Ten tips to start gardening

It’s January. Time for the annual seed catalog roundup, but I don’t want to do one, so I’m not going to. I’m working on several new speaking engagements for spring and summer, and my head is full of other information. I’ve done seed catalogs before. From those posts, you can see which companies I favor. Here’s…

Goodbye 2015, but before you go….

Two thousand fifteen, you were an exceptional year, and a lot happened around the Red Dirt ranch. It’s nearly time to move on to the babe of 2016, but first, let’s reflect over our journey together before you go. After the holidays, January felt like the cold, dark days of winter. It was good to watch Downton…

Gardens take planning

The United States went off daylight saving time and back to standard time last weekend. That means the dark closes in more quickly in the evenings, and if you live in Oklahoma, you often wake up in darkness too. Not the best time for gardeners who crave the sun like an essential vitamin. So what’s…

An October state of mind

As I step outside my back door just after dawn, my Nikon hangs over my shoulder and across my hip. I balance a cup in my right hand and take a sip of PG Tips. It’s cool enough this morning for hot tea, but I can’t linger. The fountain on the back deck burbles, and it’s the only sound…

Sow a cutting garden

I used to read about cutting gardens in magazines, and while I was attracted to the idea, I felt overwhelmed at implementing it. Creating a cutting garden seemed difficult and out of reach. Maybe I had too many responsibilities like college, marriage and raising children. I could only manage a small garden back then, and that was…

Summer flowers for summer heat

July temperatures are above normal today, but it is the middle of an Oklahoma summer so I’m not surprised. This post started out as one for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, but I missed the 15th so now it’s about summer flowers for summer heat instead. You can’t go wrong with these tough beauties. I don’t like summer heat, but…

July garden chores

The page on the calendar has turned. It’s already July, which came in on a flood in Oklahoma. Today is gray, but I don’t mind. Gray skies bring cooler weather. July will be hot and humid soon so enjoy it while you can and get those July garden chores done. It’s a completely different garden…

There is magic in the garden this spring

There is magic in the garden this spring, but there are no magic formulas to achieve such beauty. Gardening is hard work. Cutting back perennials, weeding, improving the soil and transplanting are all steps to achieving this alchemy. I planted six shrubs yesterday, two Hydrangea paniculata Quick Fire® and three H. paniculata Little Lime® among them. These were not to…

Why garden?

Why do you want to garden? People plunge their hands into the soil for a variety of reasons. Are you following in your grandmother, grandfather, or parents’ footsteps? Did your mother ever build a sunflower house just for you, or did your father let you play in the garden next to him? Then, again, maybe you don’t have a mentor. If not, I want…

Ten plants to replace climbing roses

Here are ten plants to replace climbing roses removed because of Rose Rosette Disease. I know some rosarians don’t think you need to remove afflicted roses, but I’m following the science at Oklahoma State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and other information I’ve studied. Like so many life decisions, what to do is complicated. Climbers were the first roses hit here,…

Speaking of tough roses

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at Roses, Inc. Green Country in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, one of my favorite towns. Speaking about tough roses for the Oklahoma landscape, makes me think of all the roses I’ve loved and grown here. It is a wonderful thing to get to chat with…