Engaging Kids In The Garden 

Kids Love Tools
Kids Love Tools
Kids Love To Use Tools

Life happens in the garden. From the miracle of seed germination, to watching the plethora of pollinators that converge on the garden, gardening is an interactive way to engage children. From growing your own food, flourishing relationships, to caring for the earth it all begins at ground level. Get out and play in the dirt with your kids!

Ten Ways To Get Kids In The Garden

  1. Provide a dedicated space for the garden

    The Raised Kids Garden
    The Raised Garden: Insignia Concrete Block
  2. Start your seeds inside then transplant together in your garden

    'Sow' Easy A Baby Can 'Sow Seeds' For The Kids Garden
    ‘Sow’ Easy A Baby Can ‘Sow Seeds’ For The Kids Garden
  3. Kids love tools; get them their own set and teach them how to maintain them

    Kids Love Tools
    Kids Love Tools
  4. Buy plants with a proven track record of success like Proven Winners

    Salvia, a perennial pollinator attractant
    Salvia, a perennial pollinator attractant
  5. Gardening gloves for kids are always a favorite

    Kids Love Gardening Gloves
    Kids Love Gardening Gloves
  6. Kids love to haul things in carts & wheelbarrows. Have them available if possible for easy tasks.

    Kids Love To Haul Things As Helpers
    Kids Love To Haul Tools
  7. Let kids dig, plant & measure plant growth Kids Getting Down

  8. Count and list visitors to the garden Catching Frogs & Roosters

    http://http://youtu.be/nIOcohnuiw4

    Share the bounty with friends & neighbors

    Veggies for Sale | CSA
    Veggie Bounty | Kids Garden Veggie Stand CSA
  9. Start a veggie stand to sell extra tomatoes as a neighborhood CSA

    Family Relationships Grow
    Family Relationships Grow
    Starting The Raised Bed From The Ground-Up
    Starting The Raised Bed From The Ground-Up

    The Sniff Test
    Fragrance Is Important To Kids

 

Labor Day Rose Parade

The Rose Garden in Bloom

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show in March was our first rose garden blooming of the 2015 season with American Rose Society (ARS) Executive Director Laura Seabaugh and many of the finest US American Rose Society member docents there to educate the public about roses. ARS Vice President, Ms. Pat Shanley, membership chair provided 1000’s of printed ARS handouts

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show Rose Garden in Bloom In March | Apricot Candy | Cinco de Mayo
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show Rose Garden in Bloom In March | Apricot Candy | Cinco de Mayo

Labor Day, the first Monday of September honors the contributions workers have made to the “strength, prosperity and well-being of the country.” It also traditionally signals the end of summer, and back to school. I can define the day in two words, its time to “Get Serious” again and settle into a routine. Summer time can be disruptive for many families and to go about the business of life and learning they need a structured environment.

Star Roses and Plants Apricot Candy in Bloom at Chicago Flower & Garden Show in March
Star Roses and Plants Apricot Candy in Bloom at Chicago Flower & Garden Show in March
September is also time to start wrapping up the rose garden for fall rose shows. For most of the US with a fall season here’s your September rose garden check list:
  • Make your last fertilization this month.
  • Cut spent blooms if you desire
  • Those not cut will form rosehips and start the bush into a slow dormancy process
  • Continue watering deep to eight inches
  • Check for thrips if you intend to exhibit, cooler nights is the right environment for mildew

In honor of Labor Day Here is a rotogravure of the highlights of the 2015 rose season.

The Rose Garden in Bloom
The Rose Garden in Bloom | The two Candelabra are on ‘Hot Cocoa’

I keep a diary of the growing season. My summary thus far for zone 6b “has not been a very good rose year” in Illinois. Too much rain, not enough sun. It looks like the fall bloom may be significant yet.

Moondance by Dr. Keith Zary
Moondance by Dr. Keith Zary
Princess Alexandra of Kent by David Austin
Princess Alexandra of Kent by David Austin Roses
Anna's Promise Blooming at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show in March
Anna’s Promise Blooming at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show in March
Rainbow Sorbet by Ping Lim | It positively glows
Rainbow Sorbet, by Ping Lim, Glowing in the morning sun| by Ping Lim | Kimberlina| Iceberg
Legend | A Roses As Big As A Barn ;)
Legend | A Roses As Big As A Barn 😉
Oso Easy® 'Candy Oh!' by Proven Winners
Oso Easy® ‘Candy Oh!’ by Proven Winners
Weeks Roses 'Easy Does It' | The little floribunda work horse of the garden
Weeks Roses ‘Easy Does It’ | The little floribunda work horse of the garden

P. Allen Smith's Garden outside his kitchen | It reminds me of fireworks! | I love this picture!
P. Allen Smith’s Garden outside his kitchen | It reminds me of fireworks! | I love this picture!
Famous and Elusive 'Big Daddy' | My custom amde hat for The #BiltmoreRoseTrials
Famous and Elusive ‘Big Daddy’ | My #rose hat for The #BiltmoreRoseTrials
Tony Abruscato | Chicago Flower & Garden Show Director | Rose Garden Visionary
Tony Abruscato | Chicago Flower & Garden Show Director | Rose Garden Visionary

Have a wonderful Labor Day Everyone! I’ll be in New York at the American Rose Society Convention next weekend, September 10-13. to talk about rose photography. Some of the most significant contributors to rose hybridization in the world will be there. Alain Meilland the creator of the ‘Peace’ rose. The Kordes family of roses is coming from Germany. Bill Radler creator of the Knock Out rose. Michael Marriot from David Austin Roses, and that’s just who I can rattle off the top of my head! I’ll be taking notes folks and writing and posting pictures. Do your part and re-tweet and forward. Tell your friends to watch for this exciting event.

‘Summer Love’ Affair With Roses

'Summer Love' Hybrid Tea by Tom Carruth
'Summer Love' Hybrid Tea by Tom Carruth
‘Summer Love’ Hybrid Tea by Tom Carruth photo credit Weeks Roses

‘Summer Love’ posted by Weeks Roses

swept me away this morning. The subtleties of the shades of yellow fascinated me. Its mesmerizing. There are hints of butter cream swirled to perfection. This also led me to the thought, see why we continue to add roses to our collection? There are so many different yellows. Its a summer love affair. While I was pondering the shades of ‘Summer Love’ it reminded me of my porcelain yellow rose called ‘Rose With Tiger’ a Connoisseur of Malvern porcelein rose created and signed by Fleur Cowles.

Rose With Tiger by Fleur Cowles of Connoisseur of Malvern
Rose With Tiger by Fleur Cowles of Connoisseur of Malvern

‘Summer Love’ then meanders us  down a yellow porcelain path so amazing I shall share it with you. While I was corporate Gift Manager of The Fine Jewelers Guild, a division of The Zale Corporation that owned Bailey Banks & Biddle we were asked to bid on dinner place setting gifts for the Exxon Mobil corporation. We commissioned world-famous Connoisseur of Malvern artist Fleur Cowles to create something unique and special. That she did. It was the time of the Exxon Valdez crisis and so it was my understanding from the giftware buyer at the time that since the Exxon-Mobil Corporation had at the time a Tiger depicted in their mantra “Put A Tiger In Your Tank” then ‘Rose with Tiger’ would present the Tiger of Exxon in a most benign manner, thus ‘Rose With Tiger.’ What could be more harmless than a tiger posed under a soft yellow rose? When I left the Zale Corporation I asked that I be able to purchase this rose. I am not sure how many other ‘Rose with Tiger’ porcelain roses actually exist by Fleur Cowles. Our bid was not accepted by Exxon Mobile.

While researching my rose, today on Chatsworth’s Lady Web site I learned this about the artist that created ‘Rose With Tiger’.

Tiger With Rose Connoisseur of Malvern, by Fleur Cowles
Tiger With Rose Connoisseur of Malvern, by Fleur Cowles

“The spirited writer/socialite/artist Fleur Cowles, who died in 2009 at the venerable age of 101, designed several sculptures for Connoisseur of Malvern as well as for several other noted British firms such as Denby and Border Fine Arts. An American (a Brooklynite, her name was actually Florence Friedman) by birth, she combined her experience as a painter, writer and editor when she launched a short-lived but critically acclaimed magazine called Flair in the 1950s. She originally entered the publishing world via her third marriage, to Gardner Cowles Jr. (pronounced “coals”) whose family owned several newspapers and national magazines. After they divorced she kept his surname even though she subsequently remarried; it was her fourth husband who relocated the family to England and Europe. (A more detailed review of her life can be found here.)

Tiger With Rose Connoisseur of Malvern, by Fleur Cowles
Tiger With Rose Connoisseur of Malvern, by Fleur Cowles

Ms. Cowles adored flowers (especially roses) and her art often combined them with jungle animals, particularly the “big cats”. Shown below are seven of her designs for Connoisseur of Malvern, produced during the early 1990s; at that time Ms. Cowles was in her early to mid-eighties.” Exxon did not choose our bid.

Flowers from P Allen Smith’s Field To Vase Dinner. American Grown Flowers

American Grown Flower at P. Allen Smiths #G2B15
American Grown Flower Arrangement and Garland from Field to Vase Dinner P. Allen Smiths #G2B15

We can never have too many yellow roses. What about the ‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ named for Emily Morgan?

 

 

Miracle on the Pier

The 'Classic Rose Garden' at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
― Albert Einstein

Weeks Roses in Bloom
Weeks Roses in Bloom

They said it couldn’t be done. I was almost convinced myself that we weren’t going to have a rose garden at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show – in March – in bloom. Then Show Director, Tony Abruscato and I sat down with Weeks Roses Sales Manager, Karen Kemp-Docksteader at the Independent Garden Show last August.

Tony Abruscato | Susan Fox in the Rose Garden
Tony Abruscato | Susan Fox in the Rose Garden

Karen told us that Weeks Roses would provide all the roses we would need, but we needed to locate a greenhouse to force them into bloom by March. The process of forcing roses requires a white paper alone. That’s another story altogether.

AC_W15

Then Star Roses and Plants, Vice President License and New Business Development, Jacque Ferare and his team that include Tim Wood and Kyle McKean said that their company would also provide Star Roses and force all of the roses into bloom at their greenhouses in Michigan. The next thing you know Tony had brilliant Landscape Architect, Scott A Mehaffey with a design for the garden. Sprinkle in some magic dust from folks like Matthias Meilland from the most distinguished, oldest family of roses in the world and things begin to bloom.

Landscape Architect, Scott Mehaffey, Designer, Rosarian Nathan Beckner
Landscape Architect, Scott Mehaffey, Designer, Rosarian Nathan Beckner

Scott requested that creative rosarian genius Nathan Beckner of Gethsemane Gardens take a leading role with this project. This man talks to roses and they obey. I know this to be true. Nathan engaged Ted’s Greenhouse to force his roses that include some of the most beautiful David Austin Roses I have ever seen. Nathan’s David Austin ‘Shropshire Lad’ captured everyone’s heart as it swept over the arbor, a magical sight for Illinoisans winter weary eyes. To know Nathan Beckner is to love him.

'Shropshire Lad' by David Austin Roses, Nathan Beckner's Rose at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show in bloom in March
‘Shropshire Lad’ by David Austin Roses, Nathan Beckner’s Rose at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show in bloom in March

Nathan was at the show before it opened, watering and dead-heading the plants, staying as a docent, pruning roses and then he went to his full-time job. If you live near Gethsemene Garden Center you have one of the nation’s leading rosarians, Nathan Beckner as a consultant. If you love roses and gardens at flower shows then we owe these companies a tremendous debt, paid in gratitude, respect and our business. A way to honor these folks and be sure we have future rose gardens at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show  is to give them your business because many of them worked at the show on their own time as volunteers.

Steve Sanger, Renowned Rose Hybridizer working with Laura Seabaugh at the ARS Table
Steve Sanger, Renowned Rose Hybridizer with Laura Seabaugh at the ARS Table

Landscape Architect and Founder of American Gardens, Jerry Milewski, built the garden and was there almost every day working as a volunteer answering questions from very gracious and grateful visitors. Even the Chicago Botanic Garden Master Horticulturist, Tom Soulsby (who I interviewed for the 2014 American Rose Society Annual for the article I wrote on the Krasburg Rose Garden) volunteered for a day and worked at the rose garden. John Beaty of Mills Magic was there opening night. We are so proud to have him as our organic fertilizer sponsor. And just think about the amount of organic soil that Mark Highland, of Organic Mechanics had to bring in for gardens like this. And yes I use his soil and I love it.

Susan Fox | John Beaty | Laura Seabaugh
Susan Fox | John Beaty | Laura Seabaugh

The American Rose Society (ARS) worked with me at record speeds, accomplishing coverage of volunteer Consulting Rosarians for the entire show to answer any questions the public might have about roses. Analytic Director for Mesa Boogie, Michael Fox provided me with the solution for tracking our volunteers. Thank-you Michael. And we have to thank Jolene Adams, Pat Shanley and Jeffrey Ware of the American Rose Society for providing material and sending Laura Seabaugh and her close friend Yvonne Matherne who worked at the show right beside me as crowds filled our rose garden throughout the show. ARS President, Jolene Adams was the first person I asked if she thought this project was feasible. She was my behind the scenes coach and a cheerleader every step of the way. ARS, Vice President Pat Shanley is the most generous, fast acting, get things done person I’ve ever seen working through and with Jeffry Ware and Laura Seabaugh to make things happen.

Julia Child in Bloom
Julia Child in Bloom

So you see roses bloomed in Chicago thanks to all these wonderful folks for the first time in over ten years.

Gardeners attending the show saw that roses are easy to grow, require minimal care, are long living, and resilient. The American Rose Society (ARS) Director of Membership, Laura Seabaugh assisted as we coordinated ARS volunteer docents Consulting Rosarians available throughout the show at the rose gardens to answer questions about rose growing any attendees may have.

ApricotW15
‘Apricot Candy’ Glowing as it springs into bloom

Pictures are truly worth a thousand words. Here are the Star and Weeks Roses that we had at the show.

Star Roses on Parade
Star Roses on Parade

Star Roses and Plants

Dee-Lish

Pink Flamingo

Eternal Flame

Apricot Candy

Sunshine Daydream

Greenmark PR President, Sue Markgraf
Greenmark PR President, Sue Markgraf next to David Austin climbing rose in bloom

Weeks Roses

Anna’s Promise

Cinco De Mayo

Julia Child

Jump for Joy

Koko Loko

Oh My!

Fairy Garden That Delighted Everyone Young and Old
Fairy Garden That Delighted Everyone Young and Old

The Fairy Garden

Garden Wise Living designed the Fairy Garden.  We had miniature roses within the design to delight gardeners and children alike. The Fairy Garden was so popular with young and old alike. twitter ID is @greenblessings.

A Thought to Leave You With

The CEO of  Tom’s Shoes, Tom Mycoskie, Founder of One for One said he didn’t “wake up one day knowing he could change the world.” (paraphrased) But he is changing the world providing shoes for people all over the world one pair of shoes at a time. Read his story folks and if you don’t think Mom wants a rose bush for Mother’s Day buy her a pair of Tom’s shoes and know you just put a pair of shoes on the feet of people who may never have had a pair of shoes, or maybe buy her a rose bush and a pair of Tom’s Shoes*

David Austin Roses
David Austin Roses

Special thanks to Certified Roses, Mills Magic and Sue Markgraf and Gina Tedesco of Greenmark PR who were absolutely amazing through this show. Sue Markgraf is world class.

disclaimer: I don’t own a pair of Tom’s shoes. Tom doesn’t know me, my Web site nor has he ever heard of me.  My granddaughter has a pair. I read his story this week when @MargieClayman posted his blog and I think he is a great man with a wonderful mission.

Anna's Promise in Bloom at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Anna’s Promise in Bloom at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show

More Pictures

Nathan Beckner on the far right with docent and show attendees
Nathan Beckner on the far right with docent and show attendees

And The Hat

The Hat my darling daughter-in-law picked out for me sight un-seen of the color of my jacket and it was perfect!
The Hat my darling daughter-in-law picked out for me sight un-seen of the color of my jacket and it was perfect!

Rose Pruning Deja-Vu

Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois
Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois
Gaga’s Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.” ~ Yogi Berra

Have you ever experienced déjà vu and wondered: was that true déjà vu or have I actually done the exact same thing at the same time last year? My rose pruning, is a ritualistic Rite of Spring. The ‘Rite of Spring’ is an actual ballet and orchestral concert work by Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, that when first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. I understand, if the symphony is anything like the cacophony of nature during spring and the urge to prune our bushes. Rosarians, and most all gardeners live for spring. It’s that simple. We lift leaves to peek for new growth and basal breaks.

Rosarians live for seeing new basal breaks
Rosarians live for seeing new basal breaks

What Is A Basal Break?

A basal break is a new cane that sprouts from the bud union on grafted roses and from the ground on roses grown on their own root. The most exciting discovery for rose lovers are new basal breaks on their rose bushes. Fresh, renewed growth – the sign of a healthy plant– and a promise of new flowers to come makes our work exciting and worthwhile.

DeWit Hand Tools
DeWit Tulip Trowel and Small Fork for Close Spaces

How Can We Protect Basal Breaks?

Today let’s talk about pruning roses and some of the most finite processes that require delicate tools that let you feel like an artist or a surgeon.

Corona Convertible Loppers
Corona Convertible Loppers

Gardeners love to work with their hands. That’s why we love tools. Tools that allow us to do more finite work make us feel more in touch with with the creation that is to be.

Corona Needle Nose Pruners
Corona Needle Nose Pruners

Its All In The Tools

You can see by the demonstration in the pictures how the needlenose pruners and loppers and the small fork allow us to get close to delicate growth while protecting it. These are the tools that allow us to get close and protect that precious new growth. A picture of how these tools work is worth a thousand words.

Have they tools ready. God will find thee work. ~ Charles Kingsley