Posts in "Garden Design"

Halloween Craft: Man-Eating Monster Plant

shirley bovshow garden-designer-expert man eating monster plant-for-halloween craft home and-family show edenmakers

One of the easiest Halloween crafts I've ever made has to be the "Man Eating Monster Plant" I presented on the Home & Family show recently.

This  Halloween plant craft is rewarding because it features many repurposed materials that can be found in your yard or garage.

The whimiscal plants look like they are from the cult classic, "Little Shop of Horrors!"

 

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The "Man Eating Monster Plant" was designed by Dave Lowe, the talented art director for the show and is part of his "master Halloween design plan" for the front yard.

When Dave explained the craft to me, I was blown away and responded, "Genius!"

The steps are simple, making the monster plants an ideal family craft to get your kids involved in decorating for Halloween.

 

 

Start to finish, (not including waiting 30 minutes for foam to dry) the project took less than an hour to make.

Once you have the materials for one plant, making another dozen is no big deal.

As a matter of fact, I would put together a group of monster plants in varying heights for the best effect.

 

 

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I was so excited to present this Halloween craft to the audience because the results are very impressive and the plant can be styled in a variety of ways.

You can add skeletons to the display or spiders and skulls.

Make it as mild or macabre as you dare!

 

Watch the video segment of Man-Eating Monster Plants

 

Materials

Tree branch

Flower pot

Spray foam insulation

Artificial pumpkin

Spray or brush-on paint in green or any whimsical color

Silk or faux leaves

Hot glue

Pumpkin carver

Decorative touches such as moss, skeletons, spiders, bones

 

 

Instructions

1. Find a tree branch from your yard with nice branch pattern

2. Find an old flower pot

 

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3. Fill the flower pot with spray foam insulation and wait till it expands and hardens before inserting your tree branch

4. Draw a large, open mouth with sharp teeth along the legnth of your pumpkin. The pumpkin stem should be the back of the head.

5. Cut the mouth with a pumpkin carving blade (remember to hold the pumpkin long ways, so the stem is in the back).

 

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6. Attach the pumpkin head to the top of the tree branch and secure with hot glue.

 

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7. Paint the branches and the outside of the pumpkin with green spray paint.

 

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8. Add leaves to the end of branches and secure with hot glue.

9. Spray the exposed foam insulation with adhesive and top with moss

10. Add your special decorative touches!

 

Experiment with your Halloween decoration and display with pride, indoors or out!

 

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Have any questions for me?

Comment below and please share this Halloween craft with your friends!!

 

Autumn Wreath: Repurposed Corn Stalk From Garden

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The corn harvest  at the "Home & Family" show vegetable garden has ended after an extremely hot summer season in Los Angeles.

We enjoyed a few juicy cobs and now it's time to dig up the brown, sun-dried corn plants and repurpose them in my autumn wreath!

Take a look at how simple and affordable it is to make an autumn wreath from upcycled corn stalk parts. 

 

If you want to learn how to grow corn successfully in a small garden, visit my other blog, Foodie Gardener.

 

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Home and Family vegetable garden and corn patch in September.

 

MATERIALS FOR CORN STALK AUTUMN WREATH

Corn stalk parts cut and separated- tassles, corn husk leaves, old corn cobs left on the stalk

Straw wreath- $3 at Joann's

Twine

Floral pins

Dried flowers, ribbons and other decorative materials

Water bottle to spray materials if dry and brittle

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

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1. Cut cornstalk and separate the tassles, leaves and dried leftover corn cobs into different piles.

 

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2. Bundle 5 to 6 corn leaves of similar size together with twine.

    Make as many bundles as needed to fill the straw wreath as full as you like it to be.

 

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3. Tie leaf bundles around the straw wreath in a clockwise direction.

 

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4.     The first layer of Fall wreath is complete.

        You can add more leaf bundles if you like.

 

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5. Add the corn tassles on top of the corn leaf layer.

   Make the tassle layer as full as you like, adding more layers.

 

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6. Decorate your corn wreath with dried flowers, seedpods, ribbon, and other decorative materials.

 

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Cristina and Mark decorate Shirley's autumn wreath using a glue gun to add dried flowers and ribbon.

 

 

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Shirley stands by her autumn wreath made from repurposed corn stalks from the garden!

 

That is it!

 

Hang your autumn wreath with pride!
If you didn't grow corn, you can purchase corn stalk bundles at your local pumpkin patch for approximately 8 dollars.

You will need 2 corn stalk bundles for a wreath like mine.

 

Have fun and Happy Fall!

 

Watch my Autumn Wreath segment as seen on Home & Family show!

Christmas Tree Watering Pole: Design by Shirley Bovshow

Shirley-Bovshows-Christmas-Tree-Watering-Stick

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.

 

SHIRLEY'S CHRISTMAS TREE WATERING POLE MATERIALS

duct-tape-red-paint-funnel-pvc-pipe-measure-tape-shirleys-christmas-tree-watering-stick-materials-edenmakers

 

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!

 

INSTRUCTIONS 

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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.

 

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

 

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

 

6. Cover this funnel joint with red duct tape.

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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!

 

 

HOW TO USE WATERING STICK

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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

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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.

 

small-narrow-garden-bed-with-neglected-artichoke-plant-tangled-in-roses-lattice-panel-in-background-edenmakers

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.

 

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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!
 
 
 
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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.
 
 
potted-yellow-daisy-topiary-tree-with-garden-bench-and-arbor-in-small-narrow-garden-bed-designed-by-shirley-bovshow-edenmaker-for-home-and-family-show
 

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

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

 

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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

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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"
 

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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"

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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.

 

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

 

 

Detail Plants in the Small, Narrow Garden

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

 

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I tucked in the succulent, "String of Pearls" on the inside ledge of the arbor.
Nice texture and contrast to the flowers.
 
 
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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.

 

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

 

EdenMaker, Shirley Bovshow

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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!

 

Shirley

Multiple Cell Phone Charging Cabinet by Shirley Bovshow

Shirley-Bovshow-cell-phone-charging-station-cabinet-home-and-family-show.

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

 

Instructions

Wipe cabinet clean and remove inner shelves.

 

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Measure the middle of the back of the shelves.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Screw in the hooks to use as keyholders.

 

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

 

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

 

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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.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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Inside of white hanging wall shelves.

 

Shirley-Bovshow-cell-phone-charging-station-home-and-family-show.

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

Shirley

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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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!