Every now and again I meet someone who is so full of joy and gratitude I can’t help but like them. And when he or she shares my love of gardening? Well, that’s a friend for life. So it went when I met the winner of our 100,000 Fan Giveaway sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tyler Baras (a.k.a. Farmer Tyler) entered the contest last summer and was selected as the winner of a trip to Little Rock to visit some of the city’s hot spots and to tape a TV segment with me.
Tyler wasn’t the only winner in the deal. I got to learn something about his specialty – hydroponics. Tyler works at The GrowHaus, which is a non-profit urban farm in Denver that provides fresh vegetables and education on healthy living to the surrounding community. The GrowHaus uses greenhouses and hydroponics to produce greens year-round in the cold Colorado climate. Hence Tyler’s expertise in the method.
While Tyler was in town we wanted to make sure he saw some of the best of Little Rock and good food was on the top of the list. He had barbeque and greens at Lindsey’s Hospitality House, fried black-eyed peas at the Capital Hotel and catfish with hoppin’ John at South on Main. We also made sure he tried a locally brewed beer and some of Kent Walker’s cheese at Stone’s Throw Brewery.
Because Tyler is into urban farming we wanted to make sure he got to visit a few area agriculture-related attractions. The first stop was Little Rock Urban Farming in the heart of the city. He spoke with Chris about the farm’s operation and intern program. On Friday we headed to Lonoke to meet with Dr. Anita Kelly at the Cooperative Extension Center. And finally we toured Barnhill Orchards also in Lonoke.
I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who entered the 100,000 Fan Giveaway. We received some fantastic videos and it was hard to pick just one. I also want to thank the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau for making Tyler’s trip possible. They hooked him up with a hotel room, passes to the Clinton Library and a $250 gift card to use for pocket money. Thank you Little Rock for being such a swell place to live!
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and happy Kwanzaa! So many celebrations, so little time! December is the most social month of the year and I spend a lot of time dashing from party to party. My constant companion to all these engagements is my United Solutions Hands-Free Tote. I pack it with food, wine and gifts and go!
How would you like a Hands-Free Tote to use around your home and garden? Post a comment below about your favorite holiday tradition. I’ll select a winner on December 18th.
How does laundry go at your house? Do you wash everything at a specific time or is laundry day every day? It feels like the washer never stops at Moss Mountain Farm. There’s a load running right now!
My washer and dryer are on the first floor. This makes carrying laundry from the basement or second floor seem very similar to Sisyphus’s rock and hill. Unlike Sisyphus I have a Hands-Free™ Tote from United Solutions. I can load the tote with linens, throw the strap over my shoulder and climb up and down the stairs with ease.
Congratulations to Chrissy K! She’s the winner of the Hands-free Tote. Check your email Chrissy because we’ve sent you info on how to get your tote. Thank you to everyone for participating! Lots of great tips.
How about you? Are you burdened with forever hauling a heavy laundry basket to and fro? Post a comment that includes your best laundry tip for a chance to win a Hands-Free™ Tote from United Solutions. I’ll pick a winner at the end of November, 2014.
Congratulations to Jeanne! She was randomly selected as this month’s winner of the United Solutions Hands-Free™ Tote! Check your inbox Jeanne, we’ve sent you an email with the details about how to get your tote.
In my mid-South garden, fall slowly transforms into winter with the heat breaking late September and the first frost occurring at the end of November. And right in the middle of the transition is the month of October, an oft-overlooked critical point of garden maintenance. It’s a time for garden clean-up, to clear away and tidy, to set a fresh stage to ensure a vivacious spring.
First, when the temperature outside cools to a similar temperature to inside, I move my vacationing houseplants back indoors. I also add humus and manure to my flowerbeds. I clean up the blueberry patch by pruning broken or diseased limbs, and thicken the mulch with pine needles or shredded oak leaves. I steadfastly stake tall-growing autumn blooms such as salvia, dahlias and chrysanthemums and gather up materials to add to my compost bin. It’s quite the bustling month. Plus, I like to throw a big Halloween party and getting ready for that is its own wonderful, but significantly time-consuming enterprise.
I’ve partnered with United Solutions, and I use these baskets to carry my garden refuse, decorative gourds and whatnot, and they help me complete my tasks in this busy month. I’m giving away one United Solutions Hands-Free™ Tote to help you streamline your October too. Simply, leave a comment on my blog about your garden maintenance plans to enter.
Yahoo! We’re rolling up on 100,000 fans on my Facebook page! As a way to say thank you I’m going to select one of you to visit my hometown Little Rock, Arkansas, tour Moss Mountain Farm and tape a segment with me for my show!
To throw your hat in the ring all you need to do is post a video my Facebook wall (www.Facebook.com/GardenHomeRetreat) describing what project or recipe you’d like to share and what you’d like to see while you are in Little Rock.. The person with the winning video will be flown to Little Rock for a weekend stay and opportunity to co-host a segment with me for my half hour show.
Here are the deets:
- Post a short (90 secs or less) video on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/GardenHomeRetreat) describing what project or recipe you’d like to share and what you’d like to see while you are in Little Rock.
- You can post your video anytime between July 25, 2014 and 11:59 a.m. CST August 29, 2014.
- The giveaway prize includes airfare (one ticket) for the winner to come to Little Rock and two tickets to an open house tour at Moss Mountain Farm. Accommodations for two at an area hotel, a $250 gift card for meals and admission to select Little Rock attractions.
By entering and participating in the “100,000 Fans Giveaway”, you agree to the Official Rules of the contest and the posting etiquette guidelines. You also understand that your entry, image and all personal information provided by you may be shared with the sponsor(s) of this contest.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Contest Submission Period:
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:00 a.m. CST Site Open
Friday, August 29, 2014, 11:59 a.m. CST Site Closed
Friday, September 05, 2014, 10:30 a.m. CST Winner Announced
How to Enter: Beginning 8:00 a.m., Central Standard Time (“CST”) on Friday, July 25, 2014 until 11:59 a.m. CST on Friday, August 29, 2014 (“Contest Submission Period”), you may submit a video to Allen’s Facebook wall (http://www.facebook.com/gardenhomeretreat) for a chance to win a trip to Little Rock to see the sights, tour the farm and tape a segment with Allen. Video must include a project or recipe idea and why you want to visit Little Rock. Please no obscene or offensive content. Submissions must be an original work product of the Entrant. All entries must meet contest criteria and will be approved before posting to the contest website.
Eligibility: This contest is open to legal U.S. (void in Puerto Rico) 18 years of age or older by August 29, 2014. Employees, officers and contractors (including immediate family members and members of the same household) of the Sponsors, their affiliated companies, subsidiaries, distributors, dealers, retailers, vendors, advertising and promotion agencies, and any and all other companies associated with this contest are not eligible to participate. Contest void where restricted or prohibited by law.
By participating in this contest you hereby agree that you have been granted permission to use the image and likeness of the garden or outdoor space you are submitting. Furthermore you agree that photos not copyrighted and they have not been previously published.
Date of award & Prize package:
The winner of the “100,000 Fan Giveaway” will be announced on Friday, September 05, 2014. The trip to Little Rock, Arkansas will be scheduled for fall 2014 at the discretion of the Sponsors
Prize package includes:
Airfare (one ticket) for the winner to come to Little Rock and provide two tickets to an open house tour at Moss Mountain Farm. Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (LRCVB) will pay for accommodations for two at an LRCVB selected hotel, as well as provide the winner with a $250 gift card for meals and provide admission to select Little Rock attractions.
Notification: Winners will be selected by merit of entry. The winner will be notified by Facebook message.
Potential Winners will be required to sign a Release of Liability and, unless prohibited by law, a Contest Participant Release Form and return same, fully-executed, within ten (10) days of date of issuance of prize notification. If Sponsor is unable to contact the potential Winner, if the potential Winner fails to return all forms fully-executed by the specified date or if potential Winner fails to comply with these Official Rules, or if any prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such potential Winner will be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s discretion, an alternate Winner shall be selected. By accepting the prize, Winner consents to the use by Sponsor and its designees of his/her name, screen name, city and state of residence, in any and all media now or hereafter known, including online announcements, throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification or permission, except where prohibited by law.
Conditions: Illegible/incomplete entries will be discarded. Entries void if defective, altered, forged, or if submitted/obtained outside authorized channels. This contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, municipal, and local laws and regulations. This offer is void where prohibited and/or restricted by law. Entries that are out of focus, blurred, unclear or unreadable images or postings that are illegible, late, miss-posted or corrupt will not be posted and considered void. All rulings by the judges are final.
P. O. Box 164870
Little Rock, AR 72216
Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
101 S. Spring Street
Little Rock, AR 72203
Who doesn’t want that perfect sanctuary or getaway? And what if you could get it for free? That’s how we ended up in Bakersfield, California in Kelly Ashe’s backyard. Kelly entered our Laguna Ponds water garden giveaway last May.
It only took five hours for the Laguna team to install the pond in Kelly’s backyard. Then I stepped in with help from Monji garden center and to surround the water featured with beautiful plants.
Watch the transformation.
Create your own water feature with a terra cotta pot.
20-inch terra cotta pot
4-inch terra cotta pot
small pump with fountain attachment
Step 1: Plug the hole in the bottom of the of the container with plumber’s putty. Apply the putty on both the inside and the outside of the container.
Step 2: Place the 4-inch terra cotta pot upside down in the container. This will give the water pump height.
Step 3: Place the pump on the 4-inch terra cotta pot.
Step 4: Fill the container with water until the water line reaches just below the top of the fountain head.
Step 5: Add water plants if you are so inclined.
When you hear the word “houseplant” what image comes to mind? A macramé hanging basket or maybe a dusty fern stuffed into a corner? Houseplants have gotten a bad rap for being old-fashioned and hard to care for, but I know two people who are on a mission to change that perception. In their book Indoor Plant Décor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants my friends Kylee Baumle and Jenny Peterson take a fresh look at how to use plants in your home. I like this book because Kylee and Jenny show how container choice and plant selection help your indoor garden appear as a design detail rather than an afterthought.
You can purchase Indoor Plant Décor on Amazon.com or
if you are feeling lucky leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy. I’ll select a winner on Wednesday November 20, 2013. Congrats Guinelle for winning the November giveaway!
Here’s an excerpt from the book and a few photos illustrating unconventional containers.
It used to be that indoor gardening meant a ficus tree in the corner of the living room, a pothos plant trailing from the top of the entertainment center and a row of African violets in the kitchen window. While we wouldn’t knock any plant that thrives in indoor conditions, contemporary gardening has moved far beyond the expected and traditional houseplant. Add to that the myriad of interior decor styles, and it becomes difficult to know just how to use houseplants as a part of your home’s overall design scheme. That’s where we come in. In our book we show you how to define your personal decor style, and then guide you into making stylish plant, container and accessory choices to pull it all together.
As we confessed right from the start, we kill houseplants. If you’re a gardener of any type, it’s going to happen, so check your feelings of guilt and inadequacy at the door and forge ahead. Decorating with houseplants isn’t like buying a lamp or a chair. Plants are living things, and just like human beings, they will behave in unpredictable ways and sometimes not follow the rules. But this is what keeps boredom at bay; you’ll learn more about their personalities as time goes on.
The mission of Indoor Plant Décor is to improve your confidence in choosing plants that fit your design style as well as your lifestyle. We hope you will benefit from our own adventures into the wonderful world of houseplant design. We know the amazing power plants have to transform an interior environment — even our state of mind.
If you want to get to know Kylee and Jenny visit their blogs – OurLittleAcre.Blogspot.com and JPetersonGardenDesign.com. I think you’ll find their writing is funny, introspective and educational. Plus you can see how gardens grow in two different regions. Kylee gardens in Ohio and Jenny is down in Austin, Texas.
Take a look at a few of the innovative ideas from the book.
Football season is getting underway this month so lots of folks are discussing their favorite teams and planning game day gatherings. And while I don’t claim to know a lot about football, I do know something about parties and a tailgate party is fun way to celebrate with friends and family.
A backyard or patio is the perfect place to set up a tailgate, especially on a beautiful autumn day. All you need is good food, a few lawn games, drinks and plenty of team spirit. Include a few of these game day essentials and your guests will feel like they are at the stadium minus the traffic jams or bathroom lines.
1. Winning Table
Give your buffet and folding card tables team spirit with a table cover from Team Tablevogue.
They feature the logos of numerous collegiate teams and fit neatly over standard-size folding tables.
Available from Team Tablevogue.
2. The Wheel Deal
Forget lugging your food, drinks and tableware to friend’s tent. Drinks, appetizers, plates and more all fit neatly inside this rolling cooler.
Available from Brookstone.
[photo courtesy of Brookstone.com]
3. Give Me an “A”
Face it—cheers just sound better with a few pom-poms in the background. Plus, they’ll add color to your tent or tailgate.
Available from GameDayPoms.com.
[photo courtesy of GameDayPoms.com]
4. Stadium Crystal
Toast a victory with a shatter-proof version of a well-loved drinking glass.
Available from Target.
[photo courtesy of Target.com]
5. Fun and Games
Don’t forget the entertainment! Challenge your friends to a game of bag toss or ladder golf before you head into the stadium.
Available from Frontgate.
[photo courtesy of Frontgate.com]
6. Meal at Hand
The Drink-and-Plate keeps refreshments together in one place, giving you a free hand to cheer.
Available from Shop.InstantTailgate.com.
[photo courtesy of Shop.InstantTailgate.com]
7. Field of Teams
Fun meets functional in this pack-and-go table that mimics the playing field.
Available from Sports Authority.
[photo courtesy of SportsAuthority.com]
8. Tech Support
Spend less time setting up the satellite and more time enjoying the other game’s around the country before heading into your own stadium.
Available from Dish Network via Amazon.com.
[photo courtesy of Amazon.com]
Win a Team Tablevogue table cover!
Tell me which college football team you cheer for in the comments section below. I’ll select a winner at random on Wednesday August 28, 2013.
Up for grabs is a 34-inch square Team Tablevogue table cover in any of the available team logos. Click here to view the team logos. If your team isn’t available or, perish the thought, you don’t have a team you can choose an unembellished Tablevogue 34-inch square table cover. Click here to view.
Congratulations to Debbie Dillon! She was selected using Random.org to receive a Team Tablevogue table cover with her team’s logo! Go Texas A&M Aggies!
I know a certain someone named Linda in New Jersey who is enjoying the soothing sounds of a brand new water feature. Linda was the winner of the Laguna Ponds Giveaway, a contest hosted by myself and the folks over at Laguna last spring. The prize was a new water feature provided by Laguna Ponds and gardens designed by yours truly.
In June we invaded Linda’s home to disrupt her life and landscape for two days to put in the water feature and new plantings. As it turns out Linda and I had a lot to talk about. She’s a poultry fanatic and a floral designer, lives on a farm and spearheads the local farmer’s market. I was tickled to be able to add to the charm of her already fabulous home.
When it came to the design of the beds around the water feature I used a combination of Linda’s favorite plants along with a few of my picks and some edibles.
I have to say thanks to Gary and the staff of Twin Pond Garden Center and Country Market. They were amazingly helpful and the garden center is something to experience. They’ve got a deli and country market there so you can get a fresh-baked apple pie, locally grown produce and some good looking plants for your garden all in one place. Now that’s what I call a one-stop-shop!
Linda is a winner for getting a brand new water feature and flower beds, I’m a winner for getting to spend a few days with my friends at Laguna, and we want you to be a winner too. I
n the comments section below tell me how you would use a Laguna Ponds Urban Water Bowl for a chance to win one. I’ll select a winner at random on Wednesday July 31, 2013.
Congratulations to Suzanne Mullen! You are the winner of the Laguna Ponds Urban Water Bowl! Your comment was selected using Random.org. Check your email for next steps. Thank you to everyone who entered. More giveaways are coming so check back.