BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: MORNINGS

Most of you are probably like me and in the midst of a heat wave making mornings so very important to us! To spend time in the garden we have to beat the heat! 

My favorite way to start the day is with coffee in the garden doing my devotions. My devotions this time of year are centered around the garden. Time began in a garden. Jesus went to a garden before the cross. Jesus said I am the vine you are the branches. There’s a flood. There’s drought. There’s rocky soil.  There’s the mustard seed. You can’t go very far in the Bible without bumping into a garden or garden illustration.  It’s very gardeny.

I was recently asked for recommendations for gardeny devotional books, so here is a list of the ones I have, they’re all a bit different. Several I bought many years ago but they may still be available through Amazon or other online outlets.

  • Garden Mercies by Laurie Ostby Kehler
  • Devotions from the Garden from Thomas Nelson Books
  • A Gardener’s Little Devotional Book by Worthy Publishing
  • Meditations on a Rose Garden by Carolyn Huffman
  • Down a Garden Path by Karla Dornacher
  • A Well-Watered Garden by Harriet Crosby
  • NIV Gardeners Bible  

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

In the potting shed, I have Foxglove seeds started for next year’s garden. As biennials, in my garden, they make leaves the first year and winter over and bloom the second year. They also are known to be prolific self-seeders and that has worked for me lately but there were many years when we’ve had colder winters that did not happen.  Last year I bought a lovely pot of peach foxgloves. This year in that same area I have 4 peach foxgloves! Self-seeding at its best. Always good to note about this plant ALL PARTS ARE POISONOUS.

My beautiful self-seeders
Little miracles

The seeds I planted are Carousel Mix from Renee’s Garden. They will be a mix of pastel shades.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Many of the roses are laying low, hiding from the heat and the Japanese Beetles. Since my open garden on June 12, we’ve had NO rain! NONE. The only upside to the lack of rain is that the barrage of Japanese Beetles has been stymied due to the hard ground. Only a few brave souls have emerged. We are looking forward to a drenching rain but so far none is in the forecast.

This time of year it is great to take note of those things that are doing very well. There are some roses and many perennials and annuals that don’t seem to mind the hot dry condition. Here are my BFFs right now – coreopsis, daylilies, coneflowers, daisies, veronica, and phlox. So far my dahlias are doing okay too. I’d not say they are thriving but growing and I’m still hopeful they will be spectacular. The big exception there is Creme de Cognac… I started the tuber inside and it did well and now it is blooming like crazy – way ahead of the others.

YOU ARE IN GOOD COMPANY IN THE GARDEN

Never forget you are in good company in the garden.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:8   He is the Master Gardener.

Happy Gardening Friends!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Open Garden Dress Code

This has been a year for the record books. Aren’t they all! 😳

Leading up to “Open Garden” day, we had torrential downpours almost every day. Some days it rained all day. So with standing water in areas of the garden two days before “open garden” I was close to canceling. I can tell you my master gardener friends were not big fans of canceling. And yes it was raining the day of the big event but not torrential downpours. My thoughts were… if we were England we would not cancel, we would just dress for the weather. So, I sent out a note saying just that and added – bring your umbrella and wear your Wellies it’s garden tour time.

30 minutes before people were to arrive the rain stopped and the sun came out!!! We had the best time! Did the garden look it’s best…. HEAVEN’S NO! Every bloom had been water damaged. But, that didn’t stop the fun. We had the best time. How can you not have a good time with friends in your garden — it’s just the best. 

ZINNIAS FOR EVERYONE

I just love Zinnias. I tried several “new to me” varities from seed this year plus a few extras to share. A few weeks before open garden day, I had so much fun potting up Zinnia seedlings for visitors to take home. 

ROSEFEST UPDATE

Rosefest was a big success. Loads of people and loads of roses. In the Rose Show I saw some of the most beautiful roses I have ever seen thanks to all those who entered … especially John and Donna Hefner. They are such experts and are so willing to help others. They took home the top honors.

ROSE CHAT

More episodes are being released all the time. Check them out here. When you click the most recent episodes will become linkable. First up you’ll see my chat with Tom Carruth – one of the most successful rose hybridizers in the world. He has brought us classic beauties like Julia Child, Hot Cocoa and the amazing Forth of July climber to name a few. He is currently the currator for one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the world … The Huntington Rose Garden in San Marino, CA.

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – www.RedneckRosarian.com Creator of the Rose Chat Podcast. Mr. VanCleave is a nationally known rosarian, television personality, speaker and advocate for the rose.   Content Creator & On-Air Personality: Teresa Byington – www.TheGardenDiary.com Co-Host Teresa Byington promotes roses as an integral part of the landscape, as a Consulting Rosarian, Master Gardener, writer, and speaker.   SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Rose Chat Podcast Updates: http://bit.ly/subscribeROSE   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

THey’re back

Oh, how I hate to tell you that it’s now Japanese Beetle season again. 😫

You know how much I love my Vanessa Bell roses. Well, the Japanese Beetles chose her to be the first to munch on. So, it begins. 😡  If you’d like to read my article on Japanese Beetles from last year, read on here

PRESSING FLOWERS

I haven’t pressed flowers for many years but I have been craving to do so this year. Mr. G gifted me with an absolutely gorgeous (and large) press from Gardeners Supply. He loves to buy gifts from there as they have such quality! If you are interested in pressing some beauty too, here’s a link

What am I going to do with the flowers I press??? I’m not sure but I do envision a jar filled with beautiful pressed flowers. We’ll see!

ROSE OF THE WEEK… BLISS PARFUMA

What a rose! It has stood up to all the rain like a champ! This rose came to me from Heirloom Roses last year and it is outstanding. A strong, vigorous plant with gorgeous blooms. Like all the Kordes roses in my garden, it is disease resistant. It also has a light fragrance. To read more, here is a link to Heirloom.

COMPANION OF THE WEEK … SELF-SEEDED FOXGLOVE

Look at this beauty. It self-seeded from a Foxglove I bought at Lowes last year. Such a beautiful color. I will be saving seeds and making sure some make their way into the ground again!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

The rain gave way to torrid heat. I think most of you are in the same hot boat! Many plants are “melting” but some are taking the heat in stride. And, I’m trying to do the same.

We will close out the gallery with the boldest of all… one of the newest kids on the block – South Africa.

Whew, she is making a name for herself. She is positioned right beside the prissy pink Pomponella who may be giving her a side-eye. I might have to find a better place for her “boldness.”

Friends, glad you stopped by. Stay cool!! 

Maybe make some lemonade. This is the recipe for lemonade I loved to serve to guests coming to the garden — back when the world was more comfortable with that sort of thing. I sure hope we get back to that soon.

My kids call it, “LEMONADE THE MOM WAY.”

For each can of Minute Maid (or other brands) Frozen Lemonade add…

  • 2 cans water
  • 2 cans Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 – 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Add ice and ENJOY!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SLOWLY, SURELY AND WET!

Are you tired of hearing about weather yet? We are getting almost constant rain! The garden is drenched but so green. This reminds me of 2019 when my good friend Connie Hilker came to visit and she spent her time walking in the garden under an umbrella wearing boots – the pathways were flooded. She would find the same thing today…

Here are some beauties BRAVING THE STORMS this week…

KAZANLIK is an amazingly fragrant Damask from the Bulgaria / Turkey region since before 1600s. I just had to have her and many of her cousins after visiting Turkey and learning more about their significance in the rose oil trade. Wonderful to use in potpourris! I purchased her from High Country Roses and you can too … here

ABOVE AND BEYOND is going above and beyond, as usual, to make a big splash in the garden. Rain or shine! Thank you Dr. David Zlesak for such an amazing rose!

CLEMATIS AND LADY ASHE

The clematis is moving in a bit faster but Lady Ashe is primed and ready to take center stage. What a fabulous rose! Lady Ashe is a beautiful, well-behaved, fragrant climber from English rose growers at Peter Beale’s Roses.

OTHERS DOING WELL REGARDLESS OF THE CONDITIONS…

ROSE CHAT

Want company while you’re working in the garden? Access the list of most recent podcasts below…

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – www.RedneckRosarian.com Creator of the Rose Chat Podcast. Mr. VanCleave is a nationally known rosarian, television personality, speaker and advocate for the rose.   Content Creator & On-Air Personality: Teresa Byington – www.TheGardenDiary.com Co-Host Teresa Byington promotes roses as an integral part of the landscape, as a Consulting Rosarian, Master Gardener, writer, and speaker.   SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Rose Chat Podcast Updates: http://bit.ly/subscribeROSE   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

ROSEFEST / SAT, JUNE 11, 9 – 3 pm

If you’re local, the Indianapolis Rose Society and Hamilton Country Master Gardeners have teamed up to bring a beautiful day of roses. Roses for sale, demonstrations, garden tour, great speakers, and free Proven Winner’s beautiful roses to the first 40 guests! For all the details, read on here… 

Grateful

In these tumultuous times, weather as a problem is not even on the scale. More than ever I appreciate the beauty and love around me. 

Luke 12: Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. He’s not just in control of flowers, He’s in control of us. 

Until next week…. may your time in the garden give you comfort and beauty.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: May Madness

Well, for the last two weeks I have been “gardening from a fire hose.” For sure. With winter refusing to leave and spring rains turning to spring floods, all the spring chores around here were crammed into the last two weeks. Of course, there is not a real “deadline”, however, I want things to be ready when FIREWORKS and FRAGRANCE season starts and the old roses lead the way in late May.

So with every minute I had, I was planting, pruning, fertilizing and mulching. As of Wednesday of this week, most of those tasks have been crossed off the list. Whew! Just in time to see this beauty take center stage as the first rose to bloom. 

Therese Bugnet (Hybrid Rugosa (Georges Bugnet, Canada, 1941)

If you would like to know more about her or would like to have one in your garden, check out the High Country Roses website HERE.  

So in this flurry of garden activity, I found a place for 24 dahlias.😳 Still a mystery to me how I found enough room. Also found plenty of room to plant cosmos and zinnia seeds. My plan is that they will take up the slack when the roses have to lay low while the Japanese Beetles are on the hunt for them mid-summer. Praying that the JBs do not find Dahlias and Zinnias tasty. Can’t these dreaded creatures just go away! Remember last summer …

ROSE CHAT

If you need some company while you’re weeding, check out the latest podcasts. I’ve been chatting with some great guests. Access list below..

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – www.RedneckRosarian.com Creator of the Rose Chat Podcast. Mr. VanCleave is a nationally known rosarian, television personality, speaker and advocate for the rose.   Content Creator & On-Air Personality: Teresa Byington – www.TheGardenDiary.com Co-Host Teresa Byington promotes roses as an integral part of the landscape, as a Consulting Rosarian, Master Gardener, writer, and speaker.   SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Rose Chat Podcast Updates: http://bit.ly/subscribeROSE   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

Yes, May Madness is upon us! The garden is filled with excitement. So many roses are budded up and will pop soon! FIREWORKS AND FRAGRANCE to be continued. 

In this time of gardening from a fire hose…. the scripture Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God…. is something I need more than ever. He is the creator of all this beauty we see and I am grateful. 

Have a wonderful week in your garden and I hope you have time to just be… 

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SOWING, BOOKS, AND A GIVEAWAY

Winter sowing has finally begun. Probably, like you, February is a month where my plans for the garden and the reality of summertime and energy clash.

Starting seeds inside under grow lights is extremely fun for me but, there is a lot of time between start to finish on that process and the end of that process gets a little tricky and requires the gardener to be very engaged.

So, in comes winter sowing! Seriously, it is a very easy and economical way to get a ton of seedlings up and ready for planting with minimal work for the gardener. Last year was the first time I tried it although so many of my fellow master gardeners raved about the process! At first, I was concerned that my garden would look “unsightly” with all those water jugs strewn about. But this year I am embracing the milk jug garden art even more than last year. Every time I see them I am giddy with anticipation of what is to come. If you’d like to know more about the Winter Sowing Method and what I did last year, read on here.

My cutting garden is the main focus of winter sowing. The cutting garden is a raised bed directly behind the herb garden that will be home to the dahlias I chatted about last week. In my “winter gardener’s dream state,” I see hundreds and hundreds of blooms to pick! Oh, did I forget to mention the zinnias? Well, I think they are getting a new space so there’s more room for them to be their best selves. 

IN THE WATER JUGS ARE…

  • Lavender
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • Candytuft
  • Delphinium
  • Daucus
  • Scabiosa
  • Verbena
  • Orlaya 
  • Nicotiana
  • Larkspur
  • Phacelia
  • Poppies
  • Foxgloves

If these all do well, I’ll have enough for the cutting garden and to add to the borders! A bit later in the season, I am going to try sowing tomatoes using this method. 

Potting day process looks like this…

In other potting shed news, the basil and Lisianthus seeds are up and looking sooo sooo cute. 

REALITY CHECK: CRITTERS (or varmints as my dad would say)

We’ve talked about how all the critters from miles around showed up to have lunch – regularly. I have Mr. G working on some sort of easy to move around fencing so that my babies will have a better chance of survival against the cats, groundhogs, raccoons, o’possums, rabbits and deer. Yes, our critter cam caught all of them munching on my babies last year or in the case of the cats … having way too much fun scratching around – if you know what I mean. 😏

I also purchased several mesh wire wastebaskets (Link) to use as cloches for protecting small plants. I know my parsley will need extra help and the Daucus. Everyone loves anything in the carrot family!

BOOKS AND GARDENING

This quote says, “if you have a garden and library you have everything you need”. Well, that is isn’t quite true for me, however, books are a huge part of my gardening experience. 

In January I pull out some of my favorite books where the author takes a month-by-month approach. The best one is Rosemary Verey’s, A Country Woman’s Year. When I read her words, I am transformed to her time and place. And want to be where she is and meet who she meets and see what she sees.

Rosesmary’s words from “FEBRUARY”…

Philip Miller, gardener to the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries at the Botanic Garden at Chelsea, wrote in 1732 that December was the darkest month of the whole year. Adding up the hours of darkness I am sure he must be right but for me February is the most dreary month. We are almost at the end of the tunnel and perhaps it is the accumulation of dark days that do their best to get me down. Luckily they do not succeed as there are wonderful promises to come. Yesterday as I drove down Welch Way, a 200 year old lane near our village, I got out of my car to examine the nut trees. They grow on each side of the lane making a wonderful canopy, joining hands in the middle. At night, headlights full on, you feel as though you are driving through a magic tunnel.


Okay, who wants to join me for a trip to see the nut trees? 


Another author who has the ability to transform me with her words is Christie Purifoy

GARDEN MAKER … Growing a Life of Beauty & Wonder with Flowers

I liken her new book to walking at daybreak in the morning fog, coffee in hand to take in all the nuances of the quiet garden. Few things are more enchanting to me than foggy mornings. Christie’s book is filled with all the feels of an enchanting morning stroll with a friend where there’s endless time for garden talk.

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Garden friends, I would love to give one of you a copy of Christie’s book. Actually, I’d like to give all of you a copy but of course, I can’t do that. All you have to do to be added to the drawing is leave a comment below and share a favorite garden book. Deadline March 1. (US addresses only.)

A SNEAK PEEK INSIDE…

Friends, have a wonderful week, and don’t forget to leave a comment about your favorite book! Happy Valentine’s Day.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: FALLING INTO FALL

I am always late to the fall party … spend too much time pouting about the end of the growing season. But, I do eventually get there! And usually, it is just in time for the first snow which we had this week. Fresh snowfall refreshes the soul and makes everything look enchanting.

FALL WORK

When the sun is shining and I’m in the garden I forget what’s to come and just enjoy being there. There’s much to do. I am now on day three of trimming roses. It takes a while because I can never stay on one task. I am a garden project hopper.

I am also adding sulfur to the beds. A soil test revealed my pH was high and it was recommended I add sulfur. The lab I used for the soil test was A & L Great Lakes Labs. LINK HERE

The final fall task will be to rake up debris from some of the beds and add a layer of shredded leaves which we have in abundance this year thanks to our neighbor who is treating all the neighbors on our street by “mowing” and shredding the leaves from their yards! So, they are literally being shredded and bagged for me! So grateful as typically we have to buy mulch!

BULB PLANTING

I love bulbs and have quite a few but I try to resist planting too many as the foliage they leave behind for such a long, long, long time tends to get in the way of the beauty of my spring “fireworks and fragrance” stage when the old garden roses start doing their thing! They take center stage and the bulbs get a nip in their life cycle if you know what I mean.

This year it was harder than ever to resist buying hundreds of bulbs I can tell you! I am following several people on Instagram that are naturalizing bulbs and they made it so tempting.

But I stayed fairly strong and only planted a few additional bulbs. It was great to get them in the ground and dream of when they will emerge doing their very popular jobs — adding beauty to the end of winter and shouting to the world that spring is coming! For the first time, I also planted a few bulbs in a container on the patio to see how well they will do. 

FALL FOOD

One of the very best things about fall is fall food. It is synonymous with comfort food. So far we have had several favorites… Zuppa Toscana, Chicken Pot Pie, and Chicken Noodle Soup! What food says fall to you?

I also made several batches of caramel dip to share. It is way too good to keep around too long so it must be shared! If you are interested, you can find the recipe HERE.  The next treat to share will be Grandma B’s Fruit Cake Cookies. I know. I know. You’re thinking you wouldn’t like them but I’m telling you, they are not only traditional, they are good! Especially if you add extra coconut! Go ahead, give them a try. Recipe HERE

BLOOM THYME

Let’s talk about my orchid!

I have tried orchids several times in the past and while I enjoy them so much, I could never get a robust rebloom. That story has now changed. At the Awards Banquet for the Indianapolis Rose Society in December  2019, I was given a lovely orchid as a gift for serving as President. 

This year the beautiful orchid came back to life in January sending up 2 strong bloom “spikes.” By February it was blooming and it finished blooming in August! It was glorious! Now it is going again!

In this picture taken yesterday, you can see that the Amaryllis is clearly saying “this is my time to shine” and the Orchid is clearly saying “hold my beer.”  😳😆 They both will be bringing me immense pleasure very soon!

February
July

Want to know my orchid secret? I have a good friend who is a master at growing orchids. The most amazing orchids I have ever seen. He gave me some simple advice and that is what I do. Water every week with soluble orchid fertilizer. Amount? One jigger full of the fertilized water. It works.


BACK TO THE BANQUET

Here are a few pictures from that Indianapolis Rose Society Banquet. Such a beautiful evening together with rose friends. Little did we know how different things would be in a few short months and it would be the last of such events for a good long while.  I so look forward to having them again.

LATEST PODCAST

Last week I chatted with Carrie and Joe Bergs about winter rose care where it gets very cold but we talked about so much MORE than just winter rose care. We talked about roses they love, their hobby of exhibiting roses, mentoring others in their area, and the work they are doing for local societies and the American Rose Society. Joe and Carrie enjoy every aspect of growing roses – a lovely rose power couple. LISTEN HERE

Carrie did a previous Rose Chat podcast, “My Favorite Pink Ladies” where she shares about her favorite old garden roses. Listen HERE

BEST PART OF FALL

It is almost time for the best part of fall … Thanksgiving! A time to count our blessings and enjoy special moments and yummy food with those we love. We’ve learned that holidays can look very different but I’m so impressed with how we have learned to find new ways to celebrate and share. Wishing you a very special week.

Friends, when I count my blessings, I certainly count you. It is wonderful to have a community of like-minded friends who share my love of gardening and roses. Thank you.

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. 

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: 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.