” space. I even bought a new table cloth! So far, it has been too hot outside to actually enjoy dinner there.  I’m hoping our break in the weather this week will give us that time. We still have other outdoor spaces to use but isn’t it nice to have someplace new to go! Especially since we are home so much! Now I am looking through the cabinets for just the right candles for the table!

BLOOM THYME

If you have been following along with me for a while you know I am growing dahlias for the first time and we have been waiting and watching to see what that “bag of mixed dahlias” would do.

While they are not in full bloom, they are coming along nicely. Making me know I want to grow them again and I want to be more selective in what tubers I buy for next year! Having a daughter in England makes you long for such flowers that seem to grow effortlessly there. In my zone dahlias are often NOT spectacular and have the added chore of being lifted and stored for the winter or you can grow them as annuals. If you want to see some spectacular dahlias for sale, hop over to Eden Brothers website here.

The JBs are still eating a few flowers but we have turned the corner and I am getting much more from the garden than they are! Leaving me plenty of bokay makers.

Dahlia
Dahlias
Dahlias

TOMATOES

We have so many tomatoes – but they are all still green! It’s even too hot for tomatoes! They will respond much better when the temps drop.

I am dreaming of our first BLT. I have pre-cooked bacon ready in the freezer and fresh mayo just waiting on fresh bread and ripe tomatoes. I have jars washed and am going through recipes for what I will do with the “more than we can eat” — if that happens.
(13 plants for 2 people😳🍅😱)

Thankfully, we had rain this week but as I look at the garden this morning, you wouldn’t know it. It literally seems to vanish into “thin air” …  most likely accounting for the extremely high humidity. Yes, we are looking forward to a “break” in that this weekend too.

TIME GOES BY SO FAST – even during a pandemic.

Hot or not with only 55 or so days until fall, I am going to squeeze out all the summer I can every day! While we are on the subject of time — it’s only 147 days until Christmas and then the start of a new year. We could have never predicted what 2020 would hold for us. 2021, what will you bring? Well, that’s a subject of much prayer.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have great weather this weekend as we head into August – and garden harvest time. Did someone say Zucchini Bread!?!

Summer vibes.

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: PINCH ME!

This week has been so nice …  temps in the 80s with a bit of rain and loads of sunshine. Aren’t such days just the best! Especially right in the middle of summer!

I have been able to spend so much time in THYME OUT! I know as a child that has a different meeting but that is the name of my new outside potting space. Seriously, pinch me! 

This week Mr. G made the last of my “furniture” for “Thyme Out”…  a framed piece of fencing to go over one of the work tables. I LOVE fencing and use it everywhere I can. I can’t believe this is my workspace. Happy retirement to me! So grateful. 

I find I use this space almost on a daily basis… planting seeds, taking cuttings, and keeping things “potted up.” It is the perfect place to have my early morning routine of coffee and devotions.

TOPIARY…

This week I got back to work on my topiary projects I started last year and even started some new ones! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that video. For my local friends, that covered wire I featured was bought at Franks Nursery and Crafts. Yes, that sure “dates” that wire!

I might have mentioned to Mr. G that I was concerned about what would happen this winter to Thyme Out and maybe we need to enclose this whole space. He rolled his eyes and went about his business. He’s smart. 😉

JAPANESE BEETLES…

They are still here and still disgusting but they are certainly fewer than last year and I am grateful for that. 

Rose blooms are precious and few. Most of the roses have been “cut back” so that they aren’t as attractive to the Japanese Beetles.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the old garden rose Queen of Denmark who was not blooming was being devoured! It isn’t just the blooms they want. They are also devouring my pole beans! #nastycreatures

BLOOM THYME…

Calypso (Easy Elegance) just keeps going - defying the heat and the beetles.

Loving the Stokes Asters right now as they nestle up to the daylilies and BoBo Hydrangea!

New to my garden, Dame Judi Dench – David Austin
Good bug / Bad bug

It is finally oriental lily season! I was not sure how many we would have this year. Remember that nasty May FREEZE. We covered all we could but not all of the lilies were protected and many were damaged and are not blooming this year. But some of there are spectacular!

I had a special bokay to make recently and wasn’t sure if the garden had any roses to add but I found some! 

The peachy rose closest to my hand in the bokay above is Papi Delbard. Isn’t it just stunning!

Papi Delbard is a fairly new rose to my garden. Beautiful, fragrant and healthy! For many years I have heard about the Delbard roses from great rose friend Paul Zimmerman. So glad I now have a few of them! I purchased mine from Palatine Roses. They are also available from Roses Unlimited. You might want to take a look!

ROSE LOVERS…

If you’ve grown roses for very long, you have most likely had to learn about the dreaded Rose Rosette Disease. 

Recently I chatted with the very popular Dr. Mark Windham, Distinguished Professor in Ornamental Pathology at the University of Tennessee. He shares the latest news on a very unpopular subject RRD. Mark talked about where the research stands at this time as well as the research funding and he reminds home gardeners what to look for, where to find the correct information and what to do.

Listen Here.

Friends, so glad you stopped by today!

Wishing you good health, cooler temps and plenty of blooms. 

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: Meet the Beetles

Those destructive, nasty, no good, horrible Japanese beetles are here, so we might as well talk about them. 

THEIR HISTORY

The Japanese beetle is native to Japan. These little nuisances were first discovered in the United States around 1916 near Riverton, NJ in a nursery. It is thought that beetle larvae got into the US in a shipment of iris bulbs before inspections of imported goods entering the country began in 1912.

It is not just roses they love … they feed on around 200 species of plants.

Just look at my beautiful pole beans. 😩

I used to read that JBs were all east of the Mississippi, however, they are now being spotted in many other places around the country. I suspect they are still hitchhiking in plant containers! So no one will be safe before long. Now if only we could get them to “shelter in place” so we could eradicate them

MY WORLD

Japanese Beetles are a real problem in my area, especially last year. I first saw them on June 21 and I was still seeing them in late August. Mark Nolen, past president of the Indianapolis Rose Society, who has been growing for 50 years and grows over 300 roses, counted them last year and his total count was over 5,000. Let’s hope that record is not broken this year!

My beautiful Quietness rose is one of their favorites. This happens so quickly!

Are you grossed out yet?

One of the very few upsides to drought is that it can interrupt their life cycle. After a particularly serious drought a few years ago, we had several years with few to no Japanese Beetles. I visualized the larvae being killed in the parched earth. Do you think differently of me now?

WHAT TO DO???

SPRAYS

I have chosen not to spray them as the spray kills more than the targeted pest and we want to protect the good guys. I did try sprays many years ago but saw little help. Your call on that one. As always read labels carefully and protect yourself!

HANDPICKING

The best method of control I’ve found is “handpicking.” When I say handpicking I mean tapping the area where the beetles are on the shrub and watch them fall into a bucket of soapy water. When startled, it is their natural response to drop and get to the ground as fast as they can (procreation and all that) – so in the water they go. The recommendation is to start this daily regimen as soon as they arrive and get them off the plants as soon as possible. The damage and droppings they leave behind contain their pheromone – a call to all their friends to come! So, the more you have the more you get!! It is best to even cut away and destroy the damaged area on the shrub. If you’re in a stressful season- squishing them works too. However… I have heard that the squishing process releases the pheromone that calls in the JB troops. Your call. No judgment here!

I know. This is gross and you’d probably rather not see this. Last year I featured a better looking picture taken when I first started the bucket, not after all day. That article also included some great pictures of lilies which we probably won’t have this year due to the late freeze. Sad. So, maybe you should head over to last year’s article for a quick peek HERE…. BLOOMS, BUGS and HEAT.

Beetle Traps

There is great debate about using beetle traps. They do work and beetles by the thousands have found their way to the beetle traps my husband “loves” to use. He places them at the edge of property and is gleefully happy when the trap is full. Some say it helps control and some say it brings more in. Your call. We buy them at Lowes… good luck. Note: Since our beetle population is down a bit this year, we have not put out the traps. Mr. G agreed to wait and see how the season goes.

GRUB CONTROL

Many are trying biological means to control them in the larvae stage. I have a very large garden with a good size lawn and none of the biologicals out today (primarily nematodes and milky spore fungus) seem worth the effort. However, though it takes time, do some research – it might be worth your effort. 

MOLES

Another unwanted pest in our garden is moles but they do eat grubs … so nature does have it’s ways. However, moles digging up your garden is a whole other horrible problem.  

Geraniums

Research is being done with Geranium petals as they cause temporary paralysis in Japanese Beetles – making them more vulnerable to their enemies. It’s a start and I bought 3 more hardy geraniums – just in case. The variety is ‘Dreamland’ and it’s very pretty. I’ve always loved geraniums – this just takes that love to the next level. 

YOU

If you have any tips and tricks that are working for you, please leave a comment so we can all benefit!

BLOOM THYME…

Finally, it’s time for something pretty! With all the talk about the JBs you are probably wondering if any blooms have escaped. Oddly enough they don’t love every flower… but we do!

I’m just crazy about daylilies.
The humble snapdragon. My children loved these.
Annabelle Hydrangea … a dependable, no rush hydrangea
I don’t know the variety, but I am loving this white Zinnia.
Simple pleasures: Phlox and daisies
My new dreamy Dreamland geranium
I love coneflower season! So many varieties available today!
Zaide and her neighbors have been attached but not all blooms have been destroyed!

With COVID and all, I went a little crazy with seed starting. It was mostly veggies. I had some great seed success and we gave some plants away but kept a lot of them. There are tomato plants in every nook and cranny we could find. Mr. G loves his tomatoes and we always have tomatoes on the driveway but NOT THIS MANY. Oh well, we will share, we’ll make salsa, we’ll make salads, we’ll have BLTs and we will eat tomatoes right off the vine! Oh, happy day. We also have several varieties of squash … most in pots. I am certainly looking forward to the cute little round zucchini – Ronde de Nice from Renee’s Garden. Our summer food will be interesting and yummy!

It’s been in the 🔥 90s 🔥 all week with another week of the same predicted.

friends, stay cool and safe and enjoy your garden thyme!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMER EXPLOSION

It was as though when the calendar said “first day of summer,” there was an explosion of color. Summer bloomers joined the spring perennials and early roses held on longer than usual. Peggy Martin still looks fabulous from afar. I love how her blooms dry in place – giving her the look of a painting that just lasts and lasts.

COMPANIONS…

Loving the Etoile Violette clematis surrounding the gate.
Niobi Clematis and Petit Pink Rose
Bright Eyes Phlox
Cerise Pink Yarrow
Coreopsis
Down the path to the herb garden…

ROSES…

‘Imogene’ (David Austin) This is the 3rd year for this rose and it is just stunning. Right now it is just covered with blooms.
‘Quietness’ (Buck Rose) This is such a pretty, easy care rose with a sweet fragrance.
‘Bathsheba’ (David Austin) Poor Bathsheba was left out in her container all winter and I was sure she was dead but here she is in that same container. I do need to find her a place in the garden. She has definitely outgrown her container.
‘Champagne Wishes’ (Easy Elegance Series) This color is so rich and so is the fragrance.
‘Little Mischief’ (Easy Elegance) A tough and pretty ground cover rose.
‘Golden Fairy Tale’ (Kordes) Power bloomer and since she is yellow, the Japanese Beetles find her first. 😩
‘Music Box’ (Easy Elegance) Fragrant and pretty at every stage.

INSTAGRAM…

Many have asked me to do online tours. My answer to that was to start posting longer videos to an Instagram IGTV channel — complete with bird song and neighborhood activities like mowing lawns and motorcycles, etc. 😳 You can find those HERE.

LATEST PODCAST…

Last week on Rose Chat I chatted with Ping Lim the creator of the Easy Elegance Rose Series and a New Series called True Bloom. Ping is a great rose friend and it was great to hear his heart for people and roses and his way of bringing them together. You can listen to the chat here.

GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS…

The temperatures this week have been perfect. It has been so nice to spend time in the garden. The roses and their companions are going strong but the Japanese Beetles have decided to join the party. Only a few so far but we’ll talk more on that next week.

Until next time…

I’ll leave you with the bokay I made this week entirely from my favorite Easy Elegance Rose, Music Box.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Friends and Roses Part 1

In my garden, you will find a lot (A LOT) of roses and a good many of them are there because of the people and places they represent. I have so many people in my life because of roses and during COVID-19 they have become even more precious.

One of those precious combinations of rose and friend is Peggy Martin – the lady and her rose.

THE LADY

If you don’t know Peggy’s story you can find it HERE. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and visiting her in her home. When you meet someone online before you meet them in person, they could be very different than what you expect. Peggy was just as I pictured her… beautiful, sweet, sassy and southern. We had the best times over those 4 days. We ate great food. We visited gardens. We toured homes. I met so many new rose friends and we shared story after story. One such story may or may not have been wrapped around the virtues of red lipstick. And, did I mention shrimp.

THE ROSE

This rose is mostly a one-time bloomer and the only origin it has is Peggy’s garden that was wiped out during Hurricane Katrina (except for this rose).

I now have 4 Peggy Martin Roses and she can cover a trellis like no other. Two of my plants started out as very small plants and within 3 years they were on to arbor domination. My 3rd Peggy Martin is starting to climb over one of my arbors alongside New Dawn. My 4th Peggy Martin is still small as it was started from a cutting last summer. She is beginning to show some vigor and will have a prominent place near my potting bench in my new potting area.

I cannot tell you the pleasure this rose brings me. As a reminder of my friend and that just when it looks like all is “lost’, “survival” is just getting started and restoration and miracles are just around the corner.

It reminds me of my beautiful friend in Louisiana and all that she endured and all that she is today.

Last year during a garden party for the Indianapolis Rose Society, the Peggy Martin Rose was the spot for “prom” pictures.

My friends the Cates.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

On the large arbor this week, Peggy and Francis E. Lester are magic together…

Peggy Martin #1…

Peggy Martin #2 grows happily with Jasmina.

So much sweetness.

If you would like to have a Peggy Martin Rose of your own, check with Chamblee Roses or Antique Rose Emporium.

It is getting late in the season for finding specific roses and for shipping around the country in the heat, but it might be a good time to get on a waiting list for next spring!

‘At Last’ from Proven Winners is having it’s best spring flush to date!! Lovely!

‘Easy on the Eyes’ is true to its name. So pretty and blooms like crazy!

All the way from Texas, ‘Penelope’ is showing her beautiful ways! More on Penelope here.

Queen of Bourbon… One-time fragrant bloomer.

Queen of Bourbon close up.

And one more Queen of Bourbon. She doesn’t stay around a real long time so I have to take loads of pictures.

Bathsheba’s first blooms… She is in a pot that stayed out all winter. 🙄 You probably remember that story.

‘Rosa Mundi’ the earliest known striped rose. Sometimes it reverts to solid as you see in the lower left corner.

‘Rosa Mundi’ up close.

Veggies…

There is a mountain of mulch on the driveway. Funny thing, the herb garden was the first garden “room” I started some 30 years and ago and it was the first garden room to get fresh mulch this week. It is still such a special place for me.

Seriously, this is the latest I have ever put down mulch,  but hey the weather has not been all that accomodating! Freezes, rain, cold, and now heat. I can tell you the weeds have been very happy to take the place of the mulch! 😏

We have peas … a few … now that we are having so much heat, I better hurry and pick them as they might get “hot and fussy” and not produce much longer. They too were planted late and haven’t had much time to reach their potential.

Potatoes are growing and growing. I need to do some investigating and see if there is anything I need to do at this stage. It’s been so long since I grew them. Do you know?

WEATHER

As I edit this post I can tell you that it is HOT here but that is nothing compared to what the weather app is telling me — tropical storm Cristobal is causing evacuations in Louisana and along the gulf. Praying all my friends are safe and that Cristobal does not reach its potential!

Friends, thanks so much for stopping by. Stay safe, be well and til next thyme, enjoy your time in the garden! 😘

 

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: Patience is a Virtue

Yes, patience is a virtue… they say.

And this season as gardeners we have needed all the patience we can get as we deal with weather conditions. Weather dictates most everything we do.

As I write a gentle rain is falling, it looks and sounds beautiful. The birds are loving it but I’m practicing patience as I wait on sunshine. Much of the garden is sitting in water and rain predicted for all day tomorrow too. 😏 We gardeners surely do hate to complain about rain. However…  GULP! GULP!

We are coming out of a very cold, dreary period … it has actually set records for lack of sunshine and for lowest temps. Funny thing about that, England is having their sunniest spring on record. I think I have their answer … my daughter is there. She always brings sunshine to my life.

We NEED a bit of sunshine. Our spirits need it. Our plants need it. Work on my new outdoor potting space needs it. My Sweet Bay Magnolias especially need it.

SWEET BAY MAGNOLIAS

We have three SB Magnolias and love them. Last year at this time they were leafing out so beautifully and getting ready to bloom. The freeze we experienced a couple of weeks ago nipped them good. All baby leaves turned black. We feared the worst. But, this week with the warming temps, we now see leaves! Whew, that was close. Can’t imagine losing them.

BLOOM THYME…

The warm temps are sure paying off… blooms (and veggies) are popping all over the garden!

Caution: Excessive images coming. Hope you like pink and purple.😳

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

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

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

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

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

PEONIES…

Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.

VEGGIES…

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

ROSES…

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

Petit Pink is covered in buds!

Peggy Martin is ready to be glorious.

And some ROSES are reaching their peak…

Midnight in Paris growing in a container on my deck.

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

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

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

RAIN OR SHINE

If you need a rainy or sunny day activity … I think you will enjoy my recent interview with Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium. His talks should come with a warning, he makes it hard not to fall in love (or deeper in love) with roses — plants he calls THE ULTIMATE GARDEN PLANT. And, he uses them so beautifully. You can listen HERE.

 

Friends, spring is happening! Until next time be well, be safe, and be happy in the garden.

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

Bloom Thyme Friday: Penelope’s Story

Between winter, these cold snaps and “shelter in place”, I have had too much time on my hands. Keep looking at online catalogs etc. I have added – let’s just say SEVERAL roses to the family.

Just when I told myself I was officially DONE and truly had all the roses I need at this time, this happened… I was chatting with Mike Shoup of Antique Rose Emporium about his upcoming Rose Chat Podcast. (Release date May 24. Don’t miss it — Mike is amazing and you will be inspired. When he speaks about roses it is though he is reciting poetry!

As we talked I noted one of his favorite roses is Penelope and he told me all the great things about it (and there are many). I was doing okay and still good with my decision for NO MORE ROSES THIS YEAR… until I saw their Facebook post of a picture of an entire shrub line of Penelope roses in full bloom at the Antique Rose Emporium. 😳

I tried to get my good friend Linda Kimmel to talk me out of it – but alas she was no help. At the mere mention of Penelope, she launched into a story of how her Penelope was so beautiful and such a good rebloomer than it won an award in a rose show and beat out some very prestigious contenders and on and on she went. No. Help. At. All. 🙄

I caved. 🤦‍♀️ Wouldn’t you? Do you grow this rose? Do you ever “cave” when it comes to plants? If so, please leave me a comment. Safety in numbers. 👊🏻

Penelope now lives in Brownsburg in a prime spot where I will see her constantly. I keep apologizing to her for all the cold. It must be a shock coming from Texas to Indiana where it is even colder than usual for this time of year. 🥶

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH PENELOPE:

Image of Penelope courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium Website.

Penelope is a fragrant Hybrid Musk Shrub Rose bred by a historical favorite, Rev. Joseph Hardwich Pemberton in 1924.

David Austin’s website says it is deliciously fragrant and ideal for hips. Link.

High Country Roses website says it is known for its healthy vigor and shade tolerance!  Link

Note: HELP ME FIND says resist the urge to prune this rose too heavily – it doesn’t like it. Hopefully, winters won’t do that either. More info here.

 

BLOOM THYME

Early this week we had record low temperatures. For the first time I can remember we had a FREEZE (not frost) WARNING in May (26 degrees). I turned my garden into a POT AND TENT CITY. Was so very thankful for all the pots I have kept on hand. Almost got rid of them last fall!!!

My garden is way too large to cover everything. So I went with the veggies, peonies and as many roses as I could.

  • The sergeant crabapple suffered greatly.
  • The hostas and lilies suffered greatly.
  • Tips of roses not covered suffered too.

Time will tell how much other damage we had. Each day I am seeing more signs. I’ll keep you posted on how the recovery goes. A big surprise was how well the clematis did. I have a ton of clematis and many of them are covered in buds.

Yes, time will tell.

So, while the temps prevented outside fun, we went in to enjoy hot soup and homemade bread…

FRED:

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

GOING STRONG:

Bloomerang lilacs …

Dogwoods…

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

First lettuce picking! Always a great day.

DREAMS…

And, then there’s this guy — the dream maker. Mr. G is busy making furniture for my new and improved potting area! More pics to come!! It is soooo fun. I can’t wait to show you. He is the very best. #swoon

The weather app is giving out better news for the days to come – if our tender plants can survive the downpours of rain. Happy Days!

COVID-19 & GARDENING:

On the Rose Chat podcast, we are featuring stories from those in our garden community on what it is like WHEN GARDENERS SHELTER IN PLACE. Listen in to these short, insightful stories told by the gardeners themselves… LINK

Friends, wishing you safety, health, and fun in the garden. 

Spring Ephemerals by Colletta Kosiba

I do believe that the wildflowers know we are having a hard time and they have been putting on their most spectacular display ever.  I asked my great friend and the very knowledgeable Colletta Kosiba, a Master Naturalist, to do a post on what we are seeing! Six years ago Colletta wrote an article for me based on what the then “baby” Hudson and I saw as we took a walk. Read that one here.

FROM COLLETTA:

If you have been lucky enough to take walks in the woods this spring, I am sure you were amazed by all the small flowers blooming on the forest floor. Those are native flowers and are called spring ephemerals. Spring ephemerals have been growing on the forest floor long before man entered on the scene.

The ephemerals come up, flower and set seed before the tree canopy forms (which blocks out the needed sun light,) then the plants go dormant; only to repeat the show next spring.

Nature works in harmony; the seeds of the spring ephemerals bear fatty appendages called eliaosomes. Insects, (mainly ants) are attracted to the eliaosomes carrying the free meal back to their nests.  The lipid-rich food is consumed by their young. The unharmed seeds are then thrown into their dung pile where the seeds germinate the next year. A single ant colony may collect a thousand seeds over a season.  

Bloodroot  / Sanguinaria Canadensis                       

Indians stained faces to frighten enemies, males applied stain to palms before shaking hands with a maiden as magic inducement to attract her! Dye – reddish orange mixed with alum as mordant for cloth.  Sanguinaria in bloodroot was used to whiten teeth in modern toothpaste.

Bluebells / Mertensia Virginica                       

An old fashion garden plant. Roots will die in hot summer sun; so it is best to plant something like day lilies to shade the ground around them. They look like purple cabbage as they emerge.  

Common Violets  / Viola Sororia

Violets have 5x more vitamin C than oranges. Add flowers to salads and gelatin for color & flavor. (Leaves are a tad bitter in salad.)  Make jelly with blooms.  Crystalizes as toppings on cake.  May also be used as a soup thickener.

Geranium Wild / Cranesbill / Geranium Maculatum      

You can make a brown dye from the flowers – used for tanning hides.  The Cherokee mixed with grapes for mouth wash.

Claytonia Virginica / Spring Beauty

Have small potato shaped tubers  called “fairy potatoes”. They taste like potatoes when baked or boiled but raw they taste like radishes.
 

Wood Poppies / Stylophorum Diphyllum

Native Americans used the yellow sap from all parts of the plant for dye and paint.  Flowers are followed by nodding green hairy pods. The pods split open along four valves, explodes scattering seeds.

Thank you Colletta for the beautiful tour. For those of you who know Colletta, you know that her own garden is a haven for all the plants above and so, SO many more. If we weren’t “sheltering” in place, I would be going for a lunch and learn – and perhaps a few “starts” too!

Here is my own trillium that is having a fantastic spring too.

This little beauty has brought me great pleasure for many, many years due in part to its origin. I was part of a group that had the pleasure of rescuing wildflowers in a wooded area that was to be cleared for “progress.” 😐 I brought home several things that day but only the trillium survives.

Trillium has a long history of use by Native Americans and in herbal remedies especially Native American women. I understand that they are a wonderful morsel for deer which may contribute to their being on the plant protection list in many areas. As with all wildflowers, practice extreme caution when considering removing them from their natural setting unless you are invited to do so or you know for sure they are not protected.  I know. I know. It is temping. Many wildflowers are available for purchase.

 

BE SAFE.

BE WELL.

ENJOY ALL THAT SPRING HAS TO OFFER!