About me

Oh you want to know more about me? How kind.

I am a 45 year old husband to my college sweetheart, father to a 10th grade boy and 6th grade girl (ouch) and with whatever time I have left over, I spend it getting my hands dirty in the garden.

I garden in zone 6B rural New Jersey (yes it exists, we are the Garden State) and have horrific draining clay soil and daily visits from the deer and rabbits. I get frustrated and defeated with these conditions yet educated and thrilled at the same time. Often within the same hour. I am partial to the ornamental grass and native perennials and love to share my thoughts and photos here with you. I also tend to go off topic a lot and when I do, it is pretty epic.

This blog was started in 2010 and if you wouldn’t mind, ignore the older posts because they are immature and unimpressive … oh who am I kidding, they’re hilarious and odd and so much further from the mature man and gardener I am today. It has been a journey and I hope you find it to be that way too.

Thanks for stopping by and kind feedback is not only encouraged, but also greatly appreciated.

John Markowski



21 thoughts on “About me

  1. Irene

    Love it! The blog, the pic, the description are all wonderful. This coming from someone who also characterizes herself as an obsessive neurotic gardener. Just two days ago, I was outside planting a bare root river birch in the dark with a head lamp in temps just above freezing with some light sprinkling rain coming down. I only have so much time before the ground freezes and so I’ll do without daylight if I need be!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Irene – see now I feel like I want to plant in the middle of the night as well. That is impressive and I love it! Let me know how that works out and thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. patricia

    Wow! thought i was the only crazy enough weeding with a flashlight after midnight. My boyfriend still laugh about it: he could’nt believe it when he first seen me doing that. Great!

  3. Christina Pongracic

    HA! My husband is an avid That Metal Show watcher…but, unfortunately, he has no interest in gardening. Have a question about the Endless Summer hydrangea. Hoping I can post it here. If not, feel free to move where appropriate: I’ve had it for about 3-4 years, and no blooms. It is in partial shade, barely any afternoon sun. Should I be fertilizing it? I don’t much care if there’s color to the blooms, I just want blooms 🙂

    Thank you!

  4. Rick

    My wife calls the garden “our therapist”…keep on keeping on! Nothing wrong with making your plot a nice looking place!!

  5. Clare

    Hiya. You sound like my kind of gardener and our kind of pipeline fighter. (You just linked to our website.) please email me and let’s connect on related projects and the northeast pipeline group we helped found!

    (And do keep up the gardening, we all need a dose of sanity!)

  6. Jon ruppert

    I am contacting you to share my Kickstarter funding project for my new Weed Snatcher tool. If you don’t mind previewing the project before it goes public, I would appreciate the feedback.

    If you like the product, please share with as many contacts you can, I need to get this funded so I can bring the Weed Snatcher to the masses. Here is the Link:

    I am planning on launching the Kickstarter on Feb 3rd.

    If you have any questions let me know.

    Thanks for your time.

  7. Leslie Pendleton

    Hi John,

    I enjoyed reading your blog about the Winter King Hawthorn trees and found the information to be very helpful and informative in planting and caring for our trees as well as knowing what to expect as they grow over time.. I just purchased two 8-10 feet trees for our bare lawn – the first purchase since moving to our new home in May. I was inspired by the many beautiful Winter King Hawthorn trees on the nearby Virginia Tech campus and was determined to one day have a few of them on my own property. :-

    Would you recommend that we protect the lower trunks of the trees by wrapping them in wire? We also have a lot of deer on our property. Thank you!!!


  8. Sheryl

    Hello, I too am fighting the Canada Thistle in my flower gardens in Michigan and I am intrigued by your blog on cutting it to the ground. For years I have been pulling them, and if that’s creating 2 for every one I pull then I see why I’m losing the battle. I’m writing wondering if you have an update as to the result of your cutting them down? If you had a good result, how long did it take until there were fewer or none? Thank You.

    1. Mary Lou more

      Have had success with homemade weed killer containing vinegar, only if they are in sun does it work. But around flowers you would need more care. I killed some of my day lilies getting at the thistles. Also diligently pulling when small and also heavy mulching. Have to get at them each and every day, they are all connected underground.

  9. Terri Mitchell

    I enjoyed your talk at the HCL early August. I wish you the best getting your book out to the green thumbs out there! I am enjoying your book and have learned a great deal! Thank you!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thanks so much Terri! I really enjoyed it and can’t thank you enough for attending and the kind words. Looking to set up another one in the near future.

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Hey Anna! Thanks so much. I actually purchased your book a few days ago and look forward to reading it as soon as it is available. I am on Goodreads but have done little with it to date.

  10. Lori Ecker

    Can you add me to your mailing list? I love your style! I’m also zone 6A, so much of you what you will write about will pertain to my garden. 😉



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