Gardening Season

My gardening season begins today… December 26 when for the last 26 or so years, I start my annual countdown to spring. With the count down comes getting serious about my garden planning. I love every minute of it!

This year December 26 finds me once again in England where it seems everyone is a gardener and at the Toad Hall Garden Center in Henley on Thames things are booming and blooming. Toad Hall has been around for more than 60 years and they are good at what they do. They have everything this gardener could want — Wellies, row covers, trugs in all sizes, seeds, houseplants, tools and ROSES. Have you ever seen a yellow poinsettia? Well, they had those too. I am a “purist” when it come to plant color, but I liked this one better than I thought I would. I’m not even in the “wanting a blue rose” club. Just doesn’t seem right. Anyway, this garden center is truly Mecca for gardeners.

There is a whole line of these Fleece Jackets.

This Cymbidium Orchid in the middle was knocking my eyes out!

If you have been following me on social media, you know that my family is having a wonderful holiday together in England. We love time together anywhere, but England has been especially nice!

Beautiful decorations and wonderful music filled the air in London.
Mr. G found a special friend.
Westminister Abbey … Amazing.
Christmas highlights #1, #2 and #3. JOY JOY JOY
The English do charm – very well.
Time with my son to tour Grey Court garden and plot and plan what we will do in our own gardens. I saw this garden in full bloom this summer and I loved getting to see the “bones” that winter shows off.
Our beautiful hostess! xoxo
Teamwork!

I love the holidays with gusto. Celebrating Jesus’ birth is a highlight of our year. Mr. G and I start listening to Christmas music in late October if the truth be told, but once Christmas is over, it is over. I quickly move to dreams of spring. Seriously, I am very glad for these months of winter at a slower pace giving us time to reflect, rewind and get ready for spring. There is so much “gardening” that needs to start now to prepare for greater success later. Plus, it is just FUN!

  • Read gardening books.
  • Organize tools and supplies.
  • Pour through catalogs.
  • Put plans on paper.
  • Place orders. (We don’t want to find the perfect plant, only to find it is SOLD OUT.)

Up next I will focus on setting some goals for me and the garden.

A New Decade!

2020 is going to be special, I can just feel it. Can’t you?

Let’s get this spring planning party started!

Bloom Thyme Friday: It’s Time!

Yes, it’s time…

…TIME TO PRUNE THE ROSES

My Forsythia is blooming letting us know that the ground temps are now around 50 degrees and it “should” be safe to start pruning the roses.

As I took a quick look over the garden this week, I saw some things that made me very happy and a couple things that are iffy.

The brightest spot was seeing Peggy Martin who you will remember died back to the ground last year (Read the story of Mother Nature’s curve balls here.) but, she has now made it up and over the arbor again and I see buds all the way. Praying we don’t get a late frost or freeze like we did last year.

…TIME TO PLANT BARE ROOTS ROSES

Boxes have been arriving this week: 2 from David Austin and 1 from Palatine Roses. These bare roots look fabulous. Some are going in the ground and some are going in pots.

New Ones: Vanessa Bell, Dame Judi Dench, James L Austin, The Generous Gardener (I already have one and just love it!), Ghislane De Feligonde, Jasmine, and Papi Delbard. I simply cannot wait to see how these beauties grow and bloom! I’ll share!

They are all fabulous, but look at this dreamy Vanessa Bell!! Named for the artist, designer and founder member of the Bloomsbury Group – sister of the writer, Virginia Woolf. (DA)

NOTE: For more tips on spring rose care, read on here.

…TIME TO BUY POTTED ROSES FROM OUR ROSE SOCIETY

The Indianapolis Rose Society had their annual rose sale and the plants were fabulous. I bought 2 David Austins: Queen of Sweden and Wollerton Old Hall. If you are local come and join us, our 2019 Meetings and Events Schedule is posted here.

And, Wollerton Old Hall — Oh my!

Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire, located not far from the David Austin nursery, has one of the most beautiful private gardens in the country. The gardens are set around a 16th Century hall and feature roses in creative plant combinations, including many of our own English Roses. Wollerton Old Hall is open to the public on selected days throughout the summer. Read more here. http://www.wollertonoldhallgarden.com )

…TIME TO ENJOY BLOOM THYME BLOOMS

Isn’t spring just the best… except for those friends are getting pelted with snow as I write. So sorry! Hoping this will be the last.

…TIME TO GET SOME REST

Today I worked a little too hard and a little too long— if you get my drift. 😉😉 Think I should take a cue from our Southern sister Scarlet who said, “tomorrow is another day!” However, I typically run my life in “no time like the present” mode. 😃

Have a wonderful week. I’m heading for a bit more Advil! My body might be tired/sore but my spirit is soaring!

Fairy Chimneys and Cave Dwellers

Seeing is believing!

On our recent trip to Turkey, we saw something that I had to see to believe… Fairy Chimneys and a region filled with caves. This fairyland is called Cappadocia. 

These unusual rock formations are the product of millions of years of wind and water reshaping lava rock from ancient volcano eruptions. It is a feast for your eyes.
 
 
The story behind the story….
 
The caves in the rocks in the town of Göreme became home to early Christians during the Roman period as they fled persecution.
 
While there we visited the Göreme Open Air Museum and our wonderful guide brought this amazing place alive for us. Inside these caves, we found homes, kitchens, a winery and places of worship. Their churches were complete with wall frescoes as you would see of typical, free-standing churches. Amazing paintings that made scripture come alive for them are still beautiful today. I felt so honored to be there. 
 
Hiking around in the caves and through the region gave us a glimpse of their everyday life and an unbelievable appreciation for all they endured and accomplished. We looked in wonder at all that surrounded us. 
 

Until 1965 some of these caves still served as homes. However, the conditions in the caves were deemed a health risk and everyone was relocated.

We did experience cave dwelling while there thanks to HERA CAVES SUITES. So special…

 
 
What a wonderful feeling to be in a region of the world that actually appears in the Bible and to feel a strong kinship with those who worshipped there.
 
Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia. Acts 2:9
 
And, yes … roses.
Even as we hiked through the hills and valleys of this rocky terrain, there were roses. I saw rose bushes (not yet in bloom) in places I NEVER expected to see them and I saw signs in very obscure locations that let me know … I was on the right track.🌹😍
 
 
Each day our refreshment came in the form of wonderful Turkish Tea in my new favorite drinking vessel, Turkish Tea Cups. A new tradition begins…
Thanks for joining me today to share a bit of our adventure.

BLOOM THYME GARDEN UPDATE

The garden is thawing and soon it will be time to prune roses and clean up all the leaves and debris scattered about. I simply can’t wait. I will be following the steps I have lined out in my spring rose care guide here. 

If you have specific questions about spring care in your garden, I’ll be happy to help.

Making progress…

Making progress…

We are definitely making progress! It has been a week of greening and flowering. The birds are loving it and have entertained me all day as I did my own brand of “flittering around the garden” … planting, pruning and even started fertilizing!

Here’s what’s going on.

One of Mr. G’s favorites —  Creeping Phlox is blooming. Listen in, the birds are loving this morning too  …

Roses that were cut back to the ground are coming right along! Whew! Thank goodness!

Still nothing miraculous happening over the arbor. Super. Sad. Face.  😕

Nasturtiums are soaking before getting planted.

Oh, here comes one of my spring favorites … Rhododendrons. 😍

Color me grateful, happy and blessed. And… tired — that good kind of tired that comes from time in the garden. Isn’t that the best tired!

Now, I’m going to go check on those Dogwoods. I hope they have been saying “no” to frost! Temps are still dipping way down at night!

UNTIL NEXT WEEK, HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!