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Since I was a little girl I have always admired the different garden styles, but the Southern style garden has always been my favorite. A Southern garden is a place to relax, a place to sit back and slow down.

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

When I found this sweet, Southern gem I just knew I had to share it with all of you because it has all 5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden.

1. Swing, swing!

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

During the hot, humid days of summer, there is nothing quite like swinging in the Southern breeze. Also, how great is this pergola? It is the entryway into the pool area. Such a nice touch!

2. Fresh Veggies

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

I love how these vegetable plots are casually placed in the middle of the grass. Such a great twist on the traditional raised bed.

3. Steps for Strollin’

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Lush grass really helps to soften the steps, don’t you think? This is the perfect place for strolling, arm in arm, with a sweet friend.

4. Boxwoods, baby!

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Crochet, anyone? Boxwoods are the best way to create an intimate space for playing lawn games or just lounging around. (Tip: Elevate seating above retaining walls for even more space.)

5. Vintage Charm

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Vintage touches always add some Southern charm. Such an inviting element!

5 Elements of a Southern Style Garden by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Now you know what it takes to create a true Southern style garden. All that’s missing is a tall glass of sweet tea.

Have a great week, everyone!

DIY Succulent Garden 4

Be sure to check out this gorgeous succulent garden while you are here!

My dear friend, Andrea Crawford of Couture House Interiors, created this incredible piece and I just had to share it with all of you. Such an inspiring idea! Seriously, I fall more in love with gardening every day! Just take a look at this fountain full of succulents and you will be smitten too.

Materials Needed:
Tiered fountain (Andrea found this one at Home Decorators)
Sand/soil mixture
Drill
Succulents

DIY Succulent Garden 1

Directions:
1. Give your plants plenty of breathing room by drilling holes for drainage. Air is just as important as water for helping your plants grow.
2. Mix one part potting soil with one part play yard sand to create the perfect environment for your succulents to live in.
3. Stuff ‘n’ Shove! Mix various colors and shapes throughout the fountain for a big, bold look!

DIY Succulent Garden in a fountain featured on Carmen Johnston Gardens

DIY Succulent Garden in a fountain featured on Carmen Johnston Gardens

4. If you want to take it to the next level, you can always add some sedum around the base of your fountain. You can never go wrong with chartreuse in spring!

DIY Succulent Garden in a fountain featured on Carmen Johnston Gardens

So simple, so chic! God has truly blessed me with such talented friends and I am beyond thankful for how they continue to inspire me. Thank you, Andrea, for your beautiful work.

DIY Succulent Garden 5

One of the best things about spring and summer is bringing all those fresh blooms indoors! Today I want to show you how to make a stunning centerpiece for your kitchen table using some snips ‘n’ clips from your spring garden.

Materials Needed:
Bucket of water
Hydrangeas

Gardening 101: Fresh Cut Arrangements by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Gardening 101: Fresh Cut Arrangements by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Gardening 101: Fresh Cut Arrangements by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Fresh mint
Hosta leaves
Lady Banks
3 glass containers

Directions:
1. Build a foundation of blooms! Cut the stem of your hydrangeas at an angle and then simply place on top of your container.
2. Add mint! Place the mint directly into the hydrangea blooms.
3. Add hosta leaves and lady banks next.
4. Group all three containers together at the center of your kitchen table.

So simple and so chic–spring chic, that is! There is nothing quite like the smell of flesh flowers and herbs mingling with your morning coffee. Enjoy!

Keeping It Green

For more fresh cut arrangement ideas be sure to check out this gorgeous tablesetting idea.

This is one of my favorite gardening projects. This DIY herb garden is both beautiful and practical. It is an herb garden and patio table in one! And it is super easy to make!

Make your own herb garden and patio table in one with these super simple directions with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Make your own herb garden and patio table in one with these super simple directions with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Snip and clip fresh herbs.

Materials Needed:
Iron table top
Strawberry jar
2 bags of bark
2 bags of soil
Rosemary and Thyme
Bubblegum Petunia and Creeping Jenny

Make your own herb garden and patio table in one with these super simple directions with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Directions:
1. Make a layer of bark in the bottom of the strawberry jar. This will prevent you from having to use a ton of soil.
2. Choose soil with a time release fertilizer. Then use it to create another layer on top of the bark. Stop adding soil just 2″ inches below the top of the jar.
3. Remove about half of the root ball on all of your herbs and then begin planting on the outside of the jar.
4. Use only one 4″ plant per cup on the outside of the jar.
5. Add creeping jenny to the top of your strawberry jar. This plant fills a space out nicely so you will only need three.
6. Add your table top and a few chairs to complete the look.

 

I love this mix of decorative plants and herbs. Both work so well in the strawberry jar too! Also, I don’t think you can find a better table for your patio anywhere. Like I said before, this DIY herb garden is both beautiful and practical and that is what gardening is all about!

5 Plants for Beginners: Mint

Be sure to check out this delicious cocktail herb garden.

Are we talking about summer plants already? Spring has just started, but time will surely fly! Summer is such a fun time to experiment with colors. For today’s container garden, the colors will both soothe and excite. I am using a vibrant green paired with a calming combination of lavender and white.

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

I like to use these containers to frame our outdoor living area. I have had them since the very beginning of my business and–fingers crossed–I hope they will last forever! We have two but our outdoor space is a hot mess right now so I am only sharing photos of one. I will definitely share more photos later, though.

Well, its not getting any cooler out there! Here are some tips for planting summer blooms.

1. Buy Mandevilla on a trellis. The added height makes a huge difference and it is fun to watch her climb! We used a couple of screws and some wire to create an archway over our carport. I can’t wait to see her fill it out.

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

2. Use Creeping Jenny to brighten your container. The chartreuse color of this plant has made her a fast favorite of mine. She is like that one friend that looks great in absolutely anything. Nothing can dull her shine!

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

3. Plant Sunpatiens to complete the look. She needs a lot of water, but if you keep her hydrated she will strut her stuff all summer long. I love how the white really pops when paired with these dynamic colors.

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

(BONUS TIP: I love hanging plants! They are a great way to add instant color. Cuban Oregano is perfect for this. Add a little Blue Fan Scaveloa and you have completed the look.)

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Maintenance:
1. Use water soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks.
2. Keep soil moist to the touch.

3 Must-Have Plants for Summer with Carmen Johnston Gardens

I can’t wait to show you more photos once these containers are in full bloom! I would also love to hear about some of your plant progress in the comment section below. Have a good rest of the day!

It is that time of year again when front yards become the talk of the town. It is like a fashion show of flowers for everyone to see! Want to give your neighbor’s something pretty to look at? Here’s how…

1. Double or Nothing!

3 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Use two pots–a 12″ and a 14″–and fill both with soil.

3 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Then, position the smaller container towards the back of the larger container directly on top of the soil.

3 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Stuff ‘n’ shove both containers with your favorite plants. For mine, I used petunias, lantana, and Angelonia.

2. For the Love of Layers!

3 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Place your tall plants (Angelonia) towards the back, your texture plants (lantana) in the middle, and your trailing plants (petunias) towards the front. Add at least 2-4 inches of new soil and then top with mulch.

3. Make it Pop!

3 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Grab your favorite basket and fill it with flowers. If possible, choose a basket that is flat on the back like ours. It makes it much easier to hang. Then line it with a trash bag, making a few holes for drainage. Finally, add a bright burst of blooms to complete the look.

3 Tips for Instant Curb Appeal wtih Carmen Johnston Gardens

(BONUS TIP: To help create rhythm throughout your yard, paint your pots the same color as your house.)

Your neighbor’s will not be able to take their eyes off of your gorgeous new yard. However, the reward is all yours. There is nothing better than pulling into your driveway at the end of the day and having happy flowers smiling up at you.

It should be fairly obvious, based on the majority of my posts, that I love planting gorgeous foliage and flowers. However, I also have an interest in edible gardens as well. Last year, I started a vegetable garden but then failed to maintain it. What can I say? This green thumb gal jus got a little distracted by all the beautiful flowers out there. This year is going to be different, though! As proof, I have already put together my vegetable garden and I want to give you 5 tips for making your own vegetable garden grow.

Tips:
1. Make room. In order to give our plants additional room to grow, we used large galvanized tubs. Drill holes into your tubs for proper drainage and then fill with good soil.

Use galvanized buckets.

Use galvanized buckets.

2. Add height. We bought 5 ft. tomato cages for even more room to grow.

5 Tips to Start Your Vegetable Garden 5

3. Create tents. I love gardening with our neighbor’s children and really wanted to create a magical place for them. We used lattice to make tents for the two beds. This is where we plan on growing beans and cucumbers.

Vegetable Garden Tents

4. Mix it up. Who said you can’t plant corn with boxwoods? I think the bright, yellow Rudebeckia will look great mixed with the corn.

5 Tips to Start Your Vegetable Garden 2

5. Cheat a little. I am not a good seed starter. Even though I would love to learn one day, I will buy my vegetables and fruits grown for now. Just think about those delicious tomato sandwiches! The sooner, the better, right?

Fresh Strawberry Plants

Meet Clara, the chicken. She is living the good life, isn’t she?

Chicken Coop

Stay tuned! We are eagerly waiting on the Passion flowers to bloom. I can’t wait to share photos once they do.

The South has been blessed by an early wave of warm weather and I am so excited to begin planting! If you really want to embrace this incredible spring we are having, I have the perfect plant combination planned just for you.

Materials Needed:
1. Large mandevilla

3 must have plants for Spring. Creeping Jenny, Mandevilla, Scaevola by Carmen Johnston Gardens

2. 4″ creeping jenny

3 must have plants for Spring. Creeping Jenny, Mandevilla, Scaevola by Carmen Johnston Gardens

3. 4″ blue fan scaevola

3 must have plants for Spring. Creeping Jenny, Mandevilla, Scaevola by Carmen Johnston Gardens

4. Large bag of potting soil
5. Container (18-24″ in diameter)

Directions:
1. Make sure that your container has good drainage. If necessary, drill holes in the bottom that are no smaller than a penny.
2. Fill your container with potting soil at least 2-3 inches below the rim.
3. Give your plants plenty to drink before planting.
4. Remove pots from each plant and then loosen the roots.
5. First, plant the mandevilla towards the back of the container. Then, place the scaevola on the right and the creeping jenny on the left.

3 must have plants for Spring. Creeping Jenny, Mandevilla, Scaevola by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Maintenance:
1. Keep in full sun.
2. Water every other day.
3. Use water soluble fertilizer for long-lasting blooms!
4. Keep the scaevola hydrated! She is not quite as forgiving as the other two. (However, you can always remove the scaevola. The creeping jenny will gladly move into her place.)
5. About half way through the summer, clip the creeping jenny and scaevola way back. This will enable new growth.

3 must have plants for Spring. Creeping Jenny, Mandevilla, Scaevola by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Easy, huh? Sometimes it is just that simple! What gardening projects have you started working on this spring? I would love to hear all about them in the comment section below.

Happy Monday! I hope the rest of your week is filled with sunshine!

Spring Container Garden

For more plants for Spring, be sure to check out our Spring Container Garden Series. So many great ideas!

Today is Good Friday, which means that this Sunday is Easter! It is almost time for that special day spent with family and friends. While a kid on Easter looks forward to scavenging the yard in hopes of finding that one special egg, an adult on Easter mostly just looks forward to sitting down and enjoying some food. The time spent around the table with loved ones is invaluable, which is why I want to show you how to set the stage for this year’s Easter dinner. And it only takes 10 minutes!

10 Minute Tablescape for Easter 1

Materials Needed:
4 ” Cabbage plants
Freshly picked daffodils
Tin buckets
Freshly clipped forsythia
Chocolate Easter bunnies

Directions:
1. Criss-cross bunches of daffodils on the table. The more the merrier!

10 Minute Tablescape for Easter 2

2. Place cabbage in tin buckets making sure that the soil is moist to the touch.

10 Minute Tablescape for Easter 3

3. Clip forsythia branches 10-14″ and stick each end in the soil to create a handle.

10 Minute Tablescape for Easter 4

4. Nestle the chocolate bunnies throughout their new home.

10 Minute Tablescape for Easter 5

10 Minute Tablescape for Easter 6

What a dreamy tablescape! I just love that Easter is so full of cheer and whimsy. Have a great weekend, everyone, and Happy (Almost) Easter!

Photos: The Photography of Haley Sheffield

This post could also be titled, Easter On My Mind. Seriously, I am so excited for this pastel party to begin. I just could not resist creating a container garden inspired by a traditional Easter egg.

Ingredients:
2 Sweet Broom (Yellow)
6 Candytuft (White)
4 Phlox (Purple)
Borrowed branches (I am not sure what the actual name of these branches are but I am saying “borrowed” because I might have snagged them from my neighbor’s yard.)

Directions:
1. Choose a statement container. My favorite way to make a statement in spring is with turquoise, of course!
2. Fill your container with potting soil, but make sure it has really good drainage.
3. Plant from tallest to shortest.

Easter Inspired Container Garden for Spring with Sweet Broom, Phlox, and Candytuft by Carmen Johnston Gardens

4. Add “borrowed” branches.

Easter Inspired Container Garden for Spring with Sweet Broom, Phlox, and Candytuft by Carmen Johnston Gardens

5. Repeat one color of your choice and place it in a smaller pot.

Easter Inspired Container Garden for Spring with Sweet Broom, Phlox, and Candytuft by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Maintenance:
1. Keep soil moist to touch.

Don’t the bright layers remind you of the stripes on a good ol’ fashioned Easter egg? So much fun!

DIY Easter Decoration with Plants 7

Don’t miss out on our sweet Easter decor!