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'Mahogany Splendor' Hibiscus

I haven't grown a tender or tropical hibiscus in my garden since the year I forgot to bring one in before the first frost and it died. The joy of growing a potted hibiscus all summer long doesn't make up for the stress at the end of the season caused by deciding between attempting to overwinter it inside or composting it. I was pretty sure I was done with non-hardy hibiscuses in my garden until last year when I toured the gardens at Ball Horticulture. I saw what I thought was an amazing Japanese maple from a distance. When I ran up to it I discovered it was a 'Mahogany Splendor' Hibiscus.

'Mahogany Splendor' Hibiscus. Japanese maple-looking hibiscus


Living Wall Planted with Nasturtiums

I love growing nasturtiums, but I had never thought of them as plants that could be used in a living wall. Living walls and vertical gardens are usually planted with low growing plants-primarily succulents-that, to me, don't make me want to go out and install a living wall. Although, this living wall planted with nasturtiums is giving me ideas.

nasturtium living wall Chicago Botanic Garden


'Boxwood' Basil

I've been thinking a lot about basil this spring and wishing I had land to grow a lot of basil. In particular, I really want to grow a knot garden of 'Boxwood' basil and inside the geometric shapes plant dark basil varieties like 'Purple Ruffles' and 'Dark Opal.' I didn't grow the 'Boxwood' basil picture below, it was photographed at the gardens of Ball Horticulture, but all winter I've been revisiting the picture in my computer.


Seed Starting Tips for Beginner Gardeners

Over the past few years, I have amassed a number of posts here about growing from seed that should be helpful to beginner seed starters. While these seed starting tips are aimed at beginners hopefully, they will be of use and interest to more experienced gardeners who may not have done much seed starting in the past. These tips on seed starting cover what items you can repurpose in your home to make seed starting pots, seed germination, and the types of seed staring mixes you can use. If you find that there’s a seed starting question that has not been answered you can leave a comment below or try my seed snatcher search engine which is exclusively devoted to information on seed starting and seed saving.

Organize Your Seeds Before Seed Starting

Seed organizer for seed starting