If you haven’t gotten your mother a gift, then right now, it is time to discover your inner florist. Don’t be scared. I know, attempting to replicate complicated professionally-designed flower arrangements can be intimidating. Then again, finding budget-friendly flowers and skillfully arranging them into an artful bouquet seems like an impossible feat (for me at least). For this Mother’s Day, however, I’m determined to put together a fresh, spring-style flower arrangement that Mom will love. So can you. (And who doesn’t love flowers?) With less than an hour’s effort, you can present your mom, or the mother of your children, a “handcrafted” arrangement made from simple materials and affordable, in-season flowers. (Keeping in mind that even if your bouquet is far from perfect, she’ll love it no matter what.) Here are five lovely designs with links to easy-to-follow instructions:
Grab a plain pitcher and arrange lilacs, lady’s mantle (alchemilla) and lavender into a charming country-style arrangement. The varying shades of purple and green look stunning together.
4 More She’ll Love
The tradition of giving ‘May baskets’ to unsuspecting neighbors and crushes is all but gone. This sweet and chaste way to celebrate spring — I won’t get into the debauchery that is the origin of the maypole dance — peaked in the U.S. during the Victorian era and started to disappear after first half of the 20th century. If you’d like to help revive this custom, here’s what you do: assemble baskets of sweets and fresh flowers, leave them on your neighbor’s door, ring the doorbell and run away before they catch you. If you are caught, you’re supposed to exchange a kiss. (To avoid kissing possible strangers — run fast.)
A Field Journal
I can’t help thinking what delightful treat this would be for a grandparent or elderly friend, relative or neighbor. A surprise gift of a cheerful ‘May basket’ just might take them on a trip down memory lane. Or throw caution to the wind and leave one on the front door or car of a love interest. Maybe some Beltane fires will spark, if you catch my drift. Here are six of my favorite basket designs (click on the links for DIYs) sure to put a smile on a lucky person’s face.
More May Basket Inspiration After the Jump
I haven’t thought much about decorating my ceiling since I was in high school and desperately wanted glow in the dark stars. Man, I loved those stars.
Photo: Marie Claire
But this piece on Marie Claire Maison has me rethinking the potential for ceiling decor. I absolutely adore the paper flowers in this stark white room.
Happy spring everyone! This is the time of year when hardcore gardeners salivate over seed catalogs. While I don’t have much of a green thumb, one of my fondest childhood memories is “helping” my grandfather in the garden. I loved getting my hands dirty, discovering giant earthworms and helping him carry all the delicious homegrown fruits and vegetables to the house. (Grandfather grew the biggest tomatoes I’ve ever seen!) Interested in planting your own vegetable garden? Want to learn how to grow potatoes? Or are you all about herbs?
Now’s the time to start planning, whether it’s a container garden on an apartment balcony or patio like mine or raised beds that take up half your backyard. Tomatoes work in both settings, by the way. Choose the best variety for your garden with HGTV’s tomato selection guide. (Imagine how amazing that fresh BLT or tomato sandwich is going to taste. Yum!) We’ve got all the edible garden tips you need with tons of photos, plus cool videos featuring Garden Girl TV’s Patti Moreno.
Then there’s flowers. If you’re like me, you want to sow in early spring in order to see an array of colorful blooms by mid-summer. There are plenty of perennials that bloom the first year; you just have to find that one that suits your soil and sunlight. My two favorites are the Maltese cross (left) and tickseed coreopsis (right).
How about getting the whole family outside playing in the dirt? Join HGTV’s Family Gardening Club for fun projects. This month we’re making and planting seed tape, perfect for hard-to-handle small seeds and tiny hands.
This week’s freebie is a gardener’s bonanza that comes just in time for spring, sunshine and a sizable outdoor to-do list! I don’t know about you, but I’m jonesing to play in the dirt. I can’t wait to build a couple of raised beds for salad greens, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers. I’m also going to hang some baskets of nasturtiums and strawberries from the front porch. Oh, and I can’t forget my herb and cut flower garden.
We’ve partnered with the organic seed company Seeds of Change, a staff favorite, to hook-up a winner with all of the trappings of a multi-family or community garden. Seeds of Change is giving away 250 of the highest-quality organic seed packets (a mix of veggies, herbs and flowers), five bags to tote your seeds and other gardening essentials, as well as five custom bowls to display your hard work come harvest time. This is enough loot for your and four green-thumb friends to create joint gardens and share in the spoils. Answer this week’s question before 12/11c Monday, March 21, to be entered for a chance to win.
This week’s question: There’s nothing like enjoying the fruits of your labor. What’s your favorite veggie or fruit to eat fresh from the garden? Heirloom tomatoes? Juicy strawberries? Or are you all about fresh cut flowers?
Click for official rules.
Learn more about organic seeds and gardening at www.seedsofchange.com and www.seedsofchangefoods.com. And join HGTV’s Family Gardening Club and dig in the dirt with your kids!
Happy President’s Day. As someone who has had the pleasure of eating tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and lettuce harvested from my own backyard garden, I’ve discovered that while some might label me “granola”, it would be more accurate to call me “patriotic.” Why? Well, I learned from my interview with Sam Watters and Ulysses Grant Dietz about their book Dream House: The White House as an American Home that from the early days of the White House, the gardens and grand landscapes were regarded as “proper appendages to the House of the People.” And like the Obamas now, many early administrations enjoyed nourishment from a White House kitchen garden.
Come March, I’m looking forward to reading Andrea Wulf’s new book, Founding Gardeners. The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation, and learning more about our founding fathers through the lens of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers.
“Andrea Wulf describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.”
So in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, go play in your garden! Here’s some tips for growing late winter vegetables and early spring flowers.
Artificial flowers have never been so well-read.
These intricate, handmade bouquets are crafted by Melisa Simo from vintage folded paper. Melisa’s Etsy shop Whether Paperworks can customize a special Valentine’s Day gift, a wedding bouquet or a Mother’s Day pomander from love poems or your favorite piece of music. I even like the thought of having one of these lovely arrangements on a bedside table with colors picked to match my decor.
This week’s Style Jolt is inspired by my thrift store find from the weekend: vintage bottles. I bought a tall, clear-glass bottle and a stout, brown medicine bottle, added colorful stones and tall-stemmed flowers and turned them into vintage vases.
From Rock My Wedding
I know that by putting this out into the Universe that it may just come right back around and bite me, but I think it’s finally Spring in Utah (holding breath, waiting for a rock to fall out of the sky and hit me in the head). It’s still unseasonably cold, but I will take whatever I can get, especially since the blooms all over town are under the same impression that I am: time to move forward, put the snow boots in storage, and party like it’s thirty degrees warmer.
You don’t forget the first time you see a Preston Bailey design. His breathtaking, awe-inspiring work is evidence there is no limit to imagination.
From planning Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding…
To a desert dreamscape…
To a very elaborate birthday celebration, Preston dazzles us with his luxurious, out-of-this-world designs.
When he heads home though, it’s to a comfortably chic New York City apartment designed by his longtime friend and interior designer Vicente Wolf. Take a peek inside.