Rose Buzz: Tropical Lightning

One of the roses I was sent this year for testing was Tropical Lightning. I have two and put them in large (approx 10 gal) pots on my sunny deck.
They started growing strong right from the start. Today was bloom day and I was shocked to see how truly beautiful this unique bloom is. I wasn’t sure I would like a rose with a great deal of orange. You’ve seen my garden … there is a ton of pinkness out there. This color actually has a lot of pink in it!
I have to tell you that I actually gasped when I saw the blooms. (#rosenerd) It is so pretty!! I took a ton of pictures, so see what you think….
Weeks says this… “The tropical warmth comes in the form of rich sunset-like orange while the dazzling lightning is generated by bright cream stipes. The effect is accentuated by a layer of purple smoke creating a burnt orange combo, perfect for a stormy sky! If you are still in doubt that such colors exist, don’t wait to be struck by lightning to plant this amazing Climber! “

I agree!

More Details…

  • Class: Climber
  • Fragrance: Moderate / fruity
  • Flower Form: Double and formal
  • Flower Size: Medium (3-4″ diameter, in small clusters)
  • Petal Count: 20 – 30
  • Stem Length: Medium
  • Growth Habit Climbing and Spreading
  • Disease Resistance: Good
This rose was a limited release for this year and will be more readily available next year. This is one you just might want to add to your list for 2017.
I did see that Edmunds and Brecks had this rose earlier in the season. So, if you are still adding roses to your garden this season, give them a try.

Confession: Is there a time when you gasped when you saw a rose bloom?

Come on you can tell me!




Bloom Thyme: A heart and a garden that is overflowing…

Last night I left California on the red eye with red eyes and a full heart…

  • A heart so full of gratitude for the 3 weeks I had with my loves there.
  • A heavy heart that was so sad to leave them.
  • A heart so excited to see the ones I have missed. My family. My friends. My Garden. My home. My church. My work.
  • A heart filled with gratitude for all the blessings God has given to me.

Yes, a full heart filled with the good, the great and the sad. For those of you with family and friends far apart, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Bright and early this morning Mr. G was there to bring me home. The look on his face told me I was missed!

The garden had missed me too. It will be a few days before I will have it back in ship shape. All of the rain made the care while I was gone much easier but boy did everything grow and many things exceeded their allotted space. We call this stage the jungle stage! Yes, it will take a little while to get things trimmed up. We will be moving slow this weekend as the temps soar to low 90s with the humidity totally out of control.

The garden welcomed me with many blooms still yet to enjoy while I do the big task of deadheading the ones past their prime.

The rose in front is Dr. Zlesak’s Petit Pink from the OSO Happy Collection from Proven Winners. The white rose behind Petit Pink is Champagne Wishes from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection. Both are excellent in my garden.


Pink Carpet Rose
Pink Carpet Rose
Champagne Wishes from Ping Lim's Easy Elegance Collection.
Champagne Wishes from Ping Lim’s Easy Elegance Collection.
All My Loving ... A new rose from Weeks. Lovely HT with soft but nice fragrance.
All My Loving … A new rose from Weeks. Lovely HT with soft but nice fragrance. Read more here.

We have had 3 rainstorms and a bit of hail in the last week, so it is amazing that any of these blooms hung on! I think it was for my homecoming, don’t you?

These and several others were vased and delivered to the bank for those who helped me through a long distance banking issue.
These and several others were vased and delivered to the bank for those who helped me through a long distance banking issue.

I have some new visitors too…

Japanese Beetles.

So far I am only seeing a few. Seeing any is way more than I ever want to see. I’ll be dumping them into a bucket of soapy water (peppermint Dr. Bronners) for a sweet smelling demise. My friend, Jack Falker, had a lot to say about Japanese Beetles on his blog this week. You can read his thoughts here.

Here’s a simple recipe for the Dr. Bronner’s soapy magic: Add 2 T of Dr. Bronner’s soap to one gallon of water. Stir … don’t shake!  Add to spray bottle. You can buy this soap on Amazon here!


Disgusting, right?


Yes, aphids are coming to munch on the new buds. Dr. Bronner’s soap solution in a spray bottle to the rescue for this critter too.

If you look closely, you'll see aphids munching. 😁
If you look closely, you’ll see aphids munching. 😁

More new.

I now have blooms on some roses that Proven Winners sent me right before I left. They are doing great! Believe me, the video or pictures do not do them justice!

Take a look…

It is good to be home.

Garden work is a great balm for a heart that is filled with an abundance of love and joy and just a tinge of sadness.

Downton Abbey Rose Contest!

Downton Abbey, everybody’s favorite British Serial Drama is in it’s 6th and final season. This show has captured the attention of people around the world in a way that few, if any, shows have ever done!

I am having a very hard time accepting that this is the final season. Mercy, we’ve been through a lot together in these 6 seasons … marriages, war, feuds, funerals, hats, family dinners (some of them quite uncomfortable),  kitchen talk and beautiful flowers. I can’t wait from one family dinner to the next to see what flowers will grace the table!


When I first heard that Weeks Roses was to  release a Downton Abbey series of roses, I thought that this couldn’t be more perfect. This show brought us aristocratic beauty, romance, elegance and sass–just perfect for roses!

Have you seen the roses in this collection? They are spectacular… a wonderful and very fitting collection.



Rose Chat has teamed with Weeks roses to offer the entire Downton Abbey collection.

One lucky winner will receive four bare root roses shipped to you during your planting season: Pretty Lady Rose, Edith’s Darling, Anna’s Promise and Violet’s Pride.

Earn bonus entries when you LIKE our Facebook page or SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter.

Listen to our Podcast with Karen Kemp-Docksteader, sales and marketing manager, from Weeks Roses. Karen talks about the show and this wonderful collection of roses.



The first release was to honor Anna Bates, everyone’s favorite lady’s maid. This unique and complex colour combination is a fitting representation of the character Anna Bates. Read more about Anna’s rose here.


This large English styled fragrant bloom was inspired by Lady Rose, niece and goddaughter of the Dowager Countess Violet. Read more about the rose here.


This true old-fashioned soft apricot-gold gem of a flower is a fitting tribute Lady Edith and her beloved daughter, Marigold. Read more about this rose here.


Last but certainly not least, is Violet’s Pride!

These aristocratic, resilient, sophisticated blooms were inspired by the iconic shades of Lady Violet’s lavender dresses. Read more about this rose here.



Contest ends midnight on Saturday, Feb 13.



All this talk about Downton Abbey has me wondering who your favorite character is.

I can tell  you mine…


Quiet, cautious, strong, loyal, and that smile he gives to Anna–yes, my fav is Mr. Bates.


Bloom Thyme Friday: Getting Started

This has been a week of temps in the 70s and some much needed garden clean up and planting bare root roses. But, before I could plant the new roses, I had to remove the roses that did not make it through our harsh winter. As you probably know, digging out these roses is a tough job. The roots were deep and wide. And, it’s sad to lose them. But, I said my fond farewells and am moving on.

Hope springs eternal for gardeners and I am ready to get the new roses started.

New to my garden this year are 3 lovely roses to test from Week’s Roses ….

Just like her namesake ... sunny and charming.
Just like her namesake … sunny and charming.

Doris Day / Floribunda
Disease Resistant
Old Rose Form
Scent is fruity/spicy
Parentage: Julie Newmar x Julia Child

I can just hear him singing, “Cracklin Rosey…”

Neil Diamond / Hybrid Tea
Classic Rose Fragrance
Zones: 4 – 10
Size: 4.5 – 5

Look at that red!
Look at that red!

Take It Easy / Shrub
Parentage: Teeny Bopper x Double Knock Out
Slight tea fragrance
Size: Medium Height

And, the Queen is....
And, the Queen is….

I also planted three of the Tom Carruth beauties … Moonstone. All year long I have heard …. And, the Queen of the Rose Show is … Moonstone. It is an amazing rose and one that many of my local rose friends are growing, so I feel it will do pretty well in my garden. Fingers crossed. 🙂

I have some David Austins coming but we’ll talk about those next week.

NewsflashIn other exciting news….

I received an invitation this week that set my heart all flutter. I have been invited to serve as a juror at the 2014 Biltmore International Rose Trial Competition! Look at the stunning invitation…

IMG_9179I can’t wait!

How about you — are you getting started in the garden this week or are you one of those southerners who is looking for that first bloom or a Cali rose gardener who is now cutting roses for vases!!

Bloom Thyme Friday
Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!