Light at the end of the tunnel?

From the look of the weekend weather report, there is light at the end of the tunnel. While I still am hearing from friends farther north that have snow, I am hoping our snow and plunging temps are behind us. Here in Zone 5b, our projected last frost date is May 10, so we will most likely get more “frosty” days but I sure hope not.

There has been a great deal of winter damage around here. Most of the roses (except the old garden roses and rugosas) will be pruned down to about 2-5″ from the ground. There are 3 or 4 that look as though they will not be back. We have been here before — although not recently! While the start will be slower and the bloom cycle will be later, history tells me most of them will be okay — in fact many might enjoy the severe haircut.

The biggest loss is the climbers. A shocking loss. One of which has been beautiful for so many years-New Dawn. You cried with me about that one last week. This week we are lamenting over another beloved rose… my Peggy Martin rose. Last year was the 3rd year in my garden and it was wonderful! I still see life, but it is at the ground and there is nothing above. 😦

Last year by the end of May she was up and over the trellis. Not gonna happen this year. But, it will be interesting to see how the recovery goes.

When I contacted my good friend, Peggy Martin, who the rose is named for, she said Oh, Honey don’t worry, I’ll “strike” you some cuttings. WOO HOO. These will be cuttings from the original Peggy Martin Rose in her garden. Can I just say, Peggy Martin is the best! If you ever get the chance to meet her as she travels around talking about old garden roses and her Peggy Martin rose, GO. She is a delight and a fountain of knowledge—dripping in southern charm. #nottobemissed  So just as I said last week, when God closes a door, he opens a window. 🙂

Me and Peggy… standing outside a lovely open door!

Regardless of all that “climber” sadness, there are many things bringing me garden joy today…

The Trillium are back!

My baby snapdragons — started from seeds I saved from last year’s beauties — had some time outside today. Behind them is my grandmother’s pitcher filled with mint that has been living in my potting shed all winter. I love this pitcher! My grandmother was a great gardener. The pitcher is a simple item she used in a very ordinary life but knowing that it was her’s, makes it extraordinary to me.

 

The rugosas were little affected by the horrible winter. They are champs!

Here is Therese Bugnet Rugosa today….

Rugosas from last June…

Too bad this picture isn’t scratch and sniff. Oh the fragrance! If you have a bit of room in your garden or want a living fence — grow rugosas! Bonus: they are very disease resistant — require no spray, in fact, those thick, wrinkled (rugose) leaves can be harmed by spray! Some varieties that I grow are …

  • Moje Hammarberg
  • Rosearie de La Hay
  • Hansa
  • Theresa Bugnet

All of these I would recommend.

It was a wonderful day in the garden. Spring is finally springing and there’s so much more to come!

I CAN’T WAIT!

What are some highlights of your garden this week?

I hope you enjoy every minute!

 

 

Indianapols Rose Society…

FROM THE PRESIDENT:

Glad you stopped by to see what’s going on this year!

We are looking forward to a full schedule for 2018 as we learn TIPS, TRICKS & HACKS FOR GROWING ROSES.

Our group is made up of people of all ages and stages of growing roses. Some have a few roses and some have hundreds. Some are just getting started and some have been growing roses for 40 years or more. A perfect place to learn and grow. And, you’ll meet the best people!

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 in the evening at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center in charming downtown Zionsville! That is except for special events and they are usually on the weekend. (Schedule below.) Our meetings are open to the public, so invite a friend to join you!

Our time together includes friends, fun, food and loads of ROSE TALK! Door Prizes Too!

Teresa Byington
President

2018 PROGRAMS . . .

TUES, MARCH 13, 6:30 pm
GETTING OUR GARDEN OFF TO A GOOD START
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Special Guest: Diane Sommers, ARS District 5 Director, Master Rosarian and VP Candidate for ARS
Program: Let’s Grow Together
Diane will share her tips for getting our gardens off to a good start and her vision for the American Rose Society.
 For more about Diane, read on here.

TUES, APRIL 10, 6:30 pm: SOIL HEALTH
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Speaker:  Kevin Allison, Marion County  Soil Health Specialist
Kevin Allison, Marion County SWCD Soil Health Specialist, will lead a discussion on using the principles of soil health to organically improve soil: Minimizing soil disturbance, maximizing diversity, keeping the soil covered, and providing a continuous living root.
Kevin will explore how amendments, diverse mulching and cover crops can be integrated into flower production and preparing new beds.
**Q & A with Kevin

TUES, MAY 8, 6:30 pm: EARTH-KIND ROSES
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Speaker: Carol Tumbas, Rose Expert & Former President of Indianapolis Rose Society
The Earth-Kind testing program is responsible for so many sustainable plants for our gardens.
**Round-Table Discussion: What pests are bugging you?
**Panel: Carol Tumbas, Linda Kimmel, John Hefner

SAT, MAY 26, 9 – 3: ROSEFEST: ROSES OLD AND NEW
Hamilton Co. 4-H Fairgrounds, Noblesville
Focus on Early Bloomers: Old Garden Roses, Rugosas, as well as the new modern roses etc.
Speaker: Mike Shoup / Author and Owner Antique Rose Emporium
In addition:  There will be Garden Tour, Rose Show, Educational Displays, Workshops, Roses and Rose Products for sale
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBIC!

THURS – SAT, JUNE 7 – 9
STATE MASTER GARDENER CONFERENCE

4-H Fairground in Danville, IN
Carol Tumbas, rose expert and former President of Indianapolis Rose Society, will give a program entitled The Incredible Edible Rose
**The Indianapolis Rose Society will have an information booth and will sell roses.

TUES, JUNE 12, 6:00 pm: ICE CREAM SOCIAL & GARDEN PARTY
Location: Marilyn and Dick Ferguson’s  beautiful garden
**More details to come.

TUES, JULY 10: PROPAGATION WORKSHOP / CUTTINGS
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Humberto DeLuca: Will show us techniques of taking rose cuttings
**Round Table Discussion: How to care for roses in extreme heat.
**Panel: Mark Nolen, Teresa Downham, John Hefner

SAT, JULY 21, 5 pm: PROPAGATION / BUDDING WORKSHOP
Location: Mark & Cathy Nolen’s amazing rose garden
Mark Nolen and John Hefner will show us techniques for bud grafting roses.
**Bring a salad, dessert or appetizer to share
**RSVP to Mark at Markbnolen@comcast.net.

TUES, AUGUST 14, 6:30 pm: CLIMBING ROSES
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Linda Kimmel, immediate past president of the Indianapolis Rose Society, will share with us the charm and grace of climbing roses—which ones to grow and how to care for them!
**Round Table Discussion: Overwintering roses in pots
**Panel: John Hefner, Linda Kimmel, Teresa Byington

SAT, SEPT 8: DISTRICT MEETING & ROSE SHOW
Hosted by Indianapolis Rose Society
Boone Co. 4-H Fairgrounds
KEYNOTE: Bob Martin, American Rose Society Vice President
**Details are coming together and will be available soon.

OCTOBER TBD: FALL GARDEN PARTY
Teresa Downham’s garden
Costume party (dress as a rose name) and Chili Cookoff.

SAT, DEC 1, 6 pm: HOLIDAY PARTY  / AWARDS BANQUET
Join us for a holiday party in the Hefners’ holiday wonderland.
We will also give out 2018 awards and install our 2019 board.
A ‘not to miss’ event — Food, Fun, Outstanding Decor, Awards!
**RSVP to John and Donna at jdhefner63@gmail.com
**More details to come.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! There is so much to learn and do and it will be more fun if you are there. We are open to the public so invite a friend! 

And, please share this post on your social media accounts or email to a friend.

If you have any questions, contact us HERE.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Going Up and Over

While much of the garden is suffering a bit from all the rain and the lack of sunshine, many of  the climbers and ramblers are “going up and over” beautifully. The two main arbors that are across from each other are making magic happen. The stuff that makes this gardener’s heart sing!

They don’t always bloom at the same time but this year … Oh yea! that is just what they are doing! Most ramblers and many of the climbers I have only bloom one time per year. It is wonderful to see them create rose fireworks together! Timing is everything … well almost everything. A few dry days and some days with sunshine would certainly be welcome.

Front Arbor: New Dawn Back Arbor: Peggy Martin Rose and Francis E. Lester
Zepherine Drouhin Bourbon
Reine des Violette Hybrid Perpetual
Pink Peggy Martin out in front!
Celsiana … a large rambling fragrant Damask.
New Dawn

A typical day in my neighborhood…

For those of you considering adding more climbers to your garden and maybe even a rambler–if you have the space, here are some varieties to consider.

Zepherine Drouhin: Mostly a one time bloomer. Sometimes you will get a few blooms later in the season. It is a thornless Bourbon rose that is quite fragrant.

Francis E. Lester: Read all about him here. You can buy one from my good friend, Guinivere, at Roses of Yesterday.

Honeymoon Arborose: A lovely Kordes white climber that did very well at the Biltmore Rose Trial winning the coveted Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant Rose. This is one I hope to add next year! Sold out for this year at Jackson and Perkins. Guess I better place my order for next year soon!

David Austins’s The Generous Gardener: A gorgeous rose that is very disease resistant in my garden. One of the prettiest Austins I have. See it growing in my garden here.

David Austins’s Albrighton Rambler: This rambler is considered a “well behaved” rambler and it grows 15′ or so and not 20-30′! I absolutely love it in my garden. Check it out.

Jasmina: This is a rose our society sold this year and they sold out quickly before I had a chance to get one. I plan to add it in the future. See it here.

New Dawn: Grows like crazy once it gets established. Soft pink and a soft fragrance! I have had this rose in my garden for more than 15 years. Love it.


For more on climbers and ramblers, my good friend Stan Griep did an article for Garden Know How you might enjoy. Read on.

Whether the sun is shining or the rain is falling, I will be having a very happy BLOOM THYME FRIDAY and hope you will too!

From Devastation to Inspiration: Peggy Martin

Today I find myself in the middle of the most perfect weather any August in Indiana has ever had to offer. I am gardening and thinking about my morning. This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Peggy Martin on Rose Chat Radio and what a delight she was.

Peggy’s family went through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina where she lost her parents, her home, her husband’s commercial fishing boat and her 35-year-old garden filled with many hard-to-find plants and a rose collection that included 450 roses. Many of the roses were rare and unique varieties. Peggy had been very involved in the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society and worked tirelessly as a volunteer in many garden restoration projects.

Peggy Martin
Peggy Martin

As we talked I could tell that the pain of losing her parents is something she is still going through. I lost my Dad this year … losing a parent is a special kind of loss.

Most of my time with Peggy was spent talking about her garden experiences before and after Katrina.

Can you imagine what it was like for her to go back to the site of her home to see everything devastated. Gone. The entire area had been under salt water for more than 2 weeks. Salt water and plants just do not mix and at first look every living plant seemed to be dead. At closer inspection, two roses were found that had not only survived, one was to beginning to thrive—The Peggy Martin Rose…

This is a picture of the Peggy Martin Rose that now grows in Peggy Martin's new rose garden....
This is a picture of the Peggy Martin Rose that now grows in her new rose garden….

Hardy in Zones 4 – 9, this rose is a vigorous, almost thornless climber that often reaches 15’ high and 6 ‘ wide.

Rose experts from around the world have been brought in to help identify this rose, but no one has any clue as to the actual name or origin. I think that is probably as it should be. Perhaps this rose is now fulfilling it’s purpose in reminding us to never give up even when all seems to be lost.

“This rose has become a symbol among gardeners and rose lovers of a tenacious plant associated with a spirit of renewal and regrowth in the aftermath of a devastating blow of Nature against those living and gardening in the Gulf Coast area.” –William Welch (Prof Texas A & M)

Friends Made the Difference

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” -Helen Keller

During the very dark days and months after Katrina the last thing on Peggy’s mind was creating a new garden and that’s where her friends came in. One of the ways they helped her heal was through rebuilding her garden. One by one they began to bring roses back into Peggy’s life. Peggy’s lovely new garden is now filled with 240 roses and rose companions of every kind. She is currently involved in many rose organizations, like the Heritage Rose Foundation and she is the Chairman for the Old Garden Rose and Shrub Committee of the American Rose Society.

Below are pictures of Peggy’s current garden…

Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 001-1
Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 029-1Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 002Peggy Martin Story (Dallas) 007-1Beautiful and charming just like Peggy herself.


It’s All About the Soil

In talking with Peggy I learned that she has been a completely organic gardener for 40 years. She is all about healthy soil and integrated plant and pest management — a system she calls “the easiest way to garden.” During the interview, she gave many tips for creating a healthy garden whether you are new to gardening or someone who wants to take your garden to the next level. She also gave us her advice on rose selection.

The Podcast

During our time together we talked about so much more–like her complete step-by-step guide for taking rose cuttings.

Don’t miss hearing this incredible story from Peggy herself … simply click here for the Rosechat podcast.