Bloom Thyme Friday: Christmas Trees & Things

I love Christmas trees. I love most evergreens. I particularly love boxwoods. I know. I know. There are two kinds of people in the world — those who love boxwood and those who don’t. But, I do. Can’t remember without looking if I shared with you my boxwood horror this year. For about 6 years we have had a boxwood hedge around our patio. They did not make it through the winter. I thought it was “winter kill” but I now suspect from the look of things, it was blight. They had to be taken out — all 15 of them! Mr. G was my hero as he took them out one by one. He put up with my tears and was very sweet about it. What a guy! 

Back to the original subject, Christmas Trees, I love them. Fresh ones. Filled to the brim with ornaments and twinkle lights!

This year due to so much travel, we decided not to have a tree but we have twinkle lights everywhere!

CHRISTMAS TREE TRIVIA

The first recorded Christmas tree can be found on the keystone sculpture of a private home in Alsace in 1576. German Protestants are often credited with the first circulation of the Christmas Tree, using them to decorate their houses. Protestant Christian reformer Martin Luther is said to have added the first lighted candles to an evergreen tree. The inspired decoration came out of admiration of the snow glistening from the trees on his walk home Christmas Eve. From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree  

Wooster, a small country town located in north-central Ohio, claims to have hosted the first Christmas Tree in America in 1847. German immigrant August Imgard might be the first to decorate the tree with candy canes; “Imgard cut a blue spruce tree from a woods outside town, had the Wooster village tinsmith construct a star, and placed the tree in his house, decorating it with paper ornaments, gilded nuts and kuchen.” From Meg Bucker’s The History and Meaning of the Christmas Tree  

Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas tree decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas. (Almost makes me like them. 😳 Almost. )

 

MY 2018 CHRISTMAS TREE…

Lucky for me I still have many boxwoods around the garden. Plenty for making boxwood trees. Such a fun project. When I was a florist I made so many of them and never tired of the project!

 

PROCESS PICS…

BLOOM THYME

David Austin roses in my garden…

This week we lost one of the giants of the rose world – David Austin Snr. Mr. G says I have had a secret crush on him for 30 years. That might be true. When I was putting my first real rose garden together, I was feverishly researching all types of roses (without the benefit of the internet) and happened on the “something and someone new” in the rose world – Mr. Austin. He was a pioneer that followed his heart and used his gifts to bring us the beautiful Engish roses by blending historical roses (for form and fragrance) with modern roses (for repeat blooming and additional colors). I never had the privilege of meeting him, but he was very well represented by Michael Marriott who worked with him for more than 30 years and shares how special he was. 

Thank you Mr. Austin for all the beauty you shared with our world. Well done, Sir.

Whew, that was a long post. If you made it to the end  — Thank You!

Merry Christmas friends. Wishing you a holiday filled with joy, peace, love and plenty of twinkle lights!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Outside and In

The temps this week are getting more and more frosty and time for some of my favorite fall tasks. I am a bit late in getting some of these things done, but sometimes the “best” time to do things is when you have the time and I did.

Things like welcoming back in the houseplants that have enjoyed the sunshine and rain all summer but certainly don’t want to stay outside in the cold!

Bringing into the garage potted herbs and flowers, I hope to over winter. Note: Sometimes this works for me and sometimes it does not — but always worth the effort. These plants are put in a dark, slightly heated garage and get watered once a month until early spring and go back out! Most do make it!

By far the most fun task this week was clipping herbs and flowers to dry. Since there are only two of us, we don’t need as many cooking herbs, but this is a process I would do even if we never cooked — for many reasons. First of all I love every part of the process… gathering them and enjoying their fragrance. I love how they look in their little bunches hanging around! And, another huge bonus, it takes me back to those days when I was a stay at home mom and had a small cottage business of making potpourri and herb and flower wreaths. A local garden center requested them and it was so fun to do! Mr. G made me drying racks of all kinds for the bunches and bunches of herbs and flowers I needed. Hydrangeas, roses, lavender, grasses, yarrow, sedum, artemisia, tansy, sage, feverfew and such. Yes, sweet (and savory) memories.

In those days many of these dried bunches of beauty were also used as main decorations for the Christmas tree. Things were different every year. As the kids got older they helped to bring things in and of course in decorating. #familyfun Let me just say that both of our grown children are gardeners. I guess it is in their genes or at least in their memory banks!

You can read about my daughter’s garden here. My son has to have herbs for cooking and is always chasing the best tomatoes to plant!

POTTING SHED FUN THIS WEEK:


BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK:

Many bloomers were great at the beginning of the week but not so much today.

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you have beautiful treasures from your garden to enjoy outside and in.

 

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

ROSE BUZZ: Four Roses Anniversary Rose

PRESS RELEASE….

Celebrating 130 Years of high quality & exceptional taste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

with a lovely damask fragrance.

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

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

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

IN MY GARDEN!

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

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

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

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

 

Beautiful Work at the Biltmore

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

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

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

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

THE BEAUTIFUL “WORK”

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

THE WINNERS

Biltmore Winners 2018 Awards Day
Roses Entered in 2016

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

  • Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda

THANK YOU…

Paul Zimmerman: 

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

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

Congratulations Paul!

Paul, me and Parker

Parker Andes:

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

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

MORE FUN!!

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