Fence garden renovation


Tue. Sep. 10, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fence garden renovation

So, as I was saying… yesterday, in the middle of my fence garden renovations, I tried to pawn off some daylilies to my friend who so graciously came over on Labor Day weekend and labored in my gardens with me!

It’s not that I dislike lilies, it’s just that they multiply so much and then crowd out other plants I want highlighted.

 My blackeyed susans are spectacular, as is my baptisia.. Unfortunately they’re also spectacularly  … [Continue reading]

Gardens aren’t static


Mon. Sep. 9, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Gardens aren’t static

Last weekend was the Labor Day holiday and a good friend of mine came over to help me do some garden chores. Oh, the joy of sharing hard work and laughs with good friends!

We dug into my perennial gardens. After 5 years, some plant choices I wasn’t completely pleased about and an ant farm that lifted some plants out of the ground, it was time to create some change.

I realized that’s not something  … [Continue reading]

Fall foliage


Fri. Sep. 6, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fall foliage

Weather plays a large role in what our Fall colors look like.  In particular, we get more vibrant reds when we have warm, sunny autumn days and cool nights.  Yellows and oranges tend to stay pretty consistent from year to year but all colors will be duller if we have a warm wet period during the Fall.  

My current situation…

Immediately to the other side of my sidewalk is this red maple that hasn’t turned at  … [Continue reading]

Fall plant picks – assorted varieties


Thu. Sep. 5, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fall plant picks – assorted varieties

As we work our way into Fall there are some plants that we all associate with that time of year.  I talked about some Fall picks last week, in particular the MUM!  But there are more!

But what about perennials. Smooth Blue Aster is a true native plant with sturdy growth habit of just 3 feet tall.  The foliage is a waxy blue-gray that stays neat and clean all season long. This  … [Continue reading]

Uncle Charlie plant aka sedum ‘Autumn Joy’


Wed. Sep. 4, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Uncle Charlie plant aka sedum ‘Autumn Joy’

My sister and I called sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, “Uncle Charlie plant” for years.  DECADES ago, he gave my mom a few slices of his ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, who gave my sister some, who gave me some and to this day, some of them still survive in other peoples landscapes.  Remnants of “Uncle Charlie Plant” are scattered from northern Illinois to northern Minnesota!  I just moved more!

When I moved into my  … [Continue reading]

Corn smut and roasting tomatoes


Tue. Sep. 3, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Corn smut and roasting tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes, green beans, beets, cucumbers and corn oh my! I just roasted some co-op bought plum tomatoes with  jalapenos, garlic, coarse salt, some with my oregano and some with my basil. A friend has been supplying me with fresh corn from her farm. It’s THE sweetest EVER! (Thanks, Mary!)

 I grew corn twice but had so much corn smut that I gave up.  I’m not talking about some creepy thing you might  … [Continue reading]

Labor Day…. and laboring plants that outperform!


Mon. Sep. 2, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Labor Day and laboring plants that outperform!

Happy Labor day, a holiday to pay tribute to the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.  That, according to the Dept. of Labor.

As for worker plants, well, let me tell you who to salute and, possibly select, for your own gardens.  Topping the list is echinacea aka coneflower.  I have a few varieties that deliver over and over in heat, in cool  … [Continue reading]

Helpful hints and tips


Fri. Aug. 30, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Helpful hints and tips

Dad used to say “kid, I learned the hard way, that’s why I’m telling you now so you don’t have to”.  And yet….

I seem to learn the hard way too.  Maybe it’s genetic! Still, I’ll list some helpful hints so YOU don’t have to learn the hard way:

  • wear gloves when chopping hot peppers OR make sure you don’t rub ANY part of your body until you’ve washed your hands thoroughly!

  • when harvesting,
 … [Continue reading]

Bad tasting bulbs are a good thing


Thu. Aug. 29, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Bad tasting bulbs are a good thing

Why would bad tasting bulbs be a good thing?  Because deer, squirrels and other rodents list them as last choice on the buffet called your garden!  Colorblends President Tim Schipper is a 3rd generation bulbsman out of Connecticut and he shared a list of bulbs that are a feast for our eyes but not on the squirrels menu.

  • daffodils
  • snow drops
  • snow flakes

All three of these bulbs contain lycorine, a  … [Continue reading]

Fall is great for planting trees and shrubs and perennials too!


Wed. Aug. 28, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Fall is great for planting trees and shrubs and perennials too!

Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs.  They love the warm soil and cooler air. They also still have plenty of time to scoot their roots down deep into the soil.

 For easy growing, Rugosa roses are a good choice. These are also salt tolerant! This one was at a home I lived in in Burnsville, Mn.

I have some incredibly easy and beautiful  … [Continue reading]