Everyone loves a pretty hydrangea bush. Right? We certainly do, and nothing excites us as much as a new variety.  Candy Apple is just that plant. If you’re familiar with Limelight, then you’ll love Candy Apple. It has the same stunning lime green clusters that you see on Limelight, but with a much more compact form.

Cool as a Cucumber

Do you know where the expression “cool as a cucumber comes from? It’s because cucumbers are typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the temperature around them. Try inserting a thermometer into one if you need a little proof. Not only do cucumbers have a cool temperature, but they’re also the key ingredient to some of the summer’s best cool down recipes.  There was a time when we only knew two main types of cucumbers – slicing and pickling. But things have changed and there is now a large variety of cucumber types available to gardeners and shoppers. They include Armenian, Diva, English Telegraph, Burpless, Persian, Lemon, Parisian Gherkins, Dasher, Sweet Success and Calypso varieties.

PLANT OF THE DAY – Evolution Yellow Falls Coneflower

Evolution Yellow Falls Coneflower is a new perennial that will bring your yard a bright touch of sunshine from late spring and into the fall. Lemon yellow petals arch slightly downward from showy center cones.  It’s great for the gardeners who love to include some cutting flowers into their lives. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Add More May Peas to Your May: Creamed May Peas and New Potatoes

One of our favorite vegetables, if not our very favorite, is May peas. I always look forward to the arrival of May and one of the biggest reasons is for the May peas. There are lots of great ways to fix them, but this is an all time favorite. We like to use the multi-colored fingerling potatoes because they had such an interesting element to the dish. But whatever potatoes you choose to use, the dish may become one of your favorites, too.

Color to Make Your Summer Scream

Everyone loves the color that summer flowers bring to their yard. Whether you plant in the ground, in containers or in hanging baskets, it’s the color that brings the excitement. Who doesn’t love a day spent at the nursery discovering new plants or remembering old favorites. We spent the past couple of weekends visiting a few of our favorite nurseries and these are the plants that caught our eye.

Spring is Almost Here…

And with it, come lots of new plant varieties to excite you about the upcoming planting season. Since the start of the year, we’ve been looking to all of our favorite growers and have found more than a few that we’ve quickly fallen in love with. Since pictures are worth a thousand words and pictures of flowers are worth a million words, we’ve decided to share photos of those that captured our hearts. Kismet Raspberry Echinacea                   Double Martini Sedum                   Rosy Returns Daylily                  

Decks…More Than Wood and Rails

It’s almost March. The perfect time to start thinking about your exterior projects. If a new deck or deck renovation is on your list, then you need to consider what your needs entail and how you can best maximize your budget in order to meet those needs. Since a new deck is a valuable investment for your home, you want to take the time to look at the options that will serve you best from both an aesthetic viewpoint and functional aspect. People understand that decks have the ability to extend your home’s living space during all the season of the year, and have become increasingly interested in ways to utilize that space to its highest optimization.

It’s the Perfect Time to Get A New Fence

February is a perfect time to get that new fence or replace your old rotting fence. There are several reasons why this month is the most opportune time to think about your fencing. For one reason,  it’s not the growing season which means it will be much easier to install a fence when weed growth and landscaping are pretty much dormant. This means there will be less labor to install your fence, and a quicker turn around time.

Low Maintenance Plantings Make Life a Little Easier

No one can deny that having a yard that looks admirable, enviable or approachable requires some level of maintenance. Often way more maintenance than you may be interested in investing. One way to cut back on the amount of time you need to spend on your landscape each week is to choose low maintenance plants for your landscaping. A favorite for both color and smell is lavender. It’s silvery leaves and purple blooms make it a lovely addition for any style garden, but it’s also extremely hardy and requires minimal attendance during the growing season. There are several varieties to choose from, some more compact than others.  Munstead is a compact shrub with mounding silver foliage and an abundance of blooms that create a border that’s a blanket of purple. Hidcote is another attractive variety.                  

Who Says You Can’t Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space in the Cold?

Yes, it’s C-O-L-D, but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of ways to extend the season of your outdoor living space. From fire pits and fireplaces to outdoor heaters to blankets, you can stay warm and enjoy those starlit nights even in January. A wood burning fire pit serves as a great gathering spot for those who enjoy sitting close to the heat source. It’s easy to circle around the pit with a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of wine or a good sipping bourbon. Even if most of your group is inside, once they see that fire lit, they will gravitate to the outdoors. Options are enormous and there’s something for every style and taste.                                 

Mum is the word when it comes to bright, beautiful fall color for your yard

When September arrives, we start to usher in Mum Season. Who doesn’t love the color and attention that mums bring to your yard? How you display them can really add an impact to your home’s appearance. Here are a few of our favorite displays we’ve found on the internet. Nothing is more welcoming than an abundance of color on your steps, and this set of steps really steps up its game. Large pots, and lots of color.               When displayed with a group of pumpkins, you let everyone know fall is here.                


Now that July is here, I’m pretty sure, or at least I hope, your tomato plans are now producing those ripe and ready jewels of summer. Hopefully, your crop is handling this heat and lack of rain the past several days, and your crop is looking its best. I’m the first to admit that I love nothing more than a tomato sandwich. Slices of red, ripe and juicy tomatoes, smeared with mayonnaise (has to be Duke’s) and sprinkled with salt and pepper, on some very lightly toasted bread. Nothing beats that first tomato sandwich of the year!

PLANT OF THE WEEK – Delicious Candy Coneflower

I’ll eagerly admit that I’m a huge fan of coneflowers. I love the color and height they bring to a landscape, especially if you tend to enjoy a cottage style landscape. And they’re an all season flower, too. If you leave them uncut during the winter, you’ll give those birds a nice little snack to discover during those oh so cold months. I always try to think about the animals when I’m selecting


If you’ve been walking around your neighborhood, and noticed a big splash of purple what you may have seen is a new Veronica variety. Wizard of Ahhs. It’s part of a popular collection of Veronica knows as the Magic Show. Bonus points for this variety is that it is one of the earliest Veronica to bloom. This plant produces thick spikes of voilet blue flowers that cover the top half of a low, wide growth habit. Reaching heights of 14 to 16″, you can expect this one to spread between 18 to 22″. 


One thing about the landscaping business is that it certainly is BUSY this time of year. Lots of people in the industry call March, April and May the 100 Days of Hell. And with good reason. It’s hard to catch your breath, much less keep up with your blog. But with all the color popping out everywhere, I was reminded that I need to get back to sharing some of my favorite plants.


With today’s rain and lack of sun, I found myself in desperate need of a plant pick me up.  What better way to bring the tropics into your life than a tropical plant like the hibiscus. And the variety we’ve chose as this week’s Plant of the Week is the Luna Pink Swirl Hardy Hibiscus. 


If you haven’t added Weigela to your landscape, we have to wonder ‘Why Not?’ One of our favorites is Minuet Weigela. Both the foliage and flowers will add a lovely splash of color to your spring garden. The incredible display of rosy-pink blooms against a backdrop of purple-tinged foliage mixes fantastically in a shrub border, but it also works well anywhere else as a colorful garden accent. 


This week I chose a fairly new specimen called VIBE Ignition Purple Sage. My first reason for selection this plant is my passion for purple flowers. Especially deep purple flowers! I particularly love that it’s heat and drought tolerant because we do live on the East Coast.


This week we’ve chosen the Regal Empress Clematis. Every mailbox, every fence post, every porch rail deserves a splash of color and drama. This prolific, compact climber offers large, double flowers in shades of pink over a long season. It’s important to add beautiful vertical interest to any garden fence or trellis. A great choice for a container or left to ramble through shrub beds. This clematis variety enjoys life in full or partial sunlight. It enjoys a nice drink at least once a week, but if it’s super hot you might want to give it a little more refreshment. This climber can reach heights of 4 to 6 feet and can span 2 to 3 feet, but it will need some support. It has an especially long bloom season and blooms in both spring and fall. If you love the style of cottage gardening, then this vine is the perfect choice for you.


This week we’re celebrating the Dream Catcher Flowering Cherry. This tree is categorized by its Large, single, clear pink flowers that cover its upright branches that expose dark green foliage. Fall brings orange-red to purple foliage color. A choice for a specimen tree for small yards, group plantings or as a street tree. It can grow up to 25′ tall and 15′ wide. Easy to care for, the birds love to hang out in this beautiful tree. 

Plant of the Week

Since this is our FIRST “Plant of the Week” post, I selected an early spring bloomer to get you into gardening mode. The Show Off Forsythia is a new compact selection that gives a stunning display compared to some of the older forsythia varieties. Its early spring blooms fill its branches with bright yellow color in early spring. It has lovely dark green foliage that provides visual interest all season long. Planted as a short hedge or in mixed borders or even as a foundation plant, it produces blooms that work well as a cut flower.  

Does Your Home Have a Welcoming Look?

When someone walks or drives past your home, does its exterior make them pause and want to visit or does it make them gasp and want to keep on going?  Stand in the street in front of your house.  If it wasn’t your home, how would you feel about walking up to the front door?  Perhaps it’s time to make some changes to your landscape. There are numerous ways to make your home more inviting.  How can you improve your front yard?  Does it involve your door?  Your porch?  The overall landscape?  With a little thought, your home can invite people to stop in, with or without the welcome sign.  

Make Your Patio Picture Perfect

Staring out the window at a plain, boring patio?  Unsure where to begin?  Not even sure what look you’re going after?  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during the decision process.  If you’re not careful, you’ll just toss the thought away, and end up spending another summer failing to utilize what could be the best “room” of your home. Plants.  Furniture.  Art.  Color.  Seclusion.  Shade.  Sun.  Water.  Sounds.  Sights. Smells.  Flavors. All words that should be part of your patio vocabulary.  Consider all the senses when preparing your patio for the outdoor season. One of the easiest ways to bring color and fragrance to your patio is with plants.  Find creative ways to display containers and let them overflow with blooms and foliage. Furniture choices.  If the furniture is as comfortable and inviting as the rest of the house, you’ll rush to get out there in the evenings.  Choose a color and style that reflects your personal style. Bring the relaxing sounds of a fountain into your backyard.  Garden fountains come in a variety of sizes and prices, and if you’re creative and ambitious, you can make your own. Some great ideas can be found at this DIY website. To make your patio more of a room, and less of a place to store your grill, think about ways  to create seclusion.  A screen can instantly add a wall and give you some added privacy. There are tons of ways to make your patio more inviting, more private, more appealing to your senses.  Share some of your ideas with us!  We’d love to hear what things you’ve come up with.  E-mail us a picture, too!

What’s New In 2018?

One of the my favorite things every year is finding out what new varieties of plants will be showing up at my favorite nurseries. Of course, I have those favorites that I return to again and again, but being the first in the neighborhood to display a new annual or perennial always brings me a bit of joy. I’ve already discovered a few new plants this year that will certainly find a spot in my garden.

Landscaping for Privacy

Neighbors on top of you?  An adjacent eyesore?  The buzz of a busy street?  Yes, these are the things that can keep you out of your yard, and out of what could be your own retreat and possibly the best part of your home.  There are many ways to create that private space, to camouflage ugly and to bring more welcome sounds to your yard.  The first step is to determine the main problem, the second is to come up with a plan, and then you need to implement the plan. There are several ways to add privacy to your landscape. 

What is the special meaning behind rose colors?

Valentine’s Day is just a week away, but before you splurge for a dozen or more roses wouldn’t you like to know the meaning behind the color of the roses you’re thinking about choosing? While many people think roses are cliché, knowing the meaning behind them will certainly give a little oomph to that bouquet. Roses come in a variety of colors and shades, so choose carefully and let someone know that you actually did put some thought into your selection. Red roses are the standard. They are the symbol for love, and reflect beauty and perfection. Give those red roses to the perfect someone in your life, and let them know why you went with tradition. Pink roses represent feelings of admiration, grace, joy, sweetness and gentleness. They’re a great choice for a daughter or for a younger Valentine since they also communicate happiness.

Hello February!

The February checklist for your yard. *Starts your seeds for the cool season vegetables & flowers. *Check your plants and tress for damage. During the cold months, animals can damage your plants when trying to escape the cold. *It’s a good time to start looking for pots and planters. Some stores still have last year’s merchandise to get rid of, and the bargains can be strong. *Cut back your liriope and other perennials now. It will get them ready to grow in the spring. *Prune your dormant trees and shrubs, but leave those spring bloomers alone. *It’s a good time to plant those larger B&B bushes and trees. *Give your holly bushes a hard prune this time of year.

Choosing Color for Your Landscape

Landscaping is an artistic endeavor. It’s important to apply design elements the way an artist does when choosing a color palette for their next painting. Every color and shade awakens a specific feeling, and applying these properly will tie your landscape together and create a visionary masterpiece. You can choose your color palette based on your favorite colors, and by understanding the principles of the color wheel. Some colors are warm, others cool. Each color has a certain identity and performs differently in the landscape. Red. Excitement, intensity, passion, vitality, drama and energy. If you are trying to make an area feel tighter, rather than spread out then red is a good choice. Because it is a warm color, it needs to be in a bright space. Reds do not stand out in shady areas. It’s a great color for a focal point, such as a doorway or the dining area of your patio or deck. The complimentary color for red is green.  Good examples of red blooms include geraniums, petunias, celosia and dahlias.

It may be cold, but it’s time to start thinking about your landscape

Often we allow the cold weather (and especially the snow) to keep us from thinking about the upcoming planting season. But it’s actually the best time of all to get the idea and planning process started.  One of the first things to consider when planning a new landscape is to determine the look and style you’re going after. Landscape styles can often be narrowed down to the following types: classic, cottage, zen, contemporary, tropical or eco-friendly xeriscaping. If you’re not sure what your style is, the quiz found here often helps you narrow it down. During January, it’s time to pull out the magazines and scan the internet for photos and articles related to landscape design and styles. Once you’ve determined what you love, you can read about the types of plants that would best with the scheme you are trying to achieve. A good landscaper can help you with the design and especially the plant selections that will work well with your property’s unique conditions. Visiting a landscaper’s website is a great place for ideas and it will also help you determine if it’s a landscaper you want to work with.