design ramblings | decorating with plants

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Design Ramblings15 Comments

Yes, I know it’s not Friday, our usual Design Ramblings day, but our week was pretty out-of-whack with our trip to Wisconsin!  I was planning to edit and post the video on Friday, but… 1.) I was totally exhausted and had a 4:30 wake-up call the next morning, 2.) iMovie wasn’t launching, and 3.) I was using my hotspot, which isn’t high speed enough to upload a 1080p video to You Tube.  So, it didn’t happen.

 I’m back home now and was able to get some rest, get iMovie working, and I have my lightening-fast WiFi again!

We were hoping to film a Design Ramblings or two on our trip, but we weren’t sure what the topic would be.  As soon as we saw our host’s home, we knew.  Brenda, of Harvest Home, has an amazing gift with plants.  She doesn’t just take good care of them, so they thrive, she knows how to combine them, plant them in unusual pots and display them in the most beautiful ways.  I wanted to kidnap her and about 20 plants.


Instead of kidnapping, Kriste and I asked her to share some tips with us and that turned into a Design Ramblings.  We also included Teresa of The Porch & Atelier, who is another gardening whiz.  (I want to kidnap her, too.)

(Sorry about the mediocre sound and video quality.  We weren’t filming with our usual camera, tripod, lighting or mics AND we were outside, right next to a road.)  
Here are a few more pictures from around Harvest Home…


These were the little succulents that Kriste and I loved so much.  We actually each got one to take home.  Yes, we carried them on the plane.


These are the baby tears I was so in love with.  Does anyone know where I can buy these in my area?  (South central PA, Northern VA, MD, etc.)


I seriously thought about trying to take a pair of myrtle topiaries along with the angel tears and this rosemary topiary, but how in the world would I have managed that?  I pictured myself cradling them like babies on the plane…


I was so inspired by Brenda’s shop and home that I did a little bit of gardening along with the unpacking and straightening up that needed to be done today.

I mixed some plants in a footed ironstone bowl, instead of having all of one variety.  I am planning to move the thyme and Irish moss outside, but I need to find some other indoor-friendly plants to fill in, first.


I also did some weeding, dead-heading and clipped a bunch of hydrangeas off my bushes to arrange in a bouquet.


I think I’ve caught the gardening bug…

design ramblings | decorating with plants

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15 Comments on “design ramblings | decorating with plants”

  1. Ah the gardening bug. Once you’ve gotten bit, it’s a tough one to recover from. There’s always a need for more blooms, more colors, more height, more groundcover…you get the picture. It’s live art and glorious. Well that is with the right care, location, amount of nutrients, all those variables. I love gardening. We have a small in town lot and I have my yard down to about a 15 minute mow and edging. The rest is in plants. Azaleas to zucchini. I add veggies in with the abundance of flowers. A feast for all your senses.

  2. Many florists actually keep the Baby Tears plant for sale. I believe it’s the same plant as you are calling Angel’s Tears! Good luck finding it – it’s a very sweet plant and easy enough to grow, though it doesn’t like it if you let it dry out!!

  3. I am smiling while I am watching this…it can become a serious addiction…like furniture painting! I think that first little succulent that you did not know the name of is sedum. It is so pretty. I enjoy succulents too – and they thrive here in South Alabama. Wish you could see my hydrangeas right now – they are covered in blooms!

  4. I just wanted to let you know how much I love, love,love your blog posts and videos!!!!!!! You are so inspirational and I have been following you for years. So super talented. Thank you for sharing your gift with us:)
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  5. I also caught the gardening bug this season. It can become quit the addiction. Just when I think I am done I think of something else I want to try. I’m currently searching for an old double wash tub on the stand that I want to turn into an herb garden/eating garden. With my luck I’ll find one at the end of the season.
    I believe I saw the plant you are looking for at Stauffers of Kissel Hill. You could always call to see if they have some. If not they may be able to order you one. Your hydrangeas are so pretty and they look perfect in the ironstone. I really like that combo.

  6. Cute video, looks like all four of you enjoyed each other’s company and had fun! I didn’t mind the sound quality at all, that’s what “live and candid” is about. As a former home-owner who caught the “bug” years ago, I would just add that the planting process should be a wee bit less abbreviated: when transplanting the 2″, 4″, 6″ plants that one brings home from the nursery or neighborhood supermart, one should rinse off some of the original growing medium from the plant, and uncurl and separate any densely-packed roots. Mix the old growing medium with new potting soil; otherwise, the difference between the two soil qualities may hamper the plant from sending out roots beyond the original growing medium. I have even used scissors to cut into the bottom of the root ball to loosen it up a bit. Most plants that are root-bound don’t grow as well as ones that get the “loosening” treatment when transplanting. If heavy household shears are cheaper than gardening shears, then buy them and save your money for plants!:-) I have a pair (or two) of scissors in every room, for different purposes (kitchen shears, sewing shears, scissors for wrapping, etc.) I also use ordinary soup spoons and plastic cups (dedicated, of course) for gardening, and disposable aluminum lasagna pans for my “potting station”. The pans can be cleaned and re-used many times. Remember to clean all tools after use with dish soap, rinse, dip in bleach water, rinse, and dry before storing. It’s a necessary chore. I use cleaned, plastic, strawberry/salad containers (the 16-oz. or larger) with hinged lids for mini-greenhouses to plant seeds, then I transplant to regular pots when the plants are big enough. I buy stoneware chargers and tea saucers from the thrift store instead of matching saucers with my pots, to give a festive look to otherwise uniform containers. This gives my apartment balcony garden uniformity and interest at the same time. The money that I save on gardening gear goes toward plants and soil! One of the first jobs people had was tending a garden (Genesis), so it doesn’t surprise me when people catch the gardening bug. Thanks for another uplifting blog entry!

  7. I love repurposing pails and other vessels to plant in and place on my deck. My husband will drill a hole in them if there isn’t any drainage. It just makes the garden feel vintage and more fun…

  8. Oh, the sweet baby-pink of those hydrangeas! So delicate and lovely–I want a bush just like yours! Do they stay the ivory-pink color or do they change as they age?

    I’m glad you are having fun with plants. I love working with them and find my most peaceful, reflective times to be when I am grooming, watering or planting them. And it is such fun that you have added your plant adventures to your blog. Thanks for sharing your travels and doings, Marian!

  9. It’s so easy to catch that gardening bug in the Spring. I love all the fun containers and have been planting lots of cacti and related plants too. A fav…always the hydrangeas!

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