BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: That One Thing!

There is a post on social media these days that asks a question that it appears the whole world is answering…

WHAT IS ONE THING THAT MOST PEOPLE LIKE BUT YOU DON’T?

Here it comes. 

Fall. 

I don’t like fall. 

Before you judge me, know this… in the midwest, fall is beautiful but only about 4 minutes long and it ushers in winter. While I love a beautiful blanket of snow as well as the next person, beautiful snows are few and the cold, dark days of winter are plentiful. Another thing about winter here is that it does not know when to leave. It hangs on and on and on. #badform 🙄 

Note: Mr. G and I will be in line to get one of the first Pumpkin Spice Lattes! So cheers to that part of fall… 😉

July DOUBT

The “season” of JULY has some issues too.

Japanese Beetles come around the 3rd week of June. Add to that some intense heat and drought robbing us of many of our summer roses. Not the garden’s finest hour. As I wander in the garden in July, I ask myself deep questions 🙄 like … Why are you are a gardener? Do you really want to be a gardener? You know, the usual horrible weather conversations gardeners have with themselves. 

ATTITUDE

A few years ago someone sent me a card with the quote, AUTUMN IS THE SECOND SPRING. YESSSSSS. I loved that and it gave me the late summer attitude adjustment I needed.  While I don’t do things much differently than I did before, just thinking that I am getting my garden ready for the 2nd spring makes all the difference.


So what does summer care look like for me?  


In mid to late July, I start trimming back my reblooming roses (shrubs and hybrids – not old garden roses), give them their last dose of fertilizer (I most often use Mills Mix Easy Feed – a great tonic of organic and inorganic plant yumminess) AND last … (this is the best!) … clean up the fallen leaves around them and give them a fresh coat of mulch. Nothing says spring or beautiful garden like a fresh coat of mulch. It is just the best. I appreciate all the health benefits of mulch, but the pretty side of mulch is my favorite!   

NOTE: The 2nd Spring trim is not as low or “severe” as the 1st Spring! Remember that the lower you trim, the longer it takes for the blooms to return. When it comes to climbing roses, they are handled differently as well.

⬆️ Fresh mulch around one of the bulletproof roses in my garden – Petit Pink. No need to do the late pruning, it just keeps on going!


Yes, we are on our way – if the “spring” rains would start, all would be good as we wait on those amazing 2nd Spring rose blooms. 

FIRST FROST DATE

The predicted FIRST FROST DATE dictates much of our late summer/fall care. That date has been established as October 10 until recently I have seen that the USDA Hardiness Zone lists dates as somewhere between October 13 and 21. Good to checks things out for your Zone.


In Zone 5b we don’t fertilize beyond August and we stop deadheading roses in September as the roses need this time to go dormant before winter arrives. Pruning and deadheading our roses signal it’s time to bloom again and will leave them vulnerable to the cold.

ROSE COMPANIONS

Our roses don’t want to be alone! It’s good to have some pretty fall-blooming perennials, annuals, and shrubs that will complement the roses. 

In my late summer/fall garden… 


Shrubs that are beautiful this time of year are the Carpinteria (Bluebeard) that are just coming into their beautiful blue blooms and hydrangeas continue to be beautiful in the fall. 


Annuals that hold their own during this season are…  

  • Dusty Miller
  • Zinnias
  • Victoria
  • Blue salvia
  • Cleome
  • Diamond Frost euphorbia 
  • Cosmos 
  • Snapdragons (that were give a mid summer chop) 
  • Nasturtiums
  • Lantana
Tall Phlox and Snapdragons

Perennials that make a huge difference this time of year in my garden are…

  • Asters
  • Hyssop
  • Sage
  • Tall veronica
  • Sedums (both the ground cover sedums and the tall sedums)
  • A few Black eyed Susans make it this far


Sedums getting ready!

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

Finding foxgloves locally especially in the color I want is difficult to impossible. So last year I put some seeds in the ground and a few plants came up! This spring they grew so strong! They were the best foxgloves I had ever had – strong stems that bloomed for a very long time. 


So this year I decided to do everything possible to ensure we have foxgloves next year. I’ve tossed seeds in the garden. I’ve started seeds inside to get little plants. They are hardening off now. I even put a few of the little seedlings directly in the ground a few weeks ago without hardening them off and so far they are doing great. Also hoping some of this year’s foxgloves will self-seed, but so far I don’t see any evidence of that. 


Last year’s variety was Faerie Queen from Renee’s Garden and this year I am planting seeds I purchased in England – Mr. Fothergills’s Alba. 


Regardless of what happens, I love the process…

ROSE CHAT PODCAST

THE DIRT ON SOIL with GAYE HAMMOND


In the most recent episode, I chat with a great friend, Gaye Hammond, to get all the dirt on soil! Grab your pencil and paper because we’re going to class.  


Gaye takes us on a deep dive into the importance of good soil, moves into soil testing and pH, gives us up-to-the-minute research-based info on fertilizers, and ends with the importance of mulch – and it’s not just for “pretty!”


Gaye is an outstanding resource for all gardeners, especially those who grow roses. LISTEN HERE.

NOTE: On the podcast, the products to use for raising and lowering pH were reversed… Use Limestone to raise pH and use sulfur to lower. Personally, my pH is a bit high and I have bags of sulfur to use this fall.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

SEASONS

Regardless of the season outside, our world is in a difficult season. Once again gardening has become more therapeutic than ever and my garden has become my prayer closet.


Take care friends. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Sharing the Beauty

I was a gardener from a very early age. Our family grew most of what we ate and everyone had to “participate” in making that happen – if you know what I mean. 😳 My dad said I was one of the few kids he ever knew who didn’t mind working in the garden. I knew I would always grow things!


As many of you know my love of roses started when I was around 16 and a friend shared a rose bokay with me. It brought me so much pleasure at a time when I really needed it! I thought then that I hoped to someday do the same for others.  


Through the years, my rose collection and my rose world have grown and grown and along with beautiful plants, I have met some beautiful people who have become dear friends. 


One of those rose world friends is the lovely and charming Peggy Martin. Peggy is THE Peggy Martin of the Peggy Martin rose fame — the rose that survived hurricane Katrina. (Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage in August 2005.)


Peggy and I “met” online when I interviewed her about her experience on Rose Chat. She invited me to come to her home and speak to her rose society several years back and our friendship and friendships with many of the members of the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society was solidified by our time together. 💄

For those who aren’t familiar with the story… Peggy had a massive collection of roses before Katrina, as well as other plant collections. All of that was lost in the storm, but she lost so much more … her parents, her home and their family business. 


After two weeks of being covered in 20′ of seawater, all vegetation was destroyed on their property  – except one rose –  the rose that would become The Peggy Martin Rose. 


After such life changing devastation, Peggy thought she would never grow roses again. But slowly her friends began to share roses with her and a new collection grew and grew. Peggy began to heal and spend time sharing her love of roses and the Peggy Martin Rose story by speaking to groups and serving in many leadership positions with New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society, the Heritage Rose Foundation, the American Rose Society and others. You can read more about this story from a Southern Living magazine article HERE.  

PEGGY’S GARDEN TODAY

This week Peggy shared a video of her beautiful 2021 garden with me. I would love to share it with you… 


Chamblee’s Rose Nursery acquired cuttings from the original PM rose in New Orleans in January, 2007. I bought my first one from them in 2013. It is also available from the Antique Rose Emporium.  I now have five in my garden and have shared many with others. These are pictures of Peggy Martin in my garden through the years. She only blooms once for me but what a bloom thyme it is! 

IT’S MORE THAN A ROSE

When I look at this rose I think about my friend, her grace, her spirit, her story of hope and survival and how much beauty she has shared with the world. Thank you Peggy! 😘

COMING SOON!

There is a children’s book about the Peggy Martin Rose — Rose Without a Name by Carol Stubbs and Nancy Rust to be released in September 2021.

REVIEWS

The Rose Without a Name is a “once upon a time” kind of story that will thrill the children it was written for, but also their parents or older brothers or sisters who will read it with them. It is the poignant story of the rose that survived the monster storm, Hurricane Katrina. It is a story of the strength and resilience of the rose, but also of the rose lady who grew it, Peggy Rose Martin. 

Marilyn Wellan
American Rose Society President 2003-2006

“An unusual rose becomes a delightful character in this lovely picture book by Nancy Rust & Carol Stubbs.  A Rose Without a Name is a story of strength, resilience, and beauty, illustrated with vibrant colors and charming details. Earthworms, frogs, bees, and dragonflies engage readers as they discover how an unrenowned rose earned its name.

The story is ideal for reinforcing early learning science concepts of how plants grow and the effects of weather on the natural world and human communities. The back material offers intriguing information for older learners, parents, and teachers.

With its message of triumph over adversity, lovely art, and interesting back material, readers of all ages will enjoy A Rose Without a Name.”

Gayle Webre
Children’s author and educator

Additional reviews and pre-order option HERE.

BLOOM THYME

Lovely to have blooms even in the brutal heat — heat that doesn’t seem to phase the Japanese Beetles  one bit. 😏


Regardless of the weather, beetle invasion or the storms of life, Peggy Martin’s story reminds us that hope and beauty prevail – if we keep sharing them.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: I can see clearly now…

I can see clearly now that the rain has gone! 


Sounds like a song! HA! But, it’s true. ☀️ The sun is out and the garden is drying – although we still have some soggy areas. It is great to be in the garden every day again. And I’m seeing so clearly that I am launching into a new project. Since most of the garden “rooms” are doing well, I am ready to tackle something that is in need of some help – total revamp of the herb garden. 


The rain damage and the horrible deer damage of that area has me totally rethinking that space. When I I was ready to start getting my ideas on paper, I went to find a book that I bought when I first designed the herb garden in 1989. I bought this little book on a date with Mr. G. He knew how much I loved Smith and Hawkins (anyone remember Smith and Hawkins?). S & H was an upscale garden center in our area that had a profound effect on my garden life! You saw the best of everything there — plants, tools, garden shed supplies, and books. When I opened HERB by Jane Courtier it brought back so many memories. I even found a note I had left there. Once again I was inspired! FUN STUFF.


I enjoy the herb garden so very much. It was my first real garden “room.” Truly one of my happy places. Herb gardens smell so very good and are packed with memories. There are the thanksgiving smells (sage and thyme), Italian feast smells (oregano, basil, and chives), fragrant drink makers (lemon verbena, mint, chamomile), along with lavender and roses (yes roses are herbs too). So, so many. Through the years I have packed that space with bits of everything. As I work through this process, I am doing things so differently. I don’t need as much as I once did, I now have a flower cutting garden so I don’t need to pack it with flowers (although it will be hard not to). 


I am literally gutting the space. Most of the roses have been moved. Flowers moved, some tired, leggy perennial herbs have been removed and new fresh plants purchased. Mr. G says he’s in to make short raised beds. So I am off to the races!


While I lose planting space, having small raised beds gives me options I don’t have now – like easier winter protection. Hopefully, easier protection from deer too. And, new spaces to plan and plot! YES!!


As of now, there will be 4) 4’X4′ raised beds with walking paths around each. Two roses that are staying in place are (Moje Hammarberg on one front corner and Celsiana on the other). I am keeping the birdbath where it is now (in the middle). For now, I will use mulch for the paths around the boxes. I am undecided as to what the entrance path will be. What do you think? In the past, I have used flagstones and most recently round stone pavers. 


The emotional side… This is an exceptionally great picture of the herb garden from a few years ago on a perfect day when everything looked… well just about perfect. I think I won’t look at this picture much for a while! 😳😢 Instead I will think about how it looked with water and deer damage. Onward I go to this new thing! Wish me luck!

BLOOM THYME

The ugly side of things is that when the rain stopped the Japanese Beetles came from miles around. 

Luckily, there are still pretty summer blooms that we are enjoying. 

Wishing you blue skies and bright, bright sunshiny days! 🎶 🎶 

Bloom Thyme Friday: It’s a Jungle Out There 🐒

Yes, the garden has become a soggy jungle. 🐒 My apologies to those of you who are experiencing drought, I do pray rain is coming soon for you. But my garden is drenched. With almost daily rain and a healthy bunch of storms, pathways have flooded, large tree limbs are broken and much of the garden has standing water. Mr. G’s grassy areas are a mess.😞  Today we are getting sunshine (and steam) so I ventured out for a look-see. Sad. Broken plants, mulch has moved on to the neighbors garden, everything is just icky and in need of a good cleanup. I hate wet and icky. Good for us we almost always have a few bags of what I call “emergency mulch.” 

THYME OUT FUN

It’s not all gloomy! One dry afternoon I spent some time in THYME OUT (my outside potting area) and had a blast trimming up some of my small topiaries. It is great therapy! This outside girl is going to need more than “topiary therapy” if we don’t get some regular sunshine. There has been way to much inside time. I learned years ago, I am solar powered!! ☀️

One of my two little lavender topiaries I started from cuttings.
A new one to add to the collection.
There are a few others peppered around the garden.

LATEST ROSE CHAT PODCAST 

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Malcolm Manners about his work with Rose Mosaic Virus, work in the rose district in Harlem and so much more! Once you listen to this podcast you’ll know why he was named Great Rosarian of the World in 2013.  Listen here.

COMING SOON: We are currently working on a new series called ASK THE EXPERTS.

Subjects we are tackling are:

  • GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY: Pat Shanley
  • DESIGNING A ROSE GARDEN: Carolyn Parker
  • GROWING YOUR ROSE SOCIETY: Ron Daniels
  • ALL ABOUT SOIL: Gaye Hammond

If you have questions for any of our experts, please send them to me via email HERE.

ARS GREEN THUMB WEBINAR

The American Rose Society has been doing a series of Green Thumb webinars. All of them have been great but I am particularly excited about this one!

TOPIC: Going the Distance

PRESENTER: Will Radler (Father of the Knock Out rose)

DATE: Sat, July 24, 1:00 – 3:00 pm (Central Time)

$10 (Non aRS Members)

FREE For ars members (use THE MEMBER CODE in email FROM ARS)

 REGISTER HERE 

ABOUT THE WEBINAR…

Take a ringside seat and enjoy the inspirational tale of The Knock Out Rose® as told by its creator, Will Radler.  One might expect that the world’s best-selling rose was conceived in a laboratory under the direction of a seasoned rose breeder holding many horticultural degrees. Instead, a nine-year-old with two quarters in his pocket changed the rose industry forever. Radler shares a blow-by-blow account of his journey from fringe contender to international champ. The behind-the-scenes details will both amaze and inspire you. Making it to the main event is one thing. Sustaining is another. Radler, with his unconventional methods, is certainly doing something right with 50 plant patents to his name. Fast forward to 2021. Modern day rose breeding has evolved dramatically. Going toe-to-toe in today’s industry presents both opportunities and challenges. Learn an insider’s perspective of the state of the revitalized industry.

Webinar Topics Include: 

  • The Rose Industry Today
  • Marketing Challenges
  • Competition
  • Diseases (and perception of diseases)
  • Breeding Priorities
  • IPM (Integrated Pest Management)

BLOOM THYME 

Not everything has been beaten down by the rain and storms! Some plants are letting their light shine and making me smile.

 

Stargazers
Daisies don’t tell and they don’t let the storms bother them.
Trust me … it looks better from a distance. 😳

BETTER WEATHER AHEAD

Well, it looks like better weather is coming soon – after a bit more stormy weather. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Hellebores, Bangs and Saying Goodbye

Hellebores . . .

The garden centers and even Trader Joe’s have the most beautiful Hellebores right now! While I have several, I was very tempted to buy a deep red one I saw this week. 

Hellebores —  also called Christmas rose or Lenten rose  aren’t in the rose family. Actually they are closely related to buttercups and anemones! These shade loving, low-maintenance and deer-resistant elegant beauties add so much to the spring garden.  

This week my hellebores were a mess. Last year’s scraggly foliage was everywhere, hiding all the beautiful buds.

While grooming the hellebores I kept thinking of conversations with my mom…. back in the day when I thought long bangs were very fashionable. Many times I heard, “Your bangs are too long, I can’t see your face.” 😂 I rarely liked the trim my bangs would then get!!  I hope the hellebores like their new “do”. 💇🏼‍♀️ It was severe but I think they look very fashionable and the blooms will soon steal the show! They are on course to bloom right on time for Easter.  For more on Hellebores, hop over to the Missouri Botanical Garden site here. NOTE: All parts of Hellebores are poisonous so be careful in handling! I wear gloves.

SAYING GOODBYE . . .

Big stuff in the garden this week…. saying goodbye to 25 year old sickly crabapple. 🥺 This day has been coming for some time as it became more sickly with apple scab the last few years. The last few springs we had a couple of weeks of pretty blooms and when the blooms came down, the leaves starting peppering down with them and continued to fall. For 90% of the season it looked sickly. We have friends who treated their crab apple tree for scab several times but saw no improvement so we decided to just remove the tree. We have other crab apple trees that are doing well. 


It was impressive the way Mr. G wrangled that tree! He was on his own for the cutting but I jumped in for the cleanup. Needless to say, we both slept well that night!

I know the roses planted in that area are celebrating as they will now get more light and water — and some pretty new neighbors. I had a moment of sadness but quickly said my goodbye and was lost in the possibilities!! More space! More sun! More plants! Today I’m out with pencil, paper and measuring tape. #newplan  

Happy News . . .

Snowdrops are blooming making me very happy. Until recently I was happy to watch for the snowdrops to bloom in the woods near us and enjoy them there. However, you can’t visit England, watch Monty Don on Gardener’s World for two years,  and not fall completely in love with snow drops. So sweet and simple and beautiful. A perfect spring flower. The Victorian flower dictionaries list the Snow Drop meaning as “hope”. I can see why. It blooms so early — sometimes pushing the snow out of the way to make it’s entrance at the end of winter giving us just what we need the most — Hope!

I bought my snow drops at Brent and Becky’s. The variety is Galanthus elwesii Mount Everest. They are sooooo cute. 

My first little babies
Snowdrops in the woods this week.

No one celebrates the arrival of snow drops like those in the UK. It is easy to be drawn into the excitement with all the  “snow drop sighting reports” from UK friends and family.  

That smile … he’s enjoying the snowdrops too.

Crocus are popping up all over the place and the bees are thrilled.

NEW BOOK I’M LOVING . . .

A Year at Brandywine Cottage by David L. Culp

I was first introduced to Brandywine Cottage in David Culp’s book The Layered Garden so I couldn’t wait to have A Year in Brandywine Cottage.


Whether you have read the first book or not, this book is one to sink into. Every page takes you on a walk through David’s amazing garden and gives you something beautiful to take away … a tip, an idea, a plant or a recipe. Seriously a dandelion salad never looked so good as the one featured on Page 54. Each step of the way you are encouraged to “look closer.” Every page celebrates the garden and the gardener and as you go on a journey through all seasons, you not only feel privileged to have this inside look at David’s garden life but you are also inspired to “look closer” at the world around you and live your best gardening life too. 

LOOKING BACK TO GO FORWARD…

Our phone holds so much information and one of the best parts of that is the photographs we take. Part of my plans for the current spring are based on looking back at pictures of seasons past. When did it bloom? How did it look? What do I want to change?


I also go through the blog and read articles I’ve written as well as the journal I’ve kept of bloom times, varieties, etc.


With the dawn of a new decade – 2020 – I decided to keep a running list of daily happenings that included life and garden highlights and “lowlights” too. Little did I know just what I would be writing about.

I am now reading what I wrote in March and as I read, I can’t help but be stunned by the use of words that before 2020 were practically foreign to me. Words like….

  • Pandemic
  • Covid19
  • Self Quarantine
  • Cabin Fever
  • Travel Ban
  • Mask Mandates
  • 6′ apart
  • Uncertain Times / Unprecedented Times
  • 15 Days to Flatten the Curve
  • Toilet Paper Shortage

I don’t want to forget where we have been, but am so glad that now we are hearing much more positive and hopeful words… 

  • Vaccines
  • Herd immunity
  • And, a favorite new trend – more people gardening than ever before!

Yes, so many had more time to work in their gardens than ever before and many, many people found their way to making a garden for the first time! 


Now we are ALL gonna be heading to the garden centers — together! It’s a first come/first serve world — but no pushing or shoving  please. 😁  I’ve already heard from more than one source that we should expect shortages and no special orders! 

Friends, our wait is over … spring is officially upon us. Garden Centers and big box stores are gearing up for what looks to be a big gardening year!! Stay safe and have fun getting out there to find your prizes! And, love your neighbor as yourself even if they get the best tomato plants before you get there! 😂

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SAY IT WITH FLOWERS

Valentine’s Day brings back so many wonderful memories…. remember as kids getting your Valentines ready to take to your school friends – weighing each word carefully.  And of course, how exciting (and sometimes a bit scary) it was to anticipate what valentines would be given to you.  Even the container used for transporting your valentines was important! 


My  Valentine’s Day memories as a florist are filled with beautiful flowers, blurry eyes, and fatigue from working long, long, very long days helping others express their love. It was beautiful work highlighted by coolers filled to the brim with roses and other gorgeous flowers often on bitter cold midwest February days – much like today!! Working side-by-side with my florist friends was such great fun too. Things got quite giggly after midnight during holidays!

VALENTINE’S DAY TRIVIA

  • Passing out Valentines is a 600-year-old tradition.
  • Candy hearts were originally medical lozenges.
  • In 2019 Americans spent 20.7 billion for Valentine’s Day
  • The Chocolate Box has been around for more than 140 years.
  • Teachers are the number one recipient of valentines.

Read more from the original article by Woman’s Day Here.

I also read that approximately 250 million roses are grown for Valentine’s Day — about 45% of those roses are red.

Yes, like no other flower, the red rose says LOVE.

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THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS

I am so very fascinated by the Victorian practice of conveying your feelings with flowers and herbs.

The Victorians were serious about their flowers and even developed a “love language of flowers” that included herbs, shrubs, roses and more. Don’t you just love that! These arrangements were often given in a small nosegay called a Tussie Mussie. 

FLORIOGRAPHY

From The Language of Flowers by Kathleen M. Gips … a fascinating pamphlet I have had for years. Kathleen has another book, Flora’s Dictionary,  that is available on Amazon here.

The language of flowers was universally understood in the East and the herbal symbolisms recognized and practiced in Europe for centuries, but it was not until the 1800’s that floral dictionaries were written to help the public communicate in the language of flowers. This romantic ‘floriography’ became especially popular in the Victorian era starting with the reign of Queen Victoria in England (1840). Dozens of floral dictionaries were available in England, America and Europe. 

Floral language was thought to be created to symbolize the most delicate sentiments in a ‘silent eloquence’ that would be a language better than writing.

Mothers of the Victorian era were directed to teach their daughters religion and the art of making a well-made bokay. Talk about your priorities for home schooling! 🙂 Yes floral dictionaries would be a must! Many finishing schools offered instruction in botany and ‘floriograpy.’

We didn’t call it ‘floriography’ but my children were collecting flowers and making bokays to deliver in their wagon from a very young age. Such great fun!

RESOURCES

Tussie Mussie — The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers by Geraldine Adamich Laufer. (HERE) It is an excellent resource.

 ON MY WISH LIST…

Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers by Jessica Roux (HERE)   


BOKAY DAYS…

One of my greatest joys is sharing bokays from my garden – all the flowers I share come from my heart and say I care about you and want you to have a special day.  But, the fascinating list the Victorians gave us could sure add a special touch to our bokay sharing. More about Bokay Days here.  Let’s all hope and pray that this summer we can get back to having people in our gardens. If not we will do what we did in 2020 … masked and socially distanced deliveries.

HOT CHOCOLATE BOMBS

Yes, I am still on the Hot Chocolate kick. Hot Chocolate Bombs have been the rage lately. I have seen so many social media videos of people pouring steaming hot water or milk over a HC Bomb to have it explode with chocolate, marshmallows and all sorts of yumminess. Mr. G loves chocolate so for his Valentine’s present, I ordered “bombs” from a friend who makes the most wonderful sweet treats. If you are local, contact SWEET TREATS BY JANESE here

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SOME OF MY FAVORITE HERBS & FLOWERS WITH THEIR MEANINGS….

  • Basil: Best Wishes
  • Black Eyed Susan: Encouragement
  • Daisy: Beauty, Innocence
  • Parsley: Joy
  • Pink Carnation: Gratitude
  • Rosemary: Remembrance
  • Lavender: Devotion
  • Lily of the Valley: Sweetness
  • Lemon Verbena: Enchantment
  • Red Rose: I love you, desire
  • Pink Rose: Appreciation
  • Yellow Rose: Friendship (Can also mean jealousy 😳)
  • Lavender Roses: Love at first sight and enchantment
  • Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends

FROM ME TO YOU…

I am virtually putting together a Tussie Mussie for you. It includes pink roses, pink carnations with a touch of rosemary, basil and lemon verbena. 😘

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FRIENDS!

Until next time …  

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BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMER VIBES

Wow. July has been so summery!☀️🔥☀️The sun is so bright and hot. The humidity is so high making it even hotter but I am not complaining. Really I’m not. I remember winter – those long, dark days that last forever and then some! 🥶 Yes, I want all the summer vibes summer has to give.
🌺☀️🍅🥤🌱🌹🍦🌼🍉🌻

BREAK IN THE WEATHER

We are getting a break in the weather. The weather app tells us that we are going from nearly 100 each day to mid-70s each day for a week or so. I can’t wait.

TREATING THE GARDENER

Recently, I made myself a “pretty” lunch to have in the garden. I know that sounds like really – you don’t do that regularly. Typically,  “pretty” lunches are reserved for when I have guests in the garden while I regularly eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the run until it is time for my afternoon coffee at 3 pm. These days that coffee is ICED! The whole “pretty” lunch thing was made easier when I decided that I was making lunch for the “gardener.” And, I was. 😉😉

What a treat this very simple “pretty” meal that I prepared for “the gardener” was and it fueled my body and my senses for more creative work that afternoon. I know as gardeners we usually push through and “get more done.” I can tell you there will be more “pretty” lunches around here.

A few weeks ago I took a small bistro table from the deck to my new area THYME OUT in hopes of special dinners with Mr. G there. Since we aren’t going out to restaurants right now, I wanted to create a new “restaurant” space. I even bought a new table cloth! So far, it has been too hot outside to actually enjoy dinner there.  I’m hoping our break in the weather this week will give us that time. We still have other outdoor spaces to use but isn’t it nice to have someplace new to go! Especially since we are home so much! Now I am looking through the cabinets for just the right candles for the table!

BLOOM THYME

If you have been following along with me for a while you know I am growing dahlias for the first time and we have been waiting and watching to see what that “bag of mixed dahlias” would do.

While they are not in full bloom, they are coming along nicely. Making me know I want to grow them again and I want to be more selective in what tubers I buy for next year! Having a daughter in England makes you long for such flowers that seem to grow effortlessly there. In my zone dahlias are often NOT spectacular and have the added chore of being lifted and stored for the winter or you can grow them as annuals. If you want to see some spectacular dahlias for sale, hop over to Eden Brothers website here.

The JBs are still eating a few flowers but we have turned the corner and I am getting much more from the garden than they are! Leaving me plenty of bokay makers.

Dahlia

Dahlias

Dahlias

TOMATOES

We have so many tomatoes – but they are all still green! It’s even too hot for tomatoes! They will respond much better when the temps drop.

I am dreaming of our first BLT. I have pre-cooked bacon ready in the freezer and fresh mayo just waiting on fresh bread and ripe tomatoes. I have jars washed and am going through recipes for what I will do with the “more than we can eat” — if that happens.
(13 plants for 2 people😳🍅😱)

Thankfully, we had rain this week but as I look at the garden this morning, you wouldn’t know it. It literally seems to vanish into “thin air” …  most likely accounting for the extremely high humidity. Yes, we are looking forward to a “break” in that this weekend too.

TIME GOES BY SO FAST – even during a pandemic.

Hot or not with only 55 or so days until fall, I am going to squeeze out all the summer I can every day! While we are on the subject of time — it’s only 147 days until Christmas and then the start of a new year. We could have never predicted what 2020 would hold for us. 2021, what will you bring? Well, that’s a subject of much prayer.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have great weather this weekend as we head into August – and garden harvest time. Did someone say Zucchini Bread!?!

Summer vibes.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: NOTES, LISTS & BUCKETS

Tis’ the season to” take note”. I love notes and lists. Like Santa, I’ll be making lists and checking them twice. My lists will include plant winners, losers, and new ideas!

REDESIGN

One of the things that becomes so obvious this time of year is who has outgrown their space and needs dividing or who needs to be replaced. As well as, where the garden design may need a tweak. This is one of my favorite parts. I really have to hold myself back from letting my creative juices go too crazy and start tearing out too much. But, it’s hard as there are so many new plants and so many new ideas! Right?! Mr. G and “his look” will help keep me in check. 😉

I can tell you now that my tall Bright Eyes phlox have suffered this year with powdery mildew. It’s been so hot and so humid that it is no surprise! White Bright Eyes not only suffered she was engulfed to the point I cut her all the way back. So I need to rethink her prominence in one of my garden beds.

LABEL PROBS

You have heard me talk about my love for oriental lilies and how I went the extra effort to save them from the late freeze. Well, most of my effort was in vain — as I feared it would be. So, when I did leave the house for the first time … I headed to Lowes and quickly grabbed several things including several bags of lilies. Remember those weird, scary first times to be out this spring – masked, gloved with heads down. Regardless of the shopping trauma, I was thrilled to see my fav Casa Blanca lily bulbs and bought two bags. To date, ALL of them have bloomed deep pink. BUMMER. 

I have already placed an order for Casa Blanca lilies at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs – a much safer bet on getting what’s on the label I think. I have never had this happen before but this is a very different year!  

From last July…

Today … whoever she is, she’s pretty but kinda clashy with my apricot roses. 😏

BUCKETS

I don’t know about you but I love buckets, especially metal buckets! And, if you visit my garden you will see buckets strewn around in almost every garden bed. Sometimes visible and sometimes tucked away almost hidden. They are there for those times I go to the garden just to walk about and things need a trim. I ALWAYS take snips with me. LOL And, most ALWAYS need them. 

This time of year you will also see little buckets with soapy water dotting the area and dead JBs. But, you don’t need to see that again this week. My post a few weeks back was surely enough to hold you on that one. 🙄 If there is anything you want to see or know about Japanese Beetles, you can “experience” that on the previous post HERE.

BUCKET CHALLENGE FROM TWO WOMEN AND A HOE

There are so many wonderful people in my garden world but Jan Bills is one of the most wonderful of all. In her book, LATE BLOOMER, a book of tips and tricks around gardening in the second half of life, she includes a Pink Bucket Challenge

QUOTE FROM HER BOOK: THE PINK BUCKET CHALLENGE

“Each day after work (NOTE: she designs and installs gardens for others), I challenge myself to get in my garden accompanied by a $5 pink bucket purchased at a local garage sale. My objective is two-fold: visit and weed my gardens daily without feeling inundated while serving two important facets of life: my health and my gardens. Once my bucket is full, I retreat or not, the choice is mine. This stress-free and trouble free practice gives me permission to do only what is reasonably required and expected. I set the parameter and expectation. This simple little ritual leaves me guilt-free and weed-free. Perhaps you’ll grab a bucket, fill it once or twice and then retreat to your favorite garden chair. I believe it is just as important to be present in our gardens as it is to work in them.” Jan Coppola Bills.

Thanks Jan!

I truly believe that gardeners of every age and stage need reminders and permission to just “be” in their gardens. 

MY FAVORITE BUCKET 

This sweet bucket comes from Mr. G’s dad’s family. They were farmers. This was a simple tool used in their everyday life. No matter what’s inside this bucket, it is always filled with memories. When beloved family members are no longer with us, the simple things from their everyday life go straight to our hearts and keep us connected. Don’t you think?

I especially love this bucket when it is filled to the brim with delicious bokay makers!

BLOOM THYME

We are moving to that stage where colors are getting intense making me so glad to see all my white hydrangeas who calm things down. While I was taking pics this week of my hydrangeas, I had to come to terms with just how many I have. So I made a list! 😲

  • 7 Annabelles
  • 13 BoBos
  • 3 Little Limes
  • 4 Pinky Winkys
  • 2 Limelights
  • 3 Twist and Shouts

HEALTH CARE

Just had to share…. I am one of those people who go to bed excited about the first cup of coffee I will have the next day. So, imagine how happy I was to see this bit of health care wisdom on social media this week. HAHA

 

Friends, so glad you stopped by.

It’s still crazy out there in the world. I am praying that you are well and have plenty of time this week to grab your favorite “health care” drink and just “be” in your garden and enjoy all that God has provided. 😘

Bloom Thyme Friday: Patience is a Virtue

Yes, patience is a virtue… they say.

And this season as gardeners we have needed all the patience we can get as we deal with weather conditions. Weather dictates most everything we do.

As I write a gentle rain is falling, it looks and sounds beautiful. The birds are loving it but I’m practicing patience as I wait on sunshine. Much of the garden is sitting in water and rain predicted for all day tomorrow too. 😏 We gardeners surely do hate to complain about rain. However…  GULP! GULP!

We are coming out of a very cold, dreary period … it has actually set records for lack of sunshine and for lowest temps. Funny thing about that, England is having their sunniest spring on record. I think I have their answer … my daughter is there. She always brings sunshine to my life.

We NEED a bit of sunshine. Our spirits need it. Our plants need it. Work on my new outdoor potting space needs it. My Sweet Bay Magnolias especially need it.

SWEET BAY MAGNOLIAS

We have three SB Magnolias and love them. Last year at this time they were leafing out so beautifully and getting ready to bloom. The freeze we experienced a couple of weeks ago nipped them good. All baby leaves turned black. We feared the worst. But, this week with the warming temps, we now see leaves! Whew, that was close. Can’t imagine losing them.

BLOOM THYME…

The warm temps are sure paying off… blooms (and veggies) are popping all over the garden!

Caution: Excessive images coming. Hope you like pink and purple.😳

Pretty little purple pincushions holding their own amoung all the green. (Scabiosa)

Oh, Sweet William how sweet you are![/caption
Baptisia getting started. Easy, Breezy, Beautiful.

May Night Salvia can’t be stopped. Power bloomer.

Not sure of the variety, but these alliums brought their “A” game this spring!

The President clematis has been bringing joy to my garden for years and years. It is usually the first of my clematis to bloom.

PEONIES…

Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.

VEGGIES…

Click on individual pics for additional information on varieties, etc.

ROSES…

So many roses are loaded with bud and just ready to burst!

Petit Pink is covered in buds!

Peggy Martin is ready to be glorious.

And some ROSES are reaching their peak…

Midnight in Paris growing in a container on my deck.

Below is Ghislaine de Feligonde reaching for the sky over the Potting Shed.

She looks like she’s enjoying today’s gentle rain.

Ghislaine de Feligonde… this old-fashioned rambler forms a large shrub with few thorns. Fragrant bloom clusters open apricot, aging to pale yellow. Occasional repeat bloom. Canes can reach 6 to 10 feet. (Taken from High Country Roses website where I bought her 3 years ago.)

RAIN OR SHINE

If you need a rainy or sunny day activity … I think you will enjoy my recent interview with Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium. His talks should come with a warning, he makes it hard not to fall in love (or deeper in love) with roses — plants he calls THE ULTIMATE GARDEN PLANT. And, he uses them so beautifully. You can listen HERE.

 

Friends, spring is happening! Until next time be well, be safe, and be happy in the garden.

If you are local keep an umbrella handy too. 😉 ☔️