To the Heart of Ancient Civilization

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.

FIRST STORY…

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!

PRESERVES…

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.

 

"Gule Gule" for now.

			

Bloom Thyme Friday: Happiness

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!

ROSE BUZZ: Four Roses Anniversary Rose

PRESS RELEASE….

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…

Jackson and Perkins has a lot going on with roses and all her companions. They even have some great videos on rose care and garden design by Paul Zimmerman. Find Paul’s videos and more information here.

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: The Good. The Bad. The Bugly

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.

THE GOOD…

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!
ROSES
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.
CHERRY PARFAIT
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.

SWEET DRIFT

PETIT PINK

 

POPCORN DRIFT

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.

 

 

SUMMER FLOWERS

Stokes Aster

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!

Phlox

The phlox has been the very best this year! I guess we can say they like  hot, dry conditions!

Coneflowers

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!

 

THE BAD…

UH OH…

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 BUGLY

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.

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday