Bloom Thyme Friday: Rain or Shine, I’m Not Gonna Whine

It’s true, rain or shine, I’m not gonna whine. It’s all good. Because of the rain, we have areas that are more beautiful than ever before at this time of year and areas that have been stunted.

The area hardest hit by the “wet” was the herb garden. I plant a lot of seeds in the herb garden and it was very late when I got them out and they are quite small. I believe that all of them, with the exception of the sweet peas will be fine. It might be too hot for the sweet peas before they get to be their best selves. Last year the zinnias were twice as tall or maybe 3 times as tall as they are this year but no worries there. They will be monsters soon enough.

Speaking of zinnias, I planted several varieties that I had not planted before — Enchantress (they don’t look like double giants yet ), Apricot Blush, and Blue Point. So excited to see how they do. Last year my California Giants did so well that they blocked more than one path through the garden — beautifully, I might add.  🙂 And, the pink ones (I don’t remember the variety.) were so “healthy” that they smashed out several of their neighbors before I got them staked.🙄

STORMY WEATHER

Last night as we were preparing the garden for events this weekend – another storm came, taking many blooms with it. This morning I see that it also brought many fresh new blooms – so “rain or shine, I’m not gonna wine.” Now if it rains on Saturday and our guests can’t tour the garden. I might whine a bit.

BIGGEST UPSIDE OF RAINY WEATHER

Very little, if any, hand watering. While I love the process of hand watering and getting up close and personal with my plants, my garden has grown to the size that it certainly takes some time to get that job accomplished.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

There were so many things blooming this week that I told myself no more than 10 pictures. So, of course I’ll give you 13 plus a video. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

New Dawn going up and over! Just as she should!
Peggy Martin doing what she does so beautifully. Shout to my beautiful friend Peggy too! xo
Peggy Martin reaching for the sky – beautifully
New Dawn and Etiole des Violette … good companions year after year
Mother of Pearl – I counted 25 blooms on one of the shrubs this morning. I have 3 shrubs of this gorgeous rose.
Freida Kahlo — so much prettier in person

 

Imogen (DA) my, my she’s pretty. She was in the garden last year but I don’t remember her being a standout. But this year that is a different story. LOVE HER.
Sweet Drift and Darcey Bussell (DA)
Most of the garden action around here happens in the back yard, but Mr. G was busy in the front yard so it wasn’t an embarrassment. I tend to forget we have a front yard. 🙂

 

First year for Queen of Sweden (DA) and she is stealing my heart!!

 

Rosa Mundi. What a standout. One-time bloomer but what a bloom.

 

Rosa Mundi and neighbors

If you need me, I’m in the garden deadheading the roses, so they can be their best selves for our guests tomorrow.🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

 

 

Yes, rain or shine, it’s gonna be fine, but

I AM PRAYING FOR SHINE!

🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: FIREWORKS BEGIN

I always refer to my spring bloom cycle as “fireworks and fragrance,” primarily because the rugosas and the old garden roses go crazy! I love it so much. And right now it is beginning. My first rugosa gave me the much anticipated first blooms and the other shrubs are loaded and just about ready to go.

Belle Poitevine…

Would you look at that center!


Soapwort… Has a short but beautiful bloom cycle. I love it that she’s early and holds her own even in the crazy spring weather.

Bloomerang Lilac still going strong… and filling the garden with fragrance! 

Rugosa buds…

Peonies…

Three beautiful roses came today from Roses Unlimited and they look fantastic. One Papi Delbard and 2 Mother of Pearls. EXCITING!!

MR. G HITS PAY DIRT!

Mr. G is over the moon excited with his new wheelbarrow. IT’S A CRAFTSMAN. Guys his age will understand his excitement with finding CRAFTSMAN anything these days – especially at Lowes as it was a Sears feature for so many years, but that’s another story. When he called me from Lowes to tell me of his good fortune, he failed to mention the wheelbarrow was RED — CRAFTSMAN RED.  🚒🔥🚨  All I could think was the numerous times in my youth when I was told not to wear pink and red together — they would clash. 💞❤️ 💞  You and I both know that my garden is filled to the brim with pink roses. So what am I to do. Of course I can try to photograph the garden around this “great wheelbarrow with a lifetime guarantee,” 🙄 or… you and I can play a game of WHERE’S WALDO / RED WHEELBARROW. When you see it in a picture, let me know and I’ll feature you in a post! 🤷‍♀️

Well, we wont’ lose it! 🙂 Plus, it holds a ton of mulch!✔️✔️✔️

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

Bloom Thyme Friday: SPRING HAS SPRUNG

To say that I am excited that spring is here would be a grand understatement!

Today we have beautiful sunshine to celebrate even though the temps are cold. I’ll take it. I know we are on the right track.

Today I have pansies and violas to plant! These little beauties can take the cold and keep smiling.

As soon as I see the forsythia blooming, I will be pruning and starting garden clean up! To read my top tips for spring care for roses, read on here. Until then, I’m making lists and checking them twice — and running to garden centers any chance I get!

BLOOM THYME…

Let’s look back to Spring 2018 and remember the kind of things we have to look forward to…

ROSE CONFERENCE…

As the ARS District Director of Illinois and Indiana ( https://illinoisindianadistrict.org ), I cordially invite you to attend a one-day conference to learn and grow.

Sat, March 30 in Logansport, IN

SPEAKERS

Dr. Mark Windham, Plant Pathology / University of Tennessee, will present three programs on diseases, insects and pesticide safety.

Curtis Aumiller, ARS Chairman of Photography, will share tips and tricks of rose photography and help us better prepare for entering photography in rose shows.

For additional information on this event, including a registration form… read on.

These programs are approved for Master Gardener Education hours and Consulting Rosarian credit.

Wishing you a wonderful week blooming wherever you are planted!😘

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!

ROSE BUZZ: Four Roses Anniversary Rose

PRESS RELEASE….

Celebrating 130 Years of high quality & exceptional taste.

The Four Roses® Anniversary Rose celebrates the 130th Anniversary of the Four Roses® Kentucky Bourbon brand.

In the late 1800s, the legend of the Four Roses® name was born.

As the story goes, Paul Jones Jr., the founder of Four Roses® Bourbon, became smitten by a beautiful Southern Belle. He sent a proposal to her and she replied that if her answer were “yes”, she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. When she arrived on the night of the ball, she wore a corsage of four red roses. He later named his bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle. He then carried that devotion a step further by trademarking Four Roses® in 1888.

That passion continues today. Master Distiller, Brent Elliott, and his team produce highly awarded Four Roses® Bourbon for consumers all over the world.

The Jackson & Perkins® Four Roses® Anniversary Rose perfectly represents the brand. Graceful, colorful, and elegant – it reminds us of that Southern Belle so long ago. Like the Bourbons, this rose will bloom and be recognized as a symbol of high quality and exceptional taste.

The blooms of this rose are exquisitely formed and fade-proof,

with a lovely damask fragrance.

Once they open, the blooms are 3 to 4 inches wide and comprised of 20 to 25 deep red petals. These blooms arrive in early summer and keep on going in waves all season long, especially if promptly deadheaded.

It’s a vigorous and easy-to-grow rose, heat tolerant, and resistant to rust and powdery mildew, meaning it’s a good choice for warmer climates.

(NOTE: FOR MORE ON CARE, SEE VIDEO BELOW.)

IN MY GARDEN!

Rose lovers love a good story. And as you read in the press release above, this rose comes with a rich and romantic one. I am fortunate to have been given this beauty and will share my experience with you! Thank you Jackson and Perkins for this lovely gift!

It is going in the ground this week and will get a large covering of mulch once the ground has frozen.

Four Roses Anniversary Rose will spend the winter with some good neighbors… Sweet Drift, Darcey Bussell and Petit Pink. It’s a good place…

Jackson and Perkins has a lot going on with roses and all her companions. They even have some great videos on rose care and garden design by Paul Zimmerman. Find Paul’s videos and more information here.

 

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!

Beautiful Work at the Biltmore

Every weekend I spend judging at the Biltmore International Rose Trials is a weekend immersed in beauty at every turn…

Beautiful friends.
Beautiful roses.
Beautiful place.
And, Beautiful Hats!

George Vanderbilt was serious about hospitality and horticulture and his legacy continues. It is the perfect place for such an event!

Friday evening we have a chance to meet new friends and renew cherished friendships in the rose garden … sipping wine and enjoying yummy food.

THE BEAUTIFUL “WORK”

Saturday morning we begin our “work”… with a delicious cup of coffee as we watch the enchanting fog lift over the garden. Then with clip boards in hand, we are up closed and personal with the roses.

THE WINNERS

Biltmore Winners 2018 Awards Day
Roses Entered in 2016

Oso Easy Urban Legend (R.’ChewPatout’) 
Chris Warner – Spring Meadow Nursery

  • Lord Burleigh Award for Best Disease Resistance
  • Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose
  • Purchase this rose here.

 

Princesse Charlene De Monaco (Meidysouk)
House of Meilland – Star Roses & Plants

    • Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose
    • George and Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose
    • Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea

 

Highwire Flyer (Radwire)
William Radler – Star Roses and Plants

  • Gilded Age Award for Climbing Rose
  • William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit

 

Shining Moment (Radshining)
William Radler – Star Roses and Plants

  • Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda

THANK YOU…

Paul Zimmerman: 

Sending special thanks to Paul Zimmerman for his vision and his hard work as Coordinator of the Biltmore rose trials.

  • Because of his work, both professional and amateur hybridizers have a greater chance for their creations to be known.
  • Because of his work, the backyard gardener has more beautiful options for their gardens!
  • Because of his wonderful work, ARS President Pat Shanley awarded him a Presidential Citation for a job well done.

Congratulations Paul!

Paul, me and Parker

Parker Andes:

Pat gave another much deserved Presidential Citation to Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture , for his work and dedication to this project. Parker and his teams ensure the Biltmore gardens are at their best and stay true to the Vanderbilt vision.

And, special thanks to David Pike, CEO of Witherspoon Rose Culture and John Beaty of Beaty Fertilizers for sponsoring our cocktail party and awards luncheon. We sure appreciate you!

MORE FUN!!

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Hydrangeas stealing the show!

Before we get to the blooms, let’s talk about my current little obsession … bottle brushes. I will never know why it has taken me this long to buy a set of bottle brushes but it did. Since I have a thing about glass, and glass comes to me from a variety of places, I am always removing labels and cleaning bottles and jars. These new brushes have simply changed my life — for the better. #happydance #iloveglass You can find more about my obsession with glass here.

BLOOM THYME…

There’s plenty blooming in the garden although not too many roses as I trimmed them back to discourage the Japanese Beetles. It has worked, they are fewer in number at this time. Perhaps there is another reason for fewer of them in the garden since Mr. G found and hung the Japanese Beetle Traps — one of his obsessions. Once the beetles were here, the traps few off the shelves. Note to: Tell Santa about Mr. G’s obsession with Japanese Beetle traps. #stockingstuffer  I know there are conflicting reports and thoughts on the beetle traps BUT, I live with and love Mr. G and we go with his thoughts on this one — he has done plenty of research. And puts them way out to the edge of our property!

Now for the hydrangeas! (Maybe another obsession, but we are NOT going there.)

One hydrangea is threatening to block my way into the potting shed. I don’t mind at all, it is a beautiful welcome!

Little Limes framing our entrance.
A very healthy Bobo. I have 6 of these. #favorite
Hedge of Annabelles
Limelight starting to bloom

OTHER BLOOMERS…

Sally Holmes and her neighbors.
I never tire of the lovely blooms on Ping Lim’s Music Box from the Easy Elegance Collection.
Comte de Chambord and neighbors – over the top pink! LOVE!
Oh I love this rose — Flamingo Rosita!!

Not sure what this Zinnia is reaching for but I love this color.
The Fawn is staying under the radar and the Japanese Beetles aren’t finding her.
Common Phlox   An over achiever — beautiful but I have to keep my eyes on this one.
Dare I say it … when I see these, I think fall. 😦

COMING SOON … A GARDEN SYMPOSIUM

 

The Indianapolis Rose Society is hosting the ARS Illinois Indiana District Conference and Rose Show Sat, Sept 8, 10 am – 4 pm — at the 4H Fairgrounds in Lebanon! (FYI: I will be installed as the new District Director in October!)

Cost for the public to attend the educational sessions is $10. We have some of the best of the best speakers coming from around the country and these sessions have been approved for Master Gardener Educational Credit. Click here to see the list of speakers! We would love to see you there! I guarantee you will have fun, learn a ton and see some of the prettiest roses on the planet!! There is even a lunch option too! ALL THE DETAILS HERE! 

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! Send me any questions you might have!

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