Four Seasons of Roses

Gaga's Garden Roses 2015 Calendar Cover 'Moonstone'

Garden Legends Live On By Designs & Impressions They Leave on The Earth | Our Hearts and Minds

Gaga's Garden Roses 2015 Calendar Cover 'Moonstone'
Gaga’s Garden Roses 2015 Calendar Cover ‘Moonstone’

Gaga’s Garden Calendar of Roses represents a dream come true. What’s so special about this calendar? Here’s the back story: When my picture of a spray of ‘Julia Child’ was chosen for the American Rose Society calendar in 2014, folks asked me, “why don’t you do your own rose calendar?”

Julia Child
Julia Child

So I present you Gaga’s Garden Roses 2015. It includes roses like ‘Elle’, for the month of April, a rose near and dear to my heart. I planted ‘Elle’ when my granddaughter Gabrielle was born. She now has a little sister named Ella, so now its doubly meaningful to me. People tell me they want roses that are named for or remind them of themselves, friends, family members or celebrities all the time, and ask me to assist them in their search to locate them. The names of roses in the garden are always a topic for conversation on garden tours. So you see rose names matter.

'Elle' featured for the month of April, 2015 with a quote from Alain Meilland, Meilland Roses International,
‘Elle’ featured for the month of April, 2015 with a quote from Alain Meilland, Meilland Roses International,

 

“A rose is an argument. It proclaims the triumph of beauty over brutality, of gentleness over violence, of the ephemeral over the lasting, and of the universal over the particular. The same rose bursts into bloom on the North Cape and in the Sahara Desert.”~Alain Meilland

 

Neil Diamond, new from Weeks Roses 2015 Cataolog
Neil Diamond, new from Weeks Roses 2015 Cataolog

Over the years people have taught me that a garden says so much about who we are. A rose garden can give one a venue of remembrance, an outlet for stress, a show place for photography, a sorcerers delight for alchemy, a veritable rainbow of colors, and a tapestry of fragrance so deep it touches the soul. The delight and knowledge I’ve gained through conversations about names of roses has continued to inspire me. Roses offer a way to softly gain access to the five senses in the garden that then gently whisper thoughts of life and our loved ones worth remembering that only a walk in a rose garden can inspire. Listen and let the garden speak to us. Let us count the ways on your calendar of Gaga’s Garden Roses 2015 . Happy New Year! Click on this link to buy the calendar. Happy New Year!

Don’t forget 10% of profits are donated to the American Rose Society.

The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden

Rainbow Colors of Love

Erik my beautiful boy with Downs Syndrome and 'Europeana' in the garden
Star Roses Apricot Drift Chosen by The Girls for Their Mother
Star Roses Apricot Drift Chosen by The Girls for Their Mother

“I love you more than rainbow colors,” Ella said to me with her arms around my neck. Her sweet precious breath whispered softly in my ear. What could possibly evoke love that brings about a heart melting statement that dreams are made of. I’ve thought about it a lot. Or one day while I was bent over a computer key board someone began to gently rub my neck. I felt a current pass through me so real that I thought to my self who could possibly love me this much? My son had brought my eldest granddaughter to work and I had not heard her soft approach.

Kids at the 'Zoo'
Kids at the ‘Zoo’

Upon careful reflection I believe a child’s love is magical. It grows from the little tiny precious nuggets of time spent together. How easy it is to make little children happy.

Planting A Basket for Mom | The Little Ones Adore Big Sister
Planting A Basket for Mom | The Little Ones Adore Big Sister

We were going to see the babies. I said “Ella make your list of things you would like to do when Pa and I get there to see you.” She said to her Mama and Daddy, “do you think Pa and Gaga would ever take me back to that pet store that Gabi calls the Kitty cat store?”

Babies and Puppies
Babies and Puppies

Here’s Ella Claire’s 4-year-old Baby Bucket List:

  • Go to the pet shop
  • Ride the carousel at the mall
  • Play at the McDonald’s Play Play place
  • Go Shoe shopping
Erik my beautiful boy with Downs Syndrome and 'Europeana' in the garden
Erik my beautiful boy with Downs Syndrome and ‘Europeana’ in the garden

On our visit we fulfilled her bucket list and that of the other kids. We were headed back to the house with all three of the kids. We asked everyone what was his or her favorite part of our day. Gabi said “the carousel,” Ella said “the carousel.” Erik our beautiful grandson who has Down’s Syndrome said, “going to get ice cream.” We hadn’t gone to get ice cream yet. 😉 You guessed it. We then went to get ice cream.

Fox Girls | "Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry," Ella Claire
Fox Girls | “Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry,” Ella Claire

More than riches more than gold here are the blessings that melt my heart into “ice cream puddles.”

You too can have your heart melted. Its easy. During the holidays choose an angel from the angel tree at the mall. Ask at your local churches or your town hall about families that may need a little extra help and could use some toys for Christmas. In the community where we live the churches assist seniors with Christmas lights and adopt families to get presents for the children.

For fulfilling the dreams of a four old here are her original quotes, we’ve been told that she loves us more than:

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Happiness = Managing Expectations

Star Roses 'RadRazz' A KnockOut Kissed with Ice Crystals
Star_W14This is a glimpse at the simplicity of managing life’s expectations. The family was all sitting around visiting. I said “I’m writing a Thanksgiving post about what I’m thankful for.” Out-of-the-blue, Big Daddy announces, “I’m thankful I haven’t had my first heart attack.” You can imagine he’s a pretty happy guy most of the time. Motivational Speaker to presidents, Firewalker Tony Robbins says essentially if you aren’t happy everyday maybe the expectations you’ve set for yourself and others may be unrealistic.  It makes sense.  I guess “Big Daddy” has a fairly manageable level of expectations. Tony says “every day that he learns something new is a good day.” Since I learn something new every day and I am glad Big Daddy has not had his first and especially his last heart attack I am on track to have a Tony Robbins kind of life without having to pay a bazillion dollars to walk on hot coals with Tony and Oprah, who also happens to be a big fan of Tony’s. Another fan of Tony’s is marketing guru Chris Brogan. Knowing these simple truths could save me a trip to the hospital like some of  the “fire-walkers,” that have attended Tony’s seminars and perhaps didn’t have the right mind-set to walk on hot coals, or cool shoes. Pardon the double entendre, yes I meant for ‘cool shoes’ to have two meanings ;).  Another seminar attendee declared that his philosophy is “everyday above ground is a good day.” You see, its all a matter of prospective.
The Carousel at Stonebriar Mall, Frisco, Texas
Riding the Carousel
Riding the Carousel
 
I’m Thankful for Moms, and Grandmothers and Dads and Grandfathers
Mother | Grandmother Chisholm | Suzy
Mother | Grandmother Chisholm | Suzy as a Baby

EasterPa_W2014

Here’s why. My mom taught me the most wonderful things about the holidays, like starting early and cooking every kind of pie and filling the house with the most wonderful cooking smells imaginable. She taught me how to make corn bread in a cast iron skillet like her mother taught her and that the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach. This is probably why Big Daddy is concerned about having is first heart attack. Mom also taught me you can solve almost every kind of problem by getting in the kitchen and cooking something wonderful.
 
Home Made Apple Pie
Home Made Apple Pie

Apple pie is simply the most wonderful feel good food on the planet. I can resist almost any desert except warm apple pie. My sister-in-law actually traveled from Wisconsin to Texas just to have my homemade apple pie that’s just like my mother used to make. The wine shown in the picture, The Show, is a Cabernet Sauvignon that the wine steward at Whole Foods Plano, said was one of their best selling Cabs. Looking at the cowboy on the label reminds me that this is not my first #ThanksgivingFeast rodeo. 🙂

Erik & Europeana
Erik My Grandson #DownSyndromeAwareness

Babies, children and their laughter

Children bring joy to our lives. This little guy, my grandson has Down Syndrome. He has taught me more about love than I ever thought was possible. He never sits still and is a cross between “Dennis the Menace and an Angel.” When his sister was three his daddy said it was like living with a couple of racoons, that’s how much mischief these two could get into!  When I asked him to just come to the garden for his picture I never thought he would sit still for his picture. He truly must be watching his sisters because I did not pose him this way! When he struck this pose I nearly fainted, lol!  That’s what makes this picture in the rose garden next to ‘Europeana’ all the more special. He is my heart. Anyone that sees a child and a puppy together know what joy is.
Fox Girls | "Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry," Ella Claire
Fox Girls | “Gaga, you can fly on a bird to do the laundry,” Ella Claire

Roses

“Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

 

Star Roses 'RadRazz' Knock Out on a Rainy Day
Star Roses ‘RadRazz’ Knock Out on a Rainy Day

As Nick Kellet, Founder of Listly says “statistics prove people love lists.” I’ve started an interactive list for you to add what you are thankful for including a link to a picture on the Web if available. You can also vote up and down those items listed by clicking arrows on the left up or down votes.

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Happy Thanksgiving from my neighbor’s pet turkeys George Washington and his brother Harry. I bet George and Harry are glad they are pet turkeys. 🙂

Pet Turkeys George Washington and his Brother Harry on my Neighbor's rescue farm
Pet Turkeys, George Washington and his Brother Harry on my neighbor’s goat, alpaca and animal rescue farm
 *This is an updated repost from 2013 add what you are thankful for or vote on the Listly List

Virginia, A Past Worth Exploring

Red Roses at Baptist Church Fredericksburg, VA
Red Roses at Baptist Church Fredericksburg, VA
Red Roses at Baptist Church Fredericksburg, VA

Virginia is for lovers of history, mystery and intrigue. People are welcoming and the gardens are beautiful. Slogans abound in my head, but if you love American history then add Fredericksburg, VA, known as America’s most historic city and the boyhood home of George Washington, Ferry Farm in Stafford County are places to add to your list of best places to visit. I would go there just for the Hyperion Coffee Shop.

Town Hall Rose Garden in Fredericksburg, VA
Town Hall Rose Garden in Fredericksburg, VA

Most of all I found Fredericksburg a place of historical intrigue. During the time I was doing my ancestry research for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR #0773292) people long past seemed to come to life in my dreams. My Revolutionary War soldier, Allen Hood of South Carolina, a horseman under General Sumter’s command, Militia Duty, 1780-1781, could have easily crept through the woods during the epic Battlefield of Fredericksburg.

Rappahannock River, Fredericksburg, Virginia
Rappahannock River, Fredericksburg, Virginia

The woods of Virginia where The Battle of Fredericksburg and others took place seem shrouded with restless souls looking for their way home. In this place of peaceful rivers and glacial rocks where the land once was drenched in the blood of the souls who paid the ultimate price for the cost of freedom there is an eerie feeling of young soldiers or perhaps even native Americans softly creeping through the woods.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Shrouded in shadows a tree stands way back in the woods at my son & daughter-in law’s home where gazing out the kitchen window my lovely daughter said reverently, “Look, do you see my Civil War soldier kneeling?” I looked out the window and clearly visible is the outline perfectly formed within the trunk of the tree is a soldier kneeling as if in prayer.

Tree Roots along Fredericksburg Main Street
Tree Roots along Fredericksburg Main Street

Here are some pictures of this lovely historic town. The Town Hall in Fredericksburg is one of the longest continuous in use town halls in the country, surrounded by a rose garden dedicated from a sister city in Fréjus France. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. It is located in the Fredericksburg Historic District.

Fredericksburg Town Hall, one of the oldest continuous in use town halls in the US today.
Fredericksburg Town Hall, one of the oldest continuous in use town halls in the US today.
Located 49 miles (79 km) south of Washington, D.C. and 58 miles (93 km) north of Richmond, Fredericksburg is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area .
In Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emmancipation ProclaLocated near where the Rappahannock River crosses the Fall Line, Fredericksburg was a prominent port in Virginia during the colonial era. During the Civil War, the town, located halfway between the capitals of the opposing forces, was the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg and Second Battle of Fredericksburg, preserved in part as the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Tourism is a major part of the economy, with approximately 1.5 million people visiting the Fredericksburg area annually, including the battlefield park, the downtown visitor center, events, museums and historic sites.[4]
Frejus Place Garden, Fredericksburg, VA
Frejus Place Garden, Fredericksburg, VA

The Baptist Church in Fredericksburg as so many of the denominations in Fredericksburg have a rich history dating back to before the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. I found it fascinating that like so many monuments in other cities it is surrounded by a beautiful garden of Conard Pyle Star Roses and Plants symbolized by the  iconic ‘RadRazz’ Knock Out roses in a picture perfect garden surrounding their monuments to the past.

Hostages Held at the Fredericksburg Baptist Church
Hostages Held at the Fredericksburg Baptist Church
RadRazz KnockOut at Baptist Church Frederickburg, VA
RadRazz KnockOut at Baptist Church Frederickburg, VA

And if you love antiques there are antique shops on every corner.

How Much Is That Horsey In The Window?
How Much Is That Horsey In The Window?

Put Fredericksburg, VA on your list of #BestPlacesToVisit.

A Dawning Along the Path

'Stormy Weather'
“Of all the paths a man could strike into, there is, at any given moment, a best path .. A thing which, here and now, it were of all things wisest for him to do .. To find this path, and walk in it, is the one thing needful for him.”
― Thomas Carlyle
'Stormy Weather'
‘Stormy Weather’

It’s darker than usual at 6AM, the time Izzabelle, my alarm cat, gets me up to begin our routine. Make coffee, feed the cat. No, sorry, feed the cat, make coffee, then go outside to see what’s new to photograph in the garden. Sauntering down the floribunda rose garden path I had no idea ‘Stormy Weather’ would stop me in my tracks. I was overwhelmed with a need to show you how it looked at that very moment. You’ve seen it many times. But not like this. And it will never look this way again.

Its time to let our roses make rose hips. Other than the roses you cut for late rose shows and for your home, don’t cut any more spent blooms. This signals to your plants that its time to go into winter dormancy. I want to remind you that last year was the 3rd coldest winter in Illinois recorded weather history. Who could imagine that after just losing a few roses from the cold that this year would result in such a spectacular rose year? I’m also preparing by buying all the bags of mulch that I need to cover my roses so I am ready to put extra layers of protection on them for winterizing them.

Summer of 2014 Rotogravure

‘Moonstone’ Magnificence

'Moonstone' as at home in the garden as "King" of show
‘Moonstone’ as at home in the garden as “King” of show
‘Moonstone’ stole the show this summer. At one time this spectacular rose bush had 30 fully open roses at one time.

Duo of ‘Double Delight’

Double Delight
Double Delight

“Double Delight’, introduced by Armstrong Nursery in 1977 by breeder John Sheldon,  is still as beautiful, dramatic and rewarding a rose to have as any rose I have ever grown. I will be adding more roses to the rose rotogravure all winter.

I am Fredericksburg, VA as I write and will be telling you all about it soon.