Bloom Thyme Friday: Lemons to Lemonade

In gardens and in life it’s best when life gives you lemons, to make lemonade.
If you have been gardening for even a short time you know that gardens are ever changing. One of the strongest agents of change in my garden is winter. While I am a huge fan of spring. Sometimes the changes that winter pushes through while we are all comfy and cozy by the fireplace with our loves—are “chilling.”  Such was the case this year. Our winter came late, was harsh, warmed up early and then really hit us hard. A few of my roses were not fans and gave up or decided to take their sweet time showing up again.

But it was not the roses that took the biggest hit. It was our Winter Gem Boxwood Hedge. Many of the plants in this hedge had been here 10 years, some only 6. Ironically, we loved them especially in the winter when the snow would fall on them. They are gone now … all of them. I cried. As I looked at the blank canvas, Mr G says he saw that gleam in my eyes. I will add a few things this year but will do more in 2019 as it evolves and I live with our new open space. No question, I will miss my hedge and may even plant another one. But, I’m gonna take some time.


One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43:19. He’s always got a plan!


Hope your week is filled with beauty and a tall glass of homemade lemonade, if  you need a recipe to try, my recipe is here.  Sure love making lemonade with my boys!





Need a chuckle?

This week at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Garden Retreat the Garden 2 Bloggers spent 2 days gardening, learning more about gardening, eating AND DANCING.

Check out our “skills.” 🙂

Bloom Thyme Friday: Roses on Trial

This weekend I am heading to the Biltmore Estate as a juror for the 2nd Annual Biltmore International Rose Trials. YAY!!!


”The trials are a valuable way for the home gardener to learn what roses do well and what may be potential candidates for their own gardens,” said Paul Zimmerman, coordinator of the trials. “Trials of this type are usually open to all rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner.”

I so appreciate all the hard work that is done to bring backyard gardeners the very best in beauty, health and fragrance!

Roses ARE plants too!

PAUL ZIMMERMAN: Whether it is writing his amazing book, Everyday Roses, his articles for the Fine Gardening blog or leading the way in rose trials, Paul keeps us informed and entertained!

Summer 2013

LUCAS JACK:  As rosarian for the magnificent Biltmore Estate, Lucas brings a wealth of information and inspiration to the world of roses and to the next generation of gardeners.


Both Lucas and Paul have joined us on Rose Chat several times to chat about the Biltmore garden, rose trials and gardening in general. Below are links to those podcasts. Listen and learn whenever it is convenient for you! 🙂

2014 Episode…
2013 Episode…

2014 Episode…
2013 Episode…


For additional information on this year’s trial … read on.

Want to see more pictures of the beautiful garden, read on.

Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for updates this weekend!


Last night at our rose society meeting we each gave a report on what’s  going on in our gardens. There were reports of outstanding iris, peonies and roses — that seem to be stronger because of the Polar Vortex. (Who knew????) Right now the big winners in my garden are the Rugosas and clematis. Love em! Every garden is so individual … what’s making a statement in your garden this week?

Bloom Thyme Friday

Bloom Thyme Friday: Getting Started

This has been a week of temps in the 70s and some much needed garden clean up and planting bare root roses. But, before I could plant the new roses, I had to remove the roses that did not make it through our harsh winter. As you probably know, digging out these roses is a tough job. The roots were deep and wide. And, it’s sad to lose them. But, I said my fond farewells and am moving on.

Hope springs eternal for gardeners and I am ready to get the new roses started.

New to my garden this year are 3 lovely roses to test from Week’s Roses ….

Just like her namesake ... sunny and charming.
Just like her namesake … sunny and charming.

Doris Day / Floribunda
Disease Resistant
Old Rose Form
Scent is fruity/spicy
Parentage: Julie Newmar x Julia Child

I can just hear him singing, “Cracklin Rosey…”

Neil Diamond / Hybrid Tea
Classic Rose Fragrance
Zones: 4 – 10
Size: 4.5 – 5

Look at that red!
Look at that red!

Take It Easy / Shrub
Parentage: Teeny Bopper x Double Knock Out
Slight tea fragrance
Size: Medium Height

And, the Queen is....
And, the Queen is….

I also planted three of the Tom Carruth beauties … Moonstone. All year long I have heard …. And, the Queen of the Rose Show is … Moonstone. It is an amazing rose and one that many of my local rose friends are growing, so I feel it will do pretty well in my garden. Fingers crossed. 🙂

I have some David Austins coming but we’ll talk about those next week.

NewsflashIn other exciting news….

I received an invitation this week that set my heart all flutter. I have been invited to serve as a juror at the 2014 Biltmore International Rose Trial Competition! Look at the stunning invitation…

IMG_9179I can’t wait!

How about you — are you getting started in the garden this week or are you one of those southerners who is looking for that first bloom or a Cali rose gardener who is now cutting roses for vases!!

Bloom Thyme Friday
Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

It’s a Garden Party!

What in the world is “garden chat” anyway?

Officially, #gardenchat is a Twitter forum where garden enthusiasts of all ages, from all walks of life connect and interact sharing ideas about their experience growing. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg!

What have I learned?

  • That you don’t have to be a redneck in Alabama to grow great roses but it helps.
  • That dirt and martinis really do go together.
  • That Moo Poo can take your plants to the next level.
  • That I am not the only one who is passionate about gardening!
  • That by using social media we are shrinking the world!
  • That gardeners in Canada are still having snow in June.
  • That there is amazing garlic being grown in northern Florida.
  • That somewhere in the world there is a furry garden helper named Nutmeg.
  • That many gardeners are impatient but some more than others.
  • That I now have many gardening friends that supply me with new and fresh recipes on a regular basis.
  • That the gardening world has it’s rockstars and some of them even write books and are more than casual about tomatoes.
  • That many gardeners (young and old alike) inspire us by gardening regardless of their disabilities.
  • That many gardening friends are more than willing to share their gardens on a regular basis via #gardenwalk.
  • That there was A GAGA before the GAGA and she grows beautiful roses and developed something very important she refers to as “the OUI Theory.”
  • That there is a Bren of Vision that opened up a whole new world to gardeners when she developed #gardenchat.

What is it to me?

  • A virtual garden club!
  • An amazing hour of inFormation, Fun, Flowers, Food, Friends and Frenzy. And, it is heavy on the Friends!

What it could be to you?

If you are even mildly interested in gardening and mildly knowledgeable of social media, set up a Twitter account and join us. You might want to go slow at first … be a watcher/listener to get your bearing, but it won’t take long until you are ready to jump in “fingers first” to join the frenzy. You will Learn, Laugh and be Loaded down with support and encouragement.

Hope to see you there on Monday nights at 9 pm EST … from someone who loves to dig in the dirt, grow roses and share her garden experiences thru blogging and Twitter.