Do It Yourself

The Perfect Garden Path

The Perfect Garden Path

Is it me, or does the garden path set the stage for the entire garden? I’ve seen a garden path that probably cost more than our home, and yet another garden path that was beautifully simple and wouldn’t cost anything. I loved both. While looking over photos from the Garden Writers Association conference in Atlanta I noticed a pattern in my photographs. At almost every home I took photos of the garden path which led through the landscape. This contemporary path features huge cement pavers with (my favorite!) Mexican blue river rock between them. Pros: these large stones and river rocks will not move and will feel good on your feet. Cons: Expensive. Natural stones with dwarf mondo grass creates a garden path that will look very natural.… Read Full Post
 My DIY trellis project

 My DIY trellis project

As part of our yard renovation this year we wanted to make the most out of every inch of space. This DIY trellis project along our fence was the answer for this difficult area. The small size of our yard, and my plant obsession, means we needed to look for vertical solutions to create the most impact. Trees are one way to add vertical interest, but with our neighbor’s palms and an already shady space, trellises made the most sense.   There are lots of options for trellises and I highlighted several HERE. For this part we decided an inexpensive, easy DIY trellis was just what we needed. I am going to cover it with plants anyway! DIY trellis materials: I purchased this 3′ wide welded wire fencing from Home Depot.  … Read Full Post
Grow Up!  DIY trellis structures. 

Grow Up!  DIY trellis structures. 

Short on space? Trying to block the neighbor’s view?  Adding a trellis may be the solution you need.  From edible vegetables to beautiful flowering vines, trellises can contain plants and keep them growing well in small spaces. Creating Privacy A trellis is a simple way to add a visual barrier for unwanted views. Providing instant privacy, ornamental panels may not even require plants to do their job. I prefer to use premade panels with wide lattice in this situation, blocking views without much effort. You can find more on this project installing privacy panels here.   Existing chain link fences can also work to your advantage. Consider a fast growing vine to weave throughout and keep a green barrier intact. Good plants for this include passionvine, sky vine and confederate jasmine.… Read Full Post

MissSmartyPlants named top 100 Gardening Blog!

Miss Smarty Plants named to Top 100 Gardening Blog list! I am so happy to share that MissSmartyPlants has been named to the top 100 gardening blogs list. What an honor!  There are some truly great gardening resources on this list so I hope you take time to look over some of these wonderful sites.   You can see the full list of top gardening blogs here.… Read Full Post
Creating a succulent container garden display 

Creating a succulent container garden display 

As part of the Great Yard Renovation of 2016 we created a special succulent container garden display area in our front yard. This was really the part of our landscape design plan about which I was most unsure. But I realize there are times when we all need to step out of our comfort zone (i.e. hedges and groundcovers) and try something new. This project is certainly that. In my mind this achieved several goals: – It cleared all (yes, all!) of my potted plants off our our back deck. This pretty much sold Mike on the whole thing. – It actually gives the succulents better growing conditions. Our front yard is much sunnier than the back. I make the argument that I have to keep these because of the presentations I give on growing succulents in Florida.… Read Full Post
Removing Viburnum odoratissimum

Removing Viburnum odoratissimum

Finally getting around to removing this huge tree from my yard is making me very happy. Removing viburnum might be one of my best gardening moments. Okay, probably not really, but it is still a good feeling. I consider viburnum to be my nemesis.   Finally getting around to removing this huge tree from my yard is making me very happy. Removing viburnum might be one of my best gardening moments. Okay, probably not really, but it is still a good feeling. I consider viburnum to be my nemesis.You may be thinking to yourself, “why would someone find so much pleasure in removing viburnum from their yard?” A very good question indeed. The University of Florida’s publication on Viburnum odoratissimum states, “Often used as a screen or clipped hedge, its dense, spreading, evergreen habit makes Sweet Viburnum suitable for use as a small tree, reaching 25 to 30 feet tall and wide at maturity, with a dense, multibranched, rounded canopy.”  I just don’t have room for a plant this big!… Read Full Post
Create Your Own Orchid Green Wall

Create Your Own Orchid Green Wall

As part of our garden renovations a big change was taking down the large sweet viburnum on the corner of our shed.  I completely understand that this plant is in the wrong place. While many people try to keep Viburnum obovatum as a 3 foot tall shrub, it truly wants to be a 30 foot tall tree. I knew for a long time that this needed to come out, but it has been the place for me to plant orchids in trees as a fail safe way to grow my orchids. So finally this tree has been removed. Right plant, right place never rang more true.   This has left me with the very predictable issues of now both having many orchids that need a new home and a now very visible garden shed.… Read Full Post
Installing a Disappearing Fountain

Installing a Disappearing Fountain

This has by far and away been one of my most rewarding projects. Installing a disappearing fountain has been a wish list project for a really long time. I go to trade shows and see all of these beautiful fountains but never actually purchase or move forward until now. As I was shopping for the containers for my new privacy panels, I came across this beauty. Just look at the color! Waiting for this perfect fountain is exactly the reason I’ve been holding off on installing a disappearing fountain!  And, I am happy that it has a little chip in the bottom so it was 40% off. I knew we wanted to place our fountain directly in the site line from our kitchen.… Read Full Post
Installing Privacy Panels

Installing Privacy Panels

Our yard renovations continue! One of the first projects I wanted to complete first was installing these privacy panels. Simple materials with a very design forward feel and I was instantly in love. Our privacy panels project shows care and thought while also providing a beautiful place to show off specimen plants. When we first started meeting, one point I mentioned is really important to us is to maintain privacy. Our small yard means our neighbors are very close by and we want to have a visual barrier between us (two cheers for bamboo!). But a bamboo enclosure probably doesn’t make complete sense, even though tempting. On the plan from landscape architect Joe Brooks you can see how this looks. We already have some of these panels in our yard to keep the chickens from tearing up our yard and/or escaping.… Read Full Post
Brain Plants and Pot Heads…

Brain Plants and Pot Heads…

Brain Plants and Pot Heads?  How can you be anything but intrigued by this title? My now infamous “pot heads” all started because of one plant. This guy, an Echinobivia cristata ‘Rainbow Bursts’ that we came across at a nearby Lowes. It was so awesome that Mike actually found it! AND wanted to buy it!  As you might guess, we have a plethora of plants at our house and it is very rare that he thinks we need to buy a plant. It certainly looks like a brain plant, doesn’t it? Even the fissure down the center just screams “brain!” at you. As we were walking around the store looking for a few other odds and ends I offhandedly mentioned that I could make a pot for this where the face would be the bottom part and the top would be open for the “brain plant” to stick out the top.… Read Full Post

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My name is Keri and I am as comfortable speaking to a group about color in the garden as I am covered in dirt.

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