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!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Getting Ready

Today I spent some quality time in the garden getting the roses ready for winter and planting more daffodils. I also had time in the Potting Shed to get my amaryllis’ potted up and ready to make a big splash over the holidays.

Can you believe the size of these bulbs I found at Country Harmony Garden Center?

Picotee and Red Pearl Amaryllis
The process…

Picotee and Red Pearl are new this year and the others have been around awhile, but all are ready to show their stuff…  For more information on amaryllis, click here

Last year this bulb produced 8 blooms at one time … personal record!
Ready to grow!

Bloom Thyme: Rose Companions

This week I served as guest host for #RoseChat. Our topic for the evening was companion plants for roses. Thanks to @redneckrosarian for the great questions.

Program Q and A… (Note all text is formatted for Twitter with 140 characters or less.)

Q1 Why plant companions with roses? Thought the Queen of flowers wanted to be left alone…
A1 To enhance their natural beauty & fill in their gaps w/o being too aggressive … like any good partner. 🙂

Q2 I spray my roses with fungicide. Are there plants that are spray tolerant?
A2 Companions I find more tolerant of sprays: Yarrow, catmint, coreopsis. Take care NOT to spray clematis. Read labels. 

Q3 Which are best with roses, Annuals or Perennials?
A3 I use a combination of annuals & perennials for continuous bloom. Look for those w/ similar growing conditions. 

Q4 What is naked knees syndrome?
A4 NKS: pesky mid-summer condition of loosing lower leaves… leaving “Naked Knees”.

Q5 What is the best cure for naked knees syndrome?
A5 Low growing companions with a long blooming season that can take the heat –fill the gap–saying no to NKS!

Q6 Can I plant herbs alongside my roses?
A6 Herbs look great with roses & some deter pests: Favs: calendula, feverfew, thyme, chives, lavender.

Q7 What are some of your favorite companion plants for roses?
A7 Fav rose companions: feverfew, moonbeam coreopsis, yarrow, catmint, thyme, lavender, larkspur, ageratum.

Q8 I heard that garlic is good to plant with roses. Why?
A8 Anything in the allium family helps keep aphids off roses & deters blackspot–garlic, chives, leeks & shallots. Pretty & yummy.

Q9 Any other companion plants that help deter pests?
A9 Ladybugs & hummers luv aphids/ attract them w/ lantana, Major Wheeler Honeysuckle (from Wayside Gardens), alyssum, calendula & beebalm

Q10 Any climbing vines make good rose companions?
A10 My favorite vines to use with roses are honeysuckle, morning glories & clematis.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The best thing about Twitter #RoseChat is the sharing of information.
For an hour you are linked to an amazing group of like-minded people with an incredible amount of information. It is FUN. It is FAST. It is inFORMative!  (Need more convincing… click here for an excellent article from my friend, Paige, of Love Sown.

Below is a list of random comments from other participates of #RoseChat.

Favorite Clematis: Etoile Violette (from White Flower Farm), Henryi & Jackmani

Favorite Morning Glories: Heavenly Blue and Scarlet O’Hara (@bloominchick purchases these from Livingston Seed Co).

Favorite Climber: American wisteria, Wisteria frutescens

Favorite Rose Labels: Harlane Garden Labels

Favorite Annuals: Alyssum, Ageratum, Zinnias, Larkspur, Lantana

Love companions that work well in rose arrangements too… Feverfew, Limonium (Statice), yarrow, baby’s breath

A combo of Mdm Cecile Brunner and clematis Anita.

Like foxgloves, in the south they bloom with the first good flush of rose…

Give your roses a good start with alfalfa and manure teas from Authenic Haven Brand.

I love sage with roses!

Love lamb’s ear.

We grow Iris, lilies, salvia with our roses.

The last few years Lavender Provence has worked best for me.

Yellow roses look great with purple echinacea, & get lots of pollinators & predator bugs like assassin bug & praying mantis.

Naked Knees can be minimized with a good mulching and even moisture.

Lemon balm is beautiful and smells great but best in a pot. You won’t like it if it takes over and it will.

Love purple and red; also, Diamond Frost euphorbia is a fave and covers up those knobby knees

Peonies make good rosey companions. Often they are a color echo of the roses themselves.

Creme Brulee coreopsis and Coronation Gold yarrow

Love the look of garlic chives in front and giant alliums mixed in.

An elderly gardener told me that pungent herbs kept the bugs off his roses. He had no bugs. I took his advice. Works well.

#RoseChat is a great place to learn, grow and have fun with other “rose” people! Join us!

What are your favorite rose companions?

Bloom Thyme: Something Grande

Last Sunday, on one of the hottest days of the year, I decided I needed just one more rose to add to our collection this year. Not to be confused with the long list that I already have for roses I want to add NEXT year.

So, hubby and I (He gets extra points for this!) headed out to see what was left at a local garden center (Dammanns).

The roses were definitely “picked over,” but I found one … a beautiful one … a GRANDE one … Grande Dame. I am so excited to have this new addition to my garden and can’t wait to see some beautiful blooms.

Here’s what Weeks Roses has to say about this 2011 release…

Grande Dame
Everything old is new again … or is it the other way around? Here’s a clean mean flowering machine whose big bountiful beauties reek with old rose romance, style & fragrance. Each lovely blossom invites you to bury your nose…to swoon from the perfume of the ‘old time’ roses of your dreams. A big vigorous ‘shrubby’ bush whose nodding clusters, abundant deep-green leaves & low-thorned cutting stems provide a perfect touch to a landscape or bouquet.

  • Height / Habit: Tall/Upright & bushy
  • Bloom / Size: Full, old-fashioned, in nodding clusters
  • Petal count: Over 30 broad petals
  • Parentage:Meredith x Wild Blue Yonder
  • Fragrance: Intense old rose
  • Hybridizer: Carruth – 2011
  • Comments: A modern antique for all climates.
Grande Dame

Mixing old and new is what my garden is all about!


An Update on The Dame

If you remember, she looked pitiful when I bought her and she was planted in the worst possible conditions … hot hot hot and dry dry dry. Having so many days that exceeded 90 were beginning to get to her … and to me. We gave her lots of lovin’ care and extra Moo Poo tea.

I had decided that I probably wouldn’t see bloom until next year. But, today The Dame presented me with a surprise–her first, very fragrant bloom. Now that things have cooled down a bit, she is showing her stuff…

Almost picture perfect.

I guess that is just like life. Sometimes our surroundings are not ideal, but it is best to bloom where we are planted and be thankful along the way especially for unexpected surprises!

Are you getting any late season surprises?

It’s a Garden Party!

What in the world is “garden chat” anyway?

Officially, #gardenchat is a Twitter forum where garden enthusiasts of all ages, from all walks of life connect and interact sharing ideas about their experience growing. But, that is just the tip of the iceberg!

What have I learned?

  • That you don’t have to be a redneck in Alabama to grow great roses but it helps.
  • That dirt and martinis really do go together.
  • That Moo Poo can take your plants to the next level.
  • That I am not the only one who is passionate about gardening!
  • That by using social media we are shrinking the world!
  • That gardeners in Canada are still having snow in June.
  • That there is amazing garlic being grown in northern Florida.
  • That somewhere in the world there is a furry garden helper named Nutmeg.
  • That many gardeners are impatient but some more than others.
  • That I now have many gardening friends that supply me with new and fresh recipes on a regular basis.
  • That the gardening world has it’s rockstars and some of them even write books and are more than casual about tomatoes.
  • That many gardeners (young and old alike) inspire us by gardening regardless of their disabilities.
  • That many gardening friends are more than willing to share their gardens on a regular basis via #gardenwalk.
  • That there was A GAGA before the GAGA and she grows beautiful roses and developed something very important she refers to as “the OUI Theory.”
  • That there is a Bren of Vision that opened up a whole new world to gardeners when she developed #gardenchat.

What is it to me?

  • A virtual garden club!
  • An amazing hour of inFormation, Fun, Flowers, Food, Friends and Frenzy. And, it is heavy on the Friends!

What it could be to you?

If you are even mildly interested in gardening and mildly knowledgeable of social media, set up a Twitter account and join us. You might want to go slow at first … be a watcher/listener to get your bearing, but it won’t take long until you are ready to jump in “fingers first” to join the frenzy. You will Learn, Laugh and be Loaded down with support and encouragement.

Hope to see you there on Monday nights at 9 pm EST … from someone who loves to dig in the dirt, grow roses and share her garden experiences thru blogging and Twitter.


Moo Poo … Who Knew?

From the first night I participated in #gardenchat I began to hear amazing stories about a product called Moo Poo and the magical effect it had on plants. What gardener doesn’t want a miracle product for their plants?

If you are not familiar with Moo Poo here are a few details…

  • Company: Authentic Haven Brand
  • What: Totally organic soil conditioner teas
  • Who: Annie the expert!
  • How: Easy to brew … click here or see video below.
  • Bonus: Very cute packaging
Don't they look great!

For the last few years my tomatoes have been very disappointing … wimpy plants with wimpy fruit. So, I decided that my first Moo Poo experiment would be with my tomatoes. I may be new to Moo Poo but I can honestly say I feel great about using something that comes so highly recommended by so many amazing #gardenchat gardeners. And, believe it or not, my tomatoes already look impressive. The plants are huge and there are blooms everywhere! I can almost taste the homemade marinara, homemade salsa, BLTs … you get the picture.

Along with the tomatoes, my roses and potted flowers are also getting “the poo!” I’ll keep you posted.



This is by far the best tomato crop ever! And I LOVE tomatoes. My patio tomatoes produced and produced and produced.

See what I mean. They are tall ... hubby is over 6'!

The tomatoes in my herb garden are still producing yummy tomatoes even in this very hot and very dry season!

However, my favorite tomato/Moo Poo story is this… Some friend’s told me before their 2-week vacation that they had this pitiful tomato in a pot that was probably going to die while they were gone if not before. I told them to bring it over and I would see what I could do. Sorry to say I did not take a before picture. It WAS pitiful!

The first thing I did was repot the poor baby and give it a stiff drink of Moo Poo. I continued to give it stiff drinks each of the two weeks they were gone. When they returned, they did not recognize their plant– it was huge … green leafy and had several tomatoes. Trust me, it really was miraculous. And, even surprised me! I was very proud.

The plant was truly over 5′ and much too large to move, so I kept it! To date we have picked about 10 yummies and today there are 25, yes 25, tomatoes on the plant.

I say all that to say this … I am a believer in Moo Poo. Contact Annie  asap and place your order. Stock up for next year! If you need more info, her website has all the details you need.

So, join me in raising a glass of tea or whatever to Annie at Haven Authentic Brand … she has something all gardens need!

This was taken about 4 weeks after they brought to me.
Cute little sachets!
The "Brewery"