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Displaying 5 - 8 of 11 entries.

Spring is Here!

  • Posted on March 19, 2012 at 5:33 am

Well.. March 19, 2012.. as crazy as it sounds, Spring seems to be here to stay.  I was out gardening all weekend and the weather was just beautiful.  I saw bees (honey, bumble and mason bees checking out the flowers).  There were butterflies of various colorations, wasps and even ‘gasp’… ticks!

Then last night, when I was out in the hot tub, I saw this lovely moth…. so I snapped a pic for you.

Iridescent Moth

Iridescent Moth

No telling what the weather will be for the rest of the year, but the next 10 days are definitely ‘Spring has Sprung’!

Have a great day… Hugs, Ellen

Blue Daze – Evolvulus glomeratus

  • Posted on March 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

I have fallen in love with this beautiful plant – Blue Daze! Evolvulus glomeratus – Blue Daze is a native of Brazil and Paraguay.  An evergreen ‘subshrub’, it grows in a low, spreading mound (up to 2-3′ in diameter, but no more than 1′ tall).  The stems become woody as they age and the leaves and stems are covered with a light gray fuzz.

Blue Daze

Blue Daze

Blue Daze blooms profusely and almost continuously, but each flower only lasts a day, opening in the morning and closing by the afternoon.  The blooms are the most beautiful shade of blue.  Hardy in zones 8-11, this plant like it HOT and full sun!  In areas of frost, either bring the container inside or plant in the garden as an annual.

Blue Daze makes a spectacular hanging basket, I have several of them hanging outside, stop by and see them soon!

Have a great week…  Hugs, Ellen

Riverswood Plants and Specialty Herbs – Coming Soon

  • Posted on March 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Disclaimer:  I had my Arkansas Plant Inspector stop by today and approve my plants.  As soon as I get my nursery license I’ll be ready to sell wonderful fresh herbs and gorgeous plants, I’m so excited!!!  I let you know as soon as I’m ready!



Ellen Crane’s Specialty Herbs and Plants, Dardanelle, Arkansas

Hidden away on the shores of Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas, Riverswood Nursery will be opening Spring of 2012.  A small, family-owned nursery, we will be featuring specialty and heirloom herbs and vegetable plants, bonsais (and starter bonsai plants) , tropicals, blooming annuals and perennials, most of which attract, feed and nurture bees and hummingbirds.

Ornamental landscape perennials in 1 gallon pots are available at the blow-out price of $4.97, as well as larger sizes.  Our veggie plants and our specialty herbs (culinary, medicinal and aromatic) will be available in several sizes of pots for your containers and gardens.

If you’re looking for specialty/heirloom herbs or vegetables plants,  or cut herbs you cant find anywhere else, let me know and if I don’t have it, I can probably grow them for you.  I’ll have varieties of basils, rosemary, sages, chives, dill, lavender, bee balm, mints and lots more.  Tell me your favorite herb… I might already be growing it or I might want to grow it.

Tropicals include hibiscus, jasmines, glorybower and butterfly flower plant and more.

Perennial shrubs and trees include dogwoods, lilacs, willows, butterfly bushes/buddleia, gardenia, hydrangeas, crape myrtle, loropetalum, spirea, with more varieties coming every day.

We also have some great Japanese Maples coming soon for your landscaping and ‘pre-bonsai/bonsai’ needs.

The website store is, and is coming very soon.  check back here for the newest arrivals and any specials and herb recipies.

Look for me at the local farmer’s markets from April thru October.  Drop me an email at and let’s talk awesome plants and tasty herbs.

Have a great day,

Ellen Crane – Specialty Nursery – Zone 7b
Currently by appointment only April thru October
Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas


Red Shiso (Perilla Frutescens)

  • Posted on February 22, 2012 at 6:00 am
Red Shiso

Red Shiso

I’ve found a new herb that I love…. Shiso!  Shiso can be red or green (I need to start some green for a taste test and I’ve also found a variety that is a green leaf with a red underside), but the red has a slight anise flavor and they say it’s a bit less spicy than the green, which tastes more like cinnamon.  The leaves are rich in iron and calcium but are used for seasoning, coloring, pickling and garnishing. Shiso leaves can be used whole or cut into strips. Use the flower buds by collecting the seeds at the end of the season to sprinkle on salad and rice. The Japanese, in particular, use the red variety to color umeboshi and pickled ginger. Perilla seeds form an essential part of the famous seven spices of Japan, which originated more than 300 years ago in Kyoto. Green perilla leaves are often wrapped around sushi or served with “sashimi” as a garnish. They also are added to soups, tempura or dried and sprinkled over rice. Japanese chefs add red perilla to tofu or bean curd dishes or use it wrapped around pieces of meat.

Have you got a recipe using Shiso?  If so, please share it with me.

Hugs, Ellen


By the way – do you have a favorite herb?  If so, what is it?