Bloom Thyme Friday: Bokay Day

The rain held off this morning and I was able to do some work in the garden. What started out as Japanese Beetle “bubble bath” day and garden “clean up” day, soon moved to BOKAY DAY. I just couldn’t help myself. With a garden the size of my garden there is always something to pick and the JB are SOOOOO attracted to the roses that they leave many of the other beauties alone. I became mesmerized by the bloom explosion that was happening today and decided that today was to become BOKAY DAY. So I’ll make bokays and share them. #favoritedays

Since I can’t share a bokay with each of you today, I thought I would share my favorite bokay makers and a few tips and tricks for your fresh cut bokays.

PERENNIALS (Bloom year after year)
Roses
Oriental Lilies
Yarrow
Coreopsis (Favs Moonbeam & Creme Brûlée)
Phlox
Dianthus
Bellflowers
Daisies
Stokes Asters
Ferns
Herbs (Lavender / Sage / Thyme / Mint)

 

ANNUALS (Bloom for one season)

Zinnias
Larkspur (reseeds)
Nigella: Love in a Mist (reseeds)
Superbenas  (Proven Winners)
(Favs Violet Ice / Whitecap / Royal Chambray
Senorita Rosalita Cleome (Proven Winners)
Herbs (Rosemary / Parsley)
Euphorbia Diamond Frost (Proven Winners)

Superbenas!


SHRUBS

Hydrangea (Favs Bobo / Pinky Winky)
Boxwood
Lilacs
Viburnums
Evergreens

 

MY MORNING HARVEST…

 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Morning is the best time to cut flowers.
  • Choose the freshest flowers — best to pick those not yet fully open.
  • Take bucket to garden with you.
  • Place in water immediately after cutting.
  • Let “condition” before arranging … even as little as one hour can be very helpful in their recovery and being ready for arranging. I go for at least 4 hours.
  • Cut under water if possible before adding to bokay.
  • Use preservative in water.
  • No greenery underwater… begins to decay quickly and that takes away from the life of the arrangement.
  • Every 3-4 days, recut stems, add fresh water (with preservative) to your vase.

P. Allen Smith’s Floral Preservative Recipe

Equal parts lukewarm water and lemon lime soda
One aspirin
Half a teaspoon of bleach

 

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…

Here’s a video of one of my evening garden walks this week after work. In the video you will see many of the annuals and perennials I mentioned above. Most of them are very hardy and have done fine in all the heat we have had this year. We do water occasionally, but not extensively.

 

Well, it is time for me to get back in the garden and continue with my original plan … Send more Japanese Beetles to a soapy “bubble bath” ☠️ and garden “clean up.”

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Bloom Thyme Friday: At Last

What do you think of when you hear “AT LAST”?

I know what my first thought is … Etta James belting out one of the most amazing songs in music history!

Before we go any further, want to enjoy it?

Oh Etta Etta Etta.

These days there is another AT LAST making some noise. A beautiful rose from Proven Winners!

I had heard about this rose last year but didn’t find one. This year I was given two to test from my good friends at a local IGC, Country Harmony! Thanks Ryan and Brad!

I love this rose so much. I even went back to buy what they had left. They only had one more. But, I snagged it.

This charming rose with the old fashioned full petaled blooms is rarely without blooms. And, the color! Such a pretty apricot. And, there’s more … fragrance and disease resistance! With all the rain, some of my roses are succumbing to fungal disease. At Last has only given up a few leaves.

A small to medium sized shrub that is hardy in Zones 5 – 9.

Take a look at ‘At Last’ growing in my garden…

If you are looking to buy one for fall planting, check online at White Flower Farm… here.

By the way … the Japanese Beetles don’t seem to like the Stargazers, but I sure do. And they are blooming beautifully!

“At Last” we have come to the end of another week … and I wish you a Happy Bloom Thyme Friday.

The Veriest Back


I wanted to share with you some pictures and a video from the “veriest back” of my garden.

My children coined that phrase “veriest back” for the back area of the garden as well as the 3rd seat in the back of our family station wagon. A spot that was often sought after and sometimes fought for! 😉

Remember the station wagons of the 80s? That was pre mini van. The station wagon worked so well for us, we never went the mini van route. Secretly, I believe that Mr. G who loves sporty cars, trucks and SUVs, never could bring himself to buy a mini van. But, he did provide a state of the art station wagon for me and my little crew, and later an SUV for me, a sporty car for the girl and a black truck for the boy.

But, oh how I loved my station wagon. L O V E!!! #memories #family #children

The “veriest back” of the  garden is where the wild things grow — and things that do not need much care from the gardener (me). With limited time to “garden,” this area sometimes gets left out in the “care department.” But it is still very beautiful to me. Today it seemed the Black Forrest (Kordes) and Candy Oh (Proven Winners) roses just begged to be photographed! This is not their biggest flush of the season, but still they beckoned me today and I found myself remembering my children and my station wagon as I took time to enjoy “the veriest.”

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PS
I even found a stunning lily hiding back there! It was in so much shade I could hardly capture it. #shestough

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I also found the largest rose hip I have ever seen on a rugosa… bigger than a quarter!

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I also found some weeds … they were not in a photographic mood, so I just moved on. 😬


Thanks for sharing my trip down memory lane

and some wild things!

Fireworks and Fragrance

In life and in gardens the right companions can make the difference. They can make us stronger, cover up our short comings and enhance our beauty.

My garden style is cottage gardening …. I grow everything from trees and shrubs to herbs and roses. These garden companions work beautifully together to give me just what I want—continuous beauty. In fact, once we get through one of the midwest’s hard, cold winters, I am looking for fireworks and fragrance. Nothing adds the fireworks and fragrance like roses.

In April, lilacs give me beauty and fragrance that garden dreams are made of however, in a few weeks they are finished — for a year. Forsythia make a huge showing too— bringing all that yellow sunshine into our world—for a few weeks. Just as I am saying goodbye to those lovely shrubs, along comes the Rugosa Roses and Old Garden Roses with an explosion of blooms that fill the garden and many vases to the brim with beauty, fragrance and over the top charm. While most of the old garden roses only have one bloom per season (about 4 weeks), many of the rugosas don’t stop with just one bloom cycle and will give you at least a few fragrant blooms throughout the growing season.

Just as the rugosas are taking a break and the one-time blooming old garden roses are finished for the season, here come the easy care roses I call garden roses (sometimes referred to as shrub roses).  These power bloomers go to work and believe me their bloom season will continue all the way to fall. There is no shrub or perennial that gives me season-long bloom like the garden roses and paired together, they work their cottage charm.

Rugosas putting on a show in my garden!

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Roseraie de la Hay putting on her show this week!

Whether you are like me and have have lots of space, or you have a few nooks and crannies you would like to brighten or have containers on a balcony that need some punch, there is a garden rose for you. Garden roses come in all sizes and colors and will take no more care than any other plant or shrub in your garden. Give them sunshine, water, a bit of fertilizer, a quick trim of the spent blooms, then just stand back and enjoy. (And have your vases ready to fill and share.)

When deciding on companions for your roses, the first thing to consider is compatible growing conditions and here are two companions that have their relationship all worked out and have become a match made in heaven… roses and clematis!

Etoile de Violette and New Dawn Climber

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Here are some easy care, power blooming shrub roses that fill my garden with beauty and work well with all of the other plants that catch my fancy.

Petit Pink… This small shrub from the Proven Winners OSO Happy series is constantly happy in my garden covered in these dainty pink flowers. We can thank David Zlesak for this amazing shrub!

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Music Box and her companions… This is a lovely blooming machine from the Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection. Starts out creamy yellow and adds more pink as it matures.

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Sunrise Sunset… also from the Easy Elegance Collection paired with Double Red Knockout

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The Generous Gardener… One of the best and most disease resistant David Austin roses I have ever had!

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Peach, Apricot and Red Drift Roses… These beauties from Star Roses and Plants grow low and spreading fitting nicely in the front of a border but they also do equally as well in a container. These are super blooming garden roses.

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Quietness… This lovely Buck Rose is a part of the Earth Kind series and is one of the most beautiful bloomers in my garden. If it can make it through the rigors of the Earth Kind testing program and is considered hardy for your zone… take a chance! Did I mention it is very fragrant!!

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Quietness with her lily companions…

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Beverly HT from Kordes... Beautiful, sustainable and fragrant. Big winner at the Biltmore International Rose Trails. Love it!

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Belinda’s Dream and her companions… This is another rose from the Earth-Kind series. This rose grows big and strong in a container on my deck and is rarely without beautiful and fragrant blooms.

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Cherry Pie… The amazing bloomer below is from the Proven Winner’s OSO Easy collection. This picture is of a three-year-old rose in my herb garden. What started out as a tiny test rose, is now a show stopper.  She has more than proven herself to me!

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The rose is our national floral emblem and
the most popular
and beloved flower!

So, if you have shied away from roses in the past, thinking they are divas that take more time and energy than you have … Think again!

It’s not just hair styles that have changed since the 80s… The new Millennium brought us new classes of easy care, sustainable garden roses and we are getting more and more every year.

Maybe it’s time to dress up your shrub borders and add more blooms to your flower beds with the new rose kids on the block–they will bring the fireworks!