Charleston’s unexpected gardens

It all started one afternoon when I met a young man planting a garden in the most unlikely place. Through the alley, behind the parking lot, and between two buildings — there he was planting hostas and gladiolas bulbs. After striking up a conversation, he mentioned living downtown and loving to garden. He had found […]

Build bright gardens to attract butterflies

When I was little my grandfather would say that if a butterfly landed on your arm, you would get a new dress that color. I’m not sure if that was to make me happy or make my mom crazy, but either way, I still love to look for butterflies. As a gardener, you want all […]

Clematis and other climbers

Gardens are most interesting to me when my eye travels. It is exciting to look down, across, and up; to see gardening happening at different heights. Climbing plants are an easy way to add vertical blooms to your designs. Clematis is a popular choice for adding height. The vines are often seen climbing lampposts or […]

These bee houses are all the buzz

In my garden and in this written space, I encourage growing plants that will attract pollinators. Birds, bees and butterflies, to name a few. It is good for the environment and good for the garden. Let’s take it a step farther and talk about bee houses. What I mean are intentional structures for bees, kind […]

Let’s talk about mulch

Mulch has been the topic of the week. It seems everyone I know is mulching. I’m even doing a bit of mulching at the little house on a big hill. For me, it is the quickest and easy way to bring instant curb appeal to your garden. Not only does it tidy up the landscape, […]

Big and beautiful, dahlias can dazzle

Here’s an idea: Don’t make mom clean the dinner plates; help her fill the garden with dinner plate-sized flowers instead. What? Did you know dahlias can have blooms the size of dinner plates? There are many varieties of dahlias with blooms ranging from small, 2-inch pom-poms to dinner-plate flowers that are often 15 inches across. […]

Azaleas star in the ‘Colors of Spring’ show

The colors of spring are everywhere. Phlox is spilling over garden walls, tulips are blooming, flowering dogwood, redbud trees seem to be everywhere and the azaleas are in bloom. What’s spring in Appalachia without azaleas? This flowering shrub brings the next wave of spring color to our landscapes. Blooms of white, pink, coral and magenta […]

Peonies for Your Thoughts

Marco Polo said they have “Roses as big as cabbages.” Why, of course, he was talking about peonies. These glamorous flowers will soon grace our gardens. There are a few different varieties of peonies. I have the herbaceous or bush peonies in my garden, which I see most of in gardens. Others include the tree […]

Plant a tree this Arbor Day

Get ready, gather your supplies, and go plant a tree: Arbor Day is Friday, April 30. What fun to plant a tree and watch it grow. Maybe it’s marking a new addition to your family. Perhaps it is a birthday tradition or celebration of a marriage or remembrance. Maybe you need a shade tree; whatever […]