The Charmed Garden

From Planning to Planting, and from Harvest to Table.

Some Assembly (and Patience) Required

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The past few weeks here in Oak Lawn, a south suburb of Chicago, have been a gardening challenge to say the least. We’ve had cold rain during the day,  started our day with snow on the grass and frozen to our cars, and just enough sun in the mid day to taunt us. But still, we garden.

In late March I put our onion sets in one of our raised beds because our garden chart said I could. Then holy crap we had the one of the coldest, crappiest springs on record. I did not check my onions until today, and I was pleasantly surprised. They’re hardy little buggers.  I should have covered them with a freeze blanket, some mulch, or even the clippings from the perennial grasses that we cut back in spring. Couldn’t have been any easier to do because the biggest grass is right there, literally at the end of the veggie garden. But I did not.

Here’s a nice little, dirt filled, before and after.  Yea! 🙂  I put them in and literally did nothing else.  I am recommending this method to everyone. Plant and forget. At least for onions.

Working outside in the cold damp weather this past month called for more than a glass of red wine or hot cup of tea to warm us up. This recipe for Mushroom Barley soup is just the ticket. After a day working outside, your runny nose and stiff limbs will thank you.


This is truly one of the easiest soup recipes. You need only shop, chop and assemble.  Check out the recipe on the Charmed Eats  (aka Charmed Kitchen).

Today the sun finally came out in earnest and we rejoiced.


Author: Laurine M. Byrne

I received my certification as a Landscape Designer from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and I received my horticulture education through classes at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois and through the master gardener program at Univ of Illinois Extension. In my designs, I love mixing veggies and herbs with native perennials and flowering bushes as you can see from the pictures of my own yard. I love creating gardens for people who like to garden, not just installing traditional landscaping, but actually creating gardens that the homeowner connects to personally. I love that my clients who thought they couldn't grow anything now have green thumbs, because all it takes is the right plant in the right site. And I really love that my clients become my friends in the process of creating their gardens.

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