Celebrating the Arrival of February

I think it is time for celebration when you survive January. Seriously, isn’t it the longest month. 40 days at least.

February is here and it is the month of love and Mr. G’s birthday. 🥰 Definitely a reason to celebrate!

TODAY I AM LOVING…

My trip to Dammann’s Garden Center (link).

What started from the desperate need for something spring and the desire to walk through greenhouses that smell like dirt and are alive with the hustle / bustle of spring work, turned into a delightful morning. I met and had a wonderful conversation with Kathy who is in charge of the houseplant section and is so knowledgeable. Don’t you love conversations with those who love what you love? Just being there was renewing. Add to that a little sunshine today and I am renewed and energized.

I came away with little 3 beauties I’ll use in the same pot:

  • 2 Haworthias (Aloe family) native to Africa, Arabia and Madagascar
  • 1 cute little waxy trailing Crassula to compliment the spikiness of Haworthias.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…

SPEAKING OF AFRICA … Hudson’s African Violet is going on 5 months of continuous bloom. NO JOKE. Talk about ‘Bang for your Buck’. What started as a tiny leaf 2.5 years ago is a major winter buster. It is in the potting shed where it gets “some” light but not much! Our winters are dark.

First blooming in September (Thank goodness for image time stamps.)

How it looks this week…

Here’s H potting up another beauty he found rooting in water in Grammy’s potting shed. He’s so small. Now he a big boy in school. 🥰

Tomorrow is Mr. G’s birthday so I need to put plants aside and get to baking. He wants a Black Forrest Cake. Hope it’s yummy. I don’t bake that much so wish me luck and wish Mr. G a happy birthday! He’s the best.

He’s the best. … she is too. 🥰

FUN CONTINUES:

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Carmolli of Proven Winners on their new releases, some gardening trends and PW plants that will be great as rose companions.

The podcast will drop on Sunday evening. Check out all Rose Chat Podcasts here.   (Easy to remember: rosechatpodcast.com) If you haven’t listened to Michael Marriott’s podcast, it’s fabulous too. Check it out while you are there.

Monday I am speaking to the Johnson County Garden Club. What fun to talk gardening especially this time of year. A room full of people excited for spring… FANTASTIC!

CURRENTLY:

I’m making lists of plants by height to find new plants to add this year! Once that project is done, I’ll probably need a few more seeds. You’ve seen my treasure trove of seeds in previous posts, so I won’t need many, right?

Only a few more weeks and we can begin to start seeds. Ahhhhh …. I don’t want to miss any of the “spring things.”

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Change of Pace

This week brought out the coldest temps to date and the garden is showing the signs. While it was not cold enough to give that enchanting  dusting of frost on the blooms, it was enough to cause the not so enchanting beginning of the end  — they sort of look like they are melting. Yikes.

I have work to do! Mercy, some of the roses, zinnias and cosmos have grown so tall. #jungle Many of the David Austin roses have grown to 10′ or more. Tomorrow will be a “put on your boots, coat and gloves and get busy cleaning up the garden” kind of day. They weather is going to be in the high 60s. PERFECT.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK



POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

“Bloom Thyme This Week” will become “Potting Shed Putterings” for the winter.

Today I brought into the Potting Shed the last of the plants that need winter shelter. Took some time to move them around to places where they can catch the most light. Eventually we will install lights but for now there will be a bit of stretching.

Here are the two roses we started from 3″ cuttings at ROSEFEST in June. My good friend, Connie Hilker, was here to show us her method of starting rose cuttings and while these guys got off to a “proper” start, I assure you they should not still be in their “planting pot.” But they are. Forgive me Connie, I plan to repot them soon! Pray I don’t lose them, I have become quite fond of my baby Peggy Martin and Therese Bugnet. Take a look at Connie’s method of starting cuttings HERE. It might work for you too. I plan to do several more next year!


Other things brought in today were my boxwood topiaries and  my boxwood cuttings.

Many years ago I did topiaries but it has been so long. I started these this spring and have truly loved the shaping process. It is so relaxing!

Look at this cute cactus that called my name in Lowes… This time of year I spend a lot of time in the houseplant section of Lowes. Houseplants are really trendy right now and you can tell it in the selection we have! I have never seen so many different houseplants! Mr. G is beginning to get worried. Seems like I’m getting at least one new one each week. How many weeks does winter have?🌿 😱🌿

INSIDE JOBS: First up will be bigger pots for the baby roses – fingers crossed they do ok. You know roses love sun and sun is not something that Indiana has a surplus of in the winter.

There will be a lot of “puttering” in the Potting Shed this winter. Yes, puttering, planning, reading and dreaming of spring – and taking care of these baby plants.

I hope you will join me.

For those who have asked… here is the front of the potting shed. It is a tiny space (about  6′ X 12) that is attached to the back of our house. It is attached to our house because 25 years ago when Mr. G built it, the covenants on our street did not allow out buildings. I think they do now, but I am so happy that my potting shed is right in the middle of all the garden action! Out the door is a small pond and beautiful roses.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Love Hate Garden Relationships

This morning I got up extra early just to grab my coffee and a blanket and head to the sun porch to greet the morning. It was so wonderful.

Before we get started know this… regardless of the title of this post, I don’t “hate” much of anything. I just like some things”more.” Spring is an exception in the other direction. I am completely over the moon crazy about spring and all that it means and all that it brings.

Fall.

How can anyone not like the cooler temps, vivid flower colors and God’s magic of the changing scenery. And, it’s hard to beat the cool mornings. I do love all those things… but I miss my outside time, flower picking, collecting fresh herbs for cooking, summer nights, hummingbirds and finches when they are so yellow.

Few things say ‘fall garden’ like cosmos and a blue sky. Cosmos: Purity. These Cosmos have now reached about 10′ and are simply amazing in the breeze!

Morning Glories.

Pretty blooms. Magical in the morning. So healthy. And, sometimes — SO INVASIVE! If you plant, be careful of variety! I didn’t plant any this year and they are everywhere. And, I forgive them.

I am very curious to know how “Grandpa Ott” made his way to the patch of sage. If I ever did plant “Grandpa Ott” … it was years and years and years ago. But isn’t this bloom amazing!!!

Yellow Trumpet Vine.

(Campsis radical f. flava) A beautiful native that the hummingbirds flock to.
That drapes beautifully over our pergola that holds our facing swings.

Garden devouring Yellow Trumpet vine… pretty and drapey. I love drapey.
Another shot of “drapiness” from last year.

I love the cozy feeling this vine gives our swing time. BUT, it has made us crazy. It is popping up everywhere and we may never get it under control. I still see it for sale but I wouldn’t recommend it in my area. Resist.

POTTING SHED OVER CROWDING…

I am beginning to bring ‘inside plants’ that have been outside this summer and ‘outside plants’ that I want to overwinter in my Potting Shed/Garden Office. I am only half way through the process and there is little room left for working!

But, I love how it looks full. I will be crying out for help this winter as the darkness and dryness threaten to take them from me.

But for now they are lush and beautiful…

Love these two sitting side by side.
Yep. There is a lot more plants to bring in. Where will they go? There’s not much room left — even on the potting bench. Do you have any growing “room” to rent?

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Fingers crossed that fall lasts a long, long, long time.🍂

Bloom Thyme Friday: Outside and In

The temps this week are getting more and more frosty and time for some of my favorite fall tasks. I am a bit late in getting some of these things done, but sometimes the “best” time to do things is when you have the time and I did.

Things like welcoming back in the houseplants that have enjoyed the sunshine and rain all summer but certainly don’t want to stay outside in the cold!

Bringing into the garage potted herbs and flowers, I hope to over winter. Note: Sometimes this works for me and sometimes it does not — but always worth the effort. These plants are put in a dark, slightly heated garage and get watered once a month until early spring and go back out! Most do make it!

By far the most fun task this week was clipping herbs and flowers to dry. Since there are only two of us, we don’t need as many cooking herbs, but this is a process I would do even if we never cooked — for many reasons. First of all I love every part of the process… gathering them and enjoying their fragrance. I love how they look in their little bunches hanging around! And, another huge bonus, it takes me back to those days when I was a stay at home mom and had a small cottage business of making potpourri and herb and flower wreaths. A local garden center requested them and it was so fun to do! Mr. G made me drying racks of all kinds for the bunches and bunches of herbs and flowers I needed. Hydrangeas, roses, lavender, grasses, yarrow, sedum, artemisia, tansy, sage, feverfew and such. Yes, sweet (and savory) memories.

In those days many of these dried bunches of beauty were also used as main decorations for the Christmas tree. Things were different every year. As the kids got older they helped to bring things in and of course in decorating. #familyfun Let me just say that both of our grown children are gardeners. I guess it is in their genes or at least in their memory banks!

You can read about my daughter’s garden here. My son has to have herbs for cooking and is always chasing the best tomatoes to plant!

POTTING SHED FUN THIS WEEK:


BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK:

Many bloomers were great at the beginning of the week but not so much today.

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you have beautiful treasures from your garden to enjoy outside and in.

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Bloom Thyme Friday: When the temps drop

The temps are dropping quicker that I had hoped for — at least more drastically than I had hoped for October. Seems the number 70 has been forgotten… 80 and 90 were very commonly heard from May until Tuesday. Now today we are hearing 50s, 40s, and 30s. I really should not be complaining about the weather as we watch our southern friends crawl out from under the horror that was Michael. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

No, fall is not my favorite. I get so much more excited (many might say tooooo excited) about spring and the rebirth. 😂  By the way, as of today, I believe it is 158 days until spring. But, who’s counting!?!?!

Next for me is to don my coat and do a bit of fall cleanup. I confess to being one of those who doesn’t do much in the way of fall clean up. If you want to read more about what I do, read on here.  I do have bulbs to plant and that’s real exciting. More daffodils, crocus, tulips and garlic! It will be fabulous to see them in the spring! 🌷🌱🌷

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Some of the roses are ready for a break, but some have been blooming like crazy. While I should be leaving the blooms on the shrub to calmly, quietly make hips and go to sleep … I find it hard to do that and have been cutting enough for a few bokays!

Even some of the perennials are showing off! Here are some going out with a bang…

Stokes Aster . One of the best rose companions.
Champagne Wishes / Easy Elegance Collection
Fun in the potting shed…

Head Over Heels / Easy Elegance Collection
View this week from my Potting Shed porch

While we are on the topic of weather… I have to confess that I do love the snow. More each year. The days that I spend “cooped up” with Mr. G when the snow is falling are some of the very best. Those of you who know him, know that he doesn’t stay cooped up long. He has to go out and blaze trails in the snow and that is fun too.

Whatever the weather, wherever you are … BLOOM!

Bloom Thyme Friday: WaterWorks

For as long as I can remember, I have had a “sprig of something” rooting in water on a windowsill. My mom did that. My grandmother did that. My Aunt Myrtle did that.

This process never fails to wow me. Never fails to bring me great joy. I love being able to see the tiny roots form. Showing life. Showing rebirth. Showing re-creation. A good reminder of how simple the needs of a plant and a person can be. Strong roots that start growing slowly and get stronger as they continue to feed on things that are good for them. Basic things … like water.

Life can get complicated, but in reality our needs are so basic. God. Water. Family. Friends. Red Lipstick. Tacos. 😉💄🌮😉

On my potting shed windowsill today I have Coleus, Mint, Wandering Jew, Unidentified Trailing Plant, 3 African Violets (that are just about ready to be potted up) and Lavender (lavender roots best if you get down to the woody part of the stem)!

Not every plant will root in water. Many things I have tried just rotted.

Today I returned home from California to see roots on something I have never been able to root in water before! 

DRUM ROLL!

For the very first time, I have roots on a Rugosa Rose cutting! I am just over the moon about this one. 


Last week when I walked into my daughter’s California kitchen, guess what I saw.

Her windowsill with plants getting their baby roots. Joy! #happymomma


I even have a “sprig of something” on my kitchen windowsill where it gets little to no light! (Wandering Jew)

Do you like to put “sprigs of something” in water?


PROCESS (It’s Basic.)

Take cutting
Remove last 3 or 4 sets of leaves
Put stem in a tiny bit of root tone
Put in water
For most plants, sun will definitely help!
Watch for roots!

For African Violets, I just take a leaf and suspend it in water. Small jam jars covered in plastic wrap secured with a strong rubber band will do the trick! Cut a slit in the plastic wrap.

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Keep putting down deep, strong roots and Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

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.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Winter Blooms

As you know I am not a big fan of winter, but January 1 is one of my favorite days. Nothing says FRESH START / CLEAN SLATE / DO OVER / ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE like a new year!

Reminds me of a favorite scripture…

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! -Isaiah 43:18


WINTER SURVIVAL: THE POTTING SHED

I have been on vacation all week, so that means a ton of Potting Shed thyme for me. Just playing and playing. I’ve potted amaryllis and daffodils and they are already showing signs of life! Wanna see? Come on in…

Potting Shed Porch...

Pink, White, Red and Red & White ...
Pink, White, Red and Red & White …

I think I have every color of amaryllis planted. They’ll be stunning in a few weeks!! An easy/breezy way to add color to your winter. Such a great return on very little investment in money or time. I have a friend who has a contest with her sister and mother each year to see whose amaryllis blooms first–all are planted on the same day … of course. 🙂 Isn’t that a great idea! For more on growing amaryllis, read on here.

Daffodils are planted outside and inside each year in memory of a special family member who loved them too—Mr. G’s brother, our Uncle Tony. He was a wonderful man and a wonderful gardener.

Tony is 2nd from the left.
Tony is 2nd from the left.
Daffodils getting heading UP...
Daffodils heading UP…

SPRING…

For those in my hemisphere …

Just 77!
Just 77!

Sorry Elspeth. I’m really not trying to rush your rose season. 🙂 I love seeing your roses! You can enjoy Elspeth’s beautiful Australian garden here.

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!

A Peek Inside the Potting Shed…

I have received  some requests to see more of the inside of the potting shed.

This tiny space (8 x 10) is filled to the brim with a desk area and wall of inspiration over it, tons and tons of gardening books, tools of the trade, seeds, over wintering plants, magazines,  and my potting bench with the somewhat famous–dirt drawer. The potting shed and all it’s furniture was a gift of love from Mr. G (the builder of fences, trellises and raised beds AND more) about 16 years ago. Actually it was a gift to the whole family who no longer had to walk around all my garden stuff!

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A great place to create flower arrangements to share.

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One of the greatest things about the potting shed is that it is attached to the back of our house and has a garden view. It is right in the middle of the action! I am such a lucky girl!

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Here is the summer view from my potting shed porch.

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