I Love Swiss Chard

And as this photo shows, chard is also very ornamental. How can you NOT grow this plant???

Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris aka Swiss chard

Type of Plant: This leafy, green vegetable is one of my must grow edible plants. No one seems to know where the “Swiss” part of the name came from. But even if you just call it chard, this is a long-producing plant for the home garden.


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Best Online Order Flowers to Send

Do you know someone who needs a lift this winter?  Perhaps a friend who has a birthday coming up, or someone who needs a pat on the back. Maybe you have a family member that could use a spirit-lifting surprise. Stargazer barn is your new BFF - they can send flowers, flowers and chocolates, flowers and fragrance or flowers and wine.  And if you know someone who needs Extreme Spirit Lifting, send all four!

For those who listen to my radio programs on WRKO and WXTK, you know that I’m passionate about supporting flower growers in the USA. This is part of the Slow Flowers movement, a movement started and promoted by my fellow garden writer Debra Prinzing. Are you interested in supporting local farmers, growers and businesses? Do

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I Love Male Skimmia

If you have a front door or foundation planting in part to full shade, you might want to consider planting male skimmia there. These flowers will make you smile all winter!

Name: Skimmia japonica – commonly called (what a surprise) Japanese Skimmia. Males!

Type of Plant: Short, evergreen shrub that’s hardy in Zones 6-8. These plants do best in part shade, and grow to about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. They are not particularly fast growers, however.

Why I Love This: Why am I

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I Love Jacob Hellebores!

My Jacob hellebores are growing in a spot where they get morning sun (four hours in the summer but very little in the winter) and afternoon shade. They thrive!

Name: Helleborus niger ‘HCG Jacob’ – aka Jacob Christmas rose, or Jacob hellebore

Type of Plant: An evergreen perennial for part-shade that flowers in the wintertime. These plants are hardy in zones 5-9, grow about 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide.

Why I Love This: This variety of Helleborus niger starts flowering earlier than

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I Love Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mop’

Color and texture all year! My 'Gold Mop' at the end of December.

Name: Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mop’ aka Gold Mop cypress or gold mop false-cypress

Type of Plant: An evergreen with golden, thread-like foliage that grows well in full sun or part-shade. Easy to grow in zones 5 through 7.

Why I Love This: Color and texture 12 months a year!

A Word to the Wise: Although

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I Love Weigela ‘Rubidor’

This shows how much color Rubidor brings to the party.

Name: Weigela florida ‘Rubidor’

Type of Plant: A shrub that’s hardy in zones 5-9 that brings a large dose of “POW” to the garden. This variety of an old fashioned shrub has brilliant yellow leaves, bright pink (some say rose red) flowers, and a fairly large, sprawling shape.

Why I Love This: Any plant that

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