Posts in "Featured"

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 decisio!

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 dollars!

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, "Need 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 Home & Famly 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 tree of all sizes are elevated on table.

-The table has decorative elements in addition to the tree including a silver or porcelien 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!



Poinsettia Varieties: Beyond the Common Red


Now that we are in the month of December, many of us are adding Poinsettias to our indoor plant inventory.

The ultimate Christmas plant, Poinsettias span over 100 varieties beyond the "common red plant."

What is your Poinsettia style?


Are you a traditionalist and prefer the ubiquitous red Poinsettia commonly found at the market, or do seek out "designer" varieties?

I selected some Poinsettia varieties that caught my eye while at Armstrong Garden Center and featured them on the "Home & Family" show on Hallmark channel.


Before we begin the showcase, let's start with the proper pronunciation of the name, "Pointsettia" and a little background information.


Repeat after me:


Not, "Point-set-ah."

Got it?

Not a big deal, but why not say it correctly?



Joel Roberts Poinsett, a physician, botanist, and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, spotted a wild Poinsettia growing in a deciduous, tropical Mexican forrest in the 1820's.

(Of course, the plant wasn't called "Poinsettia" yet, as it was named after him years later).

The plant was a Euphorbia pulcherima and part of the "spurge" family.


Although the plant looked nothing like what we buy today; it was tall and weedy, Poinsett took cuttings and brought them back to his South Carolina home.

He gave cuttings away to friends and started distributing plants informally.


100 years later, Paul Ecke Jr. started the Poinsettia industry in California,

Ecke was able to cultivate a seed that grew a full, well branched plant instead of the wild, leggy, original plant from Mexico.

Ecke was so successful that his family at the Paul Ecke Ranch in San Diego had a virtual monopoly on Poinsettia sales in the USA for almost 75 years.


Unfortunately for the Ecke family, a horticultural researcher figured out the "secret" to growing full branched Poinsettias and competitors flourished in the 1990's.

The Paul Ecke Ranch developed the most patented, named varieties of Poinsettias in the world!



In order to appreciate different Poinsettia varieties, take a good look at some of the major features.


1. Bract color, shape and texture.

"Bracts" are the "colored leaves" that give Poinsettias their signature look.

Bracts are not flowers, rather they are more like brilliantly colored "modified leaves." 

The function of bracts are to attract the attention of pollinators to the Poinsettia's very small and easily overlooked flowers, or, cyathia found in the center of the bract.

The following Poinsettias all have distinct bract shape, texture and color.

The stems and flower buds are also uniquely colored.


Visions of Grandeur"


 "Visions of Grandeur" has a soft-textured bract, similar to a large rose petal.

Soft shades of pink, yellow and creme contrast with the dark, emerald green leaves.

This is a truly oppulent and luxurious Poinsettia.

One of my favorites, I can see Visions of Grandeur decorating a country or French style home.

Very romantic and pairs beautifully with winter white and some pearls!



"Winter Rose Red"


The "Winter Rose Red" Poinsettia looks exactly like it's name!

The bracts on Winter Rose Red are very curvy and turgid, creating the look of a rose or geranium.



The vivid red "petals" form a rosette and is a very unique Poinsettia.


"Carousel Red"


"Carousel Red" Poinsettia has scalloped and wavy bract edges.



Close up of Carousel Red Poinsettia and small, yellow flowers.



"Ice Punch"



"Ice Punch" Poinsettia has a cool red bract with white highlights.



Close up of Ice Punch Poinsettia.




"Monet" is a vision of loveliness in soft peach tones.



Leaves or bracts of Monet are strong and shapely.



Instead of just laying your Poinsettia with its cellophane wrapper on the table or floor, combine it with a few complimentary house plants.

Create a vignette and use lightweight containers.



GardenStone makes gorgeous, high end planters in stone, metal, and lightweight fiberglass.

I selected the lightweight fiberglass container in a deep bronze color.

It's so much easier to move around a light weight pot during the holidays!




Here's a smaller bronze GardenStone planter.

Beautiful quality materials.

Fooled my eyes!



1. Place in bright room but not in direct sunlight.

2. Maintain temperatures at daytime-: 65-75 degrees, nightime- 50-65

3. Touch soil and if feels on dry side, water Poinsetta. Make sure to remove or slit the decorative sleeve.

4. Place far from door and heater drafts.



Look for these plant traits in a healthy Poinsettia:


–Look for the "flower cluster" (cycathia) and select plants with as many unopened buds as possible for longer bract display.
–Strong, sturdy stems.
–Dark green foliage (no yellow leaves)





Please watch the following video I produced and appeared in promoting a beautiful, new pink Poinsettia variety called, "Princettia!"



What are your favorite Poinsettias?

Can I answer your questions?



Thanks for visiting my blog.

If you've never watched my online show, "Garden World Report," I invite you to watch my Christmas special.

Subscribe to Garden World Report on Blip TV for upcoming shows.















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, or Home and Family show experts 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 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 or "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 and Family. 
Here are Debbie Matenopoulis, Kym Douglas, and Sophie Uliano listening to the Australian singing trio, Aria.

Did you love their rendition of "Halleluyah?"





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?




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 and 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 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 Australian singing group, Aria.

She's engaged to the handsome man with 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 snow ball planter I designed for the Christmas Centerpiece for Hallmark's Home and 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 plant 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 and Family Holiday special show!

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


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 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?





Plantas Decorativas Para Halloween: “Planta Devoradora de Hombres”

Uno de los artes de Halloween más fáciles que he hecho tiene que ser el "La planta devoradora de hombres" que presenté recientemente en el  "Home & Family Show," programa del canal Hallmark.





Este arte de la planta de Halloween es gratificante porque puede hacerse con muchos materiales re-asignados que pueden encontrarse fácilmente en el patio o garaje.

Las plantas  parecen que son del culto del clásico, " La Tienda de los Horrores."





"La planta devoradora de hombres" fue diseñada por Dave Lowe, el talentoso director de arte del show y es parte de su "plan maestro de Halloween” diseñado para el frente de la casa.

Cuando Dave me explicó el proyecto, quede gratamente sorprendida y me dije, "Genial."

Los pasos son sencillos, y es algo familiar, ideal para involucrar a sus hijos en la decoración de Halloween.


De principio a fin, (no incluyendo la espera de  30 minutos para que la  espuma seque) el proyecto tomó menos de una hora para completarlo.

Una vez que tienes los materiales para una planta, haciendo otra docena no es gran cosa.

De hecho, yo pondría juntos un grupo de plantas monstruo en distintas alturas para el mejor efecto.




Estaba tan emocionada de presentar este arte de Halloween a la audiencia porque los resultados son muy impresionantes y la planta puede ser muestrada en una variedad de maneras.

Puede agregar los esqueletos a la planta o arañas y cráneos y  hacerla tan leve o macabro como te atrevas.




Una rama de arbol 

Una macetera

Espuma de insulasion {aislamiento} en spray

Una calabaza artificial

Pintura verde en spray o con brocha

Hojas de seda o de faux

Pegamento caliente

Un carver para disenar la calabaza

Toques decorativos como musgo, esqueletos aranas, huesos




1.Busque una rama de arbol que tenga una forma atractiva.

macetero-lleno-con-espuma-aislante-para-craft-de-halloween-plantas-monstros-de-shirley-bovshow-diseñadora de jardínes-edenmakers-blog


2. Busque un macetero, llenelo con la espuma  aislante y espere a que crezca y se endure antes de injertar la rama.

3. Dibuje una boca grande con dientes filosos a lo largo de la calabaza, el tallo debe formar parte de la parte posterior  de la cabeza.

4. Corte la boca con una navaja, recuerde sujetar la cabeza a lo largo para que el tallo quede atras.




5. Una la cabeza de calabaza a la punta de la rama y asegurela con el pegamento caliente.

6. Pinte las ramas y lo de afuera de la calabaza con de pintura verde.




7. Agregue las hojas al final de las ramas y aseguralas bien con pegamento caliente.

8. Con el pegamento spray la parte de la espuma que se ve y cubrala con musgo.

9. Agregue sus toques especiales.


Haga exprimentos con sus decoraciones de Halloween y exhibalos con orgullo.



Tiene preguntas para mi?


Deje un comentario y por favor comparta este atractivo proyecto con sus amigos. 

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!






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!"




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.





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



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




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

2. Find an old flower pot




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).




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




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




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!



Have any questions for me?

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