Mothers Day Ideas

Newest video on creating arrangements for Mothers Day.  (I come in at 1:33). The flowers in the video are only available in the Chicago market. The types of plants are specifically chosen for their hardiness and showy blooms. Grown in and shipped with Miracle-Gro Potting Mix that supports them all season long.



Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I’m off to Orlando to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  I’ll be filming three Gardenieres videos and on Friday I will be on the morning news!  Stay tuned for updates on which TV stations will be airing live interviews with me and Dr. Chris from Scotts. Visit me here at for daily updates on all the goings on!  More to come soon.


The Midwest Gardeniere featured at The Home Depot Garden Club

More Midwest Gardeniere news!  The Home Depot has a garden club and members subscribe to regular emails.  The most recent email, sent to every garden club member (that’s probably thousands of people), featured the Gardenieres, and a still from one of my videos was the front page photo.  You can view the page at Introducing the Gardenieres. It’s so exciting, I’m almost famous!

I’ll be posting another video soon, see you then


Midwest Gardeniere Update

Hey everyone!  A quick update on my work as the Midwest Gardeniere.  As you all know I was in San Diego shooting a commercial series for HGTV.  You will find a full page advertisement about this series featuring me and Chris Lambton in the HGTV Magazine.  The ads are in the March, April, and May issues coinciding with when the commercials will air.  The March issue is available now if you want to check it out.

I will be traveling to Disney World for a Gardenieres shoot in mid March, and will also be shooting some other scenes for Scotts.

And there is a new video out, a montage of many of the videos we have filmed already.  You will see in this video my co-star Jay Harris from the Home Depot.  We had such fun filming last spring I hope we will see more of Jay.

So take a look at the new video and tell me what you would like to see in future blogs.  We are going to be trying out a new format, using videos in many of the posts.  As always, comments and suggestions are encouraged!


Winter Planning

It’s the middle of winter and so much is going on! As you know I had an incredibly successful trip to San Diego filming a Gardenieres commercial series with HGTV.  I have some great news about the next shoot!  I would love to tell everyone in person so if you want to wait for a face-to-face don’t scroll to the end.  If you can’t wait, go to the end of the post for the big news!

Winter is a great time to do your garden planning, getting ready for the spring and summer activity.  I’ve been working on plans and rendering for my certificate from the Chicago Botanic Garden. Here’s a picture of what a rendering looks like in process…

Rendering Project

Given a basic layout you can take any space and design the garden of your dreams.  You can do a free-hand drawing in your journal or a formal line drawing that is to scale using a T-square on large paper.  Use circles for trees and shrubs and color in areas that will be annuals or perennials.  If you want lots of detail you can color in the lawn area with green and the ground cover with yellow.  You can mark out hedges too, use a darker green for those.  You can also include hardscapes like pavers and fountains, and even furniture and potted plants.  You can get a great feel for what the garden will look like, and you can make changes until it is exactly what you want.  Start with a general layout, don’t get into specifics.  Once it feels right then you can start thinking about the plants and characteristics you want to include.

A garden that I want to plan for myself is a traditional medicinal herb garden.  I use herbs for cooking, and those I have in pots on the deck near the kitchen door.  Out in the garden I want another area with Comfrey, Sticklewort, Chamomile, Valerian, Betony, Belladonna, Foxglove, Bloodroot, and Horehound.  Even the names sound old and mysterious.  All of these plants have a history of medicinal value.  I will find a space and plan a layout based on the size and habit of each plant.  I’ll obtain the plants and install them adding a few companions for color if needed.  It’s that easy.  Think about a garden you want to plant and make a plan.  Send me pictures of your ideas and the finished product.  If you need help let me know!

Ok, now for the big news…. Drum-roll please…….I have been invited to film another Gardenieres video at Disney World! Can you believe it – Disney World!  As soon as I have more details I will let you all know.  This is incredibly exciting for me, I can’t wait to get more info and pass it along.

As always questions, comments, send them along.  I’m here for you all.


“Stay Tuned”

So it’s day three of filming and so much has been going on.

My day starts with whatever I need to get going. Today it was white chocolate mocha. On set they have all kinds of snacks and a catered lunch. And they have special flavored water just for me.

I have a wardrobe and makeup team. Can you believe it, a whole team. So we decide what works best for the shot and also makes me look great. Then the makeup artist, Deb Garcia makes me look like a movie star, which makes sense because I am.

I’ve taped interviews where I get to go on and on about so many things in my garden and about my experience. I’m considered the expert on set!

Then Chris and I do our working scenes which are really easy and so much fun. We have a banter going that keeps everyone laughing and we work well together because we both love the work so much. There were times when the director told us to slow down cause we got to work and we forgot we were on film. I’ve been reminded repeatedly that I don’t need to concentrate or work so hard.

I’ve also gotten a lot of great compliments. Jason, the director of photography or DP, and Jerry, also behind the camera, keep telling me that I am doing a great job – natural, animated, compelling, captivating, knowledgeable, passionate, attractive, and inspiring are some of the specifics. Danny, the Executive Producer, is also incredibly pleased with my performance.

So I’m due soon for today’s round of interviews and then tomorrow is some final shots and I’m on my way home Friday.

I am in a full page ad about these commercials in HGTV’s magazine too. The first ad is in the March issue, available sometime in February. I’m going to get a bunch of copies to show everyone. There will be two more ads, one in March and one in April.

More updates to follow. As we say on set – “Stay tuned”


Commercial Day 1

Greetings from San Diego,

First day shooting the HGTV commercial was awesome.  Chris Lambton is hysterical!  He is a joy to work with.  The design team did a phenomenal job on transforming this space.  They’ve got a half moon garden, a cutting garden, and a living wall.  Amazing colors and an abundance of beautiful plants.

We filmed the beginning stages of the new garden today and soon we’ll move into the middle stages where the flowers will be a little bigger and we’ll focus on how to treat them so well they excel throughout the summer.

Can’t post pictures yet but I’ll give you all more details tomorrow.


New Developments

Even on the first day of winter there is a lot to do.  Two big projects have come up and they are both very exciting.

Locally, I am working with the Clark Park Advisory Council on the Richard Clark Park Framework Plan.  The goal of this plan is to “create a long-term plan for Richard Clark Park. . .”  You can view the entire framework at, and see existing pictures and the concept plan on the last page.  I am working to develop a community/sustainability garden that will be added to the concept plan.  We do have some interested groups and I have many resources to tap in the area to develop a feasible and ecologically profitable design.  It seems at this point I am the horticultural expert and have been graciously welcomed to the Advisory Council.  We meet once a month to discuss ideas and progress and by January’s meeting I plan to have a community/sustainability garden outline/plan ready to present.  I’ll keep you updated on those developments.

The second project is connected to The Home Depot and Miracle-Gro Gardenieres program.  Miracle-Gro wants to utilize the Gardenieres concept in a short series of commercials for HGTV, that’s the Home and Garden Network!  So, I have been promoted from online series correspondent to cable TV commercial talent!  Filming is tentatively scheduled for the last week in January, and I will probably start working on designs in the next week or so.

Once again I will keep you updated with all new developments and of course comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


More of the Midwest Gardeniere

Great news everyone!  There are more new Gardeniere videos online to watch.  I want to thank everyone for spreading the word and for all the compliments.  Filming has been very exciting and rewarding.

A few posts ago I showed some pictures of the projects we worked on early this fall.  The newest video shows how I planned and put together a fall themed garden design using accents in the color blue. Click here to watch on YouTube or go to my Midwest Gardeniere page and push play.

The other new Gardenieres video talks about sun and shade plants in rail planters that I designed early this summer.  It’s a great transformation from tired withered plants to colorful summer flowers filling up the planters.  Again, click here watch or go to my Midwest Gardeniere page and push play.

I’ve been talking about a design project for a while now and that’s what I’ve been working on this past week.  I took an empty front yard and turned it into multi-season garden.  Tune in for the next post to get all the details and before and after photos!

Thanks so much for your support.  I love to hear comments and suggestions so send them my way.