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I wish I could claim this idea as my own, but it is one I learned of a few years ago when I visited the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville. They had several different gardens that would surely appeal to children, including a garden gnome village and a hobbit house to explore.  However, the garden that caught my eye was the Plant Zoo. The plant zoo was planted with varieties whose names referenced animals of all kinds. Sometimes the names were specific plant names, like Tiger Lily, but others were common names like Lambs Ear. The tags in the garden used outlines of the animal in the plant name. I love the concept and I think this would be easy enough to pull off in your home garden with your kids or grandkids helping. Such an easy way to get a child interested in a garden! The plant tags the University had, might not be easily replicated. However, if you want to ID your plants, I think clip art, Sharpies, river rocks, and mod podge would allow the kids to make rock markers for your zoo garden in no time!

Our gardens are many things rolled into one entity. They are often simultaneously a source of beauty, a way to exercise, a boost to our mental health, a source of fresh food, a spot to relax, the background for family get-togethers and parties with friends, and with a bit of planning they can provide a wealth of flowers and foliage to create one of a kind cut-flower arrangements.

Wondering if you should amend your soil when you plant? Our answer is no: we do not recommend adding anything to the soil when you plant one of our shrubs – no top soil, garden soil, potting mix, potting soil, compost, manure, or any other type of bagged or baled product out there. 

So far, this has been a year of distance learning for everyone. We have had to adapt to doing almost everything differently, including how we keep in touch with friends and family. As Mother’s Day approaches, family gatherings might still be deemed too risky, and many might need to start thinking about alternative ways to celebrate Mom. 

Looking to fill a few large spaces in your garden beds quickly? Check out this useful pictorial guide to fast growing annuals, perennials and shrubs for landscapes.

Does all of the time you’re spending at home this spring find you looking for early-blooming shrubs to spruce up your garden? Chances are, your local garden center offers delivery or pickup of one of these beautiful, easy care options, and more – all certain to bring color and renewal to your outside oasis.

Snippet Lime Weigela

Gardening isn’t just for folks who have large yards. Some of the most creative and beautiful gardens are made in small spaces, where choices are deliberate and plants offer more than just one thing. Others are made with only containers, able to be moved around and regrouped to make the display more dynamic depending on the season. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 shrubs that are beautiful or native or tough or have three season interest, and they’re all perfectly sized for containers or small gardens!

I am once again writing about my garden each month. You'll get to see the good and the bad, after all gardening is a different adventure every year.

Panicle hydrangeas – also known as peegee hydrangeas, hardy hydrangeas, and Limelight hydrangeas, are the easiest to grow, most adaptable of all hydrangeas. We like to call them the “black thumb hydrangea” because they are so easy and reliable, they make even people who have no experience (or claim to have a black thumb, which we don’t believe even exists, frankly) look like garden rock stars. So don’t be intimidated by this guide – we created it just to address the myriad questions we get on these popular plants.

 

Panicle hydrangeas – also known as peegee hydrangeas, hardy hydrangeas, and Limelight hydrangeas, are the easiest to grow, most adaptable of all hydrangeas. We like to call them the “black thumb hydrangea” because they are so easy and reliable, they make even people who have no experience (or claim to have a black thumb, which we don’t believe even exists, frankly) look like garden rock stars. So don’t be intimidated by this guide – we created it just to address the myriad questions we get on these popular plants.

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