When I moved into my apartment a couple of months ago, I was determined to have a garden. My balcony was large enough to accommodate ten smaller containers from my old garden, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough to satisfy my plant cravings.
My landscape had changed from a quarter-acre suburban yard to a few hundred square feet of carpet. Indoor gardening was not my wheelhouse; I’d killed more plants indoors than I’d grown. I took what I knew about outdoor garden design and combined it with sage inspiration from friends of mine, who also happened to be indoor gardening gurus and authors. Continue reading
With a few quick snips, I cut the tops off a few of the remaining healthy coleus plants in my balcony garden. My overwintered coleus won’t be the operation it’s been in past years, because I don’t have the room in my new apartment for a wall full of plant racks and lights. That doesn’t mean I can’t grow some of these easily-rooted plants on my kitchen windowsill. Continue reading
The day finally arrived. On the morning of June 21, 2014, the volunteers arrived to prepare for the arrival of hundreds of visitors to my garden. Nearly a year earlier, I’d accepted the invitation of the Champaign County Master Gardeners to be one of the featured gardens on the 2014 Garden Walk. Continue reading
The summer garden is now in full swing. As some plants fade and others shine, different combinations emerge. Some of these are planned, some are happy accidents. No matter what the premeditation, these combinations caught my eye as I walked through the garden this morning. Continue reading
There seems to be a bit of disagreement when it comes to pronouncing Agastache (with the consensus pointing towards ag-ah-STAK-ee), but you’ll get no argument from me about the greatness of ‘Blue Fortune’, a cross between the US native A. foeniculum and the Korean A. rugosum. This is the first time I’ve grown this plant in my garden, and I couldn’t be happier. It quickly grew to three feet tall with continual flower spikes another foot above. It has completely filled a sunny corner of the front garden, providing nectar to countless bees and other pollinators.
I’d count Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ among my favorite new plants in this year’s garden.
I’m not a great student when it comes to garden design. My personal library contains hundreds of titles, but I’m always at a loss to answer the question — “What is your garden design style?” — with any sense of academic rigor or historical reference. Where I may fail to express a single underlying philosophy or overarching style, I can more easily speak in terms of smaller design ideas that I use throughout my garden.
I’m really particular about how my garden looks, so for years I shied away from growing food because I didn’t relate to its aesthetic. But I was truly missing out on the wonderful architecture and texture of many fruits and veggies. Now, I’m happy to #GrowPrettyFood!
I’ve seen an increase in dragonflies since planting the new front garden. This one is resting on the tip of a great Goldenrod called ‘Fireworks’.
A bloom emerges to the world, puts forth its best show, then drops to the ground to become part of the soil that feeds its future. Much like us, the daylily becomes a collection of its own history, but a different — and hopefully stronger — version of itself each day.
Almost a year ago, I wrote the following words about a lily named ‘Anastasia’:
“I could have lain below these blooms for hours, the perfection of their form so mesmerizing, their scent so intoxicating. A Siren on a stem, but without the rocky shore.”