Homegrown Holiday

We love embellishing simple evergreen wreaths and holiday containers with homegrown berries, dried flowers, grasses, pinecones and evergreen herbs. This year we used dried hydrangeas, ‘Winter Red’ winterberries, dried sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ flower heads, found pinecones from our white pine and the neighbor’s Austrian pine (which were, of course, on our property), seed heads from switch grass and lavender leaves. In the front door containers, we... Read More

Winter Color in the Garden

Once upon a time the fashionable winter garden was a boring line of evergreen spheres. We were afraid of brown and tan and golden flax. We were afraid to see a plant at rest or at the end of its lifecycle. Deciduous hollies (ilex verticillata), limelight hydrangeas (hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’), and switch grass (panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’) are some of my favorite plants for texture, movement and color in the winter garden. You can still plant... Read More

Must Have Perennials

October Skies aster in summer October Skies aster in summer Orange butterfly weed in foreground with ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod in summer Butterfly weed, coneflowers and blue false indigo in summer These three perennials should be in every garden. (Definitely in the midwest, eastern north America and the northwest). and possibly everywhere else in the northern temperate zone- OK, forget Arizona and New Mexico). These are among my favorite perennials because they are architectural... Read More

Flowering Basils

As a rule, I always keep my sweet Genovese basil from flowering. Any summer day, you’ll find me strolling through the kitchen garden pinching and clipping to keep the plants squat and full. You might say, obsessively pinching and cultivating the precious pesto basils so I can use them well into the late summer before they stretch out, get lanky and finally flower in spite of my best intentions. There are other culinary basils that I let flower, in fact, I grow them... Read More

Zinnias in the Kitchen Garden

We love easy to grow zinnias in the kitchen garden. It’s a perfect match- annual flowers planted with annual vegetables. Every year we plant a border of the low zinnias in the raised beds. This year we chose Double Strawberry Zahara zinnias for heat tolerance and disease resistance. No need to dead-head either.  Read More