perennials

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 easy to grow and a stunner in the…

How to Grow Astilbe – Perfect for Shade

The perfect plant for shady spots - Astilbe

One of the stars of a shady garden bed is astilbe.  It has a feathery leaf structure and gorgeous flower plumes that sit above the plant majestically. These tips will show you how to grow astilbe and bring color to your shady garden beds.My mother had a lovely garden set up until she died.  Once…

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…

Seed Types: Open Pollinated, Heirloom and Hybrid.

Types of seeds

The vegetable and flower growing season is getting closer with each passing day. Here in NC, we have had unseasonably warm weather.  It SEEMS that spring has sprung but I still don’t dare really get gardening in full steam in case we get a bit of a cold snap.  Are you an avid gardener? If…

Tips for Growing Forsythia Bushes

Forsythia bush

Nothing screams spring in your garden quite like Forsythia. With their vibrant yellow color, these perennials are one of the first bushes to flower in the spring. The shrub is very hardy, and relatively easy to grow.  These tips for growing forsythia bushes will make sure that your garden is a delight to behold in early…

Astilbe Colors – The Stars of a Shade Garden

Astilbe colors photo gallery

Astilbe is one of my favorite perennials for a shade garden.  There are not many plants that really like the shade that also flower beautifully, but Astilbe is one of them. Astilbe colors could even be called the stars of a shady garden. Astilbe makes a wonderful border edging plant for a large garden bed.…

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…

My Favorite Daylilies – A Garden Tour

Banana Boogiebait Daylily

When it comes to versatility, blossoms and easy of care, very few perennials can match daylilies.   They give a magnificent show of flowers, sometimes more than once during the summer season, can be managed by inexperienced gardeners and multiply like crazy to give more plants as the seasons progress. I thought it would be…

Daylily Photo Gallery

Daylily photo gallery

Welcome to my Daylily Photo Gallery! Daylilies are one of my favorite perennials.  I started my collection with the common Stella D’oro that is seen by all the road sides in North Carolina and have moved on to more and better flowers.  There is such a variety of bloom style, color and temperament. There are…

The White Garden – Raleigh Botanical Gardens

This white gazebo is a perfect place to sit and admire the white garden in Raleigh

The White Garden at the Raleigh Botanical Gardens The JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh is a wonderful place to spend a day.   We recently had visitors from the UK who are gardeners, so we took them for a visit. One of my favorite parts of the gardens is the White Garden.  It has a plethora of white…

14 Best Hardy Perennials

14 of my favorite hardy perennials

For color all summer long, try growing these hardy perennials. Budget conscious gardeners have a very good friend in perennials. What is not to like about a plant that comes back year after year and needs very little care and watering after the first year?  There are many types of perennials, from tender types, which…

25 tips to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring

Garden Tips for Sping

Many areas of the country are still under a blanket of snow, but it won’t be long for most of us to do things to get your garden ready for spring.  Here in NC, depending on how late our winter lasts, that time is almost here!  It is time to start thinking about ways to…

Plant Propagation Tips – New Plants for Free

Plant propagation tips - thegardeningcook.com/

Get New Plants for Free with These Plant Propagation Tips If you garden, you will know that the cost of buying new plants can get very expensive over time. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a wonderful garden.  Just follow some of these plant propagation tips and you will…

How to Grow Helleborus Perennial – Lenten Rose

Helleborus perennial

 I first heard of Helleborus perennial several years ago when I spent a season trying to grow some uncommon plants from seed.  I didn’t have any luck with them, but the idea of a flowering plant blooming in my garden where there is still snow on the ground stuck in my mind.  The botanical name…

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…

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…

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…

10 Best Herbs for Kitchen Gardens

10 Best Herbs for A Kitchen Garden - thegardeningcook.com/

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…

Plant of the Day – Coreopsis Star Cluster

Coreopsis Star Cluster

A Dazzler in the Garden –  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. (affiliate link) It is easy to see where the plant gets its name.  The…

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 is Easy to Grow Baptisia Australis plants 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.  I have transplanted divisions of my original small plant many times in my…

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 hardy for me here in North Carolina. Growing Requirements for Strawberry Begonia Plants I purchased several small strawberry begonia plants…

Mexican Hat Coneflower – Sombrero Perennial

How to grow Mexican sombrero hat coneflowers

Perennial with a Sombrero look – Mexican Hat Coneflower 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 coneflower right here for sale in Raleigh.  This interesting variety of coneflower is also called the “Red Prairie Coneflower.” The plant…

Growing Clematis – Great Vine for Mailboxes

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

Growing Clematis plants is easy with these few steps. 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.  This…

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…

How to Grow Angel’s Trumpet – Brugmansia

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

On a recent trip to the Raleigh Botanical Gardens, I discovered this gorgeous plant.  The common name for the plant is angel’s trumpet and the botanical name is Brugmansia spp. I was surprised to see the plant growing in the gardens, which feature local plants that can be grown here in NC.  Brugmansia is supposed…

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…