Category: Giveaways

Eco Garden System

I get pitched a lot of items as a garden blogger. Over the past 7 years, I’ve been offered  mosquito repellents, kink-less hoses and ostrich fertilizer. While I appreciate the passion and innovation of these start-ups, I almost always pass on accepting samples and a subsequent review. I like to think I’m a blogger with some integrity and many of these products don’t fit with who I am so I happily pass on the freebie.

But every once in a while an opportunity presents itself that is too good to pass up. A product that sells itself within seconds. A product that fits right in my wheel house. A product where I can’t say “yes please” fast enough.

The Eco Garden System is one of those products.

I was ridiculously fortunate to be given an Eco Garden System (“Original Garden”) for a trial and while it is too early to provide a full review, I can say the early votes are in and they are all extremely positive.

eco garden system

As you can see, this is a raised platform planter with so much more than meets the eye. Here are just some of the details:

  • The Eco Garden System is made out of recycled “food contact grade plastic” which means there is no leaching from wood, no contaminants and should provide more longevity than that of a wooden planter.
  • There is a water reservoir at the bottom of the planter and it is separated from the soil through a plant soil platform. This reservoir collects rain water so no water ever goes to waste.

eco garden system

  • The separation of the water reservoir from the soil and ultimately the roots of the plants above, creates a desired “air gap”. This air gap allegedly leads to “super growth” as the roots hang in the gap, absorb the maximum amount of oxygen and thrive with all of the moisture.
  • The water reservoir actually warms the soil temp above which allows for a longer growing season.
  • If the water reservoir becomes too full, there is a drain at the bottom of the planter to allow for excess water to be disposed.

  • If the water supply dwindles, you simply hook up a hose and fill the reservoir. Easy peasy.


I received mine a few weeks back and couldn’t wait to open the box and get to work.

Now if you know me, I’m kind of horrendous at all things DIY. That includes putting anything together. When the need calls, I always call my brother-in-law and beg for his guidance.

But not this time.

I did it all myself.

And while I’d love to pump myself up and tell you how proud I was of my accomplishment, the truth is it couldn’t have been any easier.

This is all I had to do a few times.

eco garden system

It took about 45 minutes to complete the assembly and I didn’t have to go back and correct myself at the very end.

Go me.

Once it was built, I found level ground in the garden and my new planter had a home.

I followed the suggestion on the website and filled the planter with a 4 to 1 ratio of organic garden soil and peat moss for moisture retention.

Since we are in the early stages of fall, I dug up some of my cold season veggie seeds and planted them in my shiny new planter.

And now we wait.

While I’m excited to see the seedlings emerge, I’m most excited to create a cut flower garden next spring.

So what do you think?

I’ll be working closely with this company moving forward and will see what we can do in terms of a giveaway/contest/discount.

More fun to come.







Book and Plant Giveaway

Want to win a copy of my new book, “Perennials Through the Seasons”?

I know, deep breaths, it’s a bit overwhelming.

But what if I up the ante? What if I throw in 5 plants from my absolute favorite online purveyor of plants, Santa Rosa Gardens?

I know, dreams do come true.

So in addition to my awe inspiring book (which I will sign and personally inscribe), the winners (2 in total) will also receive the following 5 plants, all of which inspired the book:

Veronica ‘Royal Candles’

Eupatorium ‘Baby Joe’

Helenium Mariachi ‘Fuego’

Monarda Bee-You ‘Bee-Free’

Echinacea Big Sky ‘Sunrise’ 

I highly suggest clicking on each of the plant names above to see photos of these beauties.

All that’s required to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment on this post.

If for some reason you have an issue leaving a comment, please send me an email at There have been issues for some of you lately and I’m still working with WordPress to address the issue.

The contest will run through Monday May 1, 9:00 PM EST. Winners, chosen at random, will be announced at that time.

Contestants must live within the continental U.S.

Good luck.


Ames contest winner

And the winner of the Ames New Homeowner Collection is …


The random generator at picked #9 so I chose the 9th commenter on the original post.

Congratulations Ken and please send me your mailing address at:

Thank you all for your participation and we’ll do this again soon.




Ames product review and giveaway

Ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be awesome.

I was extremely fortunate to be contacted by Ames, the legendary garden tool company, about providing a tool giveaway this spring. To say I was all jacked up is an understatement.

Over the years I’ve often been approached by companies looking for me to pimp their product. I’ve made it a point to be ultra selective along the way. I could write a fascinating post about all that I’ve turned down.

But when something like this comes along, you raise both hands and say “yes please”.  And not only do I get a chance to review and use these tools, but I get a chance to give these away to one of you as well. That is known as a win,win, win.

So without further ado, here is the “New Homeowner Collection” from Ames I’ll be giving away today:

Ames review and giveaway

This collection has everything the new homeowner/gardener needs to complete all of the basic gardening tasks.

But before I get to the specifics of the contest, I want to share my thoughts on each of these tools as I have had a chance to take them all for a test drive. So let’s walk through each of the six items one by one.

Collector Series Steel Handle 26 in. Poly Leaf Rake

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This rake features an innovative head and large basket design to help gather more leaves in less time.  With its unique design, all tines are in contact with the ground at one time, so leaves are collected quickly and efficiently.

If you know me, I love my ornamental grasses as much as my children and it can be a nightmare trying to cut them all down (the grasses that is) to the ground in spring. The clean up is a long and arduous task and I’m still working on it as we speak.

This was the perfect opportunity to trial this rake for the grass clippings clean-up.

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Typically with other rakes I find that half of the dead foliage is left behind with each stroke of the rake. Not with this one. It was an easy clean-up and I was immediately sold on the effectiveness of this rake.

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Garden Spade

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This Ames border spade is ideal for creating defined landscape borders and can also be used for digging and transplanting trees and shrubs.

I am terrible with creating nice and clean edgings on the borders of all of my garden beds. I am not a fan of using any type of material as I like the more natural look of bed spilling into lawn. I tend to treat the edgings as less of a priority and then sit back and kick myself when the beds look great but the edging looks sloppy.

No more I say. Time to attend to this task on a regular basis. Out came the new spade and the messy bed line shown below …

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… became this with the greatest of ease. Seriously, it could not have been done with any less effort. The spade easily cut through the sod and withstood my massive boots and 6 ft. 3 in/220 lb frame.

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Ergo Gel Grip Hand Trowel

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The ergo gel grip hand trowel is used for planting, transplanting, weeding, moving, and smoothing soil. The trowel features an ergonomic handle design with a soft gel-grip insert that cushions the hand and provides maximum comfort. The blade is made of strong stainless steel for the most durability.

There is no tool I use more than a trowel. I am constantly ordering plants on the smaller size from online retailers and therefore spend a ton of time planting said plants. This would be the perfect timing for a test run as I just received a shipment of plants this week.

A sweet Sambucus ‘Lemony Lace’ was ready to be introduced to its new home (until I move it again).

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It is quite common for me to come across rocks of all shapes and sizes when planting. I’ve even had to go to the emergency room after trying to remove one (long story). So wouldn’t you know it, there was a stone in my way while planting the Sambucus.

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The trowel was strong enough to toss that rock aside like it was nothing and I must say, the gel grip felt awfully nice on my manly yet delicate hands. Planting was a piece of cake.

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Ergo Gel Grip Hand Transplanter

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The ergo gel grip hand transplanter is used for planting seeds and transplanting seedlings into planters or small beds. The tool head includes a measurement scale to guide you in creating depth levels for planting. The tool can also be used for dividing and transplanting perennials. The transplanter features an ergonomic handle design with a soft gel-grip insert that cushions the hand and provides maximum comfort. The blade is made of strong stainless steel for the most durability.

Yes to all of the above, but for me I knew right away what I would use it for most …  weed removal. That pointy head is perfect for piercing the soil and “popping out” the millions of weeds I remove by hand each spring/summer.

In she went:

Ames review and giveaway

… and out popped the good old dandelion.

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16-Tine Welded Bow Rake

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The Ames bow rake is designed to loosen and level soil. The 16 steel tines work hard to break up hard compacted soil or mulch and spread the material evenly. It is of good value to homeowners with smaller landscaping and gardening requirements.

One of my many spring tasks is to break up the existing mulch with a rake not only so it will look all pretty but to also allow for water to seep on through. So out came the rake …

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… and the mulch was successfully and easily raked through.

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I love the feel of this rake. Lightweight yet strong and seriously the best one I’ve ever used.


Long Wood Handle Round Point Shovel

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This tool is durable and dependable to be utilized for general lawn and garden work. It is the most basic garden tool with a tempered steel blade suitable for digging, planting, cutting sod, and small roots.

I can’t count the number of ways I’ve already used this shovel but just know it feels indestructible. And that is good. I absolutely love the “comfort step” as seen below as it allowed me to really dig in when I was digging out an ornamental grass for division purposes.

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This tool will not be leaving my side for the foreseeable future.

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And yes ladies and gents, this entire collection can be yours. It is as simple as leaving a comment on this post. The comment can be about your excitement level for this contest, how much you love the spring, how my gardening skills are like no other or simply leave your name and say “I want in.”

Here are the Terms & Conditions:

The AMES Spring Tool Giveaway begins Wednesday April 22nd and ends 6:00 PM on Saturday May 2nd. AMES will send the winner the set of 6 tools listed above once the winner and winner’s shipping address are confirmed. The winner will be announced within 24 hours of the contest closure. Entrants must be 18 years or older and live in the United States. All methods of entry are 100% optional.

And that is it. You know you want in. Do it now.

Disclosure: I received free tools from AMES in exchange for writing a tool review and for the opportunity to give something back to my readers. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and are in no way influenced by AMES.

$100 giveaway to Santa Rosa Gardens

To celebrate me and how awesome I am, I am looking to give away a $100 gift card to Santa Rosa Gardens.


As I have mentioned numerous times in the past, Santa Rosa has provided close to half of the ornamental grasses currently residing in my garden. Their plants are ALWAYS shipped perfectly and timely and me thinks you will love the huge variety they have to offer.

In order to enter, simply leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, and tell me the one plant you would like to acquire from Santa Rosa Gardens. I will pick a random winner from all of those who comment.

A few additional details:

  • The contest will run from now until next Wednesday night, February 18th at 9:00 PM
  • The winner will be announced on the blog later that night
  • The winner will receive the gift card via email directly from Santa Rosa Gardens
  • Only those in the United States are eligible

Good luck!

And the winner is …

After randomly picking a number through, I have selected the winner of the Santa Rosa Gardens $100 gift card.

And that winner is …

Wait for it …

Wait for it …

Wait for it …

“Larkspur” wins the $100 to Santa Rosa Gardens. Big congrats!

All I need you to do is send your email address to and I’ll get the gift certificate sent out to you right away.

Thank you to all who left comments. We’ll do this again soon.

Win $100 to Santa Rosa Gardens (revised)

I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong.

Specifically, man enough to admit that a gardening game show/podcast ain’t the best idea in the world (but it WILL be revisited in the future).

There was not one response to my idea from last Wednesday, so time for a reboot. I still have that $100 gift card burning a hole in my pocket and I need to give it away to one of you. So here’s the deal.

Simply leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, telling me the one plant you would like to acquire from Santa Rosa Gardens and I will pick a random winner from all of those who comment. A few additional details:

  • The contest will run from now until Sunday night, February 23rd at 9:00 PM
  • The winner will be announced on the blog later that night 
  • The winner will receive the gift card via email directly from Santa Rosa Gardens
  • Only those in the United States are eligible

So let’s try this again, shall we?         

Who wants to win $100 to Santa Rosa Gardens?

For an upcoming podcast, I am temporarily converting it into a “Gardening Game Show”.

Yeah you heard me. Who wants in?

I will be narrowing down all entrants to three lucky contestants who will join my podcast/game show and answer gardening/plant trivia questions with the winner taking home the grand prize of a $100 gift certificate to Santa Rosa Gardens.

To be eligible to win, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post indicating what one plant you would like to acquire from Santa Rosa Gardens. To see their full plant listing, click here.    

Entrants must reside in the Unites States and the gift certificate can be delivered to the winner via email or a hard copy can be sent via the USPS.

The contest will run from right now until 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, February 18th. The three finalists will be randomly chosen at that time and will be announced on the blog soon after.

Once the three finalists have been chosen, I will send out further details on the date and time of the show, the nature of the trivia questions and the specific rules.  

So enter now and get in on the good times!