Winter holiday container plantings

I love magnolia. I feel like it is a must in my winter plantings. The velvety leaves and stems and the slight brown texture and color it brings to a design is complete perfection.

A few photos of containers I did for this years Holiday season:

8 of these window boxes!!!

Cant wait for next season... early spring! More photos of my container gardening here.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Uncommon gift ideas for the botanical lover

I partnered up with UncommonGoods to show some fabulous uncommon gift ideas for the botanical lover. The holidays are almost here and UncommonGoods has a lovely array of unique Christmas gifts to explore here. Naturally, when thinking of things a botanical lover would enjoy, I found intriguing items from the garden section here.  

First up, I chose the vertical wall planter. I enjoyed picking out plants to tuck into the modern vessels. It's great that the vessels are attached with large magnets so you can easily remove them for watering and place them back up when done or to change up the design of the garden. What's also cool is that they can be hung on a fridge or a filing cabinet. I placed it in my little office corner which is now much more enticing for me to work on billing and my on-line holiday shopping with my own little vertical garden around me.

Next, these wall dot bud vases are a fun way to easily add a pop of botanical goodness to any room. I added them to my girls' room. They have a sleek modern feel but when paired with the preserved ferns, the modern turns delicate. They also hold water so I am excited to switch them out for fresh flowers once in a while if our garden is blooming or if we see a gorgeous bunch of flowers at the market.
Last, I picked the moss terrarium bottle. Guys are kind of hard to buy for, right? This would be wonderful for their desk or windowsill. The moss comes dormant but you soak it in water and then place it in the upcycled wine bottle and it begins to green and wake up! There are many other unique gift ideas for guys, check them out here.

This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods, an online marketplace offering  unique designed and hand-crafted merchandise. All content and opinions are my own!

fall container plantings part II

A few final pictures of some of the autumn container plantings we did this season.

We picked out new triple ball topiaries for these front door containers that I love and the wrapping of the bittersweet berries around them seems to boldly state rustic fall:
little side door planter:
These next plantings were for an interior designer's home. I loved using the eclectic mix of plants to meet the eclectic mix of pots.  I am delighted with how they turned out:
a head of croton plant, bittersweet berries, ornamental pepper, kale and kalanchoe plant:
This client wanted a simple English garden classic fall feel. Variegated Ivy, deep heuchera and ornamental plum pepper for the autumn season containers:
A hardy succulent centerpiece I planted in the summer was still going strong strong in the cooler outdoor temperatures at a clients home:
and last, a classic fall container of wheat grasses, kale, ornamental peppers, hardy fall mums, ivy and bittersweet berries.
formore of my flowering container gardens visit  here.

fall container plantings part I

 A few photos of some of the containers we planted up this autumn. It is always my favorite season with the simplicity of the designs, the cooler weather to work in and they always come out quite fetching.

this year I loved using the fuchsia celosia to bring a little different color and textures into the plantings (above). 

for more of my flowering container gardens visit here.

Sunset at Montmajour

A Norwegian man hid this grand painting, Sunset at Montmajour, he was told was not a Van Gogh for six decades in his attic. Details of how it was discovered were not shared but this long lost painting has been authenticated by letters, style and the physical materials used, and a traced history. The Van Gogh Museum director described the discovery as a "once-in-a-lifetime experience" at an unveiling ceremony. The Van Gogh museum had rejected the painting themselves in 1990 as it was not signed by the artist. A two year investigation and new research technologies convinced them otherwise. It is now on display at the Van Gogh Museum starting on September 24th, 2013 in Amsterdam.

credit here and here

flowers for all!

Have you heard of flowers for If not, listen up!

I was contacted by to see if I would try out some samples of their flowers. I went on their website and found out they are a well-known and respected high end flower company that grows luxury flowers on their farms in South America. They cut the flowers fresh for orders and ship them directly to you! They have high credentials when it comes to using environmentally responsible practice and also ongoing commitment to work practices that protect the environment and their workers which is an important aspect in the floral trade. Because they are shipped directly from the growers, they are exceptional in appearance, quality and longevity and at the same time, affordable.

I picked out a box each of white roses, peach spray roses and bright yellow alstomeria. They were delivered by fed-ex directly to me from South America. As the fed-ex man handed one of the boxes over, the scent of fresh flowers caught my attention and he said "enjoy them!".
I couldn't help but open the boxes up right away. They were packaged lovely for gift giving, wrapped with a satin ribbon and a kind note. I cut them and let them drink up. Already, even without designing and just snipping them all the same length, they were beautiful! I waited a few days for them to open up before designing.

My favorite of the samples I received were the peach spray roses. They bloomed so lovely and were full of ruffled petals. I left them in my girls' room and they would not stop sneaking sniffs because of their lovely scent.
the vibrant alstromeria:
After the flowers opened up a few days later, I picked out a vintage milk glass pedestal to design in and used my trusty kenzan (the proper japanese ikebana term for a flower frog). I snipped some mint that grows wild, myrtle, citrus branches and lengthy wandering jew vine from my garden and started designing.
I loved the results of my garden themed design. Each of the flowers were top of the line and opened up beautiful. Just look at those white roses!
My apartment smelled wonderful for days as the citrus, flowers and mint all mingled together. I am confident that you will enjoy your experience ordering from for any floral occasion and I am grateful for the chance I've had to share their beauty with you!

New York Botanical Garden - with kids!

The New York Botanical Garden invited me to explore their gardens so this past weekend I took up the opportunity and went with my husband and 3 little girls for our first visit to it in the Bronx. A first of many visits for certain!

Elegant autumn toned dahlias grew in the seasonal walk

I could not contain my excitement and I think it rubbed off on my girls as we excitedly went from garden to garden. As we walked up to the conservatory, my husband saw the sign "A world of Plants" and knew without words that I would want a picture in front of it.
 so many lovely green textures.
I really enjoyed the different hanging baskets of Apocynaceae plants native to Indonesia and Malaysia:
riding on the tram!
 The flowering 'sweet autumn clematis' were a sight to see:
Naturally, we spent the most time in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden. My girls loved seeing the massive critters designed using different plantings.
They also enjoyed a scavenger hunt that had them searching for medicinal plants. They even got to plant and take home their own medicinal plant to put on mosquito bites. At the time, I missed what seed it was that they were planting, but we will find out once they start to sprout!
overflowing hydrangeas
The garden grounds were so much larger than I expected! For any horty like me, I would recommend spending a full day at the gardens to fully enjoy each area without feeling rushed. There are many things I would love to go back and discover more about that we did not have time to see, especially the Mertz Library. It is one of the world's largest and most important botanical and horticultural research libraries, with over one million items such as books, journals, original art and illustration, seed and nursery catalogs, architectural plans of glass houses, scientific reprints, and photographs. I think that alone would take a whole day for me to enjoy.

As for my girls, they loved it and asked the next morning "when can we go back?!".
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