A Day at Trade Secrets

DSC_0207My 2nd annual visit to Bunny William’s Trade Secrets in Sharon, CT, did not disappoint! We arrived before 8am, with the fog enveloping the landscape. But, as the sun began to peek out and we made our way in line, we spotted Martha (Stewart), Kevin (Sharkey), Bunny (Williams) and a number of other notable faces from the design and garden world.

The set up at Lionrock Farm is pastoral and picturesque. Tents dot the landscape…loaded with rare plants and garden antiques. Breakfast for the “early birds” is set up in the big barn and then you are able to leisurely  roam the grounds in search of the perfect plant or pot.DSC_0209 DSC_0211 DSC_0213 DSC_0216 DSC_0217DSC_0214 DSC_0218 DSC_0219 DSC_0220 DSC_0221 DSC_0222 DSC_0225DSC_0227 DSC_0226 DSC_0228 DSC_0229 DSC_0230 DSC_0236 DSC_0238 DSC_0239 DSC_0240 DSC_0241 DSC_0242 DSC_0243 DSC_0248 DSC_0250 DSC_0251 DSC_0253 DSC_0254 DSC_0256 DSC_0258 DSC_0259 DSC_0260 DSC_0261 DSC_0262 IMG_8929Have I planted the seeds for you to visit next year? I hope so! I’d love to see you there!

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Friday Flowers with Outdoors Contained

image1In the Northeast, where things have “just” begun to bloom, Spring pots are the best way to add some color and life to your front entry. The team at Outdoors Contained, Amy Dolan and Amy Fowle are sharing some of their recent work and their tips if you want to create your own.

Here are their tips!

1. Go to the nursery with a plan in mind:

Know your sunlight. You may adore all those sun-loving blooms, but if your container is in the shade, they won’t be happy.

Know the dimensions of your container.

Have an idea of what you would like to create, but be careful b/c the images you see in a magazine may not be conducive to your climate.

2. Stick to a color scheme and don’t be afraid of textures.

3. Vary heights and group in odd numbers. Remember…spillers, fillers and thrillers.

4. Lay out the arrangement as you are going to pot it at the nursery. That way you can make any changes or adjustments there.

5. Water! Once daily and possibly twice a day if really warm. This can make all the difference in the lushness of your arrangement.image2 image3 image4 image5And, if you live locally and don’t have the time or inclination to do your own pots, reach out to Outdoors Contained (outdoorscontained@gmail.com) and let them fix you up for Spring and Summer! You’ll be happy every time you arrive home to see how beautiful it looks!

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6 Tips on How to Create Stunning Holiday Arrangements

IMG_0642Earlier this week, I shared how my home is decorated (outside) for the holidays and I was thrilled to have a little more of my home shared yesterday on my friend Sue’s blog, The Zhush! So, today I wanted to share some more ideas for decorating your outdoor pots from my friends Amy and Amy of The Outdoors Contained. They do pots for every season, but I especially love what they’ve done for winter.toc logo

Here are their 6 tips for creating your own stellar arrangements:

1. Go to the nursery with a plan in mind

~Know your sunlight – you may love all of those sun loving blooms but if your containers are in the shade, they won’t be happy
~Know the dimension of your container
~Have an idea of what you would like to create but be careful because a lot of what you see in magazines may not be conducive to your region

2.  Stick to a color scheme and don’t be afraid of textures  

~Perennials offer great sources of color and texture. They will often last through longer seasons and you can replant in the ground when you are done with them in your container
~Foliage and blooms should compliment and enhance one another not compete
~When buying flowers, if you get the ones with the “tight buds” they will last longer

3. Vary heights and group in odd number 

~Be sure to have something that gives proportional height, something that fills the space and something that spills over the side. Otherwise, known as the “filler, spiller and thriller”

~When grouping, stick to odd numbers, creating a triangle

4. It helps to lay out the arrangement as you will pot it, while you are at the nursery. That way you can be sure you are happy with the arrangement and can make any changes that are necessary.

5. Utilize the nursery staff – they are often very helpful about what is best to buy in the current season

6. WATER! Even in the colder months – you don’t have to water as often, but it’s still importantIMG_6145 IMG_6147 IMG_6152 IMG_6159

Aren’t you inspired to create your own beautiful arrangements? If you live locally and would like for “the Amys” to create something beautiful for your home, you can reach them at outdoorscontained@gmail.com. I think it might just be the best holiday gift you give yourself!

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