hen and chicks or cats and kittens, Succulents in the garden

Whatever name you call these plants by, they are actually Sempervivum,  (which means "live forever" because they grow and propagate so readily)  or common houseleeks and are one of the most popular succulents. What I like about these plants is that they grow almost anywhere, even in rock walls. I have several clusters growing in my garden. They don’t require much care, basically just plant them and forget them. Overwatering is something they don’t appreciate. Ask me how I know!

A couple varieties of sedum are the only other succulents in our garden but I’ve noticed succulents are growing in popularity again. Have you seen them planted in an old work boot or pair of baby shoes? Or even in an old pallet as a growing wall of succulents?

hen and chicks

One thing I don’t like about this plant are the very strange looking  flowers. I think they are down right ugly.

hen and chicks

Towering spikes grow with a cluster of flowers on the end. The is the plant’s way of self propagating. After flowering, the mother plant dies. The flowering plant is the hen and the smaller plants that sprout out at the edges are the chicks. I like to pull off the baby plants and plant them in a new spot. It’s amazing how quickly they grow and are practically indestructible, as far as plants go…….except for overwatering.

hen and chicks

 Here’s a succulent planter with a big WOW factor, created by Michael Wurm from Inspired by Charm. It’s beautiful and inspiring! I may have to try this!  Winking smile   I did a feature about his blog in 2012.


An old wives tale claims that hen and chicks protect your home from fire…… hmmm wonder how that tale started?

Do you grow succulents? What’s been your experience with hen and chicks?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Cleaning up the garden in Fall

It’s time to clean up outside and get the flower beds cleaned up. We only have one big tree that drops leaves but it also drops crabapples and makes a big mess. Time to start to clean that up and think about dividing some overgrown perennials to share with friends. Some people prefer to do this in Spring but I like to do it now.

tall grass, cabaret

This grass plant is starting to split apart on it’s own and really needs some attention. You can see all the little crabapples everywhere and a Russian sage plant that’s impossible to contain. That thing makes me sneeze when I get within 6 feet of it so cutting it back will be fun! We’ll probably dig all of this out and replant some of the plants in the bed on the other side of the garden and plant grass here. It’s hard to keep so many flower beds looking nice. What I really mean is,  I’m getting older and it’s a lot of work.


Sedum is so pretty in the Fall but my plants are open in the center and hanging over the edges of the bed. I have 3 of these giant plants and it’s going to be a lot of work getting them divided. Just digging them up will take some muscle! I use a big old knife with a sturdy blade to cut plants apart but it takes determination. Sometimes it’s really difficult.


Anyone know the name of this pretty purple thing? I did, but didn’t really pay much attention to it because it never bloomed like this before.


Peppers are what’s left in the vegetable garden. My husband eats these things like candy.

knockout rose

The red double knockout rose is still blooming but I’ll soon be cutting it back by about a third to keep it in bounds. I have a pink one that is so fragrant but this red one isn’t but I do love the red color.


knockout rose 2

There’s some competition for space happening here.

hen and chicks

Do you call this hen and chicks or cats and kittens? There’s an old wives tale that claims this plant protects your home from fire. Hmmm….wonder how that came about? We all know the popular ones about chicken soup, an apple a day and eating carrots for good eyesight, but a plant protecting you from fire…….I don’t know.


The garden shed is fancied up for Fall this year. This is what I see from my kitchen window.


Happy Fall Y’all!

Right now my upper kitchen cabinets are getting trimmed out and they are looking good. I’m so happy to be getting this project finished!


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

front porch decorating for Fall

Our front porch is ready for a new look for Fall but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to give it it’s autumnal look. My vintage wicker planter won’t be used on the front porch, I’ll have to use these urns with coleus that have grown to giant size.

green front door

If I put them in the inner corner they will stay good looking until it gets really cold and are hit by frost. I’ll leave one on it’s pedestal and put the other on the porch floor and decorate around them.

coleus in urn


If you’re interested in lots more front porch ideas and decorating for Fall, Dave and Mary Morris have written an ebook full of inspiration, Front Porch Ideas and More. You’ll see a lot of names you recognize featured in this 251 page ebook which sells for $6.97. My feature starts on page 114 and I’m thrilled to have my porch featured! This is an affiliate program so if you choose to buy through this link I’ll get a small commission. Smile

Click Here to get your copy!


image Let’s get decorating for Fall!   I must have the Fall decorating bug! My previous post was all about fall decorating too.


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Garden Party #4, Black flowers

Welcome to the 4th week of the garden party! I’ll be hosting the party here every Tuesday in May and would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your plants!  This week I’m talking about black flowers.


Black Velvet petunias are new to me this year and I’m loving them! They aren’t really black, but a very deep inky blue that appears almost black. They pair wonderfully with just about any other color and make quite a statement in your garden.

black velvet black and blue2

I’ve paired Black Velvet petunia with Euphorbia and another plant that’s new to me, Black and Blue Salvia.

lantana black and blue

The buds appear black and open to blue. It’s so pretty.



8761657_PANSY_ACCORD_BLACKEAUTYhollyhock from amazon

Source                                                                        Source

A couple more black flowers are Black Beauty Pansies and Nigra Hollyhocks. Flowers considered black are dark purple, dark red or have dark foliage instead of pure black and are oh so lovely!

Now let’s get on to the Garden Party, here are 2 from last week.


Simple Holdings Farm shared her lovely lilacs and some great garden tips.



Kathe with an E shared her thoughts on the benefits of gardening and lovely pictures of her garden.


Thank you for coming by linking up!

We had our first fresh veggies from our garden. Lettuce and sweet Spring onions made a tasty salad. I can’t wait for more!

If you don’t have anything about gardening or plants to link up this week, come back next Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails or green knees.  It’s fun digging in the dirt!

Please link back here in your post. Thank You!


Happy Gardening, Debbie (((xx)))

Garden party#3, Beautiful planters at the garden center

Welcome to the 3rd week of the garden party! I’ll be hosting the party here every Tuesday in May and would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your planties!


Combining flower shapes and colors is one of my favorite things about gardening. Contrasting flower colors can complement each other for an even more beautiful display and there are endless possibilities. 

Frey’s greenhouse is my go to place for inspiration.  I took these pictures while shopping there and I can shop there for hours!  Visiting your local garden center will give you lots of inspiration, that’s for sure.

black petunia

A Black Velvet petunia is paired with yellow nasturtium and a bright orange Gerber Daisy.

petunia pink and green

This is Pretty Much Picasso Supertunia. It’s bright pink with a purple center and lime green around the edges of the flower.

plant combinations 2

This planter really WOWED me. I saw it as soon as I walked in the door and loved it! It’s got the perfect example of thrillers, fillers and spillers!

plant combinations 3

Some pots contain annuals and perennials. I think the light colored leaves in the right side of this pot are perennial Coral Bells.

plant combinations

You can check them out on Facebook to see more examples of their amazing combinations.

Now let’s get on to the Garden Party, here are 2 from last week.

plant on pots

The Handmade Housewife shared her repurposed book rack. I love the idea of using unusual things as planters.

Color Transformed Family showed off her lovely Purslane. This is a plant I have never tried, but I might now.

Thank you for linking up!

Our vegetable garden is planted now and the lettuce, sugar peas and Spring onions are doing well…..can’t wait for those juicy tomatoes!

If you don’t have anything about gardening or plants to link up this week, come back next Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails or green knees.  It’s fun digging in the dirt!

Please link back here in your post. Thank You!


Happy gardening, Debbie (((xx)))

garden Party#2, Solomon’s Seal and Sweet Woodruff

Welcome to the 2nd week of the garden party! I’ll be hosting the party here every Tuesday in May and would love for you to join the party! Dig in the dirt and show off your planties!


Last week I featured a tried and true favorite, Coral Bells. Combining a chartreuse Hosta with Purple Palace Coral Bells creates a lovely display.  I love grouping plants to create beautiful combinations. The possibilities are endless!

 Laura from Top This Top That shared her GORGEOUS wisteria. Have you ever caught the scent of  wisteria  in full bloom? It’s a sweet scent you won’t soon forget! I can imagine myself sitting here on a hot day enjoying a tall iced tea.


Back to reality……..This week I’m featuring the combination of a variegated Solomon’s seal and Sweet Woodruff.

solomons seal, sweet woodruff

Both plants love shade and are in bloom now. The Solomon’s Seal towers over Sweet Woodruff and makes a pretty combination. I got both of these plants from a neighbor and they grew in and filled the area in only a few years. Now I’ve got plenty to share. Gardeners always have plants they’re eager to get rid of share!

sweet woodruff

Underneath this Viburnum is an example of how Sweet Woodruff is used as a ground cover. It filled in this area nicely and I need to rescue the little angel statues before they are completely devoured!

So let’s get started!

If you don’t have anything about gardening or plants to link up this week, come back next Tuesday for another plant party link up and show off your dirty fingernails or green knees.  It’s fun digging in the dirt!

Please link back here in your post. Thank You!  Smile


Happy Gardening, Debbie (((xx)))

Korean spice viburnum


It’s a little early in the season, but I love this time of year when everything wakes up and puts on a show of beautiful color. Some plants in our yard are bursting out in full bloom. One of those is a favorite shrub, Korean Spice Viburnum.

Korean spice viburnam5

This shrub grows to be about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.The flower buds first appear as a pale pink and turn white in full bloom.

Korean spice viburnam2

The most amazing feature of this plant is it’s exceptional fragrance, a sweet aroma mixed with a bit of clove. We love the smell.

Korean spice viburnam4

When I bought this plant, it was nothing but 2 sticks, but it was the only one I could find. That was about 10 years ago and it has grown into a well behaved shrub that awards us with that lovely aroma in Spring and lots of thick green leaves in the Summer. There’s always a bird’s nest nestled in it’s branches.

Korean spice viburnam

Plant in full sun to partial shade, in well drained soil, in zones 4 through 7. Make sure you plant it near your porch, patio or window where you can enjoy it’s fragrance.


korean spice viburnum

It smells so good I just had to bring some inside.  Smile


korean spice viburnum2

If your looking for a shrub, I can recommend this one.Korean spice viburnam1

As gardening season begins, I’d love to talk about plants of all kinds. What are your favorites? I think we should have a garden party!


Yes, let’s have a link party! Share all your favorite plants or your best gardening tips, like putting a match in the hole when you plant peppers or what colors look great together in pots. Show off your garden!



Here’s a button you can snag to help spread the word. Let’s embrace our green knees and dirty fingernails and get planting!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))


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