Flowers, herbs, fruits and veggies have always been companions in my garden. And though flowers have taken over, I still sow my favorite edibles of cucumbers, tomatoes and greens. Through the years, I shared flowers with friends and dreamt of a flower stand or another way to turn my passion into a small business that would make people happy.

The meadow landscape has evolved and more land is devoted to growing perennials and annuals. A new Daffodil Hill comes alive in March with the first of the narcissi. The west end of the new garden swath will feature sunflowers and a kaleidoscope of snapdragons, zinnias, cosmos, amaranth and more will fill in between. All together, a solid half acre of collective garden space brightens with blooms, spring to first frost.

Through many hard-earned lessons of growing flowers and edibles, I created this list of essentials for garden success:


  • journal to track plantings
  • shovel with sharper edging to dig out transplants and pesky weeds
  • good soil: all-natural for edibles, sustainable
  • easy water access with hoses or drip irrigation garden mats
  • gloves: softer pair for sowing seeds / tougher pair for trimming big bushes and prickly plantings (e.g., roses, Bells of Ireland)
  • garden tubs for weeding, carrying new plants, harvesting
  • wagon for pulling tools, dirt, landscape cloth, seeds, etc.
  • a sense of humor: appreciate the baby bunnies in the fenced-in garden
  • zinnias: easy to sow and grow, these beauties reliably sprout and provide much joy in bouquets

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