Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

About Jen & This Blog

Photo credit: Rob McGuinness

Welcome to the world of Frau Zinnie!

I began regularly blogging as Frau Zinnie in 2011. (It translates to Mrs. Zinnia — bet you now know what my favorite flower is.)

Here you will find my writing, photography and personal gardening experiences in my Connecticut, U.S. garden, along with interviews with garden experts. I follow organic gardening methods and grow both ornamental and edible plants. I like to experiment with growing compact and dwarf edibles in containers. Each year I incorporate more pollinator-friendly varieties, in addition to including more native plants to provide food for the songbirds in the garden. 

Gardening books!

Many of the plants I grow are included in my second gardening book, "Bird Friendly Gardening," which is set to be published on March 19, 2024 by Cool Springs Press/Quarto Knows! Read more about the upcoming book, here.

In April 2021 my first gardening book, "Micro Food Gardening: Project Plans and Plants for Growing Fruits and Veggies in Tiny Spaces," will be published by Cool Springs Press/Quarto Knows. It features 30 projects that are examples of how you can grow food in the smallest of spaces. It also includes everything you need to be successful with these projects — such as tips about soil, lighting and watering — things you might not know if you are new to gardening. I hope "Micro Food Gardening" gets people excited about gardening, no matter what their skill level or expertise. (More info on the release, here.)

When I am not in the garden, I work in the communications field as a writer and editor and I am a professional photographer, too (samples of my photography can be found here). I am also available for gardening lectures for garden clubs and the community.

In spring 2022, I completed the Home Horticulture Certificate program via the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension. In 2017, I had the amazing opportunity to go to California as a #NGBPlantNerd, where I learned a ton about the seed industry. I have been a trial grower for J. Berry Nursery, Proven Winners, Park Seed, Burpee, Darwin Perennials and PanAmerican Seeds and a product tester for the Eco Garden Systems, Tertill and the POTEY heated birdbath. Any plants and/or products that I receive for review purposes are noted on the blog. 

I am also an Epic Gardening Ambassador and I have a newly created Amazon Influencer Storefront featuring products I have purchased and use.

A little more background

I caught the gardening bug early. As a child, I was busy poking marigold and sunflower seeds in the ground while living in Queens, New York. I was blessed to grow up in a gardening family: my mom adored houseplants, my father grew ornamentals and my grandfather grew edibles in every available spot.

All three taught me the basics of gardening  — knowledge I would later tap into when my husband and I purchased our first home in 2009.

I immediately began tearing up the expansive green lawn in favor of flowers and vegetables. And trees. And more flowers. The neighbors originally thought I was crazy, but now dog-walkers and joggers stop to talk plants while I'm outside. It's now the largest front garden on the block – and I spend a lot of my free time outside gardening when I can.

About the garden

I garden in Zone 6b, which refers to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Hardiness Zone map. This means that the average cold weather minimum temperature for my growing region is -5 to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-20.6 to -17.8 degrees Celsius). 

Why does this matter? It helps determine which type of plants will do well in my growing region. It also influences what type of garden tasks I will complete in my area in a certain month. (This can shift for those located in colder and warmer zones.)

How to reach me

To keep up with what's blooming in my garden or the latest gardening news, you can subscribe to my blog. You can also follow me on X (formerly Twitter) at JenMGardens, on Instagram at Frau Zinnie or on the Frau Zinnie Facebook page. Reach me by email at frauzinnie(at)

"If you want it, you can grow it!"

Updated 1.26.24

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template by pipdig