Come Look Through My Window

My friend, Connie from Hartford Roses, invited those who follow her blog to take a picture out their kitchen window and describe what they saw. Click here to see what what Connie saw out her window.

I loved the idea and took a picture of what was out my window on that same morning…


  • Just outside the window is my sun porch. The plant in the middle of the picture is a bay tree sitting on our cafe table.
  • On the left of the window frame you see a thermometer. I always want to know how cold it is or isn’t! This morning it is 30 degrees.
  • The swing on the porch is a wonderful place for morning and evening coffee. A little room with a view–roses and their companions in the spring/summer and birds, squirrels and the occasional raccoon in the winter.
  • On the bench you see a chart that contains pictures and description of birds. We love to know who and what is dining at our feeders.
  • The plank of wood you see on the window ledge is a sign my husband made that says … THYME OUT. A good reminder to “chill”.
  • The cast iron lamp holds special memories as it was passed to us from my husband’s mom.
  • To the far left — just outside the view of the camera lens — is a messy stack of garden shoes and dirty garden gloves. Best you are spared that!
  • To the right you see a gray building, this is “my happy place”–The Potting Shed.

What’s out your window?

Take a look outside your window and share what you see today by posting a comment below…

Wordless Wednesday: Garden Walk

Garden in the misty rain.
Apricot Drift Rose
Peach Drift Rose
Madam Hardy (Damask)

Roseraie de l’ Hay (Rugosa)

Hansa (Rugosa)
Lovely brown iris I rescued 2 years ago.
Othello (David Austin Rose)

Bloom Thyme Friday: The Difference A Year Makes

One year has made a big difference in my garden. With the temperature in the 80s most days, my garden is beginning to look more like summer than spring! I am seeing things I have never seen before … lilacs and rosebuds in MARCH! No way.

On March 26, 2011 we were laying a flagstone patio dressed in coats, hats and gloves! It was cold, dark and dreary. I kept the coffee pot going all day!

Notice the Dogwood tree in the background … not a leaf. That same tree is almost in full bloom just one year to the day!

A cold, windy March 26, 2011 morning!
The day before Mr. G and I were getting the “base” ready. Burrrrrr!

Fast forward to March 2012 … look at this!

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I love an early spring, but when summer comes instead of spring, well—I can’t help but wonder what August is going to be like. Maybe I should confer with my garden friends in Zone 7 or 8…

Are you having an early spring too?

Standing the Test of Time

Many years ago I fell completely in love with the charm, fragrance and rich history of old roses. Even though I grow many modern roses, my heart strings are attached to the ones that have been around for a very long time and that give us an explosion of bloom in the late spring, filling our gardens with the wonderful fragrance by which all other roses are compared.

Four of my favorites… (pictures are below)

Madam Isaac Pereire is a lovely Bourbon rose. Bourbons were the roses of Victoria England. The blooms are exquisite with a wonderful old rose fragrance. And, on occasion, you are rewarded with a few repeat blooms.

Madam Hardy is a Damask rose dating back to 1832 and has a beautiful white bloom with a green dot in the center. Damask roses are known for their rich perfume. Madam Hardy is named for the wife of the head gardener in Empress Josephine’s (first wife of Napoleon) Malmaison garden. Empress Josephine was a zealous rose collector. (She had to keep busy while the hubs was out fighting the wars.)

Rosa Mundi is a Gallica rose–the oldest of the garden roses having been grown by the Greeks and Romans. Not only is Rosa Mundi unique in that she is the first striped rose, she has a past. Legends tell us that she was named for Henry II’s mistress, Fair Rosamund, and was placed on her grave after his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, had her poisoned. Tsk Tsk. Regardless, she is a very unusual rose and very charming.

Bourbon Queen is a Bourbon rose from France that dates back to 1834 and has been charming me since I bought her in 1990 at the Newburgh General Store in Newburgh, Indiana. She is highly scented and stunning to see.

On a practical note, these historical beauties are hardy even in poor conditions and they require very little care. If you would like to try an old rose in your garden, they are easy to find online…

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Rosa Mundi
Rosa Mundi

Bloom Thyme Friday: A Plan Comes Together

Last fall lightning struck our 60 ft maple tree and the shade garden beneath it became history. Our garden faces west and all the shade loving plants just couldn’t take the heat.

When the crying stopped, I started making plans for a garden reno (For the “plannin’ and dreamin’ stage, click here.) My target date for completion was May 15. Well, today is May 20 and … it is finished. The rainy spring slowed us down a bit but only a bit. We kept moving!

Things got started in early March first with demolition…

Reconstruction started in full swing on March 26 when we moved the 8,000 lbs of  rock for the new flagstone patio. If you missed it, read about it here.

10 weeks later and …

  • 3 Winter Red Winterberry Hollies
  • 3 Bloomerang Lilacs
  • 2 Roseraie De L’Hay Roses
  • 12 Double Red Knockout Roses
  • 3 Fineline Buckthorns
  • 2 Sargent Crab Apples
  • 4 Shining Sensation Weigelas
  • 2 Wichita Blue Junipers
  • 2 Totally perfect urns to mark the entrance into the new garden area (Thanks to Brad at Country Harmony for finding just the perfect urns and filling them with such beautiful things that compliment the entire garden to surprise me!)
  • Various perennials and annuals
  • AND, Several existing garden plants that can survive the heat!

Our project is complete.

As I write this I feel like I am living in a dream. Everything is so beautiful. Yes, this is a dream come true.

My new patio is the perfect place for a glass of lemonade and I make an excellent lemonade. If you’d like the recipe, click here. Maybe you’ll want to come have lemonade with us!

As you know gardens are always changing and evolving,  but, as for today, this is my spring garden…

The Charm of Rugosa Roses

Technically rugosa roses are species roses native to eastern Asia, but to me they are a bit of heaven on earth.

I have 17 (or so) rugosas: Hansa, Roseraie de l’Hay  named for the French rose garden of the same name, Blanc Double de Coubert, Theresa Bugnet, Bell Poitevine and Moje Hammarberg. When these roses are blooming our entire garden is filled with their beautiful fragrance. If someone new visits our garden during this time, the first question is always, What is that?

In addition to beauty and fragrance, the upside to rugosa roses… they are tough, trouble free and need very little maintenance. . Their rough (rugose), tough leaves make them resistant to disease and pests. But you need some room because these beauties grow to be around 5′ X 6′ in my garden. The exception to this in my garden is Moje Hammarberg who is about 3 X 4. An extra bonus … rugosas produce large red-orange rose hips that are very high in Vitamin C and I am told make great jelly. We just let the bird enjoy them.

My favorite rugosa is Roseraie de l’Hay because it is a good repeat bloomer. Many of the rugosas do repeat bloom, but there is nothing like the spring fireworks!

Roseraie de la Hay
Roseraie de la Hay






Roseraie De L’Hay
Blanc de Coubert