Let’s Chat Gardening Love & Roses

Recently I was invited by the Indianapolis Rose Society to chat gardening love – it’s my very favorite thing, so I jumped at the chance!

I’m a forth generation Hoosier girl, and I grew up in an Ag family. I may work within a corporate job, but most evenings and weekends you can find me in the garden. Periodically, you can find me on news segments, authoring articles, at festivals, workshops and expos.

Gardening really is my favorite thing to do AND to talk about!

But Why Gardening, Carrie?

Why not art or cooking or interior design? Well, in fact, gardening has a great deal to do with all of those hobbies as well. When I cook, I cook from my own garden – herbs and veggies. My friend in Brown County, gourd artist Rosie Bolts, creates from her garden. And TC Steele, a distant relative of mine, painted the vistas on his land. Tessa in the Garden is my favorite. The views he was privy to no longer exist, only captured in his paintings now.

Gardening was something I loved early on – it was a big part of my childhood home in Anderson, Indiana, where I learned about how to grow stuff. A spider plant taught me how plants grew. Pluck off one of those spider ‘babies’ and place them in water, then watch the roots begin to sprout…this was utterly fascinating to me!

My father taught me philanthropy and that feeding people from the garden is a good thing. My mother was a home EC major at Purdue in 1940. She grew beautiful irises. I have them in my garden today. I have divided them so many times, that in my neighborhood community, on one single weekend is brilliant with the yellow of my Mother’s long ago gardens.

In my home you’ll find botanical prints on the wall paper, flowers on the dishes, herbs in the meals I prepare, fresh vegetables on the menu, beautiful artistic views when you sit quietly on the deck with your morning coffee, and horticultural books on the shelves at home. I even antique for garden stuff. My favorite collectibles are galvanized watering cans and wooden seed boxes.

Just as my Mother taught me the love of growing things, please make sure you share that with your children too! It’s so important. Teaching children how to grow their own food is so important. Our sons, Reily and Austin grew vegetables in containers with me as children. Pea Pods! Pea Pods! And they eat them still today!

Summer Roses

I deeply believe that gardening helps us create a beautiful life and nothing is more beautiful than summer roses in a well-designed garden. Herbs, flowers and roses are my favorite things to grow in my garden. But particularly for roses, you must consider several important factors.

  • The view, I love roses out my front or back door, for example
  • Amount of sun, 6-8 hours is critical
  • Drainage, rose need good drainage
  • Is the are low or sloped
  • Is the soil acidic

Gardening is an extension of our indoor life! Not only do flowers and roses provide beauty in our gardens and yards, but they yield beautiful bouquets for areas of our home, for tablescape centerpiece, for friends, and for events. My beloved garden cuttings have been showstoppers at showers, First Communions and themed outdoor dinner parties. For example, sunflowers are gorgeous for an outdoor summer Italian-themed dinner and hydrangeas are beautiful as a centerpiece.

It all adds beauty and quality to our living don’t you think?

I keep a large stash of vases that I fill with clean water and make a wonderful arrangement to take across the street to a friend.  I love growing variegated hostas, their foliage is abundant, and I utilize the leaves for the base of my arrangement. Lambs ear too. The soft fuzzy grey leaves are an incredible accent, and the children love them, because the leaves look and feel like sweet little, “lambs ears.” I love a vase with a narrow opening too. It holds the stems so well. Oh and I adore these topiary roses as a focal point in an arrangement.

Roses really speak to our inner English country gardener with the romance of it all. So get to your favorite gardening nursery and begin adding a bunch of new varieties to your landscape for cutting this year. I promise it adds so much to your daily living. It is said that we are happier when we see a flower.

You’ll want to consider what to plant and just like good design keep in mind:

  • Colors
  • Textures
  • Foliage
  • Height

Make sure you have a garden bench or spot to do your work.

Nature is an amazing thing, a great asset to our lives. It can provide introspection, rest and relaxation.

Onward to Growing a Beautiful Life!

– Gardening Love, Carrie

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