March 10, 2022


Well almost...... here in Chicagoland there is still snow on the ground and more on the way
What to do, when we are longing for warmth and 
brighter days?

YES, my favorites, good faux's that is

I can hear the groans, but wait, let's explore the options
This is our floral room at the shop. Because actual flowers are so fleeting, we can enhance and extend 
the season
Adoring spring branches, say Apple or Cherry blossoms, but loathing how quickly they fade, I make my own.
* First cutting real branches
* glue faux blossoms to the stems.....viola!
Finding geranium blossoms from another project I separated the blossoms and buds

These will last
Poppy's, Muscari and fresh moss in a bark vase
Tulips, Pansies, Poppies, Fritillaria, Lily of the Valley, fern and moss
Tulips, Muscari, Daffodil, Lettuce leaves and a little 
friend I brought back from England
Tulips, and Lilac

The best faux's, as in these tulips, are called 'Real Touch', they feel and definitely look real. Particularly fond of using these outdoors in containers with live plants, extending the season
See what I mean? Faux underplanted with live pansies
                         Can you even tell?                               

All faux.....think of these as "bridge" plants, taking you from one season to the next

If you have followed me for any length of time, you are probably surprised to see me in this format. Of late, it has been more INSTAGRAM. But when asked by this group of uber talented woman & treasured friends, I can only say yes and be grateful they asked . 

Pease read these ladies posts on SPRING REFRESH!

                          With love


December 3, 2020

Christmas Inspired by Nature

 When my treasured friends/talented superpowers, Cindy Hattersley,  Mary Ann Pickett  and Annie Diamond asked me to join this discussion, I immediately said YES! 

Easily said, this is my favorite style...Nature Inspired                     

I am opting to feature what we have been busy creating for clients, outdoor decorating, predominately planters. 

First, let's explore the basics,  from a northern climate

*. Never use terra cotta, they will fill from rain or snow, freeze, expand, and POP!

*  Soil is the best medium to use, never foam which can split and crumble

*  Add the interest of berry branches but only hard plastic. Not plastic coated foam, they will crack & pop. Real berries turn black & drop. These will last 3-5 years!

* Use a variety of greens for an interesting composition

* Look around your natural world, try branches, fallen pine cones, clipped evergreens.....

* You will need twice as many greens as you think. Go big, and go thick, the branches will diminish once frozen.

Here are varieties to consider. All plantings are by us, over the years

At the shop, where I can experiment, is a composition of greens; long needle pine, spruce toppers, and variegated Euonymus, nearby and in need of pruning. faux berry stems and lotus pods

Big impact! Packed with faux plastic berry stems, surrounded by Noble Fir
With Boxwood surround. 
A favorite for narrow spaces; a boxwood wreath lain over the urn opening and filled with red twig dogwood. This will last until Spring, oftentimes with the dogwood sprouting
Yellow twig Dogwood, with pods, cedar fronds and hard blue plastic berries. Notice the blue shutters? Step back and look at your architectural can they be enhanced?
White painted Birch sticks
Here I chose a combination of orange curly willow and yellow twig dogwood. Deep inside are numerous battery operated lights, it positively blazes at night
A garland wound around this formal urn and draping to the sides
This composition uses boxwood garland along the rear of the container, highlighted by ribbon

Lotus pods, seeded Eucalyptus, boxwood, silver blue fir
This ribbon I use so much is velvet & taffeta (some form of polyester) is so beautiful and does beautifully outdoors, often for YEARS!

We created this ages ago and a favorite on Pinterest
Leaving in the Fall Cabbages, they last most of the winter
See the drape of Bell Eucalyptus? Never use indoors, as they dry the scent of cat urine permeates everything!
Feathers, burlap ribbon, Eucalyptus, Noble Fir, and a Angel Vine nest. This product comes as a mess, one big box of a tangle, ove separating and making nests. I Spring I will add these nests to containers with a tiny egg inside
Matching another homes berries to the shutters
A quiet composition
Silver fir, red huck, spruce, oregonia, magnolia, with horizontal birch logs tied with rope cradling really good plastic cones (you would swear they are glass). When I use magnolia leaves, I only use faux stems,. The good ones they look real and do not fold up going gray (northern climates)

The Eucalyptus pulls out the shutter colors
For a later upcoming surprise venture at this place!

Objects.....I love using them in containers

Up close, a concrete acorn nestled with greens, berries, and angel vine. How about that container, the detail? It too is concrete!
A pair of Doves

Last year I hosted a Christmas walk at our home. My front urns were a wild combination of raised, oversized "nests". A talented friend Sherri Buck Baldwin, a professional artist, sent me this drawing. Lucky me!

Please visit all seven bloggers on these Nature Inspired Christmas posts, you will love these!


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