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It is officially springtime and I could not be more pleased! If you follow me on Facebook, you already know that there are a lot of things that I am looking forward to this season—hosting patio parties and enjoying some delicious, fresh strawberries are just a few. What you might not know, though, is that the one thing I am most looking forward to this season is seeing the collaborative efforts of myself, Rebecca Reed from Southern Living, the Home Depot, and the Southern Living Plant Collection hitting the shelves in the form of our Ready to Impress container gardens, which are now available in the Home Depot gardens centers. That’s right, folks! This spring marks the beginning of a new journey for me and hopefully a new and improved way of decorating and entertaining for all of you. I am beside myself with excitement!

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To say that this experience is a dream come true would be an understatement. I have always been passionate about gardening, but it has also been a goal of mine from the beginning to find ways of helping others to enjoy plants in and around their home – green thumb or not. The Ready to Impress container gardens offer just that! Available in three different colors—brights, whites, and pastels—these container gardens can be purchased from Home Depot garden centers and then taken home and immediately put on display. Here are some gorgeous ways of displaying them below:

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RAISE-THE-BAR

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LINE-THE-STEPS

RELAX

FLANK-A-GATE

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I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity, not only to do what I love, but also to share my passion for planting with others. I look forward to visiting major cities this spring in order to promote the Ready to Impress container gardens and I am so thankful to the Home Depot and the Southern Living Plant Collection for their combined efforts in making it happen. This is going to be such a memorable season for me and I hope that the Ready to Impress container gardens will also make this season equally as memorable for all of you. Whether it be at your doorstep, every time you come and go, or in your backyard surrounded by family and friends. It is my hope that the Ready to Impress container gardens, not only make life easier for you, but also more enjoyable.

Here’s five quick and easy tips on how-to impress your guests with these colorful container gardens:

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It won’t be long before my chickens are surrounded by an abundance of passion—the Passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata), that is. My friend Delise Knight, the owner of Pineola Farms, introduced me to this flower first.

When I saw it surrounding her chicken coop it was love at first sight. Not only is the Passionflower easy on the eyes, it bears beautiful symbolism as well. Each part of the plant is symbolic to the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I found this wonderful article describing it for y’all.

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Image Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden

 

In Patrick Jesse Pons-Worley book, The Passionfruit Cookbook, he writes, “Early explorers felt that the passion flower had aspecial purpose to promote the spiritual life among the people where it grew”

Then he goes on to explain the beautiful meaning of each part of the plant:

“The spiraled tendons of the plant, he notes, were taken as symbols of the lashes Christ endured, and the central flower column as the pillar of the scourging. The 72 radial filaments of the flower were seen as the crown of thorns; the three stigmas as symbols of the nails used in the crucifixion, as well as the holy Trinity; the five anthers, as the five wounds of Christ; and the style as the sponge doused in vinegar used to moisten Christ’s lips. Taken together, the five petals and five sepals were used to refer to the ten apostles who did not either betray or deny Christ. The fragrance of the flower, continued Pons-Worley, helped recall the spices used to embalm the body of Christ. Finally, its globular egg-size fruit was taken as a symbol of the world that Christ saved through his suffering.”

With Lent happening all around us, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to remind myself what and who this season is all about.

In order to transplant and protect my passion flower as it establishes around the chicken coop, I used bell jars from the house. These jars will act as miniature greenhouses, protecting the plants and allowing them to stand firm no matter what crazy mood-swing weather Georgia throws at us next.

passionflower vine

For those of you who choose to focus on Christ this season, whatever you decide to do, do it with passion!

If you’ve been driving around lately and wondering, ‘What are those beautiful pink blooms bursting from yard after yard?’ the answer to your question is this: Sasanguas. These flowers are in full swing this season! Realizing that I had missed out on this trend, I borrowed a few from my neighbor for the sake of this Sunday’s Table.

If your neighbors are as generous as mine are with their garden, snag some Sasanguas of your own and make this super easy centerpiece.

1. Fill a casserole dish with water

2. Snip blooms, leaving a 2″ stem

3. Arrange the blooms in the water

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What did I tell you? It’s just that easy, and beautiful too! These kinds of centerpieces are my absolute favorite. It just goes to show that all you really need in order to make a beautiful centerpiece are beautiful blooms.

Inquire About Your Next Event:

Email: carmen@carmenjohnstongardens.com

Phone: 762-822-7696