Philadelphia Flower Show 2017

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The 188th Philadelphia Flower Show opens to the public today and runs to March 19th.  This year’s theme is “Holland: Flowering the World”, celebrating the beauty of the Dutch landscape, the beloved Dutch contributions to the botanical world and highlights the country’s technological advances in green energy, starting with windmills. The show is spectacular.  Set on 10 indoor acres, it is the largest indoor flower show in the world.  Proceeds from the show support the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society urban tree planting programs and City Harvest which grows and supplies food to the underprivileged.

Starting with a rainbow of more than 30 thousand tulips and other bulbs running in carpets, the entrance display recreates the iconic bridges and winding canals of Amsterdam and Delft.  Some bridges are covered in Delft tile with lighting changing from day to night.  Throughout the week of the show every bulb will be replaced with fresh ones, ensuring that no matter when you come, the show will be at prime viewing enjoyment.

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Witch Hazel Front Door Basket

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In the depth of winter, when most of my zone 6 garden is hibernating, there is the most magnificent blooming tree in my garden. It seems as if overnight, the bare limbs of this tree are filled with clusters of feathery flowers up and down its branches. Their fragrance is intoxicating and beguiling.  The spidery flowers with long crinkly petals vary in color from yellow to golden orange and burgundy.

My witch hazel's flowers are golden orange with deep burgundy centers.

My witch hazel’s flowers are golden orange with deep burgundy centers.

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Terrarium Gardening

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Terrarium:  a glass container, chiefly or wholly enclosed, for growing and displaying plants.

Terrariums provide a wonderful indoor gardening activity  and are easy to make. The materials needed to create a terrarium such as drainage pebbles, soil and small plants are readily available and virtually any container can be repurposed into a terrarium.  Having greenery around during the winter months is a surefire way to beat the blues and terrarium gardening is a fun creative outlet. Low maintenance needs make terrariums very appealing.

To prepare this post I visited my local Terrain at Styers store for inspiration and to purchase plants. They have a whole section of ready made terrariums or all plants and materials to build your own. I created my own closed container terrarium and documented the process to walk  you through the step-by-step construction.  Then I met with my talented gardening friend  Missy who sells terrariums she creates, to have her share her best tips for successful terrarium construction and to teach us all her creative design secrets. You are in for a treat!

Terrain at Styers creation

Terrain at Styers creation

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Candy Cane Poinsettia Centerpiece-DIY

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Did you know December 12th is National Poinsettia Day in the US?  To celebrate, I’ve got a tutorial for creating a fun candy cane covered vase for a small poinsettia.  The poinsettia is a member of the spurge family and is indigenous to Mexico.  Its English name originated from the first US minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant to the US in 1825.  In Mexico the plant is called Flor de Noche Buena or Christmas Eve Flower, which is such a pretty name.  The Aztecs used the plant to produce red dye and as an anti pyretic.  Today, the plant is mostly ornamental and beloved around the world.  Did you know that the flowers of the poinsettia are really small and grouped in the yellowish center of the colored bracts?  That’s right.  The bright red “flowers” of the classic poinsettia are actually its leaves.  The bracts can also be pink, cream, orange, pale green or marbled.  Now let’s get to this fun project!

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Christmas Evergreen Front Door Swag

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This year our front entrance is showing some swagger for the holidays.  Instead of a wreath, I made a large swag with evergreens cut from around my garden then adorned it with ribbons, pine cones, pheasant feathers, ornaments in gold and burgundy and even some jingle bells.  I love the scent of fresh greens to greet one and all at the holidays.  Take a look at how it came together.

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A Handmade Christmas

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There is something about the holidays that brings out the creativity in me.  I enjoy making gifts for loved ones.  It slows the holiday frenzy down and I can savor time at home instead of rushing around. It’s fun to gather a group of friends to create together over a glass of warm cider, hot chocolate or wine.   Most of these ideas from the archives can come together in very little time and are easy on the budget.  Click on the highlighted link to get the instructions.   I hope you will find a spark of inspiration to create handmade gifts for everyone on your list.   Priceless.

Hot Chocolate On a Stick

The best hot chocolate ever and so adorable to wrap!

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7 Fall Decor DIY’s

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“Autumn binds poetry in its own withered leaves. “~Terri Guillemets

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When fall arrives, does your nesting instincts  go into full gear?  Mine sure do!  Here are some easy DIY fall decor projects you can create at home to celebrate autumn and get the creativity juices flowing.  My favorites are the botanical pumpkins and the no-water fall window box.  I have even included one that I wanted to love but struggled with, the Mason jar leaf hurricanes, so you can avoid the same mistakes I made.  Happy fall! Continue reading