Posts in "Garden Design"

Thanksgiving Mini Arbor Centerpiece And Foraged Flowers


If you would like a unique display for your Thanksgiving table, consider making my miniature birch arbor centerpiece, filled with foraged flowers, fruits and vegetables.

The centerpiece is easy to make and is affordable but it looks like you spent hundreds of dollars on it.



I came across a sidewalk full of fallen birch tree branches that someone was throwing away.

Apparently, these homeowners have never shopped at Michael's or they would have known that these birch branches were valuable!

People actually pay for this type of "yard refuse!"


The moment I saw the beautiful white branches, I had an immediate vision for them as a whimsical miniature arbor, complete with twinkling light roof.



The project was presented on the Home & Family show in a segment with host, Cristina Ferrare where we put together a holiday tablescape.



Watch the video of the segment and enjoy the instructions and project and behind the scenes photos below.




  • 8 birch tree branches (1/4"-inch diameter and smaller)
  • Assorted Birch tree twigs

  • LED battery operated twinkle lights

  • 4 bricks of Oasis Floral Foam

  • 4 square wood planters with plastic liner

  • waterproof foam glue

  • Quick Dip flower hydrating solution

  • Quake Hold- museum putty

  • wired twine in natural color

  • Assorted flowers, wild berries, seed pods from neighborhood plants

  • Assorted jewel-tone colored fruits and vegetables

  • floral wire


Holiday Centerpiece

Hosting a holiday dinner & looking for a unique centerpiece? Shirley Bovshow's " Garden World Report Show" has the perfect project! For more great DIYs, tune in to Home & Family weekdays at 10/9c on Hallmark Channel!

Posted by Home & Family on Saturday, November 14, 2015





Cut four birch tree stems the same size.

These will be your "arbor columns."

Since this Thanksgiving centerpiece is a custom made project, make the arbor in scale with your table.

The rule of thumb is that your centerpiece should not be too tall that it blocks you from seeing the person across the table.

The arbor is very open and airy, so height is less of an issue.





Float four bricks of Oasis floral foam in water that has been conditioned with flower food.

Don't force the bricks down in the water.

Allow them to sink naturally as they soak up the water.

This will take a few minutes.





Start building your arbor structure by inserting four birch branches in floral foam, creating your vertical columns and horizontal beams.

Reinforce the foam hole where branch is inserted with foam glue.

I found a small, 12" x 12" wood platform on sale at Joann's for four dollars that looks like a deck, so I added it to the design.


The Oasis floral foam is placed in low wood planters, lined with plastic.

It is ready for the flowers and other materials.




Use "Quake Hold," or, museum putty to secure the branches to each other.

Bind the stems afterwards with a wired twine in a natural color.




Now that the arbor is built and LED battery operated lights installed on the roof, it's time to do some floral design!


I recommend that you use a "floral hydrating solution" such as "Quick Dip" to condition flower cuttings that you have foraged.

The solution helps to "clear" and clean out your flowers water-way so that it can draw up water efficiently.

Commercially prepared flowers are usually conditioned for you before you buy them.

With Quick Dip, I was able to condition even flowering woody plants like bougainvillea for my centerpiece!




Some of the foraged plants in this centerpiece include flowers or fruit from the Koelreuteria bipinnata tree,  silver dollar Eucalyptus leaves, thistle, amaranthus and bougainvillea.

I purchased a dozen red dahlias and garden roses to fill in.

One of my favorite design approaches is to add fruit and vegetables to a flower arrangement.

I cut a white radish in half to reveal it's ruby pink flesh.



I also added kohlrabi, striped pink beans, plums, green pears and radicchio.



Jewel tones abound in this Thanksgiving centerpiece by Shirley Bovshow



Thanksgiving tablescape with brown tablecloth, two-color- napkins in eggplant and linen with gold trim and sage green ribbon by Cristina Ferrare.

An oak branch with acorns attached adorn as napkin holders.


Sage green water goblets are inverted and used as candle holders.



Melaluca tree bark makes a rustic placecard holder.

What more can you ask for?

Everything is practically free!


Basic cost for materials including floral foam, lights and planter starts at $30.

If you find most of your flowers and branches in your yard, you will save lots of money.




Close up of oak stem with acorn attached, with Melaluca tree flower, red liquid amber tree leaf and sage green ribbon.

Looks gorgeous against the eggplant and linen towels.


Cristina printed out names for the placeholders, antiqued them,and glued them to the Melaluca bark.



Side view of Thanksgiving tablescape with arbor centerpiece.




I'm very happy with the Thanksgiving centerpiece.

I hope you like it too and are inspired to create and design outside the box!

Repurposed Liquor Bottles: Jewelry, Ring, Key Holders

repurposed liquor bottle patron jewelry ring tree shirley bovshow garden craft edenmakers blog

I have a MAJOR liquor bottle collection that I've rounded up from alleys behind bars and pubs.

It's a curated stock of very pretty glass bottles that I use for various garden inspired crafts.

As a matter of fact, one of my favorite designs was when I took a couple of whiskey bottles and made a miniature rose arbor for a Valentine's container garden!


You can't beat the price: free, and no hangover!

Lately, I save my libation calorie allotment for kamboucha, a fermented, probiotic-rich drink.

Which reminds me, I've got to scope out kamboucha brands for good looking bottles!

Anyone know of any brands with knock out kamboucha bottles?


My mind never turns off so when I'm not designing landscapes or edible gardens, or a project for the Home & Family show, I love to craft.

Garden-inspired crafts are my favorite and I enjoy collecting glass bottles.






My stash of liquor bottles collect dust and spider webs until they are repurposed in a garden craft project!

It's a shame that these bottles are often thrown away when so much thought has been given to their gorgeous design.





My latest liquor bottle reincarnation involves a Patron Tequila bottle saved from the dumpster that now serves as a base for a jewelry ring holder tree!

Sand fills the bottom of the bottle to anchor a nicely-branched twig that provides the structure for the ring tree.





I'm very satisfied with this little jewelry ring tree craft because it's a great example of function and whimsy.


Ok, so having completed this craft, I was inspired to make more jewelry holders using liquor bottles.

Take a look!





I'm not sure what kind of alcohol was in this bottle, but it's filled it with tumbled green glass and functions as a bracelet holder!

This design takes advantage of the bottle's long neck and handle.

It's easy to stack bracelets along the neck and attach watches or other clasped bracelets on the handle.


Isn't it cute?

I can't get over the fact that I was actually tempted to go to Bed Bath and Beyond that day to buy jewelry organizers before I thought of upcycling my glass bottles!


Okay, okay, there's more…



Why not?

You saw my bottle collection, I have plenty at my disposal for crafting.




This bottle smelled like licorice so my guess is that it was a bottle for Greek Oozo.


I filled the bottle with multi colored pea gravel, topped it with moss and inserted a twig from the garden!

Notice how the twig has a multi-branched shape?

My eyes are always open for finding well-shaped twigs that can be used to hold things.


The liquor bottle key holder sits on my entrance table where I can easily hang my keys when I walk through the door, and take on my way out!

I don't lose my car keys anymore.


Do you collect liquor bottles?

Do you dumpster dive for them?

How do you upcycle pretty glass bottles?








shirley bovshow paige hemmis living wedding luminaries home and family show wedding hallmark channel

Weddings are so romantic.

Beautiful, fragrant flowers weave through wedding arches, masses of blooms adorn the aisle, and the bride carries the most beautiful bouquet of all.

In a few days, these important flowers will be rotting in the trash.

Not very romantic, right?


As a proponent of using live plants in wedding ceremony decoration, I've designed two wedding venues this year using live plants, much to the delight of bride and groom.

And why wouldn't they be happy?

They can take their wedding flowers and plant them in their yard; their first garden!

How romantic!


I was asked to participate in creating some of the wedding decor for the upcoming wedding of my cast mate, Paige Hemmis, on the Home & Family show on the Hallmark channel.

As a matter of fact, her wedding to Jason Short will be celebrated in an upcoming, primetime "Home & Family Wedding" special on the Hallmark channel.

You're invited to watch on June 22 at 8/7PM central time.


My recommendation?

Use as many live plants in the wedding decorations as possible so that Paige and her fiance, Jason, can take them home and plant their wedding garden.


I collaborated with Dave Lowe, the art director at the Home & Family show, on the wedding aisle luminaries.

He designed the structure: a galvanized bucket with tall candelabra where live plants could be placed in the base.

I designed the live plant arrangement based on the flowers that Paige and Jason selected for their wedding: hydrangea and roses.


Take a look at this simple wedding aisle luminary using live plants!





  • Galvanized bucket
  • Hurricane lantern
  • Porch/table leg
  • Terra cotta saucer
  • Redwood brick
  • Screw washers
  • Wood glue
  • Glass glue
  • Sharpie



  • Use Sharpie to outline redwood brick on bottom of bucket. 
  • Apply wood glue to bottom of porch leg and glue to redwood brick



  • Use drill and screw two screws into table leg to hold in place 
  • Drill brick and leg into bucket



  • Drill screw into the center of terra cotta saucer and then screw into the top of the table leg
  • Apply wood glue to the bottom of the hurricane lantern and then firmly place it on to terra cotta saucer



  • We painted the candelabra in a white "crackle" finish to compliment the rustic-chic look that Paige loves so much.

Here's a video that demonstrates how to create the crackle finish look with paint, in case you don't know how.




The plants I selected for the wedding aisle luminary include pink hydrangeas, creme miniature roses, and white alyssum.

The strategy with live plant bouquets is to buy a number of small plants that will fit in your chosen display.



I found 5-inch potted hydrangeas at Trader Joes as well as the 4-inch miniature white roses.


Both plants were in bloom with plenty of buds that were going to open in the next 5 days.

Sweet alyssum comes in 6 and 9-packs which I cut into individual plant cells.



This makes it easy to "tuck" in alyssum plants into the arrangement where there are gaps and where "fill" is needed, just like in cut arrangements.

I also snipped stems of variegated yellow and green Hebe for added texture and color.



It's important to buy your live plants as close to the wedding day as possible for the freshest blooms.

You need time to assemble the luminaries before the wedding too.



  • Assorted plants in 4- or 5-inch containers (hydrangea and mini roses)
  • Foam blocks to insert in display container to prop up plants to desired height
  • Packing peanuts to fill in gaps between plants
  • Plastic plant liners for individual plants to keep water from dripping in galvanized bucket container
  • Moss to cover plastic containers and any holes
  • Greenery cuttings from your garden to add texture, contrast 



  • Alyssum in 6-pack containers, cut into individual cells


Take a look at the finished design!



All the materials and plants cost approximately $50-60.

If you hire a professional florist to make a luminary like this one, it would cost upwards of $200 each!

Save some money and DIY your wedding flower decor by using live plants, and enjoy your plants long after the ceremony!



DIY Rose Clock Garden Craft


The DIY "rose clock" craft project I made for the Home & Family show recently was particularly special; it featured flowers and the menu from a gala event we all attended!

The red carpet event was hosted by Crown Media, owners of the Hallmark Channel. They invited all the cast members from their shows.


Winter TCA 2015Cast-of-Home-and-Family-Show-Hallmark-channel-at-2015-Winter-TCA-Event-Pasadena.

Photo by Jeremy Lee © Crown Media Family Networks


Cast members and executives of the Home & Family Show on the Hallmark Channel standing left to right (front row): Jeanette Pavini, Shirley Bovshow, Susan Sheryako, Marty Tenney, Mark Steines, Cristina Ferrare, Kym Douglas, Sophie Uliano

Back row, left to right: Debbie Matenopoulis, Laura Nativo, Woody Fraser, Dr. Jeanette Levenstein, Matt Iseman, Fabio Viviani, Matt Rogers and Kenneth Wingard.


I got to dress up and socialize with my Home & Family brothers and sisters over a delicious dinner!


Winter TCA 2015Crown-Media-hallmark-channel-shows-dinner-placesetting-pink-roses


When I saw the rose menu on the table and the gorgeous pink roses, I knew I wanted to create something special from them to remember the event.

As a fan of functional art, I decided to make a clock using these elements and it couldn't have been easier.


Take a look at how I made it.





Menu from the TCA dinner



Dried or preserved flowers



Clock kit

Hot Glue




Cake Round for base (could also use foam board)

Drill or round screwdriver to bore hole through cardboard cake round



Mod Podge






Start by making the clock face or base.

In this case, I glued the menu from my special event to the cake round and added a coat or two of Mod Podge.

I used the extra small white pearls as an accent.


Now, we’re going to make the clock.






Drill the hole for the clock stem and attach the clock mechanism to the back of the board by inserting the clock shaft through the hole.




Diagram for clock movement installation.


I preserved the roses.

You can hang them to dry or press them in a book.

I preserved these in silica gel.



Bury the flower in the gel and microwave it for 1 minute.


Final steps:

Preserve or dry your flowers in advance.

Brush or spray Mod Podge on the flowers to prevent crumbling.

Using a hot glue gun, position the flowers where you want them. 

Add a battery to the clock kit and adjust the time.


Rotate the dial in the back of the clock kit and advance to each hour.

Mark on the face of the clock where the hour hand lands for each hour you rotate and glue your number to face.

This way, you place the numbers on the hour!





Keep all decorations clear of the path of the clock hands

Large theme clocks are very on trend.

A 16 inch clock can cost from $60 – $100



I experimented with different clock face backgrounds.

This one has gold and white tissue paper, but it didn't make it to the final design.



Do you like this background paper and placement of roses, or is it too busy?



Clock Mechanism $10 

Base board $2

Silica Gel $11

Muffin cups $5

DIY Preserve Event Clock Under $30



garden designer shirley bovshow makes rose clock with cristina ferrare and mark steins on home and family show

Shirley with Mark and Cristina and guest, Pamela Bellwood of "Dynasty."



I placed my dried roses in muffin cups to protect them from crumbling.



This is the promotion photo I created for the rose clock segment.

I love working with Cristina Ferrare!


Photos of Shirley Bovshow, on the Red Carpet, TCA 2015


Clowning around at the TCA event with Matt Rogers, JJ Levenstein, Laura Nativo, and Matt Iseman



Shirley Bovshow with Fabio Viviani and Laura Nativo.




Garden and landscape designer, Shirley Bovshow at TCA 2015 for Crown Media



Thanks for reading this long blog post!
Isn't it time you made a clock from a cherished momento?



DIY Vintage Tabletop Christmas Tree From Common Noble Fir


This year, I was itching for a different look for my Christmas tree.

At first I was thinking I would flock my Christmas tree (since we always have a green tree), but then I came across an old illustration of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their children around a tabletop Christmas tree circa 1845.


"If only I could create a Victorian Christmas tree," I thought.

I had a feeling it would make a great TV segment, too.



This is the "segment pitch" I sent to my producers on Home & Family for creating a vintage, tabletop Christmas tree.


I loved the look of the open branched tiers that created large gaps in between levels so you could see the ornaments well.

An elevated tree is also a practical idea for keeping my dogs away from the Christmas tree.


I made a decision!

This year I would have a "Victorian-style" Christmas tree!


The only problem was, I couldn't find any trees that looked like this at any of the tree farms or garden centers.


Actually, I did find one source online for "Silver Tip firs," but a 4-foot tree cost close to $100!

There were also plenty of fake Christmas trees that could be fashioned to this style by bending branches, but that's not what I wanted.


So, as they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention," and I set off to design my own vintage Christmas tree by custom pruning and cutting a Noble fir tree I bought off the lot.




A hallmark of the vintage tree style is to hang large beautiful ornaments from each level that can be seen in their full glory.

Sturdy tree stems are a must!

This ruled out any of the weak-limbed Christmas trees such as Douglas fir or pine.

I set my sights on Noble and Nordmann fir trees which were in good supply in my area.



After finding the perfect Noble fir specimen, I made a design plan and dove in!


I presented "Vintage Style Tabletop Christmas Tree From Common Noble Fir" on the Home & Family show where I shared the technique.




Landscape and garden designer Shirley Bovshow demonstrates how to create a vintage tabletop Christmas tree from a common Noble fir to Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines on the Home & Family show!


Below is a loose transcript from the show, detailing the steps for making your own tabletop Christmas tree in the vintage style!

Good luck and please ask questions in the comment section below!




-Christmas trees of all sizes are elevated on tables.

-The table has decorative elements in addition to the tree, including a silver or porcelain tea pot, gifts, and candles, creating a hospitality vignette.

-Christmas tree has a series of odd numbered, evenly spaced, tiered, horizontal branches with a visible main trunk.

-Candle style lights instead of string lights since electrical Christmas lights weren't produced until the late 1800's.

-Silver tinsel. In the 1800's, silver tinsel was made from real silver!




-3-5-foot Noble fir or other strong branched tree 

-Display table

-Sharp pruners


-Brown paint to camouflage cuts in trunk

-Floral wire for connecting branches, closing gaps between branches, and reinforcing branches for heavy ornaments

-Stepping stool

-Wilt Pruf, an anti-dessicant for keeping your Christmas tree fresh for extended period.





Before you begin cutting, make sure to set your tree on the display table that you plan to use.

This will give you the proper perspective and vantage point while cutting.


Don't place your Christmas tree on the floor unless you plan on displaying it on the floor!   

When a tree is placed on a table, you see the underside of the higher tiers so it's important to see how the trimming looks from below.   


1. Place Christmas tree on a lazy susan on top of the table to make trimming easier.

2. Look at tree from all sides and find the best side for the front.



3. Open the branches to locate 4-5 "crotch branches" that radiate from main trunk and make a unified circle tier or wreath shape.





4. Starting from top, outline your tiers with twine.

5. Step back and review outline, make adjustments.

6. Start trimming extraneous branches outside of your outlined area, starting from top to bottom.




7. Clean main trunk of all needles and paint over cut marks on main trunk with brown paint to camoflauge.



Step back periodically to assess the branch tiers and make sure you cut off branches that are sticking up and above the outlined tier, or hanging below it.

Use green wire metal to troubleshoot and tie branches to close up a gap within a tier and to reinforce weak branches for heavy ornaments.

I always spray my Christmas trees with Wilt-Pruf to keep them looking fresh throughout the holiday season.






Start by decorating from inside the tree beginning with large, heavy ornaments working from top to bottom.


The Noble fir's branches are strongest near the main trunk and become thinner at the tips.

Remember to step back and look at the balance of all your decorations every few minutes.



Add draping garland in the middle and experiment with different styles.




I designed a "chandelier" effect with my pearl and glass garland as well as a "necklace" effect on another level.


Place battery-operated candle lights on tips of branches and secure with metal wire.

I found some at Walmart for 1 dollar each.

Placing the candles will be a challenge as they are heavy.

Using 22-guage floral wire, reinforce the stems from underneath where you plan on placing candles.

Add tinsel last using as little or as much as you dare!




Watch my TV segment on Home & Family show, then take a look at the photo gallery below!




Enjoy these photos of the finished Christmas tree as seen on the Home & Family show!



Vintage, Victorian-style tabletop Christmas tree by Shirley Bovshow




A beautiful angel tree topper is a perfect fit for this vintage-style Christmas tree.




Glitter red bird ornament and swaths of gold ribbon, pearl garland and silver tinsel.



Big, bold red and gold swirled ornament




Battery-operated candlestick Christmas tree lights are held in place with wire and gold garland tied around each base.





Old-fashioned angel statue draped in rich velvet is part of the vintage Christmas tree tabletop vignette.




Closeup of gold, red, glass and pearl ornaments.


What do you think?
Want to create your own vintage tabletop Christmas tree?

I'm here to help you.




Merry Christmas friends!



Palm Frond Succulent Container Arrangement


My latest garden craft uses repurposed palm fronds as containers for succulent plants.

I love the way the containers look and I'm very satisfied with how easy they are to make.


Watch the garden segment as seen on the Home & Family Show with Shirley Bovshow!



If you live in an area where there are no palm trees, you can order the fronds online at crafting stores.


You can also check your indoor mall for palm fronds; many grow palm trees indoors.




In Southern California, the windy season blows many palm fronds to the ground and all I have to do is drive around and pick up my future "container" materials from the street!


The rest of the materials are inexpensive, so give this project a try. 

You have nothing to lose!

As seen on the Home & Family Show on Hallmark Channel.




  • Palm fronds- any shape you like from "boat-like" to flat frond. 
  • sphagnum moss
  • plastic chicken wire
  • metal wire


  • outdoor grade crafting paint in your favorite color
  • polyurethane sealer-glossy
  • twine
  • copper or steal wool pot scrubber
  • succulent cuttings

I created my palm frond succulent container arrangements for the Home & Family Show using succulents from Proven Winners brand, Savvy Succulents.




1. Clean the inside and outside of your palm frond with a copper pot scrubber- works just as well as sand paper!

2. Wipe off dust


3. Apply 2 coats of outdoor grade paint to outside and seal with polyurethane.

4. Wet the moss until moist but not saturated with water.



5. Cut a piece of plastic chicken wire the length of the inside of the palm frond 'pocket' and wide enough to fold over and fill with moss. Make sure it is small enough to fit inside the pocket or flat area.




6. Close the "chicken wire and moss" burrito with thin gauge wire.



7. Take succulent cuttings from your garden or from plants bought at garden center. Remove all the soil around roots.

8. Stick the succulent cuttings into the sphagnum moss and use a pencil to help create an opening in the moss.



9. Wrap twine or metal wire around the palm frond and moss to secure it and the cuttings to the frond.

10. Place palm frond container arrangement indoors in bright room, but not in direct sun, or outdoors in covered patio.




Shirley Bovshow, garden lifestyle expert for Home & Family Show on Hallmark Channel with her succulent container arrangement.


red-palm-frond-succulent-container-designed-shirley-bovshowPalm frond painted red and used as succulent container.


close-up-succulent-plant-combination-red-palm-frond-containers-shirley-bovshow-designer-edenmakers-blogClose up of Savvy Succulent plant combination


white-painted-palm-frond-on-drift-wood-planted-succulent-arrangement-shirley-bovshow-designer-edenmakers-blogShirley Bovshow's repurposed palm frond succulent container arrangement painted white and resting on driftwood.


bronze-painted-palm-frond-succulent-container-arrangement-moss-eucalyptus-sticks-designed-by-shirley-bovshow-edenmakers-blogBronze-colored palm frond succulent container arrangement with deep pocket for plants.





Do you have any questions about making the palm frond succulent containers?






Outdoor Living & Landscape Design Showcase in Pasadena/La Canada This Weekend!

Pacific Outdoor Living Design Showcase and Outdoor Living Expo in Pasadena and La Canada

If you live in the Los Angeles area and are looking for beautiful landscape design ideas and outdoor living inspiration, I have a recomendation for you!


Pacific Outdoor Living, a design/build landscape company in Southern California that I admire, is hosting their Fall Designer Showcase & Outdoor Living Expo on October 25, 2014, from 9am-4pm.

This event will feature 5 gorgeous estates in Pasadena and La Canada that were designed by their talented in-house designers.

Two of the homes on this tour are previous Pasadena Showcase House of Design estates.

This tour is self-guided and the landscape designers behind the project will be on site to answer questions regarding their design and to help with any questions you have regarding your own project. 


Tickets are $20 for single admission and $30 for family admission (full car).

All ticket sales for this event will benefit the LAPD Cadets Community Youth Program which helps at-risk youth learn responsibility and leadership skills.

Learn about the successful cadet program by visiting the LAPD cadet website.



For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Pacific Outdoor Living website or call  (818) 244-4000.


I've worked with Pacific Outdoor Living and recommend this professional group without reservation.

Go check out their amazing design and construction!