Bloom Thyme Friday: 2020 Standouts: Part 1

For the next few weeks, I want to share with you some of the roses and plants that were standouts this year.

Whether you call her ‘Garden and Home’ or ‘Moonlight in Paris’, she’s still a beauty and a standout in my garden this year!

I was first introduced to this outstanding Delbard rose as ‘Garden and Home’ in the beautiful garden of American Rose Society President, Bob Martin in San Diego, CA. Bob and Dona Martin have one of the prettiest private rose gardens I have ever seen, so to have this rose stand out in a sea of other gorgeous roses is high praise indeed.

Here she is in the Martin’s garden along with a few of her gorgeous neighbors…

Fast forward to spring 2020 when so many things were going wrong! One thing that went so right was my purchase of two of these beauties through the Indianapolis Rose Society’s annual rose sale as ‘Moonlight in Paris.’  These roses were purchased from Lincoln Nursery. 

A BIT OF HER HISTORY (From Help Me Find Website)

This rose was introduced in 2001 in France as ‘Garden and Home’ to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the South African gardening magazine Garden and Home.

Introduced in US by Heirloom Roses, Inc. (USA) in 2011 as ‘Moonlight in Paris’. 

Introduced in US by Certified Roses in 2018 as ‘Moonlight in Paris’.


Also from the Help Me Find Website is winter hardiness information for roses. Moonlight in Paris is recommended for USDA zones 6b through 9b. I garden in 5b, so she will need some winter protection.

Here winter protection for a container rose is either bringing the container into our dark and slightly heated garage and give it some water once a month or taking it out of the container, trimming it back, and burying it. I am still not sure which I will choose but I have had success with both. 

I highly recommend ‘Moonlight in Paris,’ it has been in bloom all summer. Right now the 2nd week of September it is covered in bud and bloom. These blooms are not only the large full old-fashion form that I love, but they also have fragrance!

June Blooms


September blooms.


Good rose friend, Paul Zimmerman, has been singing the praises of Delbard Roses to me for nearly a decade. He was soooo right. I now have ‘Moonlight in Paris’ to go with my two other Delbard Roses that are doing very well too:

Soeur Emmanuelle 

Photo courtesy of Palatine as I can’t find any images of mine!

Papi Delbard (climber)

I couldn’t find a picture of Papi Delbard blooms on my shrub but they are in this bokay… the one closest to my hand and the one at the bottom. Lovely blooms!

If you are interested in purchasing Delbard Roses, you might try these suppliers. And, if you know of other nurseries who are selling these roses, leave a comment below!

Roses Unlimited
Palatine Roses 


Assessing the garden while it is still full of life as you plan for the next year is one of my favorite pleasures of fall. 

Another fall pleasure… As I write, leaves are falling like gentle rain from my huge Skyline Honey Locust. It is beautiful and peaceful. So quickly the landscape changes. 

Wishing you health and safety as we continue to manage through unprecedented times. Aren’t we all ready for PRECEDENTED times!



pH … Only two letters but very important in our garden world.

Most years I test my soil with my Kelway pH meter and things have shown in the normal range. Last year the readings were slightly higher. So, this year since I had so much time on my hands to think about such things, I decided it was a great time to go all the way and have a “professional” soil test.

As you know I have a large garden with different garden “rooms.” I decided to actually do three separate tests. My choice was to test spaces that have the most roses.

Many garden friends recommended Great Lakes Lab so I simply hopped on their website where I found instructions on what to do. (FYI: Cost of these tests was approximately $30 each but you get a wealth of information on your soil!)

The results were back within 10 days. It is fascinating to read all the information. I learned my soil was high in organics! YAY! But it was surprising to see that my pH was reading more alkaline than ever before — 7.0 / 7.2 / 7.4. Roses are happiest and healthiest with a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0 – 6.9. Rosarians strive for 6.5! So my pH was not extremely high, but it’s time to do something about it especially the area that was 7.4. The Great Lakes soil report also contains information on how to correct the situation.

When the pH is too high or too low, your plants can suffer from “malnutrition” as this affects the plant’s ability to take up nutrients. One symptom I had noticed was that a few of my roses were showing some chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves.

There are no quick fixes at changing the pH of your soil – it can be difficult.  But, armed with this new information I am ready to work toward giving the plants what they need. Great Lakes Lab recommended sulfur – 10 lbs of sulfur per 1000 square ft on a yearly basis. Applications should be done in late fall or early spring. Since my pH is not too far from where it needs to be, I will probably only do 2 applications. However, it will take 2-3 years to see change. I’ll have another test in a couple years. If you haven’t had a “professional” soil test done, I would highly recommend you do. As a gardener, you will be fascinated by what you find.

I was very curious as to why the pH was rising each year so I starting asking my local rose society friends. Many have experienced the same thing. It was pointed out that our groundwater is very alkaline and we water from a well. Over time this makes a difference.


The beetle season runs from mid-June to mid-August. This week I only found 3 or 4 beetles. They are gone – right on schedule! If you are wondering how many beetles we had … I can’t tell you how many I have (only to say TOOOOOO many!) But, my rose society friend Mark Nolen, who has grown roses for 50 years and is currently growing more than 300 roses keeps a count each year. They use the bag method and the soapy water bath method. From Mark…

The first year that I have a count is 2001 and we had 73,866 beetles. I had two Japanese beetle bags in 2001 located in my front yard and I estimate there were at least 40,000 beetles in the two bags. Last year we had 5,673 and this year we had 2,525. 


This week all the attention is going to ‘Mother of Pearl’. She is ready to celebrate the end of beetle season and is showing off!

This grandiflora rose from Star Roses and Plants is a standout each year. Beautiful color, light fragrance, and very healthy. One of the things I like best about this rose (other than this amazing color) is that it holds it’s petals for a long time and looks fabulous from a distance even if the blooms are beginning to fade. I purchased mine from Roses Unlimited

These dahlias are certainly “cut and come again” flowers! And they are TALL. I will need to find a new place for them next year.


Favorite bokay this week.


Remember those 13 tomatoes we planted. We have had salads, salsa, bolognese, oven-roasted, and plenty for the freezer!


September is looming so fall is coming soon. Not my favorite season for sure but if I’ve learned anything from COVID, it is to be in the moment and to treasure and be grateful for all things. Yes, this weekend I will celebrate the coming of the new season with a Pumpkin Spice something! Are you a part of the pumpkin spice craze?

Friends, thanks for stopping by! Be safe, healthy, and happy!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

The lazy, hazy days of summer are certainly here!

It is too darn hot to be in the garden much this week and my to-do list is growing by the minute. Things like…

  • Pick leaves on those roses that have decided that August is a good time to say yes to more blackspot.
  • Divide and move perennials.
  • Deadhead spent blooms
  • Look for sales at garden centers (easy one!)
  • Water, water, water
  • Sketch out new areas and sketch tweaks to existing areas.

I bought this graph composition book for $1 a couple of weeks ago in the “back to school” aisle and it has been perfect to make these kinds of notes and sketches. Don’t you love a new composition book of any kind this time of year? And, new pencils and binders and all the school things!!

“Back to School” is difficult this year and that is heartbreaking to me as I have the very best memories of back to school times for myself and my children. Let’s all stop right now and take a minute to pray for the children, parents, and teachers and all that they are dealing with during this most difficult season.



Bokay Days go to a whole new level! Last week when Mr. G saw me packing up various vessels for bokay transport, he went out in his shop and made me this beautiful carrier. He looked at the sizes of vases (spaghetti sauce and jam jars 😉) I usually use and made this beautiful carrier to fit them. It worked perfectly! I have already used my new carrier several times! Mr. G is the very best!


This week I found something in my garden that no rose lover wants to see … RRD (Rose Rosette Disease). I had noticed this rose was beginning to struggle. Then boom, there it was!

I have been growing roses for more than 30 years and have seen plenty of Rose Rosette other places, I have been fortunate to see very little of this in my garden. RRD is caused by a virus (yes another virus you have to hear about) and a tiny mite that carries it to the roses. I am in my garden every day and spotted it at a very very early stage. I dug the rose out and destroyed it.

At the present time, RRD has no cure but there is fabulous research going on and new ways of managing the problem while we search for a cure (sound familiar??). On August 22 at 2 pm there is a premiere of a new project Paul Zimmerman is working on with a team of RRD experts from around the country. You can go HERE to sign up to receive a reminder for the video. The premiere will include live chat with the panel of experts so you can get your questions answered.

Today I chatted with Paul Zimmerman about the project on Rose Chat and that podcast conversation will be released Sunday evening HERE. While you are waiting for that episode to be released you can catch up on the other recent episodes!

I never want to lose a plant to pests or disease, however, I have a long list of other beautiful roses I want to try in my garden and I am on to picking one of those!

Japanese Beetles are still attacking my Quietness roses and a few of my Zinnias but they are few and far between. I will be glad to see them go. If you are new here and want to know more about my experience with Japanese Beetles, read on HERE.


James Austin DA just making this bokay sing!

Sweet Drift

The phlox blooms are beginning to fade but they are still very attractive to the pollinators!

Dahlias in the cutting garden are going to find their way into bokays today!

Flamenco Rosita (Ivor’s Rose)

Fred and family are keeping cool in the pond. Wish it will big enough so that Mr. G and I could join them!

I hear cooler weather is coming next week and I am surely looking forward to it!

Friends, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing well and do take care! Let’s embrace the season and maybe have some ice cream…


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.


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.


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!


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.





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.