I am Ellen, and this is Frippy, one of my Cinco Perros.  I am a gardener, a musician, a dabbler in the arts and crafts, and an animal lover.  This blog is a collection of ideas and observations of the natural world we live in.  I offer up helpful hints and plans to be used in your own backyards.  Years back, I became a Master Gardener.  I have worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, volunteered at Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, and grown an acre of tropical paradise in Puerto Rico. Now, I am back on the mainland, on a woodland acre in the country setting of Barrington Hills, Illinois.  I continue my journey with plants and nature with gusto.  I aspire to live with the natural world, allowing native plants to fill my grass while helping the local ecosystem thrive.  This is a home, my natural landscape along with my ornamental, veggie, and herb beds.  A garden is a place we can play in to nourish the soul,  build the soil, and protect the world around us.  I have had the pleasure of working on a multitude of different home gardens, and I look forward to helping you enhance yours. 

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