• Tell Your Friends

Remember that post we did on Curbed’s Operation Dollhouse? Our miniature garden is finished and being photographed today. Get a behind-the-scenes peek at the project before it goes live:

Our Assistant Editor, Karli, gluing down tiles. She’s putting those interior design skills to work!

The bed, the door, more glue…and binder clips for clamps. Here’s to raiding the office supply cabinet!

Brenna, our intern, with Karli, and the fan that kept the glue fumes to a manageable level.

  • Tell Your Friends


It may not be quite warm enough in many parts of the country, but I bet we’re all ready to head outside to enjoy the sunshine! Outdoor spaces are the perfect way to get your vitamin D fix and they can suit any design style. Enjoy outdoor living with these lovely finds:

Learn how to make your own paving stone patio here.

House of Turquoisegives us a sneak peak of Crate and Barrel’s 2010 outdoor collection.

A once-forgotten garden shed is turned into a cozy cottage retreat at Cottage Magpie.

Large-scale artwork and bright colors turn an overlooked outdoor space into an urban retreat.

Click here for more great outdoor living inspirations and ideas.

  • Tell Your Friends

Living Wall Garden
A vertical garden plot tops my list of planting to-dos this spring — not only because they’re attention-getting and verdant, but because the squirrels in my backyard love to dig up my plants. A simple, mounted wall planter will keep things green and out of reach.


  • Tell Your Friends

Hello, Spring! How I’ve missed you!

Planting season is revving up now, and as the old adage goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” I can’t say I’m looking forward to rainy weather, but there are some advantages. This year I’m looking into creating a rain barrel system to collect that rainwater run-off and reuse it for the garden (saves money and is conservation-minded).

A coworker has a similar goal and posed a good question: “How should I decorate my barrels?” Those big old drums can be quite industrial looking and don’t always meld well with your yard’s natural splendor. I was doing some research on our sister site,, on creating a rain barrel system and found this clever idea from eco-designer Michelle Kaufmann:

Rain Barrel

Basically, she masks her drum with the plants she’s hoping to water. You just need wire to wrap the barrel with and then some fast-growing, viny plants. Soon enough your rain barrel will be integrated into the landscape. (Check out her how-to video for more info.)

As for my coworker, he decided to let his son get creative with finger painting — it’ll definitely have a personal touch.

Do you have any other ideas for prettying up a rain barrel system?

  • Tell Your Friends

I’m always drawn to the unusual and offbeat in the gardening world, so Halloween presents the perfect opportunity to highlight any spookiness in the garden. Of course I’ll have the usual orange, relatively round pumpkins on our deck and scary gargoyles tucked into the potted cuphea, but I also love the looks of the slightly-less-ordinary, like this peanut pumpkin:


Decaisnea fargesii is sort of creepy — the clusters of twisted blue bean pods give the plant its common name, dead man’s fingers. The bat plant doesn’t bloom in October, but it’s the perfect (though sometimes temperamental) conversation piece in the summer:


Black foliage (actually, very dark purple or brown) is pretty easy to find in the plant world. During the growing season black mondo grass and other dark plants serve as a perfect foil for the many types of chartreuse shrubs and annuals.

Plants like Sedum Dragon’s Blood don’t look all that scary, but a name tag may do the trick. It’s all about suggestion: Only at this time of year can I look at crested celosia, and think, wow that looks a brain:


Read more about Creepy Halloween Gardens then tell us what’s spooky about your yard. We’d love to see pictures, too: upload them at Rate My Space.

  • Tell Your Friends

Boy would Mork be jealous. The ceramic Egglings ($8.95) from are hilarious. According to the website, they look and feel just like real eggs but of course they grow real plants! (Available right now: thyme or petunias.) Here’s how it works:

Just crack one open, add water, and you’ve created a springtime oasis for your desk or window (even if it’s winter outside). Each comes with a terra cotta tray and seed pack. Growing is EASY — plants thrive for months in their shell and can be replanted in soil.


More gifts, more gifts!
Gift and Gear: Gadgets and More (HGTV)
Domino Design Bazaar: New Ideas for Bedding, Lighting, Gardening, Accessories (HGTV)

  • Tell Your Friends

Who said gardening gear had to be frumpy? Red Envelope offers the gift of glam this season to gardeners everywhere with these gorgeous monogrammed gloves. Here’s the official description:

Tailored of soft beige suede, they’re comfortable and supple yet durable enough for regular use. Extra-long cotton cuffs help keep leaves and dirt from sneaking in, and the slim straps snap shut. Reinforced thumbs. $26, add $5 for monogram.

Ok, so if you do add the embroidered initials this gift will run you $31, which puts it slightly out of the “Under $30″ category, but it’s worth it! And we’re just in the nick of time for monogramming. Order by tomorrow and the gloves are still guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas. Stay tuned for another affordable gardening gift idea tomorrow!

MD06_175480_2.jpg MD06_175480_1.jpg

Holiday Giving: Click Here and HGTV Donates $1 for Families In Need (HGTV)
Shop ‘Til You Drop: Holiday Gift Guide (HGTV)

  • Tell Your Friends

Behold, installment numero two of the great gardening gifts on the cheap series. Things are getting pretty cute pretty fast with these Gardens in a Bag from Potting Shed Creations. Adorably packaged, these come in a selection of herbs, flowers, fruits & veggies, and greens that can be grown indoors, right in the leak-proof bag. According to the website, “all you need to do is mix in the enclosed packet of seed and add water. Before long, you will have extremely flavorful herbs, tasty tomatoes and strawberries, beautiful and fragrant flowers, and attractive greens.” Try the mini-tomato ($9.75), mini-daffodil ($15), mini-iris ($15) or paperwhites ($15). Green thumb not included.
GIB_Tomatoes_title_thumb.jpg GIB_Daffodil_title_thumb.jpg GIB_MiniIrisPlant_thumb.jpg gib_paperwhites_title_thumb.jpg

More ideas!
Gifts seen on I Want That! (HGTV)
Toy Fair 2006 (HGTV)

Latest Pins on Pinterest