BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

The lazy, hazy days of summer are certainly here!

It is too darn hot to be in the garden much this week and my to-do list is growing by the minute. Things like…

  • Pick leaves on those roses that have decided that August is a good time to say yes to more blackspot.
  • Divide and move perennials.
  • Deadhead spent blooms
  • Look for sales at garden centers (easy one!)
  • Water, water, water
  • Sketch out new areas and sketch tweaks to existing areas.

I bought this graph composition book for $1 a couple of weeks ago in the “back to school” aisle and it has been perfect to make these kinds of notes and sketches. Don’t you love a new composition book of any kind this time of year? And, new pencils and binders and all the school things!!

“Back to School” is difficult this year and that is heartbreaking to me as I have the very best memories of back to school times for myself and my children. Let’s all stop right now and take a minute to pray for the children, parents, and teachers and all that they are dealing with during this most difficult season.

 

BOKAY DAYS

Bokay Days go to a whole new level! Last week when Mr. G saw me packing up various vessels for bokay transport, he went out in his shop and made me this beautiful carrier. He looked at the sizes of vases (spaghetti sauce and jam jars 😉) I usually use and made this beautiful carrier to fit them. It worked perfectly! I have already used my new carrier several times! Mr. G is the very best!

THE VERY BAD AND THE HELPFUL

This week I found something in my garden that no rose lover wants to see … RRD (Rose Rosette Disease). I had noticed this rose was beginning to struggle. Then boom, there it was!

I have been growing roses for more than 30 years and have seen plenty of Rose Rosette other places, I have been fortunate to see very little of this in my garden. RRD is caused by a virus (yes another virus you have to hear about) and a tiny mite that carries it to the roses. I am in my garden every day and spotted it at a very very early stage. I dug the rose out and destroyed it.

At the present time, RRD has no cure but there is fabulous research going on and new ways of managing the problem while we search for a cure (sound familiar??). On August 22 at 2 pm there is a premiere of a new project Paul Zimmerman is working on with a team of RRD experts from around the country. You can go HERE to sign up to receive a reminder for the video. The premiere will include live chat with the panel of experts so you can get your questions answered.

Today I chatted with Paul Zimmerman about the project on Rose Chat and that podcast conversation will be released Sunday evening HERE. While you are waiting for that episode to be released you can catch up on the other recent episodes!

I never want to lose a plant to pests or disease, however, I have a long list of other beautiful roses I want to try in my garden and I am on to picking one of those!

Japanese Beetles are still attacking my Quietness roses and a few of my Zinnias but they are few and far between. I will be glad to see them go. If you are new here and want to know more about my experience with Japanese Beetles, read on HERE.

BLOOM THYME

James Austin DA just making this bokay sing!
Sweet Drift

The phlox blooms are beginning to fade but they are still very attractive to the pollinators!

Dahlias in the cutting garden are going to find their way into bokays today!

Flamenco Rosita (Ivor’s Rose)
Fred and family are keeping cool in the pond. Wish it will big enough so that Mr. G and I could join them!

I hear cooler weather is coming next week and I am surely looking forward to it!

Friends, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing well and do take care! Let’s embrace the season and maybe have some ice cream…

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMER EXPLOSION

It was as though when the calendar said “first day of summer,” there was an explosion of color. Summer bloomers joined the spring perennials and early roses held on longer than usual. Peggy Martin still looks fabulous from afar. I love how her blooms dry in place – giving her the look of a painting that just lasts and lasts.

COMPANIONS…

Loving the Etoile Violette clematis surrounding the gate.
Niobi Clematis and Petit Pink Rose
Bright Eyes Phlox
Cerise Pink Yarrow
Coreopsis
Down the path to the herb garden…

ROSES…

‘Imogene’ (David Austin) This is the 3rd year for this rose and it is just stunning. Right now it is just covered with blooms.
‘Quietness’ (Buck Rose) This is such a pretty, easy care rose with a sweet fragrance.
‘Bathsheba’ (David Austin) Poor Bathsheba was left out in her container all winter and I was sure she was dead but here she is in that same container. I do need to find her a place in the garden. She has definitely outgrown her container.
‘Champagne Wishes’ (Easy Elegance Series) This color is so rich and so is the fragrance.
‘Little Mischief’ (Easy Elegance) A tough and pretty ground cover rose.
‘Golden Fairy Tale’ (Kordes) Power bloomer and since she is yellow, the Japanese Beetles find her first. 😩
‘Music Box’ (Easy Elegance) Fragrant and pretty at every stage.

INSTAGRAM…

Many have asked me to do online tours. My answer to that was to start posting longer videos to an Instagram IGTV channel — complete with bird song and neighborhood activities like mowing lawns and motorcycles, etc. 😳 You can find those HERE.

LATEST PODCAST…

Last week on Rose Chat I chatted with Ping Lim the creator of the Easy Elegance Rose Series and a New Series called True Bloom. Ping is a great rose friend and it was great to hear his heart for people and roses and his way of bringing them together. You can listen to the chat here.

GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS…

The temperatures this week have been perfect. It has been so nice to spend time in the garden. The roses and their companions are going strong but the Japanese Beetles have decided to join the party. Only a few so far but we’ll talk more on that next week.

Until next time…

I’ll leave you with the bokay I made this week entirely from my favorite Easy Elegance Rose, Music Box.

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: Time to Assess

Yes, it is time to assess the garden! There has been so much rain. So many storms!

So grateful that this morning in the garden is like paradise … if you don’t look too close. The sun is shining (Yes, you heard me correctly. Don’t worry, rain is coming back tomorrow). Back to paradise… sun is shining, nice breeze blowing, temps nearing 70 and birds are singing the most beautiful songs.

On my morning garden walk – which was limited as some of the areas of the garden are water filled – I saw new blooms emerging, like the beautiful phlox that last year gave me blooms for most of the summer. Roses that are still holding their head high and some not so much. Most clematis doing well, however, some are succumbing to the dreaded wilt.

Bloom Thyme This Week….

Twist and Shout (Endless Summer Series) Hydrangea has never looked better. And, has never bloomed this early!
Flame White Eye Phlox Paniculata… simply gorgeous and has a very long blooming season!

 

CLEMATIS

During my open garden day someone asked, “Just, How many clematis do you have? I said … “Not sure …. a bunch.”  “Ask Mr. G, it’s likely he’s keeping tabs.” LOL #truth

I do have a lot because I love them. Some clematis have already finished blooming but here are this week’s bloomers. You can see from the picture gallery on one of the main gate trellises, Etoile Violette is doing great on one side and the other has succumbed to the dreaded Clematis wilt. It happens. I hate it, but it happens. I will cut down this wilted one and destroy. You can read more about Clematis Wilt here.

Catmint: Nepeta Walker’s Low

These plants have never done better! It is getting near the end of their first bloom cycle. I will cut back and they will bloom again! This has proven to be an excellent edging for our deck — near the potted roses. (Don’t be fooled by the word “low” in the name; these babies are 3′ tall!) Pollinators love them!

 

Roses in pots are blooming nicely.

Wollerton Old Hall (DA)

Bathsheba (DA)

Creme Brûlée Coreopsis (Love) Excellent companion for roses.

Ghislaine de Felligonde (Hybrid Musk Rambler) first blooms tell me I am going to love having her in the garden. She first started blooming this week during a torrential downpour and I feared I would not see a petal left.

Little Mischief rose is starting to bloom. I just love it. Who doesn’t want a little mischief in their lives?!?

A small bird, I think it is a finch, is building a nest in my potting shed window box. I’ll need to be careful watering! Yikes.

UH OH…

I hear large equipment at a neighbor’s house and I see they are taking out big limbs near the power lines. I always get a bit nervous when I see trees go down! Especially when I suspect my tree line is next. 😬

If you need me, I’ll be deadheading. And, checking out the tree limb/ power line situation!

Hope you get to experience a bit of paradise today!

Genesis 2:15: God Placed man in the garden (of Eden) to tend and watch over it.

HAPPY TENDING!

  
 

Bloom Thyme Friday: Rain or Shine, I’m Not Gonna Whine

It’s true, rain or shine, I’m not gonna whine. It’s all good. Because of the rain, we have areas that are more beautiful than ever before at this time of year and areas that have been stunted.

The area hardest hit by the “wet” was the herb garden. I plant a lot of seeds in the herb garden and it was very late when I got them out and they are quite small. I believe that all of them, with the exception of the sweet peas will be fine. It might be too hot for the sweet peas before they get to be their best selves. Last year the zinnias were twice as tall or maybe 3 times as tall as they are this year but no worries there. They will be monsters soon enough.

Speaking of zinnias, I planted several varieties that I had not planted before — Enchantress (they don’t look like double giants yet ), Apricot Blush, and Blue Point. So excited to see how they do. Last year my California Giants did so well that they blocked more than one path through the garden — beautifully, I might add.  🙂 And, the pink ones (I don’t remember the variety.) were so “healthy” that they smashed out several of their neighbors before I got them staked.🙄

STORMY WEATHER

Last night as we were preparing the garden for events this weekend – another storm came, taking many blooms with it. This morning I see that it also brought many fresh new blooms – so “rain or shine, I’m not gonna wine.” Now if it rains on Saturday and our guests can’t tour the garden. I might whine a bit.

BIGGEST UPSIDE OF RAINY WEATHER

Very little, if any, hand watering. While I love the process of hand watering and getting up close and personal with my plants, my garden has grown to the size that it certainly takes some time to get that job accomplished.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

There were so many things blooming this week that I told myself no more than 10 pictures. So, of course I’ll give you 13 plus a video. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

New Dawn going up and over! Just as she should!

Peggy Martin doing what she does so beautifully. Shout to my beautiful friend Peggy too! xo

Peggy Martin reaching for the sky – beautifully

New Dawn and Etiole des Violette … good companions year after year

Mother of Pearl – I counted 25 blooms on one of the shrubs this morning. I have 3 shrubs of this gorgeous rose.

Freida Kahlo — so much prettier in person

 

Imogen (DA) my, my she’s pretty. She was in the garden last year but I don’t remember her being a standout. But this year that is a different story. LOVE HER.

Sweet Drift and Darcey Bussell (DA)

Most of the garden action around here happens in the back yard, but Mr. G was busy in the front yard so it wasn’t an embarrassment. I tend to forget we have a front yard. 🙂

 

First year for Queen of Sweden (DA) and she is stealing my heart!!

 

Rosa Mundi. What a standout. One-time bloomer but what a bloom.

 

Rosa Mundi and neighbors

If you need me, I’m in the garden deadheading the roses, so they can be their best selves for our guests tomorrow.🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

 

 

Yes, rain or shine, it’s gonna be fine, but

I AM PRAYING FOR SHINE!

🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Bloom Thyme Friday: Singing in the Rain

In the movie Singing in the Rain… they looked so happy dancing and singing in the rain! As happy as those scenes looked, I will confess I am not all that happy with all the rain we are getting and getting rained on again and again. While gardening in the rain poses some challenges, the horrible weather that some of my gardening friends around the country are having is much worse with tornadoes and even snow storms.

When I heard the rain was coming again this morning I went out to take some pictures (and got soaked yet again) and was struck by how good the garden smelled. I do love the smell of rain! Did you know that the smell of rain has a name — Petrichor. I read a Reader’s Digest fact that tells us the “why” surrounding the smell of rain.”Water doesn’t smell like anything, so why does rain produce a pleasant aroma after it falls? Well, it’s because of a molecule, called geosmin, created by soil-dwelling bacteria. When rain falls, it creates air pockets, which contain small amounts of geosmin. The rain traps and then releases these air pockets, dispersing geosmin into the air, where it’s free to travel to human sniffers.”

As much as I want to be working in the garden and can’t… I am learning how little my plants need me. Many are thriving from all the bounty from above. And, we are quickly moving to the jungle stage as the roses and peonies begin to open.

So here is BLOOM THYME for this week…

 

Rugosas and Peonies… oh the fragrance in this spot!!!

I forgot I had this beauty! Fun surprise as I absolutely love it!

Therese Bugnet has been amazing. If you follow me on Instagram, you are probably tired of seeing her picture! 🙂

I live in midwest farm country and would ask that you say a prayer for our farming families. They have not been able to get in the fields to do their spring work. Since it is now so late, they run the risk of having no crop this season. The forecast for the next week is for rain each day.

Friends, stay safe and dry and enjoy all the beauty around you . . . AND carry an umbrella! ☔️😉

Bloom Thyme Friday: Bokay Day

The rain held off this morning and I was able to do some work in the garden. What started out as Japanese Beetle “bubble bath” day and garden “clean up” day, soon moved to BOKAY DAY. I just couldn’t help myself. With a garden the size of my garden there is always something to pick and the JB are SOOOOO attracted to the roses that they leave many of the other beauties alone. I became mesmerized by the bloom explosion that was happening today and decided that today was to become BOKAY DAY. So I’ll make bokays and share them. #favoritedays

Since I can’t share a bokay with each of you today, I thought I would share my favorite bokay makers and a few tips and tricks for your fresh cut bokays.

PERENNIALS (Bloom year after year)
Roses
Oriental Lilies
Yarrow
Coreopsis (Favs Moonbeam & Creme Brûlée)
Phlox
Dianthus
Bellflowers
Daisies
Stokes Asters
Ferns
Herbs (Lavender / Sage / Thyme / Mint)

 

ANNUALS (Bloom for one season)

Zinnias
Larkspur (reseeds)
Nigella: Love in a Mist (reseeds)
Superbenas  (Proven Winners)
(Favs Violet Ice / Whitecap / Royal Chambray
Senorita Rosalita Cleome (Proven Winners)
Herbs (Rosemary / Parsley)
Euphorbia Diamond Frost (Proven Winners)

Superbenas!


SHRUBS

Hydrangea (Favs Bobo / Pinky Winky)
Boxwood
Lilacs
Viburnums
Evergreens

 

MY MORNING HARVEST…

 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Morning is the best time to cut flowers.
  • Choose the freshest flowers — best to pick those not yet fully open.
  • Take bucket to garden with you.
  • Place in water immediately after cutting.
  • Let “condition” before arranging … even as little as one hour can be very helpful in their recovery and being ready for arranging. I go for at least 4 hours.
  • Cut under water if possible before adding to bokay.
  • Use preservative in water.
  • No greenery underwater… begins to decay quickly and that takes away from the life of the arrangement.
  • Every 3-4 days, recut stems, add fresh water (with preservative) to your vase.

P. Allen Smith’s Floral Preservative Recipe

Equal parts lukewarm water and lemon lime soda
One aspirin
Half a teaspoon of bleach

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Here’s a video of one of my evening garden walks this week after work. In the video you will see many of the annuals and perennials I mentioned above. Most of them are very hardy and have done fine in all the heat we have had this year. We do water occasionally, but not extensively.

 

Well, it is time for me to get back in the garden and continue with my original plan … Send more Japanese Beetles to a soapy “bubble bath” ☠️ and garden “clean up.”

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Mother Nature’s Curve Balls

I am fully out in the garden today — this will be our first weekend in a while without snow… yes, Mother Nature has thrown us some curve balls.

RECENT WEEKENDS:

March 25: At the end of the day we had 10″ of snow.

April 1: California has the weather and my little loves…

(It was snowing in Indiana.)

Beautiful Boy #2

 

Beautiful Boy #1

My daughter’s beautiful garden…

And, her ‘Easy Does It” rose.

April 9: NATURE’S WELCOME HOME FROM CALI

(Thankful Mr. G’s welcome was warmer!)

BACK TO TODAY…

Yes, I am out in the garden and while the heart of a gardener is optimism, I am a “bit” discouraged at some things I’m seeing. At the top of the “oh no” list is that my beautiful New Dawn rose on the arbor looks like it has some major winter kill — I mean major. If you don’t remember the one I am talking about, it’s this one…

Is it wrong to ask for prayer for a rose?😉  (Asking for a friend.)

While I would appreciate a miracle for my rose, there are so many more important things in my life and yours. Life and nature do throw us curve balls from time to time, but the Original Gardener (Genesis 2:8) has it all under control. He is very good at what He does. My life has taught me that when He closes a door, He opens a window.

AND, WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS… MAKE LEMONADE!

Here are the best lemons ever. My beautiful daughter grows these outside her kitchen door! If you want to read more about LEMONS, ROSES & SWEETNESS, click here  for an article I wrote about our family’s lemon life.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned, there are so many more spring things to come. Things like new roses … I have to tell you about all the new roses I am testing in the garden this year! Oh I can’t wait!

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY🌹

Bloom Thyme Friday

Today it is sunny and cold. I love the sun, BUT it allowed that Groundhog to see his shadow and I was not fond of that. His prediction is that there is 6 more weeks of winter. I am pleading with spring to defy the groundhog and come up with a better plan.

With all that said, Groundhog Day is kinda fun. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

This weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas where the badger (German: dachs) is the forecasting animal. This appears to be an enhanced version of the lore that clear weather on Candlemas forebodes a prolonged winter.

The Groundhog Day ceremony held at Punxsutawney in central Pennsylvania, centering around a semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, has become the most attended.

Yea, it’s fun to hear all about it and see them get dressed up and all … I just hope winter doesn’t go on and on and on until we begin to feel like Bill Murray. #groundhogdaythemovie  😳😳😳

GOOD NEWS: I heard today on Instagram from my friends @maplehurstgardens, located in NJ, that The Groundhog predictions are mostly wrong. #thatswhatimtalkingabout

LET’S SPRING AHEAD

While we are thinking about spring, I am wondering what are your favorite spring blooms. Here are two of mine:

Daffodils

 

 

Dogwood Trees (we have 5)

 

At just the right time spring will come and we will have the pleasure of watching our garden being reborn. And…. 

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!