Outdoor Plants

Early Spring Garden Projects

18 tips for early spring gardening

I know that in most parts of the country, the ground is still covered with snow, but as any good gardener will tell you, “it’s never to early to start thinking about spring gardening!”  There are lots of things that you can do to get ready.  These early spring garden projects will get a jump…

12 Lawn Care Tips

12 tips to a lush, green, lawn

This lawn care tips will make sure that you have a lush green lawn all summer long. Even though there is snow on the ground in many parts of the country, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead to spring.  For us, here in NC, spring can come as early as mid February and…

My North Carolina Winter Garden

Sun peeking through the frozen trees in North Carolina

My North Carolina winter garden is a wonderland this week. Winter storm Jonas has been all in the news this week.  It left a blanket of snow and ice from the South in the US right up the corridor to New England.  My North Carolina winter garden is a sight to behold. Winter storm Jonas…

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Plaque

Let your holiday guests know what will be on the menu with this Thanksgiving dinner menu plaque. Thanksgiving is a time for family.  I love to gather all my special people in one place and treat them to a lovingly prepared home cooked meal of turkey and all the trimmings.  Alas, my real family is…

10 Tips to Make Gardening Easier

Get the kids involved with gardening chores

Most gardeners love being out in the garden, but few want to see it as a chore. Even though the temperatures are getting cooler in most of the country, there are still lots of opportunities to make gardening easier.   Make Gardening Easier by Following these 10 Tips With a bit of planning and a…

Budget Friendly Fall Patio Makeover

Fall Patio make over

Dress up Your Curb Appeal with the Budget Friendly Fall Patio Makeover. I am giddy right now.  The temperatures have finally dropped and the leaves are starting to change color.  MY TIME OF YEAR!  Living in NC is hard on a gardener at heart, so getting outside right now is a dream for me.  It’s…

Creative Ideas for Fall Decorations

fall decorations

Welcome in The Cool Weather with these Fall Decorative Ideas. Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved the change from summer to autumn.  I love all of the seasons but there is something so definite about autumn to me.  Everything changes and here in the south, the cool temps are such a…

Tips for Growing Air Plants – Tillandsia

Tillandsia is also known as an air plant. Air plants are a member of the epiphyte family. This plant needs no soil to grow and gets its nourishment from the air.  Air plants have specialized leaves that draw in nutrients. An air plant can also have roots, but it uses these only to attach itself…

DIY Succulent Strawberry Planter

This strawberry planter is planted with succulents for a charming effect. See the DIY project at thegardeningcook.com/succulent-strawberry-planter

Make your own Succulent Strawberry Planter. I love strawberry planters.  The pockets on the side are perfect for plants that send out offshoots. Each little “baby” can fit into the protruding pockets to make their own little home. They are perfect for strawberry plants (of course!), spider plants and other plants like strawberry begonias. Today…

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…

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…

11 Tips for Growing a Vegetable Garden on a Deck

11 tips to grow a vegetable garden on a deck

This vegetable gardening post brought to you by Gilmour. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Gardening Cook.  Let’s grow a vegetable garden on a deck! Growing fresh vegetables is one of the highlights of my summer gardening experience. To me, there is nothing quite like taking out an empty basket and…

Fresh Herbs – Annual, Perennial or Biennial – Which is Yours?

Is your herb Annual, biennial or perennial?

There is nothing like cooking with, and growing, fresh herbs. If you enjoy vegetable gardening, be sure to have some herbs growing, too. Do you know whether the one you are growing is an annual,  perennial or biennial? This can sometimes be confusing and the answer is not always cut and dried. Are your fresh…

Budget Front Yard Make Over and a Summer Garden Blog Hop

Charming front yard seating area

Charming Seating Area with this Budget Front Yard Makeover. I am all about gardening on a budget.  With the amount of garden beds that I have, (8 and counting!) I have to be. I had a neglected Pine tree garden that was in dire need of a make over and I wanted to make it…

Plant of the Day – Coreopsis Star Cluster

Coreopsis Star Cluster

I like any plant that has a daisy like flower, so Coreopsis is a natural for me.  This pretty perennial is today’s plant of the day. It is called Coreopsis Star Cluster.  It is easy to see where the plant gets its name.  The lovely yellow center radiates out in a star pattern with a…

2014 Holiday Gardening Gift Guide – 11 Great Garden Gifts

2014 Holiday Gardening Gift Guide

Fill the stockings of your plant loving friends with these Gardening Gift Guide Suggestions. Anyone who gardens is normally on the look out for different gardening products and gadgets, so I have created a Gardening Cook 2014 Holiday Gift Guide.  If you are looking for something special to treat someone that you love who spends…

Nature Photos- A collection of Nature at Its Best

White cliffs of Dover, England

Explore Nature at Its Best in Photos Since I am a gardener, it stands to reason that I love everything beautiful in nature. There are times that I am simply amazed by the beautiful, unusual and sometimes humble side of our planet.  I especially love unusual nature photos. I thought it would be fun to…

Cozy Courtyards – For when Space is at a Minimum

10 Cozy Courtyard Spaces

10 Fabulous Cozy Courtyard Spaces. I have a good sized yard now so I can pretty much do what I want with my garden beds. But there have been times in the past when I had just a strip of space between me and my neighbor, or a tiny back yard that could only hold…

How to Grow Baptisia Australis

Baptista will grow into a really large shrub in just a few seasons. Find out how to grow it.

Baptisia Australis perennials are rugged and easy to grow.  Their lupine-like spires of bloom are real attention getters and they have season long interest from foliage too.   They are also often referred to as wild indigo.  Baptisia Australis is Easy to Grow I have transplanted divisions of my original small plant many times in my garden…

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…

Patience is a Virtue when Growing Watermelons

Watermelons need time to mature. You have to be patient with this fruit

Vegetable gardening is a love of mine and watermelons are one of my favorite fruits, so I have been trying to get some to grow in my garden. Readers of my blog may remember my posting about my love/hate relationship with my watermelon patch.  One thing I have learned is that when growing watermelons, patience is…

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…