June 23, 2011

We've Moved!!

Hey Friends, please join us at our new blog, Garden Club!

May all your gardens grow!


March 08, 2011

Can't Never Could

It matters not that Time has shed
His thawless snow upon your head,
For he maintains, with wondrous art,
Perpetual summer in your heart.

~ William Hamilton Hayne

I vividly recall the message I received from my brother Michael one late afternoon in August 2005.  He sounded so excited that I could barely decipher his words through the phone. All I understood was that he was coming over.  I was not quite sure what to expect… this type of call was not unusual!  Patiently I waited for his arrival because I knew it would be worth it.

Michael’s F150 roared up my driveway like a hurricane!  I watched as he climbed from his truck and walked up embracing a large boulder!  He was a big, strong guy!  I knew immediately it was for my gardens…but something told me there was so much more than what I saw.  He proudly looked down at the heavy object held tightly against his body with ease.  My eyes curiously followed his gaze and there it was, “Jano’s Garden”. Lovingly etched into the hard surface appeared the name he gave me as a baby and continued to call me from that day forward.  I marveled at his skilled ways and wondered how he did it! It was perfect, made especially for me by him! Together we selected the perfect spot for my memorable new garden art.

A lot has changed since that warm day in August and my boulder remains humbly placed under a tree in my gardens. It meant so much then… and even more today. In 2006, Michael passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 49.  In so many ways, he was like the boulder in my gardens, he was my rock. We were very close in age and even closer in spirit. We shared a lot growing up and I always admired him…he was a great guy and a wonderful friend.  Michael was my big brother, my protector, my buddy, my pal.  I miss him deeply.

Michael taught me many things through the years but most importantly he taught me the importance of simplicity.  He often reminded me and I can still hear him say, “can’t never could”, which was exactly how he lived his life.

May all your gardens grow

March 06, 2011

Inside Looking Out!

Inside yourself or outside,
you never have to change what you see,
only the way you see it.

~Thaddeus Golas

I am a die-hard gardener and can never get enough! For me, it is equally important to enjoy my gardens inside as well as outside - especially on rainy days or while laboring in my kitchen. If you’re like me and just being in your gardens is not enough, follow these simple steps and enjoy them all the time, every time!

Before you head to your favorite garden center, take time to sit (and stand) in the rooms that face your gardens. It is wonderful to enjoy your gardens (a labor of love) from many different views. Move around your rooms and look out all the windows to decide where and what you want to see

Bonus: Fragrant plants are awesome when placed by windows, patios, sitting areas, or porches. There is simply nothing lovelier than a hint of lavender, lilac, or honeysuckle to name a few!  

Double bonus: there are many plants that offer winter interest so be sure to include them in your thought process!

To keep a clear view of your gardens from inside your home and to help promote sustainable practices, remember “right plant, right place." Proper plant selection allows you to clearly view your gardens from the inside and avoids unnecessary pruning.

More importantly, have a ball as you stroll around your house and decide what tickles your fancy! Gardens are such wonderful gifts to be shared and enjoyed by you and your family while inside looking out!

May all your gardens grow!

February 10, 2011

An "Easy Care" Flowering Ornamental Tree

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...
I could walk through my garden forever. 

~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Royal Raindrops® Crabapple Malus

When I saw this upright small ornamental tree at the nursery, I could not resist its vibrant pink-red flowers surrounded by deep dark purple foliage!  The rich red fruits, orange-red fall color, and interesting bark provides all-season appeal.  Outstanding disease resistance makes this "easy care" crabapple a jewel in the landscape!  Plant with confidence.  May all your gardens grow!

Height:   20'
Spread:  15'
Zone:     4

 Photos by:  J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

February 08, 2011

A Landscape Favorite: Dwarf Fothergilla

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.


Fothergilla gardenii

We love adding this wonderfully textured native dwarf shrub to new and existing landscapes.  Delicate white, honey-scented, bottle-brush blossoms add fabulous spring interest to the garden.  The unforgettable green textured leaves change in autumn to outstanding shades of yellow, orange, and red!  Use in groupings, masses, or foundation plantings.  Plant in full or partial sun.  May all your gardens grow!

Height:   3-4'
Spread:  3-4'
Zone:     5-8


January 30, 2011

The Garden People's Choice Awards!

We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire...give us the tools 
and we will finish the job.  

~Winston Churchill

It was informative learning which garden tools my fellow Facebook friends and gardeners liked best!  Hands down, shovels, metal rakes, hoes (woot hoot!), trowels, gloves, spades, and body parts were at the top of everyone's lists.  I especially enjoyed (and others did, too!) Kelly's entertaining and delightful response when asked to name three tools she could not garden without.  Here's what she said:  "trowel, hoe, and a good looking man with no shirt, nice and tanned ..."!  Now we all know the kind of gardening fun Kelly is having in Sheboygan, Wisconsin!

Learning what brands of tools other gardeners were using and highly recommended was priceless.  Without further ado, it is with great honor and a privilege to share a few tools of choice selected by you.

Bachi Gata
Fiskars Bypass Pruner

Hula Hoe

Corona Two-Handed Bypass Pruner
Hori Hori Knife

True Temper Ergo Gel-Grip Hand Weeder

Spring and the growing season is right around the corner!  As we all know, tools can be very expensive so it was most helpful learning from very skillful and experienced gardeners.  I think it is safe to assume that good garden tools are like good friends, we need them to grow!

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to the Garden People's Choice Awards!

May all your gardens grow!

January 23, 2011

Hot Ornamental Picks this Season!

 If the day and night be such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more immortal - that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. 

~Henry David Thoreau

Here's a few of our hot picks for landscapes and gardens this season.
Check back often as we photograph how we used them to create color, texture and interest!

Little Lime™ Hydrangea

Arctic Sun ™ Dogwood

Black Beauty™ Elderberry

Brandywine™ Viburnum

Coppertina™ Ninebark

Fine Line® Buckthorn
Black Lace™ Elderberry

Incrediball™ Hydrangea

Midnight Wine™ Weigela
Invincibelle®Spirit Hydrangea

Summer Wine® Ninebark

My Monet™ Weigela

Little Henry® Sweetspire

Arctic Fire™ Dogwood

Bloomerang™ Lilac

May all your gardens grow!

*Photos by Proven Winners®