Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Great Sunflower Project

Herb gardeners know how important bees are to our gardens. One of every three bites of food we eat come from a plant pollinated by wild pollinators. Unfortunately many pollinators are declining. That’s what the Great Sunflower Project wants to change. 


Grow sunflowers to attract butterflies, bees and finches. Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson

The Great Sunflower Project, a project that plans to unravel the mystery of the disappearing pollinators, pulls together data that you help them collect. With this data it will create a database to help understand what is happening to the bee pollinators and how our green spaces are connected. Sunflowers is an easy-to-grow plant that gives height to the herb garden and is wildy attractive to birds and bees.

Sign up and plant your sunflowers.
Watch your sunflower for 15 minutes: Write down how long it takes for the first five bees to arrive at your sunflower. After 15 minutes, you can stop. If you haven’t seen 5 bees by then, the Great Sunflower Project want to know!
• Enter your data online.

By watching and recording the bees at these sunflowers, you can help with the research the Great Sunflower Project is doing to understand the challenges that bees are facing. Grow annual ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflowers (Helianthus anus). I got mine from Renee’s Garden. ‘Lemon Queen’ is a lovely branching variety that is particularly attractive to bees. Other herbs that bees are attracted to include basils, borage, catmint, lavender and rosemary.


Win ’Lemon Queen’ sunflower seeds and participate in the Great Sunflower Project. Photo by Rhonda Fleming hayes/Courtesy Flickr

Win ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflower seeds and participate in the Great Sunflower Project.
Photo by Rhonda Fleming hayes/Courtesy

Seed Packet Giveaway

Renee’s Garden is giving away three packets of ‘Lemon Queen’ sunflowers to three lucky blog readers.


• Post a comment in the comments section below telling us why you grow, or why you want to grow, sunflowers.

• End date: June 1, 2011 (12:00 a.m. Central Time)

Good luck!


All About Crown Princess Margareta

You catch this scent as you step outside the kitchen door in the morning.

Crown Princess Margareta

After the sun has warmed this David Austin rose, it perfumes the entire garden.

Crown Princess Margareta is an apricot/orange David Autstin rose. It has double blooms and is a short climber. It is one of my most fragrant roses. I’ve been tempted more than once, to just sit down and enjoy the heavenly fragrance from a near by bench.

Princess Margareta flowers are filled with petals, it doesn’t seem as if you could tuck in one more sweet apricot petal in this rose. The flowers are so full and heavy, that they are best admired on the plant. As a cut flower, the blooms are so heavy that the stems cannot support them. The flowers quickly  tilt their faces down in the vase (but, oh, the fragrance!)

Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and was an accompished landscape gardener who, together with the Crown Prince (later, King Gustavus VI Adolfus of Sweden), created the famous Swedish Summer Palace of Sofiero in Helsingborg. And this bit of trivia lead me to the fabulous Sofiero gardens:


Rhododendrons in bloom at the Sofiero castle in Helsingborg, Sweden.

The main attractions of Sofiero are the Rhododendron gardens, with almost 500 different varieties.


GBBD May 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

To visit other Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day participants, visit our host Carol at May Dreams Garden.

I have many flowers this May. Thank you for coming by. We would have tea in the garden but it’s a bit too cool and breazy.

Yellow herb. I don’t remember what it is. I grew it from seed. this is the second year it’s come up, but the first time to bloom. It reminds me of a bad hair hair day.

Little Women Story Book rose.

Nepeta or cat mint









Dick Clark rose

Dick Clark is planted in the bed that surounds the patio. Plant this rose close by becaus you will want to see all colors. No two roses are alike. But they all have a delightful cinnamon fragrance.

Queen Elizabeth rose

I have two Queen Elizabeth roses, planted in large containers. They are so lovely, I have not decided on a permanant home for them. When I bought these roses, they were in the discount table at Lowes, reduced for qick sale. The queens were  happy to get a little food, water, and a  place to stretch their roots.

Japenese Red Maple











Did I mention all the rain we’ve been having in southeat Missouri? Yes, I’m tired of it too.

A yellow rose that came home without a label.


I do not know what kind of rose this is, It has been planted in my circle garden for about 4 years. It has that great old fashioned rose fragrance. There are lots of bright yellow blooms that fade to a soft yellow.  It has the most thorns of any rose I have.










Oso Easy® Paprika Rose


Paprika starts out bright orange and yellow

This little rose bush just makes me smile. It’s colorful, covered with blooms, needs no pruning, spraying or chemical treatments. What could be better than a carefree rose?

The specifications say these little shrub rose bushes reach 12 to 24 inches, however mine is well over two feet tall. Oso Easy® Paprika rose is extremely disease resistant. I have not needed to spray or prune in the four years I’ve had it. Even better, no need to deadhead.

Starting out as a beautiful orange and fading to a soft coral with a yellow center, Paprika will bloom summer to frost. The spicy orange repeat blooms cover this rose bush beginning in late spring. Mine is covered with dozens of flowers and it is mid May. After occasional flowers during the heat of a very humid, zone 6 summer, there will be an early fall flush.


Flowers start out bright and fade to soft yellow

This one inch bloom is a rich orange color and fades to light yellow before the petals fall. The bright green foliage just seems to compliment the spicy colored flowers.

Paprika would flower more if I fertilized. However, it gets compost once a year, lives in a well drailed, raised flower bed and gets a leaf mulch before winter. Who knows how gorgeous Parika could be if someone paid attention to it?

Find a retail dealer at  the Proven Winners website.

2011 AARS Dick Clark

Dick Clark Rose

Every bloom is different

Meet the 2011 All America Rose Selection: Dick Clark. This grandiflora is a chameleon of a rose. When these black-red buds open, it is always a surprise. No two blooms are the same.

There are more than a dozen flowers on the bush but no two are the same. The petals ripple with color. There are softer pink and yellow blooms and some bright fluorescent pinks. If you have room for just one rose, consider Dick Clark. It is like getting a bouquet cut from several different rose bushes.

Sometimes the blooms are cream edged and blended with cherry pink. In the sun, the petals may take on a blush of burgundy or a deep dark red. The color is always a delightful surprise.

I moved this rose closer to the patio just so I could enjoy the color show and the mild spicy fragrance. The smell is a sweet mild cinnamon. This May, my Dick Clark rose is covered with blooms.

When the hot, humid summer heat of zone 6 weather hits, the blooms will disappear. When it gets cooler, there will be a last hurrah of blooms.

I have not sprayed, chemically treated, or deadheaded this rose. It does need a good pruning just to keep a manageable shape. After the flush a blooms slows down, I will trim Dick Clark later this summer.

I recieved this rose bush as a trial, before it even had a name. So when the rose won the AARS award, mine was well established and waiting to be christened “Dick Clark.”

Dick Clark Rose

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