• april lawn garden
    In the Garden


    In Delaware, Zone 7, spring has officially sprung. The average last frost date for our county is today, April 9, and looking at the forecast, we just may be safe from further freezing. Break out your shorts! (My cryophilic teenage son never put his away!) Of course, as anxious, antsy, and ambitious as spring weather makes people, it is still too early to plant annual flowers and summer vegetables around here. Growing up, living in plant zone 6, I remember everyone saying you had to wait until Mother’s Day to plant flowers. (And you certainly couldn’t wear white until Memorial Day!) Planting annual flowers isn’t actually a date on your…

  • pine needles mulch
    In the Garden

    What kind of mulch is right for you?

    Spring has arrived! That means flowers, sprouts, birds, and warmth! But also it means yard work! I recently read about changing your attitude from negative to positive by thinking instead of “have to,” think “get to.” So rather than “I have to mow the lawn and it’s hot and loud and messy” (of course if you hate it that much you might want to consider killing your lawn), say, “I get to mow the lawn and be outside in the sunshine, get vitamin D, and smell springtime.” Consider yourself lucky you have a yard where you can also play and relax, lucky it isn’t cold and snowing, and lucky you are…

  • salad bowl lettuce greens
    In the Garden


    It’s March! You’ve almost made it through the winter. It has been said that April is the cruelest month, but around here March is such a tease with warm weather one day, a blizzard the next, the first day of spring, and then a deep frost. Such a meanie, getting our hopes up! And then there’s that wind, blowing you away! Here are some things you should do in this busy landscape month, even if the weather is more lion than lamb. 1. If you haven’t planted your cool season crops, let’s do it! It’s time for fresh salads, cruciferous veggies, and root crops. It’s also time to start seeds…

  • sweetbay magnolia magnolia virginiana
    In the Garden

    Must-Have Plant of the Month: Sweetbay Magnolia

    Spring is just around the corner and we are soooooo looking forward to seeing everything start to bloom! We are dreaming of fragrant warm breezes and seeing all the colors of nature pop up and out. When we think of fragrant spring and summer breezes, the magnolia tree definitely comes to mind. There are dozens of types of magnolia trees, all quite beautiful. They are ancient and said to have been around before bees. Therefore the flowers evolved tough enough to be pollinated by beetles. One of our favorite magnolia trees is the late spring-blooming sweetbay magnolia. The sweetbay magnolia, magnolia virginiana, is a flowering tree native to the Atlantic…

  • mow lawn
    In the Garden

    Should you kill your lawn?

    How green is your grass? First of all, I want to say that I love turf grass. I love my lawn. I really love my lawn this time of year because it doesn’t need to be mowed. There are many benefits to having a nice lawn. Lawns have a cooling effect, produce oxygen, provide a safe playing surface for children of all ages, prevent erosion, help filter out pollutants, and the list can go on and on, depending on who you talk to. The question becomes whether or not the energy and resources put into maintaining a lawn is worth it. To apply one inch of water to a lawn,…

  • kids forest
    In the Family

    Don’t Tell Kids This Is The Best Time of Their Lives!

    I’m no psychologist and I am far from a perfect mother. I strongly believe in gray areas so I’m not the biggest rule enforcer. My kids have eaten cereal for dinner. Sometimes when I’m grouchy or busy I send them upstairs or outside, or give them a screen. Only time will tell how many of my kids will end up in counseling. I try to be a good parent though and help them navigate their way in this world. Recently in two separate circumstances I heard about an adult telling a child that the child is now living the best years of his life. The first time the parent was…

  • rose
    In the Garden

    Top 5 Things To Do In Your Garden In February

    It’s February, the heart of the winter. Today is going to be nearly sixty degrees in southern Delaware so I would like to take a nice walk in the state park.But no way! I’ve got roses to prune. Winter is a good time to take care of the roses. Prune off the previous year’s growth. You can go way back to just above the wood of the cane.  I also like to take a close look at our clients’ trees and shrubs for storm damage and disease. It’s a great time to prune, prune, prune. Don’t be afraid to spend a couple of bucks and call in an arborist for…

  • rocky coast maine
    On the Road


    I know it’s February and you may be thinking, “Seriously, Maine?” I realize that as I write this article, temperatures in Maine are in the single digits and the ground is covered in snow. No one is saying you should move there! It can take a while to plan a trip, so I’m suggesting that you should start planning one. There is a reason Maine has been called Vacationland for decades. I recommend going to Maine in the summer or fall, when it is breathtakingly gorgeous there. Tom and I have been to Maine three times, twice together. We each went to Maine with our parents in August 1982, 15…

  • Osmanthus heterophyllus Goshiki
    In the Garden

    Must-Have Plant of the Month: Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

    I was looking around for a plant that stands out this time of year, and I came “this” close to picking another red shrub! I knew if I did, after last month’s post, everyone would think (know?) I’m obsessed. So I decided to branch out (haha) and choose another colorful evergreen, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki.’ “Goshiki” actually means “five colors” in Japanese and refers to the many shades of color on the shrub’s variegated leaves. Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ is also known as False Holly or Holly Olive. It is not a holly nor an olive shrub. The evergreen leaves resemble holly leaves but are opposite on the branch rather than alternating.…

  • Valentine's hearts snowy day
    In the Family

    Top 5 Things To Do With Your Family In February

    Go outside and play Bundle up and go build a snowman! Make snow angels, go sledding, or throw snowballs! If you’re lucky and there’s none of that dreaded white stuff around, go outside and challenge your family shooting some hoops, playing football, or just playing a game of catch (that’s my speed). It’s a great cure for the cabin fever that sets in this time of year! Make Valentines Even if you don’t have crayons, construction paper, and glitter in your house, you can still get creative. Make Valentines out of whatever you’ve got (my father was famous for writing humorous and inspirational words in a spiral on plain old…