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Thanksgiving is only a few days away so for today’s table I could not help but be inspired by the upcoming holiday. Thanksgiving Day is like the ultimate Sunday dinner even though it’s on a Thursday. The entire day is dedicated to spending time with family and friends, around the dinner table, with an outrageous amount food, and at my house, a festive tablescape is also a must.

Now, just because there is an abundance of food on this day it doesn’t mean that your decorations have to also be over the top. A simple display of glassware and bitter sweet is all you need to set your table, and the tone, for this special time with family and friends. For added fun, we placed pumpkins around the base of our display and just like that—your Thanksgiving tablescape is complete!

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Happy Early Thanksgiving! Eat lots of turkey and give lots of hugs!

Beautiful Tulip Bulbs

Beautiful Tulip Bulbs

As the weather chills and the arrival of winter comes to mind, I have visions of tulips and daffodils dancing in my head…shouldn’t it be sugar-plums. A trick to remind yourself when to plant anything is to connect it to a holiday. In this instance, Halloween is that holiday. When you think of Halloween don’t just think of ghosts and goblins, but of the beautiful kaleidoscope of color that the new season will bring as the winter fades.

Buying

Many state that September or October are the months that bulbs must be planted, however, I like to hold off until Early to Mid-November as long as mother nature and the weather agree meaning no hard frosts or snow. The reason being is because the sales begin to show up and increase during November. Today, I was able to purchase almost 100 bulbs for less than $40 because they were 60% off. However, if there is a flower that I must have because it is hard to find such as Fritillaria meleagris – then I snatch them right up. Buying bulbs in large bulk bags where there is 15 to 20 bulbs per bag is a much better bargain and use of my hard earned dollar.

All of that being said, it is still important to make sure the bulbs are quality. They should be hard – not mushy, soft or have mold growing on them. This can be the case if storing bulbs and reusing them from last spring. Discard any bulbs that have these characteristics.

While shopping, pay close attention to the bloom time, you will want to make sure your mixes either bloom at the same time or bloom throughout the spring depending on the design of your garden.

Planting

Bulbs are often planted in ground, but I love them best in containers. Since my soil is more on the clay side and I don’t have the time or patience to amend it; bulbs will rot before they bloom. I prefer planting bulbs in containers. This way, I can ensure that I will have beautiful springtime blooms due to excellent soil and good drainage. Planting them in a container design that is four seasons is ideal, but bulbs alone in a container in spring have a grand effect on the garden. It brings it to another dimension of beauty for me.

These windowboxes are getting a planting of colorful spring bulbs today.

These windowboxes are getting a planting of colorful spring bulbs today.

In the South, we must refrigerate bulbs 2 weeks prior to planting so that they go through a dormancy cycle and be ready to bloom their heads of in the spring.

Only in the South, bulbs will need to be chilled for 2 weeks prior to planting.

Only in the South, bulbs will need to be chilled for 2 weeks prior to planting.

When planting bulbs, you always want to have the pointed end upward and the flat side where roots will emerge or are already emerging on the bottom. However, if you do this incorrectly, the emerging stem will grow toward the sun.

Make sure to plant flat side where roots emerge at bottom and pointed tip on top.

Make sure to plant flat side where roots emerge at bottom and pointed tip on top.

Make sure to reference the planting depth on the packaging to know what is correct. The general rule of thumb is to plant 2 to 3 times deep the height of the bulb. So if the bulb is 1-inch high – plant 2 to 3-

inches deep. It is also extremely important to plant the bulbs in a location where they will receive the correct sun exposure –full sun is 6 + hours of UV light and shade is 3 or less.

Typically, I like to scatter bulbs or put them in groupings of 5 to 9 when planting them in the ground. In containers, bulbs can be planted one right next to another and be a floral bouquet as the snow melts.

Using a bulb planter is fine, but attaching an auger to a power drill makes the job super fast and easy.

Adding an auger to a power drill can speed up this project.

Adding an auger to a power drill can speed up this project.

If planting in containers, like I did, make sure to use a good container soil. Fertilizer can be used, but it isn’t necessary. However, if you feel inclined to use it an organic granular fertilizer or a fertilizer specialized for bulbs is ideal. If planting in containers in the North, make sure to top the soil with mulch or leaves to insulate the bulbs. Placing the containers in the garage, shed, or placing them close to the house would help keep the soil from freezing through.

Care

After planting your bulbs, make sure to water til it comes out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container. If you live in a Northern climate, watering during the winter months is not necessary as the rain and melting snow will provide enough water for your containers and in-ground plantings. In Southern states, it may be necessary to water if there are spells of drought and heat throughout the winter months.

Watering in the South during the winter may be necessary (Photo Source: BHG.com)

Watering in the South during the winter may be necessary (Photo Source: BHG)

It may be necessary to protect your bulbs from squirrels and rabbits. Squirrels like to dig up the bulbs and play with them like basketballs. The way to prevent this from happening is by topping the soil with mesh or chicken wire then topdressing with mulch. The critters won’t be able to dig to get to them. The other problem may be rabbits or deer. They prefer the gourmet leafy greens of your newly emerging bulbs. I prefer using organic methods were possible and have had luck with making a homemade cayenne pepper spray to deter them from chomping on the foliage.

Don't let those squirrels mess up your spring plans!

Don’t let those squirrels mess up your spring plans! (Photo Source: BHG)

Once your beauties have blossomed, bloomed and are spent. Take your pruners and remove the stem and foliage. This will force more energy into the bulbs instead of it spending it time on the dying foliage.

Storing

After all my bulbs have bloomed, I remove the bulbs from the containers and store them for next season and plant the bare containers with annuals for the summer months. If you would prefer to not remove the bulbs from the containers, working your annuals around them is completely doable. It’s totally understandable for gardeners out there with limited time on their hands.

If you would prefer to remove and store your bulbs, remove them from your containers and prune off any foliage. Place in a paper bag and put on a shelf in your garage, basement or shed. The reason for the paper bag is to absorb any moisture so that the bulbs do not form mold or rot. Placing them on a shelf gets them out of reach for critters to eat or use them for their own purposes.

Paper bags work the best for storing your bulbs from year to year.

Paper bags work the best for storing your bulbs from year to year. (Photo Source: The Gardener)

Then the following fall (remember around Halloween), take your bulbs that you stored and reuse them in your containers or plant them in the ground. I like to take pictures of what I have done in the past and put them in the bags or make notes on the bags of what I would do differently for the following season.

With bulbs, your spring can be fill of flowers and colors!

With bulbs, your spring can be full of flowers and colors! (Photo Source: BHG)

Favorite Bulb Source: K. Van Bourgondien and Sons

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile”
-William Cullen Bryant

Fall is most definitely a magical season, with a unique allure all of it’s own. It’s as if there are all of these treasures, hidden throughout the year, that suddenly come to life in the fall. The way in which the warm sun and cool breeze work together in perfect harmony; the need to bundle up in over-sized sweaters, tall boots, and even taller socks; the sudden urge to build fires, make s’mores, and drink endless amounts of hot cocoa and apple cider—this is what fall is made of.

When one thinks of fall, the colors orange, red, yellow, and brown are usually close behind. This is a natural connection to make considering how these colors work so beautifully together in the trees above and on the ground below. This fall, however, I find myself inspired by a completely different color palette. Soft peach, mustard yellow, sage green, and copper are a mesmerizing quartet of colors that have me singing a brand new love song for this season. These colors look absolutely stunning together, inside the garden and out.

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  1. To Dress: This fabulous look, found at J. Crew, has fall fashion written all over it! Although this color palette is more common in the spring, I find the mix of soft neutrals with a bright, pop of color a refreshing look during this cooler season.
  2. To Display: This gorgeous photograph, taken by the talented Haley Sheffield, showcases a breathtaking bouquet by Juli Vaughn Designs. Again, the softness of these flowers are not typically found in the fall, however, I could not help but find inspiration in the overall beauty of this display.
  3. To Dine: I am absolutely smitten with these vintage, copper pots found at One Kings Lane. This amazing display of pots create an irresistible shine that will add interest to any classic, fall decor and will also maintain its appeal throughout the year.
  4. To Desire: If you find this color scheme as stunning as we do, here are some darling items to add to your fall wish list: A Rifle Paper Co. Peach Floral iPhone Case and this Leather Fossil Watch in Sage.
  5. To Decorate: A plate too pretty to eat off of! The exquisite artistry displayed on this plate captures the inspiration for my fall color scheme perfectly. You can find this lovely Watercolor Petals Dinner Plate over at Anthropolgie.

Sunday, in a biblical sense, is meant to be a day of rest. For some, Sunday means waking up early for church followed by a relaxing afternoon, enjoying a delicious meal with family and friends. For others, Sunday means sleeping-in one last time before Monday morning sounds its inevitable alarm. Some people have to work on Sundays and other people view Sunday as nothing more than another day of the week. However, for me, Sundays are a significant day—the beginning of one week and the end of another. In my opinion, Sundays should most definitely be spent relaxing but also spent reflecting on all of the accomplishments from the week before and the goals and aspirations for the week ahead. It’s important to take inventory of your life, to celebrate the good and to improve upon the bad.

I also enjoy having a big, Sunday dinner with family and friends. Sundays are the perfect excuse to get together with loved ones, celebrating each other’s lives. For me, this means finding new ways to decorate my table each week. I know what you’re thinking—There is no way I am going to spend time and money on a different tablescape every single week! While I thoroughly enjoy the time spent designing centerpieces and arranging tablescapes, I understand that not everyone shares this passion. My goal is to show you a variety of simple, cost-effective ways to create tablescapes for those rare, special occasions or, if you’re feeling ambitious, for your very own Sunday’s table.

Sometimes, a simple centerpiece makes all the difference and this Sunday’s Table is about as simple as it gets. Find a container, something you already have lying around the house, and then fill it with heirloom pumpkins and tomatoes from your garden. Don’t let words like “decorate” or “design” fool you; sometimes it’s just that easy! Now you have a simply stunning centerpiece for any and every occasion this fall.

Refreshed my annual beds this season with ‘Liberty Classic™ White’ Snaps, ‘Sorbet Purple’ Violas, and ‘Delta Premium Light Blue’ Pansies. Perfect for a sunny location and be sure to water at least twice a week. Plant snaps towards the back and violas and pansies towards the front for a layered effect. Many gardeners don’t realize that snapdragons actually prefer cooler temperatures; so they are great varieties to pick for early spring and fall plantings. They can tolerate cold temperatures into the 40’s. Here is a great article from the horticulturist at Mississippi State University on the topic. Can’t wait for spring…50 bulbs are hiding in the ground and can’t wait to show off their color.

Nov 16 GGBD

The month of November is all about giving thanks and I most definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Today I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to be a guest blogger on Interior Canvas. Anna Kristen and Cameron, the remarkable ladies behind this blog, are fellow design enthusiasts. Their love for interior design is simply contagious!

They enlisted my help and asked that I show them how to create the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece. I was beyond flattered and more than happy to show them a few of my tricks. Arranging this centerpiece definitely put me in the Thanksgiving spirit and I couldn’t be more excited to share it and my gratitude with all of you.

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To see how I put together this fun, fall-inspired centerpiece, check out the full post here and be sure to follow Anna Kristen and Cameron’s blog for even more tips on how to decorate your very own interior canvas.

In Georgia, we just experienced our first frost for the season. Like many gardeners, I am preparing my garden for spring and looking for ways to use the produce that I have still growing and green tomatoes are in abundance. Yes, there is always the traditional fried green tomato recipes, but I wondered what else could be done with these beautiful fruit. My mind instantly went to interior decorating ideas and came up with this beautiful display below.

Green tomatoes add a beautiful constant to your orange and white pumpkins.

Green tomatoes add a beautiful contrast to your orange and white pumpkins.

 

Then, of course, my mind goes to something sweet I could make with them and I found the perfect solution – Green Tomato Pie – filled with the fragrant spices of the fall.

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Green Tomato Pie – Quick, Simply and Easy

 

Here is what you will need for this recipe:

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca

1 lemon, zested

2 lbs. green tomatoes, 1/4 inch-thick slices

1/2 c. golden raisins

2 tbsp. lemon juice

4 tbsp. butter

2 premade refrigerated pie crusts, Pillsbury or your favorite brand

Pick 2 lbs. of green tomatoes from your garden. Even if the plants aren’t looking the best – the fruit is still worth saving.

Perfectly edible!

Perfectly edible!

 

Wash tomatoes and slice them to be 1/4 inch-thick. There is just something so elegant and beautiful about a green tomato – don’t you think?

Slice tomatoes to 1/4 inch-thickness

Slice tomatoes to 1/4 inch-thickness

 

Now prepare your sugar and spice mixture to dredge your tomatoes in. Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, tapioca and lemon zest into a bowl. Using freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg brings this pie to a whole another dimension in taste. This can easily be done by using a microplane as shown in the images below.

Freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest at a HUGE pop of favor.

Freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest at a HUGE pop of favor.

 

Now it’s time to get your pie crust ready! You shouldn’t need to grease your pie dish because of the butter in the dough, but putting some non-stick spray on won’t hurt. For this time-starved girl, premade is the way to go, but if you want to make your own dough – go for it! The recipe link is at the bottom of this post!

Pre-made pie crust is this busy girl's short cut.

Pre-made pie crust is this busy girl’s short cut.

 

Next dredge your tomato slices in your spice mixture and lay in the crust like below.

Drench tomatoes in spice mixture and place in crust.

Dredge tomatoes in spice mixture and place in crust.

 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. After all tomatoes are placed in the crust top with 1/2 c. golden raisins and 4 tbsp. of butter cut into slices.

Feel free to substitute regular raisins, dried cranberries or cherries here as well.

Feel free to substitute regular raisins, dried cranberries or cherries here as well.

 

Then top with the remaining crust.

I can taste it already!

I can taste it already!

 

Pierce top of pie with fork in several places for air to escape. Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees after placing pie in. Bake for 30 minutes. Check periodically – if edges of crust are starting to get over done. Place a tinfoil collar around the edges. After 30 minutes of baking, brush crust with heavy cream (or an egg wash) and sprinkle with course sugar. Bake for another 30 minutes. It is also a good idea to place a tinfoil-wrapped cookie pan below the pie to catch any juices that leak out or having an oven liner is ideal and makes for easy cleanup.

To me, this pie tasted just like an apple pie and full of fall favors. I hope you will give it a try!

Enjoy!!

Enjoy!!

 

Original recipe from Food Network

In the South, football is a religious experience. If you’ve ever visited the South during the fall, you have more than likely experienced two things: college football and the tailgating that precedes every game. To show respect for your favorite team in true, southern fashion, it is imperative that your home reflects the spirit of the game.

An easy way to incorporate your game day pride in your interior décor is with container gardens full of flowers sporting your team’s festive colors. Violas and Pansies are available in just about any color – making it easy for you to find the perfect match.

Fun items to help create this look:

  • Galvanized trough/bucket
  • Soil
  • Team pennants
  • Team color pom-poms
  • Violas and Pansies in your team’s color

This container is a tad bit larger than usual, about 5 feet in length and 2 feet wide, and could easily be done on a smaller scale.

First fill half the container with bark because during the cooler months your plant will not need as much soil to grow. Plus it will save money on buying all that potting soil. The bark will make the container somewhat lighter, but putting wheels on the bottom, like we do, is a great way to move them around.

Next fill the other half of the container with soil. I prefer to use potting soil for mine and it is definitely worth the extra cost. The better the soil, the better the overall look of the container.

Potting Soil

Now it is time to select a color scheme that shows off your team spirit. For my example, I chose to create a container that represents Georgia’s red, white, and black pride. I used white flowers so to fully capture the Bulldog spirit I layered in some fun, game day pieces.

Tip: Repeat the same colors for the most impact

By using plants that come in larger pots you get instant gratification without the extra work. So as far as plants are concerned, the bigger the better! In a single line, place three of the White Cool Wave™ Pansy hanging baskets in the center of your container.

Planting Basket

Fill in the empty spaces with the 1 gallon, or pint size, white pansies.

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Lastly, for additional texture, fill in the empty spaces with white Snow Princess® Lobularia.

Tip: After arranging all of the flowers, be sure to add more soil around your plants so that they do not dry out.

For even more game day fun, we had a local sign maker create these awesome outdoor pennants that we screwed onto the top of stakes that we purchased from Home Depot. Then we finished off our containers with pom-poms and other fun flare.

Finished GA

Below are a few other game day containers we rallied up.

GA Tech

The perfect play for a container garden win with Yellow Cool Wave™ Pansies

Alabama

To guarantee a floral victory – Penny Red blotch violas!

Florida

For a perfect score with your game day garden – Sorbet Orange Violas and Million Bells® Crackling Fire Calibrachoa.

Hope your favorite team comes out victorious this season!

Carmen