Recent Articles

Container Garden Tower Pyramid – How To Build It

Container Garden Tower Pyramid Vegetables

At the end of a pathway, just as it intersects my back patio, I have a giant empty space. Using my experience with taller container towers and a  shorter container garden tower which I built in the past, I decided to expand on the creative container idea and fill that problematic empty space with ::drumroll […]

Militant Gardening – Defending Against the Pest Hoards

Militant Gardening

“How can I defend against garden pests?” I get that question a lot. Living in the Chicagoland area means defending my garden against deer, skunks, opossum, raccoons, voles, moles, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, insects, and birds. It’s war. And it’s not pretty. Spraying chemical insecticide’s in my organic garden is not the preferred approach. I […]

Shade Garden Design Technique – Vegetable Color Blocking

Shade Garden Design Vegetable Colorblocking

For several years I have had a full shade vegetable garden in my back garden. I love it and I have had many plants that I have been told will never grow in the full shade vegetable garden survive quite nicely. The secret for shade vegetable growing is generally this — “NO ROOTS & NO […]

10 Minute Chickpea Salad Recipe – Vegetarian, Flavorful, and Healthy!

Chickpea Salad Recipe

My oldest daughter has made the choice to become a vegetarian. This is amazing and awesome stuff because she’s learning crazy-good culinary and eating habits that make me proud. What her diet has done for me is slapped me squarely in the face: it’s reminded me that I am not eating enough vegetables and beans […]

Organic Foods – Why You Should Eat Them

Organic Potato Growth

Many people think that purchasing organic products is only about the environment. The less chemicals used to produce the product the better it is for the environment, right? However, food carries a special concern: eating organic foods means you consume less chemicals. When you consume less chemicals you have less of a chance of contracting […]

Blowing Frozen Bubbles in Minus 45 Degree Weather

Blowing Bubbles in Minus 45 Degree Temps Frozen Bubble

What do you do when you have a thirteen year old at home with no school due to super arctic freezing weather? Play bubbles in the front lawn veggie garden of course (yep, this is what my garden looks like in the winter). Throw on the coats and stir up some bubble mix to see […]

Teach People How To Garden – A Graffiti Experiment Fence Champion

Gardenworks Volunteers

The Graffiti Experiment is a project intended to inspire positive art and community unity instead of displaying hate or negativity in our urban neighborhoods. Champions for the project have donated money to help pay the fines my homeowners association charged me in order to help keep the painted fence experiment up for a longer period […]

Pecan Pie Martini Cocktail Recipe

Pecan Pie Martini Cocktail with Candied Pecans and Cocktail Fork

It is winter in Chicagoland folks. No herbs can be found growing beneath several inches of snow and I am in the mood for a New Year’s cocktail that is a big splurge; sweet and spectacular. What can I use that combines a little bit of nature with a little bit of naughtiness? Carolyn Binders […]

How I Lost 18 Pounds plus a Salmon and Arugula With Tomato Salad Recipe

Salmon and Arugala Salad with Tomato

Yeah yeah, I know what you are thinking: salad in December? Shawna, have you gone mad? In actuality I have gone healthy. Nearly every day since December of 2012 I have eaten salad, in one form or another, for lunch. After seeing myself in the TEDx speech video, I realized I had gained too many pounds […]

The Longest Lasting Annual Flower for Zone 5

The Last Flower Blooming Superbena Violet Ice

When I looked out into the garden and spotted a tiny bit of color peeking out from under the ice, I was completely bowled over to discover this little bloomer still hanging on (see above). It’s Superbena® Violet Ice, one of the new annual verbena varieties that Proven Winners sent out to me to test […]