Blooming Garden Designs

Specializing in Natural and Sustainable Landscapes

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Grow Your Own Gourmet Vegetables This Year

logoDo you want to learn more about edible gardening?  Are you a foodie?  Do you want organic seeds?   This garden  catalog,  The Cook’s Garden, offers something for everyone.

 The Cook’s Garden  offers  European-inspired selection of seeds and custom grown  vegetables you can grow in your home garden.

The Cook’s Garden now offers custom grown plants that are certified organic to go along with our certified seeds. All  vegetable and herb plants are grown under strict organic guidelines and certified by Pennsylvania Organics. The Cook’s Garden certified organic plants are grown using only all-natural methods.

Make sure you check out the recipe section, also.


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Garden with Us: What we are doing this week in the gardens…..

Now is the time to rejuvenate your garden for fall enjoyment. 

If it’s brown, we’re removing it!

Once leaves get sun scorched or brown from lack of water, they will not turn green again.  We’ve been dead leafing for several weeks; if you haven’t started, this week would be a great time to start. We use several methods including

  • Individual remove brown leaves using pruning shears
  • Use hedge sheers and cut the entire plant back to new growth. If the plant shows no new growth, we leave 1-2 inches of stems for rejuvenation.

Make sure you water the plants well so they can recover!!

We’re designing!

This past week, we had a  client contact us for help in his garden.  He had removed two large shade trees at the front of his home so a once shady garden has now become a full sun garden.  He  asked us to design a native plant garden to fit into his landscape.  The design will be incorporating the smaller prairie grasses and forbs planted in large drifts.  Stay posted for photos.  

We’re planting

Fall is a great time to establish and plan new gardens. Planting season officially begins in September, but with the cool days, we can start now.We are planting grasses and shrubs in  new landscapes.  Any planting during August should be done with caution.  Keep plants moist and shaded. 

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August Garden To-Do List

August To-Do

Personal gardens often take a bit of rest during the month of August.  It is a busy moth for cutting back “tired” plants that have finished blooming and dead-leafing any scorched subjects.

General Maintenance

  1. Weed
  2. Don’t forget to water. We are still in drought.
  3. Do not apply fertilizers, so as to allow plants to harden better  before winter


  1. Continue to deadhead
  2. Prune plants to keep in desired space.
  3. Cut back finished, “tired” plants to make room for late bloomers
  4. Aster and mums can be cut back by 4-6 in. to delay bloom, though at the expense of floral abundance.
  5. Cut back any insect or disease-plagued foliage. ( Do not put in compost pile and clean pruning equipment with water and vinegar or bleach solution)


  1. Plant with caution.
  2. Design beds and order plants for autumn planting.
  3. Bearded iris. Oriental poppies and peonies can be divided now.


  1. Continue to feed your pile with food scrapes
  2. Be wary of adding leaf scorched plant material, unless you are positive the plants had no disease or fungus problems.
  3. Add water to pile to keep moist.
  4. Turn the pile often.

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Ice Cream and Honey Bees

Ice Cream and Honey Bee??

I had heard of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the honey bees, but I really wasn’t concerned till I learned…

1. Honeybees are responsible for 80 percent of the pollination for many fruits and vegetables, including apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers and almonds.  I’m a big fan of fresh fruits especially berries and cantaloupe!!  (stat  cames from: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

2. Haagen Dazs Ice Cream is concerned. Check out this initiative.  Just think how bland ice cream would be without the bees!!

3. The loss of habitat for the bees may be causing the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Check out Vanishing of the Bees documentary.

So what can we do?

1. Financially support research programs

2. Plant a Bee friendly garden.

3. Learn Beekeeping 101, online 10 module course offered by Penn State

4. Watch and discuss ways to help the bees. Start with these two Bee documentaries: Vanishing of the Bees or   Silence of the Bees

Let’s Save Fruit for our Ice Cream Now!!!!

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Save the Plants or Save the Water?

Since I love  plants and I want to conserve water, I am faced with this dilemma every year. So how do I decide what to save and what to let go to mother nature?

1st Priority

Newly planted trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns need adequate water,  about 1 inch every week — until they are established, usually two or three years.

2nd Priority

  • Vegetables and other food crops
  • Annual floral displays and containers.

Foods crops and annual floral displays can be watered every week to 10 days in normal weather patterns.  Container need daily or 2x a day watering.

3rd Priority

  • Established lawns can go six weeks or more without water. Lawns go dormant and will revive with rainfall or watering.
  • Many perennials will survive a few weeks without water.
  • Well-established shrubs and trees can go a couple of months.

Do you want to learn more about plant survival?  Surviving the drought: How plants survive the drought