Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!
Mailing List Sign Up

Perennial Pleasures

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – June 8

Many of my clients want perennials because they mistakenly believe that these plants are less work than annuals. Gardeners know that some perennials take more involvement than annuals, and that a perennial garden takes thought. Gardeners also know that growing perennials is worth all the effort and attention […]


Report From An Opinionated Gardener – June 18

Do you know the song Popular from the musical Wicked? This tune was running through my head after a facebook conversation with Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Gardens. I sent him a message via fb asking about the name of a plant that I got from […]

Puddles vs. Borders

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – May 4

As I walk around my gardens at Poison Ivy Acres and past neighboring properties, I’m reminded that planting in puddles is a practical design choice. Many people choose to use a line of plants as a border but if they’re planting perennials I’d issue a word of […]

Impressive Plants

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – October 26

Here it is, almost November, and the front garden still looks pretty damn good. Sure, there are some things that are looking tired (Coreopsis ‘Creme Brulee’) or completely spent (Persicaria polymorpha)… but there are enough plants that look handsome even in their end-of-season decline that I love […]

Patience & Potential

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – September 8

If you’ve got a shade garden, you need Kirengeshoma palmata. If you’ve got the room….yellow wax bells grows three to four feet tall in my gardens, and about six feet wide. A large plant, true, but one that doesn’t really show what it can do for three […]


Report From PIA – August 11

As you regular readers well know, I’m tired of hot sun and no rain. Cranky, you might say. As I sat on the deck tonight, looking at part of my lakeside border, I was able to get some perspective on my bad temper…and none too soon I must say.


Perennials: A Kaleidoscope of Color

Report From PIA – May 17

As I watered pots of perennials at the garden center today, I noticed a woman who was loading her cart with pots of blooming plants. “What does well in shade and has pink flowers?” she called to me. “Astilbes,” I answered. “Don’t tell me names,” she replied, “they mean […]

Life and Perennial Bed Maintenance

Report From PIA – March 11

Last Sunday I spoke about perennial bed maintenance at the Chicago Flower Show, and tomorrow I’ll give the same talk to the Cape Cod Master Gardener’s Backyard Horticultural class. Needless to say, this has me thinking about maintaining perennial gardens and how this relates to other things we want […]

Gardening Twenty Minutes at a Time

Report From PIA – October 24

This is what I did in my garden today: I gathered all of the piles of brown peony foliage that I cut out of the lake-side perennial bed yesterday, and loaded them into the garden cart. Then I pulled the cart up to the brush pile and dumped it. […]

Spring Cleanup and an Open Mind

It was just above 50 degrees the other day so I finished cleaning out the flowerbeds. Although the air was cool, the sun’s warmth allowed me to remove my jacket as I cut the perennials and grasses to the ground. My work was accompanied by the spring mating calls of birds, and the flicker’s noisy […]