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 […]

Spring forth, forsythias

You can’t miss the yellow bolts of color scattered along the landscape. The bright rays of sunshine are everywhere — and I like it. It’s springtime, and the forsythia is blooming. The color is energetic. Like it is shouting to the universe that a long, hard winter is ending, and it is time to rejoice […]

Hens and chicks of both the plant and animal variety

Baby chicks seem to be everywhere this time of the year. Plush animals, greeting cards, marshmallow candies and even the real thing chirping under lights and in tubs at the feed stores. Yes, spring and chicks go together. I could write forever about my grandfather’s chickens — feeding, gathering eggs and more, but today I’m […]

White Gardens Shine in the Moonlight

Recently, I met some friends for a long-overdue visit. As we spent time outdoors chatting about this, that, and the happenings of the last few months, of course, we talked gardens. We talked about outdoor plants, indoor plants and cut-flower bouquets. A comment about always sending his wife arrangements of white flowers led me to […]

Welcome Spring with a Renewed Flower Bed

What a difference a year can make. As we celebrate the first day of spring, with new plants emerging from their winter hibernation, we also celebrate the possibilities of us emerging from our homes slowly and cautiously, having small gatherings with friends and family. Much like the perennials who retreated into the ground for winter, […]

Oh, deer. What have you done?

Rarely do I have a garden conversation that doesn’t include deer. Living in West Virginia means living among wildlife and, most often, herds of deer. As I type, three does are sauntering and nibbling their way through the back; they will settle under the thicket of branches in the same spot that generations of their […]