The Long Goodbye

Today was that day. The day that the real frost arrived. I was out early to take some pictures. I never want to miss the garden with that first glisten.

Last week I was making bokays of roses — the latest I ever remember! I was thinking I was going to be like my Cali and southern garden freinds who always talk (brag) about having roses for their Thanksgiving table. I ALMOST MADE IT. One week out!

But, the roses are yawning and saying, “good night.” Time for a long winter’s nap. They were amazing this year, so I will “allow” them this time.

Last rose “glamour shots” of 2016…

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Thanks for stopping by!

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About all this rain…

The weather man says 90% chance of rain today and it is sure coming down. ☔️ It rained yesterday. Wednesday we had 1 1/2″ of rain and Monday (or was that Tuesday) we had 4″ of rain. It’s getting hard to keep track!

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I’ve decided to learn a bit more about rain. Next I may need to read up on jungles and rain forests!

For now, here are some rainy facts…

  • THIS JUST IN: In my next of the woods July broke the 1835 record for rain!
  • The highest amount of rainfall ever recorded in one year is 25.4 meters (1000 inches) in Cherrapunji, India.
  • Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth.
  • The umbrella was originally invented to protect people from the hot sun.
  • Louisiana is the wettest state in the U.S, which records an annual rainfall of 56 inches.
  • On average there are over 1500 thunderstorms occurring on earth with 100 lightning strikes per second
  • Rain drops do not fall in a tear drop shape, they originally fall in the shape of a flat oval.
  • Rainbows are caused by the effect of sunlight on countless millions of raindrops.
  • Annual averages for rainfall plus snowfall in my neck of the woods (Indy) is 42.4. No doubt we are breaking records as I type!


Blooms in the rain

Here are a few rain-soaked blooms from a quick garden walk in the rain…
Belinda's Dream
Belinda’s Dream … Yes, roses love the rain!
Phlox
Phlox

 

Stargazers ... I love these!
Stargazers … I love these!

 

Campanulas - Bellflowers
Campanulas – Bellflowers

 

The first bloom of Aloha
The first bloom of Aloha

 

I think tomorrow we have NO RAIN in the forecast … let’s just say I am looking forward to that.

I am itching to get my hands dirty!

☔️☔️☔️



EXTRA! EXTRA!

I was so honored this week when a local paper, The ICON, ran an article about me. If you’d like to read it, click here, open PDF and go to page 12.
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Bloom Thyme Friday: Sweet Peas

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Just the sweetest!

Around here the spring garden season kicks off with the planting of the sweet peas on St. Patrick’s Day! I know it sounds early but it works every time.

Sweet Peas are well named as they are one of the sweetest little flowers in the garden and I love to tuck them into bokays! They are a wonderful rose companion!

The Victorians, who also went crazy over bokays, used them too. With Tussie Mussies in hand, the Victorians used the subtle messages of flowers and herbs to convey not-so-subtle meanings. Sweet peas were used to convey departure, delicate pleasure and many thanks.

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As I write this I have in mind the many such “subtle” moments in the movie, The Age of Innocence, one of my favorite movies. If you’ve seen it, you know just what I mean… the costumes … the society … the flowers.

MANY THANKS TO HENRY!

The Victorians and I have Henry Eckford to thank for the lovely sweet peas we know today. He is credited with developing over 100 varieties of this dainty beauty.

PLANTING SWEET PEAS

Before I plant my sweet peas I soak them over night to soften the hard shell.

Like all plants, sweet peas prefer well-drained, fertile soil. I plant them about 1” deep and about 2” apart. Water them in and provide a trellis and you are done! They will do the rest!

We have the sweet peas trailing on some wire fencing that we added over the picket fence…

Climbing up...
Climbing up…
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Eckfords Finest!

Note the name on the plant tag… Eckfords Finest. Burpee has put together some of his “finest” varieties and you can find them on their website here.

VARIETIES I’M PLANTING

This year I have found several varieties at various garden centers as well as big box stores…
  • High Scent: Couldn’t pass this one up! Package says it is the most fragrant of all the sweet peas!
  • Mammoth Mix: These bloom early. Bonus!
  • Galaxy Mix: Large flowers!
  • Eckfords Finest: Just have to have this one!

ONE MORE THING ABOUT SWEET PEAS!

As sweet as the sweet pea is to look at and many of them have the sweetest fragrance … DO NOT EAT THEM.

TIME TO GET THE GARDEN PARTY STARTED!

Spring is truly just around the corner. Are you ready? What is your first task in the garden?

Sweet Peas_Bloom Thyme Friday