BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Climbing Roses and Fall Treats

We’ve had some beautiful weather — just perfect to work on the climbing roses and I have several! If you are interested, here they are….

  • Peggy Martin (3)
  • New Dawn (3)
  • Jasmina 
  • Francis E. Lester (more rambler than climber)
  • Ghislaine de Feligonde 
  • Bathsheba
  • The Generous Gardener (2)
  • Veilchenblau 
  • Papi Delbard
  • Honeymoon Arborose
  • Lady Ashe

Mercy, I sort of forgot I had so many until I wrote the list! I told Mr. G this week I really do not need any more climbers. 🙄  I hope he forgets I said that. 

I love them! Nothing adds charm and beauty to a cottage garden like climbing roses (or clematis for that matter but that’s a story for another day). 


So, do climbing roses actually climb? NO, they send out long arching canes that we shape and secure. 
In the last few weeks, my climbers have been sending long, long canes. Some are 10’ – 15’.

So, I am doing “ladder time.” Even though I am not the most comfortable on a ladder and even though I do get the occasional prick. (Ever tried to tie up New Dawn??? OUCH.) .. I consider it a wonderful job. While up there I am looking over the garden – making plans as I gaze. And while I am shaping up the climbers, I almost get giddy as I visualize how gorgeous they will be in the spring as a result of my love touch. 


A question I hear often is “why do my climbing roses only bloom on the tips?” The answer to that question is they bloom on laterals. So to produce more lateral canes, you need to secure the long main canes horizontally – this forces lateral growth all down the cane and those laterals will bear flowers.  Note: Work with your canes to gently shape – not a harsh angle that might damage the cane. Ask me how I know this…. Yes, experience. 🤦‍♀️ 

This is my 1st year Peggy Martin secured this way…
Fifth-year Peggy Martin – secure and happy…

Another common question is what do I use to tie my roses. 

As you can imagine through the years I have used just about everything — including pantyhose – and they work. #truth  However, my tie of choice is the green stretchy tape. Check it out on Amazon here


My rule of thumb is don’t do an overall prune of climbers — especially for the first three years while they are getting established. Pruning climbing roses is very different from pruning shrub roses or hybrid teas. Your task from the start and ongoing will be to trim out dead, diseased, or any cane that does not contribute to the overall health and beauty of the rose. As you watch your climbing rose grow you will begin to see what I mean. #trustme 


Just in time for Halloween, I have a scary video for you to watch. Be sure you watch all the way to the end! In this video, Ben Hanna, owner of Heirloom Roses, is pruning his very established climbing roses. Even I panic when I watch this video. In 15 minutes he will terrorize and teach you!

REMEMBER, STAY UNTIL THE END and see the rewards!

Another pruning video that is very helpful and not quite so scary is this video by Paul Zimmerman. Paul will entertain you and educate you on the many facets of training roses! 

Favorite line from this video… “sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind to the rose.” #truth 

As with all plant care, visit your plants regularly and they will help guide you to what they need. 


We started the week with one night dipping down to 32 and some of the roses didn’t like it. Some of them didn’t mind at all. 


If you are like me and your garden season is ending, start following Michele Endersby on Facebook or Instagram. Her season is just getting started. Her artist’s eye and love of roses might just get us through the winter. 


One of our family’s favorite fall treats is CARAMEL DIP for apples. (You can dip anything you want but yummy fall apples are ooh la la!)

I have been making this simple recipe for more than 30 years. I first put it on my blog in 2012 and it continues to be one of the most downloaded pages. If you want to see the original post, read on here.


1 Package of Kraft Caramels  Note: I buy Kraft Caramels in 11oz packages (40 caramels)
1 Stick of Butter
1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

That’s it! Stir over low heat until everything is melted and blended. This takes about 20 minutes.

Do stir constantly … this mixture BURNS VERY EASILY!! 

I love packaging the dip in little jelly jars … 15 – 30 seconds in the microwave and it is perfect. If they last long enough, store in the refrigerator!

What are your favorite fall treats?


Next time we might have to talk about bulbs. Little boxes keep being delivered. Kinda like Christmas!

Until then, be happy and safe my friends. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Has your weatherman been cussing?

This week a friend told me that she actually heard the weatherman say, “today I’m going to use the “F” word.” All gardeners in my zone know exactly what that means. 🥶FROST🥶. The beginning of the end. 😩 

So far we have hovered over the frost line but not by much. Our typical “frost date” is October 10 but we’ve had snow in early October so best to be ready. Around here we have launched into winter prep at warp speed. Finalizing projects, getting plants planted, gathering and cleaning up containers for storage, finish tying up climbers, and my biggest job – taking down THYME OUT. It’s been a spring and summer of incredible fun setting up and working in this space! If you are new here, you may not know the background, so here is where we started and where we are now.

Once there was a potting bench in a cultivated area… but slowly over time the horrible, invasive Japanese Honeysuckle (link) took over and choked out all the pretty stuff. Well to be honest Japanese Honeysuckle is pretty with the fragrant blooms and pretty berries. But, it takes over and chokes out everything in its path.

Last fall I took my handy recip saw and got started clearing Japanese Honeysuckle. Little did I know that we would have so much extra time in the spring ! Our first COVID project was what became THYME OUT – my outdoor workspace. There was plenty to do, cut down trees, remove debris, stumps, bring in extra soil, put up some fencing and Mr. G added to his list — building my work tables. Let it be known… I only wanted one small table. 😳 He had extra time and as he watched me work in the space, he said you need more! Yay!!! What a gift! I practically emptied the potting shed with pots and tools! Now it’s “Thyme” to take everything back inside for the winter.


While we are on the subject of COVID projects…

One evening I dreamed out loud about having some small countertop size drying boxes. 

The next day Mr. G said, “What size do you want the boxes? I have some extra wood!” 😳 WOW. Having so much time at home sure changed production time! In a few days, I had these! They are 9″ x 13″ and fit in so many places!

Up in the attic, there are large drying racks that I used back in the day when I made herbal arrangements, wreaths, and Christmas Tree Decor as a little “cottage industry.” But these boxes are just the perfect size for drying herbs for cooking and for tea! ☕️

Tea is almost ready. (Rose Petals, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Spearmint, Peppermint, and Sweet Mint)



This year we’ve needed less thinking time and more doing time! And, our answer to that was PROJECTS. We have always been a project family (Just ask our kids – they are project people too!) and this works for us. Were there projects that you were able to accomplish with your extra time?

I’ve always heard that when God closes a door, he opens a window. These days I  that happening over and over. While we are so grateful for what we do have, we never stopped missing our family, friends, and freedoms. And pray for the days when we are together again. 


Don’t tell ‘The Faun’ winter is coming soon, she is happily in denial!!  #metoo 



With the chill in the air, we decided to make chili. We used a new recipe from John and Donna Hefner. This is the recipe that John likes to make for Colt’s tailgating and we had the opportunity to try this chili at a chili cookoff for the Indianapolis Rose society a couple of years ago. It is so good … so if you want to try a chili recipe that has a special ingredient… here you go.

Yes, cocoa!!



Friends, take care, and let’s keep getting creative with how we can safely fill our days and live out our purpose. I’d love to hear your ideas! 😘

Bloom Thyme Friday: 2020 Standouts: Part 2

In the spring I was gifted two ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ Caryopteris shrubs to test in my garden. They have reached the status of 2020 Standout for sure

  • I love the color of the leaves.
  • I love the compact size.
  • I love the blooms. 
  • And, most of all I love how well it pairs with Music Box roses. 

I have several Music Box roses and they are standouts every year but adding ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ as a companion turned out to be a great decision. Just look at how fabulous these two neighbors work together. 

Even though my garden is a cottage style garden and it is packed with many, many plants, I am careful about neighbors for the roses. Roses need good air circulation and are extremely grateful for plants that can help hide their “naked knees” that tend to happen by summer’s end. And, summer’s end is when ‘Lil Miss Sunshine’ goes from a pretty little shrub to a STANDOUT. Look at these soft, lovely, blue blooms…  What better colors to pair with Music Box. These two plants have been so good together all year. I will be adding more Lil Miss Sunshines in the future and if you are in Zones 5 – 9, you might want this little cutie too.

Music Box is more vibrant this time of year.
Don’t you just love these beautiful blooms! Pollinators sure find them yummy. More info Lil Miss Sunshine here

Hydrangeas are just wonderful right now and ripe for the picking. This week I made an arrangement for our dining room table.

If you would like to see the process for holding a large arrangement in a small container, here you go…

It is so fun to work on projects outside as the weather has been just about perfect. While we badly need rain, it’s hard to complain about 75 and sunny every day. The night temps are dipping closer and closer to frost and I am getting things ready to come inside. Which means reorganizing the Potting Shed! It will be my place to “garden” for the winter.


The garden still has some beautiful blooms…

Mr. G and Me

This week is the 43rd anniversary of me and Mr. G starting our lives together and we are happier every year. Yes, like all of you, life has thrown us curve balls out of nowhere but we stay anchored to God and to each other and are committed to being each other’s best friend, support system and very best cheerleader. Plus, he is just the cutest thing! Look what he served me on the start of our anniversary week. He knows me well – COFFEE!!!

This was last September at the Biltmore International Rose Trial…

As you look at this sweet cup of coffee (and it was outstanding), know this, Mr. G is not the most comfortable man in the kitchen. But he does believe in having the right tools. So, when he decided he wanted to make me a special drink he found the right tool – a frother! We are putting it to good use! In our life together we have learned that it is the little things we do that add up to the big things! Note: During lockdown, he is learning more and more about cooking and is proving to be a very apt student! 🥰  If you would like to make someone’s day … here’s a link to the frother!  I highly recommend it!   

I hope you and your friends and family are enjoying the beauty of fall and continue to be safe and healthy!🍂 What are the little things in your life that are meaning so much these days?


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.


Tis’ the season to” take note”. I love notes and lists. Like Santa, I’ll be making lists and checking them twice. My lists will include plant winners, losers, and new ideas!


One of the things that becomes so obvious this time of year is who has outgrown their space and needs dividing or who needs to be replaced. As well as, where the garden design may need a tweak. This is one of my favorite parts. I really have to hold myself back from letting my creative juices go too crazy and start tearing out too much. But, it’s hard as there are so many new plants and so many new ideas! Right?! Mr. G and “his look” will help keep me in check. 😉

I can tell you now that my tall Bright Eyes phlox have suffered this year with powdery mildew. It’s been so hot and so humid that it is no surprise! White Bright Eyes not only suffered she was engulfed to the point I cut her all the way back. So I need to rethink her prominence in one of my garden beds.


You have heard me talk about my love for oriental lilies and how I went the extra effort to save them from the late freeze. Well, most of my effort was in vain — as I feared it would be. So, when I did leave the house for the first time … I headed to Lowes and quickly grabbed several things including several bags of lilies. Remember those weird, scary first times to be out this spring – masked, gloved with heads down. Regardless of the shopping trauma, I was thrilled to see my fav Casa Blanca lily bulbs and bought two bags. To date, ALL of them have bloomed deep pink. BUMMER. 

I have already placed an order for Casa Blanca lilies at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs – a much safer bet on getting what’s on the label I think. I have never had this happen before but this is a very different year!  

From last July…

Today … whoever she is, she’s pretty but kinda clashy with my apricot roses. 😏


I don’t know about you but I love buckets, especially metal buckets! And, if you visit my garden you will see buckets strewn around in almost every garden bed. Sometimes visible and sometimes tucked away almost hidden. They are there for those times I go to the garden just to walk about and things need a trim. I ALWAYS take snips with me. LOL And, most ALWAYS need them. 

This time of year you will also see little buckets with soapy water dotting the area and dead JBs. But, you don’t need to see that again this week. My post a few weeks back was surely enough to hold you on that one. 🙄 If there is anything you want to see or know about Japanese Beetles, you can “experience” that on the previous post HERE.


There are so many wonderful people in my garden world but Jan Bills is one of the most wonderful of all. In her book, LATE BLOOMER, a book of tips and tricks around gardening in the second half of life, she includes a Pink Bucket Challenge


“Each day after work (NOTE: she designs and installs gardens for others), I challenge myself to get in my garden accompanied by a $5 pink bucket purchased at a local garage sale. My objective is two-fold: visit and weed my gardens daily without feeling inundated while serving two important facets of life: my health and my gardens. Once my bucket is full, I retreat or not, the choice is mine. This stress-free and trouble free practice gives me permission to do only what is reasonably required and expected. I set the parameter and expectation. This simple little ritual leaves me guilt-free and weed-free. Perhaps you’ll grab a bucket, fill it once or twice and then retreat to your favorite garden chair. I believe it is just as important to be present in our gardens as it is to work in them.” Jan Coppola Bills.

Thanks Jan!

I truly believe that gardeners of every age and stage need reminders and permission to just “be” in their gardens. 


This sweet bucket comes from Mr. G’s dad’s family. They were farmers. This was a simple tool used in their everyday life. No matter what’s inside this bucket, it is always filled with memories. When beloved family members are no longer with us, the simple things from their everyday life go straight to our hearts and keep us connected. Don’t you think?

I especially love this bucket when it is filled to the brim with delicious bokay makers!


We are moving to that stage where colors are getting intense making me so glad to see all my white hydrangeas who calm things down. While I was taking pics this week of my hydrangeas, I had to come to terms with just how many I have. So I made a list! 😲

  • 7 Annabelles
  • 13 BoBos
  • 3 Little Limes
  • 4 Pinky Winkys
  • 2 Limelights
  • 3 Twist and Shouts


Just had to share…. I am one of those people who go to bed excited about the first cup of coffee I will have the next day. So, imagine how happy I was to see this bit of health care wisdom on social media this week. HAHA


Friends, so glad you stopped by.

It’s still crazy out there in the world. I am praying that you are well and have plenty of time this week to grab your favorite “health care” drink and just “be” in your garden and enjoy all that God has provided. 😘


This week has been so nice …  temps in the 80s with a bit of rain and loads of sunshine. Aren’t such days just the best! Especially right in the middle of summer!

I have been able to spend so much time in THYME OUT! I know as a child that has a different meeting but that is the name of my new outside potting space. Seriously, pinch me! 

This week Mr. G made the last of my “furniture” for “Thyme Out”…  a framed piece of fencing to go over one of the work tables. I LOVE fencing and use it everywhere I can. I can’t believe this is my workspace. Happy retirement to me! So grateful. 

I find I use this space almost on a daily basis… planting seeds, taking cuttings, and keeping things “potted up.” It is the perfect place to have my early morning routine of coffee and devotions.


This week I got back to work on my topiary projects I started last year and even started some new ones! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that video. For my local friends, that covered wire I featured was bought at Franks Nursery and Crafts. Yes, that sure “dates” that wire!

I might have mentioned to Mr. G that I was concerned about what would happen this winter to Thyme Out and maybe we need to enclose this whole space. He rolled his eyes and went about his business. He’s smart. 😉


They are still here and still disgusting but they are certainly fewer than last year and I am grateful for that. 

Rose blooms are precious and few. Most of the roses have been “cut back” so that they aren’t as attractive to the Japanese Beetles.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that the old garden rose Queen of Denmark who was not blooming was being devoured! It isn’t just the blooms they want. They are also devouring my pole beans! #nastycreatures


Calypso (Easy Elegance) just keeps going - defying the heat and the beetles.

Loving the Stokes Asters right now as they nestle up to the daylilies and BoBo Hydrangea!

New to my garden, Dame Judi Dench – David Austin

Good bug / Bad bug

It is finally oriental lily season! I was not sure how many we would have this year. Remember that nasty May FREEZE. We covered all we could but not all of the lilies were protected and many were damaged and are not blooming this year. But some of there are spectacular!

I had a special bokay to make recently and wasn’t sure if the garden had any roses to add but I found some! 

The peachy rose closest to my hand in the bokay above is Papi Delbard. Isn’t it just stunning!

Papi Delbard is a fairly new rose to my garden. Beautiful, fragrant and healthy! For many years I have heard about the Delbard roses from great rose friend Paul Zimmerman. So glad I now have a few of them! I purchased mine from Palatine Roses. They are also available from Roses Unlimited. You might want to take a look!


If you’ve grown roses for very long, you have most likely had to learn about the dreaded Rose Rosette Disease. 

Recently I chatted with the very popular Dr. Mark Windham, Distinguished Professor in Ornamental Pathology at the University of Tennessee. He shares the latest news on a very unpopular subject RRD. Mark talked about where the research stands at this time as well as the research funding and he reminds home gardeners what to look for, where to find the correct information and what to do.

Listen Here.

Friends, so glad you stopped by today!

Wishing you good health, cooler temps and plenty of blooms.