Going a little nuts with cottage style gardening

I go a little nuts with cottage style gardening and take loads of pictures of those I admire. In this mosaic of photos you’ll see all the elements I think are important in creating cottage style gardening. It’s not that easy. You have to understand the color wheel and know your plants. You have to know companion planting and soil preparation.

It’s good to add hard structures to the landscape also. Stone features, water, color, height, and width are all important for balance. I think the photos I’ve given you are a good representation of cottage style gardening.

Please enjoy! I have loads more to share. I took all of these photos except maybe one or two. I visit places around NC and document interesting gardens and places that I love.

How to make a birdhouse and decorate with seed catalogs

Botanical Interests Seeds has the most beautiful catalog. Not only do I grow their seeds, I recycle their catalogs. Sitting on my repurposed twin headboard bench, sits the aqua birdhouse embellished with little hearts.

Up there on Flowergardengirl’s porch and just to the left of the front door, sits a little birdhouse made by Anna. With the help of her son, Chris, they hammered, sawed, painted, glued and laughed like crazy to create this cute little chick house.

Sitting on a plant bench made by my husband— is the cutest little tin roofed bird house made from the leftover wood of her little shed, Copper Top Cottage. The twin headboard is one from our early married years. I’m glad I saved it.

The hearts are cutouts from the Botanical Interests Seed catalogs and the scrolls and such are wallpaper stencils leftover from another home project. I applied the hearts with Modge Podge. The stencils are rub-ons.

Painted hearts and such are glass paint.

The aqua paint was leftover from my Copper Top Cottage project. The whole birdhouse was varnished when done.

The Botanical Interests seed catalog offers the perfect sized art for these smaller projects. They are so colorful.

Don’t forget to add a door for clean out.

To add a really worn look, I slightly sanded the hearts after they were applied with Modge Podge.

That’s a two inch opening cause this is for display. I suppose a bluebird would like the home but the opening is too big for smaller birds. Check online for the right size opening if this is specific for certain species.

Some of the flowers at my front door this year are a gift from Ball Horticulture. They are doing very well. The marigold is called ‘Bonanza Deep Orange’. Just to the left is Petunia Shock Wave ‘Coral Crush’. I love that ‘Coral Crush’ immensely. The petunia down and to the left is one I purchased but also a Wave–‘Neon Rose’.

I’m pretty sure the coreopsis is: ‘Redshift’ from this article I did some time ago. It will turn a more burgundy as shown in the article. This is a good photo to show you how the ‘Neon Rose’ and ‘Coral Crush’ differ in color. Hopefully you can see the coral color coming through.

The hydrangeas on the left of my porch are just about to bust wide open. Thanks for visiting NC today. It was nice having you at my home. I’m in zone 7a.

Below, are my back gardens last year when I grew ‘Summer Solstice’ by Botanical Interests–love their catalog and their seeds.

Creating Curb Appeal for June DeLugas Interiors

Creating curb appeal for June Delugas Interiors  is one of the prettiest feathers in my cap. I’m proud to have her in my portfolio of store fronts created by Flowergardengirl. June DeLugas is the premiere  interior decorator for the Parade of Homes, local and regional home builders, and is sought after for her award winning decorating and faux painting, as well as her extraordinary taste in furniture, artwork, lighting, window treatments, plantation shutters, carpeting, and accessories.

( Enlarge this photo by clicking on it. Notice the ‘Diamond Frost’ euphorbia in the yellow bucket–with the yellow tipped ivy)

She respects and appreciates what her customer wishes and I very much enjoy designing outdoor spaces for her home and shop. June is known for reinventing indoor spaces using antiques and new while faux painting and adding textures to create comfortable unique spaces in every room of the home or office. When setting out to fit her personality with her landscaping, I added new cultivars with old favorites. Texture and charm had to marry with antiques, statues, and the wrought iron gates already placed in her store front garden area.

Every one of my clients is different and much appreciated but designing curb appeal for a designer took some extra effort to make sure there was enough wow power without causing competition for the beauty going on inside. Decorating for a decorator means you must play it up and calm it down at the same time. You have to create a smile on the patron’s faces before they even enter the store. June’s store is flavored with old European, shabby chic, antiques, old garden style, and modern working in harmony which is her trademark style. This is how she successfully reinvents the client’s own pieces with an updated look and feel.

I love the way the store front cottage garden came to life as my design and 40 years of plant experience celebrated the personality of June DeLugas Interiors. I am thrilled she likes it and love the comments coming my way. It feels good when you feel you read your customer correctly. Those of you in the flower business will recognize my use of old and new varieties.

Some of the surprises which aren’t so apparent just yet—is the ‘Miss Ruby’ butterfly bush in a planter, the nasturtium blooms, purple ruffled basil, tall cleomes on each side of the door, and old fashioned ageratum. One of June’s favorite colors is blue and I’ve dotted it throughout the plantings—that will truly make those iron gates stand out this summer.

Thank you June for letting me create curb appeal for your store and I look forward to being at your home this week. I’m already working on the views out your windows ;).

Come out tomorrow to June DeLugas Interiors for her Susan Komen breast cancer benefit. There will be everything from book signings to massages. Wine tasting and goodies to encourage you to linger and make new friends. See you there! May 3rd, 2011 from 10am to 8pm.

Summer Solstice zinnia glow dominates the autumn border

Beyond the ‘Crocodile Tears’ of the new coleus by PW and past the ‘Foxtail’ fern, autumn arrives on the front porch. ‘Summer Solstice’ narrow leaf zinnias are the dominating yellow right now.

Pumpkins and pretty purple mums accent the walkway to my front door.

Zinnias spill over and mingle with the vinca. The blue of annual salvia standing out amongst the yellows and golds.

I can’t sing the praises enough of the yellow narrow leaf zinnia planted in my gardens this year.

I’m especially impressed with the variety ‘Summer Solstice‘ by Botanical Interests Seeds. I’ll be planting lots more–if possible–next year. This sells out early so don’t wait to order some.

Click on this link to see video of my gardens.