Garden Design · Perennials

Japanese Painted Ferns add color to shade gardens!

Some gardeners mistakenly believe it is difficult to have a colorful shade garden. They give up, plant some ground cover, and call it a garden. But a beautiful shade garden is as easy as choosing plants with dramatic texture and vibrantly-colored foliage. The Japanese painted fern is a perfect example of a plant with both… Continue reading Japanese Painted Ferns add color to shade gardens!



In April, Podophyllum peltatum rises from the ground, resembling a tightly-closed umbrella. As each stem lengthens to a foot tall or a bit taller, the leaves unfurl and the ‘umbrella’ opens. It sounds like a really interesting plant, doesn’t it? Called mayapples because of their apple-blossom-like flowers that bloom in May, they are one of… Continue reading Mayapples


Virginia bluebells announce arrival of spring!

Heralding the arrival of spring are the bell-shaped flowers of Virginia bluebells. Native to most of central and eastern North America, they have painted woodlands sapphire blue in April for hundreds of years. In Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book 1766 – 1824, Jefferson writes of “bluish colored, funnel-formed flowers in lowgrounds in bloom.” Mertensia virginica, commonly… Continue reading Virginia bluebells announce arrival of spring!

Annuals · Bulbs · Container Gardening · Garden Musings · Perennials · Shrubs · Trees · Vegetable Gardening

Walk through my Spring Landscape

A couple days ago, I sat on my front porch looking out over a pot filled with Antique Shades pansies and breathed in the heavenly fragrance of the Judd viburnum right behind. I marveled at the beauty of the crabapple’s dark pink buds beginning to open, revealing pristine white flowers. I decided to walk through… Continue reading Walk through my Spring Landscape