Second Annual Garden2Blog

What’s the easiest way to keep up with the gardening world? Garden blogs. You talk about folks that have their fingers on the pulse. You’ll find garden bloggers at flower shows, horticulture trade shows, and touring gorgeous gardens and industry facilities. Like green reporters they suss out all the latest trends to bring to readers of their blogs. A garden blog is also an informative resource for region specific tips and news.

I’m pleased to say that this week 25 garden bloggers will be here in Little Rock for our second annual Garden2Blog event. For two days we’ll tour area gardens and hang out at the Moss Mountain Farm Garden Home. In addition to the bloggers team members from several of my Garden Home partner companies will be there. It’s a great way to get industry and media folks talking.

For me the event offers an opportunity to hang out with people who share my passion for gardening and learn a thing or two while I’m at it.

I’m kicking off the celebration with a giveaway. Tell me about your favorite garden blog for a chance to a Garden2Blog goodie bag, three signed garden how-to decks, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour, a trio of manure teas from Authentic Haven Brand (love this stuff!), Fun with Winter Seed Sowing eBook by Monica Milla, Container Gardening for All Seasons by Barbara Wise and I Garden Urban Style by Michael Nolan.

I’ll select a winner on Wednesday May 9th, 2012. Click here for the official rules.

Congrats to Nicky from DirtandMartinis.com. She’s the winner of the Garden2Blog giveaway. Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment. Great blog recommendations!

The group at our inaugural Garden2Blog in 2011.

Great Garden Blogs to Follow

Edible Gardening

The Casual Gardener

Seasonal Wisdom – Teresa
Our Little Acre write Kylee hanging out in front of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion playhouse.

Garden Humor

The Grumpy Gardener

Good Enough Gardening
We literally rode into Scott, Arkansas on a storm. A tornado was spotted in the area as our bus was making it's way to Marlsgate Plantation.

Garden Design

Gardening with Confidence

Garden Smack Down

J. Peterson Garden Design

Miss Rumphius’ Rules
Annie & Bren. Annie owns & operates Authentic Haven Brand moo poo tea and Bren hosts #GardenChat every Monday.

Small Space Gardening

Life on the Balcony

Urban Organic Gardener

Container Gardening on About.com
Fern from Life on the Balcony, Mike from Urdan Organic Gardener, & Jenny from J. Peterson Garden Design Peterson

Design

Urban Gardens

Kerri from ContainerGardening.About.com, Shirley from Garden World TV, Robin from Urban Gardens, & Laura from Punk Rock Gardens

General Gardening

BG Garden

Red Dirt Ramblings

The Garden World Report

Southern Post Journal

Our Little Acre

Punk Rock Gardens

The Garden Buzz

The Garden Faerie

Garden Girl

Heavy Petal Nursery

Read Between the Limes

North Coast Gardening

Me and Lois from Bonnie Plants. Love me some Lois.

Color-Blocking Containers

A big trend in fashion last year was color-blocking; combining blocks of colors in one article of clothing or outfit. It was a big hit that seems to have carried over to 2012. So I got to thinking, why not color-block containers? The same principles that apply to fashion can be used in the garden. Just plant one color flowers and foliage per container. If you really want to take the idea to heart select a bright container to contrast with your plantings. Or choose a neutral hue for the pot to really make the flowers pop.

All About Blue

Blue is my favorite color for the garden. For harmonious pairings choose other cool colors like green, turquoise and purple. Fuchsia is even a good match. Jazz up blue with contrasting hues like orange and yellow.

In this Container:

  • Proven Winners® Graceful Grasses® Blue Mohawk (Juncus inflexus)
  • Proven Winners® Sweet Caroline Light Green Sweet Potato Vine
  • Proven Winners® Colorblaze™ Alligator Tears Coleus
  • Proven Winners® Decadence ‘Blueberry Sundae’ Baptisia
  • Proven Winners® Laguna™ Sky Blue Lobelia
  • Proven Winners® Graceful Grasses® Fiber Optic Grass (Scirpus cernus)
  • Proven Winners® Color Spires® Steel Blue Agastasche

Passionate about Purple

Purple is the number one color choice for gardeners. It looks great with orange or chartreuse. Keep it cool with green, fuchsia or varying shades of purple.

In this Container:

  • Proven Winners® Artist® Purple Ageratum
  • Proven Winners® Graceful Grasses® Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)
  • Proven Winners® Superbells® Plum Calibrachoa
  • Proven Winners® Supertunia® Lavender Skies
  • Proven Winners® Senorita Rosalita® Cleome

Blushing Pink

Pink is a chameleon that can be both warm and cool. Color-block it with yellow, blue or orange. It also looks great with bright green and chartreuse.

In these Containers:

  • Proven Winners® Flying Colors® Trailing Antique Rose Diascia
  • Proven Winners® Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum Petunia
  • Proven Winners® Karalee® Petite Pink Butterfly Flower (Gaura lindheimeri)
  • Proven Winners® Superbena® Pink Parfait Verbena
  • Proven Winners® Molimba® Pink Argyranthemum

Window Treatment Ideas with Tobi Fairley

Hello Allen’s readers! It’s great to be back with you today. I hope spring is treating you well and that you’re soaking up some sun!

Being a Southern girl, I’m especially fond of the warmer temps and longer days we have this time of year. I also love natural light and the beauty that it can bring to any room!

Tall panels like these make the room “guest-ready” and opening them allows plenty of light to shine throughout the space. Since living rooms are such a multipurpose space, it can be nice to maintain some formality while still making your window treatments work for everyday use.

Most people typically think of using roman shades in kitchens or baths. However, they make a fantastic option for bedrooms, too. Having one near a bed can provide extra light for reading, too. For this room, I matched the panel to the duvet and shams to create a polished look.

If you like to entertain, you know that lighting can make or break any event. Blending blinds with panels gives you more control over how much light you let into the room. Here I paired matching cornices and panels with plantation shutters to give the room a more formal or “dressed” look.

If you live in an area that’s lucky enough to get warm temps for more than a few months out of the year, you might also consider changing out your draperies for a fun summer pattern made from a lightweight material. As a color lover, my motto is “go bold or go home.”

These bright, punchy fabrics from my Tobi Fairley Home line are a testament to that and I think they can bring a bit of happy to any room. See the full line at TobiFairleyHome.com.

Speaking of windows, I’m also excited to be a guest speaker at this year’s Vision Conference in Chicago, April 23 – 26. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite trends for windows and more about my business and design philosophy. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there.

Happy Decorating!
xo,

-Tobi

 

Happy Birthday Mister President

In honor of one of my personal heroes and in celebration of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday on April 13th, I’d like to share a very brief visual tour of when I went to Monticello recently. We filmed an entire episode there for my show P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table but I’d just like to remember back right now some of grounds and gardens with some imagery from my visit.

The Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Home

Josephs’ Coat (Amaranthus tricolor) found along the Winding Walk on Monticello's West Lawn.

The Pavilion with its double-sash windows, Chinese railing, and pyramidal roof in the Vegetable Garden that Jefferson frequently used as a quiet retreat where he could read in the evenings.

The remarkable Vegetable Garden Terrace Wall as viewed from the South Orchard.

Here I am in the Northwest Vineyard with Gabriele Rausse, one of the founders of the modern Virginia grape industry. Gabriele oversees the production of wine at Monticello as well as the care of the restored vineyards, which continue to serve as experimental gardens of unusual varieties of grapes.

This is Monticello Grove on the northwest side of Monticello Mountain and a spectacular sunset on an amazing trip that checked off another item from my bucket list.

Antiquing

I really love to treasure hunt in antique malls and stores around Arkansas, I always seem to find something I just can’t live without… and usually for a decent price, too! I spent a day last week with my production team at Crystal Hill Antiques and Twin City Antique Mall hunting for furnishings for the new eHow House… and we found some really fun things.

I started the day with a lazy meander through all the different booths. What will I find today!

I like to bring a notebook with me to write down things that I find, their price, and what booth they’re in-
otherwise it gets kind of confusing.

 

 

It may be a little pink for my taste, but it’s a good price… and look at this hand stitching! I think quilt tops can make great wall hangings.

 

 

You can haggle almost anything, you just have to be willing to ask. Depending on the booth, you can get a lot off of the original price!

 

I got a little distracted from my original task when I found the china. I’ve got to get some more Old Paris Porcelain… but the old stuff or the new stuff?

I’ve been looking to fill out my Old Paris collection. I like the older, simpler stuff… but maybe I should consider the later, more elaborate designs? It was made from the 1770s to the 1870s and was actually named after a factory in the oldest part of Paris- the Vieux Paris- and shipped to the US through New Orleans.

Ok back on task- I found this quilt at a second hand store and plan on using it in a kids bedroom at the new house… but what can I pair this with?

 

How about these mulberry transferware plates for $30? I think they’ll look great on a wall, and I can draw other colors from the quilt for my paint choices.

We had quite the successful day- four short clips filmed and lots of fun things haggled and purchased. Hope you stop in next time to hear about our next adventure.

 

Ten Unusual Seeds

Seeds are the miracle makers of the garden world. Big things come from such small, seemingly inert packages. A carrot seed is small enough to get caught under a fingernail and yet will produce a delectable carrot in a few months. And what about sunflowers or corn? So much promise!

There’s still time to get seeds started. If you live in a cold climate you can get a jump start by sowing seeds indoors. Gardeners who live in regions with long summers and warm falls be sure to buy extra now to start a second crop of blooms and vegetables midsummer.

Flowers

Sunflower ‘Sonya’


Zinnia ‘Benary’s Scarlet Giant’


Gomphrena ‘Las Vegas Pink’


Cosmos ‘Cosmic Orange’


Polish Amaranth ‘Oeschburg’ (Amaranth cruentus)

Veggies & Herbs

Carrots ‘Purple Dragon’


Lettuce ‘Tom Thumb’


Tomato ‘Sun Gold’


Yard Long Beans


Pepper ‘Holy Mole’