BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SUMMERTIME

Summertime and the living is easy! WHAT? Not for gardeners! It’s our time to roll up our sleeves and get busy. 

But when Ella sings it … you feel it!

CURRENT JOB LIST:

With all the storms and rain the jobs are endless, so I have made a list to keep me on track!

  • Deadhead Roses
  • Plant 3 new roses (Bliss Parfuma (2) and Perfume Factory)
  • Move roses that are competing for space. I believe several of these will be potted up and gifted. 
  • Divide the spring blooming Sweet William and share. 
  • Trim Topiaries
  • Trim Boxwoods  
  • Weed
  • Start foxglove seeds
  • Start lavender cuttings 
  • Add to “Plotting and Planning” Inspiration Book
  • MAKE BOKAYS
  • Have fun!

PLOTTING AND PLANNING 

Summertime is the second best time for plotting and planning. In my opinion, winter is the best time as you have more time and the sky’s the limit on what you can do. You are far removed from garden’s reality and your creative juices can go wild. 👩‍🎨🪴🌸🌹🎨👒🌻🌺

Summer plotting and planning is reality time … being in your garden to see what IS working and what IS NOT working leads to  tweaks. Most likely you are visiting other gardens too and getting new ideas and plants! So very thankful that gardens are being opened again. I have two to visit next week and I am thrilled. 

This week PLOTTING & PLANNING is moving to DIGGING. I have been digging up plants, moving plants, trimming plants and making lists of things to add and things to change. So F U N!! Don’t you just love this part!

You are probably thinking, “Is this the best time to divide and transplant?” That answer mostly likely should be “no”, but I garden with the theory that when you have time and tools – it’s the right time. But, don’t forget to keep the newbies and transplants watered.

GARDEN REPORT

WEEDS!

As I mentioned in a previous post this is the year of the weed!  They threw a party while we were away and invited all their friends and family. We have had a huge amount of rain this week, so weeds are extra happy but the rain sure makes them easier to pull!! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m kinda getting attached to the wild strawberry.  

Oh DEER!

Yes, DEER. We have never had deer in the summer before! It’s not just what they eat, to get to the objects of their desire, they are trampling other plants – a lot of them. 😫 The deer have ravished the herb garden and the hummingbird garden and peppered their presence throughout the garden. 😫 My delicate, beautiful Dreamland geraniums – smashed to smithereens. 

Here are some things I now know about the deer diet that I never knew before… 

  • They love poppies – ate the tops of all of them all. 
  • They love yarrow – sheared all the blooms and I have a lot of yarrow. (Almost a Chelsea Chop – hope they do rally and flower.)
  • They love parsley and are very good at eating just the tiny leaves and leaving the stems. 
  • They love roses but haven’t eaten as many as I thought they would. 😫🙏🏻 Maybe they are grossed out by the Japanese Beetles too.
  • They love asters – strategically nipping all the little buds. 
  • They love tomato plants but so far have only eaten one. You know what that means, Mr. G is on the warpath and armed with DEER AWAY spray. Not good to come between Mr. G and his tomatoes. Hopefully they will move along soon! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

JAPANESE BEETLES

Yes, they are back and the spa treatment has begun. A nice soapy bath to send them to beetle heaven. So far I am seeing fewer than before. Hopefully, my drowning them before they make it to the ground is paying off. Or they are just going to come a bit later. Time will tell. To read my “comprehensive” article on Japanese Beetles … read on here.

BLOOM THYME

Here’s are the standouts for this week…

Hollyhocks
Pink Pearl Sweet Pea … Beautiful, very floriferous but unfortunately no fragrance.
Annabelle Borders
Bright Eyes and her daisy friends.
Mother of Pearl Rose and her neighborhood.
Etoile Violette around the gate.

LONG WEEKEND AHEAD

This week we have had heat, storms and torrential rain but the weather outlook for our long weekend is perfect. Sunny and 75ish! We plan to soak it up.  😎  All meals and all activities are outside!

Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday weekend and may God Bless you and our wonderful country.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Bokay Day

The rain held off this morning and I was able to do some work in the garden. What started out as Japanese Beetle “bubble bath” day and garden “clean up” day, soon moved to BOKAY DAY. I just couldn’t help myself. With a garden the size of my garden there is always something to pick and the JB are SOOOOO attracted to the roses that they leave many of the other beauties alone. I became mesmerized by the bloom explosion that was happening today and decided that today was to become BOKAY DAY. So I’ll make bokays and share them. #favoritedays

Since I can’t share a bokay with each of you today, I thought I would share my favorite bokay makers and a few tips and tricks for your fresh cut bokays.

PERENNIALS (Bloom year after year)
Roses
Oriental Lilies
Yarrow
Coreopsis (Favs Moonbeam & Creme Brûlée)
Phlox
Dianthus
Bellflowers
Daisies
Stokes Asters
Ferns
Herbs (Lavender / Sage / Thyme / Mint)

 

ANNUALS (Bloom for one season)

Zinnias
Larkspur (reseeds)
Nigella: Love in a Mist (reseeds)
Superbenas  (Proven Winners)
(Favs Violet Ice / Whitecap / Royal Chambray
Senorita Rosalita Cleome (Proven Winners)
Herbs (Rosemary / Parsley)
Euphorbia Diamond Frost (Proven Winners)

Superbenas!


SHRUBS

Hydrangea (Favs Bobo / Pinky Winky)
Boxwood
Lilacs
Viburnums
Evergreens

 

MY MORNING HARVEST…

 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Morning is the best time to cut flowers.
  • Choose the freshest flowers — best to pick those not yet fully open.
  • Take bucket to garden with you.
  • Place in water immediately after cutting.
  • Let “condition” before arranging … even as little as one hour can be very helpful in their recovery and being ready for arranging. I go for at least 4 hours.
  • Cut under water if possible before adding to bokay.
  • Use preservative in water.
  • No greenery underwater… begins to decay quickly and that takes away from the life of the arrangement.
  • Every 3-4 days, recut stems, add fresh water (with preservative) to your vase.

P. Allen Smith’s Floral Preservative Recipe

Equal parts lukewarm water and lemon lime soda
One aspirin
Half a teaspoon of bleach

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Here’s a video of one of my evening garden walks this week after work. In the video you will see many of the annuals and perennials I mentioned above. Most of them are very hardy and have done fine in all the heat we have had this year. We do water occasionally, but not extensively.

 

Well, it is time for me to get back in the garden and continue with my original plan … Send more Japanese Beetles to a soapy “bubble bath” ☠️ and garden “clean up.”

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Bloom Thyme: A heart and a garden that is overflowing…

Last night I left California on the red eye with red eyes and a full heart…

  • A heart so full of gratitude for the 3 weeks I had with my loves there.
  • A heavy heart that was so sad to leave them.
  • A heart so excited to see the ones I have missed. My family. My friends. My Garden. My home. My church. My work.
  • A heart filled with gratitude for all the blessings God has given to me.

Yes, a full heart filled with the good, the great and the sad. For those of you with family and friends far apart, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Bright and early this morning Mr. G was there to bring me home. The look on his face told me I was missed!

The garden had missed me too. It will be a few days before I will have it back in ship shape. All of the rain made the care while I was gone much easier but boy did everything grow and many things exceeded their allotted space. We call this stage the jungle stage! Yes, it will take a little while to get things trimmed up. We will be moving slow this weekend as the temps soar to low 90s with the humidity totally out of control.

The garden welcomed me with many blooms still yet to enjoy while I do the big task of deadheading the ones past their prime.

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The rose in front is Dr. Zlesak’s Petit Pink from the OSO Happy Collection from Proven Winners. The white rose behind Petit Pink is Champagne Wishes from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection. Both are excellent in my garden.

 

Pink Carpet Rose
Pink Carpet Rose

Champagne Wishes from Ping Lim's Easy Elegance Collection.
Champagne Wishes from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection.

All My Loving ... A new rose from Weeks. Lovely HT with soft but nice fragrance.
All My Loving … A new rose from Weeks. Lovely HT with soft but nice fragrance. Read more here.

We have had 3 rainstorms and a bit of hail in the last week, so it is amazing that any of these blooms hung on! I think it was for my homecoming, don’t you?

These and several others were vased and delivered to the bank for those who helped me through a long distance banking issue.
These and several others were vased and delivered to the bank for those who helped me through a long distance banking issue.

I have some new visitors too…

Japanese Beetles.

So far I am only seeing a few. Seeing any is way more than I ever want to see. I’ll be dumping them into a bucket of soapy water (peppermint Dr. Bronners) for a sweet smelling demise. My friend, Jack Falker, had a lot to say about Japanese Beetles on his blog this week. You can read his thoughts here.

Here’s a simple recipe for the Dr. Bronner’s soapy magic: Add 2 T of Dr. Bronner’s soap to one gallon of water. Stir … don’t shake!  Add to spray bottle. You can buy this soap on Amazon here!

IMG_5333

Disgusting, right?

Aphids.

Yes, aphids are coming to munch on the new buds. Dr. Bronner’s soap solution in a spray bottle to the rescue for this critter too.

If you look closely, you'll see aphids munching. 😁
If you look closely, you’ll see aphids munching. 😁

More new.

I now have blooms on some roses that Proven Winners sent me right before I left. They are doing great! Believe me, the video or pictures do not do them justice!

Take a look…


It is good to be home.

Garden work is a great balm for a heart that is filled with an abundance of love and joy and just a tinge of sadness.

Bloom Thyme Friday: A Week of Extremes

This week has been a week of extremes. Extreme heat & humidity; extreme storms (even a tornado touch down within 10 miles of us); and EXTREME visits by the not so welcomed moles.

I have been on an “extreme” Japanese beetle watch since so many of my online garden friends are reporting beetle invasions in their gardens. The last two years we have seen very few and wouldn’t it be nice it that continued. If you are interested in reading more about Japanese Beetles (and who wouldn’t!?!), check out my friend Lynn Hunt’s article–Meet the Beetles.

Back to moles….

Have you ever dealt with moles? Do you have any advice on what we should do?  Mr. G is on “mole” detail and maybe it’s better if I don’t even know what he is going to do about it. Might not be pretty.

But, speaking of pretty, there are some pretty blooms this week. Most of the roses are taking a break but some are keeping on! And, many of the rose companions are just starting to take center stage! (Click on any of the pictures below to start the gallery feature.)

 

bloom-thyme-friday

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND AND HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roses, Bugs and a Rose Nut

Meet a self-proclaimed ROSE NUT, my rose friend, Baldo Villegas. . .

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Baldo with a few of his many award winners!

Baldo is a leading expert for the ARS on rose insects and diseases. Before his retirement in 2011, Baldo was the state entomologist for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

This week the Rose Chat team caught up with Baldo to to get a report on what’s going on in his garden of more than 3000 (yes 3,000) roses. We also wanted the inside scoop on his pruning techniques and some advice about one of his most favorite subjects—BUGS—especially the bugs that bug our roses! Can you say Japanese Beetles and Rose Midge!?!

Our time with Baldo proved to be informing, entertaining and inspiring! He even told us about some roses that he thought every rose lover should grow for beauty AND fragrance! Great ones to add to your wish list.

If you grow roses, want to grow roses, love roses or even like roses, don’t miss this podcast. You can listen on demand here.

You can keep up with Baldo and what’s going on in his garden by following him on Facebook here.

Pssst…

Between you and me, I have to tell you that every time I mention that Baldo grows thousands of roses, Mr. G gets a funny look on his face. #heknowsme  🙂

Beetle Mania

Every year about this time I find my self in the throes of Beetle Mania as the Japanese Beetles have converged on my garden. Seems they love all the things I love … roses, plums, flowers, grape vines and on and on. Year after year my plants have turned black as they were covered with thousands of these ugly, plant-eating bugs just munching away.

Ugly little critter via Wikipedia...
Ugly little critter via Wikipedia…

But, not this year. They aren’t here. And, before I celebrate, I have questions…

What happened?
Are they coming later?
Is this the end of the world?
Is this the result of the past two years of drought?
Is this the result of a very, very, very rainy spring and early summer?

Are you having them in your garden? Fewer than usual? What do you think happened to them?

The Real Beatlemania

All this talk about beetles makes me think of the REAL Beatlemania. I still miss the Beatles. Do you remember when they were on the Ed Sullivan show? I do. I was screaming. Just saying…

Time to swoon…

I’m feeling faint…