Bloom Thyme: Spring Chores Today

The garden chores this week have been to continue PRUNING and to start FERTILIZING the roses, to continue to pick up leaves and debris and tour the garden centers looking for treasures to add to the garden! These tasks are made all the more fun when I’m surrounded by so many pretty early spring bloomers…

Dee-Lish Roses

I bought two of the award winning (and fragrant) Dee-Lish roses from Star Roses and Plants at Dammann’s Garden Center a couple of weeks ago and they started blooming in the potting shed while I was away. Remember when I left for Cali it was SUPER cold. Today it is 74 and sunny!
 IMG_0906 IMG_0908 IMG_0907

Dogwood Trees

IMG_0961
IMG_0972

Bloomerang Lilac

IMG_0970

Sargent Crabapple Trees

…a feast for the pollinators!
IMG_0971

Creeping Phlox and purple mini iris.

IMG_0960

UPDATE ON CONTAINER ROSES

 Last year I grew more roses in containers than ever before. They overwintered in the dark, only lightly warmed garage. They have been out of the garage for almost a month now and they are looking great! They were fertilized yesterday and I expect I will see great things soon. They are still located near the door of the garage — just in case we get bad weather. Our last frost date doesn’t come until May 10 so I am going to keep them close by for a couple more weeks. When we get past the frost date, they will go back to the deck and spend their summer wowing us!
IMG_0968 (1)

Rose Bed in Front of Potting Shed

… they’re coming back!

Well, break time is over… Mr. G is power washing the front porch. I better go check on him and see if he needs a drink!

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Bloom Thyme: This Week in the Garden

IMG_0288

With spring coming so early, this week in the garden has seen  some ups and downs … especially where weather is concerned. Highs in the 60s and lows in the 20s. BUT, my time in the garden is just like always — PURE PLEASURE. If it’s cold, I just put on more clothes. LOL

My Chanticleer Pear is blooming beautifully. The daffodils are putting on quite a show and most of the roses have been given their spring hair cut.

The garden centers continue to get in more and more beautiful plants. I am on the lookout for some new companions for the roses so I’m going quite often. 😉 You already knew that, right!?

HERE THEY COME!

My bare root roses arrived from David Austin. It just so happened that my roses were delivered on the same day as a great rose friend’s roses were delivered and we chatted back and forth all day about our excitement. So nice to share the fun!

The roses were promptly opened, unwrapped and given their Moo Poo Tea 24-hour soak. On a beautiful afternoon they were planted just in time for rain (and the hail) to fall on them. Not a bad start. Hail I could live with out but… not so out of the ordinary with an early spring.

IMG_0178 1

Even the David Austin boxes are beautiful.

New roses I’ve planted so far…

6341_P_1
Olivia Rose Austin: Picture from David Austin Website

Olivia Rose Austin (David Austin)

Michael Marriott said that this rose might actually be the most outstanding of all the David Austin roses. Now, that is saying a lot. I now have two of these lovelies and will be reporting back! I am almost giddy about this rose. These roses were a lovely Christmas gift from the kids in Cali and that makes them all the more special to me.

Gertrude_Jekyll_1_2
Gertrude Jekyll: Picture from David Austin Website

Gertrude Jekyll (David Austin)

I have rarely been without a Gertrude Jekyll in my garden but my last one became a weak bloomer after about 12 years and I decided to take it out and start again. The bare root plant that David Austin sent is one of the most healthy plants I have ever seen! This rose is going to be one for the record book I am just sure. If you are concerned about planting a bareroot rose, my good friend the Redneck Rosarian just did a video about that … watch here.

Look at all those strong canes! Gonna be fabulous!!
Look at all those strong canes! Gonna be fabulous!!

There’s more coming so stay tuned!

Isn’t this just so exciting!

🎉🌹🎉

What are you planting this spring?

Rose Buzz: Helping Roses Be Their Best Self

Rose Buzz_7_white

Contrary to popular belief, roses are simple creatures with basic needs like…

SUN: You’ve heard it said over and over …. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Pick a spot with 6 – 8 hours of sun!

WATER: All living things need water. The best tip for watering I can give you is—water deeply. Shallow watering leads to shallow roots—which leads to plants that are more susceptible to dry conditions. Send those roots down deep!

NUTRITIOUS SOIL: This is the most important part! Good soil is the best gift you can give your plants. Roses don’t like like “wet feet,” (Neither do most other plants!), so drainage is key. For those of you in my region (midwest Zone 5) you are probably dealing with clay soil. Amend clay soils with compost and aged manure.

DEADHEADING: To keep your roses blooming throughout the season, remove spent blooms.

FERTILIZER: We ask a lot of roses … Be your best self and bloom all season long, so they appreciate a boost! For shrub roses the best time to fertilize is the spring. For hybrid teas and floribundas, they will appreciate some fertilizer in early spring and mid summer.

MULCH: 2-3″ of mulch helps retain moisture and provides a weed barrier. It is one of my fav parts in the process as it adds the finishing touch in the garden!

GOOD COMPANIONS: We all benefit from good companions. They truly help us be our best self and in the case of roses, many of those companions play host to the good bugs they need to fight the bad bugs lurking about!

YOU! Like in all good relationships, there is no substitute for time together. They like to show off for you and the more you visit the more you will recognize what is working and what is not! Maybe this is the year to take a selfie of you and your roses and post it on social media. That will surely prove how much you love them. 🙂

 

Roses Do Best With _002

🐝 🐝 🐝

Some of my roses on a beautiful summer day…

IMG_8617

It’s October 1 and I’m Thinking About Spring

Yes, it’s October 1 and all I can do is think about spring. 🌷🌸🌹

So, I am going to take advantage of the fact that it is Thursday and do a #TBT post about spring and blooms and such. It will make me feel better about the coming roseless seasons.

My spring was ushered in with a trip to the Garden 2 Blog event and P. Allen’s Smith amazing rose garden and so many wonderful rose friends. Ahhhh….

IMG_5854 (1)

And learning from the man himself…

IMG_5580


Then there was the Biltmore International Rose Trials and more beautiful roses and wonderful rose friends!

IMG_7397

IMG_7414

Me and Mr. G surrounded by New Dawn and her beauty and fragrance!

IMG_7734

Me and Chris VanCleave all dressed up for our official Rose Chat picture.


Remember the rugosas?

IMG_6649

IMG_6743


What about Open Garden Day for my Master Gardener friends and neighbors? That was so fun!

IMG_8528

IMG_8689 (1)
IMG_8573


Well, this is a stretch since it wasn’t spring, but how can I leave out Mr. H and his momma coming and our special flower crown day in the garden.

IMG_2092 1

IMG_2025

This picture just steals my heart!


Okay, I have had my “moment” and gotten that out of my system, now let’s go to the orchard and get a caramel apple! 🍎

HAPPY FALL!

🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁


 

Next post will be about fall rose care … I promise!

😉

Rose Buzz: Fireworks

Rose Buzz_7_whiteI am going to be doing some traveling in May so I have been taking advantage of every moment of good weather to get the roses on their way to a spectacular growing season.

The existing roses have been trimmed, fertilized and prayed over! 🙂 The new bareroot roses have been soaked in moo poo tea and planted.

Of the new ones, there are 4 beautiful new roses from Star Roses and Plants that I am trying this year. I am very excited about these beauties and can’t wait to share them with you…

 

2015_roses


 

A good moo poo start...
A good moo poo start…

Many of the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas had to be cut back to the ground 4 weeks ago but they are coming back strong!

Gertrude Jekyll was cut back to about 3” from the ground and baby look at her now. She is ready to grow. And, if you know anything about this rose you know that when she’s happy you are happy. She is gorgeous! Classic old rose form and very likely the most fragrant of all the David Austins.

Gertrude Jekyll getting ready...
Gertrude Jekyll getting ready…

Here’s one that surprised me today…. The Queen of Bourbon rose appears to have a bud! This is the first “bud” in the garden so far. Exciting! Read more about her here.

Look closely. Yep, it’s a bud…

First bud on the Queen of Bourbon...
First bud on the Queen of Bourbon…

The frost came this week and those that were a bit taller like The Generous Gardener … had a bit of burn. I’ll just trim and she’ll be fine.

Late season frosts are not our friends...
Late season frosts are not our friends…

Next week the temps are going to soar into the mid 70s, so we could have an early bloom cycle!

ROSE FIREWORKS

Since I am that person who counts down the days until spring—starting the day after Christmas, I am looking for ROSE FIREWORKS when spring finally comes. My old garden roses and the rugosas are happy to oblige. They are very predictable “spring fireworks.”

Look at these Rugosas! Hardly a bit of winter die back. Lush, green and on their way.

Rugosa starting out strong...
Rugosas starting out strong…

Here’s a peek over the garden fence…

Yes, the garden is waking up and we expect FIREWORKS soon!
Yes, the garden is waking up and we expect FIREWORKS soon!

What’s going on in your neck of the woods.

Any FIREWORKS to report? 🐝

Bloom Thyme: It’s Coming Back!

You’ve been with me as we counted down the days until spring. It is here and just when I thought that winter had taken away all the pretty things forever, they started coming back. This week was a week of big change in the garden … from dark and dreary to beautiful rebirth! Take a look…

IMG_4513
Lovely little violets from Uncle Tony’s garden…
IMG_4484
Test roses from Star Roses and Plants… so excited! I’ll keep you posted!
IMG_4489
Star roses getting a dunk in Moo Poo tea before planting. 24 hours in moo poo tea will work wonders!
IMG_4464
Cistina Plum… lovely!
IMG_4527
Rugosas are getting ready for their fireworks!! Only a few more weeks!
IMG_4491
Rhododendrons always make me think of trips to Roan Mountain!
IMG_4529
Daffodils are bringing the sunshine in!
IMG_4514
The first and very fragrant lilac! Many more to come!
IMG_4522
Sand Cherry. LOVE IT!

 

Wishing you a lovely week and a…

Sweet Peas_Bloom Thyme Friday

Overwintering Plants

When winter approaches I typically bring potted plants I want to save into the Potting Shed where there is controlled warmth and light (geraniums, mint, lavender, etc.), except for my large potted roses, they are taken to the garage (no windows). The roses go dormant and “spring” back to life in the spring. Because of “over crowding” in the Potting Shed, I took this pot of herbs to the garage too.

Last week I brought the pots out of the garage and couldn’t believe how well these herbs sprang back to life. They never lost their “green” completely and now they look almost robust! Today they are outside getting some sunshine and intermittent light rain. Let the thriving begin!

The roses left in the garage are doing quite well too.

I typically cut any spindly growth completely back and let the roses start fresh. But this one is recovering so fast that I may do minimal pruning and she how she does. Meet the “winter in the garage, in the dark version of the Coretta Scott King” rose. Anemic though she may be, I think we are going to start from here and see what she does.

IMG_4250

Coretta Scott King in the garden last summer…

Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King

IMG_5846

 

Happy Spring!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Sweet Peas

images
Just the sweetest!

Around here the spring garden season kicks off with the planting of the sweet peas on St. Patrick’s Day! I know it sounds early but it works every time.

Sweet Peas are well named as they are one of the sweetest little flowers in the garden and I love to tuck them into bokays! They are a wonderful rose companion!

The Victorians, who also went crazy over bokays, used them too. With Tussie Mussies in hand, the Victorians used the subtle messages of flowers and herbs to convey not-so-subtle meanings. Sweet peas were used to convey departure, delicate pleasure and many thanks.

MV5BMTQ5NTQ4NjkyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzM5MDg4._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_

As I write this I have in mind the many such “subtle” moments in the movie, The Age of Innocence, one of my favorite movies. If you’ve seen it, you know just what I mean… the costumes … the society … the flowers.

MANY THANKS TO HENRY!

The Victorians and I have Henry Eckford to thank for the lovely sweet peas we know today. He is credited with developing over 100 varieties of this dainty beauty.

PLANTING SWEET PEAS

Before I plant my sweet peas I soak them over night to soften the hard shell.

Like all plants, sweet peas prefer well-drained, fertile soil. I plant them about 1” deep and about 2” apart. Water them in and provide a trellis and you are done! They will do the rest!

We have the sweet peas trailing on some wire fencing that we added over the picket fence…

Climbing up...
Climbing up…
img_9951
Eckfords Finest!

Note the name on the plant tag… Eckfords Finest. Burpee has put together some of his “finest” varieties and you can find them on their website here.

VARIETIES I’M PLANTING

This year I have found several varieties at various garden centers as well as big box stores…
  • High Scent: Couldn’t pass this one up! Package says it is the most fragrant of all the sweet peas!
  • Mammoth Mix: These bloom early. Bonus!
  • Galaxy Mix: Large flowers!
  • Eckfords Finest: Just have to have this one!

ONE MORE THING ABOUT SWEET PEAS!

As sweet as the sweet pea is to look at and many of them have the sweetest fragrance … DO NOT EAT THEM.

TIME TO GET THE GARDEN PARTY STARTED!

Spring is truly just around the corner. Are you ready? What is your first task in the garden?

Sweet Peas_Bloom Thyme Friday

The Lion…

March is coming in like a lion! But, it is beautifully peaceful in the garden and the birds are loving it. So, I guess if you can’t beat them, you join them! Today I will enjoy the snow we have and the snow we continue to get for the rest of the day. Mr. G says it is a church, soup, movie and brownie day – in that order.

Hearing the happy birds chirping…

Yesterday I saw pictures of my friends in the south pruning their roses. No roses are being pruned here!

How are things in your neck of the woods today?