BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Sharing the Beauty

I was a gardener from a very early age. Our family grew most of what we ate and everyone had to “participate” in making that happen – if you know what I mean. 😳 My dad said I was one of the few kids he ever knew who didn’t mind working in the garden. I knew I would always grow things!


As many of you know my love of roses started when I was around 16 and a friend shared a rose bokay with me. It brought me so much pleasure at a time when I really needed it! I thought then that I hoped to someday do the same for others.  


Through the years, my rose collection and my rose world have grown and grown and along with beautiful plants, I have met some beautiful people who have become dear friends. 


One of those rose world friends is the lovely and charming Peggy Martin. Peggy is THE Peggy Martin of the Peggy Martin rose fame — the rose that survived hurricane Katrina. (Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage in August 2005.)


Peggy and I “met” online when I interviewed her about her experience on Rose Chat. She invited me to come to her home and speak to her rose society several years back and our friendship and friendships with many of the members of the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society was solidified by our time together. 💄

For those who aren’t familiar with the story… Peggy had a massive collection of roses before Katrina, as well as other plant collections. All of that was lost in the storm, but she lost so much more … her parents, her home and their family business. 


After two weeks of being covered in 20′ of seawater, all vegetation was destroyed on their property  – except one rose –  the rose that would become The Peggy Martin Rose. 


After such life changing devastation, Peggy thought she would never grow roses again. But slowly her friends began to share roses with her and a new collection grew and grew. Peggy began to heal and spend time sharing her love of roses and the Peggy Martin Rose story by speaking to groups and serving in many leadership positions with New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society, the Heritage Rose Foundation, the American Rose Society and others. You can read more about this story from a Southern Living magazine article HERE.  

PEGGY’S GARDEN TODAY

This week Peggy shared a video of her beautiful 2021 garden with me. I would love to share it with you… 


Chamblee’s Rose Nursery acquired cuttings from the original PM rose in New Orleans in January, 2007. I bought my first one from them in 2013. It is also available from the Antique Rose Emporium.  I now have five in my garden and have shared many with others. These are pictures of Peggy Martin in my garden through the years. She only blooms once for me but what a bloom thyme it is! 

IT’S MORE THAN A ROSE

When I look at this rose I think about my friend, her grace, her spirit, her story of hope and survival and how much beauty she has shared with the world. Thank you Peggy! 😘

COMING SOON!

There is a children’s book about the Peggy Martin Rose — Rose Without a Name by Carol Stubbs and Nancy Rust to be released in September 2021.

REVIEWS

The Rose Without a Name is a “once upon a time” kind of story that will thrill the children it was written for, but also their parents or older brothers or sisters who will read it with them. It is the poignant story of the rose that survived the monster storm, Hurricane Katrina. It is a story of the strength and resilience of the rose, but also of the rose lady who grew it, Peggy Rose Martin. 

Marilyn Wellan
American Rose Society President 2003-2006

“An unusual rose becomes a delightful character in this lovely picture book by Nancy Rust & Carol Stubbs.  A Rose Without a Name is a story of strength, resilience, and beauty, illustrated with vibrant colors and charming details. Earthworms, frogs, bees, and dragonflies engage readers as they discover how an unrenowned rose earned its name.

The story is ideal for reinforcing early learning science concepts of how plants grow and the effects of weather on the natural world and human communities. The back material offers intriguing information for older learners, parents, and teachers.

With its message of triumph over adversity, lovely art, and interesting back material, readers of all ages will enjoy A Rose Without a Name.”

Gayle Webre
Children’s author and educator

Additional reviews and pre-order option HERE.

BLOOM THYME

Lovely to have blooms even in the brutal heat — heat that doesn’t seem to phase the Japanese Beetles  one bit. 😏


Regardless of the weather, beetle invasion or the storms of life, Peggy Martin’s story reminds us that hope and beauty prevail – if we keep sharing them.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Happiness

Wednesday was that rare spring day in December and  I was home all afternoon!! I could not wait to grab my sassy Bog rose boots and get busy. My boots were all clean and ready for service! (They are not clean now.)

There was so much to do as this fall was extremely busy for us and I was not able to put the garden to bed as I usually do. But, I had this glorious day! I suppose the tasks at hand would be daunting to some, but I just couldn’t wait. Just being outside in the garden sent my happiness meter over the top. I could have conquered the world! Sort of. 🙂

There were roses to trim.

I only had time for a few. Giving them the tender care of cleaning up the world around them, trimming the long floppy canes and mounding up some extra soil and leaves around them was a labor of love.

Sticks to pick up (We have loads and loads of sticks!)

Leaves to rake and stack around some tender roses. More long canes to secure.

This is one of my most favorites, Peggy Martin. The rose and her namesake bring me much happiness too. Look at all this growth – she is still going strong, but I know that when the real winter gets here, she’s a bit tender and needs some help. Last year I did not get to see very many of her gorgeous blooms as there was so much winter dieback due to the late cold spells we had. But when she shines, she shines. Remember this image from two years ago…

I saw a post on Facebook that Chamblee Roses has a new crop of Peggy Martin Roses. If you want one, go to Chamblee’s website here. Better hurry, they go fast!

What, other than your family, sends your happiness meter over the top! Do that soon!

And, by the way, did you realize it is only 82 days until spring? I have a stack of garden catalogs just waiting!! There goes my happiness meter again.

Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful Bloom Thyme Friday!

Bloom Thyme Friday: “Mulch” Happiness

So many things are making me happy this week.

First, up is mulch!

The mulch came this week. A mountain of mulch! It’s almost like Christmas! #happydance  💃💃

We use fine hardwood mulch … it retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look! Icing on the cake!

I have to tell you my favorite “mulch” story. When my daughter was in college, one day she and her girlfriends walked past an area that had been freshly mulched and they began to cry … WHAT IS THAT SMELL!!!! My daughter smiled and said, Oh I love that smell, it reminds me of my momma. From the shrieks and the looks on their faces, we don’t think they came from gardening families! 😳😱😂

Other Things Making Me Happy

Bloomers…

Rosa Mundi is making her 2017 debut.
Powdery mildew is coming with her but we won’t talk about that right now. Seems to be a mild case. #rainyspring

Francis E. Lester is huge. More pics of him to come and his neighbor Peggy Martin who is showing a tiny bit of color today! Did you read the article in Southern Living about the Peggy Martin Rose? You can read it online here. Great article!

Celsiana is making the herb garden sing.

Baby Doves
Morning doves made a nest on one of the beams of our pergola over the swings. We love them.

Sweet William (Dianthus) is so sweet!


Iris and Peonies…

A new coffee from my friends, Ed and Sue, in Louisiana — Mello Joy.

Seriously you might want to order this online. It is amazing! You can read all about it here. It lives up to its hype!

And last but certainly not least, the grand boys. 

They bring more than happiness … they bring pure joy!

From my garden to yours…
Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

An Immediate Connection

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Last week I had the pleasure to speak to the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society and to spend several days with them. I knew I would have a good time, but I didn’t know what a deep connection we would form. Was it the charm of New Orleans or the old garden roses or our mutual love of gardening or perhaps the combination of all of that plus all the stories we shared in such a short time. I doubt there is a more caring group of people anywhere. They take hospitality to an entirely new level.

A heartfelt thank you….

To the amazing Peggy Martin (read her story here) for the invitation, her extra effort as a tour guide — making sure I saw as much as possible in our 4 days together. And, I did! For the lovely guest room filled to the brim with roses. Ahhhh I was in heaven. And, for the opportunity to learn we are twins on so many levels! To MJ for the stories and the amazing shrimp. I’ll be back for more.

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To Diane Wilensky, president of the NO Old Garden Rose Society, for all the laughs and conversations and for hosting me even though you are going through home renovations! I can’t wait for my return visit to see the finished product! Oh, let’s not forget your getting up at 4 am to take me to the airport! #RedLipstickRules 💄

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To Eddie and Sue Sanchez for a lovely dinner and beinget experience! (Plus Diane’s sugary episode ! 😂) For showing me what David Austin roses can really do, and for sending me off with New Orleans finest coffee. Mr. G thanks you too! #CoffeeMakesEverythingBetter ☕️

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To Peter Patout for hosting all of us in his charming home in the French Quarter on the historic Bourbon Street and serving us the most delicious crawfish etoufette.

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To Leo Watermeier for the tour of the beautiful rose garden in Louis Armstrong Park and for his tireless work in caring for these historical roses!  I’ll be back to see them bloom! And, for choosing the perfect lunch spot — Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe.

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To Jon Kemp (and her husband John Reed) for inviting us to their lovely 1810 Creole Cottage in the French Quarter. I doubt I will ever forget you, your lovely home and enchanting garden, the walls banked with roses… or that amazing praline covered King Cake! 😉

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To Margaret Ganier for all the “fail proof” tips on rooting rose cuttings! I can’t wait to get started! I am determined to make you proud!

To Kim Ngan Nguyen for the enthusiatic welcome, finding me on Instagram and getting the books ordered so quickly. Best wishes in finding your much deserved Pearl.

And to all the rest of this amazing group, thank you for the warm welcome!

Have a bloom-filled spring!