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:
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!
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??
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!
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…
As a gardener I am no stranger to miracles – I see them daily. But, there is one miracle that I look forward to in September. These guys…
For the past 5 years I have filled a container with herbs to put on Mr. G’s prep table by his grill. Each year the flat leaf parsley we have there becomes host to these little green creepy caterpillars that become the, oh so beautiful black swallowtails. Last year there were only 3 of them and I put two in a large jar so we could watch them. What a miracle this is. I shake my head over and over on the life cycle of a butterfly.
This year we have more than we have ever had before. So I am going to put some of them in a collapsible butterfly habitat so we can more enjoy the process and get the pleasure of releasing them.
One thing I know for sure. They love flat leaf parsley.
That one small leaf can become a gorgeous blooming plant.
In August 2017 H planted a single leaf and today it looks like this…
In September 2018 C planted his single leaf and while his African Violet is not blooming, it is growing strong.
WHILE ON THE SUBJECT…
Speaking of miracles, these boys and their baby brother, who make me a grammy, are beloved miracles. To all the grandparents out there, can you even fathom the depth of your love for your grandchildren? Miracles. Blessings. They fill up my heart to the very brim.
And these two boys and baby Wy have been growing right along with those leaves…
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…
As you know, Fall is not my favorite but it is a time of many miracles … butterflies, changing leaves, and cooler temps to name a few. God’s artistry is on display in bold ways! I plan to enjoy every one!
Wishing you a week of miracles in the garden and out!
We are just back from an incredible week of touring Turkey. When I say incredible, I mean INCREDIBLE.
While it would take a book to share all that we have experienced, today I will give you a glimpse with more glimpses to come.
Of course, the first glimpse will be about roses.
Roses or “Guls” have weaved their way throughout history and you cannot go far in many of the history lessons without bumping into rose stories. This is especially true in the Turkish culture where roses are valued for their beauty, fragrance (essential oils and rose water), medicine, flavor and for the sense of well being they create. It is even said that rose essence was used to enhance memory and to improve skin elasticity and so much more.
My first story for you comes from TOPKAPI PALACE MUSEUM in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople named for Constantine). This 15th century palace was the residence and headquarters of the Otttoman Empire Sultans.
On the grounds are beds and beds and beds of roses. Roses line almost every walkway. There are thousands. This area is also home to Gülhane Park (Which means Rose House). Yes, I knew there would be roses, but it was almost overwhelming to see SOOO many roses! I wanted so badly to see them in bloom and know which rose varieties were there, but we were a bit early — most were still small and not yet in bloom. However, we did find a few early bloomers. While our schedule did not allow for us to be there for very long, this place will linger long in my memory.
Roses filled all of these beds and others! Even though you can hardly see them, they were strong and healthy.
I took a great deal of pleasure thinking that while in Turkey, I couldn’t have been too far from the original Garden of Eden. Good thoughts!
I also learned that one of the palace kitchens was dedicated to preserves. The evening meal ended with an “almost celebration” with preserves. While most fruits were preserved, I read that the favorite flavor of Sultan was — you guessed it — Rose Petal.
Rosa damascena, the Damask rose is the primary source for rose oil and flavorings. These roses are most widely grown in Syria, Turkey, and Bulgaria. I recently purchased two Damask roses from High Country Rose in Colorado. You can see their selection here.
It will take some time to process all that we have experienced, but I know that Turkey and her lovely people will be forever in my heart.
ONE MORE ROSY STORY…
While visiting the mosques, we respectfully wore our scarves. My beautiful rose scarf was a gift from my friend, the amazing painter of roses, Michelle Endersby. It was a great pleasure to wear it. Thank you, Michelle.
Wednesday was that rare spring day in December and I was home all afternoon!! I could not wait to grab my sassy Bog rose boots and get busy. My boots were all clean and ready for service! (They are not clean now.)
There was so much to do as this fall was extremely busy for us and I was not able to put the garden to bed as I usually do. But, I had this glorious day! I suppose the tasks at hand would be daunting to some, but I just couldn’t wait. Just being outside in the garden sent my happiness meter over the top. I could have conquered the world! Sort of. 🙂
There were roses to trim.
I only had time for a few. Giving them the tender care of cleaning up the world around them, trimming the long floppy canes and mounding up some extra soil and leaves around them was a labor of love.
Sticks to pick up (We have loads and loads of sticks!)
Leaves to rake and stack around some tender roses. More long canes to secure.
This is one of my most favorites, Peggy Martin. The rose and her namesake bring me much happiness too. Look at all this growth – she is still going strong, but I know that when the real winter gets here, she’s a bit tender and needs some help. Last year I did not get to see very many of her gorgeous blooms as there was so much winter dieback due to the late cold spells we had. But when she shines, she shines. Remember this image from two years ago…
I saw a post on Facebook that Chamblee Roses has a new crop of Peggy Martin Roses. If you want one, go to Chamblee’s website here. Better hurry, they go fast!
What, other than your family, sends your happiness meter over the top! Do that soon!
And, by the way, did you realize it is only 82 days until spring? I have a stack of garden catalogs just waiting!! There goes my happiness meter again.
Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful Bloom Thyme Friday!
Celebrating 130 Years of high quality & exceptional taste.
The Four Roses® Anniversary Rose celebrates the 130th Anniversary of the Four Roses® Kentucky Bourbon brand.
In the late 1800s, the legend of the Four Roses® name was born.
As the story goes, Paul Jones Jr., the founder of Four Roses® Bourbon, became smitten by a beautiful Southern Belle. He sent a proposal to her and she replied that if her answer were “yes”, she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. When she arrived on the night of the ball, she wore a corsage of four red roses. He later named his bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle. He then carried that devotion a step further by trademarking Four Roses® in 1888.
That passion continues today. Master Distiller, Brent Elliott, and his team produce highly awarded Four Roses® Bourbon for consumers all over the world.
The Jackson & Perkins® Four Roses® Anniversary Rose perfectly represents the brand. Graceful, colorful, and elegant – it reminds us of that Southern Belle so long ago. Like the Bourbons, this rose will bloom and be recognized as a symbol of high quality and exceptional taste.
The blooms of this rose are exquisitely formed and fade-proof,
with a lovely damask fragrance.
Once they open, the blooms are 3 to 4 inches wide and comprised of 20 to 25 deep red petals. These blooms arrive in early summer and keep on going in waves all season long, especially if promptly deadheaded.
It’s a vigorous and easy-to-grow rose, heat tolerant, and resistant to rust and powdery mildew, meaning it’s a good choice for warmer climates.
(NOTE: FOR MORE ON CARE, SEE VIDEO BELOW.)
IN MY GARDEN!
Rose lovers love a good story. And as you read in the press release above, this rose comes with a rich and romantic one. I am fortunate to have been given this beauty and will share my experience with you! Thank you Jackson and Perkins for this lovely gift!
It is going in the ground this week and will get a large covering of mulch once the ground has frozen.
Four Roses Anniversary Rose will spend the winter with some good neighbors… Sweet Drift, Darcey Bussell and Petit Pink. It’s a good place…
Yes, it is still 90+ degrees but many of my blooms are beating the heat! Now the roses are doing their best to bloom in spite of the Japanese Beetles but you can decide for yourself as you see the pictures below how successful they are. UGH.
Up first are the ORIENTAL LILIES… they are spectacular and filling the garden with fragrance. For those of you (and I know they are many) who are sensitive to their fragrance, so sorry, but you can enjoy the pictures!
THE FAWN (Faun)
This beauty was the first thing I saw this morning — practically took my mind completely off my morning coffee. Not easy to do. Luckily Mr. G did not forget my coffee and brought me some yummy coffee in a pretty rose cup. (He really is the very best and knows very well how the garden can steal me completely away from the real world. LOL)
The Fawn is a ground cover rose that has her roots in French soil. Simply gorgeous and it looks like it would have amazing fragrance but I hate to tell you, it doesn’t. It does, however, have super disease resistance and an abundance of blooms all summer long. Mine came from Heirloom Roses. I just checked and they still have it in stock. Take a look here.
Another French beauty from the esteemed House of Meilland is Cherry Parfait. My plant is smaller than normal in the heat but giving some incredible blooms. And, there was not one Japanese Beetle on her! She has a light fragrance.
SWEET DRIFT & PETIT PINK
Both of these shrub roses are doing so well as they do most every year and are not very popular with the Japanese Beetles.
This is a new rose to me and I love it! Absolutely love it. However, I can already tell I planted them tooooo close together! #bloomingmachine More info to come on this one as the season continues.
This is a great performer in my garden and makes me happy every time I see it. It is just easy breezy and pretty. The only extra care I give this plant is sometimes a “ring” to keep it from “flopping,” especially if is too close to a rose I want to feature. It is so easy to divide so there is plenty for you and plenty to share. Oh, and it does well in arrangements and compliments the roses!
The phlox has been the very best this year! I guess we can say they like hot, dry conditions!
There are many reasons to plant this hardy workhorse — it’s place as a herbal remedy, beautiful summer color, pollinator attractor and tasty seeds for the birds (in particular gold finches) to name a few. Breeders have been having fun with this plant the last few years and we have moved way beyond the original pinkish purple — although I love it still!
Who planted the Lemon Grass too close to the Zinnias — ME!
Who nestled up a little too close to the Lilies — ME!
Yes, it stains. One trick– don’t rub … lightly brush off!
The Japanese Beetles just keep coming and coming and coming. Warning ugliness below…
Look what they did to my lovely Gemini…😡
And, they are soooooo attracted to my Golden Fairy Tale because it is yellow. Can you believe this! 😩😡😭 More — a lot more — soapy water.
Well, we don’t want to end on a bad “bugly” note!!!! So here are two bokays from the week. One I made to take to the propagation workshop at our rose society meeting on Tuesday and one for our table — it is in an antique pitcher from Mr. G’s momma. Isn’t the pitcher lovely!
Bugs or no bugs, so glad you stopped by. I am loving my day in the garden and hope your day is wonderful too.
When spring comes it’s time for gardeners to roll up their sleeves and get busy and I can’t wait!
Here are some tips that I follow for getting my roses off to a good start in my Zone 5b garden.
For early April planting, I buy bare root roses from online vendors (my preferred list here). When they arrive they are “bare roots” wrapped in wet newspaper. Very humble beginnings for a plant that will be so lovely later!
I immediately unpack them and soak them in a bucket of Moo Poo tea for 24 hours before planting.
Planting decisions are dependent on the type of rose…
Grafted Roses: Many hybrid teas, floribunda and grandifloras are grafted roses.
This means that a rose is created by being grafted onto strong, hardy rootstock, creating a “bud union.” Plant the bud union (knobby part just above the roots) 3” below the soil line to protect it from harsh winters we often have.
Own Root Roses: These roses were started from cuttings and are on their own root, so there is no bud union to protect. I plant them as I would any other shrub.
Soil: We ask roses to bloom for us all summer, year after year, so it is best to give them a good start by planting them in good, rich soil. Our neck of the woods has horrible gray clay soil so we dig BIG holes–holes much deeper and wider than the root system to allow for soil amendments and deep enough to protect the bud union. (At least 18″ by 18″.) To the soil removed, we add compost and a quality grade of top soil. Your roses will appreciate your gifts of more nutrients and better drainage and will reward you handsomely! You will never regret giving your roses a good foundation.
Roses Already in Leaf and Bloom…
If you purchased something from a garden center that is already leafed out and perhaps has buds or blooms, wait until the frost date has passed to plant them in the garden. In my zone that date is May 10. I will confess to occassionally planting a little earlier than May 10, but you have to be prepared to cover them if frosty nights come!! #notpatient
First tip: DON’T BE AFRAID TO PRUNE. I’ve made countless “mistakes” through the years and the roses always forgive and come back!
Here in the midwest, it is difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune. For many years, I have let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning. This year the temps have been up and down and there has been a lot of pressure on the forsythia. So use your best judgement! 😬
Once our roses are starting to grow, it’s time for fertilizer. Most any fertilizer will do—but do read labels carefully–too much of a good thing can be harmful! I use a combination of Moo Poo Tea,Mills Magic Mix and inorganic fertilizer on my roses. Fertilizer applications are about 6 weeks apart for most of my roses. Old Garden Roses and Rugosas are fertilized in the spring. Shrubs and Knockouts are only fertilized twice a season–spring and summer.
Once the fertilizer has been applied, you will want to give your roses a deep watering to get those nutrients down to where they can do some good.
A good rule of thumb is to water at the base of the plant especially if you are watering in the evening, as wet rose leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases (e.g. Black Spot & Powdery Mildew). Although, if I am watering in the morning I give them a good all-over shower. This is great way to remove dirt and any insects that have shown up for the tasty and tender buds! I think roses appreciate a refreshing shower just as we do, just don’t put them to bed wet.
This is one of my favorite parts. Mulch is so good for your roses … retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look!
One thing to remember when applying mulch … when mulch breaks down, it uses nitrogen in the process, so add a layer of compost on top of the soil before you add the mulch layer then the nitrogen in the soil can be used by the rose. If you are working in an established bed and last year’s mulch is still there, leave it… it becomes a “compost layer.” Win. Win.
I can’t wait to see these early bloomers!
MY FAVORITE TIP…
My favorite tip is to visit your roses daily or as often as you can to enjoy their beauty and to get to know them. Getting to know them can be key in early detection of any pest or disease.
And, when you have beautiful roses outside, who can stay in!
Someone had to be first and in the case of hybrid teas, it was La France. When you hear the terms Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses do you ever wonder how to know which is which? Old Garden Roses are roses bred before 1867 …. when the first Hybrid Tea was named and that first Hybrid Tea — La France. This pretty, fragrant rose was found in France by the Rosarian, Andre’ Guillot. Parents of this rose are said to be Hybrid Perpetual “Madame Victor Verdier” and tea rose “Madame Bravy” —giving us a new classification of roses—Hybrid Teas! (Note: Her parentage is sometimes debated!😉)
While most old garden roses are one time bloomers, this new hybrid gave us blooms throughout the growing season. Hybrid Teas are said to be the most popular class of roses, much of that popularity comes from their being commonly used as “florist” roses with their long stems and high centers.
La France is a large shrub that would NOT be considered disease resistant–black spot and other fungal disease find her very attractive! She grows best in warmer climates. As a hybrid tea she has been surpassed in beauty, form and is no longer welcome in many gardens, however, few can surpass her in fragrance! As the first, she has historical significance, making her a sentimental favorite with a warm place in my heart. Yes, she blazed the trail that led us to the amazing repeat bloomers we have now.
LA FRANCE AND THE BILTMORE
The most beautiful bed of La France roses I have ever seen is in the Biltmore garden and what a perfect place for her. She is in the company of many other historical giants in the rose world like Blush Noisette. You cannot walk by La France without stopping to take in the damask fragrance and delicate features of this rose. The pictures show that this first hybrid tea does not have the growth habit of the more modern hybrid teas but a growth habit more like that of her historical parents with delicate stems that bow in the breeze — just adding to her charm.
LA FRANCE AND FRIENDS
My time at the Biltmore is filled with beautiful roses of course, but also rose friend reunions. Friends like Jim Wilson. Jim is a wealth of rose knowledge and in particular La France. In fact, he says the rose world is sometimes confused on which rose is La France (that parentage debate I mentioned!). At the end of this post is a video interview I did with Jim last year where he talks about this debate.
Fast forward to this year when Jim presented me with my very own La France! He grew a lovely plant for me to take home! This rose is over-wintering in my potting shed and has already given me several blooms with that amazing damask fragrance it is known for.
Fingers crossed that she can be happy all winter long in less than perfect conditions—dry, dim light. 😳 I am excited to see what she can do next year in a large pot in my garden. She’s a “diva” for sure and will require extra care but I’m up for it.
While I was at the Biltmore Rose Trials my neighbor called and said there is a big box on my front porch — it might be roses. YIKES! That week the temps in our area were in the mid 90s. She took them home for me and took great care of them while I was away. Big shout out to my special friend Z! A trip to the Biltmore winery unearthed the perfect gift to reward her for her quick response! 💪🏻 👊🏻
I returned home to a beautiful box of strong, healthy Jackson and Perkins roses to test in my garden. Savannah, Belinda’s Dream and Jasmine! Gorgeous all.
SO MUCH PINKNESS! Be still my heart!
Savannah: A lovely, fragrant Hybrid Tea was a big winner at the 2015 Biltmore International Rose Trials … Best Hybrid Tea, Most Fragrant, and Most Outstanding Rose of the Trial (Best in Show). Read more here.
From Jackson and Perkins website: Savannah™ Sunbelt ® boasts silky petals that go from powder pink to deep salmon. Their large flowerheads rest against a handsome backdrop of glossy dark green foliage that holds its tidy and shapely form quite well. Punishing heat and high humidity do nothing to diminish the extravagant beauty. Not even diseases like Black Spot and Powdery Mildew dare challenge this sweetest of roses.
Last year I added one Savannah. It is doing very well and I look forward to having more to test for this area.
Belinda’s Dream: An Earth Kind shrub rose that I have grown, but never had out in the garden. I have grown this rose in a container on the deck.
From Jackson and Perkins website: The romantic, arching habit of grandmother’s cottage garden rose, plus modern vigor. You owe it to your gardening forebearers to take a look at this charming rose. Bred by a mathematics professor(Dr. Robert Basye) who spent his life trying to knock out blackspot in the roses he bred (with a good bit of success, we might add!), ‘Belinda’s Dream’ is a lavish, over-the-top fragrant beauty of soft pink with an old-fashioned habit, petal-packed hybrid tea bloom form, and disease-resistant foliage that stands up to the worst summer heat and humidity.
Time will tell! I am expecting GREAT things. More information here on Earth Kind roses…. here.
Jasmina: I have wanted this climbing rose ever since I saw Bill Kozemchak’s pictures on Facebook!
From the Jackson and Perkins website: Jasmine is part of the Arborose® series, which means it is not your average climbing rose! The flowers are bigger and come in greater numbers. The canes are softer, making them easier to train onto any structure. The plant has fantastic own-root vigor and resistance to the biggest rose killers: cold, powdery mildew, and blackspot
Thanks to its flexible canes and fantastic performance, Jasmina™ is a dream to grow near practically any garden structure. Plant it this season and enjoy its soft beauty and rich, fruity fragrance for years to come! Zones 5 to 9.
Hey, Annie, here’s Savannah getting her first drink of Moo Poo Tea just like all the other roses in my garden.
And, to my friends at Jackson and Perkins … a big Thank You!
Fall is here. Spring is 166 days away.
Regardless of the season, let’s bloom wherever we are planted!