Oh winter, how do I miss my gardens and hanging outside with my flock as they meander around me. Today, instead of feeling glum, I decided to make a miniature chicken garden. Actually, I got a bit carried away and made a few. Once I got started I could not help myself. As I planted up these sweet little gardens, I was envisioning being in my gardens with my own flock. I swear I could here these tiny little chickens carrying on, clucking as to which garden they wanted to explore.
Earlier this year, my family and I traveled to Hawaii. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. This Hawaiian tropical garden was a hidden gem, that we discovered on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had no idea what to expect, nor did my family. My family indulged me a bit as we purchased our tickets. From the outside entrance, it seems as though we would only be exploring for a few moments. Three hours later, we had to pull ourselves from the beauty and awe. In the gardens alone, we took over 200 photos. From the landscape, grounds, orchids, unique tropical plantings and the crashing ocean, we were in awe. I am so thrilled to be able to share this experience with you.
I love Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for crafting too. Every year I make wreaths. This year, I wanted one of the wreaths to showcase the beauty of a simple and peaceful Christmas. So I featured a little tin church, some decorative sprigs as well as the Star of Bethlehem. I combined some off the shelf letters and a simple grapevine wreath as a jumping off point. The rest just seemed to come together for this lettered wreath with a little bit of inspiration from the Christmas season displays in town.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is growing bulbs indoors. I do this for both Christmas and Easter. There is something about growing flowers indoors during the chilly winter months. During Christmastime, I especially love growing paperwhites. This is a fail-proof project for even those with a brown thumb. If you have grown paper whites in the past, I can bet that one of your biggest pet peeves and mine too is that when they grow tall they often flop over from gravity. Sure, there are ways to add things to the water to stunt their growth, but why harm the bulb? This year, I wanted to show you a simple and easy way to grow paperwhites without them falling over. I love to give these as gifts. They are simple and stunning and I’m going to show you how to make them!
As most of you know, late this summer we moved across town. One of the most difficult things that I had to do was leave behind what we designed and grew from nothing 13 years ago. Over those years, I turned a vacant lot into a lush oasis, filled with perennial walking gardens, blue stone patios, a fabulous chicken garden, a honeybee apiary and a lovely area of raised garden beds. My heart still pines for those gardens, wondering how they are growing without my daily tending. Weirdly, I miss my plants. I had no idea they were such a part of me. But with change, comes new opportunities and I got a head start on next year’s vegetable garden at the new place.
Last fall, I created the most fantastic succulent topped pumpkin for HGTV Gardens. It was so much fun and I loved seeing how it all came together so easily. This month I’ll be at the Country Living Fair doing a live demonstration on Saturday afternoon to share how simple and easy it is for you to create succulent topped pumpkins at home. I love creating each and everyone. No two succulent topped pumpkins are ever alike.
I’ve been on the road for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been traveling non-stop but have had such a blast meeting so many of you in person at both the Beekman Boy’s Summer Garden Party and the Country Living Magazine Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. While I was at the Country Living Magazine Fair, I did a presentation sharing how to create a beautiful succulent tea party tablescape.
I love to entertain and I love to send home a personalized planted tea cup with each of my friends. It’s a little piece of me and memory of the special day we all shared. Well as promised, here is the DIY tutorial for those of you that missed it in person.
It was about a 40 minute trip up to Moss Mountain Farm from Little Rock, Arkansas. As we headed up the mountain, we were struck with the natural beauty that surrounded us. P. Allen Smith narrated this area’s rich history as the bus churned up the mountain toward the elegant and simple gate house guarding the entry to Moss Mountain Farm. As we neared the farmhouse, I was struck by the beauty of this amazing Sister Oak tree. For over 300 years, she has seen, heard and witnessed rural farm life on this mountain and now 300 years later she was here to greet me too. We gathered under this oak for the start of our Moss Mountain Farm Gardens tour.
One of our favorite things to do at home on a rainy day is make creations with bakeable clay. It’s great fun for the family. In fact, it’s fun for folks of all ages. The clay comes in every color imaginable and it is so much fun being able to permanently capture the kids’ creations. As we were sitting around the table, I spied a block of copper colored clay. How fun would it be to transform it into clay garden markers? With small cookie cutters, I got to work and made a bunch for the spring inspired windowsill garden.
Last week my travels found me presenting at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, NC. It was a place that I had never ventured to, so I was thrilled to take in the city of Asheville and a “little” place called the Biltmore that I had heard so many amazing things about. The estate was built by the Vanderbilt family and it is the largest house in the United States. I toured the inside. It took me a few hours to meander through all the bedrooms, bathrooms, sitting rooms, dining room, bowling alley, and even indoor swimming pool. It was amazing. I would definitely recommend paying the extra few dollars for the audio self guided tour. However, what was even more thrilling to me was spending some time outside in the Biltmore’s gardens. Spring had begun to spring here and I wanted to explore and imagine what life was like living here. One thing was sure, you could definitely get lost in a good way. Without the use of modern technology in those days, it would be easy to hide away in many secret places on the estate.