The Winter Garden

I remember my early years as a gardener and the feelings of gloom and boredom that crept in with the winter months. As a novice gardener I mistakenly equated winter with the end of the garden season. Now that I am a seasoned gardener I know better.

Read more here ~~ A Year in the Park  


From the Desert to the Ocean

One of my garden friends made the comment that a cactus can remind her of an underwater plant or sea creature. I have to agree with her. When you look at these pictures see if you can picture yourself stumbling upon these plants in a desert and then imagine finding them while snorkeling in the Caribbean. The desert and the ocean from one plant- that is beautiful.


Beauty at Krohn

This time of the year you do not have to look long to find beauty. Christmas lights, church choirs, neighborhood luminaria lightings, family gatherings and presents under the tree; it’s a cornucopia of beauty! But for me, what is most beautiful this time of year is a family’s Christmas tradition.
When I was little, and for many years as an adult, after Christmas Mass and the opening of gifts, my family would head to Krohn Conservatory. The conservatory has a magnificent live nativity scene. The sheep are always a huge hit with the kids.

Inside, Krohn sets up a live tree with handmade ornaments in the entrance room, and the seasonal display room is transformed with Poinsettias and other traditional Christmas plants. The focus of the room is a train display depicting Mount Adams and Eden Park, complete with waterfall.
Now that I am older the Christmas traditions have changed. My sister is working on creating new traditions with her family as I am with my better half (I am too old to say boyfriend!). I did visit Krohn this season, this time with my friend. And, while it was rather nice to share this favorite Christmas destination of mine with him, I am looking forward to seeing what new Christmas traditions we are creating together even more.



Those that know me would say I am usually in a rather good mood. Some attribute it to running and gardening endorphins, others to an overindulgence in coffee. I am fortunate to say that I am happy each day. I am wondering if I am happy because I see beauty in each day or is being a generally happy person preventing me from consciously looking for and appreciating beauty each day.

Am I coasting or experiencing?

Thus the idea for this new Blog department was hatched. Call it my little experiment to make a conscious effort to find beauty in each day. And to be perfectly honest, I thought a Blog dedicated to finding beauty in each day would be a wonderful project. But, as my better half will tell you, I have too many projects already. So a compromise- incorporate the idea into my garden Blog.

The timing is also important. You see, with the cold and ice of our Cincinnati winters, running, walking and gardening go on the decline taking my endorphins with them.
I hope you will join me and share with me what you find beautiful.

Shhh! Wordless Wednesday


Do you suffer from EMS?

Is something missing from your afternoons as of late? Do you have the sensation that something should be arriving, but you just can’t figure out what it is? Do you feel the need to circle items with a Sharpie and create ‘must have’ lists? If you are a landless gardener and answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be suffering from EMS- also known as Empty Mailbox Syndrome.  Click HERE to read more!


Design Inspiration in the Winter Garden

Successful gardens begin with good design bones. It can be hard to focus on the structure of a garden in the spring and summer when shrubs, trees, water features, hardscapes and ornamental structures blend effortlessly into design- as well they should.  So now is the perfect time of year to study the bones, the structure of the garden.

I do not know how it is where you live, but here in Cincinnati, sometimes the only way to know what season it is, is to look at the garden. It can be sunny and 65 one late fall day and 30 and blustery the next. The garden is the only true indicator of the seasons in the Queen City.

On a clear, cold, windy day I spent some time at Eden Park, overlooking the Ohio River. Here I found great examples of how a landscape can be inviting and feel complete without a single bloom insight.
The curve of the walks and shorelines provide fluidity in the landscape. Careful arrangement of trees with infusion of color, balance and varying texture create ideal vignettes within the garden. 
Grasses and smaller trees bring the vast space of such an open landscape, even one perched above a river, down to a human level.

Stone structures as well as a bridge add permanence to a landscape that is always in flux. And while we cannot add such grand features to our home landscape, we can take the design inspiration they provide and parlay that into features more suited for our gardens.