Garden designer, Shirley Bovshow transformed the deck patio of the Home & Family show on the Hallmark channel.

Deck Garden Makeover: Home & Family Show Part 1

by / 3 Comments / 2180 View / March 12, 2013

There's nothing more satisfying than designing a garden makeover for a deck when it's empty, like the one at the "Home & Family Show."

Clean slates are under-rated!


The deck of the Home & Family show was a blank canvas, no plants, no furniture, nothing to remove!

The Home & Family Show deck before the makeover!


Deck Makeover Segment Assigned

The Home & Family Show producer who was in charge of the deck makeover segment is one very determined guy named Nick Birren.


Nick Birren, producer at Home and Family Show gets involved in the deck makeover segment by unloading plants and soil.

Nick Birren, Producer, Home and Family Show

Nick may look like a "romantic lead actor" but he's clearly channeled all his energy into being a top-notch producer behind the camera!


I got a call from Nick a few days before we were to tape a segment on designing a composting system.

The plans for the composting system were ready to go and I had my bag of food discards packed in my truck.


There was a last minute change- no composting segment, instead, a deck makeover was ordered.


I take my television garden makeovers seriously.

They must meet professional standards which translates to, "no installation shortcuts or planting of plants that look pretty for camera but die a few days later."

I had to measure, assess the site for irrigation, check the grading, soil conditions, sun exposure, etc.

This was a real landscaping job with a super short deadline, high expectations and a camera in your face!


planting strip between deck and house of Home and Family show before the makeover- right side

Left side of deck-planting strip

Left side planting strip. Measures two-feet deep, 13-feet wide and one-foot tall.



Right side of deck-planting strip

Right-side planting strip. Measures the same as left side except it's one-foot wider. Take a look at that tall, ugly wall!


Fortunately, the planting areas were restricted to two planting strips located between the deck perimeter and the house.

My challenge was to design a dynamic garden that could serve as a "backdrop" for segments taped on the deck, while reserving deck space for production needs.

At the same time, I had design issues that needed to be mitigated such as tall, gray walls, an unattractive roofline, horrible soil, and the instructions not to install any pergolas or overhead structures!

With limited floor space, I padded the design with vertical garden features such as a trellis against the wall, a window box, wall planters and a trio of three-tiered plant towers- obelisks.


Preparing For the Deck Makeover

It was a rare day in Los Angeles because it was raining.

This meant that the nurseries were probably closed.

The clock was ticking and I was 24-hours away from installation and still had to source, buy, pick up and deliver the plants, soils, containers and garden decor for the deck.


To make matters more difficult, one of my design decisions ended up being a hassle to fullfil.

Instead of planting directly in the ground, I decided to recess plant liners in the small planting areas in order to better control the soil and planting environment.

My problem was, I couldn't find any planters that fit in this specific space!


I had to visit three different Lowes garden centers in order to buy 16 liners!

None of the stores had enough on hand.

After rustling up the liners, my energy turned towards finding plants.


I called my friends at Armstrong Garden Centers and asked if they would be interested in supplying the plants for the deck and help me pull plants in the rain.

Armstrong agreed, and on my way to the Sherman Oaks store, the rain dissipated.

That was a hopeful sign.


Armstrong Nursery pros from the Sherman Oaks store in California

Armstrong Nursery pros were a huge help!


My next call was to Kellogg Garden Products, the soils company that supplied my television show, "Garden Police."

"I need a lot of organic potting soil for my TV segment," I cried.

"No problem Shirley," the marketing director responded, "we'll set up a pick up for you!"


Producer Nick and assistant Will, unload the potting soil from Kellogg

Producer Nick and assistant Will, unload the potting soil from Kellogg

"All hands on deck!" Producer Nick and assistant Will unload soil for the garden project.


Oh, to have friends in the gardening industry!

Thank you!!!


Installing the Deck Garden

Plants are ready for installation. Jessie Jane's baby shower setup in background

Plants are ready for installation. Jessie Jane’s baby shower setup is beyond.


Subscribe to EdenMakers Blog to be notified of Part 2: "The Reveal!"

Read and see more photos related to the Deck Makeover Project on Shirley's other website, Garden Center TV!






3 Comment

  1. Wow. Isn't it amazing how much of a difference some coloful plants make to a dull deck? Great job!

  2. Thank YOU Lyn for visiting EdenMakers and your wonderful comment. Hope you’ll subscribe to be notified about future articles!

  3. Hi, Shirley,

    Thankyou for sharing this behind the scenes insight. I really enjoy all of our segments! I am very excited about putting my vertical garden together and emjoying fresh herbs tomatoes and snap peas this summer!,Thank You, Lyn

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