BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Navigating July

As usual July is pulling out all its tricks…

  • Throwing out the welcome mat for Japanese Beetles.
  • Putting us on the heat index map.
  • And, this year being ever so skimpy with rain.

It’s hard to complain as the drought seems to keep the JBs from overtaking as quickly as they sometimes do. It’s a bit harder to “emerge” out of parched ground.

Today we are getting our first real rain in 4 weeks. I actually walked outside to see the plants celebrate. Guess who else was celebrating… you guessed it, the Japanese Beetles. Their entrance into their best life has been made much easier and they were everywhere. I picked a bunch of flowers while it was raining as I wasn’t sure there would be any good ones left when the rain stopped. You know with the JB celebration and all.

Another upside of this glorious rain, I have more time. This morning Mr. G asked me what I was going to do with all the time that I usually spend each day watering! It’s a large garden and we do not have a watering system. I do love to hand water but this weather has put that to the test. I have become one with my Dramm. By the way I think the Dramm rain wand is the best watering device EVER. Gentle deluge for the plants and one that is very calming for me too! I love it so much that I gave Mr. G one for Father’s Day to use on his tomatoes. He loves it!

ROSE CHAT PODCAST

Set to release this Sunday (July 10) is an interview I did with Kimberley, the Rose Geek. Be on the look out. It was great to hear her rose story.

UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS Rose Chat Podcast

UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS Heidi Mortensen, Rose Program Manager   On this episode, Heidi Mortensen, Rose Program Manager of Star Roses and Plants shares some beautiful new roses, rose trends and an update on how things are going in the rose industry since Covid. We'll also get a sneak peek into what's coming in 2023!     NEW FOR 2023…   TOP CREAM   RASPBERRY CUPCAKE BUTTERCREAM DRIFT   SUNBLAZE LEMON   SUNBLAZE PEACH     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/sho
  1. UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS
  2. Roses & RRD … What’s New?
  3. PROFILE OF A GARDENER – Teri Speight
  4. SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS WITH ROSES
  5. LET’S GEEK OUT OVER ROSES

NEW BOOK

Look what just came in the mail. One of my favorite rosarians of all time, Michael Marriott has written a book. If you aren’t familiar with Michael, he spent the last 25 years as the head garden designer and rose expert for David Austin Roses. He is also well known for his expertise in rose fragrance!

At first look it is beautiful and starts off with a bang … the first chapter is “The Romance of the Rose” and moves quickly to the subject of rose fragrance with the “The Magic of Scent”. I can’t wait to fully dive in!  If you’d like a copy, you can find it on Amazon here.

An inspirational guide to choosing and growing the best roses!

Below are links to two of the most recent podcasts I did with Michael. In both, he shares amazing information!

ROSES IN EVERY SEASON ..

https://rosechat.podbean.com/e/roses-in-every-season/

COMPANION PLANTING…

https://rosechat.podbean.com/e/companion-planting-for-roses-michael-marriott/

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Even with all the horrible heat and drought so many plants just keep going! I do water but only a small percentage gets any regular watering. Most just have to make it on their own.

There is a question I ask myself every July… Why didn’t I plant sunflowers? I love them but just don’t seem to have a place for them. I’m not big on bright yellow but who can resist sunflowers. Maybe next year. 🌻🌻🌻

July does give us ups and downs, but it also gives us enough heat to get the dahlias going… big plus!

Featured Dahlia … Creme de Cognac from Longfield Gardens.

Thanks for stopping by! 💐

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.

UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS Rose Chat Podcast

UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS Heidi Mortensen, Rose Program Manager   On this episode, Heidi Mortensen, Rose Program Manager of Star Roses and Plants shares some beautiful new roses, rose trends and an update on how things are going in the rose industry since Covid. We'll also get a sneak peek into what's coming in 2023!     NEW FOR 2023…   TOP CREAM   RASPBERRY CUPCAKE BUTTERCREAM DRIFT   SUNBLAZE LEMON   SUNBLAZE PEACH     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/sho
  1. UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS
  2. Roses & RRD … What’s New?
  3. PROFILE OF A GARDENER – Teri Speight
  4. SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS WITH ROSES
  5. LET’S GEEK OUT OVER ROSES

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…

UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS Rose Chat Podcast

UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS Heidi Mortensen, Rose Program Manager   On this episode, Heidi Mortensen, Rose Program Manager of Star Roses and Plants shares some beautiful new roses, rose trends and an update on how things are going in the rose industry since Covid. We'll also get a sneak peek into what's coming in 2023!     NEW FOR 2023…   TOP CREAM   RASPBERRY CUPCAKE BUTTERCREAM DRIFT   SUNBLAZE LEMON   SUNBLAZE PEACH     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/sho
  1. UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS
  2. Roses & RRD … What’s New?
  3. PROFILE OF A GARDENER – Teri Speight
  4. SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS WITH ROSES
  5. LET’S GEEK OUT OVER ROSES

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: 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: October Glory

The rains have moved in and the temps are still warm so things are looking lush in the garden again and frost seems to be at least a few weeks out! The roses are at that “messy” stage that comes when you stop deadheading but hips are forming and I do love to see those. Other roses are still giving some beautiful blooms and I’m mixing them with snapdragons and dahlias… 

DAHLIAS

Let me tell you it is hard to go to England or watch Monty Don and crew on Gardener’s World and not fall in love with Dahlias.


This was my second year growing them and I am hooked. And, am spending a good bit of time looking for more. These beauties take late summer bloom thyme to the next level! Some of my dahlias struggled this year as they were in places without adequate sun. Seriously, I don’t know exactly where I am going to plant the new ones — but I’ll think of something – preferably a spot with more sun and there’s always containers!!


Here are my “gateway” dahlias. Most were bought in mixed packages at Lowe’s so I’m not sure of their names. I did plant the beloved Cafe Au Lait but it didn’t do very well for me — again sun was a factor I’m sure.

Click on an image to open the “gallery” feature for a better view.

Cafe au Lait

WINNERS

One of the regional rose trial programs in the US is the American Garden Rose Selections.  They recently released their 2022 winners. As we are planning for what we will grow next year, it is the perfect time to read about these beauties and where they grow best… HERE.

Congratulations to the winners!

Celestial Night
  • Celestial Night by Christian Bedard / Weeks
  • Easy on the Eyes by Tom Carruth / Weeks
  • Pink Freedom by Christian Bedard / Weeks
  • Pretty Polly Pink by David Zlesak / Star

LATEST ROSECHAT PODCAST

GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY with Pat Shanley, Past President of the American Rose Society. Pat has an amazing chemical-free garden and wonderful advice for growing roses sustainably! LISTEN HERE.

ME AND ETTA

I just learned that a photo that I took of Proven Winner’s beautiful rose ‘At Last’ (Song by Etta James) will be on the October page of the American Rose Society 2022 Calendar. I feel like with paper I am going full circle. I switched to online calendars a few years ago but I’m now back to paper! If you like paper calendars, this is a beautiful one. You can order them here

At Last

BLOOM THYME

Like it or not, fall is fully upon us. Things look different these days but if we look, we always find beauty – in life and in the garden…

The Generous Gardener

Friends, I hope your fall is going well. Mr. G and I already have a coffee bet on when the first snowfall will be. What do you think? ☕️🍂❄️

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. 😘