In Bloom & Other News From the Garden


Hello, hello!

It’s nice to be back. I had a lovely time in State College–with exception to the actual travel bits which was a nightmare–visiting with family and eating lots of farm fresh Pennsylvania ice cream. I did drive by the old garden the first night I arrived. It was dusk, and it was quick. My first thought was holy moly look how big the ‘Common Moss’ rose has gotten! We’re talking maybe 7’x3.5′? Yes, all those rare and unique roses in the front, along with the lilacs, were removed which was sad to see, although expected. Someone else is living there now so I didn’t stop for cuttings.

Wheel bug eating Japanese beetle

At home, in our new garden, the Mister looked after everything wonderfully, making sure the cuttings and container plants didn’t dry out. He would send me photos of the garden including this one which I love: a wheel bug eating a Japanese Beetle on a ‘Dainty Bess’ bloom. That’s beneficials at work, people. Go wheel bug, go!

1-2 Sombreuil on my potting bench. Still looking for the perfect home in our garden for this gorgeous rose.

1-3 Roses from the garden

1 The first cup of coffee in the morning….

2Lichfield Angel in a container

Since it’s been a few weeks, I’m loading up this post with some photos of the roses that have been in bloom recently. Unfortunately, we’ve been having such a heat wave here in WNC, many of the David Austin roses are having a rough go. I took that photo at the tippity top of this post just this morning and as you can see in the collage, the Sister Elizabeth and PAofK, in particular, are tiny and faded.

3-2 Zaide only just finished blooming and is resting up for a late summer/autumn show

3 Lichfield Angel grown on her own roots. Some blackspot on this rose.

4-2 Boscobel. A tiny bloom before the heat wave.

4This Clematis is knocking my socks off. I think it’s Crystal Fountain.

I wish I had gotten that collage of roses about a week ago when so many more were in bloom like Munstead Wood, Basye’s Purple, Lichfield Angel, Dark Desire and more. (Follow me on IG if you’d like to see these blooms in real time!)

5-2 Ghislaine de Féligonde still blooming from the first flush…

5-3 …Mme Ernest Calvat already on her second!

5 Chocolate cosmos smells just like a tootsie roll. Have you tried it?

6-2 St Swithun on second round of blooms. Not nearly as dramatic as the spring flush but still pretty!

6-3 Lady of Shalott (finally) blooming. Growing as own-root this time and won’t do that again. Not nearly as robust as before.

6-4 Hot Cocoa. Starts out deep brownish red and fades to pinkish red. So pretty.

6-5 Betty Prior

6-6 Princess Alexandra of Kent did much better for me when I had her in containers. Still a pretty rose but she’s struggling. I am considering lifting and potting up.

6-7 Ivor’s Rose

6Distant Drums. Another rose with a lot of color changes as the blooms mature.

I’m having such a nice time being outdoors compared to this time last year. It feels more like a garden now, even though we’ve barely scratched the surface on what we’d like to do with it. Annuals are blooming, shrubs are growing larger, beds are filling in. Best of all are the visitors: tons more bees, butterflies, and so many birds. Doves are sitting on a nest in a tree right next to our café table! We also had some tree frogs staying with us, and even laying eggs in our fountain, for a few weeks. For me, I think the best part about creating a garden is the sanctuary it provides for wildlife so I’m really tickled to see all the activity out there.

gray tree frog in a fig tree

Here’s one of those grey tree frogs hanging out in our fig tree…


…and another who spent his days in the flower pots for a while.

7-2I think  this shade of coral-pink Calibrachoa is my favorite. Excited that there are finally seeds available for this annual. (Used to be they could only be propagated by cuttings.)

7-3More Mme Calvat…

width="839"Dark Desire. A rose right out of a fairytale!

7Munstead Wood really hasn’t taken a break. Still blooming.

8-2Distant Drums again

8-3And another Mme Calvat. Sorry!

I have some exciting news to share, well, for me anyways: Myself and a couple of other members of our local rose society are now officially Consulting Rosarians. Hooray! Yesterday, fresh on the job, I gave my talk on propagating roses. I’m hoping it inspires more people to try their hand at it as it’s loads of fun and highly addictive. 😉


9-2Basye’s Purple

9Hot Cocoa after the rain

10-2Etoile de Lyon


11-2Love these Potomac Appleblossom Snaps from Johnny’s Seeds, but I think I’m going to go back to the Chantilly snaps for next year as they’re easier for the bees to get into. 

11-3That’s exactly why bees love Ghislaine since the pollen is so readily available!

11China Doll

I hope you all are having a enjoyable summer. What’s new in your garden?






11 thoughts on “In Bloom & Other News From the Garden

  1. Laurie! I missed you. Congratulations on your new title and on your presentation. You’ve said you tend to be a bit shy and I know how that feels. Such an interesting, chock full of goodness post. So, you prefer David Austins grafted? My only grafted rose is Munstead Wood and I hesitated to buy it for that reason. I had things backward. What do you think about Ghislaine? I won’t get rid of her because she is big and healthy, and looks pretty hugging a birdbath, but the deadheading! The blooms on mine only last about a day, and there are millions of them. I’m drooling over your Basye’s Purple! Another red Austin I’m loving this year is Tess of The d’Ubervilles. So glad you’re back!

    1. Thank you Andrea! And thank you for your comments, they really cheer me! 😀

      Yes, I do tend to be a bit shy…but I’ve said before that roses make me brave. At least, they made me brave enough to want to share what I’ve learned even if I think I black out a bit during the actual presentation and have to rely on my husband to tell me how it went, haha!

      David Austin’s: I try to do own-root if I can, but sometimes they just aren’t good that way and I’m confused as to why the website sells them with an option as such. It’s been a trial and error to find which ones are good on their own roots and which ones are not and I try to tell people what I’ve learned to save them the hassle and bother if possible. For example, Strawberry Hill, Jude the Obscure, Lichfield Angel–these are great on their own roots. But conversely, Shalott, Jubilee Celebration, Wildeve, Crown Princess Margereta, William Shakespeare 2000 and Young Lycidas have not been, at least for me–they might have worked for others.

      Ghislaine: I do love this rose! But I also fear I didn’t plant it in a good spot and it’s going to eat our porch soon. Yeah, the blooms don’t drop as cleanly as I would like and sometimes I help it out with that by pulling off the browning petals. Also, I don’t deadhead Ghislaine because I love the tiny little hips it produces. Does that help?

      I keep seeing Tess in photos and my heart goes pitter pat! How is she for disease? To add to our blackspot woes, we’ve been having some serious powdery mildew concerns here at the new garden. Is Tess resistant for you?

      1. Your post on propagating roses is the only one I’ve found that makes sense to me, so I’m sure your audience was grateful to have someone who could communicate as well as you. Good to know about Ghislaine. I’ve never let it set hips. Live and learn! As for Tess, she is still in her DA nursery pot and growing so fast I need to get her settled in the ground soon. I’ve had way too many to plant this year – new deer fence and my exhuberence. She blooms almost constantly and did go through a little PM, but has ‘outgrown’ it on her own. No black spot. We’ve had very strange weather – extreme heat, then very cool. Lots of humidity, which is not normal here. So, all in all, Tess has impressed me. Northland Rosarium sells some DA roses on own roots, and some are grafted. I should have known there was a reason. Duh! Tess is prettier than any photo I’ve seen of her, and the blooms last a good long time. I’ve never cared for red roses until this year and I’m going crazy over Munstead, Dark Desire and Tess.

        1. Sorry for the late reply! Thank you for the compliment on the propagating roses. I am thrilled that it’s been useful. 😀
          I’m putting Tess on my must-buy for my next round of rose purchases, thank you for helping me out with that one! And I, too, am going nuts for Dark Desire this year. What a beauty!

  2. That clematis is jaw-dropping! I have ‘Josephine,’ which is eye-catching in form but not so much in color. ‘St. Swithun’ looks amazing. And don’t you just love tree frogs? They’re so cute. One of my favorite poems is “Assault,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay… frogs are the best thing about spring besides the plants!

    My native cranefly orchids are about to bloom for the first time and betony just finished up.

    1. I do love the tree frogs! It’s funny, though, they laid eggs that turned into tadpoles in just a couple of days, but then–poof!–they were gone! Where the heck did those hundreds of tadpoles go in just a matter of 24 hours? (And the “pond” is really a fountain, no fish, no other predators in it.) We’re really scratching our heads on that one, but I digress.

      How wonderful about your orchids. I’ll bet they’re lovely! Keeping a variety of orchids is something on my someday to try list. 🙂

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