Plant rack at Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

No garden variety apologies needed

While shopping at box stores and garden nurseries, I often see old friends and meet new ones, usually over plants. In fact, it’s one of my favorite ways to meet people. At parties, when new friends learn I’m a garden writer, they seem to feel the need to apologize...

Lilium 'Forever Susan,' asiatic Susan.

Plant lilies for summer garden drama

Want some drama in the summer garden? Why don’t you plant some lilies this year? You say you’re scared of lilies? Don’t be. Though they look exotic, lilies are pretty easy to grow. In Oklahoma, the genus Lilium is almost foolproof grown in sandy soil. If you have clay,...

Favorite perennials. Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, hummingbird shrub

Favorite perennials from Bustani Plant Farm

A couple of weeks ago, I ran up to Stillwater to visit Bustani Plant Farm, which as you know, is my favorite nursery. I had a lovely time, and I bought a lot of plants. Where do I put them all? Shrug. It’s a big garden–about an acre and...

Byzantine gladiolus

Blessed be gardens and weddings in May

It’s the beginning of May. Sorry I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. You must forgive me. Like the garden, I am gathering my strength, girding my loins, and getting ready to launch myself and the garden into June. We are facing the calendar and weather with courage,...

Physostegia virginiana, obedient plant.

Problem plants

In my garden, there are four or five real problem plants. I have other interlopers, but the following natives and non-natives are really bad actors in my leaf-mold enriched soil. Note: most natives can be kept in check if you don’t water much and have lean, sandy soil. My...

Clematis 'Fireworks' Rain-soaked garden

Rain-soaked garden

Most of Oklahoma got rain night before last. The rain-soaked garden woke up yesterday morning to singing birds, crawling caterpillars and me stalking it with my camera. There is nothing more pleasurable than spring in an Oklahoma garden, except, maybe fall, but spring is being extra good to us this...

Dee Nash raking debris to the burn pile.

Flower bed before and after & plant shopping 101

After returning home from Italy last week, I found the garden in better shape than I expected. Ornamental gardens are forgiving. In spring, my garden is always covered in leaves and debris. I live at the axis of the shortgrass prairie and the beginning of the deciduous forest in...