Plants deer don’t eat: part 1

So far it’s a very short list. Iris leaves. Don’t know yet about the flowers. And possibly coreopsis, although I’m not entirely sure.

They’ve eaten chives and ferns, for goodness sake!

We’ll see what they eat again this spring, whenever it comes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clematis Done Right

My great friend B from Ohio shared this amazing photo of Clematis John Paul II on her fence and garage. This is only three plants- and I’ve never seen a clematis grow so vigorously. She says that the key is ignoring it, as it flowers on old growth. And of course: roots in shade, but face in the sun. I suspect the weather in Ohio might also help.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mound Garden

Yes! You can garden on a sewer mound. Avoid plants that have deep roots, and match plants to the site.

As our mound is a few years old, step one was weed removal. As you know, I’m quasi-organic, so this was done laboriously by hand. Don’t be fooled- it’s 85 degrees outside in this photo.

Pomona is modeling here the “after” for weed removal.

Then- the plan:

You’ll see that I’ve got another challenge for the mound: voracious deer. My goal is to spend less than $1000 on a garden in order to test the deer’s palette. I have asters, mums, phlox, monarda (the red one-thank you Aunt Paula!), iris, sage. I’ll let you know how those do.

Many of the plants were transplanted from existing clumps. The remaining ones were purchased.

Next was mulch. You see I put cardboard down to help with weed control.

I’ll put up a picture next spring to show you the result!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall Flowers

Bouquet of castor bean pods, Siberian iris pods, hydrangea, and sedum.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another New Garden

Inspired by a good friend, I present five tips for planning a new garden:

1) measure your space. If your garden is 1ftx 3 ft, you can get one plant in there.

There are four plants in this bed, plus a volunteer Datura.

If your garden is enormous, have a sense of its enormity, and budget accordingly, which leads us to:

2) Set a budget. The Wall Street Journal reports that well-maintained plantings recoup over 200% of their cost when a home is sold. But plants are expensive. Do you live in a posh neighborhood where everyone has tree peonies and seasonal mums- then do that, and know it will cost a lot. Is it a lake house where there are 12 deer who regularly sleep in your yard? Probably don’t spend a fortune on that garden… and:

3) see what you already have. Even the most modest houses have some delights; hostas that can be split, attractive daylilies worth dividing, phlox that are about to be smothered by a spruce tree. Dig em up, divide them, and hey presto: instagarden.

4) Now you know what you have so it’s time to draw up a plan!

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Or to scale. It just needs to give you an idea of how many plants you’ll need, what the colors will look like, when they’ll bloom. It isn’t rocket science, and you’ll still have to…

5) clear the site of all plant material, add amendments, mulch and THEN plant. I’m too busy to spend my life weeding. As the boys say: poor planning results in p*** poor performance.

WEasy peasy, right? It’s ok if this sounds like everything you hate in the world. Think of it as a semi obvious checklist- it gets easier with practice, and soon you will have a fantastic garden.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Birthday Flowers at the Lake

Hosta, pachysandra, and persicaria in a vintage green pitcher.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


My favorite rose in a birthday vase.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’re buzzing with excitement!

Something exciting coming soon!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My first commission!

Three mini bouquets, all different but coordinated. My favorite iris, allium, and Canadian anemones. I’ve made a lot of bouquets, but never sold one! I’m so excited!

It doesn’t get any more #americanmade than this… all flowers from my backyard, vases are up-cycled yogurt cups and box is re-used from @amazon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Luckiest Girl In The World

Who needs a plane ticket, when the tropics are in your backyard? At Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment