Liv Fruitful with Livi Lou! She is currently breeding strawberries, developing a garden product, trialing plants and researching the history of heirloom fruit varieties. She writes about unique perennials and fruit plants, so that you can grow an ornamental fruit garden.


Spring Annuals & Perennials
by Livi Lou - posted 05/01/17

Spring is a breath of fresh air! Once again the air is perfumed with plant life.  Each day becomes warmer and greener. And, of course, it is time to add new additions to the garden. 

The new additions to Livi Lou Garden are more heirloom peach trees, including the red flesh peach, and new sedum varieties.  This Summer Liv Fruitful videos will return to our YouTube channel, featuring Bushel & Berry Babycakes and some other unique berries.  This Fall I will be returning to Hocking Hills Orchard for our Liv Local videos about heirloom and unique apple varieties. Derek Mills of Hocking Hills Orchard says this may be one of their best years yet! A lot of apple trees are in bloom and some are already starting to form apples. 

I am also coming closer to finalizing my garden product, which completely protects your garden bed from furry and feathered foes. It feels good to know you get the chance to harvest every tomato and every strawberry you see growing!

Until then, please enjoy these springtime photos from Livi Lou Garden.

Lilacs have such a short bloomtime, but the fragrance perfumes the air. They are also great to bring indoors as a vase cutting. 


Every spring, I enjoy annual flower shopping at my local nursery.  I always find some eye catching petunia varieties to put on the porch contianers to be enjoyed close-up. 

I know there are a lot of basil varieties, but this was the first time I saw this crinkly, large leaf variety at my local nursery.  

Enjoy your Spring!


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What’s the shuck?
by Livi Lou - posted 03/31/17

It is early spring and you are eager to know whether or not to expect fruit this summer. How do you tell if your stone-fruit tree has been pollinated?

Petal drop is not the most accurate way to determine proper pollination.  The best indicator is whether the shuck has split.

What's the shuck?

The shuck refers to the sepals that hold the anthers and petals.  As the fruit starts to form, it will split the shuck and the shuck will eventually fall off.  You can check out my previous peach formation, photo-timeline here.   Below is my new heirloom apricot tree blossoming, shedding the shuck and growing an apricot for the first time!

Above: Apricot is blooming in the foreground with peach and plum in the background.


Above: The shuck is starting to split as the apricot begins to grow.


Above: Photo taken yesterday of the apricot growing.


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The Emotional Benefit of Trees
by Livi Lou - posted 03/19/17

It’s a hot summer’s day and you’re walking through the neighborhood. One section seems barren and the sun too strong, and then, by stark contrast, you turn onto a street with mature trees and beautiful dappled shade as if the street were a Monet painting.

There are numerous benefits to trees and you’ve probably heard the list repeated, but I’d like to point out the emotional benefit of trees. 

Some data suggests that trees foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods. The natural scenery and shade created by trees are spaces that attract people. When people are drawn to spaces with trees, they are more likely to see and interact with their neighbors, and become friends. Some even suggest that trees may reduce levels of domestic violence.

Could this be a chicken or the egg situation? Do the trees literally make the neighborhood safer or do the trees attract home buyers willing to pay more for a home along a shady, natural setting?

Either way, planting a tree can increase the value of your home, because home buyers prefer to live with trees, and the demand will increase the worth of your home. If you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, you might as well still plant some trees as a benefit to yourself.  

You will feel happy seeing and being in an outdoor space with tall, stoic Norwegian Spruce trees frosted with snow in the winter, Cleveland Pears blooming in the spring, birch trees with their leaves glinting in the summer sun and Red Maples ablaze with glorious red in autumn.

The Arbor Day Foundation
gives 10 free trees that are suited to your locality when you become a member ($10). That’s an easy way to get some trees! Whether you go for the free trees or choose to purchase more mature trees, you need to make sure they get the best start in their new location. 

A landscaper can help with placement of the plantings to give your property the best aesthetics, and a certified arborist can make sure to get the tree off to the best start. March is a good time to plant trees; the soil is fresh and the trees still dormant. So what are you waiting for? Get growing, be happy!



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