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.
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.
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.
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…
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?
This week has been a week of extremes. Extreme heat & humidity; extreme storms (even a tornado touch down within 10 miles of us); and EXTREME visits by the not so welcomed moles.
I have been on an “extreme” Japanese beetle watch since so many of my online garden friends are reporting beetle invasions in their gardens. The last two years we have seen very few and wouldn’t it be nice it that continued. If you are interested in reading more about Japanese Beetles (and who wouldn’t!?!), check out my friend Lynn Hunt’s article–Meet the Beetles.
Back to moles….
Have you ever dealt with moles? Do you have any advice on what we should do? Mr. G is on “mole” detail and maybe it’s better if I don’t even know what he is going to do about it. Might not be pretty.
But, speaking of pretty, there are some pretty blooms this week. Most of the roses are taking a break but some are keeping on! And, many of the rose companions are just starting to take center stage! (Click on any of the pictures below to start the gallery feature.)
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND AND HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!
Here in my world the temps are lower than normal and that makes for some wonderful garden thyme! The garden is looking more like spring than fall this week as the roses are coming back to bloom! Know that I am totally in denial about the leaves on the trees that are beginning to change color and the cicadas that are singing!
Here are some of my pretties…
Here are some of the other blooms I’m getting to enjoy…
And we have butterflies everywhere!
Thanks for stopping by! I am wishing you a wonderful day filled with what you love best!
I have many dogwood memories. I grew up in the mountains of Tennessee where the spring is beautiful with azaleas, rhododendron, redbuds and dogwoods. There is nothing quite like seeing the mountains dappled with red, pink, purple and white!
When I was a teenager my dad came home with 8 dogwood trees he had dug in the woods where he had lived as a child. He was so excited about these little samplings. I wasn’t sure. They didn’t look too impressive. I was not sure they would live up to the impressive ones I had seen in the mountains. But, over time I became very impressed! To this day those dogwood trees line my dad’s driveway and are spectacular in the spring. These dogwood trees have brought my family years of pleasure and have brought food and shelter to the many birds there!
When Greg and I moved to our home 26 years ago, we couldn’t wait to plant dogwood trees and through the years we keep adding more. Currently we have 3 very large white dogwood trees, 1 medium sized white and 3 small pink dogwood trees! Funny story… when we bought the last 3, I told the nursery I only wanted white dogwoods. They were not blooming at the time but the tag said, “white.” All of them bloomed pink! And, the nursery went out of business the next year–so pink it is! They are beautiful too but white are still my favorites.
THE LEGEND OF THE DOGWOOD
Have you ever read the Legend of the Dogwood? Although the Bible does not tell us what type of wood the cross Jesus was crucified on was made of, this legend says that the cross was made of dogwood…
In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong and firm, its branches interwoven.
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown,
The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of My agony.
Not a part of the legend BUT, in the fall dogwoods produce clusters of red berries and if you look closely you’ll notice that for most of the dogwood varieties the berries are not round but rather shaped like a drop of blood! Hummmmmm
Legends are legends, but I am so grateful for anything that reminds me of His love and sacrifice on our behalf….
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I hope you have a glorious GOOD FRIDAY.
The white dogwood trees are in full bloom today… Along with the birds in the background you will hear “shots.” Don’t be alarmed, we live near a shooting range! 🙂