Bulb 101-Tips for Growing and Deer Strategies

September means ordering bulbs and getting ready to plant in October and November. I plant bulbs in my garden every year to increase my varieties and numbers as I like to bring fresh cuts in to enjoy. The average vase life for tulips is a good 10 days! But many people ask what varieties I …

Crimes Against Horticulture – Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid

In the landscape business for over 25 years, I have seen it all. I have worked for large landscape businesses and now run my own landscape design/build service. Meeting with many clients over the years, working on large estates to small courtyard jobs, I feel that I have observed every mistake in the book before …

Sweet and Savory Easy Jam Recipes

When you have oodles of tomatoes coming in every day, I had to do something with them besides sauce. There is only so much sauce I can use throughout the year. So, I tried 2 recipes, one for heirloom tomatoes, mostly red, and the other for yellow grape tomatoes which had a banner year in …

Bread Art with Botanicals

Liking to cook, garden and design, when I noticed these beautiful focaccia breads all over the internet, I had to make some. It makes sense to decorate focaccias, as they are a blank canvas waiting to be adorned with art- edible art! Focaccias have always been my favorite easy-to-make bread in my bread machine and …

Elderflower/Elderberry Ultimate Guide

  Elderflowers are reaching a new level of popularity because they are easy to grow and use in recipes, and have many health benefits.  The sweet umbels of creamy colored flowers that can reach 12" across are so fragrant and have a unique smell - kind of like floral, creamy, and summery all in one …

The Edible Flower Garden – Petal to Plate

Edible flowers are frequently for sale at farmer's markets but most people are hesitant to take the plunge and actually eat them. Garnishes - yes, but actually eating flowers??? For most people that is a different story. But flowers can add a lot to the flavor as well as  appeal of a dish.  Go to …

Springtime in Giverny

Giverny, designed by artist Claude Monet, looks good in any season, but spring time visits are glorious! Bulbs, early spring flowers, blooming shrubs and trees, make it a impressionistic painting of flowers. Visually striking from the moment you step foot in the garden, most people upon entering, pause and let it all soak in before …

Scotland’s Gardens, Islands, and Castles

I am traveling to Scotland in July and am very excited about seeing parts of Scotland that I haven't seen before and visiting favorites that I want to go back and see. I will be leading a small group of intrepid travelers, some new and many repeats of my previous tours. My garden tours are …

Planting a Pollinator Friendly Bee Lawn

Turf grass lawns are an American tradition. Everyone who has any kind of yard or property aspires to having a perfect green manicured carpet. But as we now know, grass can be a dead zone for native insects and birds, devoid of any nutrition or habitat for native species. Mowing, watering, fertilizing, and pest controls …

Hellebores-Deer Resistant, Low Maintenance, Shade Perennial

Gardeners and Hellebores Ok, drumroll here....I think I can say that Hellebores are my favorite perennial plant. A well-kept secret of garden enthusiasts, Hellebores should be more widely known to serious and not so serious gardeners alike; this is a plant that is worth seeking out. What other plant resists deer, neglect, likes shade-even deep shade, is …

Great Backyard Bird Count 2022

  The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) runs from Feb 18-22, 2022, which is an unique opportunity to get the family involved in this popular hobby to record bird sightings. An event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations, the GBBC is a great …

Stars of the Garden – David Austin Roses

David Austin Roses evokes trusses of fragrant  many petalled blooms hanging on an arbor in the quintessential English garden. I have seen many of these examples over the years in my travels in the UK and also the western part of the country, but in the Mid-Atlantic region, this effect is harder to get, but …

Secrets of Great Seed Starting for Experts and Beginners

Everybody is into seed starting this spring because of renewed interest in gardening and there are tips and tricks to this great money saving hobby. New gardeners frequently think that you just throw some seeds from a seed packet into potting soil and place them in a bright window and hope for the best. But …

Bird Feeding Station From Recycled Christmas Tree

Recycling a fresh cut Christmas tree into a bird feeding station is the ultimate repurposing of your Christmas decorations. Setting up my old tree next to my bird feeders gave me hours of enjoyment watching birds feeding, chirping, and feasting - not to mention the squirrels pigging out!  Just watching the squirrel antics kept us …

Fire & Ice at Longwood Gardens

If you haven't had a chance to get to Longwood Gardens this year for the 'Fire & Ice' Christmas decorations, you still have time. Scheduled to be open until January 9, 2022, the decorations were over the top. Each year I think they can't outshine the previous years, but 'Fire & Ice' was fantastic! Opposites …

Deck the Halls With Foraged Christmas Arrangements

Everyone is decking the halls, by cutting boughs of greens from their property and using them for decorating. Foraging is the trendy way of describing the time honored tradition of using what you already have. When spruce cones start to form on trees, I venture out with my long reach pruners and snip them off …

Bird Lover’s Homemade Gifts for Christmas

Crossing out several names on my Christmas list this year, I was left with a bird lover/watcher who I knew would appreciate homemade bird treat ornaments. Feeding hungry songbirds in winter is a great way for people to interact with nature and help birds get through the tough months of winter. Studies show that bird …

White House Christmas – Gifts From The Heart

Christmas at The White House is magical - both for volunteer decorators and visitors. And I got to be a decorator again for the fourth time this past Thanksgiving week and never tire of doing it. People from all over the country converge on The White House on Thanksgiving week to decorate the People's House …

Christmas Porch Pots for Instant Pizzazz

Christmas porch pots are the easiest method to decorate your outside entrance inexpensively and quickly. If you need some pizzazz to greet visitors, create a live green arrangement with evergreens and twigs cut from your property. Jazz it up with something sparkly and you can leave it in place for weeks without any care. Long …

Christmas Decorating with Holly at McLean Nursery

McLean Nursery is gearing up for a big Christmas holly decorating season! Hundreds of fluffy festive bows are hanging from the workshop ceiling and the 'elves' are busily making the many wreaths and boxwood trees that are destined to deck the halls of some lucky customers. And those customers come back year after year as …

Porch Pots for Instant Fall Color

Porch pots are an old fashioned way to decorate a deck, porch, or other entrance to and give you instant fall color. Burning bush, dogwood, viburnums, hydrangea flowers, and other fall colored branches are available for the taking along road sides or your property. Foraging in the Wild Burning bush has escaped to the wild …

Top 10 Ways to Decorate Pumpkins for Fall

Celebrate the fall season by these top 10 ways of pumpkin decorating. From mini chalk-painted pumpkins to gorgeous hand-painted marble creations, step up your style this year with these no-carve painted pumpkin ideas. These creative painted pumpkins think outside the box with modern metallics, fresh florals, and gold studs. Get inspired to take your pumpkin …

Garden Mums for a Last Blast of Color

Garden mums should be in every garden for that last blast of color before the first freeze withers everything.  One of the last plants to bloom before frost, I savor the blowsy colorful flowers that come in a range of reds, oranges, and pinks. Attracting many pollinators as they are the few things that are …

Buckeyes Are Blooming – Summer Garden Queen!

Bottle Brush Buckeyes are blooming everywhere and if you are in the know, you are planting more of them.  Attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and other native pollinators by the dozens, this native is a great understory plant for shady woodland areas. Deer and rabbit resistant, it forms a dense, mounded, suckering, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub which typically …

Home Grown Bouquets at #BouquetoftheDay

When COVID reared its ugly head in March, I started to spend a lot more time at home as my garden travel schedule was cancelled. Trained as a floral designer, and also an avid gardener, I decided to grow more plants that I can use in floral arrangements using my preferred method "garden style". Arranging …

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