Posts in "Way to Grow"

Four Plants that Give the Most: Thanksgiving

Pine-tree-with-cone-against-blue-skies-edenmakersblog. I saw this pine tree in Joshua Tree National Park.

Today, I'm sharing a video from my "Way to Grow" series that I wrote about called  "Plants That Give the Most" in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday!

If you have any of these  four plants, give them a hug and thank them.

Bamboo, aloe vera, grapes and sunflowers contribute to our lives and well-being in countless ways.


Take a look!

Watch the short and entertaining video: Thanksgiving Gardening Special: Plants that Give the Most!




My clumping bamboo hedge is well behaved!


This beautiful, lush, green plant isn't only ideal as a privacy hedge in your zen garden, it can also be harvested for food.

You've probably tasted bamboo shoots in Chinese cuisine?

Same plant!


There isn't a stronger, more sustainable building material than bamboo.

Bamboo is also an unparalelled multi purpose plant used as construction material, in cookware, fabric for clothing, industrial applications, bio-fuel and flooring! 

Growing at an astonishing, forty-inches per day, (depending on the species), bamboo is the ultimate renewable resource.


Because of it's aggressive growth rate, many bamboo species are invasive.

Make sure to plant a "clumping" variety of bamboo in your yard or you will be responsible for colonizing your neighborhood with this phenomenal plant!


 Aloe Vera 


'Blue Elf' aloe vera plant from Monrovia plants has narrow, upright blue-gray leaves and orange flowers.


This striking succulent doesn’t ask for much; it's not fussy about soil and

subsists on little water.


In return, aloe vera earns it's space in the garden by providing  gel that can be used as tooth paste,

as a salve for burns and dried, cracked skin, as an ingredient in diabetes medicine, shampoo, and as a treatment for psoriasis.

Aloe vera is one emollient that comes with it's own fancy packaging!


Aloe Vera serves as a tonic to strengthen the immune system and is one of the few vegetarian sources of vitamin B-12.

Who knew that this unassuming, sculptural succulent could contribute such vast ingredients for our well-being!




I love my grapevine. It provides edible shade!


Grapes, or "nectar of the Gods," is a plant that blesses humanity from the moment it enters our mouths, to the time it leaves our bodies.

We love the delicious fruit it provides, the juice, the confections we make with it, the wine, the sturdy twine we craft with.

But there's also less sexy, but important applications that grapes serve.


Grapes have anti-inflammatory properties used as an ingredient in hemorroid cremes.

Sweet relief, oh grapes, you are amazing!


Grapes are pressed for wine and essential oils extracted for use in medicine, cooking, cosmetics, cleansers, and moisturizers.





Sunflowers add sunshine to the world!


More than just a pretty face, the sunflower is a significant contributor

to society. 

Sunflowers are a special in that every part of the plant can be used.

Nothing goes to waste- it's so eco-friendly!


The sunflower's seeds, flowers, leaves, stem and root all have utility. 


Sunflower seeds  offer  life-sustaining food for birds, animals and humans.

You can sprout the seeds and enjoy a nutritious meal.

Use sunflower oil in cooking, in aromatherapy, as a hair conditioner; pulverize the stems to make paper! 


The sunflower is a very important plant in industry and is grown and traded as a commodity.

I love it because it's warm, yellow face makes me smile!


What other plants are you thankful for?

Share with your fellow Eden Makers!


Happy Thanksgiving,






Scary Plants: Giant Pitcher Plant, Brugmansia, Teddy Bear Cactus


Brugmansia, Pitcher Plant and Teddy Bear Cactus are amazing works of nature that also qualify as "scary plants" because of their menacing traits!

My intention is not to discourage you from adding these plants to your garden or to encourage you to throw them away if you have them.

I just want you to be aware of the "darker side" of these plants!


I wrote the "Scary Plants" script for my "Way to Grow" series featuring newbie gardeners Ari and Emma.


Please watch this short, informative, and eye-opening video!


Scary Plants: Giant Pitcher Plant, Brugmansia and Teddy Bear Cactus




Giant Pitcher Plant  

Giant-pitcher-plant-is-carnivorous and traps prey

Nepenthes attenboroughii1. Giant Pitcher Plant



This exotic, carnivorous plant is native to the Phillipines where nature designed it to  be a meat eating machine.






Any insect, small bird or rodent who has the unfortunate experience of falling prey to the Pitcher plants fragrant but poisonous lure will testify from the grave to STAY AWAY!


The Giant pitcher plant secretes an attractive nectar, that also happens to be sticky, making it almost impossible to escape! 


Once the insect or other victim is in it's grasp, it falls through the large 11-inch flower opening into a deadly cauldron of toxic enzymes and acid where it dies and becomes plant food!




 Angel Trumpet- Brugmansia



The gorgeous, giant , trumpet-like, flower of the Brugmansia adorns many gardens and patios where it's fruity fragrance can be enjoyed closeup.


Just don't get too close because all of the Brugmansia parts are poisonous and contain the tropane alkaloid, scopolamine and atropine.


Tropain alkaloids pack a  powerful hallucinogenic and opiate effect that has been connected to scorcery and witchcraft for hundreds of years.


The BAD witch kind!




"Teddy Bear Cactus" Cylindropuntia bigelovii


Don't let the common name, "Teddy Bear"  fool you!
This is no sweet, squeezable plant.
Spoon up to this "teddy Bear" cholla cactus and you'll likely die from fatal stab wounds all over your body!
The name teddy bear comes from the "fuzzy soft" look of the plant from a distance- where you should stay!
The teddy bear cactus is covered by silvery-white spines, which are actually a form of leaf, that are one-inch long and sharp as a razor.
The plant is also highly flamable, so don't smoke when near it!
Luckily for most people, the teddy bear cactus grows wild in the southwest desert and you have to make an effort to visit there.
Not an easy plant to run into, literally!

More Scary Plants: Oleander and Monkshood!

Oleander- Nerium oleander

The scariest thing about the Oleander is that it is a popular plant that adorns many landscapes and masquerades as an innocent "pretty, flowering hedge!"
Not so!
Unsuspecting, curious kids and hungry pets have fallen prey to the glossy leaves, colorful flowers and deadly fruit that contains cardiac glycosides which leads to cardiac arrest!
Home gardener beware of the devilish Oleander!


Monkshood  is a flower with killer looks!
People have fallen in love with the Monkhood's charming and uncommon blue flower color.
Don't be a victim of a plant "fatal attraction!"  
At the end of this "Cupid's bow" is a poison found in Monkshood called aconite which is one of the most formidable poisonous substances known to man.
As a matter of fact, the Neanderthals used the toxic liquid from the tuber of the plant and smeared it onto their sharp arrowheads to kill both beasts and human beings!
Now that you are aware of some "scary plant" facts, please share this "Way to Grow" video and blog post  with a friend!
Hope you enjoyed the special "Halloween-inspired" post.
Way to Grow" Video Series

Garden designer Shirley Bovshow and her two apprentices, comedians Ariana Seigel and Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, take you through the basics with a fun Gardening 101 series.

Shirley brings the expertise; Ari and Emma bring the cluelessness.

If Shirley can teach them to garden, she can definitely teach you!

New video every Friday!

Garden Designer's Roundtable Blog Posts About "Dangerous Plants!"

Read these other articles about "dangerous plants" from members of GDRT:


Rebecca Sweet, Harmony in the Garden

Pam Penick, Digging

Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.

How to Feed Your Soil, Read a Fertilizer Label

How-to-read-fertilizer-label-and feed your soil video with Shirley Bovshow

Learn how to feed your soil and read a plant fertilizer label. Ari and Emma ("bodybuilder dudes" in this video) demonstrate how soil nutrition is similar to human nutrition.


Garden expert, Shirley Bovshow explains how soil breaks down plant nutrients, what the numbers on a fertilizer box mean and demonstrates how to properly fertilize a plant.



"Way to Garden" is a unique "gardening 101" series that blends solid gardening information and humor.

Garden designer and garden coach Shirley Bovshow shares her gardening tips and creative design ideas with two young newbie gardeners (and comedians) Ari and Emma.


Watch the complete, entertaining series and build a basic foundation for gardening and crafting from the garden!

Learn to Garden With Shirley Bovshow: “Way to Grow” Series

Way-To-Grow-Cast Digs-EdenMakers-Blog with Shirley Bovshow

It's time to learn to garden and stop watching from the sidelines!

Go ahead get your hands dirty and feet wet with my new video series, "Way to Grow!"


"Way to Grow" is a beginner gardening video series that airs on the Youtube, "Digs" channel and is produced by a company named Meredith.

Perhaps you're familiar with their uber-popular  magazine, "Better Homes and Gardens?!!"

Gardens-of-the-rich-and-famous-cast-shirley-bovshow, ariana siegel, emma tattenbaum-fine for digs channel on youtube



I was also the garden expert for season one show on Digs channel, "Gardens of the Rich and Famous."

We changed the name and focus of the garden show for season two with more of an emphasis on gardening "how-to" videos.


New videos are posted every Friday and stars comedians, Ariana Siegel and Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, two young women from New York, and myself.

These funny gals add a spark of entertainment to the series as my "clueless" gardening students!

If I can teach them to garden, you have no excuses!




New Gardeners: Learn to garden with Shirley on "WAY TO GROW" video series. Fun gardening school!


"Way to Grow" tackles  basic gardening topics including plant types, essential tools, soil basics, pest management, growing food, and creative projects from the garden using re-purposed materials.

My hope is that if you enjoy the videos, you'll embed them in your blogs and websites and share them with your gardening friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Have at it!


"Taking Care of New Plant-Baby on Way to Grow"



Enjoy the "Way to Grow" trailer video.

Video Description:

Ari and Emma are raising a little plant-baby together! Cuuute! Shirley will be back for Season 2 of Way to Grow, beginning September 14th.

Stay tuned for new videos every Friday that teach the basics of gardening and keep you up to speed on all the smartest gardening trends.

Subscribe to DIGS!

Yes, we are sillybut I bet it will help you remember some important gardening information!


"Way to Grow"  Video Segment Calendar

Friday     9/7/ 12                 Series Trailer- "Taking Care of Your New Plant-Baby on Way to Grow!"
Friday     9/14/12                "Cocktail Gardening: Grow Mint, Basil and Cilantro!"
Friday    9/21/12                 "Harvesting Artichokes Before They Flower- Garden Tip of the Day!"

Friday    9/28/12                  Top 5 Garden Tools/ Plant Basics for New Gardeners     


Friday    10/5/12                 Feeding Your Garden Soil: How to Read A Fertilizer Label             


Friday    10/12/ 12              How to Start Seeds: Gardening Tips        


Friday    10/19/1                 Garden Bugs: Good Bug vs. Bad Bug       


Friday    10/26/12               Scary Plants! (Halloween video)               


Friday    11/2/1                   Vertical Herb Garden: Build a Living Spice Rack with Repurposed Tomato Cages               


Friday    11/9/12                How to Build a Garden Terrarium: Materials, Plants, Decor          


Friday    11/16/12               Abundant Plants – Top 5 Plants That Give the Most         


Friday    11/23/12              How to Tell if Your Garden Plant is Dead: Common Plant Misdiagnosis     


Friday    11/30/12              Garden Plants with Benefits: Interesting Plant Facts       


Friday    12/7/2012             How to Make a Miniature and Fairy Garden: Container Garden Design Ideas     


Friday    12/14/2012           Make a Living, Succulent Tapestry Pillow by Shirley Bovshow: Garden Craft     


Friday    12/21/2012            Five Easy Dwarf Fruit Trees to Grow in Containers: Small Space Gardens              


Friday    12/28/2012            How to Shop at a Garden Center for New Gardeners      



I'll be posting new videos from "Way to Grow" here, so subscribe to my blog, EdenMakers AND, subscribe to the Digs Channel on Youtube!


Happy Gardening.