As women, we are constantly searching for the next best thing in beauty. Whether it’s for our hair, skin, or nails, we are always looking for ways to update and improve our routine. As a gardener, I am constantly searching for ways to utilize my garden in my every day life. Homemade beauty products are such a blessing, for both your budget and your body, and this rosemary and mint hair rinse is one of my most favorite discoveries yet.

All you need is a few sprigs of rosemary and mint, a metal colander, and a large pot.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Then, in just four simple steps, you are ready to rinse.

1. Fill the pot with water and place the sprigs of rosemary and mint inside the colander.

2. Place the colander on top of the pot so that the sprigs touch the water.

3. Boil the water for 5 minutes. Then, let it sit for another 5 minutes to cool.

4. After your regular wash routine, simply pour the rinse over your scalp for a long-lasting clean scent and fresh feeling!

Sharing ideas and encouraging creativity is part of the heart of Carmen Johnston Gardens and exactly what happened at the annual Haven Conference in Atlanta. As a Southern Living Garden Lifestyle Editor, I was honored to present great ideas in plants & gardening with the always beautiful Southern Living Plant Collection.

The Southern Living Plant Collection, first introduced in Spring 2008, provides gardeners with innovative new plants designed to solve specific landscape challenges and to excel in Southern gardens. Each plant in the collection is the result of years of plant evaluations, plant trials and research.

During the two sessions, I had SO much fun presenting lifestyle gardening solutions with container gardens, something I’m excited to pioneer and to share! My co-presentor for the two sessions was HGTV/DIY’s Jeff Wilson and I loved hearing about his home adventures and the building of his deck using Thompson’s WaterSeal products.

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens


Some of the most popular tips from my session were the “stuff and shove” where we created beautiful container gardens with plants from the gorgeous Southern Living collection. Using the Three Ts, tall, thick and trailing, DIY bloggers from across the Southeast helped me create fresh container gardens which were also given out to several lucky winners. Everybody went home with their own lovely plant and so can you by visiting your local Home Depot today!

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens


We took a variety of fun snapshots and assemble a quick glimpse in this video.


Remember, have fun and don’t forget, if you fail, just give it back to the Earth and try again!




Quick, easy entertaining and garden solutions are being served up at an exciting event called Haven convening in Atlanta this weekend, a conference started by some of the top DIY Bloggers in the nation. As a Southern Living Gardening Lifestyle Editor, I’ll be sharing exciting ideas from the Southern Living Plant Collection including six DIY gardening and decorating projects from get your hands-dirty to ready-made solutions!

Carmen Johnston, Garden Lifestyle Expert, Carmen Johnston Gardens

This will be happening Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. (EDT). For those of you not attending, you’ll want to check out the highlights of the great ideas we’ll be sharing via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and follow the hashtag #havenconf as well.

I’ll also be sharing some of the hottest trends for gardening in 2015 at the Southern Living potting shed as part of our exhibit for the event and we will be posting plenty of those pics too!

So here’s a little nugget to inspire you to join us on this weekend adventure. Give color a boost! Keep your blooms looking their best by pinching all dead foliage and blooms. Be sure to give them a drink -plants like us need a lot of water during the heat of the summer. And, are you done with your morning coffee? Give your plants a java jolt pouring the left over coffee into your plants.

Carmen Johnston Gardens


We are going to be crafting a floral centerpiece with ice, ice cream and florals. Intrigued? Join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and be sure to hashtag #havenconf, #SLPC, #CarmenJohnstonGardens.

Flower crowns have become extremely popular over the last few years and it doesn’t take more than fifteen seconds of scrolling through your Pinterest feed to understand why. Even though everyone and their mama is wearing one, I love how no two flower crowns look the same. Just like every flower is uniquely its own, so too is every flower crown and today I’m going to share with you three different ideas for making one of your own.

The steps for all three flower crowns are the same, the structure is what sets them apart. The first look focuses on the front of the crown. By using some larger blooms in the front section, and then filling in with smaller blooms, you create a crown that is nice and full in the front. This won’t take as long as filling the entire crown but it is equally as stunning! The second is the exact opposite. Instead of creating fullness, you use smaller, simpler blooms to create a single look all the way around. For the third and final look, we made a crown that is meant to be off-centered. Create a cluster of a few of your favorite blooms and then group them together off to one side. This will make it look as though you have flowers effortlessly tucked behind you ear.


Having never made a flower crown before, I enlisted the help of a friend for today’s post. Trial and error led her to believe that these flower crowns could be made in three easy steps.

Snip the stems! Leave about an inch of stem so that it can be attached to the crown.


Create the crown! Use several pieces of floral wire and braid them together to create a sturdy frame.


Fill with flowers! Using your floral tape, lay the stem on the wire and then wrap with tape. Then continue adding blooms until you’re pleased with the finished look.


I hope this has been helpful! I may be a garden expert, but flower crowns are not my forte. The important thing to remember is just to have fun with it. After all, it’s hard to go wrong with flowers in your hair.


Now that the weather has finally started to warm up, it’s time for you all to start cooling down. And nothing says summer sippin’ quite like a deliciously fresh and amazingly cool raspberry mimosa! Follow these four steps and you’ll be keeping cool in no time.

mimosa_step1mimosa_step2mimosa_step3mimosa_step4The only thing that makes mimosas better is sipping them alongside friends. That’s right, ladies! It’s time to start planning your next Sunday brunch or an afternoon by the pool, because these raspberry mimosas are ready for some fun in the sun.Wherever you are and whoever you’re there with, sit back, relax, and say “Cheers to summer!”cheersTOsummer

I have been so blessed in my business, but one of my favorite things about getting to do what I do is meeting all of the fun individuals along the way. Today I am especially thankful for Amy Norton who I met last summer at the Southern Living Idea House. I was beyond excited when Amy asked for my help in sharing 5 simple steps for hosting an alfresco dinner party on Style Blue Print today. If you aren’t familiar with alfresco dining or Style Blue Print, I suggest you head over there now and get acquainted with both.

Here is a sneak peak!


photography by Sara Monty alfresco 2br0011

Amy, thanks again for having me as your guest today! It has been an absolute pleasure. Happy summer dining, everyone! Make the most of this wonderful weather while it lasts.

My childhood was full of great memories of my dad. Not only was he an amazing chef, making the most incredible meals for our family, but he also took great pride in making our lawn look its very best. During the summer, we would go spend the day at the pool, but not my dad. He would stay home and spend hours working in the yard, cutting the grass and trimming the shrubs. He was extremely frugal and all about taking the natural approach to aerating our yard. Every year my dad would order a box of worms for us to scatter throughout the yard. Our garage became some sort of smelly, scientific lab where he would make his own organic lawn supplies. It was a huge, hot mess! Once the yard work was done, he would immediately start making dinner on the grill. He worked a lot so the fact that he would spend his days off making sure we had a nice yard to come home to meant the world to us. When we got back home from the pool, we would eat dinner out on the deck overlooking the impeccable-looking lawn.

My memories may be completely different from that of your own dad. Maybe your dad worked long hours in an office to help pay for your education or extracurricular activities. Your dad might have been the one staying home, washing your clothes, and yelling at you to make your bed. But aren’t all dads great in a similar way? They all teach us about hard work and they show us how make sacrifices for those we love. One of the greatest gifts my dad ever gave my sister and myself was our work ethic. That’s why once a year we like to shower him with gifts that, hopefully, remind him that he too deserves to be happy, to enjoy himself, and to have a life that he absolutely loves. Here are 6 gift ideas inspired by my own dad.



















Easter is such a fun, family-friendly holiday that I look forward to every year. It has recently occurred to me, however, that Easter is a holiday that is all about the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching kids search the yard for the eggs they worked so hard to paint the night before; I love seeing their faces light up when they crack open a plastic egg filled with candy or a five dollar bill; I love the funny photos of children sitting in a giant bunnies lap—I love it all and it all makes for a great time spent with family and friends.

I truly appreciate the fact that parents work so hard trying to make this holiday a memorable experience for their kids every year—planning egg hunts, scheduling a visit to see the Easter Bunny, and picking out or arranging the perfect Easter basket for their little ones. While some parents continue to make these baskets for their children through college, the loving tradition eventually stops. But I don’t believe it has to!

If you are anything like me, you love giving gifts on any and every occasion. I think that Easter is another great excuse to show your loved-ones a little extra love. I have come up with a few ideas for creating alternative Easter “baskets” for some grown-up gals—the homebody, the beach goer, the frequent shopper, and, of course, the gardener. These “baskets” are created with a specific person in mind and are personalized to meet their specific interests.


Sources | Canvas basket: Anthropologie; Tazo Tea: Available at Starbucks; Tea Cup: Anthropologie; Cashmere Socks: J.Crew

Beach Goer

Sources | Beach Bag: Sole Society; Sunglasses: Bonlook; Burt’s Bees: Available at Target; Water Bottle: Target

Frequent Shopper

Sources | Canvas Tote: Alphabet Bags; Coin Purse Wallet: Target; “What Would Audrey Do?” by Pamela Keogh: Modcloth; Infinity Scarf: Forever 21; Essie Nail Polish: Available at Target


Sources | Garden Trug: Shop Terrain; Straw Hat: Forever 21; The Flower Recipe Book: Available at The Paris Market (Online)

If you have a different grown-up gal in mind—an artist, a chef, a stay-at-home mom—you can create your own alternative Easter “basket” just for them.

Here’s the basic formula:

Bag + Beauty + Book + Bite

  1. The grown-up gal doesn’t want some cheap, pastel basket that will end up in the attic, or worse, the trash. Give her something she can use again like a stylish tote or a garden trug.
  2. Also, the grown-up gal likes to look her best no matter what the occasion, whether she’s at home on the sofa or soaking up sun at the beach. A comfy pair of socks or a new pair of shades is exactly what she needs.
  3. While not all gals are book lovers, there seems to be a book for just about everything. Find a book that will be of interest to her, like fashion or flowers.
  4. The one thing about traditional Easter baskets that everyone can appreciate—especially, the grown-up gal—is the treats. Not every girl is interested in jellybeans or chocolate bunnies, though. Give her something special, something she will really enjoy, like her favorite snack food or maybe even a bottle of wine.

Happy Easter, everyone!

If I had to jot down a list of a few of my favorite things, you can guarantee that somewhere on that list you would find planting flowers, birthday parties, and happy, smiling children. Katie’s 10th Birthday Bash had all three! Katie absolutely loves to plant so when her parents, Jamie and Melissa Keating, told me that she wanted to have a planting party I was super excited to help out. Katie’s love for planting combined with her great sense of humor led to the party’s quirky theme: “I Mustache You to Come Plant.”


How did we pull this off, you ask? Easy!

All you need in order to have a planting party of your own:

1. Pots (We drew faces on ours—complete with mustaches, of course!)

2. Plants: Red Geraniums, White Bacopa, and Bright Green Creeping Jenny

3. Soil

4. Worms (The kids love it!)

5. Mustaches for all of the guest

6. The birthday girl’s favorite desserts: milkshakes and root beer floats!


I had an absolute blast and I know that the birthday girl did too! How could she not with the lovely Sara Monty on her team creating all of the super fun place-mats, signs, photo-booth, and all of these fabulous photos. Also, you know the menu is going to be insanely perfect when your dad is the owner of EPIC, which for Katie, just so happens to be the case. In other words, this mustache bash meets planting party was a definite day to remember!

Happy Birthday, Katie! Thanks again for letting me be a apart of your special day!


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!


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:









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:

SL Video