Landscaping

Cleveland Zoo Visit

Cleveland Zoo

Our summer vacation this year was a mainly tour of Historic Homes and Botanical Gardens in 7 Eastern and Midwest States. But while we were in Ohio, we stopped into the Cleveland Zoo and spent a few hours admiring the animals. This big zoo houses 3,000 animals of over 600 species on abut 180 acres…

Best Gardens – Creative Gardening Ideas

creative gardening fun

Here are some of my favorites gardening ideas from the best of the internet.  The ideas range from soup to nuts.  There is something for all gardening styles here.  My only requirement for a recipe to land on this page is that it must inspire me and have something to do with creative gardening. Searching…

Plants That Don’t Need Deadheading

A lot of my time spent in maintaining my summer garden is spent in deadheading. So, finding plants that don’t need deadheading to add to my garden beds is something that I am always in search of.  What is deadheading? Basically, this gardening term refers to the time spent removing old flower blooms to allow…

Growing Hollyhocks – A Traditional Cottage Garden Favorite-

Hollyhocks

If you love perennial plants with a long blooming season, you will likely have a fondness for growing hollyhocks. This lovely perennial is a popular garden favorite that flowers throughout most of the summer months. Hollyhocks (Puccinia malvacearum) are often found in cottage gardens.  They make a great background plant for shorter perennials and come in…

Balloon Flower – Tips for Growing Platycodon grandiflorus

Platycodon grandiflorus is also known as Balloon flower

Balloon Flower, or Platycodon grandiflorus, is also known as Chinese Bell flower. The common names of this pretty perennial plant come from the plump found flower buds that resemble hot air balloons or Chinese lanterns before they open. Growing Balloon Flower Perennial This hardy and easy care perennial is one of my favorite summer blooming perennials. The…

25+ Best Summer Blooming Plants

Summer blooming plants

We are right in the middle of the hottest part of the summer. The early spring bloomers are finished and now it is time for the tough summer blooming plants to be the stars in the garden. Summer blooming plants have to be able to withstand the high temperatures that come with summer.  They also need…

Controlling Monkey Grass – How to Get Rid of Liriope

Liriope - Monkey Grass can be used as a focal plant , border plant or ground cover.

Depending on your point of view, you will either consider monkey grass a lovely ground cover or an unwanted weed.  If the latter is more of your mindset, these tips for controlling monkey grass will help you get rid of your unwelcome garden visitor. Check Craig’s list free advertisements on most weekends in the summer here…

Bleeding Heart – How to grow Dicentra spectabilis

There is something so romantic about the look of a Bleeding Heart* plant. After all, what is more romantic that the heart shaped flowers of this amazing plant? If you love growing perennials, this plant is a must have for your shady garden spot. Dicentra Spectabilis is a clear favorite among American gardeners. It is…

How to Grow Lamb’s Ear – (Stachys byzantina)

Stachys byzantina is also known as Lamb's Ear.

Remember going to the petting zoo with your kids and touching baby lambs? This the feeling of the leaves of Stachys byzantina, also known as Lamb’s Ear. If you love growing perennials, you need to give this hardy plant a try. It is easy to grow, has a lovely texture and the prettiest flowers on…

Transplanting Monkey Grass – Division is Simple and Easy to Do

Liriope is commonly known as monkey grass or spider grass. It is a versatile and easy to grow ground cover that tolerates heat well and can be divided easily. Transplanting monkey grass is a simple process if you keep just a few things in mind. As far as growing perennials is concerned, it is one of…

Summer Garden Tips & Garden Tour

Tips for making the most of your summer garden

Life is meant to be lived outside! We spend so much time outside during the summer, and having a great looking lawn and pretty gardens makes sure that time will be far more pleasurable. These summer garden tips will ensure that you have an endless supply of color and lush green lawns all summer long.…

Red Hot Poker – Growing and Caring for Torch Lilies

Red hot pokers are also known as torch lilies

The red hot poker is a showy and dramatic plants.  If you love growing perennials that give color all summer long, this is the plant for you. Other names for this showy plant are torch lily and poker plant. The botanical name for this plant is kniphofia uvaria and there are more than 70 known species…

Growing Sunflowers – How to Grow and Care for Sunflower Plants

Sunflowers come in many colors

Growing Sunflowers is one of the really fun parts of summer time gardening.  These big annuals are very easy to grow, which makes them a very popular plant to introduce children to gardening.  Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are a member of the Aster family. The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas.  It is native to…

Astilbe Companion Plants – What to Grow with Astilbe

Companion plants for astilbe

Astilbe is a gorgeous perennial that is right at home in a shady moist garden.  You can grow it alone, but a well designed garden looks better with more than just one type of plant. These astilbe companion plants like the same moisture and light conditions and will make a beautifully coordinated garden bed. Selecting companion…

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.  Growing perennial plants and bulbs is a great way to get that color without extra work in the spring. Thankfully, Mother Nature does not disappoint us. There a many Spring Blooming Plants that arrive…

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 perennial gardens and conservatory.  I thought my readers would enjoy reading a…

Creative Garden Art

Spray and old watering can purple and plant with pretty flowers for easy garden art

Garden art can cost an arm and a leg if you purchase it from garden centers.  But this does not have to be the case.  It is easy to create instant interest in the garden by making use of recycled or common household items and turning them into garden art. It is easy to create a…

17 Tips for Creating a Cottage Garden

Cottage garden

I love a cottage garden.  I am not a rule follower by nature, especially when it comes to gardens, and I love the way a cottage garden throws caution to the wind in the rule department.   Do you like lots of flowers, flowing lines and a not so formal look? Then  a cottage garden might…

Pros and Cons of Raised Garden Beds

Raised Garden Bed

Vegetable gardening normally requires large plots of land in order to get good harvests.  But this is not always possible in today’s world.   Many homeowners have smaller yards, but would still like to enjoy the benefits of home grown vegetables. For them, raised garden beds may be the answer. Advantages & Disadvantages of Raised…

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…

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…

How to Move a Raised Playhouse

How to move a raised playhouse

When my daughter was young she had a swing set, sand box and playhouse on the left side of my garden.  She loved playing there, and we chose this area of the garden so that I could see her playing from my kitchen window. All that is left of the set up is the playhouse,…

Elizabethan Garden Statues – Manteo – Roanoke Island

The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC have some wonderful renaissance statues that accent the gardens. See more of these beauties at thegardeningcook.com/

My husband and I recently attended a wedding on the coast of North Carolina.  While we were there, we took the time to visit the Elizabethan Gardens at Manteo on Roanoke Island. The gardens are a fabulous experience.  They feature 10 acres of wonderful  tree lined and shaded paths with lovely water views.  The gardens…

Natural Paths for Garden Beds

HOw to create Natural Garden Pathways that Keep the Weeds away.

Anyone who has priced hardscaping lately knows how expensive it can be, particularly if you have large areas to cover. I am redoing my whole area that I used last year for veggies.  Long story short, the squirrels were a nightmare for me and I don’t plan to go through that experience a second time. …

How To Make An Easy DIY Bean Teepee

This DIY bean teepee is easy to make and my beans love to climb it. It also makes a great garden accent. Find out how to do it at the gardeningcook.com/DIY-bean-teepee

This year, I changed my vegetable garden into a combined perennial/vegetable border.  It’s a long story but basically, the squirrels got the better of my veggies last year and I swore never again. Since I will have flowers and vegetables growing in one space, I wanted some decorative and functional items in it.  This DIY…