Skip to main content

Signup to receive email updates

or follow our RSS feed


Blog Archives

  560 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed
Blog Banner

Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

Seven Sons Tree—Heptacodium miconioides

When I met my husband Chris, his thumbs were not even the slightest shade of green. He started to show some interest in topics related to gardening as time went on, but his budding interest really blossomed when we bought our home, and a year later bought the lot next door. The agreement when we purchased the lot next door was that the landscaping there would be his project, with my ter...

Read More >


Seed Saving

One of the first "gardening lessons" I remember as a young girl was saving seed from marigolds. I remember my mom showing me how to pick the flowers that were dead and dried on the plant and put them in a brown lunch sack. I also remember that brown lunch sack sat in a cabinet in our basement, and if you wanted to plant marigolds in the spring, you took some of the dried flowers from th...

Read More >

Hardy Kiwifruit

My husband jokes with me about our yard being "one giant experiment". We have planted a lot of different plants over the years, both ornamental and edible. We have had a lot of spectacular successes and failures in each category. As time goes on we have found some new favorites in the edible category. One of those is a hardy kiwifruit, Actinidia kolomikta . I love kiwifruit so the promi...

Read More >


Homegrown Tomatoes

Any tomato lover can relate to the statement that nothing quite matches the taste of a homegrown tomato. The factors that contribute to that delicious flavor may surprise you—or at least make you appreciate great tasting tomatoes even more! Tomatoes will not ripen properly in daytime high temperatures above about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Researcher's evidence suggests that night temperatu...

Read More >



In my own limited experience, it seems like there is no middle ground in fondness for eggplant. People either seem to love it or hate it, with no in between. I don't remember ever eating it growing up. I recall my mom saying she didn't really like it, and it took a long time to prepare, so there was never any eggplant served in the Schultz house. My first taste of eggplant was about 13...

Read More >


This time of year I am on the lookout for plants that still look good in the garden. Most plants look pretty tired and haggard by the time August rolls around. Adding in some plants that are starting to bloom or still blooming by late summer breathes some life into a tired landscape. If you're looking for a real workhorse of a plant for your perennial garden, consider Coreopsis...

Read More >



It seems like whenever I travel outside of our Zone 5 climate, I get a case of what some people call "zone envy". There's always a plant or two at my destination that would look perfect in my garden back home, and further research usually reveals the disappointing news that the plants I'm admiring will only survive winters much warmer than central Illinois. While on our honeymoon years...

Read More >