A full cart at one of my favorite garden centers fills my heart.  This is what “Feast & Flowers” is all about for me. It’s a full table, a feast of another kind.

No matter what type of mood I wake up in going to a nursery and seeing beautiful plants makes me smile.  I am energized by the colors, textures and varieties of flowers.  One cart is usually never enough as I shop for clients to pick the perfect plants for their containers.  I suggest the next sunny day you venture out to Gethsemane Garden Center.  They have one of the best selections of perennial, annual and indoor plants around.  If you are a beginner in this arena they have knowledgeable personnel that are very helpful.  Gethsemane is located on Clark St. in Chicago.

This planter is filled with mostly perennial plants that will stand up to the cold spring nights and look beautiful through the end of May.  Delphinium, Columbine, Candy Tuft, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Variegated Ivy, Bellflower, Creeping Phlox, Bergenia, Forget-Me-Nots, Golden Variegated Sweet Flag Grass, Coral Bells, Ranunculus, Stock, Linaria and Forsythia… some annuals mostly perennials a great mix.

Start with a small pot by your entry so you smile as you enter and exit your home.



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spring planting continued

March 30th, 2012 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Anton’s in Highland Park, IL is another great garden spot.  I stopped by and picked up five plants to add to the container I planted the other day.  I did say I may add more plants.  I popped in two variegated Ivy to add some fullness and draping over the containers.  I needed some height so I kept in the purple hues and added a beautiful lavender columbine.


Note when I take the container off the roots I pull off some of the surrounding soil being careful not to break the roots but loosen them.  This enables the plant to take hold in your container and gives you room for more plants.


My last additions were two Nectarine Primula, a low plant that has a great strong leaf that surrounds a pop of double-flowered primrose.  I also love seeing primrose planted in the ground as an annual in our zone for spring and early summer.  All the plants do well in sun and part shade.  This container will stay put until June when I’ll change the spring plants out and keep the Ivy, Lamiastrum and Creeping Wire Vine.  Take a trip to your favorite nursery; decide on a color way and have fun.



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spring planting

March 29th, 2012 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Spring has arrived I have to get to a nursery, garden center, anywhere I can find spring plants.  This is like dipping your toes into a cold lake for the first summer swim… I’m a bit hesitant but I so want to jump in!  I know there could be colder days ahead so I decide to just plant the small container on my little porch.  I won’t go crazy because I certainly want to save my pennies for summer stunners.  It felt so good to see all the colors and beautiful plants ready for spring at Chalet today.  My all time favorite spring annual (here in Zone 5) is Ranunculus.  It comes in red, white yellow, shades of pink and a hot orange I adore.  I decide on my pallet, a variety of purples with a bit of texture in accent plants and of course hot orange.

This planter contains two of each flowering plant, purple Osterspermum, Fantasy Blue Linaria an airy plant delicate in appearance, Angelart Orange Nemesia another smaller flower but lovely filler and Bloomingdale Tangerine Ranunculus.  The accent plants are Hermann’s Pride Dead Nettle and Creeping Wire Vine Muehlenbeckia axillaris, the coolest looking plant.  I added some curly willow as an arch above the planter and an old post of a girl with a bunny.  I could add another four plants easily, we’ll see.  My hands are dirty and I feel grand!  I am so thankful for this gorgeous day and the lovely flowers I get to enjoy.


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tools: gloves & planting

March 23rd, 2012 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Tools - (0 Comments)

I just was watching a TV segment on how to make your hands look younger for thousands of dollars!  It made me think about an encounter I had at a nursery several years ago.  I had been planting every day, my hands were a bit beaten up from the constant work they were required to do!  As I rung up my cart of flowers for the next job I looked at my hands a bit embarrassed as the nails were cut short, sun spots on my hands and the cuticles definitely needed work, bits of soil here and there. I handed over my money and the salesman said “You have beautiful hands; they are hands that have been working hard.”  I was so overwhelmed by those kind words.  He made me think about myself and how lucky I am that my hands work. I cook with them, dig with them, cut flowers, trim bushes, wash an occasional floor and yes I suddenly saw them not as aging and rough but as a gift I have been given.

This brings me to the garden gloves that I think work the best.  I am not always great at keeping my gloves on during gardening.  So I found a couple of brands that fit close to your hand and make them easy to use while protecting your hands, the “Atlas Nitrile Touch” and the “Bamboo”. Both gloves have worked well for me.  I suggest you creme your hands before a day of gardening and then put your gloves on for protection.  In season my hands will show they are working hard… I am happy to have them a bit rough, a bit beaten up but still beautiful.


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simple orchid

March 21st, 2012 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Indoor - (2 Comments)

A simple orchid to brighten a March day. I love an orchid in the kitchen making every day feel festive.


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curb appeal… beautiful containers!

March 15th, 2012 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Container gardens are great accents to your home. Using pots of varying sizes and colors accenting stairs, walks and front porches can be used as instant landscaping. Spring is on the way so I can’t wait to get started with cool spring bulbs, perennials, and accent greens. The container in the picture is filled with ever blooming hydrangea, a variety of ferns and lobelia.  This pot can be planted in the spring and will last throughout the season in a mixed sun shade environment.



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