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. 😉 ☔️

Seeds: Tiny Miracles

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12

THINGS ARE GOOD AROUND HERE!

I just placed my first seed orders and already simply can’t wait to get them in the ground. But, wait I will — as rushing any type of gardening is most often futile.

Seeds heading my way:

RENEE’S GARDEN

I am always looking for more bokay makers and found a couple to add from Renee’s.

Mulberry Rose Nigella  (link)

I already have two other colors and love them even though you have to keep your eyes on them. #overcheivers

White Bishop Lace (link)

 

Flashback Caledula (link)

Loving the colors and will add these to the yellow ones I usually plant.

 

BURPEE

Steak Sandwich Tomato

I happened on plants of this tomato at Lowe’s last year from the Bonnie Plant collection. Since I had never heard of this variety, I immediately took to my phone to do some research (don’t you love on the spot research!). I found a YouTube video of someone who was testing this tomato and things were looking very good. I took 3 home.

Background: WE LOVE LOVE LOVE TOMATOES. Every year we plant many varieties (mostly in pots). While we get a few good tomatoes per plant, we find that most “slicers” are stingy with their fruit. Our goal is both taste and quantity. This year the goal was met. Tons of delicious tomatoes (medium sized). Not being sure we will find the plants again, buying seeds is our insurance policy.

If you are interested in knowing all things tomatoes, I would recommend Craig LeHoullier’s Epic Tomatoes.

Image courtesy of Bonnie Plants

Senora Zinnia (link)

Look at that color. I can already see this one making beautiful bokays with roses!

SEEDS ALREADY WAITING IN THE POTTING SHED:

Look at this plethora of “special” seed packets that my grandsons helped me pick out while I was in England. I love each one for the memories they evoke. Many will make it to the garden this year. Some of the packets will adorn the Potting Shed.

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SEEDS.

Seed packet reading will be high on my list especially with so many new seeds from the UK.

Then, I will begin to jump start with indoor planting…

I take a small and simple approach to indoor seed starting based on my limited time, space and light. I use basic seed starting grow pots or starter kits filled with seed starting mix. When: For the seeds I am starting, I need about 5 – 7 weeks before our last frost date (see your seed packet for specific info) to get the seedlings where they need to be at planting time. Planting time is the last frost date and around here (Zone 5) that is Mother’s Day. The potting shed does not receive enough light and few spaces do this time of year, so I will have a grow light over my plants.

For additional details about seed starting, here is a quick but excellent video by Epic Gardening. Take a look

I find the whole seed process fascinating and fun! This is truly a special, miracle filled part of gardening! What a glorious day it will be when I see green! 🌱🌱🌱

LITTLE MIRACLES INDEED:

While not all seeds are tiny, many of our flower seeds are. Hard to believe something so small has everything needed to grow! Size certainly does not determine their effectiveness. Of course for many of them we do have a role to play in providing light and water. However, as I pull over achievers, whether cultivated or wild, out of my garden … I know all too well that seeds do their job very well — often without my help. They are quite proficient at recruiting wind, birds and such. I don’t know about you, but I am blessed with many over achieving seeds. 😉

2 Corinthians 9:6 says… The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

YESSSS! LET’S GO AND SOW BOUNTIFULLY IN LIFE AND IN THE GARDEN!

PS: I’ve been ordering a few roses too.😱 We’ll talk about that later.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Change of Pace

This week brought out the coldest temps to date and the garden is showing the signs. While it was not cold enough to give that enchanting  dusting of frost on the blooms, it was enough to cause the not so enchanting beginning of the end  — they sort of look like they are melting. Yikes.

I have work to do! Mercy, some of the roses, zinnias and cosmos have grown so tall. #jungle Many of the David Austin roses have grown to 10′ or more. Tomorrow will be a “put on your boots, coat and gloves and get busy cleaning up the garden” kind of day. They weather is going to be in the high 60s. PERFECT.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK



POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

“Bloom Thyme This Week” will become “Potting Shed Putterings” for the winter.

Today I brought into the Potting Shed the last of the plants that need winter shelter. Took some time to move them around to places where they can catch the most light. Eventually we will install lights but for now there will be a bit of stretching.

Here are the two roses we started from 3″ cuttings at ROSEFEST in June. My good friend, Connie Hilker, was here to show us her method of starting rose cuttings and while these guys got off to a “proper” start, I assure you they should not still be in their “planting pot.” But they are. Forgive me Connie, I plan to repot them soon! Pray I don’t lose them, I have become quite fond of my baby Peggy Martin and Therese Bugnet. Take a look at Connie’s method of starting cuttings HERE. It might work for you too. I plan to do several more next year!


Other things brought in today were my boxwood topiaries and  my boxwood cuttings.

Many years ago I did topiaries but it has been so long. I started these this spring and have truly loved the shaping process. It is so relaxing!

Look at this cute cactus that called my name in Lowes… This time of year I spend a lot of time in the houseplant section of Lowes. Houseplants are really trendy right now and you can tell it in the selection we have! I have never seen so many different houseplants! Mr. G is beginning to get worried. Seems like I’m getting at least one new one each week. How many weeks does winter have?🌿 😱🌿

INSIDE JOBS: First up will be bigger pots for the baby roses – fingers crossed they do ok. You know roses love sun and sun is not something that Indiana has a surplus of in the winter.

There will be a lot of “puttering” in the Potting Shed this winter. Yes, puttering, planning, reading and dreaming of spring – and taking care of these baby plants.

I hope you will join me.

For those who have asked… here is the front of the potting shed. It is a tiny space (about  6′ X 12) that is attached to the back of our house. It is attached to our house because 25 years ago when Mr. G built it, the covenants on our street did not allow out buildings. I think they do now, but I am so happy that my potting shed is right in the middle of all the garden action! Out the door is a small pond and beautiful roses.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Welcome to My Herb Garden

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! ❣️

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Summer Care and Summer Blooms

In many areas extreme heat is the order of the day and our roses are showing the signs — curled leaves, slow growth and smaller than normal blooms that sometimes look distorted. All these are normal under these conditions. While I was away in May the temps soared to the 90s and haven’t come down much since.

WHAT I’M DOING…

WATER
Do keep watering if you can. A good deep soaking once a week should be sufficient except for your containers — mine need water everyday unless we get rain. Resist the temptation to overwater!

FERTILIZER
I fertilized them when I cut them back in June. And I’m usually on a every 6 weeks schedule. I’ll see how the weather is then. If it’s too hot still, I’ll be careful about doing much. When they are under stress, I find that too much of anything just contributes to the problem.

Maybe we will get lucky and July or August will be the May we missed! I just received a notification from the Weather Channel that Tropical Storm Beryl has formed in the Lesser Antilles – who knows what that will bring! Don’t you just love real time notifications!!!

Back to today–managing all this heat is tricky as it is a first for my neck of the woods – so time will tell.

Several years ago we had a severe drought and had no measureable rain for 7 weeks. I was in a panic as we could only water very minimally. I assure you the roses looked horrible at the end the drought. However, it was amazing how quickly they bounced back once regular weather returned. Praying the same thing happens this year when “regular” weather returns.

JAPANESE BEETLES
We are also dealing with Japanese Beetles — who came very early to my garden. They usually show up around the first week of July. This year I saw them the second week of June. I made my decision that day to cut back all the roses (blooms & buds) to make them less appealing. I was leaving for California so it seemed the perfect time. The result has been fewer JBs! WIN. The roses are now starting their second flush of bloom now and we’ll see how the “population” of beetles go!

To control JPs simply have a bucket of soapy water to drop them in. If you bend the cane down, their tendency is to drop and the soapy “bath” will be waiting! I received another tip this year from good friend, Dr. Mark Windham … trim off the damaged leaves! It seems it is the “damage” that encourages other JPs to come. Resist the urge to squish. I hear that process sends out a signal to others JPs to come visit via pheromones released. Yuk!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

There are some lovely blooms coming this week and the butterflies are loving them!

Watch the butterfly run through the coneflowers and daylilies in the video below…

 

As much as i want to be in the garden, I am limiting my time and you should too.

Grab some ice tea or lemonade to help you beat the heat and have a lovely

Bloom Thyme Friday.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Lemons to Lemonade


In gardens and in life it’s best when life gives you lemons, to make lemonade.
If you have been gardening for even a short time you know that gardens are ever changing. One of the strongest agents of change in my garden is winter. While I am a huge fan of spring. Sometimes the changes that winter pushes through while we are all comfy and cozy by the fireplace with our loves—are “chilling.”  Such was the case this year. Our winter came late, was harsh, warmed up early and then really hit us hard. A few of my roses were not fans and gave up or decided to take their sweet time showing up again.

But it was not the roses that took the biggest hit. It was our Winter Gem Boxwood Hedge. Many of the plants in this hedge had been here 10 years, some only 6. Ironically, we loved them especially in the winter when the snow would fall on them. They are gone now … all of them. I cried. As I looked at the blank canvas, Mr G says he saw that gleam in my eyes. I will add a few things this year but will do more in 2019 as it evolves and I live with our new open space. No question, I will miss my hedge and may even plant another one. But, I’m gonna take some time.

ABOUT CHANGE…

One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43:19. He’s always got a plan!

LEMONS TO LEMONADE…

Hope your week is filled with beauty and a tall glass of homemade lemonade, if  you need a recipe to try, my recipe is here.  Sure love making lemonade with my boys!

 

BLOOMING THIS WEEK…

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

 

Making progress…

Making progress…

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!

UNTIL NEXT WEEK, HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Bloom Thyme Friday: What’s Next

This lover of spring is noticing how “fall things” have started to creep into my world. 😢 One upside is it’s time for assessing the year and making plans for next year! I really love the making plans for next year part! Hope “springs” eternal for gardeners! 😉

NEW FOR 2018

The last couple of weeks on Rose Chat we have been interviewing the rose suppliers on 2018 releases. I can tell you with great enthusiasm, there are some beauties coming. I’ll be making some room! The first in the series was with Jackson and Perkins and it is out now. Check them out at rosechatpodcast.com.

Yep, it’s that time of year to fall in love with new ones. I don’t know about you but whether I’m adding a couple or a dozen, it always “requires” some REEEE designing and some REEEE arranging. (I love that part!!!) Makes Mr G gets a bit nervous. He’s the kind who likes things in the garden the way they are now — regardless of how they are now. Which is a blessing in many ways! But, I LOVE to move things around! He says he trusts me, but when I get started I see that eye twitch until it is done.  😳 😂

Before I fall full into planning for next  year,  I’m looking at roses that were stand outs in my garden this year.

Here are 5 of them…

5. Quietness: Year after year, this rose quietly steals the show! Beautiful, healthy, easy care and fragrant — the whole package. Purchase your own at Chamblees Roses (Link). You really will love it!

4. Olivia Rose Austin: These pictures say it all. Well almost all. Until we have scratch and sniff blog pages, you can’t fully experience all this rose has to offer. The fragrance is not to be missed. You can have one (Full disclosure: I have two. LOL) too, just follow this link. David Austin roses are in the charm and fragrance business for sure!

3. Peggy Martin: A one-time blooming show stopper! She filled the early season with grace, beauty and charm. All are words I’d use to describe her lovely namesake! Just talking about her makes me miss her! 😘 Love you Peggy. This rose is available at Chamblees.

2. At Last: New to my world but made a big impression. Lovely color. Quick to repeat and a light sweet fragrance. Can’t wait to see what she will do next year! Locally, Country Harmony had this rose. (Link)

1. My Girl: As I look out at the (3) My Girls, I can’t believe how well they have done! 2 are in pots and one is in the ground. Loads of blooms and probably the most healthy roses in my garden this year! A deep pink color that is hard to photograph but trust me it is gorgeous! This beauty is from the Easy Elegance collection–found locally at Lowes and Frazee Gardens (Link).

This My Girl is in the ground…
This My Girl is in a pot on the deck.

SPECIAL MENTION…

Special mention goes to Music Box also from the Easy Elegance collection! Strong beautiful shrub giving me loads of blooms for bokays! Here’s a video I did for the American Rose Society

One thing that does get my attention in the fall…

Are you a pumpkin spice “YAY” or a pumpkin spice “NAY” person?

If not pumpkin spice latte, what is your fall drink of choice?

Today I’m wishing you a happy Pumpkin Spice Season and a very happy Bloom Thyme Friday.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Nips and Tucks

Yes, is it summer thyme and time to trim up the perennials and annuals that have been beautiful companions to my roses and clean up the beds of debris and fallen blooms and leaves. There are areas that are definitely moving into the jungly stage. I also like to add a bit of mulch this time of year. Fresh mulch just looks so good and it is so helpful in moisture retention.

Some of the roses need a good hair cut too so they can move into making a beautiful fall display of blooms—which we will get to enjoy now that the Japanese Beetles are in their final decent! (Here’s a bit more on pruning.)

To add to the excitement of the summer trim, we have a fall rose show coming up in our ARS Illinois Indiana District to be held in St. Louis (more information on that here). If all goes as planned, I will have some fresh blooms to take to the show. Now I am not the most competitive or competent horticulture exhibitor, but it is quite thrilling to see a blue ribbon on one of my babies. It does happen from time to time.😉 I’ll have a better chance in the arrangement category. I love that best! But, there are so many talented people in this district! #stiffcompetition

Here’s a bokay I picked last weekend to take to a friend’s dinner party...

TIMING

Most roses will repeat bloom in 40 – 50 days after a trim. So wish me luck. It really is a win win situation … I’ll take the beautiful blooms anytime. But, if I have an award winner at the show, you will hear about it. 😱

JUST BE

Wednesday I had a day off and a chance to “just be” in the garden. No real agenda.  A little work, but mostly plotting and planning. There is nothing quite like taking some time to “just be.” So grateful for that day.

BLOOMERS THIS WEEK

Here are some of the pictures from this week…

Lady Ashe

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday from my jungly summer garden!