Summer

Antipasto Platter Tips – Starting Dinner Italian Style

Antipasto Platter with specialty meats and cheeses

One of my favorite ways to start an evening with friends is to serve an antipasto platter. Antipasto, when translated, means “before the meal.” A good antipasto platter is a combination of small bites of tasty food and is usually accompanied by wine. An antipasto platter is meant to stimulate your guest’s appetite before they dig into…

Creative Metal Yard Art – Bugs – Flowers – Critters

Metal yard art daisy

Decorating your yard with creative metal yard art can add a wonderful touch of whimsy to your outdoor garden space! I recently spent a week in a lovely cottage in the mountains of North Carolina.  It was a great get away with my husband, daughter and her boyfriend. We spent the time driving around the…

Tips for Growing Heirloom Seeds

Tips for growing heirloom seeds

  Thank you EcoFarms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.  #ecofarmsonline. It’s time to learn about growing heirloom seeds! Heirloom vegetable seeds have so much going for them.  They end up giving you plants that you can’t go to a big box store and buy, they cost less than hybrid vegetables and you…

Double Dark Chocolate Ice Cream – Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

Double dark chocolate ice cream

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KashiPlantPower #GOTOGETHER #CollectiveBias It’s time to make some Double Dark Chocolate Ice Cream – Vegan Style! Enjoy the days of summer with this double dark chocolate ice cream. The warm summer months are the time for a big…

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…

15 Tips for a Fun Indoor Camping Party & Free Printables

Indoor Camping Party

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine. It’s time for an indoor camping party! We love to camp at our house, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to get away for a real camping weekend. For times, like this,…

Patriotic Table Decor

Patriotic Table Decor

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DipintoMeze #CollectiveBias  It’s time for some patriotic table decor. We’ve all had that moment when our friends or parents decide to visit with no notice for an important weekend.  But don’t panic.  Just because you have little warning that you’ll…

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Tips to attract hummingbirds to your garden

Plants and Color are the Key if you want to Attract Hummingbirds. There is nothing quite like the sight of hummingbirds around a feeder, flittering their wings the way only hummingbirds seem to do. For me, it is sort of a sign that summer is really here.  If you want to attract hummingbirds to your…

Teddy Bear Sunflowers – A Cuddly Giant Flower

How to grow Teddy Bear Sunflowers

Unusual Teddy Bear sunflowers. I love all sorts of sunflowers.  They are my daughter’s favorite flower and I plant them in all of my garden beds each year.  I have some in my test garden that are about 7 feet tall right now and still not opened.  I plant the large yellow type and rust…

Ideas for Decorating a Sun Room

Decorating a sun room for fall

    Bring in the Outdoors with These ideas for Decorating a Sun Room. If you read my blog often, you will know that I have a bit of a passion for garden beds.  I have 11 of them all around my home.  Some of my favorite ones are in my back yard, but the…

17 Tips for Creating a Cottage Garden

Cottage garden

Embrace the Romance of a 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…

Celebrate the 4th of July with a Patriotic Fruit Flag

This patriotic fruit flag is easy to do, delicious and makes a great centerpiece for your holiday table. See how to make it at thegardeningcook.com/patriotic-fruit-flag

Impress your Friends with a Patriotic Fruit Flag. We had friends over for brunch on Sunday, and I wanted to add a festive patriotic accent to our table since the holiday is just a week away. I wanted something that we would eat (I hate wasting food on craft projects unless I plan to serve…

5 Tips for a Flourishing Summer Garden

5-tips-flourishing-summer-garden-main

Get a Flourishing Summer Garden with These 5 Tips This is a guest post written By Jennifer Riner of Zillow If you’re late to the game on spring gardening, no fear. There’s still time to create a beautiful, vivacious garden at home. Given the warmer weather, however, it’s important to take some precautions – which…

Sun Faces for Your Garden

A collection of Sun Faces for your yard and Garden

Brighten up your Garden with One of these Sun Faces One of my neighbors has a great collection of sun faces on the wall of their sun room.  You can see it featured in the main photo of this collage. The sun is often portrayed with a face. The roundness and brightness of it just…

Sun Rooms – Relax in style with Nature nearby

My favorite sunrooms

My Favorite sun rooms I have always wanted a sun room.  To me, there is nothing like relaxing the morning with the sun peeking into a beautifully decorated room that allows you to enjoy nature.  It is as close to being outside as one can get. Here are a few of my favorite sun room…

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…

Saving Seeds from Heirloom Beans

Heirloom yellow pole bean seeds

From One Generation to the Next with Saved Heirloom Seeds. My family comes from a long line of gardeners.  I can still remember when my great grandmother had her vegetable garden, I used to wander through it when I was about 6.  My grandfather on my mother’s side also had a huge veggie garden. (we…

Butterfly Bush Makes Great Cut Flowers

Butterfly Bushes make Wonderful cut flowers.

I have several butterfly bushes, also knows as buddleia, in my garden beds. I love them because they attract butterflies and bees like no other plant in my garden.   My main butterfly bush was put in a large island bed early this spring, when it was about 12″ tall.  It is now at least 5…

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…

Red Vols Daylily is a True Garden Stunner

Red Vols was voted daylily of the year in 2000. See how to grow it thegardeingcook.com/

Red Vols Daylily – Better Homes and Gardens Winner from 2000 I love daylilies. They are so showy, easy to grow, and add pops of color to the garden in a dramatic way. I was so fortunate last year to get an email from a wonderful lady who has since become a good friend of…

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…

More of my Favorite Fourth of July Recipes

Celebrate in a patriotic way this 4th of July.

Fly the Flag with these Fourth of July Recipes These are some more of my favorite Fourth of July Recipes. From delicious cakes to decadent cocktails, these recipes all fly the patriotic flag.  All are sure to make an impression on your party table. Try one (or all of these) for your next upcoming of…