It was as though when the calendar said “first day of summer,” there was an explosion of color. Summer bloomers joined the spring perennials and early roses held on longer than usual. Peggy Martin still looks fabulous from afar. I love how her blooms dry in place – giving her the look of a painting that just lasts and lasts.
Many have asked me to do online tours. My answer to that was to start posting longer videos to an Instagram IGTV channel — complete with bird song and neighborhood activities like mowing lawns and motorcycles, etc. 😳 You can find those HERE.
Last week on Rose Chat I chatted with Ping Lim the creator of the Easy Elegance Rose Series and a New Series called True Bloom. Ping is a great rose friend and it was great to hear his heart for people and roses and his way of bringing them together. You can listen to the chat here.
GOOD NEWS / BAD NEWS…
The temperatures this week have been perfect. It has been so nice to spend time in the garden. The roses and their companions are going strong but the Japanese Beetles have decided to join the party. Only a few so far but we’ll talk more on that next week.
Until next time…
I’ll leave you with the bokay I made this week entirely from my favorite Easy Elegance Rose, Music Box.
As you must already know my life’s greatest garden treasure is Mr. G. who is the very best at supporting my garden obsession. One of the reasons he is so good at this — his grandmother was a gardener who loved the same style and many of the same plants as me — Our garden reminds him of the special times he had walking in his grandmothers garden, hearing her talk about the plants she loved and helping her when needed.
I so wish I could have seen her garden – more specifically, her in her garden and hear the garden stories. I did meet her and she was lovely, but not gardening at that time. well, not outside, but she did have a vast collection of house plants — something I am well on my way to having too. 🙄
I also had hoped to see pictures of her garden, but through the years none surfaced.
Until last weekend.
Greg’s mother passed away last November, she was lovely too and enjoyed flowers but she was an inside girl.
This past weekend we were doing that task that all of us hate, going through our loved ones possessions. But, like most of you know too, you so often uncover treasures. Unexpected treasures.
Here was mine.
Though the picture is black and while and faded – I can SEE a good portion of her garden and HER in the garden. And, YES, she did garden in dresses and stacked high heels Mr. G tells me. Much different than my cargo pants, bogs, t shirt and often a very handy garden apron. Thank you Mamaw Levis for preparing him well to love our garden too. I still wish we could have strolled in our gardens together in the mornings with our coffee in hand. She loved her coffee too!
And then there is this iris…
A treasure I have in my garden is a fragrant iris that she had in her garden and my mother-in-law had too. I actually see iris foliage in the garden picture above. Could it be the same one…
For now the torrential downpours have subsided and the HEAT is soaring. We are hoping the sky hasn’t forgotten how to rain. … it was VERY good at it for a few weeks.
Glad we have long garden hoses!
Here’s some of this week’s bloomers…
I suspect we have the spring rains to thank for our fluffy Annabelle border.
Many of the Clematis still going strong…
First blooms of Papi Delbard rose. My good friend Paul Zimmerman did not over sell this rose! Thanks Paul.
OTHER THINGS CATCHING MY EYE THIS WEEK…
A new clematis getting started
Peggy Martin is finishing up… still looking so fine!
Phlox coming into it’s own!
I love dallies – they are some upkeep for sure but they add so much to the garden in summer.
Love the “yarrow” welcome to the Herb Garden…
Phlox going strong
Forgot to plant my Flamingo Pink Celosia .. so I’m glad I have some germinating in a pot. Still hope!
Yes, it is time to assess the garden! There has been so much rain. So many storms!
So grateful that this morning in the garden is like paradise … if you don’t look too close. The sun is shining (Yes, you heard me correctly. Don’t worry, rain is coming back tomorrow). Back to paradise… sun is shining, nice breeze blowing, temps nearing 70 and birds are singing the most beautiful songs.
On my morning garden walk – which was limited as some of the areas of the garden are water filled – I saw new blooms emerging, like the beautiful phlox that last year gave me blooms for most of the summer. Roses that are still holding their head high and some not so much. Most clematis doing well, however, some are succumbing to the dreaded wilt.
Bloom Thyme This Week….
Twist and Shout (Endless Summer Series) Hydrangea has never looked better. And, has never bloomed this early!
Flame White Eye Phlox Paniculata… simply gorgeous and has a very long blooming season!
During my open garden day someone asked, “Just, How many clematis do you have? I said … “Not sure …. a bunch.” “Ask Mr. G, it’s likely he’s keeping tabs.” LOL #truth
I do have a lot because I love them. Some clematis have already finished blooming but here are this week’s bloomers. You can see from the picture gallery on one of the main gate trellises, Etoile Violette is doing great on one side and the other has succumbed to the dreaded Clematis wilt. It happens. I hate it, but it happens. I will cut down this wilted one and destroy. You can read more about Clematis Wilt here.
Catmint: Nepeta Walker’s Low
These plants have never done better! It is getting near the end of their first bloom cycle. I will cut back and they will bloom again! This has proven to be an excellent edging for our deck — near the potted roses. (Don’t be fooled by the word “low” in the name; these babies are 3′ tall!) Pollinators love them!
Roses in pots are blooming nicely.
Wollerton Old Hall (DA)
Creme Brûlée Coreopsis (Love) Excellent companion for roses.
Ghislaine de Felligonde (Hybrid Musk Rambler) first blooms tell me I am going to love having her in the garden. She first started blooming this week during a torrential downpour and I feared I would not see a petal left.
Little Mischief rose is starting to bloom. I just love it. Who doesn’t want a little mischief in their lives?!?
A small bird, I think it is a finch, is building a nest in my potting shed window box. I’ll need to be careful watering! Yikes.
I hear large equipment at a neighbor’s house and I see they are taking out big limbs near the power lines. I always get a bit nervous when I see trees go down! Especially when I suspect my tree line is next. 😬
If you need me, I’ll be deadheading. And, checking out the tree limb/ power line situation!
Hope you get to experience a bit of paradise today!
Genesis 2:15: God Placed man in the garden (of Eden) to tend and watch over it.
My Forsythia is blooming letting us know that the ground temps are now around 50 degrees and it “should” be safe to start pruning the roses.
As I took a quick look over the garden this week, I saw some things that made me very happy and a couple things that are iffy.
The brightest spot was seeing Peggy Martin who you will remember died back to the ground last year (Read the story of Mother Nature’s curve balls here.) but, she has now made it up and over the arbor again and I see buds all the way. Praying we don’t get a late frost or freeze like we did last year.
…TIME TO PLANT BARE ROOTS ROSES
Boxes have been arriving this week: 2 from David Austin and 1 from Palatine Roses. These bare roots look fabulous. Some are going in the ground and some are going in pots.
New Ones: Vanessa Bell, Dame Judi Dench, James L Austin, The Generous Gardener (I already have one and just love it!), Ghislane De Feligonde, Jasmine, and Papi Delbard. I simply cannot wait to see how these beauties grow and bloom! I’ll share!
They are all fabulous, but look at this dreamy Vanessa Bell!! Named for the artist, designer and founder member of the Bloomsbury Group – sister of the writer, Virginia Woolf. (DA)
Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire, located not far from the David Austin nursery, has one of the most beautiful private gardens in the country. The gardens are set around a 16th Century hall and feature roses in creative plant combinations, including many of our own English Roses. Wollerton Old Hall is open to the public on selected days throughout the summer. Read more here. http://www.wollertonoldhallgarden.com )
…TIME TO ENJOY BLOOM THYME BLOOMS
Isn’t spring just the best… except for those friends are getting pelted with snow as I write. So sorry! Hoping this will be the last.
…TIME TO GET SOME REST
Today I worked a little too hard and a little too long— if you get my drift. 😉😉 Think I should take a cue from our Southern sister Scarlet who said, “tomorrow is another day!” However, I typically run my life in “no time like the present” mode. 😃
Have a wonderful week. I’m heading for a bit more Advil! My body might be tired/sore but my spirit is soaring!
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…
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.
If you are familiar with the movie A GOOD YEAR you might remember this quote… “all she needs is a fresh coat of paint and a good scrub.” This a family favorite movie so I have enjoyed that quote many, many times.
This summer marks 20 years that my dream of a potting shed/office became reality. Mr. G out of love for me and the secret desire to reclaim some of our home from all the garden stuff, built this tiny bit of heaven for me.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought of the movie quote while standing in my potting shed. Summers are a time of gathering things in the potting shed and little time to tidy things up. So, as I stood in the middle of all the stuff, I thought YIKES I think she “needs a fresh coat of paint and a good shrub.” So it began … moving stuff —lots and lots of stuff.
While moving things around I unearthed so many memories!
Catalogs from the 80s and 90s…
Receipts from Jackson and Perkins test panel roses (Anyone remember those?) I had high hopes that one of my test panel roses would “take off” and I would be able to officially name one for my daughter.
Picture from the early 90s… (Sorry for the blurry picture of a picture.)
And, while digging in the garden last week I also unearthed a plant tag from Jackson and Perkins, Medford Oregon…. Not sure of the date, but I haven’t grown roses in the place I found this tag since the late early 90s. Note the AARS trademark.
It was a lot of fun to see old things again and walk down memory lane. Many of the roses in the pictures I no longer have.
Garden conditions change.
Little trees grew.
Large trees were hit by lightening.
A few pests showed up.
Sustainable growing practices became more important.
Some things hold true. I was over the moon about roses and all their companions then and I continue to be today. The garden has always been a balm for my soul; the place where my creativity soars; a place where I have the closest connection to the Creator.
In many areas extreme heat is the order of the day and our roses are showing the signs — curled leaves, slow growth and smaller than normal blooms that sometimes look distorted. All these are normal under these conditions. While I was away in May the temps soared to the 90s and haven’t come down much since.
WHAT I’M DOING…
Do keep watering if you can. A good deep soaking once a week should be sufficient except for your containers — mine need water everyday unless we get rain. Resist the temptation to overwater!
I fertilized them when I cut them back in June. And I’m usually on a every 6 weeks schedule. I’ll see how the weather is then. If it’s too hot still, I’ll be careful about doing much. When they are under stress, I find that too much of anything just contributes to the problem.
Maybe we will get lucky and July or August will be the May we missed! I just received a notification from the Weather Channel that Tropical Storm Beryl has formed in the Lesser Antilles – who knows what that will bring! Don’t you just love real time notifications!!!
Back to today–managing all this heat is tricky as it is a first for my neck of the woods – so time will tell.
Several years ago we had a severe drought and had no measureable rain for 7 weeks. I was in a panic as we could only water very minimally. I assure you the roses looked horrible at the end the drought. However, it was amazing how quickly they bounced back once regular weather returned. Praying the same thing happens this year when “regular” weather returns.
We are also dealing with Japanese Beetles — who came very early to my garden. They usually show up around the first week of July. This year I saw them the second week of June. I made my decision that day to cut back all the roses (blooms & buds) to make them less appealing. I was leaving for California so it seemed the perfect time. The result has been fewer JBs! WIN. The roses are now starting their second flush of bloom now and we’ll see how the “population” of beetles go!
To control JPs simply have a bucket of soapy water to drop them in. If you bend the cane down, their tendency is to drop and the soapy “bath” will be waiting! I received another tip this year from good friend, Dr. Mark Windham … trim off the damaged leaves! It seems it is the “damage” that encourages other JPs to come. Resist the urge to squish. I hear that process sends out a signal to others JPs to come visit via pheromones released. Yuk!
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK
There are some lovely blooms coming this week and the butterflies are loving them!
Watch the butterfly run through the coneflowers and daylilies in the video below…
As much as i want to be in the garden, I am limiting my time and you should too.
Grab some ice tea or lemonade to help you beat the heat and have a lovely
Bathsheba is said to be a well-behaved climber (to 9′ or so) with beauty, fragrance and disease resistance. All the things I want to hear.
Right from the start my new small plant began to take off and start growing strong — even though I didn’t plant it in the most perfect of locations. (I feared it would not get enough sun.) I have been rewarded with adorable buds and breathtaking blooms. Only 4-5 blooms so far but enough to know that this one captures my attention and heart.
LISTEN FOR MORE INFORMATION…
To hear the charming Michael Marriott with the lovely voice and incredible rose knowledge talk about this rose and the other new introductions, listen to the Rose Chat Podcast here…
If you are growing this rose, let me know what you think and if you have questions, I’m happy to help! Leave me a note in the comment section below.
SPEAKING OF BUZZ….
Did you see the acrobatic bee in my herb garden that I posted on Instagram? He’s my inspiration. I want to have as much fun as he is having as I work in the garden. And I DO have some work to do–all the roses need dead heading! LOL
As I write this morning, my view from my potting shed is one that makes me happy all the time but especially today as we are getting a MOST and I mean MOST needed rain. No one fulfills the needs of the garden OR the gardener like the Creator…
LEMONS TO LEMONADE…
There’s been a lot going on in the garden the past two weeks–some good and some bad. 😳 I’ll have a report on Bloom Thyme Friday!
When spring comes it’s time for gardeners to roll up their sleeves and get busy and I can’t wait!
Here are some tips that I follow for getting my roses off to a good start in my Zone 5b garden.
For early April planting, I buy bare root roses from online vendors (my preferred list here). When they arrive they are “bare roots” wrapped in wet newspaper. Very humble beginnings for a plant that will be so lovely later!
I immediately unpack them and soak them in a bucket of Moo Poo tea for 24 hours before planting.
Planting decisions are dependent on the type of rose…
Grafted Roses: Many hybrid teas, floribunda and grandifloras are grafted roses.
This means that a rose is created by being grafted onto strong, hardy rootstock, creating a “bud union.” Plant the bud union (knobby part just above the roots) 3” below the soil line to protect it from harsh winters we often have.
Own Root Roses: These roses were started from cuttings and are on their own root, so there is no bud union to protect. I plant them as I would any other shrub.
Soil: We ask roses to bloom for us all summer, year after year, so it is best to give them a good start by planting them in good, rich soil. Our neck of the woods has horrible gray clay soil so we dig BIG holes–holes much deeper and wider than the root system to allow for soil amendments and deep enough to protect the bud union. (At least 18″ by 18″.) To the soil removed, we add compost and a quality grade of top soil. Your roses will appreciate your gifts of more nutrients and better drainage and will reward you handsomely! You will never regret giving your roses a good foundation.
Roses Already in Leaf and Bloom…
If you purchased something from a garden center that is already leafed out and perhaps has buds or blooms, wait until the frost date has passed to plant them in the garden. In my zone that date is May 10. I will confess to occassionally planting a little earlier than May 10, but you have to be prepared to cover them if frosty nights come!! #notpatient
First tip: DON’T BE AFRAID TO PRUNE. I’ve made countless “mistakes” through the years and the roses always forgive and come back!
Here in the midwest, it is difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune. For many years, I have let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning. This year the temps have been up and down and there has been a lot of pressure on the forsythia. So use your best judgement! 😬
Once our roses are starting to grow, it’s time for fertilizer. Most any fertilizer will do—but do read labels carefully–too much of a good thing can be harmful! I use a combination of Moo Poo Tea,Mills Magic Mix and inorganic fertilizer on my roses. Fertilizer applications are about 6 weeks apart for most of my roses. Old Garden Roses and Rugosas are fertilized in the spring. Shrubs and Knockouts are only fertilized twice a season–spring and summer.
Once the fertilizer has been applied, you will want to give your roses a deep watering to get those nutrients down to where they can do some good.
A good rule of thumb is to water at the base of the plant especially if you are watering in the evening, as wet rose leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases (e.g. Black Spot & Powdery Mildew). Although, if I am watering in the morning I give them a good all-over shower. This is great way to remove dirt and any insects that have shown up for the tasty and tender buds! I think roses appreciate a refreshing shower just as we do, just don’t put them to bed wet.
This is one of my favorite parts. Mulch is so good for your roses … retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look!
One thing to remember when applying mulch … when mulch breaks down, it uses nitrogen in the process, so add a layer of compost on top of the soil before you add the mulch layer then the nitrogen in the soil can be used by the rose. If you are working in an established bed and last year’s mulch is still there, leave it… it becomes a “compost layer.” Win. Win.
I can’t wait to see these early bloomers!
MY FAVORITE TIP…
My favorite tip is to visit your roses daily or as often as you can to enjoy their beauty and to get to know them. Getting to know them can be key in early detection of any pest or disease.
And, when you have beautiful roses outside, who can stay in!