Bloom Thyme Friday Flashback

We are having a very dark week and I’m going back to sunny days in May (when it wasn’t raining… and it rained a lot!) ☔️

Let’s start with Niobe Clematis: Gorgeous blooms for months! She cared little about the torrential rainfall — just did her beautiful thing!

Reine des Violette: This almost thornless, one-time blooming OGR gives so much in beauty and fragrance that you forgive her for leaving so quickly!! Hybrid Perpetuals usually rebloom but she hasn’t in 5 years. She is in a bit of a shady area so that could be the issue.
Sweet William (Dianthus): Makes spring so special with it’s dependable mass of bloom! Great in a vase!

Rosa Mundi (Gallica Rose) and friends…
Rosa Mundi is a beautiful and fragrant one-time blooming machine! I dream of her blooms in winter! She is fantastic!
Easy on the Eyes Rose: This disease resistant, fragrant beauty blooms all summer long and is indeed easy on the eyes and gets a lot of attention in the garden. I don’t think I ever saw a spec of disease on this one. Thanks Tom Carruth! 2018 release from Weeks.
Peonies: The rain beat them down too quickly, but I had plenty to bring inside! Their season is always short and sweet but I couldn’t do without it! Even after my blooms were gone, I bought bundles from the grocery store to bring home.

IN OTHER NEWS:

BULB UPDATE:

As of today, all bulbs are planted. Daffodils, Alliums, Crocus. I was so surprised how soft the soil still is. It was a pleasure to be digging!I have a lot more garden clean up to do and am hoping that will happen this weekend as the weather looks to be just perfect for some outside work — once the rain moves on!

ROCKY:

We have a raccoon that is making our bird watching fun most unpleasant. One evening while sitting in our chairs we heard a loud thud from outside. A few minutes later, we heard another thud. I said, “I am sure it’s just a raccoon on the bird feeder.” Not really sure that was it at all. Mr. G goes to investigate and the fattest raccoon you have ever seen, was climbing up our window (how do they do that) to try to get to the feeder and he did! Got right in the middle. Raccoons are a year round problem here. We are spreading around more cayenne pepper. But, if you ask me he kind of likes it — or at least sees it as a challenge. Any tips??

AMARYLLIS:
It’s time to plant amaryllis… I’m waiting a bit later than usual to plant them this year so that I have blooms in January when I return from England. I’ll really need them then!
Look at these amazing bulbs I found! You probably can’t really tell the size but they are huge! The last time I grew a Mount Blanc – it had 14 blooms – at one time. A record for me! Seriously, I have a picture somewhere! Apple Blossom is always pretty. I wanted red this year but didn’t find any large bulbs. #sizematters

I also had to buy this Smith and Hawkins pot for old times sake. I miss the Smith and Hawkins store so much. Trips to that store made my winters so much more pleasant! It is where I did so much spring dreaming! Anyone else remember those amazing places for gardeners. Glad Target keeps the memories alive with their S & H garden collection.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS:

Repotted a very leggy Swedish Ivy that was in a tiny pot. Swedish Ivy is not a picky plant. I don’t ever remember buying this plant but I sure like it. If you are new to houseplants, this would be a great one to buy!
Took some cuttings from the Ivy and potted up a broken stem of the Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus. We’ll see what happens with them. Hope they take. I love having new babies. (Like I need more. 🤦‍♀️)
Window garden still looking good. The sun found us a bit today!

GIVING THANKS:

I hope you enjoy this very special week. A time to stop and think about all the people and all the things we have been blessed with. And cook all our favorite foods! Yummmmm.
Til next time… know that I am thankful for you and the Giver of all good things…

Thyme to be Festive    

I sure enjoy the bounty of beautiful foliage, evergreen boughs and dried flowers when it’s thyme to decorate for the coming holidays.

This week I started outside to dress up the Potting Shed…

Someone left us a treasure.

Then I came indoors…

Since I have so many boys in my family, it is always popular to use trucks. The current truck trend is helping me out so much. Last year the whole house had a truck theme. This year I have “warned” Mr. G that we are going to incorporate some other things! Not sure what yet, but I can tell you it will have a good bit of red and loads of twinkle lights.

Last year’s mantel…

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…


The Thanksgiving/Christmas Cactus is blooming right on time! And it is bright and beautiful. Fabulous on a gray day.
The Attar of Rose scented geranium cuttings have roots!
The African Violet baby leaf has babies! Even after years and years and countless African Violets, I’m always thrilled to see this! My Aunt Myrtle is somewhere celebrating with me.

Can you help?

Every year I start a bowl of dried roses. I don’t plan it — it just happens. I look at a bokay getting past it’s prime and pick off a few blooms, find a bowl and it begins. I am now looking  at 4 years/4 bowls of blooms and I love them!!! But, one has to go. I will move it to a jar or something, but 4 bowls is tooooo many. To keep them from fading, I keep them in my dining room cabinets and things are getting a bit crowded. This is hard for me —  it is as though I gave birth to them. #goodgrief #girlhasaprob
Here are the choices. I won’t tell you which year they are… just pick one to send to the jar. ….Sounds sinister.

ONE…

TWO…

THREE…

FOUR…

ONE?  TWO? THREE? FOUR?
Tis the season to organize — especially cupboards! Or at least I find myself organizing before I get ready for the big feast.
Til next time… grow and bloom where you are planted!
Hey, if you are on Instagram, join me there. If you aren’t … think about it. There’s a great deal of gardening going on there!

ASSESSING THE 2019 GARDEN SEASON

As I look out my kitchen window today, things are so different. We had a hard frost and that is a game changer. We moved from a fall look to winter vibes very quickly.
Pssst: I prefer this view to the current one…
Most of the leaves are down and the morning glories that were glorious last week have a melted look.
This is the time I start pouring through the pictures from the growing season and decide what is next.

Some of my first 2019 observations…

…that most of my plants can tolerate more water than I ever dreamed possible, as we experienced record-breaking rain in April and May and early June.

…that the roses actually LOVED all the rain — convincing me that I should water them more!

Even though the weather was weird and the Japanese Beetles were plentiful, there were still plenty of blooms to share!
…that the Enchantress Zinnia really is enchanting and has earned a place in the 2020 garden.
—that I have taken my love of oriental lilies to the next level.

THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS…

I HAVE now planted the last 3 roses (that were “still” in their containers from spring.  Ispahan (Damask) was planted next to Kazanlik (Damask) and a second Madam Hardy. Also planted a second Lady of Shallot next to the first one. I will mulch them with shredded leaves and pray the moles who have been digging tunnels everywhere, leave them alone. But there is a good chance they won’t. Seriously, why can’t they just take a break and hibernate!!!!
I HAVE NOT gotten the garlic planted. SOON!
I am planting this new garlic picked totally for it’s name! I hope it doesn’t disappear this winter as last year’s crop did. Not sure what happened… There are a lot of “varmints” around here and perhaps they found my garlic babies irresistible.  I planted some in the raised bed and some in the herb garden, but not one plant came up. A situation I hope not to repeat. Growing your own garlic is not only delicious, it is fun!

I HAVE tied up the arching canes of New Dawn and Peggy Martin. And, had a wonderful view from the ladder.

I HAVE NOT cut back the roses and many of them NEED it badly as they have grown so tall. I will take them down to waist high and do another pruning in the spring. SOON!
I HAVE NOT yet planted any bulbs, but have drooled over bulb catalogs and have bought a few. SOON!
Can you tell that this fall has been a season that has been short on garden thyme? Well, that is true.
I did HAVE the pleasure of making a special bokay for a special friend’s event! No flowers from my garden, but I did find some beauties at Trader Joes and Kroger!

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…

The Christmas (Thanksgiving) cactus is starting to bloom. The blooms are welcome anytime!
I have been going through seed packets and I am so excited to plant these next year. (Purchased in England)
In prep for winter, Mr. G has now turned off all my water supplies! 😩 You have to do that kind of thing here.  Now getting water for the inside plants is more of a challenge. He does fill this container up for me as I need it and it works well.

SOMETHING NEW…

I’m beginning to notice the air plants you see everywhere these days. Do you grow them? Thoughts?

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Change of Pace

This week brought out the coldest temps to date and the garden is showing the signs. While it was not cold enough to give that enchanting  dusting of frost on the blooms, it was enough to cause the not so enchanting beginning of the end  — they sort of look like they are melting. Yikes.

I have work to do! Mercy, some of the roses, zinnias and cosmos have grown so tall. #jungle Many of the David Austin roses have grown to 10′ or more. Tomorrow will be a “put on your boots, coat and gloves and get busy cleaning up the garden” kind of day. They weather is going to be in the high 60s. PERFECT.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK



POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

“Bloom Thyme This Week” will become “Potting Shed Putterings” for the winter.

Today I brought into the Potting Shed the last of the plants that need winter shelter. Took some time to move them around to places where they can catch the most light. Eventually we will install lights but for now there will be a bit of stretching.

Here are the two roses we started from 3″ cuttings at ROSEFEST in June. My good friend, Connie Hilker, was here to show us her method of starting rose cuttings and while these guys got off to a “proper” start, I assure you they should not still be in their “planting pot.” But they are. Forgive me Connie, I plan to repot them soon! Pray I don’t lose them, I have become quite fond of my baby Peggy Martin and Therese Bugnet. Take a look at Connie’s method of starting cuttings HERE. It might work for you too. I plan to do several more next year!


Other things brought in today were my boxwood topiaries and  my boxwood cuttings.

Many years ago I did topiaries but it has been so long. I started these this spring and have truly loved the shaping process. It is so relaxing!

Look at this cute cactus that called my name in Lowes… This time of year I spend a lot of time in the houseplant section of Lowes. Houseplants are really trendy right now and you can tell it in the selection we have! I have never seen so many different houseplants! Mr. G is beginning to get worried. Seems like I’m getting at least one new one each week. How many weeks does winter have?🌿 😱🌿

INSIDE JOBS: First up will be bigger pots for the baby roses – fingers crossed they do ok. You know roses love sun and sun is not something that Indiana has a surplus of in the winter.

There will be a lot of “puttering” in the Potting Shed this winter. Yes, puttering, planning, reading and dreaming of spring – and taking care of these baby plants.

I hope you will join me.

For those who have asked… here is the front of the potting shed. It is a tiny space (about  6′ X 12) that is attached to the back of our house. It is attached to our house because 25 years ago when Mr. G built it, the covenants on our street did not allow out buildings. I think they do now, but I am so happy that my potting shed is right in the middle of all the garden action! Out the door is a small pond and beautiful roses.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: UNEARTHING TREASURES

If you are familiar with the movie A GOOD YEAR you might remember this quote… “all she needs is a fresh coat of paint and a good scrub.” This a family favorite movie so I have enjoyed that quote many, many times.

This summer marks 20 years that my dream of a potting shed/office became reality. Mr. G out of love for me and the secret desire to reclaim some of our home from all the garden stuff, built this tiny bit of heaven for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought of the movie quote while standing in my potting shed. Summers are a time of gathering things in the potting shed and little time to tidy things up. So, as I stood in the middle of all the stuff, I thought YIKES I think she “needs a fresh coat of paint and a good shrub.” So it began … moving stuff —lots and lots of stuff.

While moving things around I unearthed so many memories!

Catalogs from the 80s and 90s…

Then and now, I love pouring over catalogs!

Receipts from Jackson and Perkins test panel roses (Anyone remember those?) I had high hopes that one of my test panel roses would “take off” and I would be able to officially name one for my daughter.

Picture from the early 90s… (Sorry for the blurry picture of a picture.)

So many fragrant petals. In those days I dried roses, herbs and flowers to make wreaths and other garden crafts to sell at a local garden center. SO MUCH FUN.

And, while digging in the garden last week I also unearthed a plant tag from Jackson and Perkins, Medford Oregon…. Not sure of the date, but I haven’t grown roses in the place I found this tag since the late early 90s. Note the AARS trademark.

It was  a lot of fun to see old things again and walk down memory lane. Many of the roses in the pictures I no longer have.

Tastes change.

Garden conditions change.

Little trees grew.

Large trees were hit by lightening.

A few pests showed up.

Sustainable growing practices became more important.

Some things hold true. I was over the moon about roses and all their companions then and I continue to be today. The garden has always been a balm for my soul; the place where my creativity soars; a place where I have the closest connection to the Creator. 

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK:

Mother of Pearl and neighbors
Mother of Pearl bud

 

Yes, a fresh coat of paint and a good shrub was just what was needed….
… plus a new lamp, a super cute spool of jute (thanks Lacey) and a cute baby boy pic!
Zinnias out growing their space and bringing in the butterflies and hummingbirds.
Come on in and get a drink!
A very welcome visitor
Trek to the Herb Garden
Popcorn Drift …. verrrry pretty.
Mother of Pearl again … I can’t get enough.
Evening view from the potting shed porch.

WISHING YOU A PLACE TO CALL YOUR OWN AND

A VERY HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Bloom Thyme Friday: WaterWorks

For as long as I can remember, I have had a “sprig of something” rooting in water on a windowsill. My mom did that. My grandmother did that. My Aunt Myrtle did that.

This process never fails to wow me. Never fails to bring me great joy. I love being able to see the tiny roots form. Showing life. Showing rebirth. Showing re-creation. A good reminder of how simple the needs of a plant and a person can be. Strong roots that start growing slowly and get stronger as they continue to feed on things that are good for them. Basic things … like water.

Life can get complicated, but in reality our needs are so basic. God. Water. Family. Friends. Red Lipstick. Tacos. 😉💄🌮😉

On my potting shed windowsill today I have Coleus, Mint, Wandering Jew, Unidentified Trailing Plant, 3 African Violets (that are just about ready to be potted up) and Lavender (lavender roots best if you get down to the woody part of the stem)!

Not every plant will root in water. Many things I have tried just rotted.

Today I returned home from California to see roots on something I have never been able to root in water before! 

DRUM ROLL!

For the very first time, I have roots on a Rugosa Rose cutting! I am just over the moon about this one. 


Last week when I walked into my daughter’s California kitchen, guess what I saw.

Her windowsill with plants getting their baby roots. Joy! #happymomma


I even have a “sprig of something” on my kitchen windowsill where it gets little to no light! (Wandering Jew)

Do you like to put “sprigs of something” in water?


PROCESS (It’s Basic.)

Take cutting
Remove last 3 or 4 sets of leaves
Put stem in a tiny bit of root tone
Put in water
For most plants, sun will definitely help!
Watch for roots!

For African Violets, I just take a leaf and suspend it in water. Small jam jars covered in plastic wrap secured with a strong rubber band will do the trick! Cut a slit in the plastic wrap.

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Keep putting down deep, strong roots and Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

Potting Shed Review: Move Over Christmas Cactus!

Move over Christmas Cactus, we’re moving back in says the geraniums, a few herbs and some roses! Space in the Potting Shed is limited and  there’s a bit of overcrowding happening!

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Just when the Christmas Cactus is getting ready to bloom and show its stuff, here comes the 24 degree nights and all the “others” seeking shelter from the cold come running in.

It is a bit of a family reunion as some of these geraniums have been around for many, many years. They get huge every summer and grace the deck and potting shed porch with their lovely blooms. In late fall they get a “hair cut” to  help them fit their winter space. The best thing about it, they recover quickly and go back to blooming and bloom most of the winter!

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The bay tree just about stayed out toooooo long as some of the leaves are nipped. He’ll need a bit of Annie’s Moo Poo tea to “recover.” I’m brewing up a fresh batch to soak the amaryllis bulbs in and get them planted this week! Some years I plant one or two amaryllis bulbs and sometimes I plant a dozen!  For tips on growing amaryllis, read on here.  They are super fun!

Today’s Brew Station…

More Winter Neighbors…

There’s a collection of roses … starts of the Peggy Martin rose from this summer’s Rosefest. A healthy start of David Zlesak’s Above and Beyond, a beloved start of Barbara’s Pasture Rose (more about that coming soon) and even a tiny Beverly HT that was left behind in a corner over the summer. And, there are jars of cuttings of various annuals I don’t want to lose completely!

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Overcrowding?

Maybe, in the potting shed there is a bit of overcrowding … books, plants and tools are packed in, but I prefer to think of it as “cozy.”

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Before we know it, it will be time to…

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All’s good.

Overwintering Plants

When winter approaches I typically bring potted plants I want to save into the Potting Shed where there is controlled warmth and light (geraniums, mint, lavender, etc.), except for my large potted roses, they are taken to the garage (no windows). The roses go dormant and “spring” back to life in the spring. Because of “over crowding” in the Potting Shed, I took this pot of herbs to the garage too.

Last week I brought the pots out of the garage and couldn’t believe how well these herbs sprang back to life. They never lost their “green” completely and now they look almost robust! Today they are outside getting some sunshine and intermittent light rain. Let the thriving begin!

The roses left in the garage are doing quite well too.

I typically cut any spindly growth completely back and let the roses start fresh. But this one is recovering so fast that I may do minimal pruning and she how she does. Meet the “winter in the garage, in the dark version of the Coretta Scott King” rose. Anemic though she may be, I think we are going to start from here and see what she does.

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Coretta Scott King in the garden last summer…

Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King

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Happy Spring!

A Peek Inside the Potting Shed…

I have received  some requests to see more of the inside of the potting shed.

This tiny space (8 x 10) is filled to the brim with a desk area and wall of inspiration over it, tons and tons of gardening books, tools of the trade, seeds, over wintering plants, magazines,  and my potting bench with the somewhat famous–dirt drawer. The potting shed and all it’s furniture was a gift of love from Mr. G (the builder of fences, trellises and raised beds AND more) about 16 years ago. Actually it was a gift to the whole family who no longer had to walk around all my garden stuff!

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A great place to create flower arrangements to share.

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One of the greatest things about the potting shed is that it is attached to the back of our house and has a garden view. It is right in the middle of the action! I am such a lucky girl!

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Here is the summer view from my potting shed porch.

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