Colorful sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) have long been used as a classic “spiller” in containers, baskets and along beds and borders.  Their vigor, growth rate and impactful garden color has long been appreciated.  I remember 20 years ago when there were primarily just five selections readily available.  These selections include ‘Blackie’, ‘Margeurite’, ‘Ace, Read More

I’ve always been a big fan of the colorful pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) out in the garden.  We use them in various locations throughout the gardens, in particular our herb garden and in some other seasonal displays.  At the top of the post is the variety ‘Pink Surprise’ and directly above is the selection, Read More

Basil (Ocimum sp.) has a long culinary history throughout the world and is not difficult to grow and enjoy in our gardens during the warmer portions of the growing season.  As I’ve been selecting those types that we’ll be offering at our Spring Plant Sale (Mother’s Day weekend!), I’m continually amazed by the sheer, Read More

Ornamental millets (Pennisetum glaucum) have been on my radar for over 16 years when the variety ‘Purple Majesty’ won an  All-America Selections (AAS) award in 2003.  This maroon-leaved selection was first noticed in Nebraska by Dr. David Andrews (a grain breeder) from the University of Nebraska and he was encouraged to introduce this exciting, Read More

I love using the annual black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata)!  Directly above and below is the beautiful variety ‘Amber Eyes’.  This twining, annual vine (hardy in zones 10 and 11) will grow 3′-8′ in a single season and blooms heavily from summer well in to fall.  Preferring rich, fertile soils that are moist but, Read More

After a couple hours of shoveling snow this morning (thankfully light and fluffy!), I’m back to ordering seeds.  Above are some of the seeds coming in (check out Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds if you haven’t yet!) including many for our Spring Plant Sale on Mother’s Day weekend.  As I order seeds, everything goes in, Read More

The National Garden Bureau has named 2019 as the Year of the Snapdragon!  ALL of the text below is from their website which includes awesome links to additional information.  See for more information on this awesome plant.   All of the photos are mine as I’ve long been an admirer of snapdragons and about 10, Read More

The yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolium) is surprisingly underutilized in our Midwest landscapes although it’s availability is certainly associated with its obscurity (and vice versa).  Also called goldenhorn, this native of northern China is hardy in zones 4-7 and our specimen at the gardens has thrived for over 25 years.  First collected in 1830, this member, Read More

The day was beautifully sunny outside and the 7″ of snow from last night was quickly cleared by Larry H., Big John and Dennis.  Dick H. did the plowing yesterday (popped in today too) and we also saw Mark S., Janice, Mary Kay, Cathy, Mocha (cute dog) and Zorro (cute dog).  I continue to, Read More

Aside from my consistent alliteration with blog titles, the primary goal of this posting is to offer some color on cold winter day.  After dealing with plenty of snow (although it was beautiful outside!), I wanted to share some past photos of dahlias that I’ve taken over the years.  Nice shot of ‘Melody Gipsy’, Read More