fbpx

Posts

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

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!

5 plants for beginners.  These plants practically grow themselves!  by Carmen Johnston

Green thumb or not, these 5 plants are great for anyone interested in gardening. They practically take care of themselves!

1. Angelina Sedum

This bright, chartreuse plant loves to be in the sun and was definitely made for the spring and summer months. It is perfect for softening up the edges of container gardens and for filling in the empty spaces along a pathway.

2. Soft Caress Mahonia

5 Plants for Beginners: Soft Caress Mahonia

Light and airy, this plant thrives in the shade and is perfect for creating outdoor borders.

3. Portulaca

5 plants for beginners.  These plants practically grow themselves!  by Carmen Johnston

Image via Park Seed

Don’t let the petite blooms fool you–this plant is almost indestructible! Like the angelina sedum, the portulaca is a spring and summer plant that loves soaking up the sun’s full rays.

4. Mint

5 plants for beginners.  These plants practically grow themselves!  by Carmen Johnston

Image via Wikipedia

This plant enjoys hanging out in the shade and the sun. You can also plant mint next to your air conditioning unit for some much appreciated condensation.

5. Rosemary

5 plants for beginners.  These plants practically grow themselves!  by Carmen Johnston

Image via Sunset Western Collection

Wherever there is rosemary, there is also a strong woman around. This is a water-wise plant that needs a lot of heat. Take good care of this one and it will bring you graceful stems of goodness all year round.

Have a great weekend!

How to Keep Your Plants Alive: Tips for Watering Indoor Plants 3

Need some help with watering? Find out some really great tips on watering indoor plants!


Today I want to talk about where gardening meets fashion. Usually, the two are mutually exclusive, but what a gardener wears is extremely important. One of the most essential items in the green thumb gals wardrobe are her boots. Over the years I have collected several pairs of boots. I chose each pair based on cut, color, and comfort–The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

This first pair of boots have traveled all over the world with me. I bought them when I was in college from the Tractor Supply store. I needed a pair of boots and these seemed like the perfect pair. The brown leather is such a universal color and oh so comfortable!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

I love how they dip down in the front. Such a feminine shape!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

This is actually my third pair of red Hunter boots. I love them so much that I wore out my first two pairs and have the holes to prove it!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

(Tip: If you are going to be on your feet all day, add Dr. Scholl’s inserts for long-lasting comfort. They work wonders and save your back!)

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Ladies, if you want your legs to look long and lean these are the boots for you! The side slants are super flattering!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

(Tip: The taller the boots, the taller the socks!)

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

During the summer, these are my go-to boots. They are extremely comfortable and easy to wear.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The straps on the side make it easy to adjust. This is especially helpful if you want to wear socks with these as well.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

These boots are another great addition! The bright green color is so vibrant, which is great for when you want to change things up.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

The best part about having a collection of boots is that you can change your footwear from season to season. Tall boots are great for the winter months, and short boots keep you nice and cool during the summer.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Check out my secret weapon…

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

It makes removing your boots a cinch! Cool, right? If you are in and out of the garden as much as me, this is a must-have! I purchased it at Manufactum, my favorite store in Germany.

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

Secret weapon #2 and the most important…the boot dryer. Keeps your boots nice and FRESH!

The Anatomy of the Perfect Boot.  Where gardening meets fashion with Carmen Johnston Gardens

What do your boots do for you?

3 Ways to Bring Your Garden Inside for Entertaining: Glass Gardens 7

Don’t forget to enter our Glass Garden Frames Giveaway! It ends on Sunday!

Photos: The Photography of Haley Sheffield

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.

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!

NOW AVAILABLE graphic

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:

CONTAINER-1

RAISE-THE-BAR

PLACE-SETTINGS

CONTAINER-2

LINE-THE-STEPS

RELAX

FLANK-A-GATE

CONTAINER-3

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

Inquire About Your Next Event:

Email: carmen@carmenjohnstongardens.com

Phone: 762-822-7696