About Barbara Ellis

Author Archive | Barbara Ellis

Garage in the Garden

I really enjoyed reading Nancy Ondra’s Garden Blogger’s Design Workshop for this month on Sheds and Outbuildings. My gardening tools haven’t had a real place to call home for years, since they had to compete for space with larger, bulkier equipment essential to my motorhead husband. An ever-present tangle of tools filled one corner of the garage and a permanent pile in my garden cart made using it a pain. Smaller essentials—pruning shears, labels, garden stakes, twine and the like—found their way into a scattering of five-gallon plastic buckets. When we eliminated the stack of long-handled tools by hanging a row of hooks along one entire wall, I thought I’d attained tool-storage heaven. Then we moved.

This converted garage houses storage space for tools plus it's insulated for overwintering tender perennials and houseplants. This morning, the last of the containers are crowded near the door so they can be moved inside to escape fall frost.

This converted garage houses storage space for tools plus it provides insulated space for overwintering tender perennials and houseplants.

Our new place in Maryland brought with it a small garage/workshop. From the start, it was clearly too small for my husband’s needs. The smaller building became mine when we added a garage for his equipment at the upper edge of the property. At first all I thought about was hanging a couple of tool racks and having a place for my garden cart, but once reality set it, I really began to dream.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

A Nursery Ramble

A lathhouse houses ferns, begonias, and all manner of houseplants

If you are deep into variegation, unusual houseplants, and the horticulturally weird and wonderful, you’ve no doubt visited—online at least—one of my favorite nurseries: Glasshouse Works. While I enjoy shopping on line, wading deep into a greenhouse overrun with plants is an experience like no other. I adore prowling through foliage and flowers looking for special plants and rare treasures. Luckily for me, I can drive right by Glasshouse Works (well, nearly) when I travel home from Maryland to visit my mother, something I did just over a week ago. Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

Night Magic

I wasn’t going to post again so soon – after all, I’m a newbie at it – but I have to share about the impromptu garden parties at my house last weekend. Nighttime is a fairly strange time to gather in most gardens, but my friends and I had a reason: My night-blooming cereus bloomed for the first time.

When open, cereus flowers are 8 to 9 inches wide and deep because of the reflexed sepals.
When open, cereus flowers are 8 to 9 inches wide and deep because of the reflexed sepals.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 12 }

Covering New Ground

Daylily (Hemerocallis) ‘Conspirator’s Oath’

After several years of not being able to put much of anything into a permanent home, I’ve spent this season madly digging new beds and filling them with many plants as possible. All this planting has been as much a welcome relief for this garden-starved gardener as it has been for the plants that moved down with us from Pennsylvania to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The plants especially appreciate the change from waiting to planting, since they spent the years of transition and house renovation languishing in containers or packed cheek-by-jowl into holding beds. While it would be a lie to imply that I no longer have plants waiting in containers or stuffed too tightly in holding beds, the tide has turned and I’m finally covering new ground. Continue Reading →

Comments { 7 }