Who helps define you?

My cousins, all amazing women.

My cousins, all amazing women.

My cousin died. On Tuesday, July 21 she lost her battle with cancer.

In this blog series I’ve talked about my mother and sister, my grandmothers and other women who’ve influenced who I am. Today I’d like to talk about cousins. Yes, this isn’t about flowers. Continue reading

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Identifying weeds: Friend or foe?


Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa), a member of the knotweed family is very invasive.

It’s happened more than once. I’m scrutinizing a young plant trying to identify friend or foe, and blaming my horrible memory capacity for not remembering the details better. Then in a couple weeks I have this huge, unsightly monstrosity overtaking a garden bed. Or worse, a friend asks, “Is that a weed?”, and I blithely say, “Oh no, that’s a keeper”. Then she calls me to say it has choked out every other plant near it and given her child a nasty rash. Continue reading

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Reducing the risk of ticks: Gardeners’ bane

Nigel and Harvey in the Fall of 2014.

Nigel and Harvey in the Fall of 2014.

Each spring our local newscasters announce its going to be a bad year for ticks. Seriously, is there a good year for ticks in Wisconsin?! Last year Dave had to take one off my temple after we finished golfing (super huge yuck!). Continue reading

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Dog roses to knock out: A winner

rose double knock out

Rose Double Knock Out® from White Flower Farm (click on image to access site)

My sister recently relocated her family, is planning her gardens at her new home, and asked my two-cents on her plan. My first thought was, “where are the roses?” She said she’s tried roses numerous times at different addresses in different states (yes, she’s had to move more than once), and never had success. Continue reading

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