Uncle John's Home & Garden
8579 Columbia Road
Olmstead Falls, OH
4/20/17 RHUBARB CLASS with Laura McDougal
at Uncle John's Home & Garden
Never in my life have I found THREE different varieties of Rhubarb before! I'm still squealing! In years to come we will now have four varieties of rhubarb to mix and match! And even more inspiration for all of my rhubarb recipes!
We also discovered one of the most fabulous garden centers we have ever been to - and our new FAVORITE! The healthiest plants, greatest selection and friendliest staff you have ever met! The variety and selection of both garden and landscaping plants, shrubs and trees that are unique and not available anywhere else around here is truly amazing.
Family owned and operated for more than 40 years, it is no surprise that they were named as the 2016 Best Garden Center by Cleveland HotList. We've been to dozens of garden nurseries over the years, but I'm still kicking myself that we never heard about this place before. Believe me, you have got to visit this place as soon as you can - it is beyond words how wonderful it is!
5/8/16 MOTHER'S DAY
I am the luckiest girl in the world! I have a wonderful guy that loves me to death, and the best kiddos on the planet! They know that one of my favorite pastimes is cooking and baking wonderful things for them - and we love fresh and organic homegrown vegies and fruits more than anything!
Our last home in suburban Minneapolis was built on rich and fertile farmland - dark, loamy soil that was deeper than we could dig! Our garden was magnificent and a hobby that we all enjoyed - from planting seeds when the kids were little, to finding big juicy worms for fishing, to harvesting gorgeous vegetables and fruits for our table, and sharing what seemed like never-ending garden produce with family and neighbors.
Fast forward to northeast Ohio - land of clay. Digging down six inches is a painful experience, and we have broken more shovels that I can count. Even large trees are not planted deep in this part of the country - and landscaping and trees require yards of mulch every year. We may have gained several months of mild weather and growing time, but every year it has been a painful and protracted period of getting the garden ready.
And the deep and thick woods around our subdivision offer wildlife in numbers that continue to grow - we have a herd of deer that have a daily trek that takes them thru our yard munching on my flowers and garden plants as they go. They hang out in the grassy fields behind our house - and the group just keeps getting bigger each year!
Nothing seems to be safe - the deer visit decks and patios and help themselves to container gardens, and can jump 4 to 5 foot fences from a dead standstill. After being forced to re-plant gardens two or three times each season, many of our neighbors have either placed large fences around their gardens or given up on gardening altogether.
Other than my rhubarb, raspberries and fresh herbs, I was just about ready to end the fight as well.
You can't even begin to imagine my joy when my family created a garden wonderland for us! A trio of raised garden beds run 26 feet each, with plenty of room (and separation) for everything I dream of planting! Screening under each garden container will keep any garden pests out, and soaker hoses have been snaked thru the boxes to maximize watering. Seven foot garden fencing will keep the deer and other roaming wildlife out of our garden.
The raised garden boxes will provide an easy frame for any cover needed for those early spring freeze and frost warnings - but I sure hope we are past that now and just ready to start planting and growing! Paving stones in the walkway will keep it muddy-free, and a little Jimmy Buffett while planting will keep things mellow and happy!
I have separate gardens for my rhubarb plants and different raspberry and blueberry bushes - our family favorites deserve their own special spots! And I'll keep at least some fresh herbs planted in my beautiful blue ceramic planters and near my patio door, just a step away for snipping and adding to recipes when I cook. The fresh basil, rosemary and pineapple sage smell SO GOOD!
Truly the best Mother's Day gift ever - the time, creative energy and hard work that went into making this is a dream come true! Words aren't enough...hugs and kisses aren't enough. But fresh, ripe homegrown tomatoes and other garden treats? Now we're talking thank you! My Mom would have LOVED this garden! Happy Mother's Day to you all!
APRIL & MAY 2016
It's that wonderful time of the year, when the air is starting to warm up and the sun is shining more and more each day.
Now, if only Mother Nature would cooperate and send us some full-time spring! I've got a garden to plan, planters ready to be filled with seedlings, and high hopes for this year's crops!
The winter ground has been turned already, and rich black planting soil, manure and compost are now in place (thanks to my girls!) and we are READY TO GO!
We visited Petitti's Garden Center and they were just starting to receive plant shipments, but it was so nice and relaxing to walk around on a nice spring day and get inspired. Looks like there will be some GORGEOUS new plants available this year!
I'm already looking forward to all of the wonderful things we'll be making with fresh, garden-ripened vegies and fruits this year!
When we moved into our new home, we planted Lemon Balm all around the deck and patio and fragrant Lavender in the front flower beds; each spring we add big Basil and Rosemary plants in the vegetable garden and Marigolds all around those areas where we want to keep the critters out. And I'm happy to report that we really never have any mosquitoes around, despite two good-sized fountains in the yard and little boys that love to splash in puddles!
THE BEST ADVICE I ever received on gardening was from my Mom and my Great Grandma Smith (lucky me to share a birthday with her as well!). Mom told me to always plant what you LOVE, but be sure that your garden is only planted with those things that will actually grow in your climate and zone. Mom cautioned me that no matter how warm and sunny a spring might be, to never plant before Mother's Day, and to always share the bounty from your garden. Great Grandma also encouraged me to smell the fragrance and pick the flowers from her garden!
My tips? Research the types of garden and landscaping plants that you are interested in BEFORE investing in expensive seeds or plants. Make a list each year and keep track of what works (and doesn't work) for you, when and how you planted it, the weather conditions and what you may need to change up the next year.
Let your little ones help dig in the dirt, plant the seeds, water the plants and splash in the puddles. They grow up too fast, but the memories of gardening will last a lifetime!
© Snowflakes & Coffeecakes. All rights reserved.
All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s owner is strictly prohibited.
Thank you for visiting! I hope that you enjoyed your stay, and have found some recipes that your family will enjoy! Have any questions or comments?
Feel free to contact me!