Flowers

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…

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

Is your herb Annual, biennial or perennial?

There is nothing quite like the flavor of fresh herbs for cooking.  Growing herbs is something that many cooks try their hand at, to have them on hand all the time. 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…

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…

Motivational Quotes to Inspire you

If you want to soar, you have to jump.

Inspirational Sayings  With each new year, I am filled with the hope of things to come and also reflect on the year that passed.  I find comfort in motivational sayings to help me keep on track for the resolutions that I have just made for the new year.  Many of these photos come from flowers…

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…

The Best Orange Flowers for your Garden

A collection of the best orange flowers

With Halloween almost here, my mind looks for the color orange.  Orange is such a rich color.  People tend to think of orange as a fall color because of Halloween and pumpkins, but there are many orange flowers that bloom in the summer and add sizzle and dramatic flair to your garden beds. Both annuals…

Phalaenopsis Orchids – Exotic Perfection

Just three ice cubes a week will keep this gorgeous orchid in tip top shape!

Imagine a beauty of a plant that you could water by just adding three ice cubes once a week.  Does that seem impossible?  It really is, if you purchase a phalaenopsis orchid (commonly known as a Moth Orchid.) Did you know that there is a National Day devoted to orchids? It’s celebrated on April 16…

How to Water Dry Hydrangea Flowers

How to dry hydrangea flowers

One of my favorite garden flowers is the hydrangea.  My bushes are lovely this year and also very surprising. My soil has turned acidic from the mulch that broke down over the last year. What were peachy colored hydrangeas last year are now bright blue! Did you know that it is very easy to water…

How to Grow The Best Daylilies

How to grow fabulous dayliliies

Daylilies are one of those perennial bulbs that everyone should try to grow somewhere in their garden. I have several patches of them.  The flowers are showing and dramatic and always bring a smile to my face.  These tips for growing daylilies will ensure that yours are the stars of your neighborhood. If you love…

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…

Nasturtiums as Companion Plants Help your Veggies

nasturtiums

I’ve always loved garden nasturtiums in my flower beds. But there are many other ways that these fairly common plants can be a great addition to your vegetable garden. Nasturtiums make Great companion plants for veggies Companion planting  is a method of planting plants together so that they benefit each other in some ways.  Some…

Cosmos – Easy Care Annual That Does Not Mind Poor Soil

Candy Stripe Cosmos

Do you possess a brown thumb instead of a green one?   If your soil very poor?  Then this is the flower for you!  One of the easiest annuals to grow from seed is Cosmos. They are prized for their prolific, silky, daisy like flowers and their  easy-care nature in the garden. They will tolerate even…

Hydrangea Wreath – DIY Fall Door Decoration

DIY hydrangea wreath

Finished Flowers Get a Second Wind in this Pretty Hydrangea Wreath. My hydrangea bush flowered late this year and gave some lovely color to an otherwise fairly bare garden bed.  Did you know that you can make a holiday hydrangea wreath from hydrangea flowers that are done their cycle? Making the wreath really is very…

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…

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…

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/

Anyone who gets interested in growing perennials while find themselves also interested in daylilies. These showing perennial bulbs are dramatic, come back year after year and are easy to grow.  Red Vols Daylily is a spectacular daylily that was a Better Homes and Gardens winner of the year in 2000 and it’s easy to see…

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

Trying to get color and interest in a shade garden can be a challenge. But there are some that don’t mind it at all . In fact, these 20+ perennial and annual plants love the shade. There is a lushness about them that I really enjoy, too. My shade garden is thriving. I planted this…

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…

My Vegetable Garden Make Over

See how I transformed my eyesore garden bed into a combined perennial vegetable border

I love vegetable gardening. There is nothing quite like harvesting and cooking vegetables that you have grown.  If you like to grow vegetables, be sure to ready my post about how to troubleshoot vegetable garden problems as well as some solutions. One of the problems that can happen when you start a vegetable garden is…