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.
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
- 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.
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.
Fill in the empty spaces with the 1 gallon, or pint size, white pansies.
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.
Below are a few other game day containers we rallied up.
The perfect play for a container garden win with Yellow Cool Wave™ Pansies
To guarantee a floral victory – Penny Red blotch violas!
Hope your favorite team comes out victorious this season!
Simple white lantana layered with blue fan scaevola provide everlasting color and blooms from summer to fall in my garden. Bold Magilla™ Purple Perilla gives my flower bed the perfect seasonal pop of color and finishing touches for fall. I am enjoying this bed every day and dreading the first frost.
These are the flavors that I crave when the fall holidays roll around. I wanted to start looking into some ways that I could prepare for my upcoming festivities, but still bring in the flavors and garnishes from my garden. I love me a Sage Sidecar, but found this amazing recipe where the bartender included roasted pineapple calling it Roasted Pineapple and Sage Sidecar Martini. Doesn’t it just look so divine!!
The trick to this recipe is that she infuses the brandy with sage meaning that she added a bunch of sage leaves and let them steep in the brandy for 2 to 3 days, but she warns us to remove the leaves before 4 or 5 days have passed. Another way this cocktail is set apart is by roasting pineapple coated with brown sugar in the oven. Oh, I can just smell it now!! In my post, 5 Must-Have Herbs for a Cocktail Garden, I talk about infusing vodka with rosemary and lavender. Make sure to check it out!
Another way to add depth of flavor to your favorite cocktails is by creating infused simple syrup. Simple syrups are very easy to make – one part water to one part sugar. You can infuse it with a variety of different ingredients such as thyme, ginger or lavender. It’s really up to you!! With this cocktail called Fall Classic, the creator infuses syrup simple with thyme and it pairs lovely with apple brandy and ciders.
Or what about making this Fall Classic cocktail and serving it in a glass that everyone at the party will just love and think you are so absolutely creative.
Both thyme and sage could be used as a garnish in the above two cocktails, but when I think of rosemary its garnish quality really stands out. It is wonderful for infusing liquors and syrups, but I love its elegant nature in a martini glass. Look how beautiful it acts in its role as an olive skewer for this Olive-Rosemary martini.
But after looking at all the recipes, this one had my head spinning!! An Adult S’more Cocktail! With the weather cooling, it is absolutely the right time of year to be roasting marshmallows by the fireside, but with this recipe no fire is needed! How perfect is that!
Y’all have a fabulous time picking out which recipe you will be sharing with friends and family this season. Just make sure to be safe and have a DD when necessary. Cheers and here’s to finding ways to celebrate the garden in every single season.
Building a container garden is as simple as 1-2-3! I have a theory of what makes for the most beautiful container gardens. It is called the Triangle Theory. The elements to this theory are that you have a tall plant, a thick plant and a trialing plant that are arranged to form a triangle in your container illustrated by the diagram below:
Some examples of tall plants for the sun include:
Cordyline, Purple Fountain Grass, Gaura (Perennial), Canna and Victoria Salvia
Tall plants for the shade include:
Caladium, Coleus and Upright Fuchsia such as the variety Gartenmeister
Thick plants for sun include:
Heuchera (Perennial), Superbells Calibrachoa (my favorites are Cherry Star and Dreamsicle), Sunpatiens and Diamond Frost Euphorbia. The Calibrachoa and Euphorbia act as a 2-for-1 plant because they perform as the thick and trialing plant when used in containers.
Thick plants for the shade include:
Dragon Wing Begonias, Non-stop Begonias, New Guinea Impatiens and Impatiens
Trailing plants for the sun include:
Creeping Jenny (working in sun and shade – perennial), Angelina Sedum (perennial)
and Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunia.
Trailing plants for the shade include:
English Ivy, Torenia and Trialing Fuchsia
One of my secret tips for making containers look good all-season long is to use a liquid fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster (or a similar bud & bloom fertilizer) every two to three weeks. Think of fertilizer like a vitamin. When people take them regularly we perform better, the same is true for these living and breathing plants. With regular fertilizer, they will perform to their best ability.
Please remember that deadheading your plants is as important as fertilizing them. If faded flowers or seed pods are not removed from a plant it puts its energy into creating seeds and not flowers. Recently, I removed the seed pods from my fuchsia, fertilized them and they are pushing out new buds a few days later. I expect them to bloom well into our first frost. If you are unsure how to deadhead a particular plant, when shopping ask the staff at the garden center. They are sure to be able to help.
It is also very important to maintain the moisture in containers especially during times of drought. If it is really hot where you live, watering once every day may be necessary. A great way to tell is by sticking your finger in the container’s soil. If it is dry, your plants are sure to be thirsty, If wet, feel free to wait another day before watering. Many plants will show signs of dehydration such as puckering or browning on the leaves. Over watering can also be a huge issue. Remembering when creating your container garden that picking a larger container will help decrease the amount of time spend on watering. Since larger containers have more soil to retain moisture, they do not dry out as quickly as smaller containers.
With these simple and easy tips your container gardens should look stunning throughout the season.
Check out my video on this very topic:
Whether it is your in-laws or your friends coming over for a visit this weekend, there are several quick and simple ideas to put a little pizzazz in your place before they arrive. Guess what! They all come from your garden. By adding special touches here and there, your guests will embrace your hospitality and enjoy their stay.
Nate Berkus, designer, TV Host and frequent past guest on Oprah states this: “There’s got to be some natural element (in a tablescape). A glass vase filled with sand and a candle, seashells that you picked up on the beach, and one framed photograph is a tablescape – and it’s not something you need to spend a lot of money on. Bring God’s work in, and make it your work.”
Let’s follow Nate’s lead and add some natural elements from our gardens to our interior décor. Here are 5 gorgeous ways from the garden to glam up for guests:
SIMPLE IDEA #1
Take small bud vases and disperse them around your house – in the guest bed and bathroom as well as the common areas of your home such as the living and dining rooms. Place small flowers such as Pinks (Dianthus) which is one of my favorites because it lasts so long as a cut flower. Sweet Peas, Azure Skies™ Heliotrope, Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), Shasta Daisies (Leucentheum), ‘Stars & Stripes’ Pentas, Lupine, Bee Balm (Monarda), Gaillardia or October Magic™ Camellia would all make excellent choices. A couple of the choices above would also add a sweet fragrance to your space. The idea is to just pick flowers that would be proportional to your vase. Typically, the bud vase will only be able to hold two to three flowers at the most, but it will make a big difference. Picking unique flowers like this ‘Chomley Farran’ Dianthus will draw attention to its beauty.
SIMPLE IDEA #2
This was a great idea that I saw on Pinterest and why no one hasn’t thought of it before is beyond me as it is so elegant and simple. Say you don’t have coasters, well the solution for your problem is simple. Go out to your garden and pick a couple beautiful Hosta leaves. The leaves have a waxy coating causing water to pearl up and acts as a perfect coaster, however at the same time adding sophistication to your living space. There are several varieties of Hostas that have gorgeous variegated leaves such as ‘Autumn Frost’, ‘Blue Ivory’, ‘Captain Kirk’ and many more.
SIMPLE IDEA #3
Pick out recipes that highlight herbs from your garden such as something as simple as roasted redskin potatoes with rosemary, a caprese salad using basil and tomatoes freshly picked or lavender lemonade to cool off on a hot day. Herbs are perfect to enhance a dishes flavors as well as garnish. Remember we always eat with our eyes first and by adding something fresh at the end just gives it that final touch. Plus serving friends and family the harvest from your garden is one of the best feelings in the world. Sharing the taste of freshly picked herbs, vegetables and fruits is a moment to be cherished.
SIMPLE IDEA #4
Creating a stunning centerpiece for the dining room table can be as simple as going out to your garden and picking some Camellia, Dahlia or any flowers that have star quality. When selecting which flowers to use, those that have a flat back float more gracefully. Feel free to mix and match the flowers to have a vibrant color assortment. Coordinating the colors with your table linens will add a polished look.
SIMPLE IDEA #5
Why not get some garden chores done at the same time as decorating for your upcoming guests? Do your Hydrangeas need a shear after they have bloomed or maybe that tree out front needs to have some branches pruned away? Make sure to not throw those garden trimmings away! Hydrangeas make absolutely gorgeous cut flowers and they dry perfectly while being in a vase. Simple cut your Hydrangea blooms at the height that would compliment your vase, add a small amount of water that will evaporate during the drying process and place in whatever room needs a pop of color. They will dry beautifully. Those branches from your tree out front will add a wonderful vertical element in floor vases that will last for years to come.
Like Nate Berkus said “Decorating is not something you need to spend a lot of money on.” It is as simple as going for a walk in the garden and collecting some color along the way. Here’s to celebrating the outdoors inside with our family and friends. Cheers!
Source: Quote from Nate Berkus: http://yourdecoratinghotline.com/style-quotes/
Want to turn a strawberry jar into something that can be used for entertaining? Then when you’re guests ask you where you got this fabulous piece – you can let them know that you made it yourself! Here’s what you will need for this DIY project:
– An Iron Table Top
– A Large Strawberry Jar (24″ tall x 22″ wide)
– 2 bags of Pine Bark (1.5 lb)
– 2 bags of Potting Soil (1.5 lb)
– 9 – 4″ plants including 2 Thyme, 2 Trailing Rosemary, 5 Decorative plants including 2 Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunia and 3 Creeping Jenny (feel free to substitute)
– 4 wooden folding chairs
– 36″ round piece of glass (optional)
First take your pine bark and put it into the bottom of the strawberry jar. Doing this ensures proper drainage and reduces the cost of the project because you are able to buy less potting soil. After you have filled the strawberry jar up part way, add your potting soil. You want to make sure to select a potting soil (instead of compost) with a time-released fertilizer, which will really help your plants perform. Feeding the soil into the side cups is an important step for planting.
The next easy step is to get the herbs and flowers planted. Start with the plants that you will be putting in the side cups. For ours, we have selected Thyme, Trailing Rosemary (Rosemarinus officianalis ‘Prostratus’), and Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunia. By selecting herbs, it will add a beautiful fragrance while you are enjoying outdoor meals with family and friends. Before planting the herbs, ripe off half of the root ball to make sure they are small enough to fit into the side cups. Don’t be afraid to do this – herbs are resilient and will recuperate quickly. To not overcrowd and give your plants plenty of space to grow, using 4″ plants will be just right for this project.
Simply go all the way around your strawberry jar until every side cup is planted rotating between the herbs and flowering plants. Make sure each cup is filled to the top with soil. After a week of watering, double-check that the soil level is the same as when it was first planted as it tends to escape. If not, add more soil to the side cups to ensure a healthy home for your plants.
When planting the top of your strawberry jar, make sure the soil is about 2″ below the rim. Take your Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) and plant it in the top. This is a great trailing plant and won’t grow very high; making it the perfect plant for this project. Three plants are plenty to fill the top planting because it will fill in very quickly.
After everything is planted, give your container garden a good drink of water. Now it is time to enjoy your beautiful container garden as a table. Place four, inexpensive folding chairs around it, add the iron table top and its time to have a garden party! If you would like, add a 36″ round piece of glass to the top of your table when entertaining for a finished look and remove it when guests have gone home.
Invite some friends over for a garden cocktail party and show off your new work of art. Enjoy!
Here’s a video to show the simplicity of the project!