Mad About Vines – Just A Girl With A Vine Growing Passion

Mad About Vines – Just A Girl With A Vine Growing Passion
I know when I say I’m mad about vines there will be plenty of people who think I am certainly mad, like insane. Yes, vines can be invasive, rampant and, if left unchecked, downright destructive – but I love them anyway. My Love for Growing Vines What’s not to love? Most vines grow so rapidly you can practically see them growing, which to me is magical. Many bear stunning flowers and others sublime fruit. They can be used to create a private oasis in a world that is increasingly public. Yes, I see the point of the naysayers who say that they can also take over a garden, outbuilding, tree or even a home, but these people lack the nerve to tame the chaotic vine. Because, yes, for the most part it is true that vines have a tendency to get out of hand. Even those which seem trained into... Read More

Questions About Nasturtiums In The Garden

Questions About Nasturtiums In The Garden
Nasturtiums are both beautiful and edible, so it can be disheartening to have these wonderful flowers not perform as expected. It’s the goal of Gardening Know How to help avoid nasturtium issues, or at the very least amend them, by providing the best information possible so your flower garden will flourish – and that includes answering the nasturtium questions that plague us all. Here are the top questions about growing nasturtium flowers. 1) How do you care for nasturtiums? Busy gardeners can appreciate nasturtiums, as they are incredibly easy to grow. One reason is these edible flowers thrive in poor soil. No need for soil testing or amending. Simply choose a location which receives full to partial sun and has good drainage. Nasturtiums are also well-suited to container growing. Keep nasturtium weeded and water when rain is scarce and the top of the soil has dried. For the … Read More

Using Herbal Flowers – My Favorite Edible Herb Flowers

Using Herbal Flowers – My Favorite Edible Herb Flowers
Big, showy flowers are nice. They make great table decorations, but when it comes to edible blooms, I prefer the smaller, more modest flowers of certain herbs. They make excellent teas and work well in desserts and cocktails. Some of my favorite edible herb flowers are lavender, sage, and chives. Using Herbal Flowers Most people grow herbs for their leaves, but I also enjoy many of the flowers. They offer a unique flavor and also have some medicinal properties. One of my absolute favorite cups of tea is chamomile, which not only relaxes me before bed but also soothes an upset stomach. Here are some of my other top herbal flower uses in the kitchen: Lavender. Collect and dry lavender buds before they fully open. I use them to make a light, relaxing tea, but also in cocktails and cookies. Simmer a cup of water … Read More

Color Update with Paint, Plants and Wall Art

Color Update with Paint, Plants and Wall Art
Thank you all for your many color suggestions for my front garden, in comments to this post. I love those colors, too! But I had to choose, and for an accent color against the house, including parts of the house itself, it had to be a color approved by my coop. Luckily there IS one I love, having seen it on a couple of whole houses recently – the mint green above. So far, I’ve used it on my house numbers and the pole holding up the front porch. Soon my overhead porch light will be replaced and at that time I’ll have the ceiling painted mint green. That should brighten up the doorway. Though I agree completely that yellow is a great accent with blue, I didn’t choose it because upon reflection I realized there’s plenty of it already – in flowers and foliage. Here’s an example – … Read More

An annual enabler – GardenRant

An annual enabler – GardenRant
There remains a certain snobbishness about annuals, partly because some perceive them as “common,” and partly because they’re, well, annual. (Many of have seen the famous Plant Delights/Tony Avent T-shirt that says, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Annuals.”) I always have a lot of annuals in pots and routinely I am asked during garden walks whether or not I can save them from year to year. Quel nightmare! I can just imagine trying to keep a lot of petunias, coleus, annual salvia, and scaveola alive over the winter, all of it growing scrawnier and buggier by the week in my less-than-optimal interior conditions. Anyway, I like to change it up, so no saving for me. But I defy anyone to scorn annuals after seeing the magnificent work at Buffalo’s Erie Basin Marina Trial Gardens. For decades, these expansive gardens have been tended by one guy, Stan Swisher (above), who grows... Read More

Quick, Year-Round Color in the Garden – with Paint!

Quick, Year-Round Color in the Garden – with Paint!
Before and after in less than a week! Taking me away from the horrors of my newsfeed this week has been transforming the look of my Greenbelt, Maryland rowhouse from its dull, 35-year-old grey vinyl to the fully restored International Style of its origins in the New Deal. During my 8 years living in here, I felt resigned to the siding until I realized I had a very do-able option – paying to have the siding removed and the surface patched, then painted with my favorite of the colors my coop allows – what it calls Wedgewood Blue. COLOR, glorious color! Front door of my color-loving friend. In the words of my friend who created the most colorful house and garden in town, “Color therapy is for real. I say paint with bold colors that make you happy. The great thing about it is if you decide that it doesn’t... Read More

Experts Expose the Deadliest Garden Writing Tools! And Five Fabulous Coneflowers that Defy News Feed Blues!!!

Experts Expose the Deadliest Garden Writing Tools! And Five Fabulous Coneflowers that Defy News Feed Blues!!!
July 15, 2020 Cincinnati, Ohio Dear Marianne, Thank you so much for your letter dated June 26th. During this chaotic, busy time, it reminded me that I’m still in this relationship, and just as importantly, it reminded me why. I’ll explain this a little later on. Before I do, I want to address my Facebook overshares. I’ve been accused of this before, and I have brought it up with health professionals. Mental health professionals. Through this I’ve learned new things about myself. Some of it is rather technical, but the short answer is that my oversharing is caused by vodka and tonics. Thing is, my life is hard. Very hard. I live in the Midwest. Where everything sucks. Everything here can either kill you or leave you begging that it does. The Midwest especially hates gardeners. So the drinks are well-deserved, and the things I then say on … Read More

A Home-Grown Alternative – GardenRant

A Home-Grown Alternative – GardenRant
I’ve recently been contributing the text for a book about high-end landscapes in the Hamptons, that playground of the wealthy at the eastern tip of New York’s Long Island.  A couple of features unite almost all of these retreats.  There has to be a huge “resort-style” swimming pool, of course, and beside that a large arbor for lounging made of ipé wood. Ipé is a tropical hardwood from Amazonia.  Aside from its handsome appearance – its rich, dark color has earned it the nickname “Brazilian walnut” – ipé is valued for its durability.  There are claims that even when exposed to the weather ipé will last as long as 50-75 years.  That sounds extravagant.   I do know, though,, though, that a boardwalk made of ipé on Coney Island, NY lasted 25 years in that difficult seaside, high-traffic environment before it had to be replaced. So when I recently confronted a... Read More

A Gentle Plea for Chaos

A Gentle Plea for Chaos
Is there any reason to welcome chaos? It is the inevitable balance to stagnant order. In the Grand Garden, chaos is vitally necessary for life to thrive. Mary Vaananen joins us for her 4th Guest Rant. Moody chaos in the author’s garden THE BRITISH AUTHOR Mirabel Osler’s wonderful book was published in the 1980s, a time when British gardening was of a certain tidy proper look. Mirabel’s gentle plea was for gardeners to allow the magic back into their gardens by handing back the reins (just a little or a lot) to Mother Nature.  Self-sown plants weaving a tapestry within garden beds was, to Mirabel, idyllic, unplanned and imperfectly perfect. Since her book was published in 1989, others have come along speaking the same language. Cultivating Chaos, Sowing Beauty, and Planting in a Post Wild World all look towards making sustainable plantings that are beautiful, with natural … Read More