BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMER VIBES

Wow. July has been so summery!☀️🔥☀️The sun is so bright and hot. The humidity is so high making it even hotter but I am not complaining. Really I’m not. I remember winter – those long, dark days that last forever and then some! 🥶 Yes, I want all the summer vibes summer has to give.
🌺☀️🍅🥤🌱🌹🍦🌼🍉🌻

BREAK IN THE WEATHER

We are getting a break in the weather. The weather app tells us that we are going from nearly 100 each day to mid-70s each day for a week or so. I can’t wait.

TREATING THE GARDENER

Recently, I made myself a “pretty” lunch to have in the garden. I know that sounds like really – you don’t do that regularly. Typically,  “pretty” lunches are reserved for when I have guests in the garden while I regularly eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the run until it is time for my afternoon coffee at 3 pm. These days that coffee is ICED! The whole “pretty” lunch thing was made easier when I decided that I was making lunch for the “gardener.” And, I was. 😉😉

What a treat this very simple “pretty” meal that I prepared for “the gardener” was and it fueled my body and my senses for more creative work that afternoon. I know as gardeners we usually push through and “get more done.” I can tell you there will be more “pretty” lunches around here.

A few weeks ago I took a small bistro table from the deck to my new area THYME OUT in hopes of special dinners with Mr. G there. Since we aren’t going out to restaurants right now, I wanted to create a new “restaurant” space. I even bought a new table cloth! So far, it has been too hot outside to actually enjoy dinner there.  I’m hoping our break in the weather this week will give us that time. We still have other outdoor spaces to use but isn’t it nice to have someplace new to go! Especially since we are home so much! Now I am looking through the cabinets for just the right candles for the table!

BLOOM THYME

If you have been following along with me for a while you know I am growing dahlias for the first time and we have been waiting and watching to see what that “bag of mixed dahlias” would do.

While they are not in full bloom, they are coming along nicely. Making me know I want to grow them again and I want to be more selective in what tubers I buy for next year! Having a daughter in England makes you long for such flowers that seem to grow effortlessly there. In my zone dahlias are often NOT spectacular and have the added chore of being lifted and stored for the winter or you can grow them as annuals. If you want to see some spectacular dahlias for sale, hop over to Eden Brothers website here.

The JBs are still eating a few flowers but we have turned the corner and I am getting much more from the garden than they are! Leaving me plenty of bokay makers.

Dahlia
Dahlias
Dahlias

TOMATOES

We have so many tomatoes – but they are all still green! It’s even too hot for tomatoes! They will respond much better when the temps drop.

I am dreaming of our first BLT. I have pre-cooked bacon ready in the freezer and fresh mayo just waiting on fresh bread and ripe tomatoes. I have jars washed and am going through recipes for what I will do with the “more than we can eat” — if that happens.
(13 plants for 2 people😳🍅😱)

Thankfully, we had rain this week but as I look at the garden this morning, you wouldn’t know it. It literally seems to vanish into “thin air” …  most likely accounting for the extremely high humidity. Yes, we are looking forward to a “break” in that this weekend too.

TIME GOES BY SO FAST – even during a pandemic.

Hot or not with only 55 or so days until fall, I am going to squeeze out all the summer I can every day! While we are on the subject of time — it’s only 147 days until Christmas and then the start of a new year. We could have never predicted what 2020 would hold for us. 2021, what will you bring? Well, that’s a subject of much prayer.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have great weather this weekend as we head into August – and garden harvest time. Did someone say Zucchini Bread!?!

Summer vibes.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: NOTES, LISTS & BUCKETS

Tis’ the season to” take note”. I love notes and lists. Like Santa, I’ll be making lists and checking them twice. My lists will include plant winners, losers, and new ideas!

REDESIGN

One of the things that becomes so obvious this time of year is who has outgrown their space and needs dividing or who needs to be replaced. As well as, where the garden design may need a tweak. This is one of my favorite parts. I really have to hold myself back from letting my creative juices go too crazy and start tearing out too much. But, it’s hard as there are so many new plants and so many new ideas! Right?! Mr. G and “his look” will help keep me in check. 😉

I can tell you now that my tall Bright Eyes phlox have suffered this year with powdery mildew. It’s been so hot and so humid that it is no surprise! White Bright Eyes not only suffered she was engulfed to the point I cut her all the way back. So I need to rethink her prominence in one of my garden beds.

LABEL PROBS

You have heard me talk about my love for oriental lilies and how I went the extra effort to save them from the late freeze. Well, most of my effort was in vain — as I feared it would be. So, when I did leave the house for the first time … I headed to Lowes and quickly grabbed several things including several bags of lilies. Remember those weird, scary first times to be out this spring – masked, gloved with heads down. Regardless of the shopping trauma, I was thrilled to see my fav Casa Blanca lily bulbs and bought two bags. To date, ALL of them have bloomed deep pink. BUMMER. 

I have already placed an order for Casa Blanca lilies at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs – a much safer bet on getting what’s on the label I think. I have never had this happen before but this is a very different year!  

From last July…

Today … whoever she is, she’s pretty but kinda clashy with my apricot roses. 😏

BUCKETS

I don’t know about you but I love buckets, especially metal buckets! And, if you visit my garden you will see buckets strewn around in almost every garden bed. Sometimes visible and sometimes tucked away almost hidden. They are there for those times I go to the garden just to walk about and things need a trim. I ALWAYS take snips with me. LOL And, most ALWAYS need them. 

This time of year you will also see little buckets with soapy water dotting the area and dead JBs. But, you don’t need to see that again this week. My post a few weeks back was surely enough to hold you on that one. 🙄 If there is anything you want to see or know about Japanese Beetles, you can “experience” that on the previous post HERE.

BUCKET CHALLENGE FROM TWO WOMEN AND A HOE

There are so many wonderful people in my garden world but Jan Bills is one of the most wonderful of all. In her book, LATE BLOOMER, a book of tips and tricks around gardening in the second half of life, she includes a Pink Bucket Challenge

QUOTE FROM HER BOOK: THE PINK BUCKET CHALLENGE

“Each day after work (NOTE: she designs and installs gardens for others), I challenge myself to get in my garden accompanied by a $5 pink bucket purchased at a local garage sale. My objective is two-fold: visit and weed my gardens daily without feeling inundated while serving two important facets of life: my health and my gardens. Once my bucket is full, I retreat or not, the choice is mine. This stress-free and trouble free practice gives me permission to do only what is reasonably required and expected. I set the parameter and expectation. This simple little ritual leaves me guilt-free and weed-free. Perhaps you’ll grab a bucket, fill it once or twice and then retreat to your favorite garden chair. I believe it is just as important to be present in our gardens as it is to work in them.” Jan Coppola Bills.

Thanks Jan!

I truly believe that gardeners of every age and stage need reminders and permission to just “be” in their gardens. 

MY FAVORITE BUCKET 

This sweet bucket comes from Mr. G’s dad’s family. They were farmers. This was a simple tool used in their everyday life. No matter what’s inside this bucket, it is always filled with memories. When beloved family members are no longer with us, the simple things from their everyday life go straight to our hearts and keep us connected. Don’t you think?

I especially love this bucket when it is filled to the brim with delicious bokay makers!

BLOOM THYME

We are moving to that stage where colors are getting intense making me so glad to see all my white hydrangeas who calm things down. While I was taking pics this week of my hydrangeas, I had to come to terms with just how many I have. So I made a list! 😲

  • 7 Annabelles
  • 13 BoBos
  • 3 Little Limes
  • 4 Pinky Winkys
  • 2 Limelights
  • 3 Twist and Shouts

HEALTH CARE

Just had to share…. I am one of those people who go to bed excited about the first cup of coffee I will have the next day. So, imagine how happy I was to see this bit of health care wisdom on social media this week. HAHA

 

Friends, so glad you stopped by.

It’s still crazy out there in the world. I am praying that you are well and have plenty of time this week to grab your favorite “health care” drink and just “be” in your garden and enjoy all that God has provided. 😘

Bloom Thyme Friday: Friends and Roses Part 2

In most of my garden “rooms” you will find roses hybridized by this rose friend – Dr. David Zlesak.

DAY JOB: David is a Professor of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. For the past 11 years, David has been teaching undergraduate horticulture students.

HOBBY: As a kid growing up in Milwaukee, David loved being outside and gardening – especially with his grandparents who had a small farm nearby.

FUN STORY:  When David was 13 he read in the Sunday paper gardening section about Will Radler’s rose breeding hobby. So he wrote to Will for more information. Will (breeder of the Knock Out family of roses) got him connected to the Rose Hybridizers Association and with his love of art, science and roses, he was off onto a hobby that would bring him and all of us much joy in the roses that he has created.

FRIENDSHIP: I met David through American Rose Society events and we have become great friends. Actually, it is hard NOT to become friends with David as he is truly one of the nicest guys around! He is always willing to share his vast knowledge with those interested!

DAVID’S ROSES IN MY GARDEN

Petit Pink (10 of those!) (Lovely sweetheart blooms!)

Above and Beyond (Gorgeous spring-blooming climber)

The newly released Pretty Polly Lavender (Sweetest blooms and fragrant too)

The newly released Pretty Polly (So prolific and great in arrangements)

PODCAST:

Recently I spoke to David on the Rose Chat Podcast about a project that he is also very passionate about — The Clean Plant Network and the very important work they are doing. Listen in HERE.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

THYME OUT…

‘Thyme Out’ is the name for my new outdoor working space and this space is coming together very nicely. Gone are the horrible vines, roots, and trunks of the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle (if you missed that post, read on HERE.

This space has always included a potting bench but Mr. G gave the potting bench a facelift and then surprised me with a beautiful work table. After a few days of seeing me work in the space, he said, “I’m making you another table.” Seriously, I said I don’t need another one it would be tooooo excessive.” He said, “I’m making you another table.” And, he did. And, guess what? I am so glad he did! I have room to spread out! I am spending so much time in this space.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. G is the best. 

To say that he ”gets” me would be an understatement.
To say that he is a craftsman, would be an understatement.
To say that he is a leader and mentor, would be an understatement.
To say that I love him would be an understatement.

And, to say that he is the very best at being a dad and papa … would be an understatement.

HAPPY FATHER’S (& PAPA) DAY, MR. G.

BLOOMING THIS WEEK…

The roses are on steroids this week and so are many other things. Here are a few pics. For more pictures and videos go to my Instagram page HERE.

 

Jasmina from Kordes
My Girl – Easy Elegance Collection
Blue Angel Clematis
Blue Angel and Etoile Violette Clematis
Bokay Makers
‘You Know Who’ can’t be stopped!
Flamenco Rosita
The Faun

 

Friends, thanks for dropping by.

I hope your world is filled to the brim with friends and with beautiful blooms too!  😘

 

Bloom Thyme Friday: Patience is a Virtue

Yes, patience is a virtue… they say.

And this season as gardeners we have needed all the patience we can get as we deal with weather conditions. Weather dictates most everything we do.

As I write a gentle rain is falling, it looks and sounds beautiful. The birds are loving it but I’m practicing patience as I wait on sunshine. Much of the garden is sitting in water and rain predicted for all day tomorrow too. 😏 We gardeners surely do hate to complain about rain. However…  GULP! GULP!

We are coming out of a very cold, dreary period … it has actually set records for lack of sunshine and for lowest temps. Funny thing about that, England is having their sunniest spring on record. I think I have their answer … my daughter is there. She always brings sunshine to my life.

We NEED a bit of sunshine. Our spirits need it. Our plants need it. Work on my new outdoor potting space needs it. My Sweet Bay Magnolias especially need it.

SWEET BAY MAGNOLIAS

We have three SB Magnolias and love them. Last year at this time they were leafing out so beautifully and getting ready to bloom. The freeze we experienced a couple of weeks ago nipped them good. All baby leaves turned black. We feared the worst. But, this week with the warming temps, we now see leaves! Whew, that was close. Can’t imagine losing them.

BLOOM THYME…

The warm temps are sure paying off… blooms (and veggies) are popping all over the garden!

Caution: Excessive images coming. Hope you like pink and purple.😳

Pretty little purple pincushions holding their own amoung all the green. (Scabiosa)

Oh, Sweet William how sweet you are![/caption
Baptisia getting started. Easy, Breezy, Beautiful.

May Night Salvia can’t be stopped. Power bloomer.

Not sure of the variety, but these alliums brought their “A” game this spring!

The President clematis has been bringing joy to my garden for years and years. It is usually the first of my clematis to bloom.

PEONIES…

Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.

VEGGIES…

Click on individual pics for additional information on varieties, etc.

ROSES…

So many roses are loaded with bud and just ready to burst!

Petit Pink is covered in buds!

Peggy Martin is ready to be glorious.

And some ROSES are reaching their peak…

Midnight in Paris growing in a container on my deck.

Below is Ghislaine de Feligonde reaching for the sky over the Potting Shed.

She looks like she’s enjoying today’s gentle rain.

Ghislaine de Feligonde… this old-fashioned rambler forms a large shrub with few thorns. Fragrant bloom clusters open apricot, aging to pale yellow. Occasional repeat bloom. Canes can reach 6 to 10 feet. (Taken from High Country Roses website where I bought her 3 years ago.)

RAIN OR SHINE

If you need a rainy or sunny day activity … I think you will enjoy my recent interview with Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium. His talks should come with a warning, he makes it hard not to fall in love (or deeper in love) with roses — plants he calls THE ULTIMATE GARDEN PLANT. And, he uses them so beautifully. You can listen HERE.

 

Friends, spring is happening! Until next time be well, be safe, and be happy in the garden.

If you are local keep an umbrella handy too. 😉 ☔️

Seeds: Tiny Miracles

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12

THINGS ARE GOOD AROUND HERE!

I just placed my first seed orders and already simply can’t wait to get them in the ground. But, wait I will — as rushing any type of gardening is most often futile.

Seeds heading my way:

RENEE’S GARDEN

I am always looking for more bokay makers and found a couple to add from Renee’s.

Mulberry Rose Nigella  (link)

I already have two other colors and love them even though you have to keep your eyes on them. #overcheivers

White Bishop Lace (link)

 

Flashback Caledula (link)

Loving the colors and will add these to the yellow ones I usually plant.

 

BURPEE

Steak Sandwich Tomato

I happened on plants of this tomato at Lowe’s last year from the Bonnie Plant collection. Since I had never heard of this variety, I immediately took to my phone to do some research (don’t you love on the spot research!). I found a YouTube video of someone who was testing this tomato and things were looking very good. I took 3 home.

Background: WE LOVE LOVE LOVE TOMATOES. Every year we plant many varieties (mostly in pots). While we get a few good tomatoes per plant, we find that most “slicers” are stingy with their fruit. Our goal is both taste and quantity. This year the goal was met. Tons of delicious tomatoes (medium sized). Not being sure we will find the plants again, buying seeds is our insurance policy.

If you are interested in knowing all things tomatoes, I would recommend Craig LeHoullier’s Epic Tomatoes.

Image courtesy of Bonnie Plants

Senora Zinnia (link)

Look at that color. I can already see this one making beautiful bokays with roses!

SEEDS ALREADY WAITING IN THE POTTING SHED:

Look at this plethora of “special” seed packets that my grandsons helped me pick out while I was in England. I love each one for the memories they evoke. Many will make it to the garden this year. Some of the packets will adorn the Potting Shed.

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SEEDS.

Seed packet reading will be high on my list especially with so many new seeds from the UK.

Then, I will begin to jump start with indoor planting…

I take a small and simple approach to indoor seed starting based on my limited time, space and light. I use basic seed starting grow pots or starter kits filled with seed starting mix. When: For the seeds I am starting, I need about 5 – 7 weeks before our last frost date (see your seed packet for specific info) to get the seedlings where they need to be at planting time. Planting time is the last frost date and around here (Zone 5) that is Mother’s Day. The potting shed does not receive enough light and few spaces do this time of year, so I will have a grow light over my plants.

For additional details about seed starting, here is a quick but excellent video by Epic Gardening. Take a look

I find the whole seed process fascinating and fun! This is truly a special, miracle filled part of gardening! What a glorious day it will be when I see green! 🌱🌱🌱

LITTLE MIRACLES INDEED:

While not all seeds are tiny, many of our flower seeds are. Hard to believe something so small has everything needed to grow! Size certainly does not determine their effectiveness. Of course for many of them we do have a role to play in providing light and water. However, as I pull over achievers, whether cultivated or wild, out of my garden … I know all too well that seeds do their job very well — often without my help. They are quite proficient at recruiting wind, birds and such. I don’t know about you, but I am blessed with many over achieving seeds. 😉

2 Corinthians 9:6 says… The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

YESSSS! LET’S GO AND SOW BOUNTIFULLY IN LIFE AND IN THE GARDEN!

PS: I’ve been ordering a few roses too.😱 We’ll talk about that later.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Heavenly

Well friends I have turned the corner and have said a proper goodbye to summer with the last rose bokay I picked this week. I am embracing the fall beauty around me!

Side Note: One garden friend on seeing my recent bokay asked if I should be still cutting my roses. She has heard me say on more than one occasion that we should stop deadheading our roses several weeks before the first frost to encourage them to begin to make hips (seeds) and go to sleep in protection of the cold to come. That is true. However, once a week I do scour the garden of nearly 200 roses to find the best of the best. My Cherry Parfait rose had about 25 blooms and 15 or so buds and I just picked one.  So I do limit my cutting during this time! (But, it’s super hard to do so.)  I’m so glad she asked!
WHAT I’M LOVING…
The most beautiful thing right now is the Heavenly Blue Morning Glory vine… that has completely invaded the Potting Shed’s personal space.
Morning Glories (Ipomoea) are natives albeit “very happy overachieving natives” who can spread their beauty around in ways that look like an invasive! 😳 Their ability to self seed gets them into trouble!
Yes, it is heavenly!
Bees love, birds love, butterflies love and even my camera lens loves these amazing blooms. A fall highlight!

NOT SO HEAVENLY

A morning glory family member, Bind Weed, is a much more aggressive plant and drives our farmers crazy. Do do check your variety and your local cooperative extension for information on growing any of these vines in your area.
Birds do contribute to the problem! As I mentioned in a previous post. I have a very healthy vine of Grandpa Ott blooming this year and I have not planted that variety for many, many years! I suspect some little bird left me a present.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…

Hudson’s African Violet is still going strong and has been blooming for several weeks. Cooper’s African Violet is smaller but it’s on the verge of another bloom cycle too. (Both started from a single leaf.)
While we are on the subject of the boys… guess who turned 6…  my, my, where does the time go. 😢
Still haven’t potted my roses. Maybe tomorrow! 🤦‍♀️ But we have new tiny leaves.
And, I bought one new plant ….. a cute little peperomia.
And lastly, this beauty is bringing me all kinds of happy —  but alas I can’t remember her name. Do you know it???

If it is cold where you are, I hope you are safe and warm and enjoying a mug of something delish.

If it’s spring where you are, enjoy it enough for me too and share pictures. 😊

Bloom Thyme Friday: Welcome to My Herb Garden

This week I had some extra time to just “be” in my herb garden. It is a very special place for me. The fence was the first structure that Mr. G built for me after we moved into our “new” home. That was over 30 years ago. Pardon me while I shed a few tears. Looking back, 30 years seems like a blink… have you noticed that — looking back is like a quick vapor and looking ahead seems like forever. Those 30 years are filled to the brim with memories. Mr. G building the fence with 2 littles in tow. My daughter and son planting seeds; picking herbs we would use in cooking; harvesting lavender and other flowers and herbs that we used in crafts — some we sold as the Ladybug Herb Garden.  (My daughter’s “baby” name was Ladybug.)

I wish I had a list of all the herbs, veggies, cutting flowers and roses (they’re herbs too) that have had a home in this happy, fragrant 16’ x 18’ space.

Let me show you around…

Basil that has gone to seed and making the pollinators happy growing in a tangle with chives and a very prominent black eyed susan that I didn’t plant. It is always a big surprise as to where the black eyed susans will show up each year!

Thyme that makes it’s way into egg salad, chicken salad and bean dishes. And is the perfect ground cover for herb gardens.

Zinnias and Cosmos (Mr. G’s Fav) running amuck in that beautiful way they do in the fall.

Nasturiums — because they are so dependably pretty and fun to add to salads.

Lambs Ears because of it’s color, texture and the fact that every child loves it. Behind the Lambs Ears is the lovely ‘Pretty Polly’ Almond scented geranium.

Okra … that should have been picked last week. Note: I don’t have a full on vegetable garden but add favorite veggies here and there around the garden, on the deck and on the driveway!

Banana peppers … that should have been picked last week. Zinnias were hiding them.
Chard … for smoothies and just for pretty.
Rosemary … because it’s beautiful, fragrant, delicious and has been used for years in a family favorite recipe – rosemary baked potatoes!

Plants that are here but have finished for the season…

Peonies, yarrow, sweet peas, sweet william and larkspur had their moment and have come and gone. The world they lived in was much more tame!   Look, no jungle in late May!

Herbs you don’t see in my “Herb” garden…

Mint… the last plant my mother bought for me was apple mint. That was more than 25 years ago. While I’ll never be without mint for the memory of her and for the fact I use it all the time, it is planted safely in a pot where it’s “roaming” tendencies are kept in check! 😳

Oregano… has been taken out to the veriest back of the property where it can run amuck. It’s yummy but it is like mint in that it desires world domination!

Sage… It is one of my two favorite herbs. I love it for so many reasons — I love the flavor and I love the holiday memories attached to that flavor and that smell and I love how it looks. You don’t see sage in the herb garden because it lives and thrives in another area of the garden where conditions are dryer. While it looks so good with the other herbs, it’s happier elsewhere.  And, it does very well beside it’s neighbor that doesn’t like the herb garden all that well either… Lavender – my other favorite. Who doesn’t love lavender!?! Is there a more relaxing fragrance in all the world? Not for me. I do plant both sage and lavender in the herb garden each year and while they mostly survive for a season, they don’t thrive. So, to have plenty, it is best to have “extras” where they are happier!

And, this brings us to Roses… they greet you as you enter. As it should be.

Thanks for stopping by for my herb garden tour. Now you know that my herb garden, like all the other “rooms” in my garden are a combination of plant types. Most of them tasty and many so aromatic — making it a destination I can get lost in!

Let’s all take a deep breath and inhale the earthy fragrance of herbs. I’m wondering what are your favorites? Is it sage or lavender or….

I bet there’s a story behind your favorite and I’d love to hear it! ❣️

Bloom Thyme Friday: Taking Note

While most of the world braces for the onslaught of “PUMPKIN SPICE EVERTHING,” I am thinking spring – and taking note of all the things in the garden that need “adjustment.” Lists are being made on things that will be moved, removed or added and a few new designs are being put to paper.  SIDE NOTE: I have used Evernote App (glorified note taker/document maker/to do list) for 7 years now for garden world work. It is a mobile ready app so no matter what device I have, the information has been synced and I pick up where I left off! Another great Evernote feature is it is sharable and works well for group collaboration.

My heart races at the thoughts of spring! I am armed with graph paper, Evernote notes, plant tags and ideas!

On my lists….

Perennials that need moving and maybe even dividing – peonies, phlox, iris, daylilles and ground cover. And then there’s the over achievers: daisies and black-eyed susans… of course they are way out of their bounds and need a bit of thinning.

Things on the list that will wait until early spring: Moving roses and hydrangeas. I have done this in the fall and sometimes it works, but sometimes winter comes early and they don’t have time to get established. This year I am waiting.

Things I need to make room for: 2020 rose releases!

My “taking note” includes going over HITS and MISSES this year. Here is a sampling…

HITS:

Tomatoes: Our luck with slicing tomatoes has been dismal the last couple of years. Whether in the ground or in a pot. We have tried it all. The yield was one or two, here and there.

NOT THIS YEAR… While at Lowes this spring I was slowly going through every tomato plant thinking “nah” on most of them. Then I came across one we had never grown before and I pulled out my handy dandy iPhone and did some research. Found a youtube video from someone who was trying this variety too and the vines looked great and there was plenty of tomatoes so I thought SOLD! Even though he had never gotten to the taste part, I was willing to give it a chance. Fast forward do today and we have had a zillion beautiful and oh so yummy tomatoes. No bugs. No disease. Just yum.

And the tomatoes we grew were Steak Sandwich from Bonnie Plants. Have you grown this plant?

I planted two 5” plants in large pots on the driveway and Mr. G painstakingly watered them and carefully tied them as they grew bigger and bigger and bigger. The storms blew them over a time or two, but they never stopped. Remember this picture from Instagram. This was taken on June 15. They are a wall now!

 

This pic was taken July 5! WO!! Wall of tomatoes. Remember this is 2 tomato plants!

We are still getting the most delicious tomatoes. I can’t tell you how many I’ve eaten! And have savored every one!

We now have a wall of tomatoes. It has been so fun. And so delicious. We’ll definitely plant these again. To be sure we get them, I will order seeds. I saw that Burpee has the seeds. WOO HOO WINNER!

Peggy Martin Rose: The winter of 2017-2018 was very hard on Peggy Martin. She had completely covered a large pergola …until winter hit. During the winter she died all the way back to the ground.

The summer of 2018 she grew and grew. To protect her I made the decision to provide extra winter protection by mounding  bark mulch and leaves to a little over 3 ft. Whether it was the extra mulch love or the winter, we will never know but she greeted 2019 with much enthusiasm – covering a good bit of the pergola again and bloomed like crazy.

This one-time blooming machine started the first of June and still had plenty of blooms the first of July. The rose that survived hurricane Katrina – survived one of the wettest springs on record as well as plenty of wind and storms. She was a crowd pleaser at Open Garden Day. Peggy Martin– WINNER! I saw on Chamblee’s Facebook page that they had a limited number of Peggy Martins for sale. It is such a popular rose, they sell out fast.

This was the first of June.

 

This was early July.

MISSES:

Zinnias: The seeds never had the chance to be spectacular …. too much early rain. My late attempt at starting seeds in pots was better, but still not what I had hoped. Will work on a new plan and maybe a new place for next year. While I was a bit disappointed, the butterflies found them heavenly!

The plan was that they would fill the back row of the Herb Garden…. Note – most of them “moved” to one side. It was probably more like “flowed” in the current of water that was out there!

 

Sweet Peas: First problem, I planted them late (busy schedule and flooding rains got in the way) and by the time they were huge and ready, it was too hot to bloom. Seriously, the vines still look spectacular — best ever. Wouldn’t it be nice if they bloomed when things cool down. It’s never happened before but I would love it. SIDE NOTE: I have never and I mean never seen sweet peas like the sweat peas in England. A feast for the eyes and nose. Couldn’t even capture in a photograph.

Here are a few cut ones at the Bosley Patch farmer’s market in Henley. Can you tell how big and luscious they are?

I bought these seeds in England. Hoping they will be my secret weapon next year! Stay tuned.

I’ll share more hits and misses next time.

FALL / WINTER ROSE CARE TIPS

If you re looking for my fall / winter care tips, read on here. Don’t treat them as gospel — I don’t because things change from year to year. Just as with your children or fur babies, you will know your roses best and will figure out what they need. But, I am happy to share the basics of what has worked for me.

PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING

Everyone I know loves fall and for me it is a tenuous relationship at best. I LOVE SPRING. It is true that each year I am getting better and better at fall. It’s Mr. G’s favorite.

SO, let’s all go out and have some PUMPKIN SPICE fun. God sure does beautiful work in the fall and we don’t want to miss it.

Ecclesiastes 3:1: There is a time for everything … a time to plant and a time to uproot..

Seriously, I have a ton of things to “uproot”! I best get busy.

Here’s to Pumpkin Spice Lattes (and Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice cereal)!

Bloom Thyme Friday: An Unexpected Treasure

As you must already know my life’s greatest garden treasure is Mr. G. who is the very best at supporting my garden obsession. One of the reasons he is so good at this — his grandmother was a gardener who loved the same style and many of the same plants as me — Our garden reminds him of the special times he had walking in his grandmothers garden, hearing her talk about the plants she loved and helping her when needed.

I so wish I could have seen her garden – more specifically, her in her garden and hear the garden stories. I did meet her and she was lovely, but not gardening at that time. well, not outside, but she did have a vast collection of house plants — something I am well on my way to having too. 🙄

I also had hoped to see pictures of her garden, but through the years none surfaced.

Until last weekend.

Greg’s mother passed away last November, she was lovely too and enjoyed flowers but she was an inside girl.

This past weekend we were doing that task that all of us hate, going through our loved ones possessions. But, like most of you know too, you so often uncover treasures. Unexpected treasures.

Here was mine.

Though the picture is black and while and faded – I can SEE a good portion of her garden and HER in the garden. And, YES, she did garden in dresses and stacked high heels Mr. G tells me. Much different than my cargo pants, bogs, t shirt and often a very handy garden apron. Thank you Mamaw Levis for preparing him well to love our garden too. I still wish we could have strolled in our gardens together in the mornings with our coffee in hand. She loved her coffee too!

And then there is this iris…

A treasure I have in my garden is a fragrant iris that she had in her garden and my mother-in-law had too. I actually see iris foliage in the garden picture above. Could it be the same one…

Treasures INDEED.

 

BLOOM THYME…

For now the torrential downpours have subsided and the HEAT is soaring. We are hoping the sky hasn’t forgotten how to rain. … it was VERY good at it for a few weeks.

Glad we have long garden hoses!

Here’s some of this week’s bloomers…

I suspect we have the spring rains to thank for our fluffy Annabelle border.

 

Many of the Clematis still going strong…

First blooms of Papi Delbard rose. My good friend Paul Zimmerman did not over sell this rose! Thanks Paul.

Bokay for my kitchen…

 

Another bokay to share…

OTHER THINGS CATCHING MY EYE THIS WEEK…

 

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

I hope you are surrounded by treasures.