A couple of months ago I asked Mr. G if he would build a serving table for the deck. He looked at me and said something like, “what size do you want this potting bench to be.” I said oh no… just a serving table for food and drinks when we are eating outside. Fast forward to last week when he showed me what he was thinking of building and I immediately started thinking just how lovely his table would look with plants in containers all around and on it. And how convenient it would be for a quick potting project if needed. #busted #heknowsme   Regardless, I know it will be beautiful, sturdy, “multi-purpose” and a great addition to the deck! 😄💐🪴 Now for the big decisions — which roses and companions to plant around this new table!

Even though I have a large garden, I do love growing in containers. I read somewhere that Tasha Tudor always had the most beautiful container at the time moved to beside “her” chair on the porch. That’s what we all want… the most beautiful plants up close to us.  I always have a few roses and favorite plants in pots for just that reason — to have them close to where we enjoy sitting. One of our very favs is Lantana — brings the butterflies and hummingbirds so close.

Many people ask whether or not a certain rose can be grown in a container and I say almost any rose can — if the pot is large enough! Well, maybe not Paul’s Himalayan Musk but …. maybe.


Some of the best tips on growing roses in containers I have ever heard were when I chatted with Rebecca Koreytem of David Austin Roses last spring on Rose Chat. You can listen here…


A sought-after speaker and educator, Rebecca Koraytem is the U. S. Sales Executive for David Austin Roses Ltd., providing technical and retail support to customers in the United States and Canada.  Prior to joining David Austin Roses, Rebecca served as garden editor for Southern Living magazine for 15 years. Rebecca holds an MS and BS in Horticulture from Clemson University.

Another great Rose Chat with Rebecca … The Fragrance of Roses (Link)


If you are looking to make decisions about which roses to buy this year, here are some of the roses in my garden and a list of suppliers.


I can’t talk about container gardening without talking about Mr. G’s driveway tomato garden. Each year I start seeds of his favorite tomato, STEAK SANDWICH. Then he has the big decisions of what other ones to add that can be found locally. He usually plants 3 or 4 of his Steak Sandwiches then 3 or 4 others. What is your favorite tomato to grow? I always vote for at least one Mr. Stripey.

These pictures tell it all. Mr. G is very successful with his tomatoes and a few other veggies too. I just can’t wait for all the fresh veg! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

After seeing that, doesn’t a BLT with fresh tomatoes sound so good! Or some fresh bruschetta!


Last year I grew this little beauty from the Proven Winners Rise Up series of mini climbers on an obelisk on my Potting Shed porch and LOVED it.


Here is a link to other mini-climbing roses in the RISE UP series. LINK


Speaking of containers in the garden whether we want to put them in prime spots to show off or to get them closer or farther away from the sun – moving them can be an issue.  Last year we decided on these to help. There are not super heavy duty but worked for most of our containers. LINK


Spring is coming soon! Gardeners have so many decisions to make in the next few weeks/months and these are the most fun decisions! 🌸🌹🌻🌷🪴


BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: ProGressive Beauty

Hello friends!

This time of year we are all a twitter about the weather. Temps go up and temps fall down making us a wee bit crazy. No matter, Spring is coming and maybe even a bit early this year. We’ve been away for a few days and were greeted with so much beauty.

  • The geranium cuttings that have been growing slowly but surely this winter, bloomed!
  • The most unusual amaryllis I have ever grown, Nymph Double Bloom, was showing off!
  • So many pretty Snowdrops.
  • Tete de Tete daffodils are showing color.
  • Other daffodills are ready to go – just a few more warm days.



Winter sowing containers have life! Those showing some green are:

  • Salvia Violet Queen
  • Yarrow
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • Strawflowers
  • Phacelia
  • Scabiosa


Although still tiny, I potted up the Lisianthus that had been sown via broadcast in small containers. Now they are in larger, self watering trays — making them much easier to take care of. The plants are tiny but the roots are quite impressive!

Heirloom Roses

Thanks to Heirloom Roses for this helpful image and for sending such a lovely catalog for me to drool over!



Last week I chatted with Dr. David Byrne from Texas A & M. He and his team are working to find the keys to help us eliminate black spot and RRD. I learned a lot and loved knowing the project is in such good hands. I think you will too. You can listen here…

NEW PLANTS FOR 2023 Rose Chat Podcast

NEW PLANTS FOR 2023 – PROVEN WINNERS COLOR CHOICE Natalie Carmolli Public Relations Specialist for Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs      Natalie Carmolli, public relations specialist for Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs is back for one of our favorite chats of the season… new roses as well as other new plants for our gardens!   Proven Winners Website: Proven Winners YouTube:     ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – 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 – 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:
  1. NEW PLANTS FOR 2023


Thank you for your gracious welcome. It was wonderful to be with you! All the best with your spring projects!


Christie Purifoy has done it again; created another beautiful garden book for us. No one speaks the language of a garden and home quite like Christie. In A HOME IN BLOOM Christie takes us on a jouney through the seasons leading us through creative ways to fill our homes with beauty from the garden. Helping us to blur the lines between inside and out. If you’ve read her previous books, you know that you can simply sink into the words she writes. And be inspired by the images she uses. Quote from A HOME IN BLOOM… Brought together, house and garden tell a better story than either one alone. Take a look at the book on Amazon here. Follow her on Instagram here.


As I look at the long range forecast, it appears much cooler temps are coming. I’m sure more garden surprises both good and bad are coming too. We will not despair, spring will come and the bloom thyme will be glorious.

Thanks for stopping by, until next time … happy gardening or happy garden planning.

Bloom Thyme Friday: More Winter Sowing

Yes, the winter experiment continues …

Here are the additional seeds I have added to the winter family tucked away in their mini greenhouses. The original list was on my last post… here.

  • Tall White Alyssum / grows to about 12″ / Baker Creek
  • Blue Star Columbine /grows to 24″ / Burpee
  • Kilimanjaro White Marigold / grows to 18″ / Botanical Interest
  • Nicotiana Lime Green (Last year’s seed)

Next sowing will be in April when I will start warm season seeds like tomatoes, zinnias, cosmos and such.


This is my third year doing the winter sowing method. There have been many successes and some failures but it is still such a fun project! Below is an assessment of the previous years…

  • ✔️ Some germination
  • Ⅹ No Germination
  • ⭐️ Outstanding Germination


  • Larkspur (French Alouette) ✔️
  • Delphinium (Magic Fountain) ✔️ (took an extra long time)
  • Lavender (Munstead) ✔️ (took an extra long time)
  • Ammi ⭐️
  • Sweet William (Double Blend) ⭐️


  • Munstead Lavender ✔️
  • Bachelor Buttons (Cyanus Double) ⭐️
  • Strawflower (Tall Double Mix) ⭐️
  • Candytuft (Old Seed) Ⅹ
  • Delphinium (Magic Mountain) ✔️
  • Verbena Bonariensis ⭐️
  • Orlaya (White Lace) ✔️
  • Phacelia (Lacy) ✔️
  • Larkspur (White) Ⅹ
  • Poppies (Buttercream) Ⅹ
  • Foxgloves (Carousel Mix) ⭐️
  • Celosia Pink Champagne ⭐️
  • Scabiosa (Fama White) Ⅹ


I have always loved snapdragons, my kids loved snapdragons and they’re not only beautiful in the garden but also a completely fabulous cut flower.

For several years I’ve found flats of little snapdragon seedlings for sale at Menards. Each year I was on pins and needles to see if that would have them again. Bonus: They were the tall “Rocket” variety I love in solid colors – both pink and white! PERFECT! It was risky to wait but I didn’t have to start from seed.

This year I have gone snapdragon crazy. Have you seen how many gorgeous ones are available from seed??? If they do well in the jugs, my cutting garden will be very happy. If they don’t — well I’ll be scampering back to Menards! Seriously, who am I kidding, I’ll head to Menards anyway for the basic white and pink ones! If you want some, you better get their early and often! They show up without warning.

Snapdragons I’ve been seduced by this year through seed catalogs and online sources:


The lastest podcast to be released was my chat with Gaye Hammond on up-to-the-minute information on Rose Rosette Disease. Next will be Dr. David Byrne on The Research Journey of Sustainable Roses.

Coming in March there will be several released over the next few weeks as part of the SPRING FLING…

Here is a podcast player where they can be found…

NEW PLANTS FOR 2023 Rose Chat Podcast

NEW PLANTS FOR 2023 – PROVEN WINNERS COLOR CHOICE Natalie Carmolli Public Relations Specialist for Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs      Natalie Carmolli, public relations specialist for Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs is back for one of our favorite chats of the season… new roses as well as other new plants for our gardens!   Proven Winners Website: Proven Winners YouTube:     ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – 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 – 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:
  1. NEW PLANTS FOR 2023


Local friends, on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:30 pm the Indianapolis Rose Society will have it’s first in-person meeting of 2023. Your’s truly will be giving a program on English Cottage Gardens. Click here for details.


There is only one bloom in my garden and it has come much earlier than previous years. Actually 3 weeks earlier than last year. The beautiful crocus. Welcome back!



With the warmer temps and tons of rain, I am seeing more green than usual! Someone told me this week that we are on course for spring to arrive 3 weeks early. That is exactly how early my crocus are.

Even the evergreens are beginning to lose a bit of their bronze winter hue. Green is certainly welcome here. Yes, green is not only welcome as it speaks to the coming season — it is so peaceful and soothing. Reminds me of a favorite scripture…

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: 

Psalm 23

Yes, green is very soothing and such a welcome sight but we won’t forget about winter. We know just how fickle it can be.

Friends, I would love to hear about seeds you are growing this year regardless of the method. And, what about snapdragons – thumbs up or down?

Until next time…


This is my third year using the Winter Sowing method and I am a huge fan. It is so simple, cheap and requires sooo little time. One of the big advantages is that there is no “hardening” off process. Those tiny miracles know when to germinate and they get tough during their time in the those “jug microclimates”.

Even though not all of the seeds I’ve sown have done well (most have), it’s incredibly fun to see what happens! I’ve found it to be a great return on a small investment.


For the first time last year I planted tomato seeds using the winter sowing method.

I put them outside in a jug on April 2, left them alone and had amazing plants in mid May ready to take their place in Mr. G’s driveway garden. The 3 varieties I planted were Gardener’s Delight, Steak Sandwich and Beefsteak.

I also planted the same seeds in the potting shed and put them under lights. The shed may be small but I have a great set up for seed starting. When it was time to plant the tomatoes outside I would have to say that the indoor plants had the advantage on uniformity and look but the tomatoes in the jugs where very hardy and ready to go and initially were out performing the ones shed grown. In the picture below, the tall ones were winter sown. In the end they all caught up with each other and performed very well giving Mr. G a bumper crop of tomatoes! All’s well that ends well!


  • Milkweed
  • Foxglove
  • Larkspur
  • Phacelia
  • Sweet Pea
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • Snapdragons
  • Strawflower
  • Orlaya
  • Yarrow
  • Scabiosa
  • Lavender (Munstead)
  • Poppies

These babies are already out in the elements… more to join them soon.

If you look closely you’ll see some wire fencing I have around them to protect from night marauders.


In late March or early April, I plan to start several warm season flowers and veggies – especially tomatoes. I may even try Zinnias with this method even though direct seeding works very well.

For those who asked, these are the Zinnias I’m growing this year:

  • Queen Lime Red ⭐️ (Fav from last year!)
  • Queen Lime with Blush
  • Queen Lime Orange ⭐️ (Fav from last year!)
  • Giant Purple
  • Isabellina
  • Double Violet Queen


I buy seeds from everywhere … the Dollar Store, Rural King, Amazon, Esty, Big Box Stores, garden centers and all the usual online sources. Amazon is great to save a bit on delivery especially if you only want a couple of packets,

Fabulous online options…

LOCAL NOTE: FREE SEEDS will be one of the booths at the Hendricks Co. Master Gardeners annual spring event — Gardening for All Ages / April 29. Come join us for a day of garden fun! Event details here.


If you are new to this process, below are the steps I take. There are numerous videos on YouTube where you can see this in action. Always note the growing zone of those doing the video to adjust for your zone growing needs. (I’m Zone 5b.)


  • Clear water or milk jugs cut around the middle preserving 2-3” by handle for hinge  (discard lids you won’t need them)
    • I’ve seen people use rotisserie chicken container, take-out containers and all kinds of drink containers. As long as there is room for them to grow, they drain well and light can penetrate – most any container would work. I love the jugs because they are not only sturdy, they have that built in hinge. The jugs are large so I often plant more than one variety per jug.
  • Potting Soil (Not seed starting mix.)
  • Duck Tape
  • Labels / Garden Marker
  • Seeds


  • Cut container and add 4-5 drain holes in bottom
  • Fill container to about 1″ below rim with pre-moistened potting soil.
  • Lightly tamp soil.
  • Plant seeds according to the direction on the packet. DO READ THE SEED PACKET! Some seeds need light to germinate (Snapdragons, poppies etc) so you do not want to cover those. Some need darkness (Larkspur, & Calendula  etc. ) and you will want to cover them well.
  • Once seeds are planted, mist the container well.
  • Add label inside the container! Use garden marker not a sharpie as they don’t last very well and if you are like me – you will not remember. Frankly many seedlings look the same! I tried using wooden popsicle sticks but they fade quickly or grow mold so I use plastic labels.
  • Secure the container with duck tape. I like to put the name on the duck tape and the date.
  • They are ready to go outside. I have them next to the potting shed where they are protected from wind and I can keep an eye on them. They also get plenty of sun but not full sun.

The fun really begins when you see this…

Friends, if you are doing the winter sowing method, what has been your experience and what are you sowing this year? Have you done Zinnias or Cosmos?

For my cold weather friends, remember summer?

Until next time … happy gardening or happy garden planning!


Gardeners are a great combination of dreamers and planners as well as the get it done crew! January is when we take a look at that blank slate and start filling up!


Supply and demand being what it has been the last couple of years has taught us the true value of buying early. The only problem with that is that I buy early online but as roses/seeds/tubers become available locally, I get equally excited about those. I’ll be calling on my self restraint a lot in the coming weeks. Someone please keep reminding me that my garden has a limited amount of space.

So far here is where I am with orders for roses and dahlias…



Recently I posted about these two roses on Facebook (on my page, Rose Chat Group page and on the Rose Geeks page) asking for comments and pictures of Plum Perfect growing in their gardens. I didn’t have to ask about the Generous Gardener because it is already a favorite in my garden! Regarding Plum Perfect, so far there has been a ton of comments and all very, very positive. Many raved about this rose saying they were adding another this year. They gave high marks for the health of the rose too. Take a look…

Hello Beautiful!


Intense, Plum Color • Performs Well In Heat and Humidity

Sunbelt® Plum Perfect™ has numerous, very intensely plum-colored, double flowers. The foliage is a healthy and shiny, medium green, and the variety performs well in heat and humidity.


Fortunate for me Plum Perfect is part of the Indianapolis Rose Society Rose Sale. If you are local, this is a great sale with many beautiful roses for a great price. The sale is NOT just for members although members do get a very nice discount on the roses. Don’t delay. I have my eye on a few more! 😱 Transparency Note: I bought 3 PPs. Requiring me to get creative in where to plant them! 💜

If you are local, take a look at the list of roses here.


If you want specific Dahlias you truly must order early. But, oh my goodness there are so many beautiful ones out there. Last year I bought dahlias from Longfield Gardens, Swan Island Dahlias, Home Depot, Lowes and Country Harmony (local garden center).

Three years ago I randomly bought from Lowes what has become my very favorite Dahlia – Milena Fleur. A medium sized peachy/pink bloom and plant that stays around 4′. Great for arrangements! Lowes sold Milena Fleur again last year, To ensure I have her this year, I ordered again even though I have her hiding out from the winter in the garage.

2023 Dahlia Order from Longfield Gardens

  • Melina Fleur
  • Karma Lagoon
  • Labyrinth
  • Cornel Bronze
  • I will also have 3 Cafe Au Laits coming from Longfields as replacements for the ones I received in 2022 that turned out not to be Cafes!
Milena Fleur in my garden.


I am trying again to over winter my dahlias from last year but I checked them two weeks ago and they certainly don’t look like the plump tubers I packed away. 🤔 Time will tell. Last year one of the three I packed away made it. I packed them in pet bedding chips but they seem awfully dry – I do spritz them occasionally but that is so tricky for a novice. If they don’t turn out well, I plan to try a new method next year. How do you store Dahlias?


I saw this image on IG from @wildwestgardeneringeorgia and it spoke to me. Actually, I can’t express how much I love seeds. Everything about them. I image that during creation seeds must have been a favorite of God’s too. Even the tiniest seed contains everything needed to create the plant AND the ability to actually die and leave us with new life in the form of more seeds.

One of the tiniest seeds is the mustard seed (1 to 2 millimetres) that grows to a tree up to 20′. Jesus told us we only needed the faith of a mustard seed to move mountains. 😱 Yes, seeds give us much to think about and look forward to.

Oh Happy Day: The start of seed organization

Seriously I have bought so many I won’t bore you with the list. Not just online but there was that day I walked into Armstrong Garden Center in CA in December to find their wall of Botanical Interest seeds staring down at me. You know how that ended. I really found so many I was looking for and some I didn’t even know I needed! 😱🌱 🎉 🌱 Have you ever noticed just how pretty those seed packets are!

Making a list and checking it twice.


I am sooooo excited that it is time to start winter sowing. So far, I’ve gotten as far as making a list. More about winter sowing next week.


On Sun, January 22 the 2023 Rose Chat season begins. First up is Jason Croutch of Fraser Valley Rose Farm — Roses in Stories and Culture.

In this episode we take a look at some of the stories and legends behind the roses and how roses have weaved their way into Western culture throughout the ages. Some of them are fun and some of them are shocking!

You can follow Jason on his very popular YouTube Channel HERE.


We are having warm temps for January and I’m ready to get out and clean things up. I know I need to wait — horrible cold and snow could be just around the corner. Yep, I better stick to winter sowing.

Are you adding roses or dahlias to your garden this year? I’d love to know varieties you decide on!

Have fun planning and plotting! 🌹🌸🪴🌼🌱💐

Bloom Thyme Friday: Winding Down and Gearing Up

After a wonderful trip to Southern California, I returned to a dry, dry, dry fall Indiana garden that was ready for a gardener to get her fall self in gear. The to-do list was long but little-by-little the list is disappearing and the chores are winding down.

☑️ Zinnias and other annuals pulled

☑️ Empty annual containers

☑️ Gather Seeds

☑️ Peonies (Dig, Divide, Move)

☑️ Plant Garlic

☑️ Plant Roses (Another Earth Angel, Carefree Beauty, and Rise Up Amberness)

☑️ Plant bulbs

Dig Dahlias

Tie up climbers

Trim back shrub roses to waist high (will wait until is it much colder)

So as you can see, I am making progress but still have a way to go. The weather is so good that it is such a pleasure to be out.

SPECIAL NOTE: We had rain… deep, soaking rain. It had been so long. The garden and I are rejoicing! I think more is in the forecast for next week!! ☔️ 💃 ⛈ 🥳


I have made my caramel dip for more than 30 years, but it was taken to the next level when Grandboy #1 wanted to be a part of the process. For more fall fun and the recipe… read on here.


I know I’m a bit late in this but I’m looking for more white daffodils, do you have ones you would recommend? Even if I can’t find them this year, I can add to list for next year. My favorite white so far is Thalia. Monty Don talked me into that one a few years ago. 🙄 It is exquisite! ⭐️⭐️⭐️


I simply can’t put one year’s garden to bed without gearing up for another year. As I work in the garden my head is racing with ideas, making new plans, and wish lists. And, there are seeds to buy (before they sell out) and catalogs to pour over. It is such an exciting time. Am I alone?

My first BIG seed decision has been made… which lisianthus seeds to order from Johnnys Seeds! Last year I grew Voyage 2 Blue and from January to today I have loved them. They are still blooming in the garden as I type.

For not year I choose two colors:

Voyage 2 Champagne
Voyage 2 Lavender

Aren’t these gorgeous!!! There are several colors to choose from. Take a look here.



The latest series was WINTER ROSE TALES where we featured the gardener, their garden and how they care for roses in winter. I love each of them and am so grateful to those who submitted their winter rose tales.



I am busy working on the 2023 schedule and there are some great ones coming!

Friends, until next time, whether you are gardening or dreaming… ENJOY

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not only the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin


Prior to January 2022, all I knew about Lisianthus was that it was wonderful in arrangements, it was a favorite of my daughter who would be coming for a visit near the time of the first blooms and that I wanted to grow it. 

Many flower farmers advise not trying Lisianthus from seeds as it takes so very long and germination of seeds is sometimes tricky.

But, in the dark of January, I was up for the challenge. The long timeline didn’t bother me as I had plenty of time this winter to “baby” Lisi along.

  • Last September I bought Voyage Blue FI pelleted seeds from Johnny seeds. 
  • Jan 20: Scattered seeds in shallow trays (re-used carry out containers) on a bitter cold day! It was toasty warm in the Potting Shed.
  • Feb 3: Seeing a bit of green!
  • Feb 21: Some real growth happening.  I think every seed germinated!  
  • Mar 11: Potted up to Gardener’s Supply self watering trays. These are the best!
  • Apr 4:  Taking on some size now! Finally!
  • Apr 17: Time to start hardening off
  • May 7: Outside they went! Some to the cutting garden, some to the herb garden and a few scattered through the borders. The roots were unbelievable!

This plant is a true miracle to me in color alone — all of the white buds had me convinced the seeds had been mismarked and these were going to be white instead of purple. Truly they are white until they open to the glorious purple – with a tinge of white here and there! 


Yes, if I have time!  However, we will most likely be doing more traveling next winter so I am looking for suppliers who have lisianthus plugs that non-professional growers can purchase. I  sure don’t want to be without these beautiful bokay game changers! Burpee had them this year and I have found a few sources on Etsy that had them too. As this season ends, we will know more what will be available next year. I won’t wait long to order though! And, I’ll have some seeds just in case!

ONE MORE THING: I will stake them next time! I did get a few staked and it helped so much to keep their long stems from flopping!

Here’s a bit more about Lisi: 

Eustoma, commonly known as lisianthus or prairie gentian, is a small genus of plants in the gentian family. They are native to warm regions of the southern United States, Mexico, Caribbean and northern South America.

From Better Homes and Gardens: Lisianthus, often favored by floral designers when an elegant flower is needed for an arrangement, it is the epitome of a classy, versatile flower. The ruffled petals and elegant buds come in many colors. The delicate-looking blooms are known for not only their beauty, but also their ability to hold up as a cut flower in a vase for up to two weeks or longer. (I AGREE!) Link to more info.


Seeing fewer Japanese Beetles than last year for sure! There are enough of them to make a mess of the roses but not the “billions” I often see. Maybe the extreme weather conditions aggravated them. (Too wet followed by too dry.)  I sure hope they were aggravated as they sure “aggravate” me!!!


I have reprised my YOUTUBE Channel to share short videos of my garden that I am calling Bloom Thyme Minute where I take you on a virtual walk through my garden and we stop for “just a minute” so I can tell you about what we’re seeing. I think that as of today, there are 7 videos and more will be coming.

Here is the BLOOM THYME MINUTE for Vanessa Bell…


The garden was so refreshed by the rain we had this week and the gardener is surely enjoying the cooler temps the rain brought with it. We won’t talk about the heat that’s coming back!

Formosa Lily reaching for the sky

Friends, I hope you are having a wonderful week in the garden. Mr. G’s tomatoes are starting to come on and we can’t wait. There is simply nothing like that first BLT when we have homegrown tomatoes! G’s favorite is Steak Sandwich. I grow them from seeds as we never see them for sale. (Link) What are your favorite home grown tomatoes?

Until next time, I’ll leave you with this greatness…


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  


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.


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.


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. 


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 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.