Bloom Thyme Friday: Meet the Beetles

Those destructive, nasty, no good, horrible Japanese beetles are here, so we might as well talk about them. 


The Japanese beetle is native to Japan. These little nuisances were first discovered in the United States around 1916 near Riverton, NJ in a nursery. It is thought that beetle larvae got into the US in a shipment of iris bulbs before inspections of imported goods entering the country began in 1912.

It is not just roses they love … they feed on around 200 species of plants.

Just look at my beautiful pole beans. 😩

I used to read that JBs were all east of the Mississippi, however, they are now being spotted in many other places around the country. I suspect they are still hitchhiking in plant containers! So no one will be safe before long. Now if only we could get them to “shelter in place” so we could eradicate them


Japanese Beetles are a real problem in my area, especially last year. I first saw them on June 21 and I was still seeing them in late August. Mark Nolen, past president of the Indianapolis Rose Society, who has been growing for 50 years and grows over 300 roses, counted them last year and his total count was over 5,000. Let’s hope that record is not broken this year!

My beautiful Quietness rose is one of their favorites. This happens so quickly!

Are you grossed out yet?

One of the very few upsides to drought is that it can interrupt their life cycle. After a particularly serious drought a few years ago, we had several years with few to no Japanese Beetles. I visualized the larvae being killed in the parched earth. Do you think differently of me now?



I have chosen not to spray them as the spray kills more than the targeted pest and we want to protect the good guys. I did try sprays many years ago but saw little help. Your call on that one. As always read labels carefully and protect yourself!


The best method of control I’ve found is “handpicking.” When I say handpicking I mean tapping the area where the beetles are on the shrub and watch them fall into a bucket of soapy water. When startled, it is their natural response to drop and get to the ground as fast as they can (procreation and all that) – so in the water they go. The recommendation is to start this daily regimen as soon as they arrive and get them off the plants as soon as possible. The damage and droppings they leave behind contain their pheromone – a call to all their friends to come! So, the more you have the more you get!! It is best to even cut away and destroy the damaged area on the shrub. If you’re in a stressful season- squishing them works too. However… I have heard that the squishing process releases the pheromone that calls in the JB troops. Your call. No judgment here!

I know. This is gross and you’d probably rather not see this. Last year I featured a better looking picture taken when I first started the bucket, not after all day. That article also included some great pictures of lilies which we probably won’t have this year due to the late freeze. Sad. So, maybe you should head over to last year’s article for a quick peek HERE…. BLOOMS, BUGS and HEAT.

Beetle Traps

There is great debate about using beetle traps. They do work and beetles by the thousands have found their way to the beetle traps my husband “loves” to use. He places them at the edge of property and is gleefully happy when the trap is full. Some say it helps control and some say it brings more in. Your call. We buy them at Lowes… good luck. Note: Since our beetle population is down a bit this year, we have not put out the traps. Mr. G agreed to wait and see how the season goes.


Many are trying biological means to control them in the larvae stage. I have a very large garden with a good size lawn and none of the biologicals out today (primarily nematodes and milky spore fungus) seem worth the effort. However, though it takes time, do some research – it might be worth your effort. 


Another unwanted pest in our garden is moles but they do eat grubs … so nature does have it’s ways. However, moles digging up your garden is a whole other horrible problem.  


Research is being done with Geranium petals as they cause temporary paralysis in Japanese Beetles – making them more vulnerable to their enemies. It’s a start and I bought 3 more hardy geraniums – just in case. The variety is ‘Dreamland’ and it’s very pretty. I’ve always loved geraniums – this just takes that love to the next level. 


If you have any tips and tricks that are working for you, please leave a comment so we can all benefit!


Finally, it’s time for something pretty! With all the talk about the JBs you are probably wondering if any blooms have escaped. Oddly enough they don’t love every flower… but we do!

I’m just crazy about daylilies.
The humble snapdragon. My children loved these.
Annabelle Hydrangea … a dependable, no rush hydrangea
I don’t know the variety, but I am loving this white Zinnia.
Simple pleasures: Phlox and daisies
My new dreamy Dreamland geranium
I love coneflower season! So many varieties available today!
Zaide and her neighbors have been attached but not all blooms have been destroyed!

With COVID and all, I went a little crazy with seed starting. It was mostly veggies. I had some great seed success and we gave some plants away but kept a lot of them. There are tomato plants in every nook and cranny we could find. Mr. G loves his tomatoes and we always have tomatoes on the driveway but NOT THIS MANY. Oh well, we will share, we’ll make salsa, we’ll make salads, we’ll have BLTs and we will eat tomatoes right off the vine! Oh, happy day. We also have several varieties of squash … most in pots. I am certainly looking forward to the cute little round zucchini – Ronde de Nice from Renee’s Garden. Our summer food will be interesting and yummy!

It’s been in the 🔥 90s 🔥 all week with another week of the same predicted.

friends, stay cool and safe and enjoy your garden thyme!


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.


Loving the Etoile Violette clematis surrounding the gate.
Niobi Clematis and Petit Pink Rose
Bright Eyes Phlox
Cerise Pink Yarrow
Down the path to the herb garden…


‘Imogene’ (David Austin) This is the 3rd year for this rose and it is just stunning. Right now it is just covered with blooms.
‘Quietness’ (Buck Rose) This is such a pretty, easy care rose with a sweet fragrance.
‘Bathsheba’ (David Austin) Poor Bathsheba was left out in her container all winter and I was sure she was dead but here she is in that same container. I do need to find her a place in the garden. She has definitely outgrown her container.
‘Champagne Wishes’ (Easy Elegance Series) This color is so rich and so is the fragrance.
‘Little Mischief’ (Easy Elegance) A tough and pretty ground cover rose.
‘Golden Fairy Tale’ (Kordes) Power bloomer and since she is yellow, the Japanese Beetles find her first. 😩
‘Music Box’ (Easy Elegance) Fragrant and pretty at every stage.


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.


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.

Bloom Thyme Friday: Friends and Roses Part 2

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!


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.



‘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.



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.


Jasmina from Kordes
My Girl – Easy Elegance Collection
Blue Angel Clematis
Blue Angel and Etoile Violette Clematis
Bokay Makers
‘You Know Who’ can’t be stopped!
Flamenco Rosita
The Faun


Friends, thanks for dropping by.

I hope your world is filled to the brim with friends and with beautiful blooms too!  😘


Bloom Thyme Friday: Friends and Roses Part 1

In my garden, you will find a lot (A LOT) of roses and a good many of them are there because of the people and places they represent. I have so many people in my life because of roses and during COVID-19 they have become even more precious.

One of those precious combinations of rose and friend is Peggy Martin – the lady and her rose.


If you don’t know Peggy’s story you can find it HERE. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and visiting her in her home. When you meet someone online before you meet them in person, they could be very different than what you expect. Peggy was just as I pictured her… beautiful, sweet, sassy and southern. We had the best times over those 4 days. We ate great food. We visited gardens. We toured homes. I met so many new rose friends and we shared story after story. One such story may or may not have been wrapped around the virtues of red lipstick. And, did I mention shrimp.


This rose is mostly a one-time bloomer and the only origin it has is Peggy’s garden that was wiped out during Hurricane Katrina (except for this rose).

I now have 4 Peggy Martin Roses and she can cover a trellis like no other. Two of my plants started out as very small plants and within 3 years they were on to arbor domination. My 3rd Peggy Martin is starting to climb over one of my arbors alongside New Dawn. My 4th Peggy Martin is still small as it was started from a cutting last summer. She is beginning to show some vigor and will have a prominent place near my potting bench in my new potting area.

I cannot tell you the pleasure this rose brings me. As a reminder of my friend and that just when it looks like all is “lost’, “survival” is just getting started and restoration and miracles are just around the corner.

It reminds me of my beautiful friend in Louisiana and all that she endured and all that she is today.

Last year during a garden party for the Indianapolis Rose Society, the Peggy Martin Rose was the spot for “prom” pictures.

My friends the Cates.


On the large arbor this week, Peggy and Francis E. Lester are magic together…

Peggy Martin #1…

Peggy Martin #2 grows happily with Jasmina.

So much sweetness.

If you would like to have a Peggy Martin Rose of your own, check with Chamblee Roses or Antique Rose Emporium.

It is getting late in the season for finding specific roses and for shipping around the country in the heat, but it might be a good time to get on a waiting list for next spring!

‘At Last’ from Proven Winners is having it’s best spring flush to date!! Lovely!

‘Easy on the Eyes’ is true to its name. So pretty and blooms like crazy!

All the way from Texas, ‘Penelope’ is showing her beautiful ways! More on Penelope here.

Queen of Bourbon… One-time fragrant bloomer.

Queen of Bourbon close up.

And one more Queen of Bourbon. She doesn’t stay around a real long time so I have to take loads of pictures.

Bathsheba’s first blooms… She is in a pot that stayed out all winter. 🙄 You probably remember that story.

‘Rosa Mundi’ the earliest known striped rose. Sometimes it reverts to solid as you see in the lower left corner.

‘Rosa Mundi’ up close.


There is a mountain of mulch on the driveway. Funny thing, the herb garden was the first garden “room” I started some 30 years and ago and it was the first garden room to get fresh mulch this week. It is still such a special place for me.

Seriously, this is the latest I have ever put down mulch,  but hey the weather has not been all that accomodating! Freezes, rain, cold, and now heat. I can tell you the weeds have been very happy to take the place of the mulch! 😏

We have peas … a few … now that we are having so much heat, I better hurry and pick them as they might get “hot and fussy” and not produce much longer. They too were planted late and haven’t had much time to reach their potential.

Potatoes are growing and growing. I need to do some investigating and see if there is anything I need to do at this stage. It’s been so long since I grew them. Do you know?


As I edit this post I can tell you that it is HOT here but that is nothing compared to what the weather app is telling me — tropical storm Cristobal is causing evacuations in Louisana and along the gulf. Praying all my friends are safe and that Cristobal does not reach its potential!

Friends, thanks so much for stopping by. Stay safe, be well and til next thyme, enjoy your time in the garden! 😘



Bloom Thyme Friday: Patience is a Virtue

Yes, patience is a virtue… they say.

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.


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.😳

Pretty little purple pincushions holding their own amoung all the green. (Scabiosa)

Oh, Sweet William how sweet you are![/caption
Baptisia getting started. Easy, Breezy, Beautiful.

May Night Salvia can’t be stopped. Power bloomer.

Not sure of the variety, but these alliums brought their “A” game this spring!

The President clematis has been bringing joy to my garden for years and years. It is usually the first of my clematis to bloom.


Click on any picture to open the gallery feature.


Click on individual pics for additional information on varieties, etc.


So many roses are loaded with bud and just ready to burst!

Petit Pink is covered in buds!

Peggy Martin is ready to be glorious.

And some ROSES are reaching their peak…

Midnight in Paris growing in a container on my deck.

Below is Ghislaine de Feligonde reaching for the sky over the Potting Shed.

She looks like she’s enjoying today’s gentle rain.

Ghislaine de Feligonde… this old-fashioned rambler forms a large shrub with few thorns. Fragrant bloom clusters open apricot, aging to pale yellow. Occasional repeat bloom. Canes can reach 6 to 10 feet. (Taken from High Country Roses website where I bought her 3 years ago.)


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.

If you are local keep an umbrella handy too. 😉 ☔️

Bloom Thyme Friday: Penelope’s Story

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. 🥶


Image of Penelope courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium Website.

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!


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. 


Mother’s Day means so many different things to me.


Mother’s Day is typically the last frost date in my neck of the woods. Once that date arrives, we can plant tomatoes … and other warm weather plants. 

This week has been a weather tease. Warm. Cool. Cold. (29 degrees predicted) All the seedlings started and the plants I’ve purchased are waiting and waiting for their turn to do their thing. But we must wait a bit more. For a few more days I will be taking them inside the garage and potting shed at night. So, this year Mother’s Day is not going to be the “garden date” that I wanted it to be. 


We lost my mother more than 30 years ago. She was one of a kind. She is so missed. Life was never easy for her, but she adapted and made the best of it. In a nutshell she was Resourceful, Sassy, Hard Working, Loyal, and a real Servant – did I mention Sassy!?!. I wrote an article about her several years ago and it rings true every time I read it and makes me smile! If you would like to read it, read on here.  


My mother-in-law was born of a Greek immigrant and lived a quiet, simple, beautiful, old world life. She loved her family, her neighbors, her community, bracelets and Jesus. She raised three of the most wonderful men I know. She had to bare losing her beloved husband and youngest son way too soon, but she did so with a dignity that honored them and inspired those around her. I am forever grateful for her life and for the gift of her eldest son.


I cannot even imagine a better mother than my daughter. She has a heart of gold and loves to the depths. Her creativity is unmatched. She has given me three of life’s greatest blessings – my grandboys. The love, wisdom and creativity she pours into them is heart-warming, inspiring, and impressive. Happy Mother’s Day sweet girl! xo


My children are two of my greatest blessings. I don’t know what I did to deserve them, but I am forever grateful that God chose me to be their mother. I have been mommy, mom, and momma and I have loved every stage. They love me, encourage me, inspire me and bring joy to my life. I would simply not be who I am without them. PS: They are both very impressive gardeners! And, you know I love that!!


Friends, whether you were blessed with your own children, fur babies or you bless those around you, I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.

Spring Ephemerals by Colletta Kosiba

I do believe that the wildflowers know we are having a hard time and they have been putting on their most spectacular display ever.  I asked my great friend and the very knowledgeable Colletta Kosiba, a Master Naturalist, to do a post on what we are seeing! Six years ago Colletta wrote an article for me based on what the then “baby” Hudson and I saw as we took a walk. Read that one here.


If you have been lucky enough to take walks in the woods this spring, I am sure you were amazed by all the small flowers blooming on the forest floor. Those are native flowers and are called spring ephemerals. Spring ephemerals have been growing on the forest floor long before man entered on the scene.

The ephemerals come up, flower and set seed before the tree canopy forms (which blocks out the needed sun light,) then the plants go dormant; only to repeat the show next spring.

Nature works in harmony; the seeds of the spring ephemerals bear fatty appendages called eliaosomes. Insects, (mainly ants) are attracted to the eliaosomes carrying the free meal back to their nests.  The lipid-rich food is consumed by their young. The unharmed seeds are then thrown into their dung pile where the seeds germinate the next year. A single ant colony may collect a thousand seeds over a season.  

Bloodroot  / Sanguinaria Canadensis                       

Indians stained faces to frighten enemies, males applied stain to palms before shaking hands with a maiden as magic inducement to attract her! Dye – reddish orange mixed with alum as mordant for cloth.  Sanguinaria in bloodroot was used to whiten teeth in modern toothpaste.

Bluebells / Mertensia Virginica                       

An old fashion garden plant. Roots will die in hot summer sun; so it is best to plant something like day lilies to shade the ground around them. They look like purple cabbage as they emerge.  

Common Violets  / Viola Sororia

Violets have 5x more vitamin C than oranges. Add flowers to salads and gelatin for color & flavor. (Leaves are a tad bitter in salad.)  Make jelly with blooms.  Crystalizes as toppings on cake.  May also be used as a soup thickener.

Geranium Wild / Cranesbill / Geranium Maculatum      

You can make a brown dye from the flowers – used for tanning hides.  The Cherokee mixed with grapes for mouth wash.

Claytonia Virginica / Spring Beauty

Have small potato shaped tubers  called “fairy potatoes”. They taste like potatoes when baked or boiled but raw they taste like radishes.

Wood Poppies / Stylophorum Diphyllum

Native Americans used the yellow sap from all parts of the plant for dye and paint.  Flowers are followed by nodding green hairy pods. The pods split open along four valves, explodes scattering seeds.

Thank you Colletta for the beautiful tour. For those of you who know Colletta, you know that her own garden is a haven for all the plants above and so, SO many more. If we weren’t “sheltering” in place, I would be going for a lunch and learn – and perhaps a few “starts” too!

Here is my own trillium that is having a fantastic spring too.

This little beauty has brought me great pleasure for many, many years due in part to its origin. I was part of a group that had the pleasure of rescuing wildflowers in a wooded area that was to be cleared for “progress.” 😐 I brought home several things that day but only the trillium survives.

Trillium has a long history of use by Native Americans and in herbal remedies especially Native American women. I understand that they are a wonderful morsel for deer which may contribute to their being on the plant protection list in many areas. As with all wildflowers, practice extreme caution when considering removing them from their natural setting unless you are invited to do so or you know for sure they are not protected.  I know. I know. It is temping. Many wildflowers are available for purchase.







Bloom Thyme Friday: Beautiful, Invasive or Both

When you garden in one place for as long as I have (30+ years) you go through seasons where we need the 3 R’s — REFRESH, REMOVE, REPLACE. Trees grow, sunny areas become shady areas, trees die and shady areas become sunny areas and beautiful vines become invasive nightmares.

For the last few years, we have taken on at least one or two of these large projects.

Going on now in our garden…


A HUGE 30 year old maple that my son planted as a seedling after we took part in a maple tree tapping. He never tapped his maple, but it served him well as it gave him and his “fort” shade for many years. As you can image, it is a sentimental favorite and one that gives us beautiful shade too. Now 1/4 of the beautiful maple is dead (lightning strike we think). We are trying to cut back the dead and keep the rest. Time will tell if this is a good decision – especially with the wind we are getting today.


Invasive vines. Some we planted and some we did not.

Japanese Honeysuckle: I won’t go into that here as I wrote about it a few posts back. If you want to read that post, go HERE.

Yellow Trumpet Vine: We planted this beautiful vine back in 2011 to replace another beautiful vine that we had purchased only to find it was being moved to the plant watch list – The Porcelain Berry. (You can read about that experience HERE.) 😳

Both of these vines were purchased at garden centers and did not come with a warning.

Both did exactly what I wanted them to do – to a point – they covered and drapped around our pergola that holds our facing swings in a most enchanting way. The Trumpet Vine had an added bonus. Hummingbirds flocked to it. However, the last 3 years we find it is popping up everywhere. And, I mean everywhere. Last year as far as 40 feet away from the mother plant.

I am not good with before and after project pictures – I jump into the project before I remember to take the before shot.  I do have pictures from last year to show you the beautiful parts and some of this weeks process pictures.

First the branches were removed – some 3” in diameter. Next was to drill holes in the branches and fill with a plant killer. I love power tools but I hate to use plant killers but there seems no other option to getting rid of this beautiful invasive garden destroyer. Finally, Mr. G will start the repair work on the pergola caused by the pretty invasive.

Three years ago I planted two other vines in the same vicinity so that when we moved the trumpet vine the area would not be left completely stark. Major Wheeler Honeysuckle – who has a much better reputation for the present time at least – and a vigorous clematis, Etoile Violette.

Etoile Violette and New Dawn Rose in another area of the garden

I have both of these climbers in other areas of the garden and so far no “invasions.” At some point I may even give the Peggy Martin rose a try in this area. I have a small one that we started from a cutting at last year’s IRS Rosefest. Once it reaches the “robust” stage, I’ll decide. For now it will be Etoile  Voilette and Major Wheeler vying for “pole” position.

Just looking at this beautiful “drapey” picture gets to my emotions but here’s to celebrating a better “drapey” solution – SOON. 🥂


Next I will be filling the space where the Japanese Honeysuckle was removed … adding shrubs, roses and a new potting area.


The delicate looking Bleeding Heart is beginning to bloom in spite of the dropping temps and bits of snow.

Sand Cherry is lovely.

New Plant I am very excited about…

Scentsation Honeysuckle

If are you getting the idea that I have a “thing” for honeysuckle, you would be right! I LOVE vining and drapey things!


Moved mixed shrubs from this raised bed to make way for more cutting flowers. I have drawn up the plan and will be planting (mostly seeds) in a few weeks.


Another beautiful rose was delivered this week – ‘Moonlight in Paris.’ This rose is also known as ‘Garden and Home’. I saw ‘Garden and Home’ in full bloom in Bob and Dona Martin’s California garden 2 years ago and have never forgotten it. Indiana is many miles from California and possibly light years away from California growing conditions. The Help Me Find website says it is zoned for 7b – 9b, so I will grow this beauty in a container and see how it goes!

Here’s the picture I took in  the Martin’s Garden


If you would like to listen to some basic tips on helping your roses have a great year, listen to my conversation with my good friend and extremely successful rose gardener, Ron Daniels on Rose Chat HERE.


The tomatoes are now over 7” tall. Next week when the weather improves I will start the hardening off process of giving all the seedlings exposure to the outside. Most of them will then go into the garden or in large pots in mid May. Our last frost date is usually Mother’s Day. Hard to believe it will be warm enough by then but all we need are consistent night temps 55 degrees or greater.

Whether flowers or veggies, I am looking forward to having them successfully outside to be their “best self”!


This has been a hard week locally with so many new cases. Reports are we will now start the decline. I pray it is so.

Even though the weeks are dragging on, stay in and stay safe!

If you need garden inspiration, Grandboy#3 might just help…