Garden Gems

"Bridging the sustainable lifestyles of yesteryear with sustainability today."

The Dance of Maintenance.

The Dance of Maintenance Ornamental Grass   The recent April showers have brought clean green to our neighborhood landscape.  It is Saturday April 11, 2015. My beautiful twin nieces, Jill and Jolene Gembara celebrate a birthday and the Forsythia are filled with vibrant yellow blossoms. Spring has sprung! As I made my way through the neighborhood this morning, taking on the many errands Saturday morning’s demand of me, I noticed many ornamental grasses that.. Read More

The Knife Sharpening Man

The Knife Sharpening Man Springtime in my home town is always an anticipated event. Once the Crocus croke and the Daffodill flourish with the warming of the soil, the knife sharpening man can’t  be far behind. The sound of the bell ringing down your block announces he and his green and red pushcart /work bench are prepared to sharpen dull knives and tools.  A gardeners delight, well defined sharp tools. His name is Tony DelCiello, as.. Read More

Wild Edibles-Creasy Greens

Creasy Green Reflecting on my latest  trip to Virginia, home to my mother and her people,  I can’t help but bring back examples of sustainability to Chicagoland. Lessons to uphold and maintain for the next generation. I love to connect with the almost forgotten foods that the old timers loved and treasure. Creasy greens fall in that category. It seems this celebrated green has risen into the sustainable eat fresh/eat local category.. Read More

Chicago Flower and Garden Show 2015

  This past week the Chicago Flower and Garden Show welcomed the growing season of 2015. Alongside the garden designs, this year’s show overflowed with educational seminars and a wonderful horticulture market. The first thing that caught my attention when I walked into the Navy Pier convention hall was the incredible smell. The combination of hyacinth mixed with roses was overpowering. My sense of sight took in the bustling of.. Read More

Happy National Agriculture Day

Happy National Ag. Day I just heard on the radio it was National Agriculture Day.  It seems the calendar holds more observation days than ever.  I believe National anything days can be positive and productive. First, it starts a conversation.  There is nothing like a good old fashion face to face conversation about a subject you are not familiar with.  Second, it may lighten your day with a celebration about something you do care.. Read More

Late Winter Pruning

  Late winter and early spring is a wonderful time of year to prune those overgrown shrubs, bushes and trees on your property. The branches are bare and not having foliage allows you to see the true form of the plants. I  don’t like to prune once the bush or shrub experience bud break or the leaf open. For the larger trees on your property I would research a reputable tree guy in your.. Read More

Forsythia in September

Forsythia in September  The timing of biological events is called Phenology. This science is concerned with the dates of first occurrences that influence nature. These life cycle events happen like clockwork every year in our backyards. Things like flowers blooming and leafs unfolding, insects emerging, migration and hibernation. Plants and animals are not known to wear watches or carry smart phones. They take their cues from the changing seasons, temperature, rain.. Read More