Summer

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…

Teddy Bear Sunflowers – A Cuddly Giant Flower

How to grow 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 colored ones too, but…

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

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…

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

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

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…

Saving Seeds from Heirloom Beans

Heirloom yellow pole bean seeds

My family comes from a long line of vegetable 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 used to snitch peas from it, hoping we would…

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/

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…

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…

DIY Summer Mason Jar Flower Vase Project

This DIY summer mason jar vase project is perfect for my summer brunch table. See the tutorial at thegardeningcook.com/

One of my favorite things to do on Sunday morning is to meet friends for breakfast or brunch and catch up on the week.  Normally, we go out to a variety of restaurants and alternate each week between them. This week, I wanted to have our friends over to our house for breakfast.  I’ve been…

Today’s Flower – Gladiolus

How to grow beautiful gladioli

Growing perennials means lots of color when you plant gladioli. There is something about a bare piece of ground that suddenly breaks with foliage at an amazing rate and then bursts in a splendid show of flowers a few weeks later.   Gladiolus are not actually bulbs but are considered perennial corms. Gladiolus is often called…

Outdoor Games for Kids and Adults

7 Great DIY Outdoor Games and Activities for kids and adults

Add One of these Outdoor Games to your next Party. The weather is warming up here in NC and it makes me think of things to do outside.  Gardening is my first choice, of course, but I also love having outdoor gatherings and activities for them. I grew up in a family of six children…

How to Grow Calla Lilies

How to grow Calla lilies

Have you ever priced single Calla lilies at a florist?  If you have, you will have discovered that they sell for $5-$9 a STEM.  Why pay those kind of prices, when you can become your own florist – well sort of, anyway. Calla Lilies make  wonderful indoor plants and comes in many colors, as well.…

How To Grow Dinner Plate Dahlias

How to grow Dinnerplate Dahlias

Dinner plate Dahlias are not plants that one would call shrinking violets.  These majestic plants command attention in a garden bed and also need plenty of room to grow and flower. A Master of a Plant – Dinner Plate Dahlias I love dahlias and zinnias…and cone flowers….and on and on.  Basically anything that looks even…

Sunflowers – My Daughter’s Favorites

Sunflowers and My daughter Jess

My daughter Jess’ favorite flower is the sunflower.  I plant them in my garden each year and love to find new varieties that I have not had before. Growing sunflowers is pretty easy if you keep just a few things in mind. Plant a Sunflower to Brighten your Day I’ve written about sunflowers many times…

Keep Squirrels away with These Repellents

DIY Squrrel Repellents

The squirrels have made a mess of my vegetable gardening attempts, this year, in a big way.  I decided to see what I could come up with to keep them away. These DIY Squirrel Repellents were easy to make and did a pretty good job. I must admit that I have been so proud of…

Variegated Roses in Raleigh’s rose Garden

Variegated roses in Raleigh's rose garden

The Raleigh Rose Garden is a place that you should visit if you are ever in Raleigh, North Carolina. It has a splendid array of roses of all types and colors.  Variegated roses were especially prominent on my latest trip. If you love growing perennials, you’ll want some of these in your garden! Raleigh’s little…

My Test Garden Transformation in July

Test garden progress

Earlier this year, I wrote about a test garden that I will be having in my back yard.  I am using the garden bed to grow all sorts of things. Some grow well there and some don’t like it at all, but everything gives me more knowledge of what grows well here in NC. The…

6 Ingenious Campfire Starters

6 super clever campfire starters

There is nothing quite like sitting around a campfire, having a drink, exchanging jokes and just generally enjoying the outside. These campfire starters use common household items to get the fire going quickly. Sometimes getting that fire to start can sometimes be a bit of a task. Try these ideas to get your campfire roaring…