BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Spring Excitement

One of my favorite things about Autumn is that as I tweak the garden, dividing plants, and removing undesirables etc., I get so excited for how the “new” garden will look in the Spring. She may be tired now and in need of a good layer of mulch but in the spring she will be glorious! #dreamstage

I have already found 3 prime spaces and will be on the lookout for 3 beautiful, power-blooming, fragrant roses. #reachforthestars  🌟 Do you have a rose recommendation for me? 

And then there’s seed excitement. 🎉 Few things are more exciting to  me in the garden than seeds!  I am gathering seeds, looking for new varieties and ordering seeds!!! SO MUCH FUN. Every time I see my little brown bags of seeds I’ve gathered I get all gushy about spring!  Am I alone???


Proven Winners sent out 4 amazing new hydrangeas that I get to try in my garden. They are planted, watered, mulched and ready to experience an Indiana fall and winter. Look at these beauties…

TUFF STUFF  |  Reblooming Mountain Hydrangea

SIZE: 2-3′ Tall and Wide
ZONES: 4 – 9
SUN/SHADE: 4 – 6 hours of sun preferred

This beauty is said to be cold hardy and heat tolerant. Two attributes that mean a great deal to me! Just look at those beautiful lacecap fowers.

PINKY WINKY PRIME  |  Panicle Hydrangea 

SIZE: 6 – 9′ Tall and Wide
ZONES: 3 – 8
SUN/SHADE: 4 – 6 hours of sun

I have 7 of the original Pinky Winkys and love them but am so excited to try the PRIME version as it is said to have bigger and fuller flowers! Big win!

LET’S DANCE LOVABLE  | Reblooming Big Leaf Hydrangea

SIZE: 3-4′ Tall and Wide
ZONES: 5-9
SUN/SHADE: 4-6″ hours of sun

This lovely has vivid bloom color and glossy foliage with the “super-charged” ability to rebloom! Foliage turns burgundy in the fall.

LET’S DANCE SKY VIEW  |  Reblooming Bigleaf HydRangea

SIZE: 2-3′ Tall and 2-4′ Wide
ZONES: 4-9
SUN/SHADE: 4 – 6 hours of sun

We are constantly hearing that we need more blue in the garden and PW says these are easy to get to turn blue by adding aluminum sulfate if you don’t have acid soil.


I love my Fire Light Tidbit so much I had to add another one. Luckily when I made this big decision to add another, a local garden center had several beauties!! My two will flank a walkway through a section of the garden. 

This is how she looks in my garden this week… A beauty indeed! I just can’t wait until spring and to see both of them in their prime!


Diane Sommers, American Rose Society President

On today’s episode, Diane Sommers, President of the American Rose Society is here to bring us up to date on some exciting projects including their recently launched digital initiative. And, we’ll take a peek into plans for the future.

It was so fun to chat with Diane about our wonderful organization! LISTEN HERE.


This week I tried to make the most of every bloom and share bokays with friends.

One of the most relaxing things to do is watch butterflies in the garden… don’t you think?

Friends, thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to let me know if you have rose recommendations for me!


Recently we spent time in one of the most historical areas of our country. We saw so many beautiful historical sites, homes, and enjoyed many generational traditions.

While there I was able to experience rose garden history as well with a visit to the rose garden at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT — home of the oldest public rose garden in the US. There are over 15,000 rose bushes and 800 varieties of old and new roses. Yes, she is steeped in history. This garden became the first official test garden in 1912 for the American Rose Society founded in 1892, with the idea to test and to provide accurate information about roses for the public.

The Curator of the rose garden is a great garden friend that many of you know, Stephen Scanneillo. We had hoped to meet up but he was away at that time on vacation. He plans to join me in a couple of weeks on the podcast and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of Elizabeth Park garden stories! And no one tells a garden story  quiet like Stephen.

When I first became aware of this garden, like so many others, I was captivated by the beauty of the the row of rose covered arches I saw in pictures. What I didn’t see from those pictures was just how many rows of arches there are. There are 75 arches covering pathways that direct you through section after section of this amazing garden. The structures themselves were so impressive. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be there when the arches are draping in blooms from the ramblers and climbing roses. I’m told that roses on the arbors are… Dorothy Perkins, Romeo, Repeat blooming Hiawatha, Peggy Martin, Party Hardy, White Dorothy, Dr. Van Fleet, Chevy Chase, Perfumed Breeze, Dortmund, Crimson Rambler, and Exclesa.

August in drought conditions is certainly not the kindest month to visit a rose garden, especially on a day that will literally bake you in moments. It’s kind of like having a photoshoot when you’re having a bad hair day! But, it was the day I had. So, we found Mr. G a shady spot in the garden and I set off to take a closer look. The garden did not disappoint!



Stephen sent me these pictures he took when the roses are at peak bloom. 😱🌟


At Elizabeth Park they winter-protect the roses on the arches by using branches that are pruned from the evergreen in the garden!! What a fabulous idea!! 🌟


The heritage roses have their own special place in the Elizabeth Park garden … nestled in a more secluded area surround by beautiful stone walls. Just perfect! Although I only saw a few blooms as most of these roses have their bloom in early June, they do leave behind some very lovely rose hips which was a treat. And, I so enjoyed seeing the name tags telling me who lived there!

Yes, I have to go back!


The Peggy Martin Rose would certainly be a sight to see in June as she has covered the rose garden office wall so beautifully.


Here are the latest podcasts!

Rachel Burlington, Botanic Specialist III-Rose Garden / Curator

Rachel is a very impressive young woman and wears many hats in the world of horticulture. In addition to her work at the Test Garden, she is co-founder of the non-profit, Women in Horticulture and serves on the Pacific Northwest’s Great Plant Picks committee. So much to chat about! LISTEN HERE.


My next chat is with Diane Sommers, President of the American Rose Society. We will be chatting about what’s going on today and take a peek into plans for the future. This one will be “live” this Sunday, September 10th.


All the varmints are feeling the drought too. They are back and tearing through any part of the garden that I have watered. 😱 #catch22  If you’ve never been visited by these kind of critters (groundhogs, raccoons, possoms), let me tell you they are gifted diggers. When they visit it looks like small rototillers have gone through the garden leaving many plant roots exposed and damaged. To be honest we have not kept up with spreading the deterrents mostly because we were traveling and it was so hot. I guess not using the deterrents is the same thing as hanging a welcome sign. …. sigh 😔

I’ve been seeing pictures on social media and hearing horror stories of armadillo damage. Talk about diggers!!! To those of you who deal with armadillos – 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 !


While in Tennessee this spring to speak to a extremely wonderful group of Master Gardeners, I bought a dahlia. Not one I had ever heard of but the name got to me because I had family in CA.

Meet Pacific Ocean … my first “waterlily”  dahlia

Waterlily Dahlias. These blossoms have rounded petals that spiral around tight, slightly flattened centers. Their flawless form makes them popular cut flowers. The plants are typically just 2’ to 3’ tall, yet they produce large blossoms that measure up to 5” across. Waterlily dahlias perform well in large containers and are also good for perennial gardens. -Longfield Gardens 
For more on the different types of Dahlias, read the full article HERE

I didn’t give Pacific Ocean much attention until now as she has been “in captivity” in the dahlia bed that was fenced in from the critters. The fence made it hard to get to her —  for the varmints and for me. 🙄  Well, now she has been sprung and is bringing much joy! 



Zinnias are among the easiest annuals to grow, they produce tons of blooms, come in a wide array of colors, sizes and varieties, and they last forever in a vase. But the very best reason to grow them … they are a feast for the pollinators. Party time! 🐝🥳🐝


Gardens are ever changing – especially now. I’m curious, as you walk in your garden, what plants / flowers are bringing you the most joy in this season?

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, have fun in your garden!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: The Dog Days of Summer

August is universally the time for vacations and holidays especially in Europe. We joined that group this year and have just returned from a lovely vacation in New England. There is nothing quite like the north eastern seacoast. We were with beautiful people and went to so many beautiful places! Oh and the food! I love seafood and it was out of this world. 🦀🦞🦐

One of the places we visited was the Elizabeth Park/ Helen S Kaman Rose Garden. It was amazing. I thought I knew what it would be like from pictures I’ve seen through the years, but, oh no – it so exceeded my expectations. I’ll tell you more about my time there soon.

We came home relaxed, refreshed and recharged. We can’t wait to go back!

August celebrates sandwiches. in August of 1762 the Earl of Sandwich requested two pieces of bread with meat inside. We’re all about celebrating sandwiches in August too — we had the first BLT with a homegrown tomato. Nothing like it! 🎉🍅

August… the gateway to all things Autumn. I’m sure enjoying autumn more than I used to, partly because I became more focused on plants that have their heyday this time of year … Dahlias, Zinnias, alliums and power blooming roses that can take the heat!


Well, I don’t know that they truly LIKE IT but many roses in my garden are acting like it is a normal summer day… not a day when the heat index is 105 and has been in the 90s for way too long.

Are there roses in your garden that do better in the heat than others?

My “some like it hot” observations…

  • Mother of Pearl isn’t phased – keeps going strong.
  • For Petite Pink and Petite Peach the heat is no big deal.
  • Sweet Drift says “bring it.”
  • Music Box isn’t phased much. 
  • Flamenco Rosita has so many blooms even if they are a bit smaller.
  • Reminiscent Pink is doing very well.

Others are blooming but sparingly and many of the blooms melt so quickly. The roses are pretty much on their own during these extremes. Minimal watering, no fertilizing and no big expectations. I do think we are going to start cooling down next week and more of the roses will have a chance to shine!

Unlike many of you we have had some rain. Not tons but enough to keep things going without too much supplemental watering. We don’t have irrigation so we are extremely grateful for the rain. I am praying that those of you dealing with drought will have rain very soon. Drought is so cruel.

August is also a time when many schools start. Maybe it’s seeing all the back to school items but August has me itching to get new pens and paper and make lists. Mr. G would tell you that every season is a season of lists for me.  The garden lists I am currently working on:

  • What did well…
  • What needs to go…
  • What I need more of / less of…
  • What was outstanding…
  • Seeds to buy…
  • Dahlias…
  • Bulbs…


  • Who was outstanding…
  • Who struggled…
  • Where will I put more roses.. (I’ve found a few spots!)
  • What roses do I “need”… (That list is always in place.)


If you are like me and love dried flowers, I have an Instagram account recommendation for you.
LAYLA ROBINSON DESIGN / Creating happiness with everlasting flowers.
She does such beautiful arrangements and crafts with dried flowers! LINK HERE.


Coming this Sunday (August 27) is a new podcast… don’t miss this one. You’re gonna love Rachel.


I am beginning to work on the 2024 line up for Rose Chat. If you have suggestions of who you’d suggest I have on the podcast or topics you would find interesting, let me know. Email your ideas to me HERE.


The day we returned from vacation the garden greeted us with a light rain falling. It was such a welcome site, I immediately got out my phone and took videos. I posted a video on YouTube for easy access if you would like to see it.

The misty rain was such a blessing!

Yes, August is here and so is Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Did you know PSLs have been around for  20 years! That’s a lot of spice! Mr. G and I enjoy having one to celebrate the season. But we may wait until the temps drop to at least the 80s! 😳🥵😉

There’s no going back on the seasons so let’s hit this season head on and enjoy every minute. Until next time …

Stay cool, stay safe and have fun in your garden … 💐🌸🌱🌼🌹🌺🪷🌻😘☕️

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Beauty in Captivity

As many of you know this summer the raccoons, ground hogs, bunnies and possums all came together in a perfect storm of destruction in parts of my garden. They used every God given “talent” they had to dig up, tunnel under, break down and nibble away so much beauty. In turn we stalked them on the critter cam, set traps, sprayed repellent, sprinkled cayenne pepper, built fences and planted more plants.

That is behind us for now… and we are seeing much beauty in those areas — from behind a fence of course.


Dahlias where shredded and knocked over, yarrow disappeared, orlaya and cosmos were devoured never to return, zucchini destroyed, and so much more.



Labryinth – I waited 3 years to get this one. Every time I tried to order it was sold out! It was wroth the wait. It is so much prettier in person!


These two plants were eaten to the ground more than once but are now looking fantastic.


We did what we could quickly and while the fence has definitely worked; working around a fence is not ideal. I want to get up close and personal with all my plants! My goal next year is to not need the fence or at least have Mr. G design something that can easily go up and down. We’ll see what the varmints think of that.  😳

For more about the destruction stage, read on here… (LINK).


I am seeing so few Japanese Beetles this year compared to years past. How about you?

One of the  award-winning leaders of our rose society (Indianapolis Rose Society) Mark Nolen has been keeping detailed notes for years on the Japanese Beetles in his beautiful garden of more than 200 roses. Mark recently wrote an article about what he is seeing this year and why he thinks things are different. READ HERE

Here is Mark, his wife Cathy, and some of their beautiful roses…


Claudia Weekes (@theorganizedHOMEMAKER)

One of most delightful gardeners you’ll ever meet is Claudia Weekes. She joined me on Rose Chat to talk about her garden journey. Claudia has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Wellness and a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics which has allowed her to work as a registered dietitian, wellness coach, and nutrition consultant. Claudia says she is happiest when she is helping others AND digging in the dirt. She brings all that she is into the garden with her each day and gives her followers a perfect combination of wellness tips, practical advice, and great gardening.

PS: Roses are her favorite flower too!



Petite Peach is having a great summer! I love how she pairs with another favorite rose Mother of Pearl!

In this image below you see the difference in Petite Peach and her “mother” Petite Pink…


Even with a few varmints to aggravate us and keep us on our toes, the garden – and the world – are filled with joy and beauty. Let’s have eyes and hearts that strive to see it.

God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. Ephesians 3:20-21

Until next time…. have fun in your garden!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: It Was The Best of TImeS and …


Yes, for the past few weeks I have been absent from the blog but very present in my world. I have been in the company of four of the most amazing little men! #grandboys They continue to amaze me on all counts.


Well, not the worst of times really BUT during those same three weeks, we have been invaded and parts of the garden show signs of a massacre! The critter cam tells us the culprits are raccoons, possums, ground squirrels, rabbits, and at least two of the most destructive horrible creatures on the planet – groundhogs.

What have we done about it?

To date we have captured 12 raccoons, put up 3′ bunny fence, used tons of cayenne pepper powder and animal repellent pellets.

Has it helped? Not much.

The raised bed filled with my handpicked from pouring over catalogs, pre-sprouted for earlier bloom, gorgeous dahlias – many 2.5-3′ tall living in the beautiful raised bed Mr. G built … was invaded. Pictures do not do the damage justice. The day after we installed the 3′ bunny fence and lavishly poured on the cayenne powder, we caught the groundhog inside the fence and the damage was even worse. I think he was mad.

I understand they hate garlic so this week when I trimmed off my garlic scapes I placed them all around the dahlias that are trying to come back. #timewilltell


Nothing like this has happened before. Oh, we have had the annual visits from raccoons and ground squirrels. While destructive, they were mostly deterred by cayenne pepper. I am beginning to think most of the damage is groundhog damage. We have not been able to trap them but see them out and about. They are very comfortable here! Right up by the patio while I am sitting there!!!! 😳


Here is a list of plants that have been most damaged…

  • Yarrow – I have several varieties – all nibbled to the ground except a couple of patches I rescued early – before they found them!
  • Parsley – all leaves enjoyed by varmints
  • Coreopsis (4 varieties) – to the ground
  • Orlaya – all blooms gone / plants mangled
  • Cosmos – devoured
  • Daisies – new Variety Banana Cream devoured / old variety still standing
  • Lantana – to the ground
  • Supertunias – to the ground
  • Zucchini – struggling
  • Lupines – mangled & broken
  • Zinnias – mangled & broken
  • Dahlias – None of my 20 dahlias have been left untouched but so far some of the damage is minimal. Others… well it’s doubtful they will recover.

My garden looks like a war zone in many areas. And I’m sure you understand, seeing your plants behind fencing is no way to garden!! But while we use every trick we hear about, we are spending our time in prettier parts of the summer garden. Even the Japanese Beetle damage seems like no big deal compared to the massive varmint damage. #perspective

I am so grateful for every plant they have not touched (so far) and am taking note!


  • Lilies
  • Lavender
  • Glads
  • Hollyhocks
  • Phlox
  • Salvias
  • Scabiosa
  • Larkspur
  • Clematis
  • Sweet William
  • Lisianthus
  • Foxgloves
  • Snapdragons – I’m telling you if they touch my snaps, you will hear me scream. I have soooooooo many gorgeous ones this year!!!



Bokay Day this year was a dream. Those four little men and I had the very best time. Everyone was so into all aspects of the process. Taking wagons of buckets around to gather flowers (much fewer options this year but they didn’t mind) and filling the jars. Ohhh and they were such a charming delivery crew as they pulled the wagon filled with bokays and handed them to our neighbors. All of you who grandparent from a distance know just what a dream come true this was for me!! #preciousmemories

We were gloriously busy in “Thyme Out”

Read about past Bokay Days here AND here.

Back before the internet and blogs, we had bokay days too. Here’s my son all ready for delivery…

Precious Memories indeed!


If you see a copy of the current Midwest Living or Birds and Bloom, you just might find me there.


I have been chatting away with so many rose friends. The last one was with Kimberley Dean, AKA The Rose Geek. We had the best time talking about her trip to England and how it changed her garden and her as a gardener! Listen here…


GARDENS OF THE NORTHEAST Stephen Scanniello Stephen is a world-renowned gardener, historian, author, lecturer, designer, and consultant for gardens public and private. He currently serves as the curator of the internationally acclaimed Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and as the consultant for the Elizabeth Park Conservancy in West Hartford, CT. Today Stephen will share updates from the beautiful gardens and garden projects in the Northeast.   It is said that every rose has a story and Stephen just may know most of them. I'm sure today we will be educated, enlightened, and entertained as we chat with a master storyteller about his favorite subject – roses. ROSE GARDEN IMAGES… DOWNLOAD HERE INFORMATION ON THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION… 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:    


Friends, even with the varmint invasion, the heat, and the bugs that come and make things so ugly, I still just can’t wait to get out there! How about you? 💐


This is a different year for the “first flush.” Except for the Old Garden roses, the roses are having their first flush at different times due to the severity of the die back!

Here are the ones that are having their “first flush” now and commanding our attention…


If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been obsessively posting pictures of this one! I have 8 of these roses and have them planted close together in our patio area where we enjoy them up close. This peachy/pink grandiflora is a power bloomer from late spring to fall. Plus she is disease resistant, has a light fragrance and holds on to her clusters of blooms for a very long time! She’s great in a vase whenever I can bring myself to remove her from the garden! Even though she is zoned for 6 and I’m 5b, I have never had much winter die back.

Zones: 6 – 9
Size: 3 -4′ H X – 2′ W


I had the privilege of growing this rose as a test rose and she has totally exceeded my expectations. First year she came as a very small insignificant plant.But look at her now!  She sustained no winter die back and the deer left her alone! She is so much prettier in person with her full rich English style blooms.  A modern rose with an old fashioned bloom that is fragrant and very disease resistant – perfection! Great winner for the garden from Proven Winners.

Zones: 4a-9a
Size 3 -4′ H X 2.5 – 3′ W


An old favorite in my garden that’s still wowing me! I have three Quietness roses and one of them is in a very undesirable spot in the garden – terrible soil and I forget to care for her. This year she is laughing at the thought that her spot in the garden is less than ideal as she is covered in those yummy shell pink blooms! Dr. Buck bred his roses for winter hardiness and easy care and he was sure successful with this one.

Zones: 4-10
Size: 3 – 4′ H – 3.5′ W


This rose is new to me but it is all that my friends have told me it would be. The color of these gorgeous blooms catch your eye and the closer you get the better it is. This is a lovely floribunda from Kordes and historically Kordes roses do so well in my garden. Plum Perfect is part of the Star Roses Bloomables collection and bloom she does. These beauties are born in sprays with a nice fragrance.

Zones: 5-10
Size: 2′ X 2′


Petite Peach is my new rose. She didn’t suffer any winter set backs so received little to no spring trim this year! This beauty came to me as a sport on the Petite Pink – another favorite rose four years ago. Last month Petite Peach was awarded the American Rose Society’s 2024 Award of Excellence in the no spray division. This tells us the rose has been trialed all over the country for 2 years and has emerged the winner! Yes, it is a winter hardy shrub with excellent disease resistant and she blooms all summer long! It is for sale at High Country Roses.

Zones: 4-9
Size:  3′ H X  3′ W


Of course, always check your local nurseries but if you can’t find them, there are some excellent online sources that I use every year.

Heirloom Roses

I highly recommend the roses from Heirloom. They are committed to doing the research to assure the health of the rose. I recently did a podcast with from Robin from Heirloom about these processes and you can find that podcast on or after June 11.


Matt Douglas and his team are committed to bringing us old garden roses, harder to find modern roses, as well as the very newest releases. His own root roses are sent out in quart containers that are perfect for tucking into your garden and watching them grow. Many of my largest roses started in those quart containers from High Country Roses. Matt was a recent guest on Rose Chat talking about the less known but very charming, easy care Hybrid Musk Roses as well as some of his favorite newly released roses. LISTEN HERE.


They have an extensive collection but do not take orders online. Just call them to place your order.


Proven Winners sells their plants in a variety of sizes via mail order. 


Several of you have asked about the garden devotional I am doing this year. I love it! There is a link on the image below…




On this episode, the delightful Danielle Hahn of Rose Story Farm chats about the family rose farm, growing 40,000 roses, her new book, and helping Martha Stewart with her new rose garden. Since childhood, Danielle has loved roses and wants you to love them too. Join us for this fun chat as Danielle shares so many tips, tricks and behind-the-scenes stories. LISTEN HERE.

The next release will be an update from Robin Jennings of Heirloom Roses you won’t want to miss.



Savannah is a healthy, fragrant Kordes rose that will stop you in your tracks when she’s blooming.

Not quite up to previous glory (before the deer found her so desirable) but she’s coming along…




June is National Rose Month. Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war and politics.

Did you know that the rose was almost overshadowed by the marigold? On January 12, 1959, the president of the W. Atlee Burpee Co., David Burpee, wrote newly-elected Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, proclaiming the virtues of the marigold and calling it “the flower of the people.” David Burpee was vigilant in the fight. He was known for using PT Barnum’s model for promotion and advertising — just like his dad! For nearly 10 years Burpee and Dirksen campaigned for the marigold.

Many other flowers were considered too … there were even those who strongly suggested the corn tassel be our national flower. What?


But, we know the end of the story… In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…

“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.

We see proof of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age. We have always cultivated roses in our gardens. Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today. The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States. We find roses throughout our art, music, and literature. We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.

The American people have long held a special place in their hearts for roses. Let us continue to cherish them, to honor the love and devotion they represent, and to bestow them on all we love just as God has bestowed them on us.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 has designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation declaring this fact.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the rose as the National Floral emblem of the United States of America.”




The Rose is the National Floral Emblem and there are so many ways to enjoy roses:

1. Plant a rose bush! Need help? Go to to learn more.
2. Take roses to nursing homes, hospitals, banks and your local library. You’ll brighten someone’s day! Encourage your local library to have a rose book display.
3. Give roses to show your love or friendship. Roses are a favorite gift to receive.
4. Give a gift of a rosebush for a longer-lasting gift. There are so many different kinds of roses to choose from with an end-less variety of colors, including stripes.
5. Visit a botanical garden or a rose garden. You might find inspiration to start your own rose garden or plant a community garden!
6. Take photos of your roses and share with friends in cards, notes and letters. Share with the ARS on our many social media platforms and be sure to tag us, #roses, #nationalfloralemblem
Find us on Social Media here… FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM


The Indianapolis Rose Society is affiliated with the American Rose Society and the Illinois/Indiana District. We are a group of amateur rose growers with varied levels of experience. We have members who are just starting to learn about roses and members who grow from one rose to those who grow 400 roses and are excellent at mentoring. I’m on the board and can tell you first hand it is a lovely group! We’d love to have you join us! For more information read on here.


Fireworks and Fragrance 2023 has begun. The ramblers and old garden roses are going strong. The more modern roses are beginning to come to life – some running a bit late due to the severe trim I had to give them.

The herb garden entrance is flanked buy so much beauty this week! Petite Pink roses, Celsiana and Moje Hammarberg in background, Sweet William in bloom too!

Believe it or not

I have had 3 very unusual things to happen in my Zone 5b garden…

  1. 2 Dahlias that I did not dig up last year are growing – strong! WHAT??
  2. Zinnias self seeded. NO WAY! WAY!
  3. A 7″ lizard crossed in front of me on my way to the potting shed. YIKES!

To my knowledge none of those things have happened before. Mr. G says that our son used to catch little lizards in the garden from time to time, but I guess that somehow alluded me. 😳


For the month of June there are so many great rose chats you won’t want to miss!

Last week’s Rose Chat Was so fun…

Matt Douglas from High Country Roses talked all about Hybrid Musk roses and some new roses he thinks are extra special. LISTEN HERE…


This is the time of year when gardening is SO MUCH FUN. Well, if you discount the fact that every day this week has hovered near 90!! Watching the blooms unfold is like Christmas every day!

Friends stay cool and enjoy your time in the garden and celebrate our national floral emblem!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: And, The Award Goes To…

For the past four years I have been keeping a secret. Something new from my garden … a beautiful sport!

sport in the botany world means a ‘genetic mutation;’ one that has no explanation and no specific rhyme or reason for its occurrence. This process gave me a beautiful gift … a peach sport of the lovely Petite Pink. One of my very favorite roses hybridized by my good friend Dr. David Zlesak. As many of you know I have several Petite Pinks in my garden (9 at this time) and I have given it away as gifts! I love it so. 

So, I have been on a journey to have my beautiful sport tested in trials to watch what it can do. I am happy to report it has done very well in a national, multi-site rose trial managed by the American Rose Society. 

Last week I attended the American Rose Society’s National Convention at the home of America’s Rose Garden in Shreveport, LA. There were many highlights from the convention, but the most special part was when my name was called to come up and receive a certificate that states that Petite Peach™️ (‘BYIbloomthyme’) was awarded the Award of Excellence from the AOE testing program – in the no-spray category. 


In 1973 the American Rose Society Board of Directors established the Award of Excellence to recognize new miniature and miniflora rose varieties of superior quality and marked distinction. Since the inception of the Award, there have been 141 AOE winners. Miniature and miniflora roses which have been in commerce for less than one year, as well as unnamed seedlings or sports, are eligible for evaluation for two to three years in seven AOE public test gardens and two private gardens, spaced geographically across the United States. Since 2013 roses may be entered in a “no spray“ division, a “preventive spray” division or both. Each public garden has an AOE supervisor and five evaluators who score the entries on 11 criteria four times during each growing season. At the end of the trial period, Awards of Excellence are given to deserving entries, with a maximum of five per year. The public test gardens are: American Rose Center, Shreveport, Louisiana; Edisto Memorial Gardens, Orangeburg, South Carolina; Farmers Branch Public Rose Garden, Farmers Branch, Texas; International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon; Mesa Community College Garden, Mesa, Arizona; Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo, Ohio; and Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

The official public announcement of the Award of Excellence winner(s) is made each year in American Rose and at the awards banquet of the ARS National Rose Show and Conference. After two years of evaluation (three for climbers) four Award of Excellence winners are selected.


Isn’t she lovely! These sweet apricot/peach colored blooms keep going all summer long on a small bush that fits into any garden as well as containers. It is great as a cut flower too!

Height: 2-3′

Width: 2-3′

Bloom Type: Double / Sweetheart Size (1″)

Bloom Repeat: All season

Disease Resistance: Extremely Resistant

Hardiness Zones: 4 and up


For many years I have been ordering roses from High Country Roses and find them to be outstanding performers. They come to you small but mighty and catch up quickly. Some of my favorites from High Country: Earth Angel, Ghislane de Feligonde, Veilchenblau, Dalow’s Enigma, Ispahan, Kazanlik, and Banshee High Country. 

I am so happy to partner with Matt at High Country Roses for the release of Petite Peach™️.

Additional details on the rose and how to purchase are HERE… 


I am thrilled that this beautiful sport came to me through David’s work. His friendship, mentorship and help through this process have been invaluable. Petite Peach™️ and I are so very grateful. 

David’s rose work has given us so many beautiful roses for our gardens…

  • Petite Pink
  • Above and Beyond
  • The Pretty Polly Series
  • OSO Easy Peasy
  • Smoothie
  • Candy Oh
  • Gaye Hammond


The ARS put on a fabulous convention in the newly renovated AMERICA”S ROSE GARDEN. The garden is amazing, the speakers were outstanding, the tours were over the top! Here’s a mini slideshow…

my Partner’s in crime for the week

THe Award celebration

It was fun to go, but it’s so good to be home. The garden is changing every day!

Until next time… have fun in your garden! 🌹🌼🌸


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! 🌸🌹🌻🌷🪴