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Happy Valentine’s Day!

As promised, here is another quick and easy solution for your holiday decor. If you thought the citrus topiary was a cinch, just wait until you see what I have planned for the day of love. I know what you’re probably thinking, ‘Valentine’s Day is today! I don’t have time to decorate now. What’s the point?’ I am here to tell you that you do have time and that the point is to celebrate those you love. It just so happens that I have the perfect plan for some last-minute decor.

All you need to do first is find a nandina bush…

Quick and Easy Plant Decor: Love Letter Topiaries  by Carmen Johnston Gardens

So,where do you find nandina berries? Just get in your car and drive around. I happened upon these beauties in a Walmart parking lot. Finders, keepers. (Tip: Always be on the look out for berries and blooms wherever you go. You never know when free foliage will fall into your lap!)

Quick and Easy Plant Decor: Love Letter Topiaries by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Simply insert the berries into the base of your plant to create a skirt of vibrant color.

Quick and Easy Plant Decor: Love Letter Topiaries by Carmen Johnston Gardens

For a touch of whimsy, I borrowed these little love birds from my kitchen. (Tip: Before buying anything new, always look around your house first.)

Quick and Easy Plant Decor: Love Letter Topiaries by Carmen Johnston Gardens

After dressing your topiary up in it’s Valentine’s Day best, put it on a tray with some sweet treats for your guests. This popsicle display was a total happy accident. The popsicles looked extra sweet in the shape of X’s and so I added some heart-shaped candy to keep them in place. It was super easy and incredibly cheap. Finally, to turn this display into a station for writing love letters, simply put out some blank stationary and let the sentimental feelings fly!

XOXO

P.S. Don’t toss out those nandina berries just yet! Hang onto them and stay tuned for more DIY decorating solutions soon.

Container: The Home Depot
Tray: Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart
Valentine’s Day Cards: Anthropologie

Photos: The Photography of Haley Sheffield

Learn how to plant the perfect low-maintenance plant ever with Carmen Johnston Gardens!

Did you all know that there is a fashion show for flowers? Amazing, right? It happens twice a year, once in Europe and then once in California. Every year, breeders (basically, the people who make the flowers easy for everyone else to grow) come from all over the world and gather together in a town called Essen in Germany. Just like the designers who show at the fashion shows in Paris and New York, these breeders come to Essen bringing their very best! It is such an incredible sight to see and for this flower child, it was nothing short of magical. There were rows and rows of flowers that I had never seen, which brings me to the perfect low-maintenance plant and today’s post…

There, among all the new and unique blooms, one plant in particular really caught my eye. This extraordinary plant was not growing in water or soil but had the most beautiful bloom. Was it real? I had to touch it to be sure. It was most definitely real and “it” turned out to be an amaryllis growing in a bulb covered in wax.

I had to have them!

Several questions and a few emails later and these beautiful bulbs were at my door. Merry Christmas, to me! It was the end of December and I really was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I am so thrilled to finally share them with you all. One of my ongoing missions in life is to find low-maintenance plants for my friends to grow with ease. This is that plant! No matter what shade of green your thumb is, this plant is guaranteed to give you a beautiful bloom.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

(Bulb at 1 week)

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

(Bulb at 2-3 weeks)

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

(Bulb at 3-4 weeks; in full bloom and still with more to come!)

I am so inspired by its fun, new look. The possibilities are endless!

Learn how to plant the perfect low-maintenance plant ever with Carmen Johnston Gardens! Learn how to plant the perfect low-maintenance plant ever with Carmen Johnston Gardens! With Valentine’s Day only a week a way, I thought it was the perfect time to tell you all about this plant that has stolen my heart. Hopefully, in the near future, these “Be Mine” bulbs can be yours too!

Learn how to plant the perfect low-maintenance plant ever with Carmen Johnston Gardens! Stay tuned! More about this soon.

Photos by The Photography of Haley Sheffield

Make sure to plant flat side where roots emerge at bottom and pointed tip on top.

Make sure to plant flat side where roots emerge at bottom and pointed tip on top.

Want to know even more about bulbs? Be sure to check out our post on planting bulbs!

The month of February is typically characterized by one thing and one thing alone—Valentine’s Day. With this Hallmark holiday staking it’s claim on the first half of this month every single year, it is impossible to ignore the fact that love is certainly in the air and it is something contagious. That being said, this past month I have been inspired by a major symptom of the holiday itself—romance. However, I am not referring to the candy-hearts and chocolate-kisses kind of romance. My inspiration has sprung from something more sensual, dare I say dreamy, and with an irresistible punch of passion that will leave you breathless and give you some different ideas for Valentine’s Day.

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Photos courtesy of (From left to right): Design Love Fest, Rie Elise Larsen via House of Bliss, and Anthropologie

Romance is like floating. Create an indoor escape with decor such as a sanctuary of pillows, a ‘magic carpet’ throw, and a colorful collection of candelabras.

Enchanted Evening

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Photos courtesy of (From left to right): Terrain, Light Locations, and Free People Clothing

Romance is about adventure. Establish a fairytale evening of your own with this woodsy chandelier, an intimate soak, and a dress fit for both the warrior and princess within.

Secret Garden

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Photos courtesy of (From left to right): Harper’s Bazaar via Apartment 34, Confetti Pop, and Darling Magazine

Romance is for indulging. Uncover desire in a lush world of fast cars and feathers, floral toppers for your favorite cake, and flowers in your hair.