Gardening season is in full bloom here and we’re all crossing our fingers it doesn’t dip below freezing again until fall! That’s the risk you run planting flowers in these parts. That’s not enough to discourage me, though. No sir. I’ll be a green thumb yet, but naturally, I want to look cute doing it. We’ve rounded up some Lar’s gardening essentials, from gloves to planters, you’ll be set for spring with a variety of tools. Whether you’ve got a pumpkin patch in your backyard, a few pots on your front porch, or some herbs on your windowsill, there’s something for every gardener (or wannabe) out there!
I’m pleased as punch to introduce a guest contributor to Lars for the day, Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers. I first discovered Erin’s flower farms when I attended Martha Stewart’s American Made in NYC a couple of years ago, and she won the design category! Erin and her family run this Washington-based farm where they sell flower seeds, bulbs, and gifts. They put a ton of research into everything they do you know you’re getting the best quality. They have just released a brand new book called Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvet, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms and it is THE book to turn to if you’re looking to improve your flower gardening and arranging skills. Today, Erin is showing us how to create a spring party table and arrangement. Stay tuned to our Instagram as she’s taking over today where you can also enter to win a copy of the book! BTW, have you seen her Instagram?! It’s one of the most gorgeous ones out there!
As soon as the weather warms, sunny spring weekends are almost always spent outdoors. Any excuse to throw a party and have friends over is jumped at. Because these outdoor gatherings are usually planned at the last minute, I often find myself dashing to through the garden, cutting handfuls of flowers just minutes before the guests arrive to decorate the table. But with fresh ingredients growing nearby and a collection of the right containers on hand, it’s possible to throw together a quick, super sweet display of spring flower in no time.
For this fun little party table I kept it ultra simple, and made just one bouquet for the center of the display and then scattered a collection of mixed apothecary bottles with blooms at varying heights down the table. The combination of double creamy tulips, the last of the cheerful daffodils, a few stems of fragrant lilacs, some buttery primroses, a couple of little handfuls of adorable grape hyacinths, and some wild garden greens all mixed into interesting vases, made for a pretty, springy tablescape.
After living in cold weather cities for the past 15 years, I’ve come to look at spring as my saving grace—it’s the only thing that gets me through it. That and electric blankets. And massive amounts of hot chocolate. For me, springtime means being outside and taking up my pretend hobby of gardening. I say pretend because I don’t really know what I’m doing, I know I just love looking at plants so I pick out whatever I want from the nursery and hope it works out.
But I got smarter this time, folks! I recruited the help of Richard Bingham, a landscape designer here in Utah, who helped me come up with some plants that would be perfect for a container garden. A container garden is perfect for renters like me, especially those who don’t have a full yard to work with, and can take the pots wherever you go. My house is south facing and we get a ton of sunshine so I needed plants that have full sun exposure. Richard helped me pick out these gorgeous plants that will no doubt become even more gorgeous as the season draws on. I partnered up with Monrovia, one of my favorite plant brands, who I’ve been turning to for the past couple of years because of their high quality plants that they grow in California. They also provide great information for growing plants according to your region.
I am so so so so stoked for this peony. I have 4 peony plants already. They tend to be pretty hearty, which is something I need with my black thumb tendencies. And though they are trendy, I can’t help but collect them all.
When planting your container garden, make sure you’re giving your plants ample room to grow in the containers themselves. You can do this by selecting pots that are about twice as big as the plant itself and filling the container with an organic potting soil. Richard recommends the Master’s Pride or Master Nursery Gardener’s Gold, which are both high in organic matter and area good all around potting soil. Follow the instructions on the Monrovia site for specific instructions for your chosen plants.
So, get out there and plant! What will you be planting??? Tell me! And show me pics! You know I love me some garden photos.
I’ve had a thing for topiaries ever since I could pronounce the word. Something about a bush being cut into the shape of a ball thrills me. I’ve always assumed that there was a specific science to it and I’m sure there is for some of those crazy animal shapes, but turns out, they’re quite simple and MUCH cheaper to make on your own–as all good DIY projects are. I was excited to learn the art from Tonya LeMone, who owns the most beautiful enchanting garden Perennial Gardens. She has a true love of creating beauty with her gardens and flower knowledge. I met her last year for a shoot and I keep on going back because 1) her gardens are so lovely and 2) she is so lovely. Today she is sharing with us three ways to make topiaries: ivy globe, boxwood, and rosemary topiaries and 2 ways to put the scraps to good use. Because resourcefulness is a lost skill.
When I found out that floral designer/sculpture/magic maker Tage Andersen had a summer palace in Sweden, I knew I had to go with my mom when she came to visit me in Denmark last summer (yes, I’m THAT behind on blog posts). It’s about 4 hours from Copenhagen by car and it will blow your mind. You must go here before you die.
It’s called Gunillaberg and it was owned by the first Swedish representative to America before America was America. Mr. Andersen bought it a few years ago and has turned it into a museum? wonderland? farm? gallery? All those magical things. This year there’s a brand new orangerie even. I’m going to walk you through. You start by entering through two topiaries. Topiaries mean that you know it’s gonna be good.
Then you pass some cows on both sides and I didn’t get any good photos but there were then dozens of potbelly pigs. POTBELLY PIGS!
Then, you pass this beautiful barn
before coming to this little hut draped in burlap and checkerboard. It’s the sign-in, of course.
Mr. Andersen has created a number of topiary courtyards. This one is complete with whiskey barrel planters, which makes me feel really good because our rental right now has a few in front so I feel better about having them in our yard.
No Scandinavian locale is complete without chopped wood.
or a bunch of roosters running around.
More of those whiskey barrels.
And here I spotted Mr. Tage Andersen. I didn’t have the guts to chat with him this time around for fear of turning into Superfan, which I had already established when I tracked him down in Copenhagen at his downtown studio.
And oh, the details! Nothing is basic. Stacked branches to hold the water barrels.
“I think it’s T double E double R double R double I double F double I double C, C, C”. What movie?
And now, we get to the palace doors.
Just a sculpture of a tree. NBD.
Ok, that’s all I’m going to leave you with for now. And the amazing part? It somehow gets better.