Posts in "Container Gardens"


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!



Container Sizes For Growing Vegetables: Ask Shirley Garden Questions

container sizes for growing vegetables small medium large explained edenmakers blog

Growing vegetables in containers makes growing food accessible to most people, even those without a yard.

I answered gardening questions from viewers of the Home & Family show on the Hallmark channel recently in my "Ask Shirley" gardening segment.

Teresa Martin of Oklahoma wrote:

I've seen container gardening and want to know how much dirt do you need to grow veggies?
Does it matter? What can you grow in containers?



You can grow lots of vegetables and herbs in containers!


Healthy and prolific vegetable plants need the proper soil, sun exposure, water, and nutrients.

When you grow vegetables in a container, I would add that they need the appropriate space for roots to spread and take up nutrients and water.

Planted in the ground, plant roots are able to spread as much as needed but they are confined in a container.


Here's an example of what you can grow in a small, medium, and large container.




Vegetables for Small Containers (8-10 inches)


I made containers for herbs from white plastic microwave bowls from the Dollar Store: just poke a drain hole!


You can grow most annual, non-woody herbs in a small, 8 to 10-inch container.

This includes basil, cilantro, thyme, lettuce, and other leafy greens.

Mint doesn't really need a deep container as much as it needs a container with a wide surface area for its creeping roots.


The soil in small containers tends to dry quickly, so check it frequently.

Plastic containers retain moisture longer than terra cotta pots.




There are plenty of "compact" variety vegetable plants that have been developed that grow well in a medium-sized container.

You can grow a single broccoli, cauliflower, compact cucumber, small shishito peppers, or multiple leafy greens in a 14 to 18" diameter container.



"Patio Baby" is a compact growing eggplant variety.




Large containers can house a single, indeterminate tomato with support cage, an artichoke plant, squash, or any large growing vegetable.



Plant a strawberry patch in a large container with enough space to run!


If your vegetable needs a trellis, install at planting time or you risk injuring the plant roots when you add it later to the container!




If you haven't visited my Foodie Gardener blog,  please subscribe to it for information about how to grow food with style!


Read answers to other "Ask Shirley Gardening Questions."

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


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

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

I chose the MobileGro portable planter designed by Angela DiMaggio.




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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

Good luck!



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



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 you 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 forest 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.


One hundred 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, called 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 its 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, creating a very unique Poinsettia.


"Carousel Red"


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



Close up of Carousel Red Poinsettia and its 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 placing 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 lightweight 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 degrees.

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

4. Place far from doors 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.















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?






Fall Containers: One Plant Wonders!


It's the first week of October and today registered a HOT 98 degrees in Los Angeles.

Perfect weather for designing fall container gardens!

Oh, I'm not complaining about the perennial sunshine; I only wish "sweater weather" would set in soon.

No matter how warm it is in my town, my focus is on presenting garden and design information for the national audience that watches the Home & Family Show.




My latest gardening segment is on "Fall Containers: One Plant Wonders!"

I thought it would be practical to showcase plants that boast beautiful foliage, texture, or berries. They look great as one plant wonders in fall containers.

The last thing I want to do is care for a mixed fall planter, stuffed with a bunch of flowers that need deadheading.

What do you think?



Shopping for garden containers at Green Thumb Nurseries in Canoga Park, CA.


My approach to fall containers this year is simple and practical.

Pair a fall foliage plant with a colorful, contrasting jewel-toned container for maximum impact!


Take a look at a few of my favorite fall plants for containers featuring some First Editions® plants that I presented on the show.

I want to thank Bailey Nurseries for providing the plants and Green Thumb Nurseries for the colorful containers.


Daub's Frosted Juniper Tree



This Daub's Frosted Juniper is grafted as a small tree with bluish-green, lacy mature foliage and frosted golden-yellow new growth.

I like how the glossy white container and white Galaxy snowberry plant bring light to the evergreen tree.

Junipers are cold hardy and one of the most adaptable plants in the world!

You'll find them surviving under snow as well as braving the heat of the desert.

Find a sunny spot in your garden and enjoy the year-round beauty of this spreading but low-growing variety.


Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree (Corylus avellana)



The stark, gray, twisted branches of the Corylus avellana, or "Harry Lauder Walking Stick" tree, transform the naked branches into a living sculpture in the fall and winter.

 I selected a textured, cobalt blue container with raised swirls to play up the contorted shape of the branches.

As the tree ages, the branches become thick and gnarled and bend into corkscrew configurations that are breathtaking and a hallmark of the plant.

When placed in a tall container, it elevates the tree to art status.


Harry Lauder Walking Stick is a member of the hazelnut family and is dormant through the winter.


Loropetelum, First Editions® 'Crimson Fire' Fringe Flower

Besides small trees, I selected some plants that are commonly used in the landscape but interesting enough to be featured as a specimen plant.



The dark ruby leaves of the Loropetelum, or 'Crimson Fire' Fringe Flower, persist throughout the year.

In the spring, the Crimson Fire boasts an eye-opening, neon pink flower.

When I combined this plant with a glossy, ochre ceramic container, I was impressed with the vivid colors.

Although the loropetelum is hardy to nearly 0 degrees Farenheit when planted in the ground, as a container plant it can tolerate cold temparatures near 20 degrees.

Take it indoors to a sunny room and enjoy closeup when temperatures dip less than 20 degrees.


First Editions® 'Red Fame' Hypericum


Don't I look like I'm enjoying the fall with my sweater?

I was boiling but I kept smiling!


 The fire engine red berries of the 'Red Fame' Hypericum tower over the dark green leaves, looking beautiful with autumn colors.

The purple container has a raised, knubby texture that mimics the round berries and reminds me of a cozy, cable knit sweater.

I wish!



Hypericum is related to St. John's Wart. This variety grows round and compact at 2.5 feet tall by 2.5 feet wide.

Give the Hypericum full sun and don't eat the berries!

They can be toxic to people and turn black in the winter.


First Editions® 'Tiger Eyes' Staghorn Sumac


The warm, orange ceramic planter sets off the golden and scarlet tones of the 'Tiger's Eyes' sumac.


Take a look at the rosy pink stems with chartreuse green and yellow fall leaves.

If this combination doesn't scream "Autumn," I don't know what does!

Tiger's Eyes is an award winning plant and can be planted later in spring in the garden as a shrub or small tree.

Find a spot with a lot of open space as the sumac tends to grow enthusiastically and cover some ground!


Questions From Home & Family Show!



Q:  Other than color, what type of containers are best for cold weather?

Containers that won't crack from freezing and thawing.
Wood, metal, fiberglass, stone and high-fired ceramic 


Q: What is the difference between a plant with a brand name such as "First Editions" and plants without special names?

Branded plants such as First Editions® have been bred to be an improved version over their common plant counterpart.

Some of these improved perks include: better disease resistance, more color choices, better size selection, more or extended bloom times.

If you like a plant but not its behavior, look for branded plants to see if they have improved version.


Q:- Any special care for fall container plants?


Water once per week if no rain

No need to fertilize

Use an "anti-dessicant" such as Wilt-Pruf to keep leaves from drying on cold, windy days


Leave me your questions about your landscape or garden below!


Three Tiered Stackable Container Garden With Holiday Message


I designed a three tiered, stackable container garden with a message for the Fourth of July for my gardening segment on the Home & Family show recently.



Along the front of a trio of stacked, white terra-cotta pots, I painted the words "God Bless America" in royal blue.




Turn the planters around and the message reads "Joy, Peace, Love," a perfect message for the Christmas holidays!

Painted with red letters, of course.


Stackable planters with messages are trendy these days and I always like to add my own design twist.

With "reversible" containers, I can extend the usefulness of the decorative garden display beyond the Fourth of July holiday.

 I can keep the patriotic planter on the porch from the Fourth of July until Christmas!


How To Make Stackable Holiday Planters

Watch my TV segment from the Home & Family show, "DIY Stacked Patriotic Planter with Shirley Bovshow"




Select a small, medium and large terra cotta container and paint with white indoor/outdoor latex paint.



Tape off the inside of container as shown and paint the inner lip white, stopping short of the soil line.

Paint an accent color under the outside rim of the planters. I chose red.


If you are good at freehand drawing, paint your desired message.

I don't trust my hand, so I wrote message in pencil and filled it in with paint.


Begin with your large container and invert a sturdy plastic growing pot inside of it.

Growing pots can usually be found in recycle bins or at landscape centers for free.

Ask around.






This upside down container will serve as a platform on which to set the medium size planter.

You may need to stack a few empty containers until you are happy with the elevation of the medium container.


Once the inverted growing pots are stacked as high as you like, fill the space between them and the garden container with potting soil.

Move on  to the next level, stacking the growing pots and then place the last container on top!


It's time to plant!


This patriotic planter design features red, white and blue plants, and I kept the variety of plants to a minimum on purpose.

Too many different plants creates a busy feeling and that's not what you want.


Plant Selection For Shirley's Patriotic Stacked Planter




Zonal geraniums

Celosia- to add texture





Gerbera Daisy





Planting Tips

Start planting from the top and work your way down.

This way, you won't spill soil on top of the plants in the lower levels.


Plant lower-growing annuals like the blue lobelia beneath the words so that it won't grow up and cover the message!

Cascading plants like the nemesia should be planted along the sides of the container.


Invest in a sturdy, strong plant caddy with casters so you can spin your container arrangement around when the holiday changes!




Isn't this fun?