Martinis and Marigolds - Refreshingly Quick Tips for Home and Garden

It's Too Hot to Plant - Now What?

It's Too Hot to Plant - Now What?

The heat of summer is upon us in most of the US. While it might be tempting to continue planting, the next optimum time to plant perennials and shrubs is fall.

So what' a gardener to do besides maintenance chores?  (And hopefully by following our tips you don't have too many of those!)

Read on for 5 of my favorite gardening-related and relaxing things to do now that the rush of Spring planting is over. 

Creating a Garden Butterflies Will Love

Creating a Garden Butterflies Will Love

When creating our low maintenance garden spaces, it’s fun to provide a habitat for garden visitors like butterflies.  Butterflies can add even more beauty to already beautiful landscape. I love sitting on my deck and seeing them flutter from one plant to another along with the bees and hummingbird moths. It’s fun to see them enjoying all of the flowers that I spent so much time planting.

Butterfly gardens require several things to be successful. Read on to find out how to create a garden that butterflies will 'flock' to.

Using Bud Vases to Deliver Big Impact

Using Bud Vases to Deliver Big Impact

With summer in full swing you probably have lots of blooms in your garden. There is no question that extravagant bouquets of flowers make a stunning visual statement. But there is also a special and rare beauty to be found in single blooms. Read on to find out how Paula Marolewski uses bud vases to bring the beauty of flowers to every room.
5 Tips for Relaxing Summer Entertaining.

5 Tips for Relaxing Summer Entertaining.

 If you been following our suggestions for creating a low maintenance garden, hopefully you're ready to spend some time relaxing and enjoying your hard work. As summer approaches it's also a great time to share your beautiful outdoor spaces with friends and family.

As a young housewife in the late 80's I tried really hard to make my guests feel special at parties and picnics. I would obsess for weeks about the menu, decor and how my house looked. And, of course, with Martha Stewart's rise to fame, it was easy to feel inadequate.

But as I grew older, (and realized that Martha had an entire staff to make her events look amazing), I decided it was more important to spend time with my guests than to spend time impressing them.

Read on for my tips on how I now have fun at my own parties!

Don't Forget The Foliage

Don't Forget The Foliage

As you’re planning your summer garden, don’t forget the foliage! Foliage plants are chosen for the beauty of their leaves, rather than their flowers. Some foliage plants have colorful leaves, such as coleus. Others have striking geometric patterns, like the canna lily (which also has showy flowers). Still others are selected because of their unique shape, such as cactuses or succulents.

 Here are three great ways to use foliage plants in your garden:

5 Tips to Help You Keep on Gardening

5 Tips to Help You Keep on Gardening

A few years ago, I had the privilege of teaching my Container Gardening Secret Sauce workshop to a group of lovely seniors at the Phoenixville Senior Center. They were a fun and engaging group. Several of the attendees approached me before the talk and shared how they had a large garden for years but now 'just couldn't do it any more.' Other folks had moved to apartments or assisted living and were attending the workshop looking for ways that they could grow a few plants indoors or on their patios.

I started The Relaxed Gardener to provide people with ways to spend less time working in their gardens and more time enjoying them. I also wanted folks to not feel like they had to completely give up gardening as they got older or perhaps did not have as much time as they had in the past. Rather, I wanted to help them find ways to pare back what they were doing so they could still enjoy gardening even if they did not have a lot of time or when some aspects just became physically impossible. (That's why all of our tools are designed to be ergonomic, comfortable and reduce hand strain.) 

Read on for 5 Tips to help you keep on gardening!

Light Up Your Landscape

Light Up Your Landscape

One of the best things that we’ve added to our exterior landscape was lighting. I love coming home and seeing the front of our house beautifully illuminated in a way that highlights the plantings and architecture of our house.

Read on to find out how we did it and how to get started.

3 Tips for Growing a Low Maintenance Garden

3 Tips for Growing a Low Maintenance Garden

We all want to have beautiful gardens in the summer. But who wants to spend hours and hours tending plants that are high maintenance or just don't do well? Not me.

I love to garden but I also like to 'set it and forget it'. Meaning, I want to plant something and have it look great with very little maintenance.  Impossible, you say? Not really.

Read on for my secrets to a low maintenance garden.

8 Must Have Herbs to Grow This Summer

8 Must Have Herbs to Grow This Summer

I don't remember when I fell in love with herb gardening. For a very long time, herbs have been one of my favorite types of plants to grow. Perhaps that's because growing herbs was one of my first gardening successes.

Whether I'm growing herbs in a big garden or containers on my deck, there are a few that I always plant. And the bonus here is that they're all easy to grow.

Read on for my top 8 must have easy to grow herbs for you to try in your garden this summer

Choosing Shrubs for Your Landscape

Choosing Shrubs for Your Landscape

In our effort to add really unique perennials and annuals to our gardens, we can overlook the value of shrubs. Maybe it's because they can seem a bit boring.

But shrubs can provide a great filler for larger beds and become a nice backdrop for flowering perennials and annuals. They are an important addition for curb appeal in your front yard. And, can really add to the backyard landscape if chosen for low maintenance and interesting textures and colors.

My favorite reason to grow shrubs is that they can provide multiple seasons of interest.


Read on to find 4 of my favorite shrubs that add color, texture and interest to my yard throughout the year,

What Can I Plant in the Shade - 7 Easy Care Shade-Loving Perennials for Your Garden

What Can I Plant in the Shade - 7 Easy Care Shade-Loving Perennials for Your Garden

Got shade? Gardening in the shade can be tricky. I’m always looking for plants that do well in the shade and I'm especially fond of perennials because they come back every year. Many also spread or grow large enough to be dug up and divided, giving me more value for my money.

Read on to learn about a few shade loving perennials that have worked well for me. I've included their hardiness zones so you can see if they will be perennial for you, too.

Tips for Success with Mulching

Tips for Success with Mulching

I love a freshly mulched garden bed in the spring. While it can be a lot of work, I love the tidy look when we've finished. Besides the aesthetics, mulch provides a few more benefits.

Read on to find out how to get the most out mulching your flower beds and make your gardening life easier.