Bulbs

Spring Blooming Plants – My Favorite 20 Picks for an Early Bloom

My 20 favorite spring blooming plants

After a long and cold winter, most gardeners are really looking forward to the first signs of spring in their garden. Thankfully, Mother Nature does not disappoint us. There a many Spring Blooming Plants that arrive very early in the year. Some even peek through the last of the winter snow.   Some plants are…

Biltmore Estate Gardens Tour

My husband and I recently spent several days in the mountains of North Carolina with our daughter.  The highlight of the trip was a tour of Biltmore Estate. We enjoyed the tour of the estate, for sure, but what really impressed me was the gardens.  I thought my readers would enjoy reading a blog post featuring…

14 Tips for a Successful Garden Make Over

14 tips to a successful garden makeover

This post brought to you by Gilmour. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Gardening Cook. Get A Successful Garden Make Over With 14 Easy Tips. It’s that time again. Time to transform one of my garden beds that just won’t seem to keep to a single design. I call it my…

Iris – Perennial with a Majestic Appeal

Iris Gypsy Romance

Iris is one my favorite perennials.  I remember that my mother used to have them in all her garden beds, and when I see them now, I get very nostalgic. What I love most about them is the color they, and other early spring bloomers, bring to my garden. Iris – Easy to Grow Perennial…

It’s Lily Time – Varieties of Lilies in my Garden

My lilies flower from early spring right into August. See a virtual tour with blooming dates for my garden: thegardeningcook.com

My husband used to buy me lilies all the time because he loved the look of them so much.  I love them too, but not as cut flowers indoors (they have a stinky smell inside that I don’t like.)  I never had the inclination to tell him that they were not my favorite cut flower…

Red Vols Daylily is a True Garden Stunner

Red Vols was voted daylily of the year in 2000. See how to grow it thegardeingcook.com/

Red Vols Daylily – Better Homes and Gardens Winner from 2000 I love daylilies. They are so showy, easy to grow, and add pops of color to the garden in a dramatic way. I was so fortunate last year to get an email from a wonderful lady who has since become a good friend of…

20+ Plants for A Shade Garden plus My Garden Make Over

A collection of more than 20 plants that love the shade - see them all at thegardeningcook.com

Growing plants when you have an area that gets mainly shade during the day can be quite a challenge.  Fortunately for me, I love hostas and ferns, so this challenge became a labor of love for me. I planted this garden bed two years ago with the lasagne gardening technique.  Basically I covered the sod…

My Vegetable Garden Make Over

See how I transformed my eyesore garden bed into a combined perennial vegetable border

I love vegetable gardening. There is nothing quite like harvesting and cooking vegetables that you have grown.  There is also nothing quite as depressing as losing all those vegetables to marauding squirrels. After my fiasco last year with the squirrels, I decided to transform my vegetable area into a combined vegetable perennial border.  (see my…

My Garden in May – Lots of Flowers in Bloom Now

This is just a hint of my garden in North Carolina in May. See more great photos and lots of details at thegardeningcook.com

This year has been a series of set backs in my garden.  It is almost the end of May and I’m way behind, but finally have some progress to show for all my work. Things that set me back were: My father’s death in February which resulted in two trips to Maine. A very long…

Today’s Garden Flower – My Bearded Irises are Blooming

These irises went from pitiful, scraggly specimens to beauties in one year by transplanting. Find out how!

Each morning, all during the spring and summer, I start my day with a walk around my flower beds.  I just love to see what has happened from the previous day.  I’ve been waiting for my bearded irises to bloom so it was a lovely surprise today. This particular variety is one of my great early…

3 Easy Bulbs to Grow for Early Spring

Three Easy bulbs for a great display in early spring.

It’s been a long winter everywhere in the country.  I have lived in NC for 21 years and cannot remember when we had such a late spring here.  Normally, by this time of the year, I have loads of vegetables and flowers, but not this year! There is promise though.  I recently wrote an article…

Today’s Flower – Gladiolus

How to grow beautiful gladioli

Easy to Grow Gladiolus Corms Add Appeal to any Garden Setting I love gladioli. There is something about a bare piece of ground that suddenly breaks with foliage at an amazing rate and then bursts in a splendid show of flowers a few weeks later.   Gladioli are not actually bulbs but are considered corms. I…

Raleigh Botanical Gardens Visit

Garden Tour - Raleigh Botanical Gardens

One of my favorite things to do when I have some spare time is to visit Botanical Gardens.  I love the new plants that I learn about and it just de-stresses me like nothing else seems to do. Raleigh has a great Botanical Garden called JC Raulston Arboretum. The beauty of these botanical gardens is…

How to Grow Calla Lilies

How to grow Calla lilies

Have you ever priced single Calla lilies at a florist?  If you have, you will have discovered that they sell for $5-$9 a STEM.  Why pay those kind of prices, when you can become your own florist – well sort of, anyway. Calla Lilies make  wonderful indoor plants and comes in many colors, as well.…

My Test Garden has Been Included in a Garden Hop

Garden Hop

Let’s go To the Hop!  A 12 Garden Hop that is! My test garden has been included in a garden hop.  A gardening group that I belong to on Facebook has put together a group of garden tours to be featured on Facebook, Pinterest and Home Talk.  The tour will take place this weekend and…

Progress on my Test Garden

My Test Garden Before and After

How my Test Garden has Grown! Readers of my blog will know that my project for this year (and the next two) is my test garden.  I have a model that I am emulating from Garden Gate and will grow shade, semi shade and full sun plants in it to write articles about for my…

Did Bees Cause This Lily to Change Colors?

Dramatic lily color change

Change of Lily Colors – Bees or Genetics? Bees are extraordinary creatures. They move from plant to plant transferring pollen, making sure that the species thrives.  They are so necessary in our gardens and it is a shame that their numbers are decreasing because of huge mega farming operations and pesticides. One of the Fans…

My Test Garden in July

Test garden progress

Progress on my Test Garden Earlier this year, I wrote about a test garden that I will be having in my back yard.  I am using it to grow all sorts of things. Some grow well there and some don’t like it at all, but everything gives me more knowledge of what grows well here…

Gloriosa Lily – A real Show Stopper

Lilies are the stars of many perennial gardens. The come back year after year to give a delightful splash of color. This gloriosa lily is also called Fire Lily. It is a vining plant that has amazing, flame-colored blooms. Perfect for growing in a pot or in the garden – just make sure to give…

Today’s Flower Eye Candy – Red Emperor Tulip

I love tulips. I have a big patch of them in my front garden bed and they are gorgeous.  They don’t last long but the show that they put on is just incredible for a few short weeks.  Today’s featured flower is the Red Emperor Tulip.  This Red Emperor Tulip has a vivid red color…

Re-blooming Iris Varieties and Colors

Reblooming Irises give you a second round of color.

There is nothing quite like a re-bloom of your favorite flower later in the year. A re-blooming iris gives me a chance to enjoy the beauty twice in one season. Readers of my blog know that I am a fan of all types of irises.  My mother used to plant them everywhere and I think…