Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As November Ends….

Make Us Happy  @Brooke_CCM
A little card for you today.  I was in the mood to be creative.  I hope you had a wonderful November, the month of Thanks, and will continue to feel the holiday spirit throughout the year.  I am especially thankful for all of my gardening friends and readers, this is for you.
Much Love….Brooke

Roses in December!

Notes from a Country Garden…. Roses in December!
December 01, 2011
Last year I remember writing about frozen roses in December, but this is something altogether different!  Mine are still blooming!  Well, not as lovely as before, actually they look quite sad, but they are still going!
Most of my garden has been finished for about 10 days now since we have had some hard frosts.  But this area is slightly protected with the house and wing-walls.  It keeps the winds from the plants and soaks up whatever sun we have been getting. 
We have had SEVERAL inches of rain and yesterday it snowed over an inch, then quickly melted.
I at first thought the roses were frozen in bloom, then noticed that new ones were opening in the sun today.
Many were facing downward, and I think that is what protected them a bit.
But as you can see many of the roses have over 15 blooms still on them and buds ready to open.
It is a rare treat to be putting up the Christmas decorations and roses still blooming.
I have been drying a few blooms this year and I think I will go back out and collect a bouquet.
I can then mix them in with my dried hydrangea blooms in my bedroom.
One thing I enjoy about cool season blooms is the color changes, you never quite know what they will be.
Pink roses look peach, yellow turn cream….
And the cool days make them last much longer…
So delicate, I had many petals fall as I photographed….
The light was just magical, just enough moisture to glisten…
Petals so thin they were almost transparent….
And quite a few had good scent this late in the year.  It was quite cold, low 40s today.
This is one of my favorites, just every shade of pink/peach/yellow/cream all blended in one.
But there is something about yellow roses, they just glow in the late fall.
You can see these from across the yard, they are beacons of light.
Rose hold such promise, the promise of blooms to come in the Spring, each one more beautiful than I remembered.  Thanks so much for stopping by and sorry for such a long post.  But in Indiana this is quite a rare thing and I wanted to make sure to remember it.

Happy Gardening….Brooke


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Blooms…. for #FF

Well, I did make it one more week with a bit of color in the garden.  I will go out and take a few pics of how the beds look now since all this rain has blown in.  We have water standing in our yard and gardens.  It has rained all night and day and they say we could get 4 inches or more.  Flood watches all around us.  We are lucky we are up on a hill, but it is a sloppy mess.  I keep thinking it is watering in the new bulbs and shrubs off to a good start!  We’ve had quite a few killing frosts and my perennials are mostly done, but a few tough late bloomers are still going…. Let’s take a look.


The mums and blanket flower put on quite a show, as well as the ornamental grasses out at the drive.   My evergreens in this area are really filling in, giving me some interest in the long winter months ahead.


Victoria Blue Salvia, one of my very favorite reseeding annuals is still striking in the late fall garden.  I started with just one little start of this and now I must have it in 10 different places.  It reseeds and is very easy to transplant.  I love it because it is only about 12 inches tall and does not tend to flop as the larger salvias do.


A few of my annual dianthus or pinks that have been happily returning for three years now.  I keep adding more of these, they are such good doers.  They are a bargain at 6 for $1.25 in the spring.  I strongly suggest adding them if you have not already.  They don’t look like much when you buy them, but they spread and fill out and bloom their hearts out.  Plus they are semi-evergreen here in zone 6.


A close up of the last few blooms of the mums.  I think every mum I planted last year returned.  The key it to plant them as soon as you buy them.  If I have them on the porch or window boxes, then plant them in the ground they don’t make it.  I hate to see them just die, they are very hearty and easy to grow.


“May Night Salvia” is perennial and will repeat bloom all season if deadheaded.  This is also an easy one to divide and puts on a fantastic spring show that last thru November.  That is the kind of plants I want more of, don’t you?


The hollyhocks are still quite lovely.  They have suffered a bit with all this rain and wind.  They are mostly fallen over, but I cannot bear to cut them back when they are still opening…  This one is “Aunt Brownie Fig Leaf”.


This is the prettiest pink variety.  I almost doesn’t look real, it seems to glow…  This is “Indian Spring” and it is available from Renee Shepard's site here… 


“Windsor Castle” French Hollyhock or Malvia is a rare one and often hard to find.  This is my 2nd year growing it and it is just a fantastic plant.  It is much deeper and larger than Zebrina, a rich deep pink that is a fantastic color in the cottage garden.


If I could I would have vines growing up every vertical surface.  And one I would never be without in a garden is Goldflame Honeysuckle.  I know the name honeysuckle scares most gardeners, but it is a tame, slow growing beauty that blooms for months and months for me.  IT’S SCENTED TOO--- I notice it more on cooler mornings, fantastic colors of deep pink with yellow centers.


These little pink petunias have reseeded quite a few years for me.  They are sweet and require almost no care.  They grow in a pot that is left out all year happily.


Another seed I did for the first time this spring was White Cleome.  This one is called “Sparkler White”.  It was later to bloom that the pink varieties, but well worth growing and the petals are larger.  Pure white and striking in the borders.


For the first time this year I grew my annual verbenas from seed as well.  I usually buy these from a nursery, but they were quite easy from seed.  I will try to collect enough seed this year to have them in even more places next spring. 

Other things that are blooming…

Reblooming Irises – Roses – Blanket Flower – Pincushion Flower – Penstemons – Dianthus – Guara -Yarrow – Sweet Alyssum – Moss Verbena – Marigolds

Thanks so much for stopping by… and please consider becoming a follower as well.

Happy Gardening and Happy Thanksgiving Everyone….Brooke