perennials

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

One of my favorite plants for late winter and early spring is Helleborus Perennial – an ever green flowering plant.   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…

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?

Are your fresh herbs an Annual, perennial or biennial?  It is easy to tell with this handy chart. There is nothing like cooking with, and growing, fresh herbs. 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…

10 Best Herbs for Kitchen Gardens

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

These Herbs for Kitchen Gardens are ones that I use all the time. 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…

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 Baptista Australis

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

Baptista Australis is Easy to Grow Baptista 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 garden…

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

How to grow Strawberry begonia plants

Growing Requirements for Strawberry Begonia Plants I’ve always considered strawberry begonia plants as house plants, since that is the way that I have always grown them.  But I had a surprise this year. I purchased several small strawberry begonia plants last spring.  I was intending to put them into strawberry pots and have them on…

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…

Iris – Perennial with a Majestic Appeal

Iris Gypsy Romance

Iris – Easy to Grow Perennial Rhizome is one of my Favorites. 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. Many people consider irises bulbs but they are in fact rhizomes.  A rhizome…

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…

DIY Wooden Spoon Herb Plant Markers

DIY Wooden Spoon Herb Plant Markers

I have a large group of herbs in pots on my deck.  I am lucky that they are producing here in NC from early spring until well into the fall. The rosemary and chives even stay green all winter for me.  I thought it would be fun to make some plant markers for the herbs. …

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…

My Front Garden Make Over

Front Garden Bed Make Over

This has been a year of garden make overs for me.  I spent so much time last year dealing with my squirrel problem and tending my vegetable garden that I did not have a lot of time to deal with my flower garden beds.  And I can really tell when looking at them. They definitely…

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

Growing plants when you have an area that gets mainly shade during the day can be quite a challenge.  Fortunately for me, I love hostas and ferns, so this challenge became a labor of love for me. I planted this garden bed two years ago with the lasagne gardening technique.  Basically I covered the sod…

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…