Bloom Thyme Friday: A Thing for Glass

I have a thing for glass. If you know me you might say I have a thing for several things … family, roses, flowers, jute, coffee, books and JESUS … And not in that order! LOL But, today we are going to talk about glass.

Sunday there was a friend in the garden who decided to take some flowers home with her. I sent her to the potting shed for a vase to put them in. Know this… vase means bottle, jar or something of the sort.

She found an appropriate bottle but we realized the myriad of flower containers in the Potting Shed had diminished to a couple. Oh no! 😱😳  So, I headed into the garage where I have another “supply.” If you went to my attic, you would find yet another “supply.” #dontjudge

As I lovingly took them from the garage shelves and put them on the Potting Shed potting bench I just kept looking at them. All different. All conjure up memories, stories and the like.

They sparkle. They shine. They represent special dinners, yummy snacks and everyday life … jams, jellies, spaghetti sauce, soups, spices, honey, smoothies, pickles, and containers friends have saved for me because they know I have this “thing.” Then there are the classic Ball and Mason jars which truly take me down memory lane to my mother who spent her summers and falls “putting up” the food we would enjoy all winter. For our family often it was out of necessity but no less delicious. Rarely do I have canned food that is as delicious as the food she served us. She had a “thing” about serving good food!

So today you get to see what I saw as my beauties were laid out on my potting bench. I left them there for a couple of days just to enjoy their size, shape, color. More than once I have thought about the container designers. Did they know the their beautiful glass container would have another life as vases for my home grown bokays, my sprigs of something (link)  and holders for dried flowers and seeds in my potting shed. And, the label designers… I hope they didn’t know that I would use gallons of GOO GONE to remove their creation to make them my own. They will leave here and have yet another life once the flowers have faded.

Note the brown bottles on the shelf. LOVE THEM so much! They play off Annie’s Moo Poo tea packages so well!
The smallest ones are the ones the children pick and stuff full of flowers!

While you are being dazzled by the beautiful containers, DON’T MISS the amazing stem of The Fawn (Faun) rose—a ground cover rose. These blooms are small but just about perfect. This rose is new to me and I have read it is very disease resistant. I’ll admit I have struggled to keep the leaves on this rose healthy, but the blooms ARE amazing. And, I will keep it and keep trying. The blooms are worth it!

Now I’m wondering what it is that you have “a thing” for. That thing that you tend to have too much of.  That thing(s) that makes you soooo happy!

Keep enjoying the simple things, keep blooming and Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

ROSE BUZZ: 2016 Gift Ideas for Gardeners!

 

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We as gardeners love what we do! But, the right tools can make all the difference and Christmas is the perfect time to share ideas with Santa to get just what we want and need for the coming growing season! Plus, getting garden goodies in the middle of winter is just FUN!

Below are some garden gifts that I highly recommend you buy for yourself, your garden friends OR whisper in Santa’s ear so they show up around your Christmas tree or in your stocking! NOTE: Make sure you have a BIG STOCKING!

A YEAR IN MY ROSE GARDEN

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Teresa Mosher has written a book that all rose gardeners will want on their Christmas list.

Teresa is President of the New England Rose Society, and one of the leading Garden and Rose Consultants in New England.  This book is a wonderfully practical book that rose growers at every level will benefit from having! With this book comes the best gardening journal I have seen. Teresa has been so thorough with information that even a novice gardener could pick up this book and be good to go! From basic rose care information, a list of tools and supplies, rose terminology and ideas for garden design — it’s all there!

ORDER BOOK HERE.

To hear Teresa talk about her book and her gardening experiences, listen to a recent Rose Chat Podcast here

 


COW POTS

  • All Natural Made with 100% Renewable Composted Cow Manure
  • CowPots stay intact for up to 12 weeks before planting in the ground
  • Roots easily penetrate the walls of CowPots.
  • Perfectly odor free

Available on Amazon here.

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AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY TRIAL MEMBERSHIP

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WHAT A VALUE!! All rose lovers will enjoy this gift! With a trial membership comes discounts at public gardens, copies of the ARS award winning magazine, American Rose, plus a ton of other benefits … all for only $10Details at Rose.org.

 


 HANDCRAFTED TOOLS

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My good friend, Chris VanCleave, the Redneck Rosarian, has partnered with DeWit Tools to bring us a beautiful, handcrafted line of tools. These lovely tools come with a life-time guarantee and are destined to be heirloom pieces you will want to hand down to the next generation. Take a look at these beauties on Amazon.


 THE GARDENER’S HOLLOW LEG

The Hollow Leg was given as door prizes at the Indianapolis Rose Society this year and everyone wanted to be a winner! So, even though the Hollow Leg appeared on last year’s list, I wanted to feature it again.

Bob Blomberg’s  Gardener’s Hollow Leg® makes yard and garden clean up tasks easier! This handy “hands-free” debris holder is a must have for all pruning, weeding and harvesting tasks.

A 15% discount!

FROM BOB: Tell  your readers to use GHLUSER at check out for the discount!

To learn more or to buy online, read on.

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Even Mr. H has the Hollow Leg Jr!!

Heading to the green compost bin.
Heading to the green compost bin.

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Find the ripe tomatoes.
Find the ripe tomatoes.

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The wonderful items on last year’s list are still available and you can read about them HERE.

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Christmas is really the most wonderful time of the year!

ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!

Potting Shed Review: Move Over Christmas Cactus!

Move over Christmas Cactus, we’re moving back in says the geraniums, a few herbs and some roses! Space in the Potting Shed is limited and  there’s a bit of overcrowding happening!

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Just when the Christmas Cactus is getting ready to bloom and show its stuff, here comes the 24 degree nights and all the “others” seeking shelter from the cold come running in.

It is a bit of a family reunion as some of these geraniums have been around for many, many years. They get huge every summer and grace the deck and potting shed porch with their lovely blooms. In late fall they get a “hair cut” to  help them fit their winter space. The best thing about it, they recover quickly and go back to blooming and bloom most of the winter!

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The bay tree just about stayed out toooooo long as some of the leaves are nipped. He’ll need a bit of Annie’s Moo Poo tea to “recover.” I’m brewing up a fresh batch to soak the amaryllis bulbs in and get them planted this week! Some years I plant one or two amaryllis bulbs and sometimes I plant a dozen!  For tips on growing amaryllis, read on here.  They are super fun!

Today’s Brew Station…

More Winter Neighbors…

There’s a collection of roses … starts of the Peggy Martin rose from this summer’s Rosefest. A healthy start of David Zlesak’s Above and Beyond, a beloved start of Barbara’s Pasture Rose (more about that coming soon) and even a tiny Beverly HT that was left behind in a corner over the summer. And, there are jars of cuttings of various annuals I don’t want to lose completely!

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Overcrowding?

Maybe, in the potting shed there is a bit of overcrowding … books, plants and tools are packed in, but I prefer to think of it as “cozy.”

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Before we know it, it will be time to…

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All’s good.

Whisper these gift ideas in Santa’s ear…

We as gardeners love what we do! But, the right tool can make all the difference and Christmas is the perfect time to share ideas with Santa to get just what we want and need for the coming growing season!

Below are some garden gifts that I highly recommend you buy for your garden friends OR whisper in Santa’s ear so they show up around your Christmas tree or in your stocking!

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THE GARDENER’S HOLLOW LEG…

Bob Blomberg’s  Gardener’s Hollow Leg® makes yard and garden clean up tasks easier! This handy “hands-free” debris holder is a must have for all pruning, weeding and harvesting tasks.

To learn more or to buy on line, read on … http://thegardenershollowleg.com/welcome.html

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THE RING WEEDER

Vinnie Suozzi’s Ring Weeder has a forked tip that pierces the ground with ease allowing you to loosen the soil around the weed to “pluck” it out without breaking off the root of the weed. Made of light weight high strength injection molded ABS plastic, The Ring Weeder allows you to get your weeding done swiftly.

For the details of how this product found it’s place in the garden, read on…HERE.
Listen to Vinnie tells his inspiring story HERE.

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MOO POO TEA

Annie Haven’s Moo Poo Tea has been a staple in my garden for many years. Whether I am using it to soak my bare root roses or bulbs before planting or adding moo poo tea to the over all care of all my plants in containers and in the ground, moo poo makes a major difference!

Try it for yourself … HERE. Shipping is always free!

 

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BARNEL PRUNERS AND BIONIC GLOVES FROM WENDY TILLEY, THE ROSE GARDENER

Who doesn’t want to be more bionic in the garden. I am convinced that without my Barnels and my bionic gloves … I would have a major loss of power!

Read all about these amazing tools and many more on Wendy’s website HERE.

Listen to Wendy give you the background stories, HERE.

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And, what about a membership to an organization that is near and dear to my heart!?!

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If you know someone who is interested in knowing more about roses, now is a great time to give them a trial membership to the American Rose Society.

You’ll receive discounts at public gardens, copies of their award winning magazine, American Rose, plus a ton of other benefits … all for only $10.

Details at Rose.org.


 

Christmas is really the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR.

ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!

 


 

Daylight Saving Time, The Polar Vortex and Spring Chores

Okay if you are the geeky, grammar type like me and thought there was a typo in my title because I left out the S at the end of Saving, I have to tell you it really is officially Daylight Saving Time. I know. I know. It just sounds wrong. But, in my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with DST. I just love it. It allows me a whole extra hour of daylight to work in the garden after work, so I’m all in for DST.

THE POLAR VORTEX

The Polar Vortex has left us winter weary around here. We have had a record-setting 50-something inches of snow. And, even though it is still lingering, it is soon to be history! Warmer temps are coming and I am in full spring-fever mode.

First up this spring will be to assess the damage left by our winter companion, Mr. Polar Vortex. My quick tour of the garden last week encouraged me as I saw a great deal of green at the base of the roses I could see. (Some were still snow covered.) So, I think they are going to have a slow but sure start. Roses are not the “Prima Donnas” some think them to be.

Next on my list will be to use a weak mixture of lime-sulfur on the roses that were showing fungal disease last fall. This is something you do only when the roses are dormant. (You can read more about using lime sulfur from Paul Zimmerman on the Fine Gardening blog here.)

SPRING CHORES

I am often asked what I do in the spring to “all those roses.” So here are some tips that I follow for getting my roses off to a good start.

1. PLANT
ING

For early April planting, I buy bare root roses from online vendors. (Click here for a list of rose companies.) When they arrive they are “bare roots” wrapped in wet newspaper and plastic. Very humble beginnings for a plant that will be so lovely later!

Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea...
Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea…

I immediately unpack them and soak them in a bucket of Moo Poo tea for 24 hours before planting. Click here for a great video on planting bare root roses by Guinivere of Roses of Yesterday and Today.

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Planting decisions are dependent on the type of rose…

Grafted Roses: Most hybrid teas, floribunda and grandifloras are grafted roses.

This means that a rose is created by being grafted onto strong, hardy root stock, creating a “bud union.” Plant the bud union (knobby part just above the roots) 3” below the soil line to protect it from harsh winters.

Own Root Roses: Roses that have not been grafted but were started from cuttings, so there is no bud union to protect. In the past I have always planted them as I would any other shrub (to the same depth as they are in the pot they were growing in), however, after such a harsh winter, I now plan to plant even the own root roses about 2″ below the soil line for some extra protection.

Soil: We ask roses to bloom for us all summer, year after year, so it is best to give them a good start by planting them in good, rich soil. Our neck of the woods has horrible gray clay soil so we dig BIG holes–holes much deeper and wider than the root system to allow for soil amendments and deep enough to protect the bud union. To the soil removed, we add compost and a quality grade of top soil. Your roses will appreciate your gifts of more nutrients and better drainage and will reward you handsomely! You will never regret giving your roses a good start.

2. PRUNING

It is  difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune, so I let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning. All you need are protective gloves and a sharp pair of pruners. I must have been very good because Santa brought me a pair of Bionic Gloves and Barnel Pruners from Wendy Tilley, owner of The Rose Gardener Garden Shop and Harlane Garden Labels. Maybe Santa listened to our Rose Chat Podcast with Wendy. You can listen to Wendy too. Just click here.

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Gene Boerner Floribunda

Pruning tips for different types of roses…

Hybrid Teas: For hybrid teas, I shape, cut out any dead wood and remove the canes that cross the middle to create more air circulation in the center of the plant which can help control fungal disease. These roses I will cut back to about 10 – 12″ high to give them a strong start. If you are going to exhibit roses in a rose show, there are some other tips you will need and the American Rose Society website is filled to the brim with excellent information.

Old Garden Roses: To me bigger is better as far as old garden roses are concerned so I do very little pruning. For one-time blooming roses, do not prune until after they bloom! And, when you prune, just thin out old wood, remove any dead wood and spindly canes.

David Austin English Roses: Very little pruning is required as they don’t appreciate a lot of cutting, just remove dead wood and give them a light shaping. Except in the case of some of the ones that tend to get very tall, like Graham Thomas, I prune those down farther to keep them within bounds.

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Sunny Knock Out Rose

Shrub/Landscape Roses: These are so easy… Just shape to fit your space. I have several Knockout and Drift roses and I usually trim them back about 1/2 their size in the spring, but it is not required. I often give them another hard pruning in mid summer to refresh them into another spring-like bloom cycle in early fall.

3. FERTILIZE

After I prune my roses I apply fertilizer. Most any fertilizer will do—but do read labels carefully–too much of a good thing can be harmful! I use a combination of Moo Poo Tea and Mills Magic Mix on my roses.

4. WATERING

Once the fertilizer has been applied you will want to give your roses a deep watering to get those nutrients down to where they can do some good. A good rule of thumb is to water at the base of the plant especially if you are watering in the evening, as wet rose leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases (e.g. Black Spot & Powdery Mildew). Although, if I am watering in the morning I give them a good all-over shower. This is great way to remove any aphids that have shown up for the tasty and tender buds! I think roses appreciate a refreshing shower just as we do, just don’t put them to bed wet.

5. MULCHING

This is one of my favorite parts. Mulch is so good for your roses … retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look!

One thing to remember when applying mulch … when mulch breaks down, it uses nitrogen in the process, so add a layer of compost on top of the soil before you add the mulch layer then the nitrogen in the soil can be used by the rose. If you are working in an established bed and last year’s mulch is still there, leave it… it becomes a “compost layer.” Win. Win.

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My garden…

MY FAVORITE TIP…

My favorite tip is always to visit your roses daily or as often as you can to enjoy their beauty and to get to know them. Getting to know them can be key in early detection of any pest or disease.

And, when you have beautiful roses outside, who can stay in!

Spring Fever

Spring fever is a term applied to several sets of physical and psychological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring says Wikipedia. It isn’t mentioned here, but I can tell you that at my house it includes being so excited that you can’t sleep. And, you should limit reading gardening books too late at night–might cause an adrenalin rush!

It is way too easy for me to get spring fever — regardless of the time of year. I start counting down the days until spring the day after Christmas. So, you could say that today is a day I look forward to most of the year. However, due to current low temperatures, the quote by Hal Borland below is one I am clinging to today…

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. – Hal Borland

Look at this… the difference between this year and last year …. same week!

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But, I am not discouraged ….  no, not one little bit. Spring is my friend and I am willing to wait. I’ll be seeing the forsythia and daffodils blooming soon and I’ll be filling buckets with Moo Poo tea to soak those bareroot roses I ordered this winter while I was “patiently” waiting on spring. Soon … real soon. Fingers crossed!

COMING SOON………..

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Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea...
Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea…

Ready and waiting……………

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Do you have anything blooming in your garden or are you, like me, “patiently” waiting?

P.S.

I had a little help writing tonight…

Mr. Bennet
Mr. Bennet

Gold Medal and Miss All-American Beauty

Saturday we found ourselves at Dammann’s Garden Center. Dammann’s is a wonderful place that just happens to carry an extensive line of roses! Sadly, not many garden centers in my area carry roses.

I found 2 beauties—Gold Medal and Miss All-American Beauty … AND, they were on sale! I gave them a shot of moopoo as soon as we got home and now they are nestled in with their neighbors. If we get the expected rain tonight, that will be just perfect.

Gold Medal…

  • Gorgeous yellow grandiflora (I already have one.)
  • Resistant to Black Spot & Mildew
  • Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth
Gold Medal Grandiflora

Miss All-American Beauty complete with 3 stages of bloom…

  • Deep pink Hybrid Tea
  • Resistant to Black Spot & Mildew
  • “The original name for this hot pink diva was ‘Maria Callas.’ Although it was bred by Meilland in France it was named for the famous American opera singer.” -Dave’s Garden
Miss All American Beauty / Star Roses

Dammann’s has plenty more roses if you are in the market!

Can you say BLT?

I love BLTs. Don’t you? I think I may have to try this Monster BLT from The Pioneer Woman…. click here. If you take a look at that sandwich she prepared, your mouth will water for sure!

Nothing is better on a BLT than your very own homegrown tomato! And, yes, we are starting our 9th week of drought. Last week we had our first rain (1/2″) and as grateful as we are, we sure would love some more. (I recorded the rain… click here to hear that wonderful sound and see how fresh it makes everything look!)

Regardless of the lack of rain, Mr. G and I are committed to watering our tomatoes and to feeding them Annie’s Moo Poo Tea. When all the water your plants get comes from your efforts, well that is a lot of work and with so many days in the 90s and 100s, we have had to be vigilant.

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

Last February I surveyed my garden friends who also love tomatoes and got a ton of suggestions on what tomatoes to plant this year. (You can read about it here.)

Based on the their suggestions, I am growing Rutgers, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine, Lemon Boy, Beefsteak, San Marzanos, Cherokee Purple and a few others that “grabbed” my attention at the local garden centers and Lowes.

OUR EFFORTS ARE PAYING OFF…

What is your favorite variety of tomato? Do you have a unique BLT recipe you’d like to share? I’d love your recommendations!

Wordless Wednesday: Early Garden Beauty

My garden is coming back about 4 weeks earlier than ever before. Click on the first picture to start the gallery.