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.
In most of my garden “rooms” you will find roses hybridized by this rose friend – Dr. David Zlesak.
DAY JOB: David is a Professor of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. For the past 11 years, David has been teaching undergraduate horticulture students.
HOBBY: As a kid growing up in Milwaukee, David loved being outside and gardening – especially with his grandparents who had a small farm nearby.
FUN STORY: When David was 13 he read in the Sunday paper gardening section about Will Radler’s rose breeding hobby. So he wrote to Will for more information. Will (breeder of the Knock Out family of roses) got him connected to the Rose Hybridizers Association and with his love of art, science and roses, he was off onto a hobby that would bring him and all of us much joy in the roses that he has created.
FRIENDSHIP: I met David through American Rose Society events and we have become great friends. Actually, it is hard NOT to become friends with David as he is truly one of the nicest guys around! He is always willing to share his vast knowledge with those interested!
DAVID’S ROSES IN MY GARDEN
Petit Pink (10 of those!) (Lovely sweetheart blooms!)
Above and Beyond (Gorgeous spring-blooming climber)
The newly released Pretty Polly Lavender (Sweetest blooms and fragrant too)
The newly released Pretty Polly (So prolific and great in arrangements)
Recently I spoke to David on the Rose Chat Podcast about a project that he is also very passionate about — The Clean Plant Network and the very important work they are doing. Listen in HERE.
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK
‘Thyme Out’ is the name for my new outdoor working space and this space is coming together very nicely. Gone are the horrible vines, roots, and trunks of the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle (if you missed that post, read on HERE.
This space has always included a potting bench but Mr. G gave the potting bench a facelift and then surprised me with a beautiful work table. After a few days of seeing me work in the space, he said, “I’m making you another table.” Seriously, I said I don’t need another one it would be tooooo excessive.” He said, “I’m making you another table.” And, he did. And, guess what? I am so glad he did! I have room to spread out! I am spending so much time in this space.
Mr. G is the best.
To say that he ”gets” me would be an understatement.
To say that he is a craftsman, would be an understatement.
To say that he is a leader and mentor, would be an understatement. To say that I love him would be an understatement.
And, to say that he is the very best at being a dad and papa … would be an understatement.
HAPPY FATHER’S (& PAPA) DAY, MR. G.
BLOOMING THIS WEEK…
The roses are on steroids this week and so are many other things. Here are a few pics. For more pictures and videos go to my Instagram page HERE.
Friends, thanks for dropping by.
I hope your world is filled to the brim with friends and with beautiful blooms too! 😘
And this season as gardeners we have needed all the patience we can get as we deal with weather conditions. Weather dictates most everything we do.
As I write a gentle rain is falling, it looks and sounds beautiful. The birds are loving it but I’m practicing patience as I wait on sunshine. Much of the garden is sitting in water and rain predicted for all day tomorrow too. 😏 We gardeners surely do hate to complain about rain. However… GULP! GULP!
We are coming out of a very cold, dreary period … it has actually set records for lack of sunshine and for lowest temps. Funny thing about that, England is having their sunniest spring on record. I think I have their answer … my daughter is there. She always brings sunshine to my life.
We NEED a bit of sunshine. Our spirits need it. Our plants need it. Work on my new outdoor potting space needs it. My Sweet Bay Magnolias especially need it.
SWEET BAY MAGNOLIAS
We have three SB Magnolias and love them. Last year at this time they were leafing out so beautifully and getting ready to bloom. The freeze we experienced a couple of weeks ago nipped them good. All baby leaves turned black. We feared the worst. But, this week with the warming temps, we now see leaves! Whew, that was close. Can’t imagine losing them.
The warm temps are sure paying off… blooms (and veggies) are popping all over the garden!
Caution: Excessive images coming. Hope you like pink and purple.😳
Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.
Click on individual pics for additional information on varieties, etc.
🍅Tomatoes planted in containers last weekend by my son. 👨🌾 We always have garden days together for Mother’s Day but this year it had to be later and socially distanced. No hugs. 😭 TOMATOES: Summer Sandwich (formerly Steak Sandwich), Romas, Mr. Stripey and several cherry tomato varieties.
🌱Peas coming along nicely.
🌱Zucchini are growing in containers as we did last year. This year’s varieties are Romanesco and Rhonde de Nice (a round Zuc)
🥔Potatoes (Kennebecs) jumping up along with a “volunteer” Cosmos to the right side.
🥗Lettuce (Black Simpson) is being enjoyed by all!
🌸Cutting garden planted — two weeks later than usual. ☔️
So many roses are loaded with bud and just ready to burst!
And some ROSES are reaching their peak…
Below is Ghislaine de Feligonde reaching for the sky over the Potting Shed.
She looks like she’s enjoying today’s gentle rain.
RAIN OR SHINE
If you need a rainy or sunny day activity … I think you will enjoy my recent interview with Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium. His talks should come with a warning, he makes it hard not to fall in love (or deeper in love) with roses — plants he calls THE ULTIMATE GARDEN PLANT. And, he uses them so beautifully. You can listen HERE.
Friends, spring is happening! Until next time be well, be safe, and be happy in the garden.
Between winter, these cold snaps and “shelter in place”, I have had too much time on my hands. Keep looking at online catalogs etc. I have added – let’s just say SEVERAL roses to the family.
Just when I told myself I was officially DONE and truly had all the roses I need at this time, this happened… I was chatting with Mike Shoup of Antique Rose Emporium about his upcoming Rose Chat Podcast. (Release date May 24. Don’t miss it — Mike is amazing and you will be inspired. When he speaks about roses it is though he is reciting poetry!
As we talked I noted one of his favorite roses is Penelope and he told me all the great things about it (and there are many). I was doing okay and still good with my decision for NO MORE ROSES THIS YEAR… until I saw their Facebook post of a picture of an entire shrub line of Penelope roses in full bloom at the Antique Rose Emporium. 😳
I tried to get my good friend Linda Kimmel to talk me out of it – but alas she was no help. At the mere mention of Penelope, she launched into a story of how her Penelope was so beautiful and such a good rebloomer than it won an award in a rose show and beat out some very prestigious contenders and on and on she went. No. Help. At. All. 🙄
I caved. 🤦♀️ Wouldn’t you? Do you grow this rose? Do you ever “cave” when it comes to plants? If so, please leave me a comment. Safety in numbers. 👊🏻
Penelope now lives in Brownsburg in a prime spot where I will see her constantly. I keep apologizing to her for all the cold. It must be a shock coming from Texas to Indiana where it is even colder than usual for this time of year. 🥶
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH PENELOPE:
Penelope is a fragrant Hybrid Musk Shrub Rose bred by a historical favorite, Rev. Joseph Hardwich Pemberton in 1924.
David Austin’s website says it is deliciously fragrant and ideal for hips. Link.
High Country Roses website says it is known for its healthy vigor and shade tolerance! Link
Note: HELP ME FIND says resist the urge to prune this rose too heavily – it doesn’t like it. Hopefully, winters won’t do that either. More info here.
Early this week we had record low temperatures. For the first time I can remember we had a FREEZE (not frost) WARNING in May (26 degrees). I turned my garden into a POT AND TENT CITY. Was so very thankful for all the pots I have kept on hand. Almost got rid of them last fall!!!
My garden is way too large to cover everything. So I went with the veggies, peonies and as many roses as I could.
The sergeant crabapple suffered greatly.
The hostas and lilies suffered greatly.
Tips of roses not covered suffered too.
Time will tell how much other damage we had. Each day I am seeing more signs. I’ll keep you posted on how the recovery goes. A big surprise was how well the clematis did. I have a ton of clematis and many of them are covered in buds.
Yes, time will tell.
So, while the temps prevented outside fun, we went in to enjoy hot soup and homemade bread…
Handsome Fred (the frog) is back out and conversing with the goldfish so all is well for spring!
Bloomerang lilacs …
Pansies and violas are still bright spots. They like cool weather.
First lettuce picking! Always a great day.
And, then there’s this guy — the dream maker. Mr. G is busy making furniture for my new and improved potting area! More pics to come!! It is soooo fun. I can’t wait to show you. He is the very best. #swoon
The weather app is giving out better news for the days to come – if our tender plants can survive the downpours of rain. Happy Days!
COVID-19 & GARDENING:
On the Rose Chat podcast, we are featuring stories from those in our garden community on what it is like WHEN GARDENERS SHELTER IN PLACE. Listen in to these short, insightful stories told by the gardeners themselves… LINK
Friends, wishing you safety, health, and fun in the garden.
Well friends I have turned the corner and have said a proper goodbye to summer with the last rose bokay I picked this week. I am embracing the fall beauty around me!
Side Note: One garden friend on seeing my recent bokay asked if I should be still cutting my roses. She has heard me say on more than one occasion that we should stop deadheading our roses several weeks before the first frost to encourage them to begin to make hips (seeds) and go to sleep in protection of the cold to come. That is true. However, once a week I do scour the garden of nearly 200 roses to find the best of the best. My Cherry Parfait rose had about 25 blooms and 15 or so buds and I just picked one. So I do limit my cutting during this time! (But, it’s super hard to do so.) I’m so glad she asked!
WHAT I’M LOVING…
The most beautiful thing right now is the Heavenly Blue Morning Glory vine… that has completely invaded the Potting Shed’s personal space.
Morning Glories (Ipomoea) are natives albeit “very happy overachieving natives” who can spread their beauty around in ways that look like an invasive! 😳 Their ability to self seed gets them into trouble!
Yes, it is heavenly!
Bees love, birds love, butterflies love and even my camera lens loves these amazing blooms. A fall highlight!
NOT SO HEAVENLY
A morning glory family member, Bind Weed, is a much more aggressive plant and drives our farmers crazy. Do do check your variety and your local cooperative extension for information on growing any of these vines in your area.
Birds do contribute to the problem! As I mentioned in a previous post. I have a very healthy vine of Grandpa Ott blooming this year and I have not planted that variety for many, many years! I suspect some little bird left me a present.
POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS…
Hudson’s African Violet is still going strong and has been blooming for several weeks. Cooper’s African Violet is smaller but it’s on the verge of another bloom cycle too. (Both started from a single leaf.)
While we are on the subject of the boys… guess who turned 6… my, my, where does the time go. 😢
Still haven’t potted my roses. Maybe tomorrow! 🤦♀️ But we have new tiny leaves.
And, I bought one new plant ….. a cute little peperomia.
And lastly, this beauty is bringing me all kinds of happy — but alas I can’t remember her name. Do you know it???
If it is cold where you are, I hope you are safe and warm and enjoying a mug of something delish.
If it’s spring where you are, enjoy it enough for me too and share pictures. 😊
This morning I got up extra early just to grab my coffee and a blanket and head to the sun porch to greet the morning. It was so wonderful.
Before we get started know this… regardless of the title of this post, I don’t “hate” much of anything. I just like some things”more.” Spring is an exception in the other direction. I am completely over the moon crazy about spring and all that it means and all that it brings.
How can anyone not like the cooler temps, vivid flower colors and God’s magic of the changing scenery. And, it’s hard to beat the cool mornings. I do love all those things… but I miss my outside time, flower picking, collecting fresh herbs for cooking, summer nights, hummingbirds and finches when they are so yellow.
Pretty blooms. Magical in the morning. So healthy. And, sometimes — SO INVASIVE! If you plant, be careful of variety! I didn’t plant any this year and they are everywhere. And, I forgive them.
Yellow Trumpet Vine.
(Campsis radical f. flava) A beautiful native that the hummingbirds flock to.
That drapes beautifully over our pergola that holds our facing swings.
I love the cozy feeling this vine gives our swing time. BUT, it has made us crazy. It is popping up everywhere and we may never get it under control. I still see it for sale but I wouldn’t recommend it in my area. Resist.
POTTING SHED OVER CROWDING…
I am beginning to bring ‘inside plants’ that have been outside this summer and ‘outside plants’ that I want to overwinter in my Potting Shed/Garden Office. I am only half way through the process and there is little room left for working!
But, I love how it looks full. I will be crying out for help this winter as the darkness and dryness threaten to take them from me.
But for now they are lush and beautiful…
BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK…
Petit Pink peeking through the fence. (OSO Easy Series)
James L. Austin (DA)
James L. Austin Up close
Petit Pink (OSO Easy Series)
Sunrise Sunset (Easy Elegance)
Peter III Blue Aster
Nasturiums still going strong
Mother of Pearl
Head over Heels (Easy Elegance Collection)
Fingers crossed that fall lasts a long, long, long time.🍂
While most of the world braces for the onslaught of “PUMPKIN SPICE EVERTHING,” I am thinking spring – and taking note of all the things in the garden that need “adjustment.” Lists are being made on things that will be moved, removed or added and a few new designs are being put to paper. SIDE NOTE: I have used Evernote App (glorified note taker/document maker/to do list) for 7 years now for garden world work. It is a mobile ready app so no matter what device I have, the information has been synced and I pick up where I left off! Another great Evernote feature is it is sharable and works well for group collaboration.
My heart races at the thoughts of spring! I am armed with graph paper, Evernote notes, plant tags and ideas!
On my lists….
Perennials that need moving and maybe even dividing – peonies, phlox, iris, daylilles and ground cover. And then there’s the over achievers: daisies and black-eyed susans… of course they are way out of their bounds and need a bit of thinning.
Things on the list that will wait until early spring: Moving roses and hydrangeas. I have done this in the fall and sometimes it works, but sometimes winter comes early and they don’t have time to get established. This year I am waiting.
Things I need to make room for: 2020 rose releases!
My “taking note” includes going over HITS and MISSES this year. Here is a sampling…
Tomatoes: Our luck with slicing tomatoes has been dismal the last couple of years. Whether in the ground or in a pot. We have tried it all. The yield was one or two, here and there.
NOT THIS YEAR… While at Lowes this spring I was slowly going through every tomato plant thinking “nah” on most of them. Then I came across one we had never grown before and I pulled out my handy dandy iPhone and did some research. Found a youtube video from someone who was trying this variety too and the vines looked great and there was plenty of tomatoes so I thought SOLD! Even though he had never gotten to the taste part, I was willing to give it a chance. Fast forward do today and we have had a zillion beautiful and oh so yummy tomatoes. No bugs. No disease. Just yum.
And the tomatoes we grew were Steak Sandwich from Bonnie Plants. Have you grown this plant?
I planted two 5” plants in large pots on the driveway and Mr. G painstakingly watered them and carefully tied them as they grew bigger and bigger and bigger. The storms blew them over a time or two, but they never stopped. Remember this picture from Instagram. This was taken on June 15. They are a wall now!
We are still getting the most delicious tomatoes. I can’t tell you how many I’ve eaten! And have savored every one!
We now have a wall of tomatoes. It has been so fun. And so delicious. We’ll definitely plant these again. To be sure we get them, I will order seeds. I saw that Burpee has the seeds. WOO HOO WINNER!
Peggy Martin Rose: The winter of 2017-2018 was very hard on Peggy Martin. She had completely covered a large pergola …until winter hit. During the winter she died all the way back to the ground.
The summer of 2018 she grew and grew. To protect her I made the decision to provide extra winter protection by mounding bark mulch and leaves to a little over 3 ft. Whether it was the extra mulch love or the winter, we will never know but she greeted 2019 with much enthusiasm – covering a good bit of the pergola again and bloomed like crazy.
This one-time blooming machine started the first of June and still had plenty of blooms the first of July. The rose that survived hurricane Katrina – survived one of the wettest springs on record as well as plenty of wind and storms. She was a crowd pleaser at Open Garden Day. Peggy Martin– WINNER! I saw on Chamblee’s Facebook page that they had a limited number of Peggy Martins for sale. It is such a popular rose, they sell out fast.
Zinnias: The seeds never had the chance to be spectacular …. too much early rain. My late attempt at starting seeds in pots was better, but still not what I had hoped. Will work on a new plan and maybe a new place for next year. While I was a bit disappointed, the butterflies found them heavenly!
Sweet Peas: First problem, I planted them late (busy schedule and flooding rains got in the way) and by the time they were huge and ready, it was too hot to bloom. Seriously, the vines still look spectacular — best ever. Wouldn’t it be nice if they bloomed when things cool down. It’s never happened before but I would love it. SIDE NOTE: I have never and I mean never seen sweet peas like the sweat peas in England. A feast for the eyes and nose. Couldn’t even capture in a photograph.
Here are a few cut ones at the Bosley Patch farmer’s market in Henley. Can you tell how big and luscious they are?
I’ll share more hits and misses next time.
FALL / WINTER ROSE CARE TIPS
If you re looking for my fall / winter care tips, read on here. Don’t treat them as gospel — I don’t because things change from year to year. Just as with your children or fur babies, you will know your roses best and will figure out what they need. But, I am happy to share the basics of what has worked for me.
PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING
Everyone I know loves fall and for me it is a tenuous relationship at best. I LOVE SPRING. It is true that each year I am getting better and better at fall. It’s Mr. G’s favorite.
SO, let’s all go out and have some PUMPKIN SPICE fun. God sure does beautiful work in the fall and we don’t want to miss it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1: There is a time for everything … a time to plant and a time to uproot..
Seriously, I have a ton of things to “uproot”! I best get busy.
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.