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!

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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  🙂