Posts in "Garden World"

Common Poisonous Plants Brought Indoors For Winter: Pet Alert!


There are some common garden plants that end up indoors for the winter that are not your pet's best friend!
As a matter of fact, these plants pose a health risk to your dogs, if they happen to eat them.


Even if your dog isn't a plant nosher, you should still be vigilant about the plants that enter your home during the fall season.

Many dogs are less active during cold weather making them prone to boredom, which can lead to a curious pallet.

The boxwood topiary in the living room suddenly looks like a lollipop to an undiscerning dog and he may take a bite!


I teamed up with animal behavior expert, Laura Nativo on the "Home & Family"  show recently to discuss common poisonous plants that are brought indoors for the winter that pet owners should be aware of.



Laura addressed the animal behavior component while I delved into the specific plants and an indoor design strategy to keep pet and plant away from each other.



Some plants that can be harmful to pets include:




This popular tropical plant must be brought indoors in cold winter areas in order to survive the season.

All parts of the Sago palm are poisonous if eaten, but the seeds contain the most toxins.

The Sago palm is responsible for hundreds of pet poisonings every year, keep it away from your dog!






All varieties of the Hedera helix family of plants are toxic to pets.

These draping plants are a popular holiday plant and their cascading form brings them dangerously close to your dog.





Tell me it isn't so!

Chrysanthemums, or "mums," are a classic autumn plant.

Did you know that mums produce a naturally occurring insecticide called, "pyrethrins?"

This chemical targets insects but it can also harm your dog.




Another quintessential fall and holiday plant to keep away from your dog is holly.

Holly leaves and berries contain natural caffeine and saponins which create a foamy, soap-like substance.

And by the way, have you noticed the sharp points in the leaves?

If you have, you still have your eyes intact.

Make sure your dog does too, keep them away from holly!




The colorful flowers of this popular gift plant is a welcome sight in winter, just keep it out of your dog's mouth.

Kalanchoe produces a natural steroid hormone that affects the cardiovascular system, if eaten.


Take a look at some more toxic plants you may have in your backyard:  "Common Poisonous Plants: Protect Kids and Pets!"

Visit for extensive list of toxic plants for dogs and cats.



If you want to avoid any accidental plant ingestion, don't bring any plants indoors.

Another option is to select one room in the house that can supply both bright light as well as darker light in same room.



Consolidate your over-wintering plants onto a table and place it behind a dog "X-pen" or gate so the dog can't enter the plant area.

You can fit many plants in a small space if you use the walls and other levels.




Hang plants from the wall or ceiling or place inside bird cages to isolate from your pet.

The plants will look beautiful and your pet won't be able to get to them!






Home and Family 4020 Final Photo Assets

Cristina Ferrare and Laura Nativo hold Chihuahua puppies in foreground, Shirley Bovshow and Suzanne Browning in the background.

These puppies are available for adoption!


How do you keep your plants and pets away from each other?


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Watch my weekly garden segments on the Emmy nominated, "Home & Family" show on the Hallmark channel, weekdays at 10 am pst/ct.







MobileGro 3-Tiered Portable Planter Giveaway on Home & Family Show


The Home & Family Show on Hallmark Channel is giving away amazing products during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

I was asked to select my favorite garden product to give away this week.

I chose the MobileGro portable planter designed by Angela DiMaggio.




The MobileGro planter is constructed of strong, powder-coated metal and features heavy-duty casters that make it easy to move indoors or out.

I like the deep planters that are suitable for growing root vegetables.

Well designed, the MobileGro planter accommodates a large amount of plants and takes up very little floor space.



To enter for the drawing for the MobileGro planter, you must do the following:

1. "Like" the Home & Family show Facebook page.

2. Comment under the photo of the MobileGro planter on their Facebook page.

3. Drawing ends on Friday, Dec. 6, 2014 at midnight.


Don't waste time, get over to their Facebook page.

Good luck!



Watch my garden and landscaping segments on the "Home & Family" show, weekdays at 10am PST on the Hallmark Channel.



Home and Family Holiday Special Show Highlights


Hi Friends!

Thank you for watching the "Home & Family Show Primetime Holiday Special" on the Hallmark Channel!

Enjoy some behind-the-scenes highlight photos that I took on our fun night of taping at Universal Studios.


The weather was perfect for a Christmas special, "Los Angeles" style.

There was a slight chill in the air, but let's be honest, 65 degrees is warm for many parts of the country.



All the "Family" members were on hand for the festivities.


I had the honor of designing the Christmas Centerpiece for our newly designed family room.


Designers Tanya Memme, Kenneth Wingard and Shirley Bovshow of Home and Family Show, Hallmark Holiday special show

Kenneth Wingard designed the garland and Tanya Memme designed a fun wall Christmas tree made with felt for kids to decorate!


Enjoy these photos and please visit EdenMakers Blog again tomorrow, as I will have instructions and photos for making my Christmas centerpiece featuring repurposed materials.





My castmates on Home & Family don't take themselves too seriously.

Yes, we have our hair and makeup "just right," but we like to be silly too!

Here is Dr. JJ Levenstein, Shirley Bovshow, Laura Nativo, Tanya Memme and Jeanette Pavini in the dressing room, also known as the green room, getting ready for taping the special.


home-and-family-hallmark-holiday-show-behind-the-scenes-jj-shirley-bovshow-laura-tanya-jeanette-edenmakers-blogThe same gang, Dr. JJ, Shirley Bovshow, Laura Nativo, Tanya Memme, and Jeanette Pavini, composed and more professional!



You may know these three women referred to as "The Blondes" on Home & Family. 
Here are Debbie Matenopoulis, Kym Douglas, and Sophie Uliano listening to the Australian singing trio, Aria.

Did you love their rendition of "Hallelujah?"





Dr. JJ Levenstein with Kenneth Wingard and Matt Iseman.

You can't get more fun than this trio!

Love their sense of humor and talent.

Did you know that Dr. JJ is also a chef?

Matt Iseman, as well.


He graduated from Princeton with a degree in Architecture!




Green living expert Sophie Uliano is the real deal!

Here she is between segments, "coaching" Kym Douglas, Dr. JJ and Kenneth Wingard on some yoga stretches.

Did you know that Sophie Uliano used to teach yoga?

It's true!



Did you know that the handsome and witty Matt Iseman is also a credentialed doctor?

He's enjoying being the center of attention, flanked by talented castmates – Laura Nativo, Tanya Memme and Jeanette Pavini.




Hallmark Home and Family Christmas Holiday Special-dinnertime-blessing

As co-host of the Home & Family Show, Cristina Ferrare is in touch with her spiritual side and leads the blessing for the Christmas meal.

Family members and guests bow their heads in prayer and respect.

Cristina Ferrare is a beautiful woman, inside and out.

I'm proud to work with her.


Hallmark Home and Family show matzoh toffee by shirley bovshow primetime holiday special show edenmakers blog


How does my "Matzoh Toffee" look?

I swear it's better than Almond Roca!

I made it with matzoh crackers, butter, brown sugar, chocolate and dry roasted almond slices.

Visit my Foodie Gardener Blog tomorrow for the recipe!

I'm too tired to post it tonight as I've been taping all day today.




Our sweet and beautiful DIY expert Paige Hemmis stands proudly with the Australian singing group Aria.

She's engaged to the handsome man with the mustache and beard.

I've got to ask her his name!

They were very sweet together.

Look at Paige's tears of joy!



Co-host Mark Steines was very busy taping but couldn't deny himself a little time with the "family!"

Yes, we do like each other and everyone has a blast when we get together.


Shirley Bovshow's Christmas Centerpiece, "Fire and Ice"


My custom designed "Fire and Ice" Christmas Centerpiece features snowball planters made from painted grapevine orbs, repurposed Christmas tree ornaments, battery-operated candles, and lots of bling!


Hallmark Home and Family Shirley Bovshow designs christmas centerpiece for family room Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare

Designer Shirley Bovshow shows her "Fire and Ice" Christmas Centerpiece to Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare.



Close-up of the snowball planter I designed for the Christmas Centerpiece for Hallmark's Home & Family holiday special.

I can't wait to share the step-by-step instructions with you.

It's so easy to make!



My Christmas Centerpiece is interactive.

Along with beautiful plants and crystals, there is a pretty little cup filled with chocolates!




Doesn't this succulent look pretty surrounded by beads and crystals?




White Christmas cactus plant in bloom.

What's your favorite Christmas cactus flower color?


I hope you enjoyed my behind-the-scenes photos of the Home & Family Holiday Special!

Please subscribe to EdenMakers blog for new posts, including instructions on how to make my "Fire and Ice" Christmas Cactus Centerpiece!


Celebrate Earth Day With “The Power of Poop!”


Hi Friends of EdenMakers Blog!

Happy Earth Day.


I have a special message from a talented and inspiring film maker, Denis Thomopoulos whose mission in life is to educate people, (children in particular), to understand and care for our earth.

Please watch the video trailer and if you like, purchase or rent the video to share with your family.

Proceeds from the sale go towards offset projects administered by Conservation International.


The-Power-of-Poop-Logo by Denis Thomopoulos?

Here's a message from Denis explaining his creative and entertaining cartoon video called,  "The Power of Poop" that is debuting today on Earth Day 2014!



As you may know, there is an immediate urgency to stabilize our climate.

This is a very serious issue I care deeply about — even though — as a cartoonist, I work to make people laugh.


The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!) is a half-hour cartoon musical with the big ambition of caring for the planet while having fun too.


I hope you can take a moment to watch this clip.

If you enjoy it, please share, write a review, or even embed the player so others may enjoy it as well.

We can inspire kids of all ages to take actions that make a WORLD of difference.


Thank you and please feel free to reach out to Amy or me if you have any questions or would like to see the whole film to write a review.


Best regards,




About Denis and Hippo Works


Denis Thomopoulos turned a Masters degree from Oxford into an early career working for world-renowned filmmakers such as David Puttnam and Irwin Winkler – only to realize his heart was in cartooning and the environment.


So Denis took a red hippo named Simon he’d drawn for a best-selling t-shirt in college and made him the star of his new eco animation studio, Hippo Works.

Denis has syndicated and licensed Simon along with a host of animal characters to companies such as AOL, National Geographic Kids, Paramount Vantage, SWAPE (Soil Water Air Protection Enterprise),, Con Edison, and Clear Channel, among others.


The Power of Poop (and other ways to save the world!) is his first half-hour cartoon, with purchases of the film saving 1000 sq. ft. of jungle through Conservation International.

His characters also appear on organic products at Whole Foods in Southern California and on an egg sculpture for Faberge’s Big Egg Hunt in New York, April 2014, which is being auctioned at Sotheby’s to raise money for The Elephant Family, a nonprofit that protects Asian elephants’ migratory corridors.

Tips For Keeping Your Christmas Tree Fresh


Each year more than 24 million Christmas trees are sold during the holiday season in the United States.

Too bad most of these trees look dry and yucky by Christmastime!


 Tips and Tricks for Extending Freshness Period of Christmas Trees


I'm going to start with one of the best kept secrets.


Shirley-Bovshow Applies Wilt-Pruf-anti-transpirant compound to a Christmas-Tree -on Home and Family Show to keep it Fresh

1. Use an anti transpirant compound such as "Wilt-Pruf" on your Christmas tree to seal moisture in the tree.

I'm not sure why anti-transpirant sprays are not more commonly used in households to preserve Christmas tree freshness!

Wilt-Pruf has been around for over sixty years and is available at garden centers and home improvement stores throughout the United States.

Landscape professionals have been using anti-transpirant solutions for years to preserve seasonal decor and landscape plants!


Anti-transpirants are chemical compounds that are applied to leaves to reduce transpiration of moisture.

Think of a tree leaf or needle as its skin.

The compound "closes the pores" of the leaf surface so that moisture can't evaporate through it!


Wilt-Pruf is commonly used on landscape plants such as rhododendruns and azaleas during the summer and winter when they experience drying winds and water stress.

The anti-transpirant locks in moisture and is equally effective in Christmas trees, fresh cut garland and greenery!

What are you waiting for?


I applied Wilt-Pruf to the Christmas tree I bought for the Home & Family show and shared this tip with the audience.

A one quart, ready-to-use bottle is sufficient for an average five to six foot Christmas tree and costs approximately $10 dollars.

Wilt-Pruf is available in concentrate form as well.


Spray your tree with Wilt-Pruf outdoors and let it dry a few hours before bringing indoors.

Don't spray Wilt-Pruf indoors because if the natural pine oil emulsion gets on your floor and furniture, you will have to remove it with turpintine.

Pine oil is organic and non-hazardous but can be messy on your floor and furniture!


Fresh-cut-Christmas-tree-trunk-to preserve freshness edenmakersblog

2. Make a fresh, 1"-inch cut to bottom of the Christmas tree trunk at the tree lot or before placing in the stand.

Christmas trees found in a lot have been cut any where from a few days to a month ago!

Pines, firs, nobles, spruces and other popular cut trees secrete a resin when cut that covers the bottom of the tree stub.

Within one to three hours, this resin seals the bottom of the trunk and makes water infiltration very difficult.

This is why some trees dry out no matter how much water is supplied to them!


Score-bottom-of-christmas-tree-trunk for-water-takeup-edenmakersblog

3. Score the bottom of your tree trunk with a few cuts to help water uptake!

If you have never scored the bottom of your Christmas tree and have had drying issues, give this tip a try.

A few blunt cuts at the bottom of your tree trunk will give your tree even more access to water.


4. Put your tree in water within one hour of cutting your tree trunk!

You have a very small window for watering your tree after cutting and scoring the trunk.

If you aren't able to place your tree in a stand immediately, immerse the trunk in s 5 gallon bucket of water during your holding period.


5. Water your Christmas tree every day!

Don't be lazy!

I know that it's unpleasant to get on your knees, lift the bottom branches of your tree and water it, but you must do it if you want a fresh looking tree.


Cut trees require one quart of water  for each inch  of the trunk's diameter, according to the National Christmas Tree Organization.

A 6'-foot tree with a trunk that measures  4"-inches in diameter, will need to have a stand that holds at least 1 gallon of water.


Okay, here's a clever alternative to getting on your hands and knees to water your tree.

I designed a cute "Christmas Tree Watering Pole" using 1/2"-inch PVC pipe and a kitchen funnel.


It's easy to make and will cost you about $3 dollars in materials.


Shirley-Bovshow-Christmas-Tree-Watering-Pole-EdenMakersBlog made of PVC pipe and funnel, decorated like a candy cane


Shirley's "Christmas Tree Watering Pole"

Get these materials together- you will have extra pipe to make one for a friend!

  • A 10'-foot piece of PVC pipe (1/2"-inch or 1"-inch diameter) cut into three pieces, each a little over 3'-feet long.
  • Kitchen funnel with generous size well.
  • Red duct tape
  • Christmas bow
  • Christmas bells



  1. Tape the funnel to the end of your 3'-foot PVC pipe using red duct tape.
  2. Wrap red duct tape down the length of your PVC pipe so that it looks like candy cane striping.
  3. Dip your Christmas tree watering pole into your tree stand (full of water) and mark on your PVC pipe where the top of the water line is when fully immersed.
  4. Wrap duct tape where this line is so that you can use the bottom of watering pole as a "dipstick" to measure how much water is in the stand without having to bend down to see!
  5. Finish your watering pole with a pretty Christmas bow added to the neck where the funnel and PVC pipe meet and add some jingling bells.

Your kids will fight for their turn to water the tree!

Keep your decorated watering pole near your tree so you won't forget to water!
It's so cute, it will look like Christmas decor.



Other Christmas Tree Tips

1. Keep your Christmas tree away from heaters, heating vents, sunny windows, doors or windows that are constantly opened.

2. Use LED string lights instead of traditional ones as they emit less heat and are less apt to dry your tree.

3. Water, Water, Water your dang tree!


How To Pick a Fresh Christmas Tree From a Lot

1. Ask the attendant to see trees that have been recently delivered.

  Some Christmas trees that are not local are cut as early as October for December sales!


2. Take a good look at the tree!

   Yellow or brown leaves are a bad sign. 



3. Shake the tree!

Pick up the tree, shake it, or drop it a few inches to the ground to see how many needles fall.

It shouldn't look like it's raining!

A few needles dropping is normal, a lot is not!


4. Run your fingers through the branches, pulling gently at them.

   You should not have a handful of needles in your hand!

   A few needles are normal, stay away from trees in active needle drop mode.




Watch my television segment video, "Shirley Bovshow's Christmas Tree Buying Tips!"



I want you to feel empowered this year to keep your Christmas tree fresh.

Get yourself some Wilt-Pruf, follow the basic tips and make yourself a Christmas Tree Watering Pole and report back to me on how well it goes for you this holiday!

I want to know.


“Home & Family Show, Holiday Special” on Hallmark Channel

Home and family show Holiday Special on Hallmark channel with hosts Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines. Featuring family members Shirley Bovshow, Matt Rogers, Kym Douglas, Tanya Memme, Sophie Uliano, Jessie Jane, Jill Simonian, Kenneth Wingard, Laura Nativo.


Hi Friends!

You are invited to watch a special television event that I appear in.

Shirley Bovshow shares chayote recipe with Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare as they celebrate the holidays with a primetime holiday special!  The house is full of Hallmark?s biggest stars, Actress and Country Music Star, Naomi Judd talks about family memories and her new film Window Wonderland.  Music sensation Il Volo performs Christmas favorites from their new album Buon Natale.  From the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, The Christmas Spirit, Actress, Nicollette Sheridan will be here with a sneak peek.  Jessie Jane makes DIY Christmas ornaments with help from Cameron Mathison and Kellie Martin from the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, The Christmas Ornament.  A special reading from Candace Cameron Bure, star of the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, Let It Snow.  Choral performances of Christmas favorites, ice-skating in front of the tree, it is Holiday time here on Home & Family.

I'm sharing my "Foodie Gardener" recipe for "Chayote Squash with Garlic and Sun Dried Tomatoes!"


Hallmark Channel Announces A New Hallmark Channel Original Special

“Home & Family Holiday Special”

Hosted By Mark Steines & Cristina Ferrare

Monday, November 25th from 8:00PM – 10:00PM ET/PT

On Hallmark Channel 


Hallmark Channel announces a new Hallmark Channel Original Special, “Home & Family Holiday Special,” starring Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare, will air on the network, Monday, November 25 (8:00pm ET/PT, 7:00pm CT). 

The “Home & Family Holiday Special” will encore on Tuesday, November 26 (10:00 am ET/PT, 9:00am CT).


The primetime edition of Hallmark Channel’s Daytime Emmy-nominated Original Series will feature Mark and Cristina celebrating the holidays with live entertainment, celebrity guests, recipes, crafts, and a tree-lighting ceremony second to none. 

Celebrities dropping by to celebrate with the family include Emmy Award-winning actor Kellie Martin, Daytime Emmy-nominated actor Cameron Mathison, veteran TV actor Candace Cameron Bure, six-time Grammy Award-winning sing/songwriter Naomi Judd, and Golden Globe nominee Nicollette Sheridan.


The special will also feature amazing musical performances by the Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo; TV Host/Singer/Song Writer and new “Home & Family” member Matt Rogers; and the John Burroughs High School Choir, the national grand champions of all high school choirs in the United States. 

And to top things off, a special festive ice rink will be set up in the Home & Family’s yard for a performance by the phenomenal Los Angeles Ice Theater company.  


 A “Home & Family Holiday Special” would not be complete without Cristina’s famous turkey dinner recipe that is a personal favorite of Oprah’s while Mark will share with the viewers, the secrets of how to take amazing holiday family pictures and make them unique to cherish for a lifetime of memories.  

Lastly, in keeping with holiday traditions, there will be a tree and house-lighting ceremony, complete with ornaments and decorations from Hallmark Cards.


Home and family show Holiday Special on Hallmark channel with hosts Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines. Featuring family members Shirley Bovshow, Matt Rogers, Kym Douglas, Tanya Memme, Sophie Uliano, Jessie Jane, Jill Simonian, Kenneth Wingard, Laura Nativo.


“Home & Family” family members Shirley Bovshow, Kym Douglas, Jessie Jane, Debbie Matenopoulos, Tanya Meme, Laura Nativo Matt Rodgers, Jill Simonian, Sophie Uliano and Ken Wingard will also be on hand to help bring in the holiday spirit.


“Home & Family," nominated for a prestigious Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Program and now in its second season, airs daily on Hallmark Channel, Monday -Friday (10:00am – 12:00pm. ET/PT, 9:00am CT). 

Marty Tenney is the Executive Producer, Stacey Patterson, Ryan Berlin and Megan Lawson are Senior Producers.  Bob Levy is the Director. 

“Home & Family” is a Woody Fraser Enterprises production.


The show is broadcast in 1080i, Hallmark Channel’s selected HD Format and this program carries a TV-G parental guideline rating.


For more information on “Home & Family” please visit

Video Tour of The “Home & Family” Show House Taped at Universal Studios!

Home and Family Show website on the Hallmark Channel


I'm honored to be the resident garden designer and "family member" for the Emmy-nominated show, "Home & Family" airing on the Hallmark channel, Monday through Friday at 10 AM PST.

The live, two-hour show is led by Mark Steines, (E Entertainment) and Cristina Ferrare, (super model, celebrated cook, author and TV host).


cast of home & family show with Mark Steines, host, Shirley Bovshow, Jill Simonian, Sophie Uliano and Sandie Newton


What makes this show unique is that it is taped in a REAL house that was built specifically for this home and family entertainment/how-to magazine show at Universal Studios in Hollywood, Ca.

Just as every home as multiple rooms and family members living in the house, so does the show.


Shirley Bovshow, garden designer with Cristina Ferrare for the Home & Family Show

On any given day, there are segments presented by the resident, expert family members for cooking, crafts, DIY, gardening, (me!), beauty, health, mommy, parenting, and more!

You can expect a celebrity guest or two to drop in every day so you can keep up with popular culture.


If you are looking for a home and garden TV talk show,  check out the Home & Family show on Hallmark channel, and record it so you can enjoy it during your time of rest without interruptions! 

There is no show like it.


I'll see you at the HOUSE!