Bear necessities in the garden

I saw my first bear “in the wild” this summer. I was driving on a West Virginia country two lane, taking my time and soaking in the scenery – when I saw a black bundle of fur and a brown nose dart across the road.   The bear was not huge but moved fast and was […]

Rose of Sharon

As I come and go from the little house on a big hill, I pass a garden filled with lavender rose of Sharon. As summer gardens are waning, this bush is still blooming like crazy. Because of this garden and one I remember from childhood, I added Rose of Sharon to my garden this year. […]

How I love these West Virginia hills

“Oh, the hills (beautiful hills), Beautiful hills (beautiful hills), How I love those West Virginia hills!” This poem was written in 1879 and then put to music in 1885 by Henry Everett Engle. Thought to have been inspired by the mountains in the Glenville area, the original author is disputed, but credited to Ellen Ruddell […]

Finding your fall personality

First, it was a bat, then a black cat and skeletons – now it’s ghosts and pumpkins galore! My neighborhood has embraced October. As we move into the 10th and scariest month of the year and the gardens are transitioning into their next phase, it’s time for container gardens to do the same. As kind […]

Fall into Gardening

September 23 is the first day of fall. It came fast this year.  One minute, I’m celebrating long summer nights, then in a blink, I seem to be reaching for my sweater when taking the pup outside. To embrace this new season, the Kanawha County Extension Master Gardener Association is hosting a “Fall into Gardening […]

One foxy fern

Two years ago, on a whim, I bought a fern. The unique look caught my attention and has quickly become one of my favorites. The foxtail fern is a fun plant. The bushy stems shot straight up, and it’s hard to resist touching the full yet airy leaves that resemble the fullness of an animal’s […]

Night blooming cereus puts on a short, but sizzling show

If this were showbiz, the marquee would read, “Appearing for one night only.” You would call your friends, make plans, wait in line, and take pictures, right? Well, that is exactly what needs to happen when the night-blooming cereus takes the stage. These tropical plants produce white or very pale-colored flowers – once a year. […]

When together is better in the garden

A little luck and a whole lot of hard work have produced award-winning results in this front garden. Knowing the traits and needs of individual plants is important – very important – but the knack or skill of taking that knowledge and combining plants to create beauty is what good design is all about. One […]

Lavender Haze

What do you do with 50 acres of reclaimed coal fields? Well, if you are Appalachian Botanical Company, you grow lavender.  What started as a conversation in 2016 has become a thriving business in Boone County with a mission of building a profitable botanical enterprise that puts West Virginians and reclaimed coal mine land back […]

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden

I find small gardens magical. With limited space, gardeners are creative and playful with their choices. They also tend to care for them to the point of perfection. I spent time in a garden this week that glowed.  With a reflecting pool and Mark Blumenstein art as a spout, the water sound babbling was the […]