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As the garden winds down outdoors, I treasure having bits of it inside.


Case in point–this homage to mother nature on a table in our dining room window.


Cuttings from tender plants are rooting in water.


Annual Celosia is dropping seeds on a china plate. I’ll plant these little black seeds next spring.


I found this wooden knot on a walk a few years ago. It makes a wonderful stand for my vintage metal salt shaker birds.


These little connections to the natural world make me feel better at a time of year when days are short, often wet and gloomy.

Next on my list: Boxwood in vases and bowls of Nandina berries for the holidays.

What about you? How do you enjoy bringing the outside IN?


So if you are like me the gray skies and the brown landscape can get to you during the winter season.  It is important for you to  write this down so you can plan for a more floral winter next season.  Check out Chris’s post on winter bloomers to consider planting in the spring for next winter.  But, like me, you have to survive the winter some how if you didn’t get all the winter bloomers in last season.

Here is a little winter survival guide for all you garden lovers–just 3 easy ways to get you through until spring.

1) Buy some flowers for your house if you don’t have any blooming right now.  I picked up a bouquet from Costco that has lasted for 3 weeks. Having flowers in the house reminds me of the seasons yet to come.

2)Get an indoor bulb set of Paper whites or Amarylis.  I have really enjoyed my set my brother and sister-in-law gave me for Christmas.  I plan to put that on my list every Christmas from here on out.  Not only do you get to watch them grow, but their blooms are spectacular.

3)Get ready to start your indoor seeds for the spring season.  You have about 2 weeks to get your gear ready.  I got my mini-greenhouse out of the shed and set it up.  I am getting my indoor grow lights out of storage and setting them up in preparation from my seed starting extravaganza. I am placing my final seed order this week (BTW–i am a little late ordering, but I think I will just make it).  I plan to swing by the nursery to get my seed starting soil and a few extra seed pots and trays.  The indoor seed growing season starts Mid-February and will last until it is time to transplant them in the ground early spring through the first of summer.  Not only will you see the seeds quickly emerge from the soil, but there is plenty to do to prep these babies for your garden. Never tried it before, or don’t now how to start.  Check out these previous posts, How to sow seeds Part I, How to sow seeds part 2 and Gearing up for the Seeds Starting Line,  to prep you for an incredible gardening experience.  Last year, when I started I really felt like I had graduated to the next level as a gardener.  Plus, I was able to grow enough to share and swap with friends.  So go ahead try it…

Take these 3 simple steps and I promise it will be spring before you know it.

Happy Gardening.


That’s right.  I received a call on my vacation from my excited dad.  He couldn’t wait to tell me that his Edgworthia, I gave him for his birthday this year, was starting to show its buds. He sounded so enthusiatic.  Keep in mind, he has just taken a liking to gardening since he has retired.  He is, just like me, learning as he goes along.  And there is nothing like being given a plant you have never heard of and seeing is show off.

It is the most magical winter plant.  Its bare stems and showy, odd blossoms are sure to be a show stopper–in the winter no less.

Here is my Edgeworthia, although now after seeing the blooms I see I got the less than showy kind–less than $20.

My baby Edgeworthia buds

I am going to find the Snow Cream–pictured below.  That is the really dramatic one.  I saw blog partner Chris’s the other day and I was so jealous.

Show Stopper Version Edgeworthia Snow Cream

So if you are looking for a unique winter show stopper plant that had my dad calling to share the exciting news, you should grow Edgeworthia.

Happy Gardening.


Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t like to call them that.  For some reason it just seems cliche and therefore so easy to quit.  So I call them goals, instead.  I am not going to pile them on like a big pile of autumn leaves, instead I am going to start with one and then add on as the opportunities present themselves.

My first–plant more evergreens and strive for more structure.

Now is the time the evergreen plants shine.  The temperatures have officially frozen all the other plants. They look a little sad, but it is the circle of life.  More importantly, it really points out the structure or lack of structure to your garden.  And I must admit, the floppy frozen tropicals are super revealing.  I remember Tony Avent first talked about structure during one of his winter open house days.  He said everyone has a beautiful garden in spring and summer months, but the test of a great gardener is the winter and a garden structure.

Winter is the best time to check your structure.  It is all about balance.  Looking around at my garden–the summer glorious tropical garden now looks empty.  So that is one on my list to revisit.


Tropical bed in need of more evergreens


Next my backyard border–it kind of looks like a blank canvas, I again I didn’t realize how empty it was.


Border garden needs some evergreens


Here is how I am going to start:

1)Take pics of the beds I want to re-plan.  Then print them out and put them in your garden journal for future planning

2)Research good southern evergreens (feel free to share your favs to help)

3)Start drawing plans to experiment.

4)Set a budget and get started.

I will keep you all posted on my progress.  What are your New Year’s garden Goals?  I find if I don’t write them down they aren’t real.  So here is me writing them down and putting together a plan to make it happen.

Happy Gardening—even in winter.


So I just got back from my trip to California for work.  Now there were lots of long hours, festive beverages and mad productivity, but an unlikely inspiration triggers this post.

So my work team volunteered at the local Humane Society there…talk about an unbelieveable facility.  It was the Taj Mahal of humane societies.  They called themselves a pet community.  I have never seen anything like it…they must be doing something right, because it was so quiet.  No barking, meowing, etc…a very surreal experience indeed.

Here is the inspiration part. So we were getting a tour of the front lobby.  The lady said they got a feng shui expert to come in and help them design their entrance.  Of course I snickered and made the usual comment…”only in Califorina.”  But there was something to it.  The entrance had these curved sides as you walk to the front desk and the designer said…you should feel a warm embrace when you enter. sort of did.  It is hard to imagine, but there was something different about the vibe there.

So where am I going with this…well, when I came home, I thought to myself.  Something is definitely missing in my home.  And a trip to Lowes, helped me solve this problem.  Right now, they have these beautify large tropicals for $6 a piece.  I loaded up on a few, placed them through out the house…that was it.  I was missing a balance in my home…an organic one.  I still need to transplant them to formal pots, but instantly I felt calm, very similar to the humane society hug.

So don’t get down in the brown winter garden blues…bring the garden in. Add my tropicals to these wonderful fresh flowers Brice bought me for my safe return home…instant living force.

Don’t forget to water though.  That has always been my problem with indoor plants.  If they are dry to the touch, water. Voila! Instant feng shui.

Cool blue flowers from my honey love!

Remember as soon as your flowers start to die, throw them in the compost bin immediately, that represents negative energy.  Do the same for any potted plant too.  If one does bite the dust, replace it with a bigger, healthier one instead.  This replaces the negative energy and brings balance to your home.

Happy Gardening!


A long-time gardener and a passionate beginner share the dirt on their NC gardens-

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