2020-A Great Gardening Year

Hearing from everyone how awful this year has been- I agree! Until I remember everything good that came from the garden. If you don't have a garden, I commiserate. Gardening has kept me sane and quite busy this year. January I recycled my Christmas tree for the birds. Try that this year instead of setting …

The White House in Gingerbread

Having decorated for Christmas at the White House for several years, my fondest memories of the time spent there is the official unveiling  of the intricately detailed candy-adorned gingerbread house. Gingerbread Construction & Placement The annual tradition occurs around the last day that we are feverishly decorating, when the enormous and very heavy piece of …

Poinsettias: Selection, Care & Uses

No flower says Christmas like the beautiful Poinsettia.  I was amazed to learn that the Poinsettia is the most popular potted plant by far in the U.S. and Canada. But here are a few tips in buying the perfect Poinsettia to adorn your Christmas season. Selecting a Healthy Poinsettia Before Care-Have you ever brought home …

Front Porch Winter Cheer

What do you do with containers on your front porch or deck once you have yanked out those sorry-looking frost-killed petunias? Segue into the holiday season with beautiful fall/winter containers using "yard" material. Forage for material from your property on or around your home. Snips in hand, I venture into roadside edges and woods and …

Longwood Gardens’ Magical Shape Christmas

The indoor and outdoor display at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA ends its six-week run on Jan. 5. The focus is on "Shapes of Christmas" and includes a jaw-dropping 350 foot ribbon made of bending Italian poplar, covered with gilded wallpaper, and edged with crushed walnuts shells and glitter. Magical Conservatories A family tradition …

Poinsettia-Customs & Traditions

No flower says Christmas like the beautiful Poinsettia.  I was amazed to learn that the Poinsettia is the most popular potted plant by far in the U.S. and Canada. Here are some other interesting tidbits: History & Legends The Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, means "very beautiful" The showy leaves or petals, called "bracts", are not the actual flower. The …

For the Love of Holly-McLean Nursery

On a recent chilly and rainy afternoon I visited McLean Nursery in Parkville, Maryland, to get my annual inspiration for "decking the halls with boughs of holly". Lots of cheerful people (and a dog!)stuffed into a cozy shed full of holiday trimmings was a nice respite from the constant deluge of rain. Busy with working …

Foraged Outdoor Arrangements

Baby, it is cold outside.... Those popular lyrics say it all. We are warming up inside with a glass of wine and enjoying ourselves. But if you entertain or just bring in the groceries, you need some holiday arrangements to greet your guests or lift your spirits. Here are some ideas on doing outdoor arrangements …

Foraged Foliage & Berries For Fall

Porch pots are an old fashioned way to decorate a deck, porch, or other entrance to greet people with something colorful during the fall and winter season. 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 …

The Year in Review-Top Garden Posts For 2018

  It's that time of year again, where I review my most viewed posts from all over the world and I was surprised at some of the posts that were at the top of the heap. The top ten countries that view my blog in descending order are the U.S. Canada, UK, Australia, India, Germany, …