Bloom Thyme Friday

This week most of the roses are taking a break and getting ready for another big flush giving many of the perennials and annuals their “time to shine!” And they are going for it…

See what I mean…

The vines of the Morning Glory have been climbing and twirling around for some time, but this morning the first bloom emerged. Worth the wait!

Morning Glory
Morning Glory

This little bird bath is one of my favorite garden ornaments. It has been in my garden for nearly 20 years. Each year I surround it with something pretty. This is one of the best combinations yet–petunias and euphorbia. What do you think?

Little birds and company...
Little birds and company…

The Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas are in full bloom … almost to the point of outgrowing their space. Love them! Do you grow this variety? I would highly recommend!

Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas on the right side...
Pinkie Winkie Hydrangeas on the right side…

Next up are these amazing State Fair  Zinnias–compliments of my garden friend Ron Daniels. Just as Ron said–these Zinnias are blooming machines!

State Fair Zinnias ... THANKS RON!
State Fair Zinnias … THANKS RON!

This Stargazer lily just begs to be mentioned. The Stargazers have had a wonderful and long season this year! And the fragrance … unbelievable!

Stargazer Lily...
Stargazer Lily…

These lovely ladies need no introduction … Say hello to my Black Eyed Susans. They do not know how to be subtle. And, they nestle up to a fence and spill over in the most delightful way ever. And, you know what I think about yellow in the garden—It brings the sunshine in!

Blackeyed Susan making a statement!
Blackeyed Susans making a statement!

Here is the entrance to my herb garden. Love the fragrance of my herbs–love the fence that Mr. G made and especially love the sign that Mr. G made…

Entrance to Herb Garden...
Entrance to Herb Garden…

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite places on earth … My Potting Shed. Another wonderful creation of Mr. G.

L O V E him and all his wonderful creations!

I have never had an unhappy moment in my Potting Shed!
I have never had an unhappy moment in my Potting Shed! The hydrangeas are very happy there too!

Wishing you a wonderful day doing all the things you love to do — surrounded by the people you love best!!

Bourbons … some of the Old Beauties

Bourbons were the roses of Victorian England and probably originated from a natural cross between Old Blush (China Rose) and Quatre Saisons (Damask), two roses which were used as hedge material on the island of Bourbon (now Reunion). They produce beautiful, large, full old rose, crepe-like blooms on vigorous growing bushes. These blooms have a wonderful, heady fragrance and many Bourbons repeat bloom.

One of my favorite Bourbons is Queen of Bourbons (sometimes called Bourbon Queen) although it does not repeat bloom for me in my Zone 5b garden–when she blooms, she BLOOMS!

Last year I sent a picture of the Queen of Bourbons to The American Rose Society and she was chosen to be in the 2013 calendar. So, you could say my Queen of Bourbons is a calendar girl.

I think she took her calendar girl status to heart and upped her game because she went from beautiful last year to magnificent this year. I may have to send another picture or two to ARS.

With her neighbors...
With her neighbors…

photo 4

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Reaching for the clouds……

Peter and the Old Beauties

I often say that I have never met a rose I didn’t want. And, though that may be true, it is the old roses like the Bourbons that legendary rosarian, Peter Beales’, referred to as the Old Beauties—they are my very favorites.

Old Beauties are survivors.
Old Beauties are beautiful.
Old Beauties are enchanting.
Old Beauties are incredibly fragrant.
Old Beauties have a rich history.

As I write today in my Potting Shed, I have on my desk a bucket of Old Beauties. Yes, I think Peter had them aptly named.

Old Beauties


Purchasing Bourbons and other Old Beauties….

Rose Petal Nursery
Antique Rose Emporium

Other articles you might enjoy…

Roses Old & New…
Buying Roses & Rose Products…

November Garden

Spent today getting the roses and their companions ready for a long winter’s nap and decorating the potting shed porch. Now we wait for snow!

We have had a beautiful fall and I AM excited about Christmas and I do LIKE snow, but  I LOVE spring and that comes in 113 days!

CONFESSION:  I told myself I would wait until after Christmas to order new roses, BUT I have already ordered a “few.” I’ll share my list–after Christmas. 🙂

You might also like….

Roses in my garden…

Bloom Thyme Friday: 2012 Top Ten

For us in the midwest this was the year of the drought. For 9 weeks we had no rain. Most of the pictures of the entries for the 2012 Top Ten are before the drought began. However, there are a few plants that rose to the top as a result of the drought. All in all, the drought made us more appreciative of everything we have. And, made us think of those in other areas of the world that have drought as a part of their everyday lives—our prayers go out to them!

# 10 Annabelle Hydrangeas

This picture was taken before the drought began. These hydrangeas are beautiful, reliable and long lasting. I just picked a few to have in the potting shed for the long winter that is on it’s way!


# 9 Gene Boerner

This is a new rose to my garden but what a stand out! Bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. During the drought the roses were the plants that got most of the allotted water. I am so glad I planted Gene Boerner.


# 8 Bill Warriner

This rose was named for a Jackson & Perkins’ hybridizer who lost his battle with cancer. Our family lost a beloved family member to cancer too, so this rose is special to me. But, in and above all that, it is an amazing, fragrant blooming machine that is a standout in the rose garden.

# 7 Summer garden in front of the Potting Shed

It was so hot and so dry when this picture was taken. I was grateful for every bloom!

#6 The Grande Dame

The Grande Dame is an amazing fragrant rose that wows in my garden! I have three of them and will probably have more.

#5 New Dawn

New Dawn bloomed before the drought began and was spectacular! Soft pink, fragrant, tough and disease resistant. This is a climber that any garden would enjoy! For more on New Dawn, click HERE.

#4 The President Clematis

This clematis was a show stopper in early summer and just recently bloomed again making it completely amazing in my book.

#3 Larkspur

I love larkspur. Larkspur is best when it self seeds. This year was one of those years when I planted seed AND there was plenty of self seeding going on from the year before. The larkspur was beautiful for a long, long time!

#2 Dogwood

To get the whole story of why I love my dogwood trees, CLICK HERE.

#1 Harison’s Yellow

What a year this rose had. Spectacular in the spring and enchanting me completely with it’s history. Read about the history HERE.


Honorable Mention

This picture tells the story of the drought. Something I don’t want to forget…

I hope 2012 was a wonderful growing season for you! It is now that thyme of year when I settle in to plan and plot for next year. My favorite season is spring and it will be here soon… Well sort of soon … actually it will be here in 161 days! 🙂

Happy fall to you!

Bloom Thyme Friday: A Glorious Morning Walk

This morning I had a most glorious walk through my garden! The drought is over and many of my roses and their companions in the garden think it is spring! I am looking over green grass, glossy rose leaves, reblooming perennials and even a few dandelions!

A view of the Potting Shed

As many of you know, the POTTING SHED (click for details) was a gift from my very handy husband. Well, last week he built more shelves, and now I have shelves on both sides of the window! I don’t even have them all filled yet. But here’s how they looks so far!

Many roses are blooming and many are filled with buds, so the next few weeks are going to be very nice!

I do believe this is the calm before the storm! The weatherman tells us that rain (lots and lots of rain) is on it’s way! He also tells us that July was the driest month on record and August very well may be the wettest August on record.

Morning Glories are so well named–don’t you think??? They are always a welcome sight to me!

I just can’t get enough of this Sunny Knockout rose. Rain or shine … this rose just keeps giving us beautiful blooms. These blooms have a sweet fragrance, plus I find they last and last in a vase!

Sunny Knockout

What’s blooming in your world today? Are you getting rain too?

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: THE LIST

In the fall I start getting a bit frantic … trying to enjoy my roses ENOUGH. ENOUGH to make it last. ENOUGH to make it last until next May. That is a lot of enjoying.

And, this is the time of year, I sit in my potting shed and begin working on THE LIST of roses and rose companions to add next year. I pour through catalogs, look at pictures from my garden and listen to the advice of others who love and grow roses.

My happy place.

Participating in Twitter #RoseChat and #GardenChat, I have real-time opportunities to see first hand what others from around the world are growing and hear all the good stuff and the challenges … making it even easier to put together THE LIST.

Paul Zimmerman highly recommends Mme Bovary from Delbard from Roses Unlimited. A lovely mauve rose with a great scent. And, Dublin Bay … a climbing rose. Very hardy, and it’s a true red rose; lightly perfumed with a repeat flowering later in the season.

Brooke Kroeger says Our Lady of Guadalupe is the best, most disease resistant rose she has ever grown. My neighbor has a couple of these beauties …  spectacular even in the drought!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Chris the Redneck Rosarian has tempted me all summer with pictures of Julia Child and Golden Celebrations. Two luscious yellow roses…

Julia Child
Golden Celebrations

My Bourbon Queen was so beautiful this year that I feel I need another one.

Bourbon Queen

And, my Roseraie De L Hay was so beautiful that I want more. Can you blame me?

Roseraie de l'Hay

Thanks to @Lara Lewis, I’m also taking a serious look at David Austin‘s, Munstead Wood. Munstead Wood was Gertrude Jekyll’s garden in Surrey where she worked on her many gardening books. I love Gertrude. Surely I should have the rose named for her garden.

It would be fabulous to add a few more minis roses from John’s Miniature Roses — like Cupcake and  Seattle Sensation.

Just wait until the new catalogs start coming … THE LIST is sure to grow.

Sounds like this might be a good time to reread, The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies!

What plants are on your 2012 list?

Bloom Thyme: Potting Places

Step into the potting shed and the hum of the everyday world dwindles into silence. The air is warm and smells of earth. Wood flats checkerboard the potting bench, terra cotta pots tower in the corner like soup bowls on a kitchen shelf, and bins of soil beckon, their contents rich and deep.  –The Potting Shed by Linda Joan Smith/Smith & Hawkins

Twelve years ago my amazing husband built me a potting shed as a Christmas present. It is attached to the back of our house, in front of my rose garden — right in the middle of all the action. A wonderful little place … hand-made desk, shelves, tool closet, cabinets and a potting bench, complete with a dirt drawer (my favorite feature!).

If you are a gardener, I don’t have to tell you the magnitude this gift was to me–I feel the love! My potting shed is cute, it is functional, it is heaven on earth. Every moment I spend in my potting shed is pure pleasure– whether I am potting, pruning, watering, reading, planning, dreaming, designing, writing or just enjoying the view, I have simply never had an unhappy moment in my shed!

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For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall, you find the tool and potting sheds, which are the heart of all. -Rudyard Kipling

Do you have a tool/potting shed or favorite potting place? I’d love to hear about it…