I am sharing with you a few of my favorite close-up flower photographs this week.

Here is one that brightens up my garden summer and into early fall…

It is hard to find a flower that grows so large and that is easy to grow.
I plant mine from seed each spring and then plant a second crop in mid-summer.
Did you know that you can make a bird feeder and shade tomatoes using sunflowers?
Now for the winner of the book, Hellstrip Gardening…
And the randomly picked winner is….

Liza who blogs at “Good to Grow

Thanks to all of you who entered.  I highly recommend getting a copy for yourselves and transforming your garden.

*Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in return for my honest have a narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and the curb? 

Do you have a narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and the curb? Many people do.

Have you ever looked at this area as an extension of your garden?  Oftentimes people ignore this strip of land that is often planted with a struggling lawn, overgrown tree or nothing at all.
What if people could see this often ignored area as an opportunity to increase curb appeal by adding attractive plants.  
Landscaping this area would also help your property to look larger.
This curbside bed was planted with a combination of edible and ornamental plants, which I think looked just lovely with the contrasting shapes and shades.
It was an unexpected sight in an area where there would usually be a patch of grass growing instead.
This is just one example of what you could plant in the area between the sidewalk and curb – referred to as a “hellstrip” by Evelyn Hadden, the author of “Hellstrip Gardening”.
As a child, I remember the beautiful roses we had growing in our hellstrip in front of our California home.  My dad was so proud of his roses and we would often cut off the perfect bloom to give to our teacher. 
I have been wanting to get my hands of Evelyn’s new book for a while now and was so excited to get the opportunity to review it.
The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and great ideas for creating beauty through plants in this strip of land that many of us have.
From edible gardens, perennial beds, pollination & hummingbird gardens – the possibilities are endless.  Suggestions for ground covers, trees as well as simply stunning creations using only 2 different types of plants make me wish that I had a hellstrip in front of my house.
In addition to examples of existing hellstrip gardens, the author also talks about certain challenges to growing plants in this area that is so close to the curb including utilities, easements, HOA’s, de-icing salts and more.
“Hellstrip Gardening” doesn’t restrict itself to the narrow strips of land between the sidewalk and curb, it also inspires the reader with ideas of landscaping similar areas around our homes and businesses.
Even if you do not have a hellstrip, you will get a lot out of reading this book.  I plan on using some of the ideas when I redesign our back garden this winter.
Timber Press, is hosting a Hellstrip Contest where you can win a $250 nursery gift card and a copy of the book.
Click here to enter for your chance to win.  
The contest closes July 6th.
**It gets even better!  The publishers from Timber Press will give away a copy of “Hellstrip Gardening” to one of my readers.
All you need to do is leave a comment – that’s it!
I’ll reveal the winner on July 10th.
Good Luck!

*I was provided a copy of this book free of charge for my honest review.