Chilly May brings memories and yellow and pink roses

I didn’t make it on time to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month because we had a graduation for one child on May 15, and a banquet for another on Sunday The Diva, Megan, graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Work and Bear, Claire, who is now seventeen–can you believe it–had her choral banquet. If we’re friends on Facebook, you saw way too much of my family last weekend. May is pretty much the graduation parade on Facebook though isn’t it? Fun to see all these “kids” grow up and move on into their lives. Makes me a bit melancholy too.

Part of 'Peggy Martin' rose and the garden beyond. Roses
Part of ‘Peggy Martin’ rose and the garden beyond. It’s almost finished blooming after four weeks.

A chilly May with gray skies doesn’t help my mood either. I need the warmth of the sun. In August, please don’t remind me that I wrote this. I will be way tired of Mr. Sun by then.

The newest garden border with young plants and Rosa Home Run® in the upper border.
The newest garden border with young plants and Rosa Home Run® in the upper border.

In other news, yesterday it rained so hard I couldn’t get out to take photos. Today is really chilly out there–52F when I last checked.  I’m truly grateful for the moisture, but I don’t like this cloudy and cool weather day-after-day. The garden and the roses especially sure like the rain.  The beds are lush and crowded. I don’t normally space everything according to Hoyle because most plants don’t grow to their full potential in my climate. This year, however, they’re all muscling each other aside. It’s topsy and turvy, and I keep pulling up the worst offending perennials, not the whole plant, but whole sections.

Mummy blooms on a trial rose. I can't remember the variety right now, but it's an amazing plant.
Mummy blooms on a trial rose. I can’t remember the variety right now, but it’s an amazing plant.

The roses are blooming happily and fingers crossed, I don’t see any Rose Rosette. I do see this virus all over the town of Edmond though. Ugly, ugly. One of my roses, a trial from Star Roses doesn’t like the chilly weather and the resultant thrips, so it is giving me mummy blooms. These things happen, but it’s a strong bloomer throughout much of summer, so I’ll just cut these off and enjoy my other roses for now.

Rosa 'Anna's Promise' is a new one to the garden this year. She is the most beautiful color. I also bought 'Pretty Lady' which is pink.
Rosa Anna’s Promise is a new one to the garden this year. She is the most beautiful color. I also bought ‘Pretty Lady’ which is pink.

Are you surprised I still have roses? I am too, but roses are tough. I still have twenty or so out of the 100 I once grew. Many have come and gone, but some like ‘Abraham Darby’ bloom on. I also planted nine new roses this year. I’m giving some a try in beds where I had no Rose Rosette Disease, and I’m now planting them near the house where I can really enjoy them. I decided that my garden without roses was sad indeed, and I have a new attitude. If one gets sick, out it goes. Roses aren’t that pricey unless you buy them at a specialty nursery, although there’s good reason to do that. If I get a few years out of one before Rose Rosette takes it, I’m okay with that. There’s always the possibility that RRD is finished with my garden.

Rosa South Africa™ rose, a beautiful golden yellow Grandiflora.
Rosa South Africa™ rose, a beautiful golden yellow Grandiflora.

I said possibility.

My new roses this year are: The Lady Gardener™ and Claire Austin™ both David Austin or English roses, Sultry Sangria™, a Floribunda, St. Patrick™ a Hybrid Tea, that buds out green and turns to yellow, Anna’s Promise®, a Grandiflora and Pretty Lady™ a Hybrid Tea. The last two are part of the Downton Abbey series. There was a time when I wouldn’t plant Hybrid Teas or Grandifloras, but hybridizers have improved many of these for disease resistance and increased bloom. South Africa™ is a great Grandiflora that is a proven performer in my garden. I love that rose. If you want more information about growing roses, here are a few of my secrets. Along with the roses I love, here’s the rose gardening gear I use all the time.

Unknown pink rose I bought from Bustani Plant Farm years ago.
Unknown pink rose I bought from Bustani Plant Farm years ago.

Today is the last day I have Kari to help me in the garden. Since last spring, she’s been helping me every two weeks. This spring, she’s come, starting in March, almost every week except when I was out of town speaking. She is moving to Grove, Oklahoma, with her beautiful family. Her help and friendship are immeasurable, and I will miss her dearly. We took this photo today before we said goodbye. She’s promised to return with her family to see the daylilies bloom in June. I hope she does.

After a full day of gardening, Kari and I said goodbye.
After a full day of gardening, Kari and I said goodbye. It was so nice and cool today that we were barely sweaty.

As with all things in life, some things end as others are just beginning. Children graduate, marry and have children of their own. Friends move away. Time passes, and the garden grows. I hope your gardens are full of new beginnings this year too.

 

Visiting a good blogger friend

Life is full of serendipitous moments. You answer a call out on Twitter, and suddenly, you’re having coffee with some of the nicest Oklahoma bloggers out there. A year or two later, you ask one of them, a gardener, if she’d mind you taking photos of her. You’ve become good friends through Facebook, Twitter, email etc., and she says yes.

Marie next to her garden.
Marie next to her garden.

So, lucky me, I got to visit Marie’s animal menagerie and veggie garden. Where else would guinea hens, chickens, a gaggle of geese, a beautiful paint horse called Chanta, a blue and gold Macaw named Pacino and a teenaged buffalo named Chunk-Hi, but called Chunk, all live happily together? At the Lazy W Ranch, of course! Marie is supremely good at keeping everyone happy.

Marie with Pacino, the Macaw, who is love with her.
Marie with Pacino, the Macaw, who is love with her.

There are even llamas, a mommy, a daddy, and baby makes three.

Mama and baby llama
Mama and baby llama

Marie interviewed me and wrote about our adventure on her lovely, fun and eclectic blog. She is a true Oklahoma girl, an artist, well versed in the Sooner State. I also discovered Marie is Pottawatomie. I have some Cherokee from my maternal great-grandmother too. You almost can’t hail from Oklahoma without a bit of tribal blood running through your veins. Maybe we have a little red dirt in there too.

Marie made smoothies with watermelon, cantaloupe, honey and mint. Yum. We also ate boiled eggs from her hens. There is nothing like eggs from your own chickens.

Marie making small talk and smoothies.
Marie making small talk and smoothies.

We finished our visit with a trip to Tony’s Tree Plantation. I rarely get out there because it’s so far south. I bought a couple of coleus I don’t have–couldn’t resist–along with a variegated canna for one of the containers on the deck. In a week or so, I’m going to take pics as Marie and a friend capture a wild bee swarm. She’s stopping by here too before a beekeeper meeting. She may entice me to keep honeybees too. You never know. Isn’t life exciting?

My friend, Marie
My friend, Marie.

Writing a book is hard. Laughing and talking with Marie was a respite from my self-enforced, daily word count. I feel recharged today, and that’s a very good thing. You never know where the roads of social media will take you. On the news, we hear about the bad, but I’m telling you the Internet takes good care of me. Just make sure you know the person well before you meet them. Oh, and since I don’t date that helps too. LOL!

Life is full of serendipity. Don’t forget to grab the gold ring when you can.