BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: A season of Ups and Downs

2022 had its ups and downs around here for sure. 

Our garden season started out extremely wet. We had so much rain right up to my open garden on June 12. I almost cancelled because it was pouring rain and the garden had standing water! I started hearing from people early morning to see if the garden would still be open. So I sent out a message that if we were in England we would not stop the show for rain, so grab your umbrella and  don your wellies — the garden is open. And so many did – it was such a fun day.  (More about open garden here.)

30 minutes before the open garden was to begin, the rain stopped, the sun came out, the clouds moved away  and did not return for weeks and weeks and weeks.. We had very little measurable rainfall all summer. We do not have a drip system. Hand watering is what happens here but hand watering was complicated by those hot hot hot days. 🔥 The gardener was hot!

Regardless of the weather scenario, we had beautiful flowers! Many plants just didn’t care about the conditions. Many roses bloomed and bloomed. Zinnias were fabulous. With less moisture, there was less mildew pressure for them. Also fabulous were snapdragons, lisianthus, phlox, foxglove, alliums and all the herbs – they like it hot!



For the first time  I planted tomato seeds using the winter sowing method. (More about winter sowing here.)

I put them outside in a jug on April 2, left them alone and had amazing plants in mid May ready to take their place in Mr. G’s driveway garden. The 3 varieties I planted in this jug were Gardener’s Delight, Steak Sandwich and Beefsteak.


One thing I’m glad I did but won’t do again was starting dahlias from seed. My germination rate was fabulous and I had many plants to put in my garden and share with others but none of them turned out to be varieties that I really wanted in my garden. I’ll admit to being a bit picky about what goes in my garden, so there’s no need to plant something that will be that much of a surprise. 😳


During the distracting heat of summer, stealthily, Ms Midge crept into the garden.  When the final flush or should I say “big finish” should be happening, I found this…

What looks like burnt match sticks where beautiful blooms should be. Luckily it was not all over the garden but without treatment it soon could be.

The mosquito looking Midge has been  stealing rose blooms for a long time.  I’ve read that the earliest recorded information is from 1884 when midge was wreaking havoc in greenhouses growing roses in New Jersey.

My first encounter with Midge was about 10 years ago. At an ARS IL IN District meeting I had the chance to talk about this problem with Dr. Andy Plasz. Andy is not only a rose expert and wonderful teacher, but before retirement Andy was Director and Global Head of Analytical Chemistry Research for Abbott Laboratories. He had a lot to say about my midge problem as he was dealing with the same problem in  his garden.

His counsel was so needed as I do not spray for bugs and had no knowledge of what to do.

His recommendation was a product called Cyonara – spraying in early spring as roses are coming back to life and then again 3 weeks later. I hate to bring out the insectide but I do want blooms on my roses so…. Cyonara helped me then and I’m sure it will help me now.

More information: If you would like to read a comprehensive article on Rose Midge, my good friend and rose expert John Hefner wrote an excellent article for the Indianapolis Rose Society. You can read the article HERE

SIDE NOTE: We had far fewer Japanese Beetles this year. I guess they don’t like it so hot.


While I am not crazy about fall, I am completely crazy about the holiday season that starts around here on November 1. We don’t skip over Thanksgiving – in fact it is one of our very favorite holidays but we are known to start listening to a bit of subtle Christmas music and start adding twinkle lights on November 1. 🎄 Well, to be honest we are not so subtle about it… we are rocking out to everything from Bing Crosby to Mannheim Steamroller and beyond!

Yes, November and December give us so much to look forward too. Extra time with family and friends. Amazing food. And, a more focused season of gratitude.

Friends, I am so grateful to you for sharing my garden world. While we are talking about sharing, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? Mine is dressing (stuffing) and a cranberry dish we affectionately call Christmas Cran. (Recipe here.)  

SIDE NOTE: If you are an ARS member you will soon be receiving their beautiful magazine AMERICAN ROSE soon. This is their special annual edition. When you open you magazine, you might just see a familiar garden – Bloom Thyme. 😁 If you are not a member of the American Rose Society … take the plunge today and jump into the world of roses! Read more about that here…

Until next time ….