Encouraging Habitat – Add Blooms



Encouraging garden habitat offers many rewards.  Flowers are beautiful adding natural elements that offer visual and preferred habitat environmental benefits.  I try to plant my favorites in clusters or drifts. Blooms attract bustling activity from insects, critters, and people.



Three of my favorite fall activity magnets are: Aster, Buddleia and Anemone. When selecting plants it always good to choose natives as you build your garden.

Keep on planting and keep enjoying!

Fall-blooming Anemone, USDA Hardiness Zones 4–7


Clean Ocean and Shore

Cancun, Mexico

Recently, I was garden touring in Cancun, Mexico. Every morning and evening I took time to walk several miles of the shoreline to check out the plants.

Shoreline Crew

The hotels along the shore had dedicated staff to keep the surf and the sand trash free.

Great dive conditions. This is at 50 feet.

During my visit I planned to Scuba dive. The clean shore set up the expectation that the water would be trash free. The dive conditions included great visibility and trash free water.

Around the world trash plagues oceans and shorelines. Research has shown that the man-made environmental trash crisis begins inland. A shoreline crew member explained depending on weather and wind conditions trash can float in from somewhere at anytime.

Shoreline Plants

Benches and Stools

Garden Benches and Stools

Atlanta Botanical Gardens - Bench
Atlanta Botanical Gardens – Bench

Outdoor seating is a must when you want folks to stop and take in the aesthetic of any garden. It is a treat when the seating complements the gardens.

Cancun MX - Bench
Cancun Mexico – Bench

These are unique handmade customs benches.  Each bench is comfortable and blends harmoniously as part of the garden experience.

Garden and Lawn Ornaments

Garden and Lawn Ornaments

Garden and lawn ornaments offer a creative way to define your outdoor space.  Statues, flamingos and gnomes are common decorations. When I am scouting for garden decorations the selections are endless.

Tree Star

Every garden and lawn can be enhanced by adding a decorative element. This tree star inspires me to incorporate this technique.

A trio of standing stars is located near the tree star.  Of course the standing stars light up at night.

Standing Stars
Standing Stars


Not into stars how about updating your home address?  An inspiring way

Concrete Walkway Number
Concrete Walkway Number

to display your home street number is to incorporate the numbers into your walkway. This is functional and creative way to define your outdoor space.



Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta, Georgia – Atlanta Botanical Garden

One of the many Halloween characters displayed in the gardens.

October 2017 the Atlanta Botanical Garden observed Halloween with larger than life beautifully created characters displayed in the gardens. Atlanta Botanical Garden 2017

Each distinctive spooky character gave the gardens a festive fall effect.

This witch appeared to fly in the garden.



I enjoyed every character and appreciated the collaborative mixed media used to create each spooky themed characters.


Miami, Florida – Viscaya

It is difficult to write about Viscaya without stringing superlatives together. Viscaya sits at the rim of Biscayne Bay. When you visit Viscaya you will enjoy the location, art, history, and the mist of the waves splashing the shoreline. I went to Viscaya to study and find design inspiration.

Boat Dock

The structural materials selected to design the gardens have an intentional weathered appearance. Some of my favorite structures are the water features. The boat dock is massive and amazing (photo 1).

Parterre Recessed Pool

Recessed at the rim of the parterre are shell shaped water features these pools have a cooling effect (photo 2).



Toad Fountain

Overlooking the parterre a toad fountain is centered on the steps connecting the home to the gardens (photo 3).

Yup, this basic garden maker has no problem rambling about the Viscaya gardens. Of course I took lots of pictures. This place is relaxing and inspiring. It is worth a visit.

Miami – Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Miami – Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Looks coconuts!

My visit to Miami welcomed me with cool breezes with temps in the upper 80’s.  Very nice.   Why did this garden maker go to Miami for plant and design study?  For me it was all about tropicals for conservation and design use.



The Fairchild history is humbling story about people looking into the future and realizing the importance to creating a place for Cycads, Palms, and tropicals for study and preservation.

What to learn about Cycads, Palms, Orchids, and iguanas?  Spend a day at Fairchild.  For me one day was a great introduction because all that I knew before was not good enough.


Lecythidaceae – Wonder fragrant Cannonball tree!

Fairchild does a wonderful job educating visitors.  They offer free trams and walking tours.  Of course you can tour the grounds on your own.  If you choose to tour the grounds on your own pay attention to the gator sighting signs!

Philadelphia Flower Show

Philadelphia Flower Show

2017 Flower Show Entrance

Yay!  Spring is here!  This garden girl has been busy making gardens.  The Philadelphia Flower Show gets this Mid-Atlantic horticulturalist garden making ideas blooming.

2017 Flower Show


Holland was the 2017 show theme.     This show displays designs from incredibility talented firms and individuals. You bet there were tulips, windmills and bicycles!  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

2017 Flower Show – Tulips!


If you have never been to the Philadelphia Flower Show add it to you to do list.

Fall Containers – National Arboretum

The National Arboretum

Fall is a great time to visit the National Arboretum.  The vistas are packed with colorful foliage that happens with the change of season.   Honestly, this place is probably my favorite visitor friendly destination in North American.  You can enjoy the National Arboretum solo, with a group, family, pets, ride a bike or go for a jog.

Sedum and Nasella
Sedum and Nasella

In my summer container blog I highlighted many containers at the arboretum.  Thought you might like to see how a couple of the containers looked following a hot summer. 

This planting of Sedum and Nasella does not disappoint.  The reflection in the window echoes this planting. 

Grass and Millet
Grass and Millet


The grassed and millet glowed with the sunrise and waved in the breeze.

Both these plantings are low maintenance and have long seasonal interest.

Summer Containers – Denver, CO

Denver Botanical Gardens

Welcome to the Denver Botanical Gardens.  This place has container inspiration along every walkway and garden.

Huge containers
Entrance Containers

Tall color filled entrance containers welcome you to the Denver Botanical Gardens.   These containers are lush, bright, and most important they are huge!  I love containers that howler and fill a space.

Rustic containers
Rustic box containers

Rustic wood and iron box containers skirt the length of the Greenhouse Complex foundation.  Succulents, annuals, and perennials fill these containers.  Each box planting combination is different which keeps your eye moving along the long display.

Agave and water
Agave and water!

Agaves appear to spring out from the Steppe Garden waterway.  Geez, I love this unexpected combination.

The Denver Botanical Gardens team did an amazing job displaying beautiful containers throughout the gardens.