Garden Grunt Tue, 21 Jul 2015 13:49:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fresh-from-the-Garden Bouquet Fri, 31 May 2013 18:06:08 +0000 Read More


Fresh-from-the-garden bouquet

My favorite part of the season has begun! I’ve planted various plants over the years hoping to have fresh flower bouquets throughout the whole season. Today I picked my first arrangement from two easy-to-grow perennials and one shrub. The best California loan offers are on this website:

Here is the plant key:

Fresh from the garden bouquet plant ID

A. Peony

What are your favorite flowers for garden-fresh bouquets? If you’re looking to plant now for bouquets next year, here is a great place to start your design.

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Taking Off the Kid-Gloves to Garden with My Kidlet Thu, 30 May 2013 16:03:46 +0000 Read More


Every day in the garden with my little man is like a new adventure.

What flower will he bend to smell today?

Landry bending down to smell a daffodil

How much dirt will he swallow today?

Landry tasting dirt

Which flower will be pick for me today?

Landry picking pansies

Which flowers will get over-watered today?

Landry watering

And I love every minute of it (except when he plucks my flower buds — the kid has a keen eye!).  I want him to explore all the garden has to offer with little inhibitions.

I point and say “Flowers” and he says “Mmmmm” as if that’s what flowers say, much like when I say “Lion” he roars.

I ask “Can you see the tree?” He points and says “Tee.”


“Tweet tweet.”

It’s our game. Our time together. My way of teaching and connecting with my son how I know best. Our mommy and son dates are day trips to the garden centers searching for the prettiest plants.

Landry pointing to magnolia flower

He’s already quite the gentleman, insisting on carrying my flowers.

Landry carrying potted gerbera daisy

Demanding to push the wagon filled with cut grasses.

Landry pushing wagon full of cut grasses

Yesterday I asked him to help carry flowers from the front yard to the back. It was a ploy, hoping to keep him in sight and maybe he’d grab the edge of the container I was carrying. When he didn’t come readily, I paused and turned to find him dragging a flat of annuals down our small, sloped sideyard.

Never was I more proud.

I immediately smothered his face with kisses and words of praise.

He’s only 17 months old,  learning about nature and becoming a fine young man all at the same time.

Are you gardening with your kidlets? Let Your Kids Get Dirty via Simple MomIf you’re not sure how or where to start…..I suggest you let them play in the dirt. When I was young, I could barely scrape the dirt from my fingers and my peanut butter and jelly sandwich never tasted better. Let them hold a squiggly worm (we did that last week). Or let them pick out the flowers for your container garden. Anything to peak their interest. Click here for some great suggestions from Simple Mom how to “Let Your Kids Get Dirty.”



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If I Lived on an Acreage…I’d Plant Sporadic Groupings of Spring-Blooming Bulbs Wed, 01 May 2013 11:00:08 +0000 Read More


Plant sporadic groupings of spring-blooming bulbs in the lawn
Spring-blooming bulbs are perfect for planting with your lawn. Enjoy their flower in the spring, mow them down to grass-level when they’re done! It’s sooo easy! I love how they’ve planted sporadic groupings of bulbs along the flagstone sidewalk in this front lawn. If you’re not a fan of daffodils, Better Homes and Gardens has nine other options to choose from!

Would you be so daring to plant bulbs in your lawn?

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If I Lived on an Acreage…I’d Have Stunning, In-Your-Face, Rustic Columns Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:00:46 +0000

Rustic column planters perfect for succulents

While I’m sure I could find space for these gorgeous, columnar planters on my suburban lot, the rustic feel to them and size to which I’d like them to be might lend better in a larger space.

What do you think? Would you use this as “statement” containers?

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If I Lived on an Acreage…I’d Have a Greenhouse Made From Reclaimed Materials Wed, 17 Apr 2013 16:14:09 +0000 Read More


Reclaimed windows for a gorgeous, vintage greenhouse.

Generally my style is one filled with reclaimed, rustic, galvanized objects, chippy doors and burlap. It’s only fitting my interior style be reflected in my exterior spaces. It’s a design tip that many forget to follow. If you enjoy eclectic pieces showcased on your fireplace mantel, then take those elements to your outdoor space.

More on topic — I’ve always daydreamed of having a greenhouse, escaping to its warmth in the dead of winter, tending to immature seedlings reaching for the light of the day. It would be my escape.

If you lived on an acreage, what would you have?

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Plant Geeking: New Hydrangeas Thu, 04 Apr 2013 19:17:56 +0000 Read More


If you don’t know, you soon will. I am obsessed with hydrangeas.


Here are a few, new hydrangeas I’m hoping to get in my garden this spring.

Paraplu hydrangea from Spring Meadows NurseryParaplu™ hydrangea on Spring Meadow Nursery
What I love: Doubled florets! They are gorgeous. And this shrub is suppose to stay under 3 feet tall and wide. Learn more here.

Tiny Tuff Stuff hydrangea from Spring Meadow Nursery
Tiny Tuff Stuff hydrangea
What I love: Reblooming. blue lacecap variety growing barely 2 feet tall. Perfect for the edge of my hydrangea bed. Learn more here.

Gatsby’s Star Oakleaf hydrangea from Proven Winners
Gatsbys Star™ - Oakleaf hydrangea
What I love: Panicle hydrangeas keep getting cooler and cooler. It started with the Limelight hydrangea and they just keep getting garden play! What I really love about this variety is again — the double florets. Also, this year, I’m crushing on white flowers. It’s a fresh, neutral color I think my garden needs more of. Learn more here.

Incrediball hydrangea from Proven Winners
Incrediball® - Smooth Hydrangea
What I love: So speaking of white. This hot-head is sure to make an impact in my garden with blooms reaching upwards of 12 inches across! While this isn’t a new variety for 2013, I’m finally coming around to appreciating it. Probably has something to do with its color. Learn more here.

Nantucket Blue Hydrangea from Garden Debut
Nantucket Blue™ Hydrangea from Garden Debut
What I love: Truth-be-told, I’m loving this hydrangea because Garden Debut is behind its production and I’ve got a soft spot for them. I have no doubt it will be a knockout in the garden. And of course — who doesn’t love blue hydrangeas?!? Learn more here.

Do you have a favorite hydrangea? Please share! I can always find room for one — or several more.
See more fun plants on my Pinterest board: Plant Geek.

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Fresh Ideas for Container Gardening—with me! Thu, 24 May 2012 18:10:58 +0000 Read More


Last spring I was fortunate enough to film 10 container gardening courses for a venture between Better Homes and Gardens and Craftsy. Here’s a preview of the courses…including snapshots of wild make-up and hairstyles (the first day of shooting I mistakenly let someone try to style my hair—bad idea–curls only respond to their master)

If you’re interested you can purchase the gardening package for only 20 bucks! It’s a steal! (right?) Plus you’ll get access to the course materials outlining the plants we used and if that’s not enough you can ask whatever (gardening related) questions you want in the forum and I’ll answer.

I hope your garden is treating you well this spring.

Happy planting!


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Get an Extra BOOST with Burpee Tue, 21 Feb 2012 23:20:36 +0000 Read More


Everyone knows vegetables are good for you. Just how good? I can’t answer that, but Burpee can with their BOOST collection showcasing six exclusive, delicious and nutritious vegetables. It’s hard these days to eat a healthy, balanced meal at each sitting, particularly when you don’t know how much goodness that little cherry tomato carries. That’s why I’m intrigued by this line of Burpee veggies that tell you — ‘right on the label’ — just how nutritious they are.



For example: Tomato, Solar Power Hybrid

According to its label, this tomato has ‘more than three times the level of healthy beta-carotene of the average tomato‘. Begging the question, why would you go with an ordinary tomato?

Are you excited yet? No?


Do you eat lettuce? What health-nut doesn’t? Could you see yourself harvesting mixed leafy greens weekly (with sufficient amount of plants and proper management) from your backyard or even apartment balcony? Introducing Burpee’s Healing Hands Mix of Lettuce packed full with ‘20% more lutein and 30% more beta-carotene than the average salad mix‘.

It just seems growing your own {healthy} grub just got a whole lot easier. I’m all about making things easier. This year I’ll be getting a BOOST by chomping down on the Power Pops tomato, Cherry Punch tomato, and the Hot, Sweet Heat Pepper. I’ll let you know how how much healthier I am by the end of the season.

If you’re interested–order your seeds (or plants) now!



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Local Garden Center Goodness Wed, 16 Mar 2011 00:31:05 +0000 Read More


Occasionally I’m asked

“Where’s the best place to buy plants?”

I thought I’d share with you where I like to peruse for plants…and of course some shopping secrets.

Listed in no particular order….


TimberPine Nursery

Of course I’ll plug you with love for TimberPine Nursery. Say hello to my hubs–Jay–when you go out there.

Nice thing about TimberPine–they try to grow most of their plants to cut down on the freight cost of shipping finished product. {I hope that wasn’t too much industry jargon there–basically means the cost is less}. Where this will really hit your pocket is in the tree department. Good quality trees at a fraction of the cost from other local garden centers.

Secret Tip: If there is something special you’re looking for and don’t see it initially, ask an employee if they have it “in the back-40” or if they can order it.


Loki’s Garden

Formerly known as Heirloom Gardens–now under new ownership, Loki’s brings to the Des Moines area what I’ve been dying to have–the latest plant varieties as well as a few oddball plants you can’t find anywhere else. If you want a landscape nothing like your neighbor’s, head over to Loki’s Garden and talk with Justin Hancock.

Secret Tip: Challenge them to be different and be prepared to be blown away. Proof is in the pictures–on facebook.


Herndon’s Des Moines Seed and Nursery

I bet few of you actually know where Herndon’s is located. And who could blame you–they have no website–no way to know what’s going on. Let me tell you…..the plant selection is wonderful, the quality is phenomenal and the prices show for it.

Secret Tip: I would go in the spring to see all that they have to offer–but hold out until fall for their blow out sale. Unless of course you’re like me–in that you can’t wait–need to have it now!


There you have it–my first round of local garden centers worth perusing! Did I miss you’re favorite? Let me hear it..or hold out for round two!

Happy Planting!


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Hydrangea Bonanza Mon, 14 Feb 2011 04:15:43 +0000 Read More


I’m fairly certain heaven is laced with hydrangeas–at least that’s what my heaven will look like. Want a peek?

I cannot wait until these Limelight Hydrangeas fill in! Their blooms are magnificent and last FOREVER! Little Lime also has my interests peaked–would be perfect specimen for a smaller landscape or focal point.

Let’s not forget Endless Summer Hydrangea–tried and trued miracle plant that brought new life to the hydrangea world. Just a quick tidbit–don’t get too anxious this spring and cut back on your Endless Summer. Pruning could make or break your bloom period so be sure to trim appropriately.

Twist and Shout Hydrangea has yet to “wow” me contrary to other gardeners.  But I’m not giving up–I’ll try to give her a lil extra loving this year.

And finally–the last hydrangea piece of heaven (so far)….

Pinky Winky. Last summer I made this gal work too hard for her water–so that’s why you get only a bloom shot.

Today’s spring teaser has me dreaming of ways to expand my hydrangea collection and thanks to Ball Ornamentals, my wish list is off to a pretty good start. Check out their latest introductions and let me know if you’ve found a favorite!

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