filet beans

Barbara Pleasant

                                                                    Garden Writer

January 2017

Last year got rough in a few places, but now we have a new year bursting with possibilities. 

Like my amaryllis, which I have had for years and run late on purpose. In my climate, there is this awkward time after the plants bloom, but before it's safe to put them outside, and I like keeping that time window short. My amaryllis bulbs spend the summer outside in the shady pachysandra bed, where they get two hours of midday sun, and they are so very happy. This year, after they bloom in late February and March, I will separate off several two-year-old pups into their own pots. After a summer outdoors, well, I'm hoping for some independent amaryllis blooms.

Bigger news: My new book, Homegrown Pantry, will be out in late March. The team at Storey Publishing has worked hard to create a truly wonderful volume, brought to life by the awesome photgraphy of Kip Dawkins. It's almost ready to go to the printer, and I am so excited to share my lifetime of gardening, cooking and preservation of delicious things to eat. 

Looking for something I’ve written, but can’t remember where? I know the feeling! In attempt to bring order to the chaos of hundreds of articles and blogs, I’ve set up Pinterest boards of my work. The categories range from permaculture and pollinators to growing onions and garlic. I hope you find my Pinterest guide easy to use and more enjoyable than reading through long lists.

To keep up with my new work as it comes, follow me on


To learn more about pretty prayer plants (red marantas), see my Maranta information page for tips and trivia.

Explore My Gardens

Click around to learn more about my books, blogs, lectures, and of course my garden!  By the time you move on, I hope you feel inspired to garden a little more, and have a great time doing it.
Here are some timely suggestions:




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Thank you, Garden Writers!


Recently I received word that both my long-running Gardening Know How column in Mother Earth News and my GrowVeg Blog won Silver Awards of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association. I must be doing something right, among them working with the great creative teams. I am especially grateful to Cheryl Long, editor-in-chief at Mother Earth News, whose gardening passions run as deep as mine, and to Jeremy Dore at GrowVeg, who never runs out of great new ideas.

Blue Ridge mountainsei
Coming in March 2017!


Floyd, VA, USA

Near Roanoke on the

Blue Ridge Parkway

cat with hollyhocks
Magnus, who bears a family name from my Swedish ancestors