Flowers

Strawberry Begonia – Great as a house plant or a ground cover

How to grow Strawberry begonia plants

I’ve always considered strawberry begonia plants as an indoor plant, since that is the way that I have generally grown them.  But I had a surprise this year when I discovered that the plant is a hardy perennial for me here in North Carolina. Growing Requirements for Strawberry Begonia Plants I purchased several small strawberry…

Mexican Hat Coneflower – Sombrero Perennial

How to grow Mexican sombrero hat coneflowers

My local garden center does not often have plants that are too much out of the ordinary, so I was delighted to find this Mexican Hat coneflower right here for sale in Raleigh.  This interesting variety of coneflower is also called the “Red Prairie Coneflower.” The perennial served as a dye source for Native Americans…

Growing Clematis – Great Vine for Mailboxes

How to Grow Clematis - The perfect plant for a mail box.

Last spring, I planted a few different plants in a small square raised planter that surrounds my mail box.  But I was never happy with the look and decided I wanted a climbing plant to cover the post and grow up around the mailbox itself.  I wanted a perennial that would come back year after…

Iris – Perennial Bulb with a Majestic Appeal

Iris Gypsy Romance

Iris is one my favorite flowers when it comes to growing 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.  Iris – Easy to Grow Perennial Rhizome is one of my Favorites. What I love most about irises is…

Nasturtiums as Companion Plants Help your Veggies

nasturtiums

I’ve always loved garden nasturtiums in my flower beds. But there are many other ways that these fairly common plants can be a great addition to your vegetable garden. Nasturtiums make Great companion plants for veggies Companion planting  is a method of planting plants together so that they benefit each other in some ways.  Some…

Cosmos – Easy Care Annual That Does Not Mind Poor Soil

Candy Stripe Cosmos

Do you possess a brown thumb instead of a green one?   If your soil very poor?  Then this is the flower for you!  One of the easiest annuals to grow from seed is Cosmos. They are prized for their prolific, silky, daisy like flowers and their  easy-care nature in the garden. They will tolerate even…

Rose Colors – What do they Signify?

What do the colors of roses signify?

Roses are perennial plants that come back each year in your garden and have a very long blooming season.  They are one of the most popular garden plants.  Do you know what the rose colors signify? One of my favorite things to do, when I have some free time, is to wander around the grounds…

Hydrangea Wreath – DIY Fall Door Decoration

DIY hydrangea wreath

Finished Flowers Get a Second Wind in this Pretty Hydrangea Wreath. My hydrangea bush flowered late this year and gave some lovely color to an otherwise fairly bare garden bed.  Did you know that you can make a holiday hydrangea wreath from hydrangea flowers that are done their cycle? Making the wreath really is very…

Butterfly Bush Makes Great Cut Flowers

Butterfly Bushes make Wonderful cut flowers.

I have several butterfly bushes, also knows as buddleia, in my garden beds. I love them because they attract butterflies and bees like no other plant in my garden.   My main butterfly bush was put in a large island bed early this spring, when it was about 12″ tall.  It is now at least 5…

How to Grow Angel’s Trumpet – Brugmansia

How to grow angel's trumpets: thegardeningcook.com/

What a gorgeous perennial this is!  The common name for the plant is angel’s trumpet and the botanical name is Brugmansia spp. I first saw this plant on a trip to the Raleigh Botanical Gardens.  I was surprised to see the plant growing in the gardens, which feature local plants that can be grown here…

5 Generations in One Garden Bed

A tribute to my family - 5 generations in one garden bed - thegardeningcook.com/

My family has long loved gardening.  It all started with my great grandmother (and I am sure her mother before this but I never knew her).   She loved vegetable gardening and particularly yellow pole beans.  The seeds from her pole beans have been passed down from generation to generation and are now growing in my…

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/

Anyone who gets interested in growing perennials while find themselves also interested in daylilies. These showing perennial bulbs are dramatic, come back year after year and are easy to grow.  Red Vols Daylily is a spectacular daylily that was a Better Homes and Gardens winner of the year in 2000 and it’s easy to see…

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

Trying to get color and interest in a shade garden can be a challenge. But there are some that don’t mind it at all . In fact, these 20+ perennial and annual plants love the shade. There is a lushness about them that I really enjoy, too. My shade garden is thriving. I planted this…

My Garden In June

My Garden in June is a fabulous display of perennials, annuals, bulbs and vegetables. See all the photos at thegardeningcook.com/garden-june

It’s been a long spring with a ton of work put into my gardens.  So many of them were overgrown, and neglected last year when I spent most of my energy on my vegetable garden. Months of tilling, planting and transplanting have gone into my garden beds this year.  I enlarged my test garden by…

Can You Name This Flower?

Can you guess the name of today's bloom? Take the poll here: thegardeningcook.com/

Let’s test your garden smarts.  I thought it would be fun to take a photo from my garden, and enlarge it to show only the bloom,  and see if you can name it.  A few hints: it does not mind if the soil is dry it flowers all spring and summer the flowers come in…

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…

DIY Summer Mason Jar Flower Vase Project

This DIY summer mason jar vase project is perfect for my summer brunch table. See the tutorial at thegardeningcook.com/

One of my favorite things to do on Sunday morning is to meet friends for breakfast or brunch and catch up on the week.  Normally, we go out to a variety of restaurants and alternate each week between them. This week, I wanted to have our friends over to our house for breakfast.  I’ve been…

Amaryllis Bulbs Forcing – Easy Gardening Project

Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs indoors is an easy and fun gardening project that the kids will love. They grow so quickly and are huge. Find out how to do it at http://thegardeningcook.com/amaryllis-bulbs/

Amaryllis Bulbs are easy to grow indoors Amaryllis Bulbs are one of the easiest bulbs to force indoors.  I ended up with one from a Yankee swap party last Christmas and planted it early in February to add to my collection of indoor plants.  It was not long before the bulb was in full bloom.…

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…

Have you got the Blues?

Have you got the (garden) blues this year?

Singing the Blues in the Garden Blue is such a wonderful color.  It is not often found in flowers, although there are some. Many of the flowers that are called blue have more of a purple tinge to them.  But you can add blue to your garden with carefully chosen garden accents, seating and other…

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.

Spring is such a special time of the y ear.  There is nothing quite like walking around a garden bed that shows a hint of what is to come with perennial bulbs starting to flower.  These 3 easy bulbs will bring you color year after year. 3 Easy Bulbs for Early Spring. It’s been a…

Today’s Flower – Gladiolus

How to grow beautiful gladioli

Growing perennials means lots of color when you plant 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.   Gladiolus are not actually bulbs but are considered perennial corms. Easy to Grow Gladiolus…

Growing Perennials and Vegetables in one Garden Space

Growing Perennials and Vegetables in the Same Garden Space

Squirrels in my garden last year made vegetable gardening a nightmare for me. This year, I decided to try combining perennials and vegetables in one garden bed to see how it worked out. I have long been interested in growing perennials.  Adding some vegetables into the mix gave my garden beds an interesting new look.…