I have a thing for mums.  Garden chrysanthemums to be exact.  These perennials which we usually treat as annuals are a fabulous and inexpensive way to paint the stunning colors of fall across my apartment's balcony garden.     It's easy to refresh a container garden that looks a little tired after a long summer.  Simply pull out the sorry looking plants, rearrange any others if necessary and pop in a mum or a couple of miniature mum plants to freshen the pot and you have a new fall container!     Just a few white mums and a purple mum transitioned my … [Read more...]

  Make a small space live large through the seasons with a beautiful container garden.     Have you ever gone to one of those events where they wanted you to get to know all the other attendees with some crowd breakers?  I know, it's awkward. How would you like it if they asked you to run to one side of the room if you love a particular season and the other side of the room for another season? That was easy, a least it wasn't running while trying to balance a balloon on my nose.  However, I did learn something about myself.  I'm a stand alone.  I don't remember what season spring … [Read more...]

  Some days I can hardly contain my joy.      Every morning after I wake up, I walk over to my sliding glass door, throw open the door and take in all the glorious beauty on my tiny balcony.  Happiness floods my soul. It's such a great way to start the day!     This small space... nearly 4 feet deep by 19 feet long has become my balcony garden oasis. Filled with beautiful hanging baskets, container gardens, and grocery store mark-down plants... everything is flourishing on this bright but mostly shady perch high among the … [Read more...]

  You went to the garden center... picked out some pretty plants with dreams of having a window box garden like those on Fixer Upper... but really you have no idea what to do.  Don't worry... you've come to the right spot to learn...   What You Need to Know to Plant a Beautiful Window Box     My goal today is to show you how you too, can create a beautiful magazine-worthy window box Joanna Gaines would love.   This is a full-blown tutorial filled with planting tips!!     You Can Plant a Beautiful Window Box!   To make it easy I'll be … [Read more...]

Spring planting season is around the corner for those of us who live "up north." Right now it's a great time to plant trees and yummy blueberry bushes. Do you have any blueberry bushes?  I can't wait 'til I'm able to have my own fresh picked organic blueberries. Yum!!   In the meantime, I'm dreaming of flowers to plant once we are frost-free. Do you have "go to" favorites every year, or are you into experimenting with colors and heights and textures? I do have a few "go to" favorites.  But, they will always be used in the midst of my experimental containers.  Because there is always … [Read more...]

Hope you had a great Easter celebration! We enjoyed a wonderful service at church, a delicious dinner, and the most gorgeous weather. Speaking of weather.  It feels like summer today!  After this very long winter it's amazing! No doubt you were busy over the holiday weekend.  Just in case you missed this...I shared some Last Minute Ideas for Your Easter Table, including a place card printable and tutorial, egg decorating idea, and recipes.  "Pin" for next year here.     When the weather gets warm, many of us start thinking about planting flowers. How do I know this?  My tutorial on how … [Read more...]

    Do you open up magazines, or scroll through Pinterest and dream of having beautiful window boxes or container gardens? Last week I teased you with some inspiring container garden possibilities. My goal today is to show you how you too, can create a magazine-worthy window box.   This is a full-blown tutorial filled with planting tips, hang on!!     How to Plant a Window Box Garden   To make it easy I'll be sharing lots of photos and easy instructions, and "how to" tips for creating a successful, gorgeous, window box.  We'll talk about plant … [Read more...]

  When the weather turns warm, I can't wait to hit the greenhouses and garden centers for the most beautiful plants I can find. I make it into a challenge to get the good stuff before anyone else.  I'm a competitor and my intent is to win. (But let's keep that secret between the two of us, okay?)     Have you always wanted to create an extraordinary container garden?   You see them at the garden centers and in magazines. Could you really create an extraordinary container garden? My resounding answer is, YES!!     Why not create one this … [Read more...]

  To live an Extraordinary Life is to see the Miraculous in everyday things. Emerson says it just a little bit differently. I like his thoughts too.     “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson Hmmm.... I'm thinking that if we're wise we will train our eyes so that we can indeed see the miraculous in the common. This beautiful plant is a Croton which I photographed on a recent trip to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. You will be seeing more photos in upcoming weeks from my little jaunt there.  Certainly it was a … [Read more...]

  Paperwhites!   What can be prettier in the dead of winter than live plants sending up beautiful white flowers? Today I'm sharing with you A Visual Tutorial for growing paperwhites for the holidays.     Are those just not the prettiest flowers ever? You can pretty up your home with paperwhites too!   Here's what to do....                           Paperwhites : Easy DIY Holiday Project   1. Gather the following supplies: Waterproof container (I used … [Read more...]

Not long ago I was walking in my neighborhood when I noticed a ground cover plant that has been a favorite of mine for using in container gardens.  I love its variegated leaf and that it fills out nicely, as well as growing long cascading vines, over the summer.  When I lived in Michigan I would over-winter it in my garden to have for my containers from year to year.  One year it grew like crazy over the winter and I discovered that my container vine was also a fabulous ground cover.    Lamiastrum g. 'Variegatum'  This spring I had been looking for it in all the local greenhouses and garden shops.  I … [Read more...]

  Have you always wanted to create a pretty container garden?       Why not create one this weekend?     Below are 9 steps to help you get started, plus lots of inspiration too!        But first.... more inspiration!       Nine steps to get the process started.   1.  Decide where you want your container garden(s). 2.  Notice if that location is sunny, partly sunny, or mostly shadey? 3.  Choose a container for your location.  Don't skimp on the size...your plants need room to grow. 4.  Select … [Read more...]

Seeing God demonstrate his love for us in nature. If we just look, God has object lessons of his grace and love all around for us to see and experience.     Almost exactly 3 years ago to the day, my husband and I were sitting in the office of our executive pastor. We were anticipating some new changes in the structure of the children's ministry.  Tim was leading a thriving and growing ministry to children with excellence and grace, and we were anticipating a good meeting.  Several minutes later we were told that we (I was Tim's ministry assistant) would no longer be leading the children's … [Read more...]

A few things made me pause this week.....   Like this quote from Francis Chan.   unknown source Do these words hit you between the eyes, too?   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   Do you ever wonder what kind of legacy you will leave?  New father, Jeff Goins, and guest writer at Chatting at the Sky gives three powerful thoughts on how to begin the journey of leaving a legacy. I loved it when he said this, "...if you want to create more beautiful art, live a better life."  I want to live a better life.  How about you?   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   … [Read more...]

Was this past weekend your big "get the yard in shape" working weekend?   Traditionally Memorial Day {Weekend} is when mulch gets spread, shrubs, and lawns get trimmed, flowers get planted, the pool gets opened, and everyone gets ready for summer outdoor fun.  Is that your tradition?  We tend to spend plenty of time "playing" in the yard.  But, gardening and yard work for our family starts as soon as the weather is spring like, and flower planting begins usually around Mother's Day.   This year has been a bit challenging for me, with limited finances, living in a new town, and renting a home. … [Read more...]