ALL POSTS IN Gardening & Outdoor

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Last week, the Design Happens crew offered a peek at our outdoor living spaces, from Marianne’s party-ready wraparound deck to Jessica’s plant-packed patio. As you can see, we’re working with outdoor rooms of all shapes and sizes – and so can you. If you’re not quite sure what to do with your spatially challenged deck or patio, take a cue from designer Brian Patrick Flynn: He helped a New York family turn an underused 9-by-10-foot covered patio into a full-fledged outdoor living space with comfortable furniture, colorful accents and handy storage space. Inspired by this design, we gathered some products and tips to help you make the most of your small outdoor spot.

Copy the Look of This Small Yet Stylish Outdoor Living Space1. CB2 / 2. Rugs USA / 3. Pier 1 Imports / 4. World Market / 5. CB2 / 6. Wayfair

6 Ideas for a Small Yet Functional Outdoor Living Space

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It’s here! It’s here! The season of barbeque-grillin’, pool-swimmin’ and patio-sittin’ has arrived. We’ve spring-cleaned everything we can and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, preferably with a glass of sangria out on a deck or patio. Here’s a looksie at some of the outdoor spaces our editors enjoy at their own homes.

Jessica:

It will probably come as a shock to no one that I don’t have a nightstand or a functional workspace because I spend all my money on plants. One of the first things I bought for my apartment was an old soda crate—I lined it with fabric and turned it into a planter. Other “planters” include a bucket from the dollar store, one of those holiday popcorn tins and a miniature greenhouse from IKEA (I think I’m missing the point of the whole greenhouse thing by filling it with dirt and planting kale in it but oh well).

The lights (they’re solar!) and furniture are recent additions. I realized this morning that the patio set is the closest I’ve come to owning a dining table. My friend/neighbor and I have been calling my patio “The Outdoor Room” and will be eating all of our meals there from now until next winter.

Bonus: My apartment also sits right next to some azalea shrubs that have been an absolute delight after two unreasonably cold winters.

SEE MORE OF OUR OUTDOOR SPACES >>

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Looking to book the perfect vacation without breaking the bank? Instead of paying for five-star treatment, create it yourself! Glamping, aka glamorous camping, allows you to experience the spoils of nature with all the comforts of the great indoors. The best part? You likely have everything you need right at home. So pack up the wineglasses, and set out on your next adventure in style with these foolproof glamping tips.

SET UP A GLAM OUTDOOR LOUNGE SPOT

Image courtesy of Lulu and Georgia | Photo by Monica Wang

Don’t just set up camp; create a cozy, alfresco living area. Lightweight outdoor furniture, throw pillows and a portable area rug can make any trip into nature feel like home away from home. And don’t forget a few decorative accessories to complete the look. Copy this outdoor space >>

Step into these incredible glamping adventures >>

LIGHT IT UP

When the sun goes down, the fun begins. Add chic ambiance with a cozy campfire and lots of lanterns and candlelight. For glampers on a budget, DIY paper bag lanterns are a cheap and easy way to dress up your campsite. String them from tent to tent for a festive look. Other fab lighting options include portable hurricane lanterns, recycled can lanterns or even plain white string lights.

Get these outdoor candle ideas >>

5 More Ways to Camp in Style

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The front door is often forgotten when it comes to redecorating, but an exterior entrance is just as important as the rest of the home. It’s essential to set the right tone before your guests walk inside your home, so we’d like to know: Do you prefer a bold, statement-making front door, or are you all about a classic, neutral entrance? Vote in our poll below, then tell us which design you chose and why.

Pick Your Favorite Front Door

Check back next week to see the final tally.

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Editors’ note: Felicia is live from the Chelsea Flower Show! See her favorite photos and recollections from the show’s first day, and follow along with the action on the @HGTVGardens and @HGTV Instagram accounts.

Purple Foxgloves at Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Beautiful foxgloves in bloom

My London trip was off to a phenomenal start when I spent the morning of my arrival learning the ins and outs of beekeeping thanks to an innovative program at my host hotel, the St. Ermin’s where bees have their very own hotel home on a terrace landscaped with ground cover and beautiful containers. There’s nothing quite like donning a full-body beekeeper’s suit and walking with my fellow classmates through the hallways of the hotel up to the bee terrace. Combined with major jet lag, it felt like we were preparing to enter a hot zone, in this case a hive-zone featuring some 300,000 Italian honeybees. Led by the supremely knowledgeable London bee-guru Camilla Goddard, who tends bees across the city, the beekeeping crash-course has a year-long waiting list, though HGTV was lucky enough to snag a last minute spot.

MORE FROM THE CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW >>

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You don’t have to have an elaborate outdoor space or a spacious backyard to enjoy the benefits of alfresco entertaining. All you need are a few key items to turn your space — big or small — into a festive and stylish space everyone can enjoy.

Outdoor Entertaining

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

ILLUMINATE THE NIGHT

Outdoor Lighting

Design by Charlotte Jenks Lewis

Glowing string lights — there’s nothing better. If your gathering goes into the evening, add some ambiance with outdoor lighting. You can have the tiniest patio and a strand of string lights will add the perfect glow. Strands of small globe lights look especially beautiful woven through trees and fences or strung overhead. Get more ideas >>

COZY UP YOUR UNDERFOOT

Outdoor Area Rug

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Stylish and durable all-weather rugs can make any outdoor space feel more like an extension of the home. So cozy up your deck or patio with some chic underfoot that beckons you to toss of your shoes. Get more ideas >>

SET UP A MINI BAR

DIY Wine Rack

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Mix up refreshing summer cocktails at a mini serve-yourself bar filled with nuts, olives and cheese varieties. Get more info >>

Take the Party Outside

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

In the coming weeks, I’ll be visiting and reporting from the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London on behalf of HGTV and HGTVGardens and soaking up all that is floral, botanical, design and style-centric in this incredible city.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 Brewin Dolphin Garden

The Brewin Dolphin Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012, designed by Cleve West and awarded Best in Show.

HGTV Heads to London

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Now that those April showers are almost gone, May flowers are prime for the picking … or for gifting! Surprise Mom this Mother’s Day with the gift of fresh blooms. Or if you’re hosting, set a cheerful mood with a gorgeous handmade centerpiece. Get all of your DIY Mother’s Day floral tips and inspiration right here.

CREATE YOUR OWN CHIC + SIMPLE BOUQUET

Photo by Flynnside Out Productions

Save time and money by handcrafting a simple yet lovely floral gift  Mom will adore. Check out these 10 DIY arrangements you can make in 5 minutes or less >>

Plus, you can easily use blooms from your own garden! These 11 spring flowers look great in fresh arrangements >>

DESIGN LIKE THE PROS

Flower Arranging Tips

A little rusty on your flower arranging skills? Brush up with these 10 top-notch tips. Mom will be so proud!

Perfect Your Flowers for Mom

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Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The sixth installment: Functional outdoor furniture and fun accessories for outdoor entertaining. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win some colorful accents for your backyard.

Hosting a backyard bash in the spring can be a blast, but if you’re constantly running inside for drink refills or stressing about your meager outdoor seating, that can take some of the fun out of it. Before you invite your friends and family over for an alfresco get-together, give your outdoor spaces a party-inspired makeover. The right furniture and accessories will keep your guests happy and your soiree running smoothly, so you can thoroughly enjoy the festivities, too. Check out our favorite products for a party-perfect backyard.

Products for a Party-Ready Outdoor Space

1. Six-Seat Sectional and Stool. Anchor your outdoor space with comfortable, versatile furniture – if you have enough room, a sectional will offer maximum seating and flexibility. This six-seater features a movable footstool for guests who want to prop their feet up, and a neutral fabric that can easily be dressed up with colorful accessories. ($840)

2. Cantilever Umbrella. Your fairer-skinned friends will appreciate this backyard addition. A substantial nine feet in diameter, this cantilever umbrella in soothing spa green tilts and turns 360 degrees to provide shade anywhere you need it. ($369.99)

3. Outdoor Wood Cooler. Ditch your standard plastic cooler and upgrade to this sophisticated wood version. It’ll look great on your deck or patio, and it’ll keep your beverages and snacks cool so you don’t have to keep running inside to fetch refreshments for your guests. ($149.99)

4. Elephant Garden Stool. Don’t forget a spot for party-goers to set their drinks. Add a small side table or – better yet – this adorable elephant garden stool, which can also serve as extra seating in a pinch. ($90.89)

5. Pizza Fire Pit. This is genius: This multifunctional fire pit comes with two pizza stones and a removable grill for whipping up homemade pizza, steak or veggies. Once you’re finished cooking, you can remove the accessories and keep the fire blazing for warmth and ambiance. ($78.99)

6. Medallion Outdoor Pillows. Jazz up solid-color furniture and add comfort with vibrant outdoor pillows. These stunners make a statement with a bold medallion design, and their ample size will encourage hours of outdoor lounging. (Warning: your guests may never leave.) ($49.50 each)

Ready to spice up your outdoor space? One lucky Design Happens reader will win two Pottery Barn Outdoor Malibu Medallion Pillows.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What’s your secret to an amazing outdoor soiree?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on April 10, 2015 and 12:00 p.m. ET on April 13, 2015. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Last year for Mother’s Day I made this wall shelf from reclaimed pallet wood and transformed it into a succulent planter. My mom loved it! So now that the warm weather is back in full swing here in Tennessee, it’s time to dig out that shelf from winter hibernation and give it some life again. Succulent arrangements make the best gifts because they’re beautiful, easy to maintain and they flourish indoors and out. So if you’re looking for a great gift idea or just want to bring some plant life to your home, follow the 5 easy steps below to make your own gorgeous pallet wood succulent planter.

Pallet Wood Succulent Planter

What You’ll Need

  • wood pallet shelf
  • small bag of potting soil
  • variety of 3.5″ succulents (amount depends on the size of your planter, I used 9)
  • plastic bag or other plastic liner (as needed)
  • pebbles or other small rocks (as needed)

Follow 5 Easy Steps to Make This Gorgeous Planter

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As soon as we said “Hello!” to spring, Easter came and went in a flash. Hopefully you’ve had a chance by now to step outside your door without an extra jacket or scarf. Maybe if you’ve been *really* lucky, you’ve started some early garden planting. That is, if you haven’t been dealing with spring allergies like we have here in Atlanta. Can you say insane pollen counts?

We can tell by what’s trending on Pinterest that spring fever is a real thing and we’ve all caught a bit of it. Here’s what we’re loving from Pinterest in April.

Outdoor Living

If you’re like me, April means finding any excuse to spend time outside. Reading a book? Outside. Taking a nap? Outside. Preparing a meal? I may not have a full outdoor kitchen but I finally learned how to start our charcoal grill by myself so I had another reason to be outside. So why not put a little effort into creating outdoor spaces that inspire, invite and delight? We’ll even let you cheat and copy this gorgeous outdoor room.

1. Sprucing up an Outdoor Living Space for Spring
2. Backyard Transformations From Landscape Designer Chris Lambton
3. Hot Backyard Design Ideas to Try Right Now
4. Outdoor Party Essentials

 

Mother’s Day

Your mom will be so happy that you were thinking of her a whole month before Mother’s Day this year (mark your calendars for May 10th). If mom is the type of person who loves a homemade gift, give these DIYs a try.

Mother's Day DIY Projects - HGTV on Pinterest

1. Easy Sew Tote Bag
2. Make a Ruffled Lamp Shade
3. Recycled Can Lanterns
4. 28 DIY Mother’s Day Gifts Mom Will Love

 

HGTV Smart Home

This time last year we kicked off HGTV Smart Home 2014 and shared all the stylish and tech-friendly details of the home, located in Nashville, TN. Those pins are still popular with our followers, so let’s go back in time, shall we? (P.S. If you haven’t already scoped out this year’s modern Texas farmhouse, what the heck are you waiting for?)

1. Master Bedroom Pictures from HGTV Smart Home 2014
2. Great Room Pictures from HGTV Smart Home 2014
3. Bedroom Pictures form HGTV Smart Home 2014
4. Kitchen Pictures from HGTV Smart Home 2014

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Outdoor spaces: We love them during the spring and summer, but it’s easy to overlook them the rest of the year. If your patio or backyard looks like an afterthought or feels disjointed from the rest of your home, never fear. By incorporating stylish furniture and cozy accents, you can create an outdoor space that’s just as appealing as your home’s interior. We collected some tips from designer Emily Henderson, who transformed this formerly plain patio into a cozy outdoor room with a collected, bohemian vibe. Get the look with these seven ideas and products:

Copy the Look of This Bohemian Outdoor Living Room

1. World Market / 2. Overstock / 3. Etsy: farjer / 4. Pier 1 Imports
5. Dot & Bo / 6. Wayfair / 7. Target

7 Tips for a Cozy Outdoor Living Room

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Welcome to Spring Essentials, a Design Happens mini-series where we’ll highlight our favorite products to help you get your home ready for spring. The second installment: Spring gardening products that will have you looking fresh while cultivating fresh produce. See our product picks, then enter for a chance to win your own garden gear!

Sure you could wear your torn jeans and boyfriend’s shirt to attack garden weeds, but nothing makes gardening more fun than finding clothing and accessories that go the extra mile when it comes to playing in the dirt — while helping you look good doing it.

More and more companies are creating garden gear with special materials and features that can help you stay dry and cool, protect you from the sun and even keep bugs away, so you can be a true garden ninja. Check out our selections for next wave garden gear that will put some spring in your step.

Cool Garden Gear for Spring1. Duluth Trading Company / 2. Bogs /  3. L.L. Bean / 4. Duluth Trading Company /

1. Keep It Comfy: Nothing fancy here, just a flattering, 100-percent cotton tunic cute enough to wear in the garden or sport at a weekend barbecue. This absolute essential in the Duluth Trading Company garden gear line emphasizes ease of movement and comfort, two things every gardener needs. ($64.50)

2. Practicality Underfoot: You’re out in the garden getting gross but very happy, then the phone rings or nature calls and you don’t want to muck up the place with your dirt-filled shoe treads. Enter the Bogs Urban Farmer Clog, a vital ingredient in any gardener’s repertoire. Just slip them off, do what you need to do and head back into the muck. Done. These babies also have a steel shank for shovel protection and a DuraFresh odor guard, well, just because. ($70.00)

3. Get Your Head Together: Hats are essential protection, whether you’re a gardener aged 10 or 100. Trust us — sunscreen needs some help when you’re sweating to the oleander for hours. But garden hats often tend to skew huge and straw; we’re always grateful for clever design to switch things up a bit, and L.L. Bean’s San Diego Striped Bucket Hat offers 50+ SPF without making you feel like an extra in Steel Magnolias($24.95)

4. Cool Customer: These Dry on the Fly Capris are practical, yes. They will keep you cool and will forgive all manner of Twister-style gardening moves. But they’re also crazy-comfortable, easier to wear than even your most cherished, lived-in sweats. Plus, sweats don’t have pockets. ($54.50)

Spring Essentials Design Happens Blog HGTV1. Duluth Trading Company / 2. Target / 3. Duluth Trading Company / 4. Orvis / 5. Aigle

1. Close to the Vest: There are twelve, count ‘em, twelve pockets in this baby, making this Heirloom Gardening Vest from Duluth Trading Company a sort of briefcase you can wear to the garden. ($59.50)

2. Get in Gear: A great Mother’s Day gift idea, or just a way to treat yourself, this handy-dandy set from Target includes a bucket organizer for your tools (stick a plant inside, and you’ve just made Mom’s day), pruners and some durable jersey gloves. Another plus: this is a very inexpensive set to get a beginner gardener started. ($23.99)

3. Horticultural Hipster: Don’t think because you’re out in the garden that you’re required to sport a Nana-approved chapeau. This jaunty little Ripstop Military Cap comes in a punchy amethyst shade and a more subdued slate color to match your fashion and gardening mood. ($29.50)

4. Don’t Sweat It: Super-relevant for gardeners, Orvis’s ExOfficio Bugsaway Lumen Hoody wicks away moisture and keeps insects away with its built-in, long-lasting Insect Shield repellent that gives bugs the brush-off for up for 70 washes. The gelato colors (grenadine and tropez) and super-comfy, barely-there fit sweeten the deal. ($60.00)

5. These Boots Were Made for Weeding: The 162-year-old French company Aigle designs the sort of boots worn by earthy glamour girls like Natalie Portman and Eva Mendes. These ultra-adorable Miss Juliette boots are so cute your gardener friends will be jealous and wonder how you managed to turn gardening into a fashion-forward hobby. ($125.00)

Ready to upgrade your garden garb? One lucky Design Happens reader will win a $50 gift card to Duluth Trading Company — a perfect way to get started!  To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: What are your spring gardening essentials? Tell us about them!

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on March 24, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on March 25, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prizes: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.
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I absolutely love gardening. But because I live in an apartment, my “garden” is just an assortment of containers that I refresh each spring. So, instead of spending money on new pots this year, I decided to search for creative ways to revamp my basic terra cotta containers. I found out there’s so much you can do with them, from paint and fabric to materials like rope. Check out these easy and creative planter projects I’m dying to try this spring.

ModPodge + Fabric

These adorable fabric-wrapped pots are super simple and make perfect Mother’s Day gifts. Although they aren’t intended for outside use, they’re great for potting orchids, indoor succulents or as decorative catchalls. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Add more color with these glow-in-the-dark planters >>

Milk Paint

If you’re going for a French Country look this year, these milk-painted pots are perfect. Use them as centerpieces, gifts or for a weathered feel in the garden. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Rustic Rope

Terra cotta pots wrapped in rope on HGTV.com

Photo via DIY Show Off

Create these French Country-inspired planters with terra cotta pots, sisal rope and metallic spray paint. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

More DIY Ideas to Try

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Spring is here at HGTV headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee and we are gleaning tons of inspiration from the gorgeous pastel pink dogwood trees and butter yellow daffodils blooming around town. Lucky for us, spring’s pastel hues are one of the hottest (indoor) design trends of 2015, making a vibrant statement when paired with bright neon accents and bold colors. So steal some inspiration from nature this season and check out some of our favorite pastel designs in the garden and at home!

Inspiration: Pastel Garden

Pastel Garden on HGTV Gardens

Photo Courtesy of Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pastel purple alliums and perennial wallflowers mixed with magenta columbines bring lovely vibrancy to this early summer garden.

Love this look? Learn how to plant your own pastel garden >>>

Translation:

Pastel Living Room on HGTV.com

Photo by Mark Lohman | Design by Liz Strong

This pastel sitting room is stylish and cozy with pops of rich eggplant, magenta and light turquoise.

Tour this pastel home >>>

MORE PASTEL INSPIRATION, INDOORS + OUT

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Finally, spring is officially here, and we kicked it off with a gorgeous weekend at the HGTV Headquarters. If there’s one downside to the change in seasons, it’s that the sudden sunny weather is shedding light on my outdoor spaces that need a little (okay, a lot) of TLC. One of the first projects I want to tackle is giving my bare front porch a curb appeal boost — and it’s actually not a terribly daunting task. All you need is a few colorful accessories to spruce up a plain porch, and we’ve rounded up some tips and products to get you started:

Copy the Look of This Colorful Front Porch

1. Valspar / 2. Target / 3. The Home Depot / 4. Overstock / 5. Target / 6. Lowe’s

1. Fresh Paint for the Front Door. One of the easiest ways to amp up your home’s curb appeal is make your front door a focal point with a vibrant coat of paint. Red is a classic choice that pairs well with most neutrals, but other can’t-miss color combos include blue and yellow, white and navy, and brown and green.

2. Punchy Outdoor Pillow. Pulling from your home’s exterior palette, add eye-catching color and pattern around your porch with inexpensive accessories. We picked this weather-resistant toss pillow for its stylish geometric motif.

3. Chic House Numbers. Seems like a small detail, right? You’d be surprised by the impact new house numbers can have on your home’s exterior. You’ll find a wide range of traditional and modern options on the market, so choose accordingly based on your home’s architectural style. We like these durable brass numbers for their sophisticated aged bronze finish.

4. Outdoor Bench. Even on a narrow front porch, you can usually squeeze in a slim bench or small chair — a minor update that will make your space feel so much more inviting and livable. Just 15 inches wide, this modern bench is easy to assemble and comes in 11 colors to complement any decor.

5. Floral Patterned Doormat. Say “welcome home” by replacing a shabby doormat with a fresh, fun option, like this lively floral design that complements the colors in our throw pillow.

6. Ceramic Outdoor Pot. Finally, flank the front door with a potted plant or two for an extra splash of color. We chose this ceramic planter for its interesting texture and subtle red hue.

What are your must-haves for a welcoming front porch? Tell us in the comments below.

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With spring comes ample opportunity to garden, barbecue and just relax outside. But if you’re operating on a budget, a lavish outdoor space may not seem like an option. Cue repurposed shipping pallets! With a little creativity, plain shipping pallets can be transformed into gorgeous outdoor pieces at little to no cost. So break out the circular saw and bring the farmhouse style home this spring with these 7 DIY shipping pallet projects.

Tip: You can get free or almost free shipping pallets at recycling centers, small businesses and more! Just make sure you ask before you take.

Outdoor Pallet Seating
This project takes a little time, but it’s so worth it! Just imagine relaxing this spring on a stylish and comfortable bench that you made by hand. Learn how to make this rustic, repurposed outdoor seating >>>

Need more seating? Make adirondack chairs out of shipping pallets >>>

Succulent Garden Made out of Wood Pallets

Versatile Reclaimed-Wood Wall Shelves
This is one I’ve made for my own home! What’s great about these reclaimed-wood wall shelves is that they can be used for so many different purposes. I turned mine into an outdoor succulent planter and am making another to store all my handheld gardening tools. They’re perfect for indoors or out! Get the instructions from designer Ana White >>>

5 More Pallet Projects

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Can you believe we’re already two full months into 2015? The year is flying by and we’re diving into spring whether Mother Nature is playing along or not.

If you’re using Pinterest (and you’re following us, right?), allow us to kick-start your March inspiration with some of our most popular pins for this time of year.

St. Patrick’s Day

No surprise here. March is full of the luck of the Irish. From cocktails to crafts, there are lots of ways to get festive for St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s make sure you don’t get pinched.


1. DIY Felt Shamrock Craft 
2. Create a Leprechaun Garden
3. ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ Cocktail Recipe
4. Shamrock Garden Stones Craft

Garden Goodness

Snow days are fun and all, but boy are we ready to start digging in the dirt. The days of freshly picked tomatoes and strawberry shortcakes can’t come soon enough and these popular pins prove it.


1. 20 New Plant Varieties For Spring Gardens
2. How to Start an Edible Spring Garden
3. Create and Care for a Lavender Hedge
4. How to use Evergreens for Privacy

Spring Organizing

Along with spring cleaning comes spring organizing, especially in the rooms where we spend the most time. Neat and tidy kitchens, laundry rooms and mudrooms are getting lots of re-pin love this month.


1. 22 Mudroom and Storage Decorating Ideas
2. Genevieve Gorder at Home with HGTV Magazine
3. Inside Vern’s Dog-Friendly Home
4. Laundry Room of Smart Home 2013

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Alix Adams

One of the many things that I lack proficiency in is keeping plants alive. Watercolor, making spaghetti and enduring to the end of Top Gun are not really my strongest skills either. But I must say, I am particularly terrible at trying to keep a plant healthy. This is true for all potted plants, except for succulents and cacti (which, I like to consider a cactus a succulent, but with a sassy attitude). Yep, succulents are one difficult ornamental plant to kill. You need only water them every-other-week. They like lots of sunlight in my windowsill. They don’t care if my house is a mess or if I forget to shave my legs. Succulents are just there to cheer you up and add some green to the scene.

The best part about a succulent is that they can grow in almost any container. At my local hardware store, I have had my eye on some sassy-looking glass light covers for some time now; so when succulents went on sale I scooped up a few plants and a few light covers to create an inventive (and inexpensive) succulent garden for my mantel. You really can’t believe how fun a round light cover looks filled to the brim with succulent-ness. Time to make one of your own, I think!

Let’s Get Started

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I decided to grow my own vegetable garden a couple of years ago — and despite a lot of trial and error (and I mean a lot) — I’m pretty happy with it. Kale is a new and favorite addition to my garden this year— it’s crazy and a little scary how different fresh veggies taste. So, what about you? Have you tried your hand at vegetable gardening?

If you plan to start a vegetable garden this year, your best option is a raised garden bed. A raised bed prevents weeds and some pests from reaching the soil while providing good drainage. Plus, it extends growing season because soil above ground is warmer, and it prevents gardeners from straining their backs.

Raised Garden Bed

Making a raised bed is really easy — if I can do it, you can do it! All you need are a few tools and landscape wood. I had my local home improvement store cut wood to size. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to build your own bed. Get the full instructions here>>

And to help you get started on planting, follow our easy steps on how to grow potatoes, which grow best through summer. Get the full instructions here>>

Happy Gardening!

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