Roasted Orange Tomato and Thai Basil Soup

[lt_recipe name=”Roasted Orange Tomato and Thai Basil Soup” servings=”8 cups” prep_time=”45M” cook_time=”45M” total_time=”1H30M” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”The bulk of your work will be slicing your tomatoes for roasting. The rest is basic prep work for assembling... Read More

5th Feb, 2018

Mid-Winter Garden Check

Wide temperature changes cause problems for garden. Nature walks inspire garden design Read More

16th Oct, 2017

A How-To and Why-To Guide to Planting Your Spring Bulbs

Planting bulbs in the fall for the first flowers of Spring is easier than you think. Read More

9th Oct, 2017

Brilliant Fall Colors are Not Just in the Trees

How to Add Fall Color in your Perennial Garden Read More

3rd Aug, 2017

Design inspiration in a Mid-Summer Night’s Shakespeare Garden

Source: Design inspiration in a Mid-Summer Night’s Shakespeare Garden Read More

3rd Jul, 2017

The Easy days of Summer in the Garden

Source: The Easy days of Summer in the Garden Read More

The Easy days of Summer in the Garden

This time of year in the garden is a sort of chill time.  All the hard work and planning is done.  You’ve already harvested some of your veggies and berries.  Your greens are looking for... Read More

13th Jun, 2017

At Long Last Summer

The last month here has been busy busy busy! All our seedlings have been given new homes either in our own garden, or adopted out to good homes. From humble beginnings . . . Come... Read More

11th May, 2017


Robin feeding her babies in our backyard. Read More

7th May, 2017

The Pretty Pansy is no Shrinking Violet

I planted my pansies in the beginning of April. They’ve powered through 3 freezes, a nasty weird freaky hail storm and all around general neglect. They’ve got super model looks and Captain America strength.  While... Read More

21st Apr, 2017

Here Comes the Sun

The colors of spring have burst through the grey skies. Over the past week the Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinth and all the spring perennials have woken up and beat back the grey skies. This is the... Read More

13th Apr, 2017


At least that’s what I was told when I was little. As  a consolation for a rainy day in April, we would have bright blooms in May. This week in Chicagoland we had warm sun... Read More

5th Apr, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your seedlings.

Source: Ladies and Gentlemen, start your seedlings. Read More

4th Apr, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your seedlings.

Well I’ve been off the blog this last month because I caught a nasty virus that kept me in bed for a week and really boogery for two more weeks after that.   But, with... Read More

24th Feb, 2017

Who Ordered Spring?

Wide temperature changes cause problems for garden. Nature walks inspire garden design Read More

12th Feb, 2017

Winter Gardens in France

I have missed the last two week’s design post because my family had a little reunion in France.  My sister works outside the states more often than not. We can go many months without seeing her.  This... Read More

4th Jan, 2017

What to Do in Your Garden in January?Nothing! It’s too cold. Instead, Think Brownies.

Beat the grey skies gloom with warm gooey gluten free brownies. Read More

12th Dec, 2016

A Happy Winter Garden

  WINTER’S COMING   Hello Friends I have had quite a few clients and friends, and clients who have become friends, ask me how to prepare their gardens for the winter.  Now we’ve had real snow cover... Read More

23rd Nov, 2016

Spring Bulbs in November

A little birdie (my sis) has informed the director of R & J Landscape Design (me) that the The Charmed Garden director (me) needs to talk to IT (me) about the error the writer (me)... Read More

19th Oct, 2016

Update on the Potato Virgin Post

I have finally harvested my bags of Potatoes Potatoes are ready to harvest about two weeks after the greens, which you see in this photo hanging over the bags, have died back. That means they... Read More

1st Oct, 2016

Lentil soup with late season veggies and herbs

Here in Oak Lawn, which is just 15 min southwest of Chicago, so still zone 5, our growing season is still in play. We had strange tropical weather until just about a week and a... Read More

9th Sep, 2016

Easy Freezy Stewed Tomatoes

There is nothing like the smell and taste of a freshly picked tomato, still warm from the sun when you slice it open.  If you are like me, you’d like that delicious taste in the... Read More

14th Aug, 2016

Late Summer Harvest and Garden Care

Here in Oak Lawn, the southwest suburbs of Chicago, it’s been hot enough long enough to finish off all our cool weather greens, i.e., kale, spinach, lettuce greens, and most of our broccoli.  The tomatoes... Read More

13th Aug, 2016

For the love of Potatoes

Potato Virgin. I love potatoes. I love them in any form.  You know that game, if you were stuck on a deserted Island and could only have three foods, what would they be? Mine – Potatoes,... Read More

22nd Jul, 2016

July’s Gems

Hello Everyone Well it’s finally time to enjoy the many fruits, and veggies, of your labor.  This year my goal was quality over quantity.  In my enthusiasm, and over abundance of seeds bought on discount... Read More

1st Jul, 2016

Shared Lily Photos

Hello Everyone A new friend to the website has shared a photo of her daylily beds in her backyard. Turns out she just loves daylilies and has collected just about every variety over the years.... Read More

21st Jun, 2016

More on Easy Going Perennials

Hello Everyone I just want to share a picture with you of the gloriously bright yellow “gas station” day lilies. I took this picture on a road trip through Ohio. As you can see this is... Read More

1st Jun, 2016

Easy Going Perennials

If you are looking for inexpensive low maintenance color in your garden, I’d like you to take a new look at an old favorite. These plants have been around for decades, so are easily over looked,... Read More

13th Apr, 2016

Soil Preparation Tips

Right about now most of us are gearing up to prep our gardens for planting. Whether its a veggie, herb, or perennial garden (or all three together in a beautiful design), you need to "make... Read More

23rd Mar, 2016

Spring is back! It’s time to get your gardens growing gardeners.

Its finally time to get up close and personal with your dirt. Yep, if you haven’t already started your seedlings indoors, it’s still not too late to it.  Believe it or not, it’s not too... Read More

10th Jan, 2016

Hello Fellow Garden Geeks. Well the longest night of 2015 has passed and we have hopefully all made it through the glorious holiday season happier and healthier.  Here the holidays begin with Halloween and end... Read More

19th Oct, 2015

The Charmed Kitchen

Coming soon to a kitchen near you! Hello Everyone! I’m happy to announce that this winter I will be opening a new section of The Charmed Garden! The Charmed Kitchen will offer creative everyday uses... Read More

2nd Sep, 2015

Time to plant your fall crop and spring bulbs

Hello Hearty Gardeners A friendly reminder that there’s still time to plant your greens for a fall harvest. Yep, get a 2nd crop of spinach, lettuce and kale. If you planted Chard its probably a... Read More

11th Aug, 2015

More Food in Pots photos

This is an eggplant surrounded by white petunias. The white flowers were chosen as bright contrasts to the pretty purple flowers that become eggplants. This is a Japanese Eggplant which produces long, dark purple eggplants... Read More

2nd Apr, 2015


Hello everyone – You may not realize it but you don’t have to wait for mother nature to get serious about warming things up to begin planting. Some veggies like it cold. Kale, Chard, Spinach,... Read More

7th Oct, 2014

In The Fall Garden

Hello Everyone Fall is here, at least in the Midwest. Many of you want to know what to do now. The first thing to do is really just sit back and enjoy the beauty around... Read More

2nd Apr, 2014

It’s time for the Spring clean (finally)

Hi Everyone At long last Spring is here. The crocus have peaked out and found it friendly. It’s so refreshing to see something bright other than white. So it’s time to get our hands in... Read More

27th Jan, 2013

Include hardscape in your garden for seasonal interest.

Make your garden a reflection of your own unique style, not your neighbor’s.  Don’t just put in a concrete walkway, go large! Put in a sweeping walkway of oversize flagstone which invites you to stop... Read More