On social media, I have seen so many surveys and questions about “favorites”. As gardeners, people want to know your favorite plant, tool, fertilizer, pest control, and on and on.

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The answer to the question most often is, “Well, that depends on ______? That blank can be filled with … your location, your color preference, your garden style, your thoughts on disease control, and so much more.

I’ll be honest, my favorite things in the garden change all the time!! I love innovation. I love trying new things. I am typically an early adopter. I get excited when I see NEW or IMPROVED – although I’ve learned those words often need further examination!! 😉

Let’s start with roses. (Of course.) Let me just confess that in my day I have grown a ton of different roses. I can’t even tell you how many. And, if I tell Mr. G – he’ll roll his eyes and say … “I know. … It’s okay.” 

Some roses the winter took away. Some I removed to make way for others. Some just didn’t “get” our climate and struggled. Some didn’t live up to their hype. A few succumbed to Rose Rosette Disease. I do expect the plants in my garden to be good at their job … and not be tooooo needy, so I have developed the fine art of “Shovel Pruning.” Not a time to think too much except about the overall health and well being of the garden and the gardener. Besides, there are sooooo many options!


These are roses I have had for several years and they have proven themselves over and over in a variety of conditions in my garden. And, I think they would perform well for most. Success to me is a rose that is beautiful, that plays nice with its companions, gives me a ton of blooms, is on the easy-care side and fragrance is a nice bonus too.

Music Box (Easy Elegance)

Beautiful form (like a small Hybrid Tea) and fragrant. This blooming machine starts out with yellow buds and finishes as a full dusty rose bloom. Around here it has been consistently available at Lowes and some of our garden centers. Just look for the Easy Elegance collection. There are many wonderful roses in this collection … Like Champagne Wishes, All the Rage, and Head over Heels.

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This picture shows all of the color variations from bud to finish!
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All Music Box roses.

Quietness (Buck Shrub)

Absolutely gorgeous in bud and bloom. Fragrant too! This beauty is very hardy and almost thornless. Plus there is the sweet backstory of its naming. Several years ago I did a reveiw of this rose for the American Rose Society. If you would like to see the video, read on here. It is sometimes hard to find but is currently being sold at Antique Rose Emporium and Heirloom Roses. Links provided.

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The Generous Gardener (DA Climber) 

One of the most easy-care David Austin roses I have! It is stunning and fragrant! And the spring bloom is not to be missed. It will repeat later in the summer too. Available through David Austin Website here.

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The Generous Gardener is on the left and Music Box on the right. That is Quietness in the very back middle section. This picture was taken 3 years ago before the evergreen next to them encroached so much! The space is getting so tight that I believe Music Box will have to be moved and maybe Quietness too.

Mother of Pearl

This grandiflora is about 3-4” tall and 2′ wide and just blooms and blooms. There is a nice soft fragrance and the blooms stay on the bush for a very long time. The color is one of the best and blends well with so many companions. This rose has few thorns and I think would be great in a container (7 gal or greater sized pot).

Available at Heirloom Roses here, Antique Rose Emporium here, and Roses Unlimited. Roses Unlimited has a website but not online ordering. To order you must call. Website here.

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Through the years I have had Corona, Felcos, Fiskers, Craftsman, and Barnel pruners – with a few generic ones thrown in too. Most were wonderful products! 

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For the past 8 or so years, Barnel pruners have been my go-to for regular pruning! It fits my hand so well. These pruners are ergomonic (After 3 hand surgeries- this is paramount!) and they are hard to destroy. Two features I value!  I am not easy on my tools or my hands. I get “lost” in the garden as I dive into my work and sometimes that means the tools get “lost” too.

Mr. G has always been able to “revive” and sharpen these and get me back in business.  They are easy to find for purchase too… check out my friend Wendy – The Rose Gardener’s product line HERE

Well, there was that time when my pruners were lost and I didn’t find them for years. They were Craftsman with a lifetime guarantee. HA! But, I didn’t try to cash in on that!😂

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When I need to do some snipping… and I do a lot of snipping, these snips are just perfect. I have so many of these and I often give them as gifts. Very inexpensive, lightweight, super sharp and they last and last! More info here

Friends, if you have “favorites” that you recommend, leave them in the comments below. I’d love to know! Who knows I may start itching to try something new!


I love reading about trends – don’t you? Here are two great articles of what we might see in 2021…


  1. Gardening. Period. (LOVE IT!)
  2. Gardening Sustainably
  3. Creating Your Own Garden Getaway
  4. Growing Food in All Kinds of Spaces
  5. Getting Creative with Containers
  6. Choosing One Color and Going For It
  7. Learning and Buying Online
  8. Adding More Houseplants
  9. Getting Kids Involved

Images and article here.


  1. Balcony Gardening.
  2. Wild Gardens
  3. Inside Outside
  4. Tiny Gardens
  5. Raised Bed Gardens
  6. Permaculture Gardening
  7. White Gardens
  8. Windowsill Gardens
  9. Grey Gardens
  10. Cottage Gardens (YES!)

Images and full article here.

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Hallelujah! It’s just 49 days until spring. 🌷🌼💐 We can do this! Seriously, the potting shed is saving me. More about that next week! 😘

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  1. Have to laugh! Glad I’m not alone in losing my pruners! Found 1 pair in a pile of yard debris we had burned (live in the mtns, lots of woods) and my husband also was able to bring them back to life ♥ Love, love your blog.

  2. My faves are Mr Lincoln, Lady Banks (yellow), Easy Does It, and Kimberlina. Always in bloom with very little disease.

    1. You have a great list of favorites! I Had Mr. Lincoln for several years and it is a beauty. I lost it during a bad winter. I had trouble keeping it healthy. I admire all the pictures of Lady Banks! What a beautiful rose. My daughter grew Easy Does It in her California garden and it was so pretty. I hear great things about Kimberlina too! 🌹🌹🌹

  3. I found you after scrolling again. My favorite flower is the pink Compassion rose. It is so beautiful because pink is my favorite color. And I do love the Savannah Pink rose also. My favorite evergreen is Nandina, and I have so many clusters of red berries now on the shrubs. The foliage is very pretty also. My favorite herb is rosemary with its delicate blue flowers, and I like the meaning/story of this herb. I use a small pair of scissors a lot in the garden in addition to just a pair of ordinary shears. I use the scissors for cutting my kale leaves and broccoli leaves and a lot of times on my drift roses. My favorite tree right now is the holly for its beautiful red berries. I have several different varieties of holly trees, all with red berries. WOW!!!

    1. I am envious of your Nandina. I tried several times to bring part of my mom’s nandina to my garden but it never survived the winter. It is so beautiful in the winter. Red berries sure brighten the winter landscape! Enjoy!

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