I absolutely love the planning stage of gardening! Time to look back at pictures I took from seasons past, re-read the notes I took in my garden journal and random pieces of paper 🙄, and start dreaming of what’s next.

I am very grateful for the “save” flag on Instagram. So, when I see something that is similar to my style I “save” for an easy look back. I also print! Yes print real pictures of things I like from my garden and others. I find that having real pictures to look at makes a huge difference. The assistants in the WalMart electronics section know me. It is so easy on my iPhone to send photos to Walmart via the PhotoPrints+ app.


These days we are traveling more and more which we love. So with that comes the need for thinking through plant care while we are away.


Next year I will “mostly” plant things in containers that need very little care – especially very little water. This year I started this approach to containers by testing a few. I planted Autumn Joy sedum in two planters and it was gorgeous and needed relatively no care and minimal water. My main front porch planter which has always been filled with very thirsty annuals of some sort was planted with a group of succulents. While my daughter was in California, I fell in love succulents and loved how they were used in plantings. This container was by far my very favorite ever! 


I will be doing more Winter Sowing and less seed starting under lights. The big exception to that is Lisianthus. I will still be planting those under lights in the Potting Shed! It’s risky but worth the risk. 

Winter Sowing is so easy and brings much more success than failure for little money and time. Here is a link to a post where I talk more about that process. LINK

Now as you may remember many of these plants made it through winter but didn’t survive the spring varmint invasion. The “plant plan” was solid. 🤣 Obviously, the “varmint plan” needs a bit more work. 😳


We are starting to investigate irrigation systems. Nothing too sophisticated but a way to automatically get water to many of the roses as needed. If you have suggestions or ideas about this I’d love to hear them!


Years ago we covered the largest wall in the Potting Shed with cattle panel type fencing. I’ve always used it to display things that make me happy. Last year I was very focused on what went on the “cattle panel” wall. The main things I wanted there were pictures and details about the new plants that I was adding to the garden so I could get used to their look and habit through the winter as I drew up my plans; I also added some seed packets that I was planning to use that I was somewhat unfamiliar with; as plans were drawn up, they too went on the “wall”. I can’t tell you how helpful it was. By the time I was to the planting stage, I was old friends with many of my new plants and plans! 

Now everything has been taken down and I’m ready to start again.


My garlic bed got a upgrade! Mr. G rebuilt all three of my raised beds! Aren’t they fantastic!!

Planting garlic is so rewarding for me. Since I don’t grow many of my own veggies, it is so nice to have one of our main flavorings from our garden. And, it is such a nice gift to share! The garlic I’ve planted the last three years is Chesnok Red – a hardneck variety that is good for northern gardens. It’s yummy and pretty! But, there are so many varieties. Most seed companies sell garlic and I’ve also bought from THE GARLIC STORE in Colorado (link).

🧄 If you are new to growing garlic and would like to give it a try, here are my growing/curing notes (link).


Each year the window box on the Potting Shed is filled with foraged finds from the garden. Just going around the garden collecting items for the window box is pure pleasure. Once it is complete, we get to enjoy it all winter long from the kitchen window. Mr. G says of all the gardeny decor things I do … this is one of his favorites!


Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a “A National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise” on October 3, 1863. Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” was a contributing factor to Lincoln’s making the decision. She had actually starting “campaigning” for Thanksgiving in 1846, so she was serious about it. Before 1863, the holiday was mostly only celebrated in the Northeast where she was from. And when it comes to our traditional feast … well she had a say in that too…

Her first novel, Northwood: A Tale of New England, described a Thanksgiving feast circa 1827, replete with a large family table topped with roasted turkey, gravy, and vegetables. She subsequently lobbied the President to bestow official status upon Thanksgiving, and is often referred to as “the Godmother of Thanksgiving.” -Real Simple Magazine website  Well done Sarah. I love turkey and gravy!

I  do love the Thanksgiving season and the focus on what we have to be grateful for. We have so much! If Thanksgiving as a holiday could take hold in the middle of the Civil War, we can celebrate with wild abandon for all that we have!

Friends, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!


Well it’s been a minute since I posted. We’ve had a wonderful time visiting family and and came home and hit the ground running with fall projects. 

If you google “first frost date” in my area you’ll find October 10 – 16 but this year like last year, those dates came without anything close to a killing frost. Yay! We still have flowers blooming but looks like that is coming to an end next week!

I feel like I’ve survived the heat of August, made it through September where I made peace with the end of the gardening year and have moved onto October where I can more enjoy the seasonal transition. 

October has been just about perfect. We’ve had beautiful days to enjoy the garden and to get things in order before winter.


Mr G surprised me with a truck full of wood and plans for some wonderful projects… updating two of my raised beds and a new gate for the herb garden. 

In the first picture you see that the current gate has been lovingly and beautifully hugged by Petite Pink this year to the point it could not open but the more open design of this gate allowed bunnies their free will so we allowed Petite Pink her space. But now she has been pruned back a bit and Mr. G’s newest gate will give the bunnies a harder time getting in. Hope it discourages the raccoons and ground hogs too.🤞🏻


The extra time has also given me more time to “just be” in the garden and watch the changes happen slowly.

Walking down this path is so relaxing with the fall hues. At this stage there is a “hush” to the garden and for now “hush” is good. 


Many flowers are still putting out beautiful blooms. Especially the dahlias. The soft peachy tones have turned brighter but blooms are plentiful.


The bees, moths and butterflies are still seen occasionally!

Our little friend enjoying the strawflower.


I only bought one type of daffodil this year and the recommendation for this one came from wonderful garden friend Christie Purifoy from her book Garden Maker – she said it was her favorite and it was fragrant so I had to go take a look! Yep, one look and I ordered them – actually so long ago that I forgot I did! Nice surprise! Thanks Christie!

Meet ‘Bridal Crown”…

Bridal Crown was introduced in the mid 1940s and is an award-winning, multiple stem daffodil – having 3 to 6 white and saffron flowers per stem. This beauty is heavenly fragrant, one of the earliest of the doubles to bloom; is a great forcer and is one of the best looking grown in pots. (I think I am going to plant some of mine in pots.)

(12″-14″ tall / Blooms early-mid spring / Hardy in Zones 4-9) I bought mine at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. I checked and they still have some available… LINK  

I have several types of daffodils and love them but my more recent daffodil love has been aimed at the more “rosette” looking double blooms and the ones with multiple blooms per stem. Other favorites at the moment: Thalia, White Lion, Cheerfulness, and Minnow. Planting daffodils in the fall sure give us so much to look forward to! #thinkspring


If you are like me and are a big fan of her books Garden Maker and A Home in Bloom, you’ll be be pleased to know that another book is coming in March Seedtime and Harvest – you can preorder now. Seedtime and Harvest is a series of lyrical essays exploring the myriad ways that gardening deepens our understanding of the natural world and grows our capacity for care and connection. If you don’t have these wonderful books – perhaps you should mention them to Santa! 🎅 🎁 Links are above if he needs them.


I love stickers! I love to put them on envelopes, seed packets for gathered seeds, in my garden journal and such! 

These are some of the prettiest stickers I’ve found. They are supposed to look like dried flowers and they certainly do. So, if you’re interested, here’s the link


GRACE ROSE FARM with Gracie Poulson, Owner

Friends, I know you will LOVE this chat! The delightful Gracie takes us back to the beginning where she fell in love with roses as a very young child and brings us up-to-the-minute on her vision and what’s coming from Grace Rose Farm. Hint: It’s all beautiful!



Much of the news we hear is breaking our hearts and making us anxious on so many levels. I am so grateful that God has told us that we can “cast our anxiety on him because he cares for us.” 1 Peter. 5:7 

And, how fortunate that he has given gardeners a place of retreat that gives us joy and peace – whether you have loads of land, a windowsill or a patio where you plant, putter and get your hands in the soil.

“Gardening has been shown to lighten mood and lower levels of stress and anxiety. It’s very gratifying to plant, tend, harvest and share your own food. Routines provide structure to our day and are linked to improved mental health. Gardening routines, like watering and weeding, can create a soothing rhythm to ease stress.

-Mayo Clinic

Science has discovered that working with soil is beneficial to your health and happiness. The reason is the soil bacterium, mycobacterium vaccae.  These microscopic bacteria enter into your body when you touch the soil. The bacteria triggers serotonin and dopamine production, both chemicals that produce a feeling of happiness. By the way, they are chemicals normally present in antidepressant medication.

-Manager Up, June 2023

Until next time Friends, I wish you joy, peace and time in your garden. 

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: Going back in time…

Many of the plants in my garden have stories attached to them. It’s what makes my garden so completely personal to me. As I walk around my garden I think of those stories and those people. And, when a visitor comes who wants to go on a slow garden walk and hear those stories, well that is the very best.


I have a hedge of Annabelle Hydrangeas which started from one Hydrangea I planted many years ago. My first plant was a passalong gift from my good friend Colletta Kosiba.

Yes, there are newer, less floppy varieties and I love those too and have many of them. But I still love the Annabelle. While I was in England I was surprised to find so many Annabelle’s there too. Here is Annabelle showing off behind a bench in the gardens of Highclere Castle of Downton Abby Fame.

Recently John Chapin of Tree Frog Nursery and Gardens (link) wrote an article about the history of this beautiful hydrangea. Now that I know her story, I love her even more.


The story of the wildly popular ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea, which blooms throughout Central Indiana in early summer, is one of a pass-along plant shared by generations of gardeners before it was “discovered” and made available to the gardening world at large. In 1910, Harriet Kirkpatrick was riding her horse through the woods outside of the southern Illinois town of Anna (link) when she noticed a beautiful native hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) with abnormally large, snowball-like blooms. Together with her sister-in-law, Amy Kirkpatrick, she went back to dig up the native shrub and transplanted it into her yard in town. 

Over the years, neighbors and friends admired the showy plant and the Kirkpatrick family shared divisions of the easily transplantable shrub, spreading its progeny throughout the area. Given its wide popularity and easy culture, Mrs. Kirkpatrick contacted the Burpee Seed Company to see if they were interested in developing the new variety commercially. However, a different wild specimen of the native hydrangea had been found near Yellow Springs, Ohio with similar abnormally large, snowball-like flowers, but an earlier bloom time. It was named ‘Snowhill’ and released by Burpee in 1906, so they weren’t interested.

For the next 50 years, ‘Annabelle’ would be an unnamed but locally popular cultivar that was distributed by word of mouth throughout the southern Illinois region, finally reaching Urbana around 1935. J.C. McDaniel, a renowned plant breeder and professor of horticulture at the University of Illinois saw the plant in an Urbana garden in 1960 and somehow traced it back to the southern Illinois farming community of Anna where gardeners grew it all over town. He was able to collect cuttings for propagation, named the cultivar for the two belles from Anna, and released it for commercial production in 1962. In a paper submitted at a horticultural conference that same year, McDaniel recounts the story of ‘Annabelle’, noting it as “the best form of its species yet found.”  

From this variety, many new cultivars have been developed, in an assortment of sizes and even with flowers in shades of pink, with stronger stems to avoid flopping.  All are very hardy, reliably bloom on new growth, and easy to grow in mostly shade to mostly sun. There is a variety for every garden.


Have you seen Season 2 of Growing Floret ? It is over the top for rose lovers and/or plant historians. The show is on the Magnolia Network. I have access to the Magnolia through a Discovery+ subscription. But there are other ways to find it too.

On the show Erin Benzakein, the owner of Floret, takes you on her journey to the world of old garden roses. Erin had the pleasure of getting to know one of our rose icons Anne Belovich whose story in itself is over the top fascinating. She also takes us on a tour with Gregg Lowery to see his massive collection and hear about his is passions for the old roses and the work he does with FRIENDS OF VINTAGE ROSES.

More about Gregg Lowery and the Friends of Vintage Roses (Link). 
Erin also released several articles about her rose experience on the Floret Flower blog (Link).

Leon  Ginenthal and I chatted about Anne and Erin on Rose Chat when we did the podcast on ROSES THAT RAMBLE. Podcast.


Big smiles here — The American Rose Society had a beautiful article on the Award of Excellence that my Petite Peach won. I wrote a post all about the history of the award and the details of the rose a few weeks ago. Here’s that article

If you are a member of the American Rose Society you know that the magazine is outstanding and comes in paper form as well digitally for members. If you are not a member, you can read all about the organization at


Some of the flowers in the garden are beginning to take on a “ready for a break” time so this week I picked a few buckets of flowers before I let them take a rest!

The annuals that I planted to go strong during those lulls of course have been eaten by the varmint who found them very tasty. Luckily there are flowers they either don’t like or haven’t found! (Varmint post)

Time to gather flowers… (I made several bokays but forgot to take pictures.)

Maybe the tallest Monarda on record – at least here! Obviously I didn’t expect this size of plant for my small herb garden boxes. But the pollinators are over the top happy and I love it too. I do think I will find a more suitable place for it next year. Extra bonus: it works so well in a vase! 🐝 🦋



Sometimes gardening isn’t for the faint of heart … especially late summer – with all the heat and varmints. I always say that few decide to be gardeners in the month of August and August is just around the corner.

BUT… so many amazing things are still to come. Today on my morning walk I went over the moon about the lisianthus and lilies that are coming on strong and tomatoes!! 🍅 🍅 🍅 🍅 🍅 🍅

Until next time… What’s your favorite tomato? And, your favorite way to enjoy fresh tomatoes? For me it’s yummy BLTs!

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…

PLANT BREEDING Rose Chat Podcast

PLANT BREEDING Dr. David Zlesak   On this episode, Dr. David Zlesak, Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin and a very accomplished Rose Breeder is here to talk about plant breeding and the history and importance of plant patents. David will take us back to the very first Plant Patent. The start was strong for roses — the first plant patent was given to the lovely rose New Dawn.   PREVIOUS ROSE CHAT PODCAST WITH DAVID: 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIALS (LINK) NATIONAL CLEAN PLANT NETWORK (LINK)   SEE THE REGIONAL ARTS TRIAL WINNERS HERE! (LINK)   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…