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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Wooded Storybook Garden

Charming. Storybook. Cottage.All words that describe a garden I had the pleasure of visiting last week. From the very moment I approached the property, I knew it was special.Pulling into the drive, I smiled at the shaker style cottage with teal accents. I was quickly greeted by the owners, who were as welcoming as their […]

Mean girls and bullies in the garden

Do you remember the movie “Mean Girls”? The characters were popular and pretty but not so nice. Let’s be honest – we all know a few mean girls. It happens in high school, in adulthood, and in the garden.Yes, plants can be bullies too.Of course, there are aggressive and invasive vines and shrubs that will […]