I have been attracted to vegetable gardens since I was a kid. I was always fascinated to discover how fruits and vegetables grew on plants. Last spring, I brought in peas, beets, carrots, asparagus, onions, lettuces, strawberries, and mint to my daughters third grade class.
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It’s late winter, and every year at this time I get so excited to see the Red Maple in bloom. The flowers are not particularly eye-catching; in fact, most people don’t really notice these red clusters that hug the limbs and branches. To me, it signifies that spring is just around the corner. Some believe, Punxsutawney Phil is the predictor of springtime’s arrival, but I feel it’s the Red Maple. I know that the next season of renewed growth is on the way, when I see this large, gray trunk beauty, studded in color.
… I had actually achieved exactly what I had wanted…really wanted. This past year, I saw the most amazing garden I have ever witnessed in my life. I went Scuba diving for the first time this past Thanksgiving, and there, forty feet beneath the surface off the coast of West Caicos, were coral gardens. There is approximately 465 square miles of Coral reef located here. Some 60 species of coral live in the waters off the Turks & Caicos.
This is the perfect time of year for transplanting and planting, establishing new beds, and dividing perennials. During the cooler months, plants establish themselves by growing their root structures. This makes them much more prepared to handle the heat of our summers.
I find Herb Gardening to be one of the most rewarding forms of growing plants. Herbs are any plant that is valued for either its culinary, medicinal, fragrant or spiritual qualities. Many are easy to grow, perennial, and deer resistant. I have fond memories as a child of my mother’s gardens, filled with plants that she would use in cooking, or brew a cup of tea, or merely snip for its sweet scent. One day she sent me into the garden to pick oregano and basil for a spaghetti sauce. I returned with a fistful of snapdragons. This became the family joke when I went on to major in Horticulture. My own children love the herbs in our garden, often picking mint to chew on or even sprigs of chives. The freshness they provide is a welcome connection to nature.
September in the garden can look a little tired after our hot and humid summer. There is a wealth of fall blooming perennials that can be added to our gardens to spruce them up before the fall / winter planting.
I love the lushness, the textures, and the vibrancy of color with tropical plants in this paradise. These gardens seem at home in a pool setting, or a contemporary home. The theme can also be used as an accent to a more formal setting or simply used in pots.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This was an intention on my gardener’s bucket list this year. I went to Atlanta for the Food and Wine Festival and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Designing with perennials is a bit like putting a puzzle together. Heights, color, texture, form, and bloom time are orchestrated into an ever changing plant palette. I like to start with a group of dependable, easy, and colorful perennials that are known to thrive in our area. I have created a Top Twenty List of perennials that I use often, with great success.
Spring Fever It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark […]