Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Early Spring Garden Activities

Winter is almost over and I find that I am thinking about the spring and summer season. There are many seasons in the year and I like them all, but spring is my favorite time of the year because of the yard and garden activities.

When the spring flowers break ground I know it is time to start getting my planters ready for growing flowers, and vegetables. I generally plant seeds and grow everything in my greenhouse. Then transplant outdoors after the threat of spring frost has passed.

Garden Activities

This week my husband is helping me to remove late fallen leaves from the garden beds. We are using the rakes and find it is a good way to work the soil for upcoming planting. I will also cut back the ornamental grasses, as the days are getting warm and this will encourage new growth.

When the garden cleanup is completed we will start new projects. My husband will make some raised garden beds for my strawberries and I will start working on garden plans. I like to draw out a diagram every year for my annual gardens. 

I am glad my husband is helping me to work in the gardens and do appreciate him making the raised garden beds.  

Here's a few article that I published about spring gardening and plants that I grow in my gardens.
1. Growing Carrots in Home Garden
2. Signs of Spring
3. Growing Lettuce from Seed
4.   Window Box Garden Tips

Working in your yard and garden is a great way to relieve stress. It is always fun to take a before and after photographs of your garden. Then you will really know what you accomplished.

Retaining wall and privacy fence, garden by driveway 

I recommend the following garden products from I found them to be quality made and they are priced right. 
Raised Garden Bed Kit
Greenhouse Kit

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cover Ground with Evergreen Vines

For yards that have a woodland setting or area where nothing else will grow, then I would recommend covering the ground with evergreen vines. When the vines grow in the erosion will be controlled, the area will look eye appealing and you husband will no longer have to cut back the brush or mow the lawn. All of your landscape problems will be solved.
My garden photo of spring blooming vinca minor vine
Baltic Ivy grown on rock wall 
Evergreen vines that are grown as ground cover
Vines are good for large areas where you plant and forget them. When they grow in you can use a grass trimmer to manicure them. This is a good way to keep the vines controlled. Vines are a low maintenance plant. 

My side yard back up the woods and I have planted periwinkle a common name for Vinca Minor along my garden path. This vine filled in quickly and I like it because it is evergreen and has a pretty purple flower in the spring.

Another vine that I like is Baltic ivy. Baltic is evergreen and does grow in quickly. Of course, it will also grow up trees and choke out weeds. The periwinkle is less invasive, in fact, I grow daffodils and other spring bulbs among the periwinkle vines.

Here is a video that will tell you more about vinca minor.

Wildflower Garden Ideas

There is a meadow located on the south side of my home and wildflowers and switch grass grows there. In the spring I will plant red clover and zinnias so that the wildlife will have food and flowers will bloom in late summer. 
Garden path designed by Sgolis

I love this wildflower garden but would like to update it with a rock wall and garden gate. I like the idea of creating a space that is secret or private as if it was a sanctuary for animals and people to rest and relax.

Garden Ideas

Growing the garden is not difficult. You would plan the location for wildflowers. Then till the area that provides the plants with proper growing recommendations. The wildflowers that I grow need full to part sun and well-drained soil. Before you buy flower seed read the growing requirements, then you will know what part of your yard is best for growing wildflowers.
Coneflowers and Daises a photo of my garden
Garden path created by cutting this area low to the ground with grass trimmer.
Transplants growing nicely in the garden

Amend the soil if needed I always like to mix compost because it will enrich the soil with nutrients. Plant seeds or seedling then add a thin layer of straw.

Then create a garden path. One way to create path is to use your grass trimmer or lawnmower to cut down the grass low to the ground. Then cover this are with landscape weed control fabric. Top this with mulch, or gravel.

I recommend a spring planting of flower seeds because of the rains that come during this season. Seedlings need to be watered and ground evenly moist but not wet. The rain will provide the wildflower plants with ample hydration and a good start at being healthy.

Buy wildflower seeds in bulk, shop for the flowers that will grow best in your growing zone. Shop for wildflower seeds at online at

Here is set that I designed of a wildflower garden.

Countryside Garden

Countryside Garden by sgolis featuring garden decor

Learn more about wildflowers and attracting wildlife by reading these articles.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Garden Accessories that Hide Your Spare Key

Garden accessories may add interest to your garden, however, some accessories have another benefit because they conceal your house key. These useful accessories are eye appealing and will save you money because if you become locked out of your house you will not have to call a locksmith.
Hide key here, learn how to bellow

Many people have gone outdoors to get the newspaper in their robe and slippers then find that the door closed behind them and they are locked out. If somebody is home then there is no problem but what if you are home alone?

This morning when I went out to walk the dog I purposely left the side door open because I had no intention of leaving the yard. Yet when I returned I found the door locked. While I was on the other side of the house my husband locked the door and went to work. I was locked out without my phone or a spare key. What a situation I was in, my phone inside, my neighbor with spare key out of town. I had two choices; break into the house or walk a mile in my pajamas to next neighbors house.

Had I bought the discrete garden accessories that had a secret compartment
for my house key I would be able to get back inside easily.

I shopped online at and found just what I needed. I like the synthetic rocks and other garden accessories for concealing your spare key. But think if I had a waterproof key-box that I could hide it anywhere outdoors.

How to Hide your Outdoor Spare Key
Conceal key in a sprinkler head.  Learn more at step 5 bellow

  1. Shop for a outdoor box for you key.  Insert the key in the box.  Make sure it is sealed before hiding the key box in the garden.  Choose a planter then dig a shallow hole, set the key-box flush with the soil and cover with mulch.
  2. Hide the key-box in patio furniture. Unzip a seat cushion or pillow and put the key-box inside.
  3. Buy landscape rocks that are made to conceal keys. Hide the key underneath the rock in the special compartment. Then set rock around flower or other plant containers. Create a rock display on your porch, patio or garden.
  4. Use gorilla brand tape to adhere the key-box to the backside or bottom of patio furniture. Make sure this furniture is flush with the wall.
  5. Hide your key in a sprinkler head, Trademark Global makes this discrete product for you spare key and you can shop for it at
Hide spare key in planters

Hope these ideas are helpful to you. My husband says the best way to not get locked out is to check the door before going outdoors. But you know as well as I do accidents do happen.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas for Gardeners

When it comes to Christmas gift ideas for someone who likes to work in the yard or garden, then I think that buying for them is easy.  You need to think outside the garden shed and not worry about garden tools, instead, buy them gifts that they will appreciate such as a garden pattern apron, canvas tote bag, work gloves, plant stakes, yard or garden print T-shirt and more.

My garden friends are not the type that garden on the weekend or garden when the flowers are blooming. The are they type of gardeners that visit and work in their garden 7 days a week. Yes, they love to garden and when they are not able to garden in the winter season they are planning their warm season gardens. So when Christmas comes around I will buy them gifts that pertain to gardening because I know they will love the thoughtful gift.

If a gardener is on your Christmas list then finding the perfect gift is easy. You can buy them a gift certificate at or other garden center or you can shop for garden gifts that will be used during the next growing season.

Know that you cannot go wrong with a garden apron. A style with a pocket that is large enough for seed packages, garden gloves or business cards. A cotton apron is great Christmas gift for a gardener. Even if the gardener has an apron they will appreciate another one.

Know that on a typical day in the garden I will start off with a clean apron but after pulling weeds or planting it will be soiled and I will need to put on a fresh one to meet with clients or neighbors coming to visit me. So you bet a garden apron is on my Christmas wish list.  

My lily garden
I like knowing that I have five gardening aprons, because if I get dirty I can always change into a clean one.  Here are a few of my gardener apron designs. Click the link bellow the image if you would like to buy or learn more.

Real Men Yard Work Apron

Master Gardener Apron

Garden Girl Flower Collage Standard Apron

Another gift idea for gardener would be custom made canvas tote-bag, for stashing garden stuff or taking to the garden center to shop.

Cute Custom Gardener Print all over Black Tote Bag

Monogram Green Garden Wreath Print All Over Bag

Other gift ideas; garden books, gloves, sunhat and flower markers are also appreciated.  Here is a collection that I designed at Click here to view a variety of garden gifts for him and for her.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gardening in November

The fall season has been unseasonably warm and many of my flowers, zinnias, chrysanthemums and black-eyed Susan’s are still blooming. I am thankful that the weather is mild as I enjoy gardening in November.

Here are photographs of late blooming flowers in autumn gardens.

My neighbor today visited me in the gardens and could not believe that my flowers had many blooms and buds. He told me that he cut back all of his flowers the first week of September because he thought it would be a cold season.

Know that most people do stop tending to their gardens in September but I am not one of those people. If the weather is warm then I continue to tend to my flower and tomato gardens. This year I planted tomatoes in self-watering containers and thought instead of cutting them back I would move them to the mini walk-in greenhouse. If the weather should turn cold the greenhouse will protect the plants from frost and I may be able to harvest cherry tomatoes in January.

When I looked at the weather for my area I saw that it is not supposed to get cold until January, so I will continue to tend to my flowers that are blooming in the garden. After a hard frost, I will gather seeds for next year and cut the flowers back to the soil then cover with a layer of mulch.

By extending my growing season into November I was able to make fresh herb wreath with cut zinnia and mum flowers for my homes d├ęcor. On Thanksgiving, I will cut flowers for bouquets for my elderly neighbors.

Know that I reseeded my zinnia gardens in August for late summer blooms and also dead headed the chrysanthemums and fertilized them with bloom booster by miracle-gro. This is why I have so many flowers blooming in November.

Here Is a shopping link that you may be interested in.  I bought my late summer flower seeds at They were quality seeds for less.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Keep Watering Gardens in Fall

Many people ask me if they should keep watering their garden during the fall season and I reply yes especially if you season is dry with no rain in the forecast. Several flowering plants will continue to flourish in the garden until there is a hard frost.

Know that I do not water daily but I do not let my gardens and spring blooming shrubs dry out. I generally stop watering when there is a hard frost and plants go into a dormant state.

Fall is the season when the weather can be hot, cool and cold all on the same day. This fluctuation of temperature is hard on plants and generally they will start to die back. When a plant begins to die back I will clean up the flower bed by cutting the perennial down to the soil or remove the annual. Then add a layer of much to the garden bed.

it is okay to cut back flowers that have spent. I cut back my Shasta daisies and my Asiatic lilies as soon as the weather changed and nights got cool, mid 40’s . However the days are warm and some days are hot which means my zinnias, 4 o’clock, black-eyed Susan’s and Sunflowers still have blooms.

I water my garden plants, container gardens and also water the spring bulb beds until there is a hard frost. Here are some photographs of late summer early fall blooming flowers
Zinnia Flowers will bloom until weather changes; cold/ frost.

Chrysanthemums will continue to bloom until hard  frost 

Black-eyed Susan's keep feeding and watering and they will bloom until fall frost.

Sunflower is hardy, water with bloom booster and they will put out flower buds.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Plant Food Plot Seeds and Deer Will Come

This morning a doe deer brought her fawn to my yard. I could view them from my picture window and noted that their winter coat had grown in. There were three deer in my yard when I went to get my camera when I returned to the window I found more deer grazing at the food plot that I grew from seed.

Read how to grow a deer food plot here

There was movement from behind the cypress tree and assumed it was another doe, but to my surprise, it was a young buck with antlers. I was so excited to see the buck with antlers in my yard and was certain that this was his herd. The young buck was six feet from my window and was aware of my presence because he snorted and stomped his hooves. My husband told me to step away from the window slowly because a territorial buck could come through the window.

Granted I was too close for comfort and did step back. I took some photographs from the window.  

Here is an art set that I created that shows you what my side yard looks like and how the deer forage for plants, branches, leaves and berries in the forest.

White-tailed Deer in Autumn

White-tailed Deer in Autumn by sgolis 

Do you love deer in or near your yard ? The deer food plot seeds that I planted was easy to do I bought a product at that required little work, it was throw and grow. You plant in the spring and in the fall and this will enable you to view deer in your yard all year.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

When to Plant Chrysanthemum

Summer is almost over and I find that I am thinking about the fall season. Fall is my favorite time of the year because of the garden activities. When it comes to working in the yard and garden there are many things to do, planting chrysanthemum is one of my favorite activities in fall.  

Do you plant mums in fall? 

In late August to first week of September I will plant Chrysanthemums in containers and in feature gardens. Now I live in growing zone 6 and we have a long autumn season. For other growing zones in the USA I would say plant mums at least six weeks before a hard frost.

Chrysanthemums come in a variety of colors; white, yellow, lilac, purple bronze, cream, orange, pink, green burgundy-red and bi colors. There is a color flower for everyone and these long-lived flowers really brightens up the garden.

The mum is a beautiful flower so show it off by planting in your feature garden, or outline your front walkway. You can also add to wheelbarrow gardens or plant container gardens for your front porch. 

I have planted mums in containers and in the ground. Then after a hard frost I will cut the plant back to the soil and add a layer of mulch. The mum then returns the following year.

Here are a few of photographs of chrysanthemums I hope they will inspire to plant this lovely flower in your fall garden.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rustic Trunk Planter Ideas

Instead of shopping for new clay or plastic planters for your flowers or greenery, go to yard sales and buy rustic wood trunks for your garden. These rustic trunks will add interest to your garden. A container that is different from the norm will not only enable your plants to grow but will also be a focal area in your yard and garden.

Grow petunia is rustic trunk planter

Here is a digital design that I created to show one of clients how she could utilize one of her vintage trunks. In her case the trunk would be set up on her porch thus it would be protected from the rain.

Before planting in a wooden trunk I would recommend that you apply
a water seal to protect the wood. Also you would not fill the trunk with soil but you would drop in plastic shelf about 10 inches into the trunk. Then on top you would add your self watering planters for your flowers, herbs or sweet potato vines.

This open trunk planter is unique and adds tremendous interest to your garden.