My $300 rustic picket garden shed


Build a Cute and Unique Garden Shed with Pickets for #300This is my cute rustic shed in the suburbs. It is my secret shed because in my subdivision the sheds are supposed to look like the house, be placed where the HOA says you can put it, and it is preferred to be designed and built by professionals.

The $1000 price tag on a shed from the home stores were outrageous plus I had a big problem…

A shed would have to built in the back yard and where my HOA would tell me to put it…well, I have a pond, beds of flowers, trees, and shrubs, and the biggest reason — I would see a shed from my window and not my beautiful plants. Continue reading

You should not plant an Oak tree next to your house

Oak trees

Fall 2013

Oaks (Quercus)  are majestic and beautiful. They can tower upwards of 100′ tall and drop tons of acorns in a year. When an Oak reaches about 20-30 years old, it will start producing acorns. After about 40 years, the Oak trees will “abundantly” start producing. I can attest to this because the first fall in our current home, we raked and shoveled over 4 tons of acorns and hauled them away. Imagine a truck bed filled to the top of the cab and that is what we did-twice! For a couple of weeks in the fall it would rain acorns all night- pinging off the roof of the house and the top of the cars.

If you have Oak trees, then when I say -it is not safe to be outside on a windy fall day- you will know what I am saying. Acorns hurt when they hit you from the top of a 50′ Oak.

Then about 4 years ago, I hired a tree trimmer to limb (or take off all the branches) up the top canopy. He said “you are not supposed to take off more than 25%” and I replied “you are not going to kill these trees” and so I had them take off about 50%. It was the best money every spent because it cut down on acorns and it allowed a lot more sun to reach my yard and beds. I am not a pruner but Oak and other Trees  need to be trimmed to keep the healthy and remove dead or dying branches. Plus limbing up large trees allows more light to reach under the trees. Continue reading

Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese Spurge) a Groundcover to be Controlled

Pachysandra terminalis, Japanese Spurge, invasive groundcover, shade groundcoverPachysandra terminalis (Japanese spurge) is a groundcover that has to be controlled here in zone 7. This native of Japan spreads like wildfire in shady areas under the canopies of the Oaks. This evergreen groundcover is sold and grown in zones 4-9 and can be invasive anywhere. Continue reading

Variegated Solomon Seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’)

The Garden Frog

Variegated False Solomon Seal  (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum')

Variegated Solomon Seal is a great addition to the shade garden. It is a medium fast spreader and in the spring has these dainty and beautiful dangling flowers. The white along the edge of the leaves and the arching of the stem makes it a wonderful background accent in the garden. This plant is ready for zones 4-8 and will tolerate morning or late afternoon sun where it will happily hang out all summer. In the fall the leaves turn a striking yellow adding contrast to the colors found in the garden.

Variegated Solomon Seal will spread. The rhizomes grow close to the surface  and are easily divided. This plant has no pest problems and will spread quickly in the perfect spot. Variegated Solomon Seal was perennial of the year in 2013 and is seen in many shade gardens.

The native cousin Solomon Seal is a native perennial that is more…

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Beefsteak Begonia in the Home and Garden

Beefsteak Begonia (Begonia erythrophylla)Beefsteak Begonia (Begonia erythrophylla) is both a plant for the home and garden. There are many Begonia varieties out there at garden centers and nurseries but finding the Beefsteak Begonia may be a challenge. It is not a commonly found plant and has a history (or story) of being passed down from plant lover to plant lover throughout the years. Continue reading