Gardening Tips

This is the perfect time of year to cut a few of your Lenten Rose (Helleborous) blooms for a bouquet to brighten your kitchen table, bathroom or anywhere in your home.  Earlier in the season when I cut a few stems to bring in, they would shed for a couple days as well as droop a bit.  Now that the warm weather has started the drying process, they are just right to cut.  Of course you may have a few that won’t co-operate and stay upright, but overall a vase full of just Helleborous will add a soft and subtle color to any room, especially when placed in your favorite container.

Now begins the time in your garden to remove at the base the large darker leaves that are laying on the ground.  As the season progresses, the blossoms will turn brown, signaling the time to trim off the stem at the base of the plant.

There aren’t many plants that give us so much foliage and bloom for so little work!

Be Happy In Your Garden,


A few blooms are beginning to fade already- time to deadhead(remove the old flowers).  Each perennial may differ, but basically use pruners to remove the faded bloom with the stem down to the next intersection of leaves or a where a new bud has formed.  In many cases, new blooms should follow.  Removing the old blooms saves the plant from using its energy on the old buds to forming new buds.  The list includes Daisies, Black-Eyed Susans, Phlox, Coneflowers(save a few for the Goldfinch),Coreopsis and more.

Also, remove the foliage of any plant (shrubs, perennials or annuals) that is hiding the blooms of its’ neighbor – it really won’t harm the plant, just helps to show off the summer blooms that we have all been waiting for all year!

Althea Griffin

A nice rain, about an inch, fell in my gardens last night.  Though not so good for the 4th of July festivities!

I spent some time today pulling the weeds that seem to sprout so quickly after a rain.  With the  ground moist, it is much easier to pull up the whole root.  This should be done to prevent re-growth as well as  removing the plant with all the seed pods that will make even more weeds this season or next.  Make sure to throw these plants in the trash, not into your compost pile.

Weeds compete for moisture and space with our beautiful perennials – the perennials should always win!

Happy Gardening!


Welcome to my first Blog to the Gardening World!

Each week I plan to discuss tips and advice to achieve a successful perennial garden.  I will use my garden as the example of what chores to do when as well as my successes, failures & experiments with various plants.

My garden is located on the north side of Atlanta, Ga.  I am very lucky to have just about every type of light situation in my yard – from full sun to full shade.  These different areas allow me to try all kinds of plants that need various environmental conditions.

Just in case there are readers out there who get confused on the difference between perennials and annuals:  Perennials are plants that have a lifespan of more than 2 years and Annuals are plants that grow and bloom in a single season.

Watering tip:  overwatering will kill more plants than drought!  By poking your finger in the ground, you can feel if it is moist 3-4” down– if so, don’t water that day.  It is better to water deeply once or twice a week (depending on the rainfall) than “sprinkling” everyday.

Perennials coming into bloom this week:  Crocosmia, Black-Eyed Susan, Garden Phlox

Happy Gardening,