Outdoor Plants

10 Best Herbs for Kitchen Gardens

Kitchen garden herbs

There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh herbs in recipes.  They add a fullness of flavor that dried herbs just can’t match. And growing herbs for kitchen gardens is so easy to do, everyone should have a few pots of them either on the patio, in the vegetable garden, or even growing indoors…

Tips for Dealing with Invasive Pests

Do your share to help fight invasive pests

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The opinions and text are all mine.  It is time for some tips for dealing with invasive pests. Anyone who spends time in the garden knows how disheartening it can be…

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…

Garden Tour – See What is Blooming in July

Summer garden tour

It’s time for this week’s garden tour.  I love July in my summer garden.  The color is amazing and there seems to be something new for me each day as I wander around my garden beds.  This week’s garden tour One of my favorite times of the day is when I go outside and walk…

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…

Add A Blast of Sunshine with Yellow Flowers

Yellow Flowers

Nothing quite brightens a mood like cheerful yellow flowers.  There are loads of annuals and perennials that bring this bright splash of color to your garden. The contrast of the cheerful color against the green leaves makes a fabulous play in a garden bed. Yellow Flowers for Summer Gardens Yellow flowers add a touch of…

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…

Natural Vinegar Weed Killer – The Organic Way

Organic Vinegar Natural Weed Killer

Do you love growing perennials but don’t like the weeds that need pulling? The next time you walk outside and see a garden bed full of weeds and reach for the Roundup, why not stop and ask yourself a question.  “Why drench them with something that will remain in the soil for who knows how…

Dos & Don’ts Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes

Healthy tomato tips

In the world of vegetable gardening, there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh home grown tomatoes. The flavor of the ones you grow leaves the store bought variety far behind. Home grown tomatoes are so plump and sweet, just full of flavor and freshness.  However, growing great tomatoes doesn’t happen just by putting a…

Composting Tips – Tricks for Creating Nature’s Black Gold

Compost pile

If you enjoy vegetable gardening or growing flowers, adding organic matter formed by composting will give you great results.  Have you always thought that making compost is difficult?  These Composting Tips will take the mystery out of it for you. Composting may seem like something that only our ancestors did, but many modern gardeners take…

Borax Weed Killer for Creeping Charlie

Borax weed killer

Are you looking for an effective weed killer to control Creeping Charlie? Instead of resorting to chemical herbicides or Round Up, why not try this Borax Weed Killer? Established lawns are tolerant of Borax and this formula works well on them. Glechoma hederacea, also known as Creeping Charlie, Creeping Jenny or ground ivy, is a common…

Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants

DIY Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants

Drip feeders are a great idea for vegetable gardening projects.  Many plants prefer the moisture at their roots instead of from overhead sprinklers which can encourage some leaf problems.  There are many retail products available, but this Soda Bottle Drip Feeder makes use or recycled materials and works really well. It is not just vegetables that will benefit…

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…

Mosquito Repelling Plants – Keep Those Bugs Away!

Mosquito on a leaf

With summer comes lots of outdoor living.  Sadly, that can mean lots of mosquitoes. I don’t like to use chemical products but, thankfully, Mother Nature has the perfect answer – Mosquito Repelling Plants! We can grow annuals and perennials that will keep the bugs away naturally. With all the hype about West Nile Virus, it…

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…

Growing Strawberries -Tips and Tricks for Best Success

One of the joys of summer time is the flavor of home grown strawberries.  Growing strawberries is very easy as long as you understand the type of plant that you are trying to grow. Of all the fruit plants, strawberries are one of the easiest to grow and so rewarding.  The taste of the berries makes…

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…

Start Seeing Monarchs the First Saturday in May

Colorful Monarch Butterflies

The first Saturday in May is marked as the day to Start Seeing Monarchs. What an appropriate national day for this time of the year!  Have you seen any monarch butterflies in your yard this year?  I’ve been seeing them in my garden for a few weeks This day was chosen to raise people’s awareness…

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…

Chocolate Cosmos – One of the Rarest Flowers

Chocolate cosmos flower buds

There are many chocolate colored flowers available, but Chocolate Cosmos gets a special boost.  I give it this rating because, not only does it have a lovely dark chocolate fragrance, but it is also one of the top 10 rarest flowers in the world. The plant is a perennial and is easy to grow and…