Archive for February, 2015

Fairy gardens are fun! As seen on KDKA’s Pittburgh Today Live

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Meadow and Sandy Santucci love their fairy garden and plan to take it outside in the spring.

Meadow and Sandy Santucci love their fairy garden and plan to take it outside in the spring.


As I stood in Wholey’s after giving a garden talk, three year-old Meadow Santucci walked up to me and asked, “do fairies like parsley?” I told her yes and after talking to her mother Sandy I realized why she asked. The parsley growing in their fairy garden was struggling as the succulents thrived.
Fairy gardens have become all the rage, and why not, they’re fun. It’s a small garden for fairy’s, gnomes, trolls and more. Even though it’s wonderful project for children, big kids can enjoy making these gardens too. There are fairy garden Steelers tailgate decorations available.
I found everything I needed at Chapon’s Greenhouse in Baldwin. They have a huge selection of fairy garden supplies.
At the Santucci’s, the parsley needed water, the other plants wanted it dry. It would be hard to grow both together, that’s something to think about when choosing plants.
I prefer the succulents as they are almost indestructible. First pick a container with drainage, the Santuccis found a cracked pot which was the perfect home for fairies and everything they love. Fill the container with a moist planting mix and then the garden can be filled with small plants, moss, rocks small benches and more.
A fairy garden is only limited by your imagination.
Maybe you’ll be lucky like Meadow and get some fairies visiting your garden. She told me, “fairies blow pixie dust so our flowers grow.”

This is the perfect time (thyme) to grow herbs on the windowsill as seen on Pittsburgh Today Live

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Windowsill herbs will make you happy in the winter.

Windowsill herbs will make you happy in the winter.


This time of the year, I always plant a windowsill herb box. But this year, with the help of Chapon’s Greenhouse, I’ve found some new varieties to try. I’m planting African Blue Basil this year. It will do better than most basils with the low light of the window.
Choose a container with good drainage so the soil can dry out. Water will also flush salts out of the soil. I love the new containers I got at Chapon’s, one is a faux watering can and the other has a place for scissors to harvest the herbs.
These other herbs work well on the windowsill too- Oregano, thyme, chives, sage and rosemary are all good choices to grow.
It’s wonderful to pick them and use them in the kitchen.
It’s also great to grow something through the winter.

Here are some other flowers for Valentine’s Day, as seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Roses aren't the only flowers which make great gifts for Valentine's Day.

Roses aren’t the only flowers which make great gifts for Valentine’s Day.


Ok, you’ve got to buy roses, right? I think there are better choices for Valentine’s Day, but no one wants to end up in the dog house.
Keeping roses looking their best means cutting the bottoms of the stems before putting them in water and adding a drop or two of bleach to keep bacteria at bay. Change the water daily and give the roses another cut at the bottom after a few days.
For some reason a penny in the vase helps too.
There are lots of plants which will last longer than a dozen roses. Every time your significant other looks at these plants, they will think of you.
Potted miniature roses will live all winter on the windowsill and can go into the garden in April where they will last for many years.
Cyclamen is one of the only houseplants which should be kept on the moist side. When watered frequently they will bloom for months.
How about an orchid, they will bloom for months too.
I found some really cool plants at Chapon’s Greenhouse, including a heart shaped topiary.
I love giving tulips and hyacinths in bloom. When they are done they can sit on the windowsill until they can be planted in the ground and will come back year after year in the garden.
One more tip for those roses, dry them when their time is done in the vase and they will last forever, just like your undying love for your partner.