BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: NEW YEAR/NEW PLANS

Gardeners are a great combination of dreamers and planners as well as the get it done crew! January is when we take a look at that blank slate and start filling up!

SUPPLY/DEMAND

Supply and demand being what it has been the last couple of years has taught us the true value of buying early. The only problem with that is that I buy early online but as roses/seeds/tubers become available locally, I get equally excited about those. I’ll be calling on my self restraint a lot in the coming weeks. Someone please keep reminding me that my garden has a limited amount of space.

So far here is where I am with orders for roses and dahlias…

ROSES

  • THE GENEROUS GARDENER
  • PLUM PERFECT

Recently I posted about these two roses on Facebook (on my page, Rose Chat Group page and on the Rose Geeks page) asking for comments and pictures of Plum Perfect growing in their gardens. I didn’t have to ask about the Generous Gardener because it is already a favorite in my garden! Regarding Plum Perfect, so far there has been a ton of comments and all very, very positive. Many raved about this rose saying they were adding another this year. They gave high marks for the health of the rose too. Take a look…

Hello Beautiful!

FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS WEBSITE

Intense, Plum Color • Performs Well In Heat and Humidity

Sunbelt® Plum Perfect™ has numerous, very intensely plum-colored, double flowers. The foliage is a healthy and shiny, medium green, and the variety performs well in heat and humidity.

IRS ROSE SALE

Fortunate for me Plum Perfect is part of the Indianapolis Rose Society Rose Sale. If you are local, this is a great sale with many beautiful roses for a great price. The sale is NOT just for members although members do get a very nice discount on the roses. Don’t delay. I have my eye on a few more! 😱 Transparency Note: I bought 3 PPs. Requiring me to get creative in where to plant them! 💜

If you are local, take a look at the list of roses here.

DAHLIAS

If you want specific Dahlias you truly must order early. But, oh my goodness there are so many beautiful ones out there. Last year I bought dahlias from Longfield Gardens, Swan Island Dahlias, Home Depot, Lowes and Country Harmony (local garden center).

Three years ago I randomly bought from Lowes what has become my very favorite Dahlia – Milena Fleur. A medium sized peachy/pink bloom and plant that stays around 4′. Great for arrangements! Lowes sold Milena Fleur again last year, To ensure I have her this year, I ordered again even though I have her hiding out from the winter in the garage.

2023 Dahlia Order from Longfield Gardens

  • Melina Fleur
  • Karma Lagoon
  • Labyrinth
  • Cornel Bronze
  • I will also have 3 Cafe Au Laits coming from Longfields as replacements for the ones I received in 2022 that turned out not to be Cafes!
Milena Fleur in my garden.

OVERWINTERING DAHLIAS

I am trying again to over winter my dahlias from last year but I checked them two weeks ago and they certainly don’t look like the plump tubers I packed away. 🤔 Time will tell. Last year one of the three I packed away made it. I packed them in pet bedding chips but they seem awfully dry – I do spritz them occasionally but that is so tricky for a novice. If they don’t turn out well, I plan to try a new method next year. How do you store Dahlias?

SEEDS

I saw this image on IG from @wildwestgardeneringeorgia and it spoke to me. Actually, I can’t express how much I love seeds. Everything about them. I image that during creation seeds must have been a favorite of God’s too. Even the tiniest seed contains everything needed to create the plant AND the ability to actually die and leave us with new life in the form of more seeds.

One of the tiniest seeds is the mustard seed (1 to 2 millimetres) that grows to a tree up to 20′. Jesus told us we only needed the faith of a mustard seed to move mountains. 😱 Yes, seeds give us much to think about and look forward to.

Oh Happy Day: The start of seed organization

Seriously I have bought so many I won’t bore you with the list. Not just online but there was that day I walked into Armstrong Garden Center in CA in December to find their wall of Botanical Interest seeds staring down at me. You know how that ended. I really found so many I was looking for and some I didn’t even know I needed! 😱🌱 🎉 🌱 Have you ever noticed just how pretty those seed packets are!

Making a list and checking it twice.

WINTER SOWING

I am sooooo excited that it is time to start winter sowing. So far, I’ve gotten as far as making a list. More about winter sowing next week.

ROSE CHAT PODCAST

On Sun, January 22 the 2023 Rose Chat season begins. First up is Jason Croutch of Fraser Valley Rose Farm — Roses in Stories and Culture.

In this episode we take a look at some of the stories and legends behind the roses and how roses have weaved their way into Western culture throughout the ages. Some of them are fun and some of them are shocking!

You can follow Jason on his very popular YouTube Channel HERE.

GARDEN WORK

We are having warm temps for January and I’m ready to get out and clean things up. I know I need to wait — horrible cold and snow could be just around the corner. Yep, I better stick to winter sowing.

Are you adding roses or dahlias to your garden this year? I’d love to know varieties you decide on!

Have fun planning and plotting! 🌹🌸🪴🌼🌱💐

Bloom Thyme Friday: Winding Down and Gearing Up

After a wonderful trip to Southern California, I returned to a dry, dry, dry fall Indiana garden that was ready for a gardener to get her fall self in gear. The to-do list was long but little-by-little the list is disappearing and the chores are winding down.

☑️ Zinnias and other annuals pulled

☑️ Empty annual containers

☑️ Gather Seeds

☑️ Peonies (Dig, Divide, Move)

☑️ Plant Garlic

☑️ Plant Roses (Another Earth Angel, Carefree Beauty, and Rise Up Amberness)

☑️ Plant bulbs

Dig Dahlias

Tie up climbers

Trim back shrub roses to waist high (will wait until is it much colder)

So as you can see, I am making progress but still have a way to go. The weather is so good that it is such a pleasure to be out.

SPECIAL NOTE: We had rain… deep, soaking rain. It had been so long. The garden and I are rejoicing! I think more is in the forecast for next week!! ☔️ 💃 ⛈ 🥳

A SPECIAL FALL MOMENT

I have made my caramel dip for more than 30 years, but it was taken to the next level when Grandboy #1 wanted to be a part of the process. For more fall fun and the recipe… read on here.

DAFFODILS

I know I’m a bit late in this but I’m looking for more white daffodils, do you have ones you would recommend? Even if I can’t find them this year, I can add to list for next year. My favorite white so far is Thalia. Monty Don talked me into that one a few years ago. 🙄 It is exquisite! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GEARING UP

I simply can’t put one year’s garden to bed without gearing up for another year. As I work in the garden my head is racing with ideas, making new plans, and wish lists. And, there are seeds to buy (before they sell out) and catalogs to pour over. It is such an exciting time. Am I alone?

My first BIG seed decision has been made… which lisianthus seeds to order from Johnnys Seeds! Last year I grew Voyage 2 Blue and from January to today I have loved them. They are still blooming in the garden as I type.

For not year I choose two colors:

Voyage 2 Champagne
Voyage 2 Lavender

Aren’t these gorgeous!!! There are several colors to choose from. Take a look here.

BLOOM THYME

ROSE CHAT

The latest series was WINTER ROSE TALES where we featured the gardener, their garden and how they care for roses in winter. I love each of them and am so grateful to those who submitted their winter rose tales.

WINTER ROSE TALE: PART 1 (LINK)

WINTER ROSE TALE: PART 2 (LINK)

I am busy working on the 2023 schedule and there are some great ones coming!

Friends, until next time, whether you are gardening or dreaming… ENJOY

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not only the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: IT’S IN THE AIR

It’s in the air friends! 🍂 Time for me to tweak my attitude and prepare for fall. Each year I enjoy this time of year more and more … specially since I retired and have more actual time in the garden in all seasons! Fall will never be spring to me but that’s okay. My attitude was adjusted a couple years back with this quote that appeared on a card I received… 

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus

Another thing that has helped is for the last few years I have become more and more focused on late summer / fall seasonal power bloomers. Dahlias have been a game changer for that. They work beautifully with Zinnias and the Non Stop Roses. Add to all of that, many of my roses that took a break from the intense heat are now budding up and primed for a great fall flush. September is going to be a blooming season! Garden excitement and beauty right up to frost! (Here are five roses I consider some of my Non Stop Roses: Mother of Pearl, Petit Pink, Easy on the Eyes, Music Box, and Sweet Drift. These roses are rarely without bloom.)

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl

NEW TO THE GARDEN

I found something new this week at Dammann’s Nursery … Belinda’s Blush. Do you grow it? It is a sport of Belinda’s Dream (Earth Kind Rose) which I do have. I just love the color and fragrance, plus there are very few thorns. If you’d like to know more or purchase one for your garden, read on here. Or if you are local go to Dammann’s – they had several.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

It’s seed-saving time and first up is Larkspur. I don’t know the name of my larkspur but it’s the one I love so I save the seeds each year. 

ROSE CHAT

The latest Rose Chat is one I think you will really like. I chatted with Teri Speight, a great garden friend who not only released two books this year but volunteers in a variety of places making a huge difference! Teri is so committed to sharing the love of gardening and flowers with as many people as possible and works tirelessly to do. I think you’ll find her inspiring. I sure do – she’s a total delight!

Listen to the podcast here…

A TRIBUTE TO ANNIE HAVEN Rose Chat Podcast

A TRIBUTE TO ANNIE HAVEN Owner of Authentic Haven Brand Soil Conditioner Modern Day Rancher  Rose Chat Sponsor and Friend On today's episode, we pay tribute to our friend Annie Haven. Annie was from a historic agricultural family. Her grandfather Archibald Blaine Haven started Haven Seed Company – World Leaders in seed production and distribution from 1863-1968. Her life was rich in history, hard work, and dedicated friendships. Annie touched so many in our community and we mourn her loss. Dolly Sarrio wrote an article about Anne's family a few years ago sharing much of her family's rich agricultural heritage. For the article read on here.  Several others join Teresa today to share stories of their friend Annie. You'll hear these voices from the garden on today's show: (in order of appearance) Shawna Coronado Julie Thompson-Adolf Jenny Peterson Teresa O'Connor Arlena Schott Chris VanCleave   ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – www.RedneckRosarian.com Creator of the Rose Chat Podcast. Mr. VanCleave is a nationally known rosarian, television personality, speaker and advocate for the rose.   Content Creator & On-Air Personality: Teresa Byington – www.TheGardenDiary.com Co-Host Teresa Byington promotes roses as an integral part of the landscape, as a Consulting Rosarian, Master Gardener, writer, and speaker.   SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Rose Chat Podcast Updates: http://bit.ly/subscribeROSE  
  1. A TRIBUTE TO ANNIE HAVEN
  2. ROSES IN STORIES AND CULTURE
  3. WINTER ROSE TALES PART 2
  4. WINTER ROSE TALES: Part 1
  5. UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS

You can follow Teri on Instagram and Facebook.

IG… here
Facebook… here

TERI’S BOOKS…
Black Flora… here
The Urban Garden… here

BLOOM THYME MINUTE

I am continuing to add short videos to my new YouTube series, Bloom Thyme Minute. You can take a look here. If you like them, please subscribe to be alerted when a new one is released.

The latest one…

BACK TO FALL…

Kudos to Starbucks for joining much of the known world around a seasonal drink. PSL had its first limited launch in 2003. Can you believe that! Want to meet the “father of the PSL? Listen here… (It’s a fun and interesting video from CBS Mornings – about 6 minutes – once you get through the ads.😉) 

I was a skeptic at first … Pumpkin Spice Latte … Seriously????  Well, that question has been answered and I am happy to tell you that it looks like the 2022 release date for Pumpkin Spice Lattes is August 30 and I’ll be there for it. It’s not a drink I have often as I like my coffee pretty plain but that seasonal “event’ certainly adds fun and flavor to my transition to fall. 

Until next time

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: MORNINGS

Most of you are probably like me and in the midst of a heat wave making mornings so very important to us! To spend time in the garden we have to beat the heat! 

My favorite way to start the day is with coffee in the garden doing my devotions. My devotions this time of year are centered around the garden. Time began in a garden. Jesus went to a garden before the cross. Jesus said I am the vine you are the branches. There’s a flood. There’s drought. There’s rocky soil.  There’s the mustard seed. You can’t go very far in the Bible without bumping into a garden or garden illustration.  It’s very gardeny.

I was recently asked for recommendations for gardeny devotional books, so here is a list of the ones I have, they’re all a bit different. Several I bought many years ago but they may still be available through Amazon or other online outlets.

  • Garden Mercies by Laurie Ostby Kehler
  • Devotions from the Garden from Thomas Nelson Books
  • A Gardener’s Little Devotional Book by Worthy Publishing
  • Meditations on a Rose Garden by Carolyn Huffman
  • Down a Garden Path by Karla Dornacher
  • A Well-Watered Garden by Harriet Crosby
  • NIV Gardeners Bible  

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS

In the potting shed, I have Foxglove seeds started for next year’s garden. As biennials, in my garden, they make leaves the first year and winter over and bloom the second year. They also are known to be prolific self-seeders and that has worked for me lately but there were many years when we’ve had colder winters that did not happen.  Last year I bought a lovely pot of peach foxgloves. This year in that same area I have 4 peach foxgloves! Self-seeding at its best. Always good to note about this plant ALL PARTS ARE POISONOUS.

My beautiful self-seeders
Little miracles

The seeds I planted are Carousel Mix from Renee’s Garden. They will be a mix of pastel shades.

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

Many of the roses are laying low, hiding from the heat and the Japanese Beetles. Since my open garden on June 12, we’ve had NO rain! NONE. The only upside to the lack of rain is that the barrage of Japanese Beetles has been stymied due to the hard ground. Only a few brave souls have emerged. We are looking forward to a drenching rain but so far none is in the forecast.

This time of year it is great to take note of those things that are doing very well. There are some roses and many perennials and annuals that don’t seem to mind the hot dry condition. Here are my BFFs right now – coreopsis, daylilies, coneflowers, daisies, veronica, and phlox. So far my dahlias are doing okay too. I’d not say they are thriving but growing and I’m still hopeful they will be spectacular. The big exception there is Creme de Cognac… I started the tuber inside and it did well and now it is blooming like crazy – way ahead of the others.

YOU ARE IN GOOD COMPANY IN THE GARDEN

Never forget you are in good company in the garden.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:8   He is the Master Gardener.

Happy Gardening Friends!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SLOWLY, SURELY AND WET!

Are you tired of hearing about weather yet? We are getting almost constant rain! The garden is drenched but so green. This reminds me of 2019 when my good friend Connie Hilker came to visit and she spent her time walking in the garden under an umbrella wearing boots – the pathways were flooded. She would find the same thing today…

Here are some beauties BRAVING THE STORMS this week…

KAZANLIK is an amazingly fragrant Damask from the Bulgaria / Turkey region since before 1600s. I just had to have her and many of her cousins after visiting Turkey and learning more about their significance in the rose oil trade. Wonderful to use in potpourris! I purchased her from High Country Roses and you can too … here

ABOVE AND BEYOND is going above and beyond, as usual, to make a big splash in the garden. Rain or shine! Thank you Dr. David Zlesak for such an amazing rose!

CLEMATIS AND LADY ASHE

The clematis is moving in a bit faster but Lady Ashe is primed and ready to take center stage. What a fabulous rose! Lady Ashe is a beautiful, well-behaved, fragrant climber from English rose growers at Peter Beale’s Roses.

OTHERS DOING WELL REGARDLESS OF THE CONDITIONS…

ROSE CHAT

Want company while you’re working in the garden? Access the list of most recent podcasts below…

A TRIBUTE TO ANNIE HAVEN Rose Chat Podcast

A TRIBUTE TO ANNIE HAVEN Owner of Authentic Haven Brand Soil Conditioner Modern Day Rancher  Rose Chat Sponsor and Friend On today's episode, we pay tribute to our friend Annie Haven. Annie was from a historic agricultural family. Her grandfather Archibald Blaine Haven started Haven Seed Company – World Leaders in seed production and distribution from 1863-1968. Her life was rich in history, hard work, and dedicated friendships. Annie touched so many in our community and we mourn her loss. Dolly Sarrio wrote an article about Anne's family a few years ago sharing much of her family's rich agricultural heritage. For the article read on here.  Several others join Teresa today to share stories of their friend Annie. You'll hear these voices from the garden on today's show: (in order of appearance) Shawna Coronado Julie Thompson-Adolf Jenny Peterson Teresa O'Connor Arlena Schott Chris VanCleave   ROSE CHAT TEAM:   Executive Producer & On-Air Personality: Chris VanCleave – www.RedneckRosarian.com Creator of the Rose Chat Podcast. Mr. VanCleave is a nationally known rosarian, television personality, speaker and advocate for the rose.   Content Creator & On-Air Personality: Teresa Byington – www.TheGardenDiary.com Co-Host Teresa Byington promotes roses as an integral part of the landscape, as a Consulting Rosarian, Master Gardener, writer, and speaker.   SUBSCRIBE: Subscribe to Rose Chat Podcast Updates: http://bit.ly/subscribeROSE  
  1. A TRIBUTE TO ANNIE HAVEN
  2. ROSES IN STORIES AND CULTURE
  3. WINTER ROSE TALES PART 2
  4. WINTER ROSE TALES: Part 1
  5. UPDATE FROM STAR ROSES & PLANTS

ROSEFEST / SAT, JUNE 11, 9 – 3 pm

If you’re local, the Indianapolis Rose Society and Hamilton Country Master Gardeners have teamed up to bring a beautiful day of roses. Roses for sale, demonstrations, garden tour, great speakers, and free Proven Winner’s beautiful roses to the first 40 guests! For all the details, read on here… 

Grateful

In these tumultuous times, weather as a problem is not even on the scale. More than ever I appreciate the beauty and love around me. 

Luke 12: Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. He’s not just in control of flowers, He’s in control of us. 

Until next week…. may your time in the garden give you comfort and beauty.

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: LET THE SUNSHINE IN

Our first “real” frost came this week. Funny, it was sandwiched in between days soaring to near 60. Regardless, the reality is setting in – winter is coming. BONUS: The sun is shining almost every day and if the sun is shining all is good. I’m solar powered!☀️

Garden work the past two weeks has been about getting the last of the potted plants safely inside. Winters here are not only cold they are dark so I bought more grow lights to add in the potting shed and Mr. G’s shoppe. Isn’t he the nicest thing to let my large Myrtle Topiaries hang out there all winter. He may regret saying yes. This will be their first Indiana winter they are going to need all the help we can give them! #rudeawakening 

Grow lights I bought… Clip On (link) and on stand (link

GERANIUMS VS PELARGOnIUMS

Many of the plants that came into the potting shed were scented and zonal “geraniums” (pelargoniums). They are tender plants and of course, we either have to say goodbye or they come inside. The “true” geraniums like Johnson’s Blue, Rozanne, and Dreamland will greet me next spring.

The pelargonium/geranium thing is a bit confusing. The confusion seems to have started as far back as the 17th century when the first pelargoniums were brought to Europe and were called geraniums probably due to how they looked when the experts of the day in taxonomy were making those decisions for us. Want to know more? The Laidback Gardener clears it up! Read on

Regardless of what you decide to call them, these plants are absolutely necessary for my garden as I feel it would be naked without them! 

Look at this”zonal” beauty. So glad I brought her in!
Here you see pelargoniums (zonal and scented) hanging out with my topiaries happy as clams in the sunshine.

POTTING SHED WINTER POPULATION

Some plants are adjusting well to the switch from outside to inside like the evergreen topiaries who don’t seem to notice they moved. The two small lavender topiaries I started from cuttings last year are a different story. They have definitely noticed! One is struggling, and the other one is giving up! 😕

BLOOM THYME

It will take more than 29 degrees to discourage some plants but others have raised the white flag until spring! Like the Dahlias and the Hydrangeas! WO!

Time to dig.

Next up around here will be trimming roses, digging dahlias, more garden clean up and a bit of bulb planting. (I said I wasn’t going to plant bulbs this fall but I’m weak and stores know just where to place them.) 

Friends until next time, wherever you are, whatever the weather stay safe and well. 😘

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: October Glory

The rains have moved in and the temps are still warm so things are looking lush in the garden again and frost seems to be at least a few weeks out! The roses are at that “messy” stage that comes when you stop deadheading but hips are forming and I do love to see those. Other roses are still giving some beautiful blooms and I’m mixing them with snapdragons and dahlias… 

DAHLIAS

Let me tell you it is hard to go to England or watch Monty Don and crew on Gardener’s World and not fall in love with Dahlias.


This was my second year growing them and I am hooked. And, am spending a good bit of time looking for more. These beauties take late summer bloom thyme to the next level! Some of my dahlias struggled this year as they were in places without adequate sun. Seriously, I don’t know exactly where I am going to plant the new ones — but I’ll think of something – preferably a spot with more sun and there’s always containers!!


Here are my “gateway” dahlias. Most were bought in mixed packages at Lowe’s so I’m not sure of their names. I did plant the beloved Cafe Au Lait but it didn’t do very well for me — again sun was a factor I’m sure.

Click on an image to open the “gallery” feature for a better view.

Cafe au Lait

WINNERS

One of the regional rose trial programs in the US is the American Garden Rose Selections.  They recently released their 2022 winners. As we are planning for what we will grow next year, it is the perfect time to read about these beauties and where they grow best… HERE.

Congratulations to the winners!

Celestial Night
  • Celestial Night by Christian Bedard / Weeks
  • Easy on the Eyes by Tom Carruth / Weeks
  • Pink Freedom by Christian Bedard / Weeks
  • Pretty Polly Pink by David Zlesak / Star

LATEST ROSECHAT PODCAST

GROWING ROSES SUSTAINABLY with Pat Shanley, Past President of the American Rose Society. Pat has an amazing chemical-free garden and wonderful advice for growing roses sustainably! LISTEN HERE.

ME AND ETTA

I just learned that a photo that I took of Proven Winner’s beautiful rose ‘At Last’ (Song by Etta James) will be on the October page of the American Rose Society 2022 Calendar. I feel like with paper I am going full circle. I switched to online calendars a few years ago but I’m now back to paper! If you like paper calendars, this is a beautiful one. You can order them here

At Last

BLOOM THYME

Like it or not, fall is fully upon us. Things look different these days but if we look, we always find beauty – in life and in the garden…

The Generous Gardener

Friends, I hope your fall is going well. Mr. G and I already have a coffee bet on when the first snowfall will be. What do you think? ☕️🍂❄️

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: PLANS & PROJECTS

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The deep snow is melting and there are signs of spring everywhere. One of my favorite things to watch for are violas I planted in years past that pop up and show color even in winter! Took this picture yesterday … icy but still showing color! #lovethespirit 

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We have survived the long, lonely winter with home projects, cleaning out drawers and closets, going through “collections” and doing a bit of sprucing up. This week a simple reorganizing of the guest room closet (which is very small) turned into a full blown project of painting and moving shelving. 

Now it is time to get “full blown” into garden readiness. So more time in the potting shed it is. Time in the potting shed is good for the plants but it is OH SO good for the gardener. That tiny space and those projects bring immense joy.  I think most, if not all of that joyful feeling comes from dirt… touching it and smelling it. Yes, dirt is quite magical! Are you with me? 

First thing was to “pot up” the scented geranium cuttings I took last July. They have gotten huge. Last year I had several different varieties but decided to only winter over two since I have winter space issues — Attar of Rose and Rober’s Lemon Rose.

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WINTER SOWING

Next was to try my hand at winter sowing in milk jugs that we talked about a few weeks ago. Read about that here. 
In the cartons are ….. 

  • Larkspur
  • Sweet Willian
  • Ammi: Dara
  • Lavender
  • Delphinium

Starting slow… if this works for me, I can see doing a ton of them next year!

Mr. G is more than ready to start his outdoor projects which include removing a sick crabapple tree and “pruning” two 25+ year old honey locust trees. We still can’t believe how small they were when we planted them – they are huge now. So while he waits, he is being a rock star on “honey do” projects, building birdhouses, and coming up with ways we can discourage the deer who are becoming way tooooooo comfortable in our garden. We are using DEER NO NO from Gardener’s Supply and spraying with Liquid Fence. We are hoping that now that the snow is clearing maybe our repellents will be more effective! If you have ideas on “discouraging” deer, please let us know. They really MUST move on if we are to have a garden this year! These pictures are taken right out our back door and they are here most every night. 😩

GREAT READ… 

An article from New York Times column, In the Garden with Margaret Roach – The Smart Way to Grow Roses.

In this article Margaret shares many tips on rose selection and quotes from noted rosarian, former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in NYC, and gifted author Peter Kukeilski. Peter is a lovely person and the author of one of my favorite books to recommend, Roses Without Chemicals. He has a new book out, Rosa, that is on my list.

LATEST PODCAST…

I had the pleasure of chatting with Rebecca Koraytum of David Austin Roses last week. On the show, Rebecca brings us up to date on how things are going at David Austin Roses since the pandemic and talks about their new roses. She also shares her insights on emerging rose trends and gives us a verbal peek inside her personal rose garden! Listen Here.

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More and more people are getting their vaccines giving us more and more hope of a world that will begin to open! First on our list of course will be getting to England! 

I hope signs of spring are all around you and that you are knee deep in plans and projects! 🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: SAY IT WITH FLOWERS

Valentine’s Day brings back so many wonderful memories…. remember as kids getting your Valentines ready to take to your school friends – weighing each word carefully.  And of course, how exciting (and sometimes a bit scary) it was to anticipate what valentines would be given to you.  Even the container used for transporting your valentines was important! 


My  Valentine’s Day memories as a florist are filled with beautiful flowers, blurry eyes, and fatigue from working long, long, very long days helping others express their love. It was beautiful work highlighted by coolers filled to the brim with roses and other gorgeous flowers often on bitter cold midwest February days – much like today!! Working side-by-side with my florist friends was such great fun too. Things got quite giggly after midnight during holidays!

VALENTINE’S DAY TRIVIA

  • Passing out Valentines is a 600-year-old tradition.
  • Candy hearts were originally medical lozenges.
  • In 2019 Americans spent 20.7 billion for Valentine’s Day
  • The Chocolate Box has been around for more than 140 years.
  • Teachers are the number one recipient of valentines.

Read more from the original article by Woman’s Day Here.

I also read that approximately 250 million roses are grown for Valentine’s Day — about 45% of those roses are red.

Yes, like no other flower, the red rose says LOVE.

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THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS

I am so very fascinated by the Victorian practice of conveying your feelings with flowers and herbs.

The Victorians were serious about their flowers and even developed a “love language of flowers” that included herbs, shrubs, roses and more. Don’t you just love that! These arrangements were often given in a small nosegay called a Tussie Mussie. 

FLORIOGRAPHY

From The Language of Flowers by Kathleen M. Gips … a fascinating pamphlet I have had for years. Kathleen has another book, Flora’s Dictionary,  that is available on Amazon here.

The language of flowers was universally understood in the East and the herbal symbolisms recognized and practiced in Europe for centuries, but it was not until the 1800’s that floral dictionaries were written to help the public communicate in the language of flowers. This romantic ‘floriography’ became especially popular in the Victorian era starting with the reign of Queen Victoria in England (1840). Dozens of floral dictionaries were available in England, America and Europe. 

Floral language was thought to be created to symbolize the most delicate sentiments in a ‘silent eloquence’ that would be a language better than writing.

Mothers of the Victorian era were directed to teach their daughters religion and the art of making a well-made bokay. Talk about your priorities for home schooling! 🙂 Yes floral dictionaries would be a must! Many finishing schools offered instruction in botany and ‘floriograpy.’

We didn’t call it ‘floriography’ but my children were collecting flowers and making bokays to deliver in their wagon from a very young age. Such great fun!

RESOURCES

Tussie Mussie — The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers by Geraldine Adamich Laufer. (HERE) It is an excellent resource.

 ON MY WISH LIST…

Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers by Jessica Roux (HERE)   


BOKAY DAYS…

One of my greatest joys is sharing bokays from my garden – all the flowers I share come from my heart and say I care about you and want you to have a special day.  But, the fascinating list the Victorians gave us could sure add a special touch to our bokay sharing. More about Bokay Days here.  Let’s all hope and pray that this summer we can get back to having people in our gardens. If not we will do what we did in 2020 … masked and socially distanced deliveries.

HOT CHOCOLATE BOMBS

Yes, I am still on the Hot Chocolate kick. Hot Chocolate Bombs have been the rage lately. I have seen so many social media videos of people pouring steaming hot water or milk over a HC Bomb to have it explode with chocolate, marshmallows and all sorts of yumminess. Mr. G loves chocolate so for his Valentine’s present, I ordered “bombs” from a friend who makes the most wonderful sweet treats. If you are local, contact SWEET TREATS BY JANESE here

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SOME OF MY FAVORITE HERBS & FLOWERS WITH THEIR MEANINGS….

  • Basil: Best Wishes
  • Black Eyed Susan: Encouragement
  • Daisy: Beauty, Innocence
  • Parsley: Joy
  • Pink Carnation: Gratitude
  • Rosemary: Remembrance
  • Lavender: Devotion
  • Lily of the Valley: Sweetness
  • Lemon Verbena: Enchantment
  • Red Rose: I love you, desire
  • Pink Rose: Appreciation
  • Yellow Rose: Friendship (Can also mean jealousy 😳)
  • Lavender Roses: Love at first sight and enchantment
  • Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends

FROM ME TO YOU…

I am virtually putting together a Tussie Mussie for you. It includes pink roses, pink carnations with a touch of rosemary, basil and lemon verbena. 😘

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FRIENDS!

Until next time …  

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