Category Archives: gardening

Garden Progress

June 7, 2014

While we’re making progress inside, I’m excited to make some progress in the garden too! When my mom, sister & Grams were here this past week, they staked out a first take on the garden with a rope and my containers to give us an idea of what it could look like. the curtis casa garden plans 1 The area where we live used to be a pecan farm, so we have a few large pecan trees in the backyard. This area to the left of the deck is pretty shady, so this will be the shade bed for hydrangeas, hostas, and hellebores. the curtis casa garden plans 2 In the backyard off to the right behind the studio is where our vegetable garden will be, eventually. I love my potting bench and I can’t wait to give it a real job back here. I love the look of two long rectangular beds, don’t you? the curtis casa garden plans 4 Right now this area behind the studio is a mess! All the containers are my transplanted plants that we brought here with us when we moved. We have some really fun plans to make a cute little area and secondary access into the garage (the part on the left). the curtis casa garden plans 5   Hooray for planning & progress!

Garden Party with Southern Living

April 23, 2014

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of joining the folks at Southern Living & Southern Living Plant Collection for a full-on, get-your-hands-dirty gardening seminar hosted by Carmen Johnston and SL Garden Editor Rebecca Bull Reed. We stayed at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC and it was an absolutely lovely backdrop for all the gardening festivities. The North Carolina mountains are so beautiful. We spent a day learning about the new plant collections from Southern Living and hearing funny stories, gardening tips, and styling tricks from Carmen and Rebecca.

grove park inn

Have you been to The Grove Park Inn? Oh my goodness, it is so lovely. It’s 100 years old!

southern living plant collection container garden 2

Sunday morning, it was time to get our hands dirty! Carmen walked us through it while we planted a sun container with snap dragons, celosia, and a couple of yummy herbs, rosemary, lemon thyme. And in our shade container we planted a ‘Soft Caress’ Mahonia, a few impatiens, and a couple of begonias. I can’t wait for these plant babies to

southern living plant collection container garden 1

The rule for container gardens like these is The 3 T’s: Tall, Thick, & Trailing. You want to plant one tall plant for height in the back of your container, something thick that will fill-in well in the middle and something trailing off the side. Oh and one more “T” to remember, plant in the shape of a triangle!

southern living plant collection container garden 3

Carmen is the most enthusiastic garden-lover, her enthusiasm is so contagious.

Southern Living Plant Collection Event

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Tips for Growing A Kumquat Tree

February 25, 2014

I always say that I got my gardening bug from my Mom. Lucky me, she is a master! I got her a little mail-order kumquat tree for her birthday two years ago. Not for any practical reason, I just thought it was cute. We wondered if it would be hard to care for but it was worth a shot. I should say “she wondered” since it’s at her house in NC, but it’s been a group effort. Anyway, my sister sent me this picture the other day…. Two years later and the little kumquat tree is alive and well and needed to be transplanted to a bigger pot!

kumquat tree


Here are a few tips we’ve learned about kumquat trees over the past couple of years. I shared these last year and they’re still true.

Give ’em light. Keep your kumquat tree in a sunny window.

Kumquats love water. Kumquats like wet soil so water your tree about once a week and don’t let the soil dry out too much between watering.

Kumquat trees like sandy soil. Add some sand if your soil is too dense or clay-like.

Prune the suckers that grow at the base of the trunk. These mini branches will never grow fruit and only take away nutrients from the rest of the tree.

kumquat tree 1 kumquat tree 2