A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

Gertrude Stein said “A Rose is a Rose is a Rose”  and for the first time in 100 years in literature, roses were red. Meaning in our terms today “It is what it is” but sometimes something can catch you off guard.  Like purple roses that smell like heaven. Heading out to my garden yesterday I noticed my sterling rose-bush just wasn’t blooming as abundantly as usual.  I needed one single blossom which I did end up finding for this small gift I was making.  I also grabbed the last of the hydrangea.  It’s a very simple project and the sterling rose is a perfect choice with its incredible scent and unique color.

Begin by soaking a block of floral foam in water with 1/2 tsp. bleach and 1 tbsp. floral food or sugar.

Floral Foam

Soak floral foam for 15 minutes

Next gather your small terra-cotta pot and flowers. One hydrangea large enough to cover the opening of the pot and 1-3 roses depending on your pot size.  I chose one.

Flowers and Container

Flowers and Container

Cut a piece of the foam to fit snugly into the container. Next cut the stem of the hydrangea so that at least 1/2″ of its stem is inserted into the foam.   The roses are next. Make a slanted cut making sure the rose bud will sit above the hydrangea but the stem will also be inserted 1/2″ inch into the foam as well. Do this for each rose you are using and then cluster them in the middle of the hydrangea.  You may also add a small bow if you like near the outer edge.  I eventually added a black and white checked bow to mine.

Hydrangea Pot

Hydrangea Rose Pot


August is generally a slow month in the garden, but here is something you can do with your roses that will pay back tenfold over the next few months

The Fertilizer Program  from Orchard Nursery.
Applied only twice a year In February and again in August.
The amount given is for 1 rose. You can proportionately mix a larger amount of the ingredients in a wheelbarrow and apply at a rate of 11⁄2 cups per rose.
16-16-16 ——————————–1⁄2 cup
Bone Meal ——————————1⁄2 cup
FST, Iron Plus** or Iron Sulfate* —–1⁄2 cup
Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) — 2 Tbs
Sprinkle these four ingredients around each rose and mix into soil as well as possible. Then spread 1 shovelful of Chicken Manure around each rose and water in. For roses in containers, use 1⁄2 the amounts listed and add a 3rd fertilizing in May. *Note: Products containing Iron can stain—be sure to wash off adjacent paving after application. **Considered a “non-staining” iron.

Summer Rain

Today dark storm clouds rolled in along with the intoxicating smell of summer rain. The sound of thunder rumbled in the distance and gradually grew louder and louder. I waited in anticipation for the warm rain I miss so much. The air was warm and heavy with a slight wind blowing the branches of the pine trees outside my window. At home in the San Francisco Bay Area we only have rain during the winter months and being from the East Coast this felt like a true summer day to me. It had rained every afternoon of our stay this week. The mornings are beautiful and sunny, even hot.  Leaving plenty of time to explore the natural beauty all around us before the afternoon summer rain arrives.

Today we hiked to the Tallac Historical Museum.  We walked along a stone lined path and saw a remarkable garden filled with a variety of plants and wildflowers, Vine Maple, Coreopsis, Mountain Rose, Alpine Lily, Western Bistort and many more. Shaded by the trees they are in the perfect environment. Everything grows abundantly here.  I’m sure the rain helps. It helps me.

Vine Maple

Vine Maple

Garden Tea Cup

Garden Teacup

Garden Teacup

March Hare: Why don’t you start at the beginning?
Mad Hatter: Yes and when you reach the end… Stop.


I love a good tea party as much as the next girl, especially one in the garden!  What better way to combine the two than to design a beautiful Garden Teacup filled with flowers from my garden. Along with being a gardener, I am also a florist and have been for over 25 years. One of the things as a florist I have always tried to do whenever possible is to use flowers from my garden in my arrangements. Even if it is just greenery. Like this teacup arrangement overflowing with roses, hydrangea, alstomeria, love in a mist, delphinium and shasta daisies. Then tied with a harlequin midori ribbon on the handle, and don’t forget the saucer!  What a unique way to bring the garden indoors.

Make Your Own Garden Teacup

If you would like to try your hand at making your own Garden Teacup all you need is a piece of floral foam cut to the size of your teacup and soaked in water. I add 1/2 t. of bleach to the water to keep the flowers fresher longer. Place foam securely in your cup and make sure it fits snugly. Next choose the flowers you like from your garden, not too large but with strong stems. Place small pieces of greenery around the outside edge of the cup into the foam and a couple in the middle.  Add your flowers cutting the stems so that they are taller in the middle of the cup and gradually get shorter near the outer edges. Fill in any empty spots with more greenery and tie a bow to the handle.  That’s all there is to it!  Now you have your own Garden Teacup for your own floral tea party. Cookie anyone?

“Green Roses and Ham”

Green Roses

Green Roses

I can’t help but think of the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham” when I see my green roses blooming. “I do not like green eggs and ham I do not like them Sam I am!” I guess I am Sam and I think you could like “Green Roses and Ham”  if you took a minute to look past just the green. I remember the first time I saw a green rose, I knew immediately I had to have it. I am funny like that. Unique flowers excite me and I loved the thought of a green rose. I went straight to my computer, found the one I was looking for and ordered it.  It isn’t a dark green at all, but I find it quite beautiful in my garden planted by my swing.  A lot of people think that the roses are too pale or resemble the greenery already in an arrangement but they are actually a perfect complement for bright colors such as purples, blues. and oranges.  They have a delightful smell and an abundant number of petals. The blooms last a very long time on the bush and after you’ve cut them.  So if you are looking for something a little different to kick up your garden I’m sure you’ll find you just might like “Green Roses and Ham”!