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Author Archive: "Jean Ann Van Krevelen"

What’s Growing in April: Parsley, Rosemary, and Chives

Even though it is early in the growing season, there are several herbs in my garden that are ready for use. Rosemary and chives are both perennials, causing them to return year after year with little to no effort on my part. In fact, rosemary is evergreen in my garden, so I can harvest it in the middle of winter for use in all kinds of savory soups, casseroles, and roasts. The third herb is parsley, which is not a true perennial, but a biennial. In my garden, this herb is green most of the growing season. When it enters its second year, it shoots up big flowers that look much like its relative, Queen Anne's Lace. It happily reseeds for the following year, but is not nearly as hard to control as its cousin.

Combining these fresh, verdant flavors really take deviled eggs to a whole new level.

San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

Sustainability took center stage at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. This year's show highlighted sustainable plantings that included natives, succulents, and self-contained growing systems. Lest you think that sustainable plantings = boring plantings, rest assured that being resource-wise has never been so chic.


This award-winning display featured native grasses, a living roof, and metallic multi-purpose animals. You'll notice an owl perched atop a porch covering. Living or "green" roofs are great for gardeners with small spaces. Not only does it extend square footage for growing, but it is a great way to use low-water plantings to insulate the structure below.

All-Iowa Horticulture Expo

I had the great fortune of being invited to speak at the All-Iowa Horticulture Expo earlier this month. And what I found compelling about it was not the traditional garden show features. This was truly a horticulture show and as such, the emphasis was on super high-quality presentations and great gardening resources.

In particular, there were two amazing speakers who both entertained and informed. Stephanie Cohen, the Perennial Diva, gave us some outstanding design ideas. But what I especially enjoyed was her irreverence toward traditional "gardening rules." Now, don't get me wrong, Stephanie taught us the basics of flower borders, plant combinations, and color palettes. But in the end, she encourages us all to plant in a way that makes us happy. Quite frankly, it is totally freeing to hear that from someone so experienced!

The Chicago Flower and Garden Show

The Chicago Flower and Garden Show was inspiring in a way that I thought only happened on Broadway. This year's theme is "Cultivating Great Performances" and it did not disappoint. From a 20-foot tall Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland to a green baby next to the letter Z from Wicked, the displays gave whimsical a new name. Other displays include Hairspray, complete with Aqua Net®, and Little Shop of Horrors, with a small version of Audrey II.

Gardening Trends for 2010: The Southeast Flower and Garden Show

Recently, I headed to Atlanta for the Southeast Flower and Garden Show where I would be on stage with my first ever cooking demo. Let's just start by saying that the old adage "a watched pot never boils" is 100% accurate. Forty-five minutes in to my hour-long demo, the pasta water still wasn't boiling. Thankfully, I had a very understanding audience who laughed along with me.

Afterwards, I toured the show to check out hot gardening trends for 2010. Here's what I found:

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