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Flowering & Foliage Plants

In Praise of the Lowly Zinnia

The other evening a friend and I were sitting on my deck having a happy hour and enjoying my gardens. The backyard is literally filled with flowers, many of them the new, must-haves touted in all the gardening magazines. (I grow them to see how they really stand up to our harsh, Midwest summers.)  Taking in all the choices in all the different beds, she asked me which flower was my favorite. When I gave her my answer her expression said it all –  Zinnia was not the right answer.

Planting a Hummingbird Buffet

The next two weeks are shaping up to be prime planting time here in the Midwest. They're promising us lots of sunlight, warm temperatures and just enough rain to get things going in the garden. While I will be spending lots of time with my grandkids planting their gardens, one of my own goals this spring is to rework my hummingbird garden. 

The Birds and the Bees

My six year old granddaughter wanted to have a serious conversation about the birds and the bees this past weekend. (To clarify, we are talking literal birds and bees here.) My budding entomologist/ornithologist was very curious because she couldn’t find any bugs to catch in her yard and her brand new bird feeder wasn’t always busy like mine. She just didn’t understand why. And more to the point for her, how could she get them to come to her yard?

YES! Your Orchid Can Rebloom -- with a little help

I have to confess. I did go grocery shopping last week — and I did buy another orchid for my collection. In my defense, one of my original purchases has begun to drop a few of its blossoms every now and then. This new addition was strictly necessary as a backup …. Needing a backup bloomer however, made me realize something. I haven’t done my due diligence; I have no clue about long term orchid care. I don’t know what to do with orchids once they drop their flowers. These aren’t plants that you toss in the trash when they stop blooming.

Orchids Are The New Succulents!

Three weeks ago I went to the grocery store to pick up my week’s fresh produce. Instead of the  usual carrots and cucumbers, I came home with the most exquisite lavender orchid I had ever seen. Since then, four more beauties have come to grace my home; I am convinced, orchids are my new succulents!

Seven Must-Have Seed Catalogs for 2022

This week's blog was supposed to be a How To about bringing frogs to your garden but the nonstop snow is making it hard to think about that. Maybe next week it will make sense again when the snow is gone and it’s 40 degrees outside. Right now I just want to curl up by the fireplace and read some of my favorite books, 2022 seed catalogs.

HELP! My Houseplants Are Sick

I have to admit that I have been a bit obnoxious (ok. I’ll admit it – I have been insufferable!) showing off my avocado tree  –  the one I grew all by myself from a seed. The one that started in a jar of water on my window sill and wound up a full-fledged, luxurious tree on my patio. Yes, I have been prideful, but Mother Nature has pulled me down a peg or two because my gorgeous avocado tree has been reduced to this.

Five Holiday Plants That Aren't Poinsettias or Christmas Cactuses -- Anthurium

Without a doubt, the exuberant  Anthurium is my favorite plant of the season. It brings feelings of warmth and joy to me and seems to welcome me back each time that I enter the room. As an added bonus, anthurium is at the top of Nasa’s list of air purifying plants. I guess you could say that anthurium is a boost for both the body and the spirit.