Posts in "Garden Design"

Christmas Tree Watering Pole: Design by Shirley Bovshow


I enjoy designing beautiful and functional things.

My "Christmas Tree Watering Pole," or "watering stick," is one of them.



Watch my garden segment on Home & Family show on Hallmark channel featuring my watering stick.


Christmas trees are notorious for bad maintenance during the holidays.

Who wants to get on their knees every day to check the water level and fight with the lower branches to reach the tree stand to add water?

Not me, and I bet you don't either!


I debuted my design for the "Christmas Tree Watering Pole" on the Home & Family show last year when I presented on Christmas tree tips.

The design was met with a favorable response and many of my viewers wanted to know how I made them.

So, even though I will be selling my watering poles in the near future, as part of my "EdenMaker" line of garden products, I'm going to share the instructions to make them with you,

It isn't rocket science, just one of those clever ideas that you will benefit from every holiday.





Most of the materials needed for the watering stick are available at your garden or home improvement center and the local dollar store.

  • 4'-foot, 3/4"-inch PVC pipe ( I bought at 10'-foot pipe and had it cut at Home Depot into two, 4'-foot pieces, plus an extra 2'-foot piece)
  • 1 large, white plastic funnel- .99 cents at Dollar Store for a pack of three nested funnels. 
  • Package of "glue tape" for plumbing projects- .99 cents at Dollar Store
  • Red and gold duct tape- Michaels or Joanns 3.50 each
  • Flat, red paint to paint one end of PVC pipe to function as a "dipstick"
  • Scissors
  • Christmas bow and jingle bells for finishing touch!





1. Measure the depth of your Christmas tree stand basin. Usually around 6 or 7"-inches.


2. Transfer the measurement to one end of your PVC pipe and mark around pipe and add painter's tape around perimeter.

    This will become your "dipstick" area that will tell you how much water your basin has, without bending down!


3. Paint this dipstick area with flat red paint. 

    When end of pipe is placed in water, the paint will darken to reveal how "full" the basin is.



4. Take your funnel and add "glue tape" around the neck of funnel for tight fit into the other end of the PVC pipe.



5. Insert funnel to opposite end of the PVC pipe until secure.


6. Cover this funnel joint with red duct tape.

Art duct-tape-edenmakers

7. Begin at the top of the pipe and rotate pole and red duct tape to create pinstripes down the face of the pipe.


8. Turn tape until you get to the bottom of post.


9. Add decorative touches such as bows, ribbons and jingling bells!




Shirley-Bovshow-Home-and- family show-shirley-bovshow

Dip the painted end into the basin of your Christmas tree stand and take a look at the depth of the water as marked by the darkened paint.

Add water using the funnel and pipe until your "dipstick" reveals the red painted area is all wet to the top.

The watering pole is so pretty, you won't have to hide this watering aid.

Use it like a decoration.


Let me know if you end up making a Christmas Tree Watering Stick!






Everyone, including myself 


Small, Narrow Garden Bed Makeover: Design Ideas


A small, narrow garden bed is not a design dilemna, it's a creative design opportunity!

Do you have a small, narrow garden and crave style but lack design ideas?



Watch my garden makeover segment as seen on the Home & Family show!


I recently presented a garden makeover for a tiny garden bed that measures 12 feet long by 4.5 feet wide on the Home and Family show on the Hallmark channel.

The garden bed is in a key area because you see it from inside the dining room where we tape lots of interviews.

Such is the case with many small, narrow garden beds- they are difficult to ignore, especially when they are ugly!


This is the condition the garden bed was in before the makeover.



A neglected artichoke falls among the roses.

All of the plants in this garden bed were in bad shape and the area lacked a focal point.


small-narrow-garden-bed-with neglected-potted-roses-and-artichokes-shirley-bovshow-edenmaker

I was determined to bring order to the garden by creating a focal point and an appropriate plant pallet.


The Garden Design Plan

My design goal was to:
  • Create a multi-level garden with elements that are tall, medium and short but not too busy looking for a narrow garden bed.
  • Create a focal point with an arbor that functions as a  hanging plant support structure so plants hang down from it instead of growing up it.
  • Create a sitting area with garden bench.
  • Create a colorful garden using low maintenance plants that have an extended bloom time.
Take a closeup look at the new garden!
A tall,  white arbor anchors the small garden bed and functions as a hanging plant structure.
The backless garden bench is in perfect scale for the small space and is a mid-height element.

This is the opposite view where you can see that the yellow daisy topiary trees are not planted in the ground, but in containers!

When planting a small space area, use containers to raise the level of accent plants and free the ground for other plants.


Arbor and Hanging Garden Details


Notice how the vinca major vine sits above the arbor and hangs down along the front like a pair of curtains?




This gives the arbor "instant coverage" and softens the look of the structure.







The area under the arch creates a framed alcove for the hanging plants that hang at different levels.

There is also a hanging metal planter on the lattice in the background for additional depth.



Hanging Plants From the Arbor



I selected three main plants and a few accent plants to hang and plant in the ground. 

Small space gardens should have less variety of plants and more of each variety.

Less is more.

Thank you to HortCouture for the beautiful selection of plants!


Geranium Glitterati, "Ice Queen"



On the arbor, I hung a stylish geranium with scarlet orange flowers and green and white variegated leaves, called, "Ice Queen."

It is a cross between a zonal and ivy leaf geranium.


What makes "Ice Queen" different from other geranium varieties is more vigor, garden performance, and they have much more flowers! 

I planted these geraniums in the ground, underneath the arbor to create a multi level effect and grow as a ground cover.


"Ice Queen" will be available in 2015 at independent garden centers across the country.

I have the good fortune of being able to preview these plants!


Petunia, "Glamouflage Grape"





Also hanging from the arbor and planted at the foot of bench is the glowing annual, Petunia, "Glamouflauge Grape."

I like how the petunia looks next to the broken ceramic mosaic stepping stone made by Kenneth Wingard on the Home and Family Show.


This special petunia has a vibrant purple flower on striking cream and green variegated foliage.  

The variety does great in sun or partial shade, in baskets or mixed containers. 

Petunia, Glamouflage Grape grows about 8 inches tall and spreads up to 12 inches wide.



Paired with lavender, this petunia has very good heat and drought tolerance.



Detail Plants in the Small, Narrow Garden


Yellow daisy trees, and pink petunias in wall planters round out the plant selection.



I tucked in the succulent, "String of Pearls" on the inside ledge of the arbor.
Nice texture and contrast to the flowers.
So much detail in this garden, yet so little space!
I really like how it turned out.

Maintaining a Hanging Garden

My new hanging gardens will need specific care in order to grow, thrive and look good for a long time.
Here's my maintenance plan:
  • Mulch to keep weeds down
  • Water the hanging plants when the soil feels dry to touch
  • Fertilize with a diluted  solution every week to promote new flowers.
  • Pinch off spent blooms to encourage new ones to grow.
  • Rotate hanging baskets for even sun exposure


More Narrow Garden Beds

Beyond the area where the arbor sits are more narrow garden beds along the Home & Family house.

I planted these beds with matching plants to add continuity to the back of the house.



Upright rosemary, (growing against lattice) geraniums, petunias, lavender and a fragrant, David Austin English rose tree fit into narrow garden beds.


EdenMaker, Shirley Bovshow


EdenMaker, Shirley Bovshow next to her small, narrow garden bed makeover.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed account of my project.

Please leave your questions below and watch my garden segments on the Home & Family show, weekdays at 10AM PST on the Hallmark channel!



Multiple Cell Phone Charging Cabinet by Shirley Bovshow


I designed a multiple cell phone charging cabinet for my family to use after an unsuccessful search for this product!

Have you ever had guests ask if there's an available outlet so they can charge their phone while visiting, only to end up charging it in the bathroom?

These occasions are the inspiration behind my cell phone charging station.


My cell phone charging cabinet is not only beautiful to look at, it's multifunctional!

I designed it after a vintage telephone booth, complete with "Phone" sign and painted glossy red.

The project is very easy to make and uses a few simple materials.

Total cost of the completed cabinet was $50.


Materials For Shirley's "Cell Phone Charging Cabinet"

  • Old medicine cabinet or lightweight wall shelves with door
  • Red glossy spray paint
  • Dremel drill
  • Decorative wood plaque (available at craft shop) for the "Phone" sign
  • Wood letters to spell "Phone" painted black
  • Glue gun
  • USB port for multiple cables
  • Power adapter to plug into electricity
  • Hooks for hanging keys



Wipe cabinet clean and remove inner shelves.


old-medicine-cabinet-repurposed as cell phone charging station-by-shirley-bovshow

Measure the middle of the back of the shelves.




Using a Dremel drill, make holes large enough to run 6 to 8 USB cables through.




Turn cabinet upside down and drill hole underneath in order to thread the electrical adapter to the USB strip that lays at bottom of cabinet.




Using even, broad strokes, spray paint glossy red paint inside and outside of the cabinet.

Allow time to dry.

Cut the premade sign plaque in half. (See photo) 


Paint a solid white rectangle in the center of the plaque and paint the edges red.

Glue the letters to the plaque, spelling "Phone."


When the paint is dry, attach USB cables to the strip and run up to the different shelves in cabinet.




Screw in the hooks to use as keyholders.




When the paint has dried, thread the USB cables up and behind the shelves and plug in your phones.




Start charging your phones and hang your keys in the cabinet.



It's a good idea to hang the cell phone charging cabinet near your front door so that your guest can leave their phones at the door and you can enjoy uninterrupted conversation!


Here's a few other design prototype using bathroom cabinets and wall shelves from Home Goods.



I found this blue bathroom cabinet at Home Goods for $89.



Inside view. Look at the possibilities.

It's very spacious and can charge many phones and tablets at the same time.


HANGING-white-WALL-UNIT for use as cell phone charging cabinet by shirley bovshow

Here's a white hanging cabinet that can be retrofitted as a charging cabinet very easily.


Take a look inside.


white-HANGING-WALL-UNIT-1-INSIDE-VIEW-for cell phone charging cabinet by shirley bovshow

Inside of white hanging wall shelves.



If you like my cell phone charging cabinet or have any questions, please leave your comments below.








Pink Hydrangea and Pine Floral Arrangement

cristina-ferrare-floral-arrangement-hydrangeas at Home and Family show set.

Creative people inspire and invigorate my spirit!

One of the pleasures in my life is working with Cristina Ferrare, the multi-talented host of the "Home & Family" show where I appear as the garden lifestyle contributor.

Every week, Cristina sources fresh cut flowers from her local farmers market or from around the Home & Family "set" and creates a unique floral arrangement.



hydrangea-and- pine greens-floral-arrangement-edenmakers

This particular floral arrangement caught my eye the other day.


Cristina submerged a fresh, pink hydrangea flower head in a clear vase and topped it with more hydrangeas, baby's breath, pine stems and pine cones.

Underwater, the hydrangeas bract is magnified so that you can appreciate all the subtle shades of pink that make up the flower.

Sometimes, Cristina mixes fresh flowers with silk ones for a long-lasting display.


If the idea of submerging flowers is new to you, this is a novel way to display cut flowers.

When submerged in water, most flowers will last a much shorter time than when they are above water.

Bacteria grows faster, degrading the flower, but it can still be enjoyed for four to five days under water.


Visit Cristina Ferrare's blog, for delicious recipes and creative entertaining and lifestyle ideas!


Instant Succulent Centerpiece Wreath For Holidays

Instant-Succulent-Centerpiece-wreath-designed by Jenny Peterson as seen on shirley Bovshow's Garden World Report Show

Who has time for "decking the halls" these days?

What if you could put together an "instant succulent centerpiece wreath" for the holidays in less than one minute?

My friend, Jenny Peterson, a talented garden designer and  co-author of the popular book, "Indoor Plant Decor" shares her design idea in this short, 50 second video clip!


The beauty of Jenny's wreath is that you can easily change out the plants throughout the year for different holidays and occasions.


Purchase fresh and healthy looking 4"-inch plants to swap out the succulents.

Garden centers usually have a variety of small-size perennials and houseplants that you can use.

Here are some ideas:

Christmas Plants

  • Azaleas
  • Hydrangeas
  • Cyclamen
  • Ivy
  • Mini Roses
  • Poinsettias
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Gardenias

While you are in a creative mood, you can also add details to this wreath like nuts, citrus fruits or pomogranites!


Indoor-Plant-Decor-Book-Cover by Jenny Peterson and Kylee Baumle

Check out Jenny's book, Indoor Plant Decor.

The co-author is another friend of mine, Kylee Baulee and this book is a hit!

Garden Design Tip: Roses

Shirley's romantic rose garden has different types of roses in the same color for maximum impact

I planted a miniature coral roses at the foot of my climbing roses and cascading coral roses above my stacked stone walls. 


Garden Design Tip: Roses

Extend and maximize the impact of roses in your garden by planting different types of roses of the same color.

One of my favorite colors is coral because it brings a feeling of freshness and energy to the garden.

Coral roses also hold their color for a long time in my dry, hot climate.



David Austin English tree roses in containers in my favorite color!

David Austin English tree roses in containers in my favorite color!

Plant rose trees in containers and place them around the yard for gorgeous punctuations of color!

My favorite ones are David Austin English roses for their beauty, fragrance and performance.


Next time someone gives you a miniature rose plant from the supermarket, plant it in your garden.

It will grow to about 2'-feet tall and will cover the bare legs of  a climbing rose of the same color.

Pair a climber and a mini rose and you have a great combination for a small or narrow garden bed.

Vertical gardening at it's best!


Take a look at some of my other favorite coral and orange plants I have in my garden!


Do you have any rose garden design tips to share with other Eden Makers?


Garden Design Ideas: Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

black-cannas-tinkerbell-butterfly garden


I presented at the "Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival" this year and brought back many beautiful  garden design ideas  to share with you!

Take a look.


Container Garden Ideas

Terra cota pots from Siena Italy are grouped within a garden bed at Epcot

A simple planter filled with a combination of magenta and purple colored pansies gains dimension by adding terracotta pots filled with annuals.

I see pink geraniums and nicotianas in pink and red cascading from the containers. 

These containers are made in Siena, Italy from a distinct clay that imparts the orange color to the vessels.


Pink geranium planter bed with terracotta planter filled with cascading annuals

I was captivated by the sea of pink geraniums dotted with white alyssum.

Fluted terracotta pots rise above the floral mass and contain the same combination.

Notice the added style when containers are incorporated into the planters.


stacked cement block succulent planter seen at Epcot

One of the most practical secondary uses for cement blocks are as planters!

Cement blocks can be stacked to create vertical gardens that take up little floor space.

I would stack a few blocks and spread them out in different parts of the landscape to separate and mark different areas.

The blocks are filled with sedums, kalanchoe, agaves and echevarias.

This is more contemporary in style than the terracotta gardens which lean towards antique and rustic in feel.


Planting Schemes

Audobon Society Bird Garden-EPCOT

This "bird garden" designed by nature experts at the National Audobon Society is full of jewel-toned annuals.

I've never been much of an "annual color" gardener but this display garden attracted so many birds and butterflies, that I was won over!

Birds houses, bird baths and nesting material provide an added attraction for our feathered and winged friends.

Plants include magenta dianthus, blue and purple pansies, white alyssum, sunflowers, nicotianas and more.


The goal is to reduce the size of the lawn but be aware that some of these annuals require regular watering until established.



Large-scaled planting like the flower tapestry at Epcot is commonplace at Walt Disney World and no one does it better!

Sections of the patterned garden beds are drawn on the ground with chalk or string and filled in with different annuals.

This particular garden is changed at least two times during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival starting with cool-season plants  transitioning to warm season annuals around April or May.



Red, glass poppies shimmer above the garden bed near the "Land of Oz" display at Epcot.

From a distance, I was curious as to what these large flowers were, not thinking that they were glass flower sculptures!

I was inspired to add glass sculpture to my garden, just have to find the right one now!


yellow-river effect with pansy-flowers-epcot

Lastly, a river of yellow pansies evokes a feeling of movement in an otherwise static garden.

Get away from planting your annuals in straight lines or uninspired blocks of color, if that is your custom.

I'm going to experiment with interesting patterns and start painting with plants!


Have you attended the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival before?

What inspired you most in the garden?