Going Bananas

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Gardening | 1 comment

There are some plants in the garden that seem to thrive no matter how hot and humid August gets. My zinnias are one. Those flowers just never stop! But it seems like most of my perennials wilt during the overbearing weather of late summer, a lot like we as humans do. Those days when you just step outside and break a sweat can be tough. The weather completely zaps your energy before you really even get anything done. So when my coneflower quit...

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The Garden Comes Alive

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Gardening | 3 comments

I have to admit, August isn’t my favorite month in the garden. The squash and green beans that were so lush and productive in June and July are have given in to bugs and powdery mildew. The flowers that looked so perky and perfectly mounded in the spring and early summer are now overgrown and straggly. No amount of cutting back seems to bring back that spring-time vigor. But all of that doesn’t keep me from going out to the gardens. There are...

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Grandpa and Gardenias

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Family, Gardening | 5 comments

The other day I when I was sitting on the porch at my parents’ house, the smell of gardenias hung heavy in the air, and I breathed it in deeply. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these iconic southern flowers, the smell is sickeningly sweet, in much the same way as old-fashioned roses whose blooms perfume the air with strong fragrance, enough to inspire perfumes and poems. Yet the fragrance of gardenias is nothing like roses. Gardenias...

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Finding the Sweet Spot

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Gardening, Grandma | 0 comments

In my many years editing for Carolina Gardener and reading various gardening publications, I became very familiar with the extension agents’ favorite saying: “Right Plant, Right Place.” Basically this means you want to understand the environmental needs of a plant before you put it in the ground. You don’t take a sun-loving zinnia and plant it in the woods, just like you wouldn’t put the shade-loving heuchera out in an open garden with full...

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Late Bloomers

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Gardening | 0 comments

When September comes around, I want my garden to be filled with mums and asters. Bright yellows, fluffy purples, the colors of fall. But for some reason, it wasn’t until the end of August that some of my summer bloomers really started to get going. And then they took off during the month of September! My crape myrtles, which are magnificent when full of blooms, wait until most of the others in our area have faded before displaying their full...

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Zinnias Hit the Big-Time!

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Family, Gardening | 0 comments

Bill and I took the kids to the Biltmore Estate this past weekend. We were in Asheville for the weekend anyway, and I had seen a commercial advertising that kids get in free with a paying adult through Labor Day. Not only was it a great opportunity to take the kids, it was also perfect timing for me to see the gardens in all their magnificent glory. I’ve been able to tour the estate a couple of times, once when I was 12 (when my parents took...

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