This summer my sister had a brilliant idea.

I’ll just start with that because I am pretty sure we can all hear her giggle over me saying she had a brilliant idea.  There it is, sis, for all the world to see.

“Let’s do a sister garden!” she suggested.

My sister has grand ideas, it’s why I love her, but this grand idea sounded like a LOT of work to me.

We decided to have our sister gardens off our back porches.  Both of us had a spot we could use – an unused don’t know what to do with it spot off the back porch.  Both of us love to sit on our back porches.  It totally made sense!

My garden was covered in Rose of Sharon bushes.  Now Rose of Sharon bushes are lovely, until you don’t want them.  Then they are basically a hybrid evil bad guy and you need the entire force of the Avengers to get them out.  Or a teenage son who found out his girlfriend would like to grow Rose of Sharon, then you get them removed pretty quickly.

Image may contain: plant, tree, grass, outdoor and natureImage may contain: plant, tree, grass, outdoor and natureImage may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

This is how we made our Sister Garden…

We grew exactly the same thing in each garden.  For instance, if I went to the farmers market and found a swirling butterfly plant, I buy two.  One for me, one for my sister.  If my sister is digging up bee balm, she makes sure that we have the same amounts for our garden.  My expert gardening neighbor heard what we were up to and when he would split plants, he would split them in two.  I have awesome neighbors.  We planted all perennials.


I had a rogue sunflower and some cosmos that came up.  That sunflower was HUGE and I waited to cut the blooms until my sister was here so we could make bouquets out of them.



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Some flowers from around the house. No filters necessary! #lovesummer #gardening

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I really wanted to try Dahlias this year so I had my sister pick three and then I went and got them (so six total) from Three Acre Farm in Byron Center.  Dahlias need to be dug up after the first hard frost, stored through the winter, divided in the spring and replanted.  The dahlias we planted have been my absolute freak out with joy plant this year.

I wish I had a picture of my sister’s garden as well, but I don’t.  She was fighting a rose bush that basically is like a Rose of Sharon bush it sounds like.  Then her garden was infested with poison ivy.  And she has a one year old.  Have I given you a good enough description of what she is fighting over there?  So next year we will get some photos!

However, here is an adorable photo of her baby.  He seems to think that my garden is nicer than his mom’s (come on, we are sisters! I had to get this jab in!).


I made a video of my garden this year because I wanted to show it off.  It gives you a pretty good idea of what we did better than all my words could.

Here is that video:

What I need to know now is…

Wait, first I need to say that the red flower is an Autumn Sedum, not Yarrow.  My sister has already corrected me.

Okay, what I need to know now is….

What would you suggest to plant in our gardens next year?

What would you suggest for staking the Dahlias?

Do you have some garden tips?

How do you mark your plants so you know what they are so you don’t call an autumn sedum a yarrow on a published youtube video?

Give me all your ideas because oh my goodness, this was SO MUCH FUN.  I have a sneaky suspicion next year I will be all “how did we think THAT was so awesome.  Look at it NOW!”

I know this for sure.  This little Sister Garden has brought more joy to me and my sister this year then we even ever dreamed it could.  We have compared them, we have been surprised over them, we have giggled over them, we have made flower friends now because of it, it has been just a surprising over abundance of joy.

I think you should grab your sister, or anyone you love, and do the same.  Start planning it now!  And let me know if you do.


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