Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine's Day Inspirations Cast a Romantic Spell

I love this holiday because there is no pressure for big festivities!  Just sweet pink and red sentiments.

Dried roses are pretty, and they make fun additions inside a package!  Kind of like a rose confetti!

Instead of lining a gift box with plain tissue paper sheets, form the tissue paper into flowers
and put them in the bottom of the box to cushion your gift.

Embossing dust creates beautiful raised sentiments on a pretty envelope.

 Tuck in sweet little girlie things-  red nail polish, a pretty lipstick and
new pink make-up brushes for a special friend!

 A few macaroons in a cello bag add a little French style!

 Drop in a few of those dried rose buds too!

 Collect vintage postcards for gift tags that have a nostalgic touch.

 Dyed cheese cloth makes a pretty soft bow.

Time to pull out that pink stemware, a bottle of Rose, and a few sweet bites for your
Valentine's dinner.

And a bucket of fresh blush toned flowers doesn't hurt the Valentine's  spell either!

A recent guest in my home was enchanted by my collection of romantic prom dresses hanging in the guest rooms. A late night escapade between her and another guest resulted in this romantic picture.
I think this picture is a Valentine waiting to be sent.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Garden Design for Year Round Color

After living in our new home for almost a year, it is time to re-evaluate our landscaping plan.  When we first  moved in, our focus was on the interior. Grass, mulch, and the hard scape were put in place to prevent erosion.  Then a general plan of trees and perennials was implemented.  But after the first year of looking at the landscape, you start to realize that you have just begun!

We are in the process of evaluating our plantings- perennials versus annuals, trees versus shrubs.
What blooms during each time of the year?  Is there always color?  Were the plants planted in the right location or was there too much sun, water, etc. ? Who can help us? Voila!  I  discovered  a fantastic website to help guide us in the right direction- is a website that helps you  design your gardens.  It lists all the plants for your planting zone and will separate them by color.  After you choose you selection, it gives you a chart with the bloom color by season.  

We are working on a year round color border by the road, that will also be a cutting garden. Below are some of the plants that we are considering.  

As you can see, it gives you the zone, blooming season, height and spread.

These are some plants that we are considering adding to the mix.

After you have made your selections, a color profile is shown to you to see how all the colors and textures work together. 

Finally you get a bloom calendar that shows what is in bloom by season!  

 Gardenia also has many pictures of landscaping ideas.  I was researching borders.

After doing a little research, I found out that hellebores, heath and camellias bloom in the winter in Western North Carolina. 

 Our landscape designer planted this border down the front walk
to get color in the front of the house for the winter season.  

Hellebores and heath are perennials and will come back every year.

 I was quite surprised to see this honey bee already at work on this hellebore's stamens.
Its only the middle of February!

We brought in large camellia shrubs to bloom during the winter season. Right now they are in the pots by the front door, but will be relocated to the garden in a month or so.

This is a winter border that I found on  It adds a beautiful color during
the winter season.  We will be starting to plant this  in the next month. allows you to design one garden at no charge.  After that, it is a $25 annual fee to design additional areas.   Its well worth it for so much information.   You can design each area of your garden- ie cutting garden, borders, herb garden and get a full detail chart for each one.  

While it is dark and gray outside, it's a great time to start planning your gardens.