Outdoor Plants

Dos & Don’ts Tips for Growing Great Tomatoes

Healthy tomato tips

In the world of vegetable gardening, there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh home grown tomatoes. The flavor of the ones you grow leaves the store bought variety far behind. Home grown tomatoes are so plump and sweet, just full of flavor and freshness.  However, growing great tomatoes doesn’t happen just by putting a…

Composting Tips – Tricks for Creating Nature’s Black Gold

Compost pile

If you enjoy vegetable gardening or growing flowers, adding organic matter formed by composting will give you great results.  Have you always thought that making compost is difficult?  These Composting Tips will take the mystery out of it for you. Composting may seem like something that only our ancestors did, but many modern gardeners take…

Borax Weed Killer for Creeping Charlie

Borax weed killer

Are you looking for an effective weed killer to control Creeping Charlie? Instead of resorting to chemical herbicides or Round Up, why not try this Borax Weed Killer? Established lawns are tolerant of Borax and this formula works well on them. Glechoma hederacea, also known as Creeping Charlie, Creeping Jenny or ground ivy, is a common…

Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants – Water Plants with a Soda Bottle

DIY Soda Bottle Drip Feeder for Garden Plants

Drip feeders are a great idea for vegetable gardening projects.  Many plants prefer the moisture at their roots instead of from overhead sprinklers which can encourage some leaf problems.  There are many retail products available, but this Soda Bottle Drip Feeder makes use or recycled materials and works really well. It is not just vegetables that will benefit…

Bleeding Heart – How to grow Dicentra spectabilis

There is something so romantic about the look of a Bleeding Heart plant. After all, what is more romantic that the heart shaped flowers of this amazing plant? If you love growing perennials, this plant is a must have for your shady garden spot. Dicentra Spectabilis is a clear favorite among American gardeners. It is native…

Mosquito Repelling Plants – Keep Those Bugs Away!

Mosquito on a leaf

With summer comes lots of outdoor living.  Sadly, that can mean lots of mosquitoes. I don’t like to use chemical products but, thankfully, Mother Nature has the perfect answer – Mosquito Repelling Plants! We can grow annuals, perennials and herbs that will keep the bugs away naturally. With all the hype about West Nile Virus,…

How to Grow Lamb’s Ear – (Stachys byzantina)

Stachys byzantina is also known as Lamb's Ear.

Remember going to the petting zoo with your kids and touching baby lambs? This the feeling of the leaves of Stachys byzantina, also known as Lamb’s Ear. If you love growing perennials, you need to give this hardy plant a try. It is easy to grow, has a lovely texture and the prettiest flowers on…

Transplanting Monkey Grass – Division is Simple and Easy to Do

Liriope is commonly known as monkey grass or spider grass. It is a versatile and easy to grow ground cover that tolerates heat well and can be divided easily. Transplanting monkey grass is a simple process if you keep just a few things in mind. As far as growing perennials is concerned, it is one of…

Add A Blast of Sunshine with Yellow Flowers for Water a Flower Day

Yellow Flowers

Nothing quite brightens a mood like cheerful yellow flowers.  There are loads of annuals and perennials that bring this bright splash of color to your garden. The contrast of the cheerful color against the green leaves makes a fabulous play in a garden bed. Did you know that May 30 is Water a Flower Day? …

Growing Strawberries -Tips and Tricks for Best Success

One of the joys of summer time is the flavor of home grown strawberries.  Growing strawberries is very easy as long as you understand the type of plant that you are trying to grow. Of all the fruit plants, strawberries are one of the easiest to grow and so rewarding.  The taste of the berries makes…

Red Hot Poker – Growing and Caring for Torch Lilies

Red hot pokers are also known as torch lilies

The red hot poker is a showy and dramatic plant.  If you love growing perennials that give color all summer long, this is the plant for you. Other names for this showy plant are torch lily and poker plant. The botanical name for this plant is kniphofia uvaria and there are more than 70 known species…

Start Seeing Monarchs the First Saturday in May

Colorful Monarch Butterflies

The first Saturday in May is marked as the day to Start Seeing Monarchs. What an appropriate national day for this time of the year!  Have you seen any monarch butterflies in your yard this year?  I’ve been seeing them in my garden for a few weeks This day was chosen to raise people’s awareness…

Astilbe Companion Plants – What to Grow with Astilbe

Companion plants for astilbe

Astilbe is a gorgeous perennial that is right at home in a shady moist garden.  You can grow it alone, but a well designed garden looks better with more than just one type of plant. These astilbe companion plants like the same moisture and light conditions and will make a beautifully coordinated garden bed. Selecting companion…

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 a perennial and is easy to grow and…

Using Candles in Your Home – It’s Time for Some Decorating Ideas

It's bath time. Prepare to relax with a good book, a glass of wine and an aromatic candle.

There is just something really warm and inviting about a room with the look of a flickering candle in it.  Using candles in the home creates an intimacy that sets a mood to a room and makes guests feel really welcome. Arranged pleasantly with just the right accessories, a candle can really transform the look of…

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…

Garden Sheds

14 charming garden sheds

If you have been gardening for long, you will know that tools and gadgets soon start to take over your yard. Garden Sheds have become a fixture in many back yards. But your garden shed doesn’t have to be plain and boring, as these great looking buildings will show. Your garden shed can be as…

Fast Growing Forsythia Bushes Bring Summer Color to the Garden

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.…

Osiria Rose Photo Gallery of This Hard to Find Hybrid Tea Rose

Osiria Rose is a hard to grow and VERY hard to find rose. I have started an Osiria Rose Photo Gallery on my site. If you have grown the rose, please share you photo for my readers.

I thought it would be nice to start an Osiria Rose Photo Gallery.  If you love growing perennials, it may be worth trying to find this Osiria rose, in spite of its reported growing problems. Osiria Rose is a hybrid tea rose that was first hybridized in Germany by Mr. Reimer Kordes of Germany in 1978.…

Winter Garden Views in January

These winter garden views, from the USA, Canada and the UK show that there are some stark differences and lots of similarities when you look outside your window in winter. These photos are shared by readers of my blog. Why not share your photo too?

The weather outside does not lend itself to gardening right now. We recently had a snow storm that dumped about three inches here in North Carolina.  Looking over my snow soaked garden gave me the idea to have a share day on my Facebook page. I asked my Facebook fans to share their Winter Garden Views and…

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

See what made the list of the most famous posts of 2016 for The Gardening Cook. This year, household tips, gardening tips and one great recipe made the top 10!

Each year, at the end of December, I take stock of what worked (and what didn’t!) on my blog.  Sometimes, I am surprised when a blog post makes my top 10 list for the past year when I wasn’t expecting it.  Other times, I think “not you again” when a tried and true favorite post…

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 perennial gardens and conservatory.  I thought my readers would enjoy reading a…