Designing and Revitalizing a Garden in a New Home
Play • 1 hr 6 min

2020 had us all looking at our homes and asking ourselves if our current lifestyles were truly working for us or if it was time for a change. Billy and I desired more space, more nature, and a new opportunity to grow, which is why we moved upstate. An interesting question rose up when we moved and stared at our new surroundings and new gardening zone with a bit of overwhelm: now what? I've heard this question from so many members of our community who also made a big move, purchased a new home, and are looking at their new landscapes with wide eyes and lots of questions.

In this episode, I invited Stephen Orr, editor of one of my favorite magazines and a gardener going through this process himself, to join me for a conversation about his journey to rejuvenating and experimenting with his new garden, or gardens, in his new home in Cape Cod. Can't wait to learn with you!

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In this episode we learn:

  • [00:00:57] Introducing Stephen
  • [00:05:20] Why Maria is obsessed with Better Homes and Gardens
  • [00:06:30] How Stephen’s parents influenced him to be a plant person
  • [00:09:42] Popular houseplants in the 70s according to Stephen’s mom’s collection
  • [00:15:16] Why it’s important to identify the soil type in your garden
  • [00:17:35] Animal pressure and other factors to consider when looking for a new home with a garden
  • [00:20:01] How to prepare your new garden for the seasons
  • [00:22:13] Know which plants work best for your garden through your neighborhood
  • [00:23:44] How to preserve old gardens and rejuvenate lilacs
  • [00:25:27] Things to keep in mind when moving into a house with history
  • [00:27:03] Where to get efficient and stylish grow lights for your home
  • [00:28:21] How to have garlic all year round
  • [00:29:54] How to transform a sandy area into a gravel garden
  • [00:32:07] The best plants for seaside gardens
  • [00:32:58] How to train plants to thrive in difficult conditions
  • [00:35:51] Conducting your own garden research
  • [00:37:06] Where to begin when starting a new garden in a new home
  • [00:38:44] Common mistakes new homeowners make with their garden
  • [00:39:41] How to avoid new home overwhelm
  • [00:41:29] Stephen’s garden experiments: raised beds and a mini meadow
  • [00:46:01] How to do seed sowing successfully
  • [00:48:33] Checking your soil on your first year gardening
  • [00:50:10] How to rejuvenate your flowering plants
  • [00:52:33] What NOT to do on your first gardening year
  • [00:53:47] Stephen’s recommended culinary herbs to plant in your garden
  • [01:00:46] Stephen shares a nice little note about being Better Homes and Gardens editor
  • [01:04:00] Maria’s BIG news!

Mentioned in our conversation:

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

SolTech Solutions

Soltech Solutions recently launched the Greenfi bundle with their new Vita LED Grow Bulb: a bulb that screws into any light fixture. Greenfit your home and get four Vita Grow Light Bulbs for the price of 3, no coupon code necessary! Head over to and check out their bundles of lights and lighting accessories for up to 20% off!

Territorial Seed Company

Territorial Seed Co provides high-quality seeds and plants (over 2000 varieties) that are tried and tested on their 75-acre farm and have a ton of fall varieties for us to try! Most of us think of the gardening season as spring and summer, but with the right timing and varieties for your location, you can grow year-round! Territorial Seed Company carries lots of varieties to start in summer and harvest in late fall, winter, and even over winter. For seeds, plants, online garden planner, how-to videos and more, visit and use code BLOOM10 for 10% off on your first order.

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Buy Stephen's books: Tomorrow's Garden and the The New American Herbal,

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