BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Marching into March

I have been away for a few days. I have seen beautiful things. I have been with beautiful people. I am refreshed. I am now very ready for spring. And with the weather we are having, I am tempted to do too much. High temps one day and low temps the next. There’s much to be said about March … In like a lion … out like a lamb. Yes, March is a jam-packed month… Calling us to spring forward, participate in March Madness (Indiana), beware the ides, don our green for St. Patrick, and usher in SPRING! 💐


On March 1st the winner of the GARDEN MAKER by Christie Purifoy was selected. Sherry Lewis, our winner, will be receiving her new book soon. Congratulations Sherry!

Thank you to all of you who shared your favorite book both on social media and the blog. I wish I could send each of you a copy of this delightful book. If you are interested, you can read more about it or purchase here. 


We are all winners with the great book ideas that came in! Several of you had the same favorites! Over the next few weeks, I will share some of the books you recommended.


Several mentioned Tasha Tudor books. Tasha is a very favorite of mine. She certainly lived life her way and inspired us with her journey. Although she was born in 1915, she chose to live a lifestyle of the early 1800s. Her garden is a legendary work of cottage garden art. These books are in short supply so best to buy them as used books. Often they can often be found on Amazon reasonably. If currently available, I provided a link. 

Tasha Tudor’s Garden by Tovah Martin

The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Richard Brown

The Tasha Tudor Cookbook by Tasha Tudor


Empress of the Garden by Michael Shoup (Owner of Antique Rose Emporium)

Jolene Angelos shared…  “This is a very large book filled with beautiful photos, interesting facts, and histories of an array of roses.” 

I don’t have this particular book but I do have Mike’s book on Landscaping with Antique Roses and it is fabulous.  Link here.


Mike Shoup has a deep and profound love of the rose. We chatted about his fascinating rose story on Rose Chat last year. I just love to hear him talk about roses! Did you know he did a Ted Talk about his rose story? I think you would enjoy the podcast!



In this episode, Mike Shoup, author of several books and creator of the Antique Rose Emporium, takes us on a creative journey with roses and gives us their history and the ways they complement every garden. You can listen here.


As you know, I have several dahlias on order but I found 2 packs of Dahlia tubers at WalMart and 1 pack at Lowes that I couldn’t resist. They are potted up and doing very well. I couldn’t believe how quickly they sprouted. I also potted up one that I wintered over but so far no sprouts. I have much to learn about the overwintering process.

The Lisianthus I started a few weeks back were big enough this week to move up into individual pots. Look at those roots – even on the tiny ones. Fingers crossed these all make it through the rest of the seedling processes!

I also have a new plant I am very excited about… an Easter cactus. I picked it up at a favorite local garden center, Country Harmony. There were so many beautiful plants there!

Easter Cactus… the blooms are just stuning

Friends, wherever you are I hope your days are filled with sunshine and all the excitement that March can bring to a gardener! We are on the home stretch now. SPRING IS SPRINGING!!


Love this!


As predicted we have snow – around 14″ of snow! It is the fluffy, packing kind of snow that leaves your world looking all fresh and new! Driving in it is another story!

The view behind the amaryllis changed a lot in one day!


February is the best time to get familiar with the new plants and seeds that I have on order. It’s easy to fall in love with the pictures! 😳 But, eventually I have to do something with them! 🤣

This week is was the dahlias. These beauties have always caught my interest, but spending time in England and following so many English gardeners online – has taken my interest to an all-time high! And, they are such good companions for roses. I love adding them to rose bokays!

I’ve grown a few here and there but there are many gaps in my knowledge about them… so this week armed with two new books, I’m filling some gaps.

Dahlias in my garden 2020

DISCOVERING DAHLIAS by Erin Benzakein of Floret Farms

This book is just amazing if only for the photography and the inspiration that Erin gives. Erin leaves nothing out. She beautifully takes you from … understanding dahlias, to their care and overwintering and onto designing with dahlias and ends with a fabulous “variety finder” to help you choose dahlias for your garden. I particularly enjoyed looking to see if Erin reviewed the ones I bought. Truth be told if I read Erin’s book before purchasing, I probably would have ordered differently based on her recommendations. Erin’s book is truly wonderful. I just checked availability on Amazon and it has been marked down. Check Amazon… here. A great value!!

CONNIE’S DAHLIAS … A Beginner’s Guide by Connie Thompson

Connie and her husband own a small commercial dahlia farm on Vancouver Island, BC.

Connie shares all the basics as she goes through the seasons. She also has practical information and helpful information in identifying and dealing with in pests and diseases.

As I make my way through these books I am learning so much. I find it very funny that these two dahlia experts live less than 2 hours from each other. Ooooo that pacific NW has great growing power and it’s not just dahlias. 


I bought these books through my iBook app. While I love REAL books and will continue to buy them, I am using the E resource more and more. Having these resources on iBooks puts them on all my apple devices and at my fingertips. They look fabulous on my mac laptop! That high resolution pays off! Other great features about ebooks … highlighting, note-taking, references, and magnification when needed! Don’t judge me but I have Erin’s book in printed form too. It is such a pretty book!


Here are the latest lists.


  • Bliss
  • Charlotte Mae
  • Day Dreamer
  • Frank Holmes
  • Sheer Heaven
  • Cafe Au Lait (Did not do that great for me last year so trying again.)
  • Black Satin (Swan Lake added this one to my order as a gift.)
Bliss from Swan Island Website

Longfield Gardens  

  • Milena (have grown this before and loved it)
  • Break Out (I grew one in a pot a few years ago and LOVED it.)
  • Cafe au Lait 
  • Creme de Cognac

I have last year’s dahlias that came from a mixed bag at Lowes, over-wintering in the garage, but I don’t have much confidence in my ability to make this happen. I did look at them this week and they didn’t look shriveled up or anything. Since the tubers aren’t cheap, it sure would be nice to master the over-wintering process. Time will tell. 


My garden certainly has an overcrowding problem. So the first thing I did was search for a place. Of course, I could always put them in random places around the garden. but, I really wanted most of them to be planted together for impact! ⭐️ As you know I changed up my herb garden last year leaving walking room around all the raised beds!!! When measuring the space I had left for walking room in the back of the herb garden … I realized it was the perfect size and place for most of the dahlias. Less walking room, yes – but I knew it wouldn’t last! 🙄🤣 The ground is good there and this should be a really good spot for them! #fingerscrossed 



Leon and I met several years ago in Syracuse, NY at the wonderful ARS convention. I love Leon’s rose story. Leon is a remarkable gardener and self-professed horticulture nerd. I think you’ll love this podcast for all the rose information and inspiration, but there is so much more! LISTEN HERE… 

On the podcast player below you can choose Leon’s episode on one from the recent listing…


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 – 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:   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditioners
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

Break Out Dahlia from Longfield Garden’s Website

Friends, hope you are safe and warm and have enough garden planning going on to make you think spring. It’s coming! 43 days!


One of the things this season of our world has taught me is don’t wait. 

Last year I experienced…  “Sold Out” on seeds and other garden supplies and shortages of ingredients for holiday favorites. From the look of the aisles in the grocery stores, I’m thinking waiting could be risky business. This week the grocery aisles were very skimpy. 😳

One ingredient that is absolutely necessary for our holiday meals is Pepperidge Farm Herb Classic Stuffing Mix. Following in the tradition of Mr. G’s mother … Our family “dressing” is a mixture of the Pepperidge Farm mix, dried bread, butter, broth, eggs, herbs, celery, and onion. This speaks “holiday” in our family like no other! 

Sometimes this mix is hard to find!  During the original COVID lockdown, I looked and looked and finally was able to order online! You can imagine my delight when last week our local Kroger had all I needed! Let’s say I bought plenty!!!

What food says “holiday” to you?


In the spirit of not waiting, I have placed orders for Dahlias and seeds. #priorities 🙄 I didn’t want to see the “sold out” banner again. I am happy to report seeds are already here safe and sound and waiting their time to shine. Dahlias will come in the spring. ☑️ ☑️


Swan Island was recommended to me by John Hefner. If you know John, you know that he and Donna have the most amazing garden filled with hundreds of roses and yes beautiful dahlias! There are so many beautiful ones to choose from. My greatest challenge is to NOT buy pink ones because I have so many pink roses.  💞 Here’s a link for Swan Island Don’t wait!

The dahlias below are on order and there are “only” a couple more I am still trying to find. ☑️


The Rose Without a Name is a children’s book that shares the story of the Peggy Martin Rose. The book beautifully and thoughtfully weaves a story of hope from hurricane and devastation to rebirth and beauty. I can’t wait to read this book to my grandchildren. 

Read more about this book or purchase here.


Speaking of books, a good friend, Teresa Mosher, has written her second book, How Roses Touch our Lives. You can listen to her story of the book and of being a gardener of 40 years. (Pssst: She currently cares for and maintains 42 flower beds, around 200 roses, 1500 perennials, shrubs, and trees.😱) LISTEN HERE

Here is my beautiful friend standing in front of her beautiful rose
‘Perennial Blue’. She loves purple!


Beautiful visitor
The Potting Shed Window Box is now dressed for the season.


November is almost here. And, don’t judge us but that will usher in Christmas music season around here. Mr. G makes sure all our favorites fill the airwaves around here! And I bet if we listen closely, we will hear the sounds coming from a home in England that houses 4 little boys. We may be a house divided on how we feel about fall, but this family is a big fan of Christmas. Maybe not the commercial parts but definitely in the celebrating Christ’s birth with loads of family, friends, food, twinkle lights and watching “White Christmas”. Never too many twinkle lights or Bing!


Yes, these days, if you need something it is best not to wait. Supplies for our everyday lives are important but this unpredictable season beckons us not to wait on other more important things too… to say what’s on our hearts … whether it’s You are special, I love you, I’m sorry or something in between. Don’t wait. 😘