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: Open Garden Dress Code

This has been a year for the record books. Aren’t they all! 😳

Leading up to “Open Garden” day, we had torrential downpours almost every day. Some days it rained all day. So with standing water in areas of the garden two days before “open garden” I was close to canceling. I can tell you my master gardener friends were not big fans of canceling. And yes it was raining the day of the big event but not torrential downpours. My thoughts were… if we were England we would not cancel, we would just dress for the weather. So, I sent out a note saying just that and added – bring your umbrella and wear your Wellies it’s garden tour time.

30 minutes before people were to arrive the rain stopped and the sun came out!!! We had the best time! Did the garden look it’s best…. HEAVEN’S NO! Every bloom had been water damaged. But, that didn’t stop the fun. We had the best time. How can you not have a good time with friends in your garden — it’s just the best. 

ZINNIAS FOR EVERYONE

I just love Zinnias. I tried several “new to me” varities from seed this year plus a few extras to share. A few weeks before open garden day, I had so much fun potting up Zinnia seedlings for visitors to take home. 

ROSEFEST UPDATE

Rosefest was a big success. Loads of people and loads of roses. In the Rose Show I saw some of the most beautiful roses I have ever seen thanks to all those who entered … especially John and Donna Hefner. They are such experts and are so willing to help others. They took home the top honors.

ROSE CHAT

More episodes are being released all the time. Check them out here. When you click the most recent episodes will become linkable. First up you’ll see my chat with Tom Carruth – one of the most successful rose hybridizers in the world. He has brought us classic beauties like Julia Child, Hot Cocoa and the amazing Forth of July climber to name a few. He is currently the currator for one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the world … The Huntington Rose Garden in San Marino, CA.

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     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   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

THey’re back

Oh, how I hate to tell you that it’s now Japanese Beetle season again. 😫

You know how much I love my Vanessa Bell roses. Well, the Japanese Beetles chose her to be the first to munch on. So, it begins. 😡  If you’d like to read my article on Japanese Beetles from last year, read on here

PRESSING FLOWERS

I haven’t pressed flowers for many years but I have been craving to do so this year. Mr. G gifted me with an absolutely gorgeous (and large) press from Gardeners Supply. He loves to buy gifts from there as they have such quality! If you are interested in pressing some beauty too, here’s a link

What am I going to do with the flowers I press??? I’m not sure but I do envision a jar filled with beautiful pressed flowers. We’ll see!

ROSE OF THE WEEK… BLISS PARFUMA

What a rose! It has stood up to all the rain like a champ! This rose came to me from Heirloom Roses last year and it is outstanding. A strong, vigorous plant with gorgeous blooms. Like all the Kordes roses in my garden, it is disease resistant. It also has a light fragrance. To read more, here is a link to Heirloom.

COMPANION OF THE WEEK … SELF-SEEDED FOXGLOVE

Look at this beauty. It self-seeded from a Foxglove I bought at Lowes last year. Such a beautiful color. I will be saving seeds and making sure some make their way into the ground again!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

The rain gave way to torrid heat. I think most of you are in the same hot boat! Many plants are “melting” but some are taking the heat in stride. And, I’m trying to do the same.

We will close out the gallery with the boldest of all… one of the newest kids on the block – South Africa.

Whew, she is making a name for herself. She is positioned right beside the prissy pink Pomponella who may be giving her a side-eye. I might have to find a better place for her “boldness.”

Friends, glad you stopped by. Stay cool!! 

Maybe make some lemonade. This is the recipe for lemonade I loved to serve to guests coming to the garden — back when the world was more comfortable with that sort of thing. I sure hope we get back to that soon.

My kids call it, “LEMONADE THE MOM WAY.”

For each can of Minute Maid (or other brands) Frozen Lemonade add…

  • 2 cans water
  • 2 cans Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 – 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Add ice and ENJOY!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Fireworks & Fragrance

I am finishing today’s post while having lunch in the garden. Praise to the Master Gardener and giver of all good things. Even in the midst of horrible situations, His handiwork is all around us. 

My current view…

There couldn’t be a better day to share the fireworks and fragrance that are going on in my garden… 

Many of the roses were highly affected by the horrible rains when the buds/blooms were forming and the horrible heat that followed … but like the survivors they are, BLOOM THYME fireworks and fragrance began!

GHISLAINE DE FELIGONDE

Let’s start with Ghislaine de Feligonde she is devouring the potting shed in a wonderful way. Every year she is more than I dreamed she’d be when I planted that tiny plant 5 years ago from High Country Roses. 

THE ARBORS

New Dawn was one of the roses affected by the rain and probably won’t last as long as she normally does but she couldn’t help showing off with Peggy Martin! I don’t think Sweet Drift (lining the walkway to arbor) was affected at all – these little beauties have never been more beautiful!


MOTHER OF PEARL

All 7 of my Mother of Pearls went crazy at the same time! The color. The fragrance. The sturdy shrub. An excellent rose.

VANESSA BELL

Vanessa Bell is just the best color of yellow. She is such a full rose that some of the blooms did “ball” instead of opening but not very many considering the weather.  So lovely… She is truly my favorite David Austin. I purchased another one this year and she is budded up and will bloom soon. 

FUN IN THE SUN

This is one of my favorite new roses… Fun in the Sun.

Just look at her and she’s fragrant too. I checked with Matt Douglas from High Country Roses to see if he has any left and he does! I may get another and if you want one too, here is a link to the website… https://www.highcountryroses.com/shop/modern-roses/hybrid-teas-grandifloras/fun-in-the-sun/

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… 

Rosefest 2022

NATIONAL ROSE MONTH

June is National Rose Month! For details on how the rose began our national floral emblem, read on here for a post I previously shared.  https://thegardendiary.com/2021/06/03/june-is-national-rose-month-3/

BLOOM THYME GALLERY THIS WEEK

TAKE A DEEP BREATH… we will end with a short video of Madame Hardy. The fragrance is amazing and that cute button eye is what she’s known for. The rain was particularly hard on her but she still has a lot to show!

Friends, we’ll talk more blooms next week. Until then, HAPPY GARDENING!🌹

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…

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     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   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

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: May Madness

Well, for the last two weeks I have been “gardening from a fire hose.” For sure. With winter refusing to leave and spring rains turning to spring floods, all the spring chores around here were crammed into the last two weeks. Of course, there is not a real “deadline”, however, I want things to be ready when FIREWORKS and FRAGRANCE season starts and the old roses lead the way in late May.

So with every minute I had, I was planting, pruning, fertilizing and mulching. As of Wednesday of this week, most of those tasks have been crossed off the list. Whew! Just in time to see this beauty take center stage as the first rose to bloom. 

Therese Bugnet (Hybrid Rugosa (Georges Bugnet, Canada, 1941)

If you would like to know more about her or would like to have one in your garden, check out the High Country Roses website HERE.  

So in this flurry of garden activity, I found a place for 24 dahlias.😳 Still a mystery to me how I found enough room. Also found plenty of room to plant cosmos and zinnia seeds. My plan is that they will take up the slack when the roses have to lay low while the Japanese Beetles are on the hunt for them mid-summer. Praying that the JBs do not find Dahlias and Zinnias tasty. Can’t these dreaded creatures just go away! Remember last summer …

ROSE CHAT

If you need some company while you’re weeding, check out the latest podcasts. I’ve been chatting with some great guests. Access list below..

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     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   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media

Yes, May Madness is upon us! The garden is filled with excitement. So many roses are budded up and will pop soon! FIREWORKS AND FRAGRANCE to be continued. 

In this time of gardening from a fire hose…. the scripture Psalm 46:10, Be still and know that I am God…. is something I need more than ever. He is the creator of all this beauty we see and I am grateful. 

Have a wonderful week in your garden and I hope you have time to just be… 

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: FRESH AND NEW

As predicted we have snow – around 14″ of snow! It is the fluffy, packing kind of snow that leaves your world looking all fresh and new! Driving in it is another story!

The view behind the amaryllis changed a lot in one day!

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW

February is the best time to get familiar with the new plants and seeds that I have on order. It’s easy to fall in love with the pictures! 😳 But, eventually I have to do something with them! 🤣

This week is was the dahlias. These beauties have always caught my interest, but spending time in England and following so many English gardeners online – has taken my interest to an all-time high! And, they are such good companions for roses. I love adding them to rose bokays!

I’ve grown a few here and there but there are many gaps in my knowledge about them… so this week armed with two new books, I’m filling some gaps.

Dahlias in my garden 2020

DISCOVERING DAHLIAS by Erin Benzakein of Floret Farms

This book is just amazing if only for the photography and the inspiration that Erin gives. Erin leaves nothing out. She beautifully takes you from … understanding dahlias, to their care and overwintering and onto designing with dahlias and ends with a fabulous “variety finder” to help you choose dahlias for your garden. I particularly enjoyed looking to see if Erin reviewed the ones I bought. Truth be told if I read Erin’s book before purchasing, I probably would have ordered differently based on her recommendations. Erin’s book is truly wonderful. I just checked availability on Amazon and it has been marked down. Check Amazon… here. A great value!!

CONNIE’S DAHLIAS … A Beginner’s Guide by Connie Thompson

Connie and her husband own a small commercial dahlia farm on Vancouver Island, BC.

Connie shares all the basics as she goes through the seasons. She also has practical information and helpful information in identifying and dealing with in pests and diseases.

As I make my way through these books I am learning so much. I find it very funny that these two dahlia experts live less than 2 hours from each other. Ooooo that pacific NW has great growing power and it’s not just dahlias. 

A NEW WAY

I bought these books through my iBook app. While I love REAL books and will continue to buy them, I am using the E resource more and more. Having these resources on iBooks puts them on all my apple devices and at my fingertips. They look fabulous on my mac laptop! That high resolution pays off! Other great features about ebooks … highlighting, note-taking, references, and magnification when needed! Don’t judge me but I have Erin’s book in printed form too. It is such a pretty book!

NEW DAHLIAS FOR 2022

Here are the latest lists.

SWAN ISLAND DAHLIAS

  • Bliss
  • Charlotte Mae
  • Day Dreamer
  • Frank Holmes
  • Sheer Heaven
  • Cafe Au Lait (Did not do that great for me last year so trying again.)
  • Black Satin (Swan Lake added this one to my order as a gift.)
Bliss from Swan Island Website

Longfield Gardens  

  • Milena (have grown this before and loved it)
  • Break Out (I grew one in a pot a few years ago and LOVED it.)
  • Cafe au Lait 
  • Creme de Cognac

I have last year’s dahlias that came from a mixed bag at Lowes, over-wintering in the garage, but I don’t have much confidence in my ability to make this happen. I did look at them this week and they didn’t look shriveled up or anything. Since the tubers aren’t cheap, it sure would be nice to master the over-wintering process. Time will tell. 

WHERE TO PUT THEM

My garden certainly has an overcrowding problem. So the first thing I did was search for a place. Of course, I could always put them in random places around the garden. but, I really wanted most of them to be planted together for impact! ⭐️ As you know I changed up my herb garden last year leaving walking room around all the raised beds!!! When measuring the space I had left for walking room in the back of the herb garden … I realized it was the perfect size and place for most of the dahlias. Less walking room, yes – but I knew it wouldn’t last! 🙄🤣 The ground is good there and this should be a really good spot for them! #fingerscrossed 

NEW ROSECHAT PODCAST

RAMBLINGS WITH DER ROSENMEISTER
LEON GINENTHAL

Leon and I met several years ago in Syracuse, NY at the wonderful ARS convention. I love Leon’s rose story. Leon is a remarkable gardener and self-professed horticulture nerd. I think you’ll love this podcast for all the rose information and inspiration, but there is so much more! LISTEN HERE… 

On the podcast player below you can choose Leon’s episode on one from the recent listing…

JAPANESE BEETLES Rose Chat Podcast

JAPANESE BEETLES Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University   On this episode, Dr. Raymond Cloyd, of Kansas State University brings us up to date on the latest on Japanese Beetles and what to do and not to do about them. Grab your pencil and paper, it's time for class.   Dr. Cloyd is co-author of the Compendium of Rose Diseases and Pests,  2nd ed. His book is the gold standard concerning the identification of pests and diseases affecting roses. He has authored numerous articles that have appeared in the Nashville Rose Leaf and the American Rose (the official magazine of the ARS).     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   VISIT OUR SPONSOR: Haven Brand Soil Conditionershttp://www.ManureTea.com/shop
  1. JAPANESE BEETLES
  2. HUNTINGTON ROSE GARDEN | Tom Carruth
  3. THE HERITAGE ROSE FOUNDATION
  4. 2022 ARTS ROSE TRIAL WINNERS
  5. WHAT’S IN THE BAG? The Dirt on Bagged Potting Media


Break Out Dahlia from Longfield Garden’s Website

Friends, hope you are safe and warm and have enough garden planning going on to make you think spring. It’s coming! 43 days!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: A GREAT ENDING

FAMILY TIME

2020 and 2021 have not been easy on any of us. Mercy the lows we have all experienced. The lows teach us so much – especially to appreciate time with family and friends above all else. Mr. G and I have had a great ending to 2021 … special time with our family both in England and the US. Not easy in the current world climate so we are feeling extra grateful.

MAGAZINE FUN

Something else contributing to a good ending to 2021, learning I have an article in the January/February edition of Garden Gate Magazine. It was incredibly special to host Sr. Editor of Garden Gate Magazine, James Baggett, and Photographer, Jack Coyier, and the bonus was the article! I have followed the career and editorial work of James through the years and have been inspired by him over and over especially when he was editor of Country Gardens magazine. Meeting James and having James and Jack here was truly a bucket list moment. Yes, I did pull out my copy of the magazine where he was first named editor of Country Gardens magazine. Anyone remember the #raiseyourtrowel moment?

The magazine is out and I hope you grab a copy – not just for my article but in true Garden Gate fashion, the magazine is filled to the brim with information and inspiration to launch your garden year! If you cannot find a physical copy, you can purchase a digital copy for under $5.00 HERE


THE ULTIMATE JOY

Luke 2 records the miraculous story of Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, and the journey that brought them together to bring us the best gift of all. We are incredibly grateful for the baby in the manger that was willing to go to the cross for us promising eternal life with him.

The sweet voice of Linus tells it well… 

COMING SOON!

Ready or not, soon we turn the calendar. Most years that is a very exciting time for me. But, I have learned to be a bit more skeptible on what we might find on the otherside. Regardless of what the world offers, let’s work hard to make our part of the world reflect all the good as we keep the love of Christmas tucked into our hearts. Wasn’t it Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be.” #realtalk


MERRY CHRISTMAS FRIENDS!

BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: FALLING INTO FALL

I am always late to the fall party … spend too much time pouting about the end of the growing season. But, I do eventually get there! And usually, it is just in time for the first snow which we had this week. Fresh snowfall refreshes the soul and makes everything look enchanting.

FALL WORK

When the sun is shining and I’m in the garden I forget what’s to come and just enjoy being there. There’s much to do. I am now on day three of trimming roses. It takes a while because I can never stay on one task. I am a garden project hopper.

I am also adding sulfur to the beds. A soil test revealed my pH was high and it was recommended I add sulfur. The lab I used for the soil test was A & L Great Lakes Labs. LINK HERE

The final fall task will be to rake up debris from some of the beds and add a layer of shredded leaves which we have in abundance this year thanks to our neighbor who is treating all the neighbors on our street by “mowing” and shredding the leaves from their yards! So, they are literally being shredded and bagged for me! So grateful as typically we have to buy mulch!

BULB PLANTING

I love bulbs and have quite a few but I try to resist planting too many as the foliage they leave behind for such a long, long, long time tends to get in the way of the beauty of my spring “fireworks and fragrance” stage when the old garden roses start doing their thing! They take center stage and the bulbs get a nip in their life cycle if you know what I mean.

This year it was harder than ever to resist buying hundreds of bulbs I can tell you! I am following several people on Instagram that are naturalizing bulbs and they made it so tempting.

But I stayed fairly strong and only planted a few additional bulbs. It was great to get them in the ground and dream of when they will emerge doing their very popular jobs — adding beauty to the end of winter and shouting to the world that spring is coming! For the first time, I also planted a few bulbs in a container on the patio to see how well they will do. 

FALL FOOD

One of the very best things about fall is fall food. It is synonymous with comfort food. So far we have had several favorites… Zuppa Toscana, Chicken Pot Pie, and Chicken Noodle Soup! What food says fall to you?

I also made several batches of caramel dip to share. It is way too good to keep around too long so it must be shared! If you are interested, you can find the recipe HERE.  The next treat to share will be Grandma B’s Fruit Cake Cookies. I know. I know. You’re thinking you wouldn’t like them but I’m telling you, they are not only traditional, they are good! Especially if you add extra coconut! Go ahead, give them a try. Recipe HERE

BLOOM THYME

Let’s talk about my orchid!

I have tried orchids several times in the past and while I enjoy them so much, I could never get a robust rebloom. That story has now changed. At the Awards Banquet for the Indianapolis Rose Society in December  2019, I was given a lovely orchid as a gift for serving as President. 

This year the beautiful orchid came back to life in January sending up 2 strong bloom “spikes.” By February it was blooming and it finished blooming in August! It was glorious! Now it is going again!

In this picture taken yesterday, you can see that the Amaryllis is clearly saying “this is my time to shine” and the Orchid is clearly saying “hold my beer.”  😳😆 They both will be bringing me immense pleasure very soon!

February
July

Want to know my orchid secret? I have a good friend who is a master at growing orchids. The most amazing orchids I have ever seen. He gave me some simple advice and that is what I do. Water every week with soluble orchid fertilizer. Amount? One jigger full of the fertilized water. It works.


BACK TO THE BANQUET

Here are a few pictures from that Indianapolis Rose Society Banquet. Such a beautiful evening together with rose friends. Little did we know how different things would be in a few short months and it would be the last of such events for a good long while.  I so look forward to having them again.

LATEST PODCAST

Last week I chatted with Carrie and Joe Bergs about winter rose care where it gets very cold but we talked about so much MORE than just winter rose care. We talked about roses they love, their hobby of exhibiting roses, mentoring others in their area, and the work they are doing for local societies and the American Rose Society. Joe and Carrie enjoy every aspect of growing roses – a lovely rose power couple. LISTEN HERE

Carrie did a previous Rose Chat podcast, “My Favorite Pink Ladies” where she shares about her favorite old garden roses. Listen HERE

BEST PART OF FALL

It is almost time for the best part of fall … Thanksgiving! A time to count our blessings and enjoy special moments and yummy food with those we love. We’ve learned that holidays can look very different but I’m so impressed with how we have learned to find new ways to celebrate and share. Wishing you a very special week.

Friends, when I count my blessings, I certainly count you. It is wonderful to have a community of like-minded friends who share my love of gardening and roses. Thank you.

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