It was as though when the calendar said “first day of summer,” there was an explosion of color. Summer bloomers joined the spring perennials and early roses held on longer than usual. Peggy Martin still looks fabulous from afar. I love how her blooms dry in place – giving her the look of a painting that just lasts and lasts.
Many have asked me to do online tours. My answer to that was to start posting longer videos to an Instagram IGTV channel — complete with bird song and neighborhood activities like mowing lawns and motorcycles, etc. 😳 You can find those HERE.
Last week on Rose Chat I chatted with Ping Lim the creator of the Easy Elegance Rose Series and a New Series called True Bloom. Ping is a great rose friend and it was great to hear his heart for people and roses and his way of bringing them together. You can listen to the chat here.
GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS…
The temperatures this week have been perfect. It has been so nice to spend time in the garden. The roses and their companions are going strong but the Japanese Beetles have decided to join the party. Only a few so far but we’ll talk more on that next week.
Until next time…
I’ll leave you with the bokay I made this week entirely from my favorite Easy Elegance Rose, Music Box.
This week I had some extra time to just “be” in my herb garden. It is a very special place for me. The fence was the first structure that Mr. G built for me after we moved into our “new” home. That was over 30 years ago. Pardon me while I shed a few tears. Looking back, 30 years seems like a blink… have you noticed that — looking back is like a quick vapor and looking ahead seems like forever. Those 30 years are filled to the brim with memories. Mr. G building the fence with 2 littles in tow. My daughter and son planting seeds; picking herbs we would use in cooking; harvesting lavender and other flowers and herbs that we used in crafts — some we sold as the Ladybug Herb Garden. (My daughter’s “baby” name was Ladybug.)
I wish I had a list of all the herbs, veggies, cutting flowers and roses (they’re herbs too) that have had a home in this happy, fragrant 16’ x 18’ space.
Let me show you around…
Basil that has gone to seed and making the pollinators happy growing in a tangle with chives and a very prominent black eyed susan that I didn’t plant. It is always a big surprise as to where the black eyed susans will show up each year!
Thyme that makes it’s way into egg salad, chicken salad and bean dishes. And is the perfect ground cover for herb gardens.
Zinnias and Cosmos (Mr. G’s Fav) running amuck in that beautiful way they do in the fall.
Nasturiums — because they are so dependably pretty and fun to add to salads.
Lambs Ears because of it’s color, texture and the fact that every child loves it. Behind the Lambs Ears is the lovely ‘Pretty Polly’ Almond scented geranium.
Okra … that should have been picked last week. Note: I don’t have a full on vegetable garden but add favorite veggies here and there around the garden, on the deck and on the driveway!
Banana peppers … that should have been picked last week. Zinnias were hiding them.
Chard … for smoothies and just for pretty.
Rosemary … because it’s beautiful, fragrant, delicious and has been used for years in a family favorite recipe – rosemary baked potatoes!
Plants that are here but have finished for the season…
Peonies, yarrow, sweet peas, sweet william and larkspur had their moment and have come and gone. The world they lived in was much more tame! Look, no jungle in late May!
Herbs you don’t see in my “Herb” garden…
Mint… the last plant my mother bought for me was apple mint. That was more than 25 years ago. While I’ll never be without mint for the memory of her and for the fact I use it all the time, it is planted safely in a pot where it’s “roaming” tendencies are kept in check! 😳
Oregano… has been taken out to the veriest back of the property where it can run amuck. It’s yummy but it is like mint in that it desires world domination!
Sage… It is one of my two favorite herbs. I love it for so many reasons — I love the flavor and I love the holiday memories attached to that flavor and that smell and I love how it looks. You don’t see sage in the herb garden because it lives and thrives in another area of the garden where conditions are dryer. While it looks so good with the other herbs, it’s happier elsewhere. And, it does very well beside it’s neighbor that doesn’t like the herb garden all that well either… Lavender – my other favorite. Who doesn’t love lavender!?! Is there a more relaxing fragrance in all the world? Not for me. I do plant both sage and lavender in the herb garden each year and while they mostly survive for a season, they don’t thrive. So, to have plenty, it is best to have “extras” where they are happier!
And, this brings us to Roses… they greet you as you enter. As it should be.
Thanks for stopping by for my herb garden tour. Now you know that my herb garden, like all the other “rooms” in my garden are a combination of plant types. Most of them tasty and many so aromatic — making it a destination I can get lost in!
Let’s all take a deep breath and inhale the earthy fragrance of herbs. I’m wondering what are your favorites? Is it sage or lavender or….
I bet there’s a story behind your favorite and I’d love to hear it! ❣️
I always refer to my spring bloom cycle as “fireworks and fragrance,” primarily because the rugosas and the old garden roses go crazy! I love it so much. And right now it is beginning. My first rugosa gave me the much anticipated first blooms and the other shrubs are loaded and just about ready to go.
Would you look at that center!
Soapwort… Has a short but beautiful bloom cycle. I love it that she’s early and holds her own even in the crazy spring weather.
Bloomerang Lilac still going strong… and filling the garden with fragrance!
Three beautiful roses came today from Roses Unlimited and they look fantastic. One Papi Delbard and 2 Mother of Pearls. EXCITING!!
MR. G HITS PAY DIRT!
Mr. G is over the moon excited with his new wheelbarrow. IT’S A CRAFTSMAN. Guys his age will understand his excitement with finding CRAFTSMAN anything these days – especially at Lowes as it was a Sears feature for so many years, but that’s another story. When he called me from Lowes to tell me of his good fortune, he failed to mention the wheelbarrow was RED — CRAFTSMAN RED. 🚒🔥🚨 All I could think was the numerous times in my youth when I was told not to wear pink and red together — they would clash. 💞❤️ 💞 You and I both know that my garden is filled to the brim with pink roses. So what am I to do. Of course I can try to photograph the garden around this “great wheelbarrow with a lifetime guarantee,” 🙄 or… you and I can play a game of WHERE’S WALDO / RED WHEELBARROW. When you see it in a picture, let me know and I’ll feature you in a post! 🤷♀️
Well, we wont’ lose it! 🙂 Plus, it holds a ton of mulch!✔️✔️✔️
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)
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!
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!
Cost for the public to attend the educational sessions is $10.Wehave 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!
The rain held off this morning and I was able to do some work in the garden. What started out as Japanese Beetle “bubble bath” day and garden “clean up” day, soon moved to BOKAY DAY. I just couldn’t help myself. With a garden the size of my garden there is always something to pick and the JB are SOOOOO attracted to the roses that they leave many of the other beauties alone. I became mesmerized by the bloom explosion that was happening today and decided that today was to become BOKAY DAY. So I’ll make bokays and share them. #favoritedays
Since I can’t share a bokay with each of you today, I thought I would share my favorite bokay makers and a few tips and tricks for your fresh cut bokays.
But, there is a recipe below if you want to make your own.
No greenery underwater… begins to decay quickly and that takes away from the life of the arrangement.
Every 3-4 days, recut stems, add fresh water (with preservative) to your vase.
P. Allen Smith’s Floral Preservative Recipe
Equal parts lukewarm water and lemon lime soda
Half a teaspoon of bleach
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…
Here’s a video of one of my evening garden walks this week after work. In the video you will see many of the annuals and perennials I mentioned above. Most of them are very hardy and have done fine in all the heat we have had this year. We do water occasionally, but not extensively.
Well, it is time for me to get back in the garden and continue with my original plan … Send more Japanese Beetles to a soapy “bubble bath” ☠️ and garden “clean up.”
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!
This week as I was putting the finishing touches on some upcoming presentations for local garden clubs, I found myself going back and forth through all my pictures to find just the right ones to use. Currently I have over 13,000 on my iPhone! 😳 Going through pictures is not an easy task but very rewarding!
I saw so many garden pictures that I fell in love with all over again and thought you might like to take a look back with me. Maybe remembering warmer days will make these bitter cold days we are having a little warmer too!
Way to go wind, rugosas and birds — creating a special moment in the garden!
Yes, I loved looking back, but am totally excited that spring will be here in 59 days. I just bet you are excited about that too! If you had to choose one favorite garden memory of 2017, what would it be? I’d love to hear!