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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Leaves of three, let them be

Whoever said good things come in threes never met poison ivy. Those shiny leaflets grouped in threes along a stem are anything but good. To be honest, the plant’s evil powers don’t come from the leaf but from the oil and urushiol they produce.  Learning to identify poison ivy is important. Changing its identity is […]

Spring is Here

Although our Charleston winter has been mild, I am still excited to welcome spring. A walk through my neighborhood and yard, even during my daily travels, you can begin to see the landscape “greening up” and coming to life.   This a tricky time. Although the calendar will say Spring on March 20, the weather will […]

Who needs words when flowers can express the moment?

What fun that we can send messages by sending flowers. The trick is to know the floral language and choose the right flower for the right moment. Let’s start with the easy one – red roses communicate love, passion, and perfection. Perfect for lovers and expressing desire no wonder it is a Valentine’s Day staple. […]