BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Spring Excitement

One of my favorite things about Autumn is that as I tweak the garden, dividing plants, and removing undesirables etc., I get so excited for how the “new” garden will look in the Spring. She may be tired now and in need of a good layer of mulch but in the spring she will be glorious! #dreamstage

I have already found 3 prime spaces and will be on the lookout for 3 beautiful, power-blooming, fragrant roses. #reachforthestars  🌟 Do you have a rose recommendation for me? 

And then there’s seed excitement. 🎉 Few things are more exciting to  me in the garden than seeds!  I am gathering seeds, looking for new varieties and ordering seeds!!! SO MUCH FUN. Every time I see my little brown bags of seeds I’ve gathered I get all gushy about spring!  Am I alone???


Proven Winners sent out 4 amazing new hydrangeas that I get to try in my garden. They are planted, watered, mulched and ready to experience an Indiana fall and winter. Look at these beauties…

TUFF STUFF  |  Reblooming Mountain Hydrangea

SIZE: 2-3′ Tall and Wide
ZONES: 4 – 9
SUN/SHADE: 4 – 6 hours of sun preferred

This beauty is said to be cold hardy and heat tolerant. Two attributes that mean a great deal to me! Just look at those beautiful lacecap fowers.

PINKY WINKY PRIME  |  Panicle Hydrangea 

SIZE: 6 – 9′ Tall and Wide
ZONES: 3 – 8
SUN/SHADE: 4 – 6 hours of sun

I have 7 of the original Pinky Winkys and love them but am so excited to try the PRIME version as it is said to have bigger and fuller flowers! Big win!

LET’S DANCE LOVABLE  | Reblooming Big Leaf Hydrangea

SIZE: 3-4′ Tall and Wide
ZONES: 5-9
SUN/SHADE: 4-6″ hours of sun

This lovely has vivid bloom color and glossy foliage with the “super-charged” ability to rebloom! Foliage turns burgundy in the fall.

LET’S DANCE SKY VIEW  |  Reblooming Bigleaf HydRangea

SIZE: 2-3′ Tall and 2-4′ Wide
ZONES: 4-9
SUN/SHADE: 4 – 6 hours of sun

We are constantly hearing that we need more blue in the garden and PW says these are easy to get to turn blue by adding aluminum sulfate if you don’t have acid soil.


I love my Fire Light Tidbit so much I had to add another one. Luckily when I made this big decision to add another, a local garden center had several beauties!! My two will flank a walkway through a section of the garden. 

This is how she looks in my garden this week… A beauty indeed! I just can’t wait until spring and to see both of them in their prime!


Diane Sommers, American Rose Society President

On today’s episode, Diane Sommers, President of the American Rose Society is here to bring us up to date on some exciting projects including their recently launched digital initiative. And, we’ll take a peek into plans for the future.

It was so fun to chat with Diane about our wonderful organization! LISTEN HERE.


This week I tried to make the most of every bloom and share bokays with friends.

One of the most relaxing things to do is watch butterflies in the garden… don’t you think?

Friends, thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to let me know if you have rose recommendations for me!


Recently we spent time in one of the most historical areas of our country. We saw so many beautiful historical sites, homes, and enjoyed many generational traditions.

While there I was able to experience rose garden history as well with a visit to the rose garden at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT — home of the oldest public rose garden in the US. There are over 15,000 rose bushes and 800 varieties of old and new roses. Yes, she is steeped in history. This garden became the first official test garden in 1912 for the American Rose Society founded in 1892, with the idea to test and to provide accurate information about roses for the public.

The Curator of the rose garden is a great garden friend that many of you know, Stephen Scanneillo. We had hoped to meet up but he was away at that time on vacation. He plans to join me in a couple of weeks on the podcast and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of Elizabeth Park garden stories! And no one tells a garden story  quiet like Stephen.

When I first became aware of this garden, like so many others, I was captivated by the beauty of the the row of rose covered arches I saw in pictures. What I didn’t see from those pictures was just how many rows of arches there are. There are 75 arches covering pathways that direct you through section after section of this amazing garden. The structures themselves were so impressive. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be there when the arches are draping in blooms from the ramblers and climbing roses. I’m told that roses on the arbors are… Dorothy Perkins, Romeo, Repeat blooming Hiawatha, Peggy Martin, Party Hardy, White Dorothy, Dr. Van Fleet, Chevy Chase, Perfumed Breeze, Dortmund, Crimson Rambler, and Exclesa.

August in drought conditions is certainly not the kindest month to visit a rose garden, especially on a day that will literally bake you in moments. It’s kind of like having a photoshoot when you’re having a bad hair day! But, it was the day I had. So, we found Mr. G a shady spot in the garden and I set off to take a closer look. The garden did not disappoint!



Stephen sent me these pictures he took when the roses are at peak bloom. 😱🌟


At Elizabeth Park they winter-protect the roses on the arches by using branches that are pruned from the evergreen in the garden!! What a fabulous idea!! 🌟


The heritage roses have their own special place in the Elizabeth Park garden … nestled in a more secluded area surround by beautiful stone walls. Just perfect! Although I only saw a few blooms as most of these roses have their bloom in early June, they do leave behind some very lovely rose hips which was a treat. And, I so enjoyed seeing the name tags telling me who lived there!

Yes, I have to go back!


The Peggy Martin Rose would certainly be a sight to see in June as she has covered the rose garden office wall so beautifully.


Here are the latest podcasts!

Rachel Burlington, Botanic Specialist III-Rose Garden / Curator

Rachel is a very impressive young woman and wears many hats in the world of horticulture. In addition to her work at the Test Garden, she is co-founder of the non-profit, Women in Horticulture and serves on the Pacific Northwest’s Great Plant Picks committee. So much to chat about! LISTEN HERE.


My next chat is with Diane Sommers, President of the American Rose Society. We will be chatting about what’s going on today and take a peek into plans for the future. This one will be “live” this Sunday, September 10th.


All the varmints are feeling the drought too. They are back and tearing through any part of the garden that I have watered. 😱 #catch22  If you’ve never been visited by these kind of critters (groundhogs, raccoons, possoms), let me tell you they are gifted diggers. When they visit it looks like small rototillers have gone through the garden leaving many plant roots exposed and damaged. To be honest we have not kept up with spreading the deterrents mostly because we were traveling and it was so hot. I guess not using the deterrents is the same thing as hanging a welcome sign. …. sigh 😔

I’ve been seeing pictures on social media and hearing horror stories of armadillo damage. Talk about diggers!!! To those of you who deal with armadillos – 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 !


While in Tennessee this spring to speak to a extremely wonderful group of Master Gardeners, I bought a dahlia. Not one I had ever heard of but the name got to me because I had family in CA.

Meet Pacific Ocean … my first “waterlily”  dahlia

Waterlily Dahlias. These blossoms have rounded petals that spiral around tight, slightly flattened centers. Their flawless form makes them popular cut flowers. The plants are typically just 2’ to 3’ tall, yet they produce large blossoms that measure up to 5” across. Waterlily dahlias perform well in large containers and are also good for perennial gardens. -Longfield Gardens 
For more on the different types of Dahlias, read the full article HERE

I didn’t give Pacific Ocean much attention until now as she has been “in captivity” in the dahlia bed that was fenced in from the critters. The fence made it hard to get to her —  for the varmints and for me. 🙄  Well, now she has been sprung and is bringing much joy! 



Zinnias are among the easiest annuals to grow, they produce tons of blooms, come in a wide array of colors, sizes and varieties, and they last forever in a vase. But the very best reason to grow them … they are a feast for the pollinators. Party time! 🐝🥳🐝


Gardens are ever changing – especially now. I’m curious, as you walk in your garden, what plants / flowers are bringing you the most joy in this season?

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, have fun in your garden!


June is National Rose Month. Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war and politics.

Did you know that the rose was almost overshadowed by the marigold? On January 12, 1959, the president of the W. Atlee Burpee Co., David Burpee, wrote newly-elected Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, proclaiming the virtues of the marigold and calling it “the flower of the people.” David Burpee was vigilant in the fight. He was known for using PT Barnum’s model for promotion and advertising — just like his dad! For nearly 10 years Burpee and Dirksen campaigned for the marigold.

Many other flowers were considered too … there were even those who strongly suggested the corn tassel be our national flower. What?


But, we know the end of the story… In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…

“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.

We see proof of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age. We have always cultivated roses in our gardens. Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today. The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States. We find roses throughout our art, music, and literature. We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.

The American people have long held a special place in their hearts for roses. Let us continue to cherish them, to honor the love and devotion they represent, and to bestow them on all we love just as God has bestowed them on us.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 has designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation declaring this fact.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the rose as the National Floral emblem of the United States of America.”




The Rose is the National Floral Emblem and there are so many ways to enjoy roses:

1. Plant a rose bush! Need help? Go to to learn more.
2. Take roses to nursing homes, hospitals, banks and your local library. You’ll brighten someone’s day! Encourage your local library to have a rose book display.
3. Give roses to show your love or friendship. Roses are a favorite gift to receive.
4. Give a gift of a rosebush for a longer-lasting gift. There are so many different kinds of roses to choose from with an end-less variety of colors, including stripes.
5. Visit a botanical garden or a rose garden. You might find inspiration to start your own rose garden or plant a community garden!
6. Take photos of your roses and share with friends in cards, notes and letters. Share with the ARS on our many social media platforms and be sure to tag us, #roses, #nationalfloralemblem
Find us on Social Media here… FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM


The Indianapolis Rose Society is affiliated with the American Rose Society and the Illinois/Indiana District. We are a group of amateur rose growers with varied levels of experience. We have members who are just starting to learn about roses and members who grow from one rose to those who grow 400 roses and are excellent at mentoring. I’m on the board and can tell you first hand it is a lovely group! We’d love to have you join us! For more information read on here.


Fireworks and Fragrance 2023 has begun. The ramblers and old garden roses are going strong. The more modern roses are beginning to come to life – some running a bit late due to the severe trim I had to give them.

The herb garden entrance is flanked buy so much beauty this week! Petite Pink roses, Celsiana and Moje Hammarberg in background, Sweet William in bloom too!

Believe it or not

I have had 3 very unusual things to happen in my Zone 5b garden…

  1. 2 Dahlias that I did not dig up last year are growing – strong! WHAT??
  2. Zinnias self seeded. NO WAY! WAY!
  3. A 7″ lizard crossed in front of me on my way to the potting shed. YIKES!

To my knowledge none of those things have happened before. Mr. G says that our son used to catch little lizards in the garden from time to time, but I guess that somehow alluded me. 😳


For the month of June there are so many great rose chats you won’t want to miss!

Last week’s Rose Chat Was so fun…

Matt Douglas from High Country Roses talked all about Hybrid Musk roses and some new roses he thinks are extra special. LISTEN HERE…


This is the time of year when gardening is SO MUCH FUN. Well, if you discount the fact that every day this week has hovered near 90!! Watching the blooms unfold is like Christmas every day!

Friends stay cool and enjoy your time in the garden and celebrate our national floral emblem!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: And, The Award Goes To…

For the past four years I have been keeping a secret. Something new from my garden … a beautiful sport!

sport in the botany world means a ‘genetic mutation;’ one that has no explanation and no specific rhyme or reason for its occurrence. This process gave me a beautiful gift … a peach sport of the lovely Petite Pink. One of my very favorite roses hybridized by my good friend Dr. David Zlesak. As many of you know I have several Petite Pinks in my garden (9 at this time) and I have given it away as gifts! I love it so. 

So, I have been on a journey to have my beautiful sport tested in trials to watch what it can do. I am happy to report it has done very well in a national, multi-site rose trial managed by the American Rose Society. 

Last week I attended the American Rose Society’s National Convention at the home of America’s Rose Garden in Shreveport, LA. There were many highlights from the convention, but the most special part was when my name was called to come up and receive a certificate that states that Petite Peach™️ (‘BYIbloomthyme’) was awarded the Award of Excellence from the AOE testing program – in the no-spray category. 


In 1973 the American Rose Society Board of Directors established the Award of Excellence to recognize new miniature and miniflora rose varieties of superior quality and marked distinction. Since the inception of the Award, there have been 141 AOE winners. Miniature and miniflora roses which have been in commerce for less than one year, as well as unnamed seedlings or sports, are eligible for evaluation for two to three years in seven AOE public test gardens and two private gardens, spaced geographically across the United States. Since 2013 roses may be entered in a “no spray“ division, a “preventive spray” division or both. Each public garden has an AOE supervisor and five evaluators who score the entries on 11 criteria four times during each growing season. At the end of the trial period, Awards of Excellence are given to deserving entries, with a maximum of five per year. The public test gardens are: American Rose Center, Shreveport, Louisiana; Edisto Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg, South Carolina; Farmers Branch Public Rose Garden, Farmers Branch, Texas; International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon; Mesa Community College Garden, Mesa, Arizona; Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo, Ohio; and Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

The official public announcement of the Award of Excellence winner(s) is made each year in American Rose and at the awards banquet of the ARS National Rose Show and Conference. After two years of evaluation (three for climbers) four Award of Excellence winners are selected.


Isn’t she lovely! These sweet apricot/peach colored blooms keep going all summer long on a small bush that fits into any garden as well as containers. It is great as a cut flower too!

Height: 2-3′

Width: 2-3′

Bloom Type: Double / Sweetheart Size (1″)

Bloom Repeat: All season

Disease Resistance: Extremely Resistant

Hardiness Zones: 4 and up


For many years I have been ordering roses from High Country Roses and find them to be outstanding performers. They come to you small but mighty and catch up quickly. Some of my favorites from High Country: Earth Angel, Ghislane de Feligonde, Veilchenblau, Dalow’s Enigma, Ispahan, Kazanlik, and Banshee High Country. 

I am so happy to partner with Matt at High Country Roses for the release of Petite Peach™️.

Additional details on the rose and how to purchase are HERE… 


I am thrilled that this beautiful sport came to me through David’s work. His friendship, mentorship and help through this process have been invaluable. Petite Peach™️ and I are so very grateful. 

David’s rose work has given us so many beautiful roses for our gardens…

  • Petite Pink
  • Above and Beyond
  • The Pretty Polly Series
  • OSO Easy Peasy
  • Smoothie
  • Candy Oh
  • Gaye Hammond


The ARS put on a fabulous convention in the newly renovated AMERICA”S ROSE GARDEN. The garden is amazing, the speakers were outstanding, the tours were over the top! Here’s a mini slideshow…

my Partner’s in crime for the week

THe Award celebration

It was fun to go, but it’s so good to be home. The garden is changing every day!

Until next time… have fun in your garden! 🌹🌼🌸

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: A season of Ups and Downs

2022 had its ups and downs around here for sure. 

Our garden season started out extremely wet. We had so much rain right up to my open garden on June 12. I almost cancelled because it was pouring rain and the garden had standing water! I started hearing from people early morning to see if the garden would still be open. So I sent out a message that if we were in England we would not stop the show for rain, so grab your umbrella and  don your wellies — the garden is open. And so many did – it was such a fun day.  (More about open garden here.)

30 minutes before the open garden was to begin, the rain stopped, the sun came out, the clouds moved away  and did not return for weeks and weeks and weeks.. We had very little measurable rainfall all summer. We do not have a drip system. Hand watering is what happens here but hand watering was complicated by those hot hot hot days. 🔥 The gardener was hot!

Regardless of the weather scenario, we had beautiful flowers! Many plants just didn’t care about the conditions. Many roses bloomed and bloomed. Zinnias were fabulous. With less moisture, there was less mildew pressure for them. Also fabulous were snapdragons, lisianthus, phlox, foxglove, alliums and all the herbs – they like it hot!



For the first time  I planted tomato seeds using the winter sowing method. (More about winter sowing here.)

I put them outside in a jug on April 2, left them alone and had amazing plants in mid May ready to take their place in Mr. G’s driveway garden. The 3 varieties I planted in this jug were Gardener’s Delight, Steak Sandwich and Beefsteak.


One thing I’m glad I did but won’t do again was starting dahlias from seed. My germination rate was fabulous and I had many plants to put in my garden and share with others but none of them turned out to be varieties that I really wanted in my garden. I’ll admit to being a bit picky about what goes in my garden, so there’s no need to plant something that will be that much of a surprise. 😳


During the distracting heat of summer, stealthily, Ms Midge crept into the garden.  When the final flush or should I say “big finish” should be happening, I found this…

What looks like burnt match sticks where beautiful blooms should be. Luckily it was not all over the garden but without treatment it soon could be.

The mosquito looking Midge has been  stealing rose blooms for a long time.  I’ve read that the earliest recorded information is from 1884 when midge was wreaking havoc in greenhouses growing roses in New Jersey.

My first encounter with Midge was about 10 years ago. At an ARS IL IN District meeting I had the chance to talk about this problem with Dr. Andy Plasz. Andy is not only a rose expert and wonderful teacher, but before retirement Andy was Director and Global Head of Analytical Chemistry Research for Abbott Laboratories. He had a lot to say about my midge problem as he was dealing with the same problem in  his garden.

His counsel was so needed as I do not spray for bugs and had no knowledge of what to do.

His recommendation was a product called Cyonara – spraying in early spring as roses are coming back to life and then again 3 weeks later. I hate to bring out the insectide but I do want blooms on my roses so…. Cyonara helped me then and I’m sure it will help me now.

More information: If you would like to read a comprehensive article on Rose Midge, my good friend and rose expert John Hefner wrote an excellent article for the Indianapolis Rose Society. You can read the article HERE

SIDE NOTE: We had far fewer Japanese Beetles this year. I guess they don’t like it so hot.


While I am not crazy about fall, I am completely crazy about the holiday season that starts around here on November 1. We don’t skip over Thanksgiving – in fact it is one of our very favorite holidays but we are known to start listening to a bit of subtle Christmas music and start adding twinkle lights on November 1. 🎄 Well, to be honest we are not so subtle about it… we are rocking out to everything from Bing Crosby to Mannheim Steamroller and beyond!

Yes, November and December give us so much to look forward too. Extra time with family and friends. Amazing food. And, a more focused season of gratitude.

Friends, I am so grateful to you for sharing my garden world. While we are talking about sharing, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? Mine is dressing (stuffing) and a cranberry dish we affectionately call Christmas Cran. (Recipe here.)  

SIDE NOTE: If you are an ARS member you will soon be receiving their beautiful magazine AMERICAN ROSE soon. This is their special annual edition. When you open you magazine, you might just see a familiar garden – Bloom Thyme. 😁 If you are not a member of the American Rose Society … take the plunge today and jump into the world of roses! Read more about that here…

Until next time ….

Bloom Thyme Friday: It’s Painfully True

Yes, it is painfully true that I have an over the top case of the garden gimmies – I want way too many plants for spring. Mamma Berenstain Bear would be taking me to task about it too. And, I would plead my case while I submit these pictures for review….

Are you with me? All of these catalogs are just yummy but the David Austin catalog this year is a work of art! It just came yesterday so I haven’t had a chance to go page by page, but I will. #gimmies Wish me luck. Or not. 😍


Roses on Order…


I ordered two more to add to the two I have in the garden now. Remember those from last summer…

Easy Care.
Light Fragrance.


I hear from Paul Zimmerman (Paul Zimmerman Roses) who grows a number of the Delbard roses that they, “some of the finest roses you will ever grow.” They are easy care, fragrant and show-stopping beautiful. They are not as easy to find in this country yet, so if you are looking for Delbards, try Palatine (while they last) and Roses Unlimited (864-682-7673) (while they last). All of the roses I have received from these companies have been high quality!


I happen to know that Palatine is now sold out of this rose but they have so many other beauties!!




Because I can’t get enough of roses that ramble! This rose is shade tolerant — a very good thing in my garden as I watch my tree get bigger and bigger each year. Roses, in general, need 6 – 8 hours of sun. And all do better if they get that much sun I believe. So I will try to put her in as much sun as possible. She is also fragrant and a repeat bloomer. I CAN’T WAIT!! And look at those colors. Yum!


This climber is from the Kordes collection known for hardiness, beauty and fragrance. I plan to station Laguna at one of the entrances to our garden! Bill Kozemchek tempted me with the rose from his garden last summer….

If you want another great suggestion for a climber, try Jasmina. I have 2 baby ones and they have done very well. Another Kordes that is beautiful, easy to care for and fragrant.

Bill’s Jasmina is not so small anymore. Look at this gorgeous one. Hopefully, mine will grow leaps and bounds the year!

To see more of Bill’s garden you can follow him on Facebook HERE.


Another source of outstanding roses from old garden roses to modern! I bought 2 Veilchenblau from them last summer — when it was so hot and they arrived in wonderful shape and did extemely well when added to the garden!

I have another Harison Yellow and a Madam Plantier coming from High Country.

And then there are SEEDS!

There are several seeds on my list too. So far I have only purchased Zinnias when I found what I believe will be the perfect color. Last year we had some Zinnia “color issues”. My California Giant mix was very prolific and beautiful but many of them were orange tones … not the best look with all the pinkness going on in my garden. I hope these pretty Enchantress Zinnias will be enchanting and fit right in.

Gimmies??? Yes, because I want most of the roses I see, and plants and seeds, but I’m working on it and Mr. G is helping with his “looks.” Not quite Momma Berenstain bear looks, but effective. 😉 I have more than one gift certificate and they make all the difference. My family and friends know what to “buy” me!


Last weekend, I was scheduled to go to St Louis to speak to a rose society, but instead, I was home with Mr. G watching the snow fall. The postponed invitation was extended again for today… We are home again waiting for even more snow.

If you are in the Crown Point, IN area on Feb 8, I will be speaking to the Lake County Master Gardeners about NEW ROSES FOR TODAY’S GARDENS. Come join us!


While we wait for spring, God shows us that “to everything, there is a season.” — A BEAUTIFUL SEASON! And, we are grateful.

Beautiful Work at the Biltmore

Every weekend I spend judging at the Biltmore International Rose Trials is a weekend immersed in beauty at every turn…

Beautiful friends.
Beautiful roses.
Beautiful place.
And, Beautiful Hats!

George Vanderbilt was serious about hospitality and horticulture and his legacy continues. It is the perfect place for such an event!

Friday evening we have a chance to meet new friends and renew cherished friendships in the rose garden … sipping wine and enjoying yummy food.


Saturday morning we begin our “work”… with a delicious cup of coffee as we watch the enchanting fog lift over the garden. Then with clip boards in hand, we are up closed and personal with the roses.


Biltmore Winners 2018 Awards Day
Roses Entered in 2016

Oso Easy Urban Legend (R.’ChewPatout’) 
Chris Warner – Spring Meadow Nursery

  • Lord Burleigh Award for Best Disease Resistance
  • Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose
  • Purchase this rose here.


Princesse Charlene De Monaco (Meidysouk)
House of Meilland – Star Roses & Plants

    • Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose
    • George and Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose
    • Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea


Highwire Flyer (Radwire)
William Radler – Star Roses and Plants

  • Gilded Age Award for Climbing Rose
  • William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit


Shining Moment (Radshining)
William Radler – Star Roses and Plants

  • Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda


Paul Zimmerman: 

Sending special thanks to Paul Zimmerman for his vision and his hard work as Coordinator of the Biltmore rose trials.

  • Because of his work, both professional and amateur hybridizers have a greater chance for their creations to be known.
  • Because of his work, the backyard gardener has more beautiful options for their gardens!
  • Because of his wonderful work, ARS President Pat Shanley awarded him a Presidential Citation for a job well done.

Congratulations Paul!

Paul, me and Parker

Parker Andes:

Pat gave another much deserved Presidential Citation to Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture , for his work and dedication to this project. Parker and his teams ensure the Biltmore gardens are at their best and stay true to the Vanderbilt vision.

And, special thanks to David Pike, CEO of Witherspoon Rose Culture and John Beaty of Beaty Fertilizers for sponsoring our cocktail party and awards luncheon. We sure appreciate you!


Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!


If you are familiar with the movie A GOOD YEAR you might remember this quote… “all she needs is a fresh coat of paint and a good scrub.” This a family favorite movie so I have enjoyed that quote many, many times.

This summer marks 20 years that my dream of a potting shed/office became reality. Mr. G out of love for me and the secret desire to reclaim some of our home from all the garden stuff, built this tiny bit of heaven for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought of the movie quote while standing in my potting shed. Summers are a time of gathering things in the potting shed and little time to tidy things up. So, as I stood in the middle of all the stuff, I thought YIKES I think she “needs a fresh coat of paint and a good shrub.” So it began … moving stuff —lots and lots of stuff.

While moving things around I unearthed so many memories!

Catalogs from the 80s and 90s…

Then and now, I love pouring over catalogs!

Receipts from Jackson and Perkins test panel roses (Anyone remember those?) I had high hopes that one of my test panel roses would “take off” and I would be able to officially name one for my daughter.

Picture from the early 90s… (Sorry for the blurry picture of a picture.)

So many fragrant petals. In those days I dried roses, herbs and flowers to make wreaths and other garden crafts to sell at a local garden center. SO MUCH FUN.

And, while digging in the garden last week I also unearthed a plant tag from Jackson and Perkins, Medford Oregon…. Not sure of the date, but I haven’t grown roses in the place I found this tag since the late early 90s. Note the AARS trademark.

It was  a lot of fun to see old things again and walk down memory lane. Many of the roses in the pictures I no longer have.

Tastes change.

Garden conditions change.

Little trees grew.

Large trees were hit by lightening.

A few pests showed up.

Sustainable growing practices became more important.

Some things hold true. I was over the moon about roses and all their companions then and I continue to be today. The garden has always been a balm for my soul; the place where my creativity soars; a place where I have the closest connection to the Creator. 



Mother of Pearl and neighbors

Mother of Pearl bud


Yes, a fresh coat of paint and a good shrub was just what was needed….

… plus a new lamp, a super cute spool of jute (thanks Lacey) and a cute baby boy pic!

Zinnias out growing their space and bringing in the butterflies and hummingbirds.

Come on in and get a drink!

A very welcome visitor

Trek to the Herb Garden

Popcorn Drift …. verrrry pretty.

Mother of Pearl again … I can’t get enough.

Evening view from the potting shed porch.



Bloom Thyme Friday: Hydrangeas stealing the show!

Before we get to the blooms, let’s talk about my current little obsession … bottle brushes. I will never know why it has taken me this long to buy a set of bottle brushes but it did. Since I have a thing about glass, and glass comes to me from a variety of places, I am always removing labels and cleaning bottles and jars. These new brushes have simply changed my life — for the better. #happydance #iloveglass You can find more about my obsession with glass here.


There’s plenty blooming in the garden although not too many roses as I trimmed them back to discourage the Japanese Beetles. It has worked, they are fewer in number at this time. Perhaps there is another reason for fewer of them in the garden since Mr. G found and hung the Japanese Beetle Traps — one of his obsessions. Once the beetles were here, the traps few off the shelves. Note to: Tell Santa about Mr. G’s obsession with Japanese Beetle traps. #stockingstuffer  I know there are conflicting reports and thoughts on the beetle traps BUT, I live with and love Mr. G and we go with his thoughts on this one — he has done plenty of research. And puts them way out to the edge of our property!

Now for the hydrangeas! (Maybe another obsession, but we are NOT going there.)

One hydrangea is threatening to block my way into the potting shed. I don’t mind at all, it is a beautiful welcome!

Little Limes framing our entrance.

A very healthy Bobo. I have 6 of these. #favorite

Hedge of Annabelles

Limelight starting to bloom


Sally Holmes and her neighbors.

I never tire of the lovely blooms on Ping Lim’s Music Box from the Easy Elegance Collection.

Comte de Chambord and neighbors – over the top pink! LOVE!

Oh I love this rose — Flamingo Rosita!!

Not sure what this Zinnia is reaching for but I love this color.

The Fawn is staying under the radar and the Japanese Beetles aren’t finding her.

Common Phlox   An over achiever — beautiful but I have to keep my eyes on this one.

Dare I say it … when I see these, I think fall. 🙁



The Indianapolis Rose Society is hosting the ARS Illinois Indiana District Conference and Rose Show Sat, Sept 8, 10 am – 4 pm — at the 4H Fairgrounds in Lebanon! (FYI: I will be installed as the new District Director in October!)

Cost for the public to attend the educational sessions is $10. We have some of the best of the best speakers coming from around the country and these sessions have been approved for Master Gardener Educational Credit. Click here to see the list of speakers! We would love to see you there! I guarantee you will have fun, learn a ton and see some of the prettiest roses on the planet!! There is even a lunch option too! ALL THE DETAILS HERE! 

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! Send me any questions you might have!