Gardening: What Is A Tulip?

Gardening Tips what is a tulip from @AnAppealingPlan

tu·lip noun \ˈtü-ləp, ˈtyü-\

: a large, bright flower that is shaped like a cup and that grows in the spring

:  any of a genus (Tulipa) of Eurasian bulbous herbs of the lily family that have linear or broadly lanceolate leaves and are widely grown for their showy flowers; also :  the flower or bulb of a tulip

“Any of almost 4,000 varieties of about 100 species of cultivated bulbous herbaceous plants making up the genus Tulipa in the lily family, native to Eurasia. Among the most popular of all garden flowers, the tulip produces two or three thick, bluish-green leaves clustered at the base of the plant. The usually solitary inverted bell-shaped flowers have three petals and three sepals. Colors range from white through yellows and reds to brown and deep purple to almost black. Streaked blossoms get their streaks from a harmless virus infection that causes the color to disappear in patterns, letting white or yellow show through.”

What is your favorite spring flower? Tell me about why it is your favorite flower in the comments below. 

Entranceway Design: Bamboo As a Structural Element in Vero

On a recent trip to Vero Beach, FL we stopped into Gloria Estefan’s hotel and restaurant, Costa de Este on the beach.

Although the day was cool and overcast the staff at the pool bar was welcoming and gracious, the drinks and view were delicious.

The restaurant was not yet open for dinner but the architecture of the entranceway caught my eye and I had to take a few pictures.


I love how the circles in the concrete wall provide just enough light through but still offer guests protection from the parking area. The bamboo clusters are perfectly placed and thinned to again let the light through but still create a barrier. The bamboo was at least 15 feet tall and grew through circles in the roof area up to the sky.

Large beach pebbles create a clean covering for the base of the bamboo and near by walkway.

Well done Gloria. Cheers to An Appealing Plan! Enjoy this post? What did it inspire you to do? Let a comment below and share the love with your friends using the social share button. Complete the form below to receive weekly updates to your inbox.

Cocktail Recipe: The Garden Party Sipper {#GardenPartyChat}

Tonight’s An Appealing Plan  #GardenPartyChat on Twitter {Wednesday 8P EST} topic will be Celebrating Fourth Of July. Seems pretty straight forward right? Problem is turns out we all have our own version of what this means. {Join us on twitter here}

As a proper host, I of course would like to offer my guests a beverage to sip on during the chat. So here is the Suggested Sip of the Week recipe, with alcohol and non-alcoholic versions. Not a fan of Grapefruit or Basil…other suggestions might be: Thyme Tangerine Fizz or Provence Lavender Cocktail.

The Garden Party Sipper

Juice of 1/4 Fresh Juicy Grapefruit

2 1/2 Ounces of Bombay Sapphire Gin

1 Tablespoon shredded Opal Basil

1 Tablespoon Lemon Peel infused Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously approx. 30-60 seconds to chill and break up the basil leaves. Pour in martini or other cocktail glass. {strain if preferred} Garnish with basil flower.


{Makes one good size cocktail}

Not partaking in alcohol these days? Mix everything but the Bombay in a tall glass half filled with H2O, add ice & straw and sip away.

Always a fan of the proper glass and servewear.. I thought I would share my newest love. Gold Barware! Do you love?

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Happy Entertaining! ~ krayl

Garden Inspired Reading


Grow Cook Eat will inspire people who already buy fresh, seasonal, local, organic food to grow the food they love to eat. For those who already have experience getting their hands dirty in the garden, this handbook will help them refine their gardening skills and cultivate gourmet quality food. The book also gives readers easy-to-follow planting and growing information, specific instructions for harvesting all the edible parts of the plant, advice on storing food in a way that maximizes flavor, basic preparation techniques, and recipes. The recipes at the end of each guide help readers explore the foods they grow and demonstrate how to use unusual foods, like radish greens, garlic scapes, and green coriander seeds.

Available from Random House

Landscaping for Privacy: Innovative Ways to Turn Your Outdoor Space into a Peaceful Retreat

Landscaping for Privacy brims with creative ideas for minimizing or even eliminating the nuisances that intrude on your personal outdoor space. Real-world examples show you how to keep the outside world at bay by strategically placing buffers, barriers, and screens around your property. And the helpful plant lists tell you precisely which varieties to choose in order to enhance your sense of seclusion.

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by the lack of privacy whenever you step outside your home, this inspiring book will steer you toward an achievable solution.

Available from Timber Press

Edible Cocktails

A unique cocktail guide encourages readers to use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients in their beverage recipes, in a book that offers advice on creating one’s own “cocktail garden;” infusing spirits and making homemade liqueurs; creating homemade syrups, purees and jams; and even using eggs, dairy and meat in their cocktails. Original.

Available from Strand NYC

Happy Gardening and Entertaining ~ krayl

Tangerine Thyme Cocktail Recipe

If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again. At least that was the theme for this Spring Herb inspired cocktail. Luckily we were heading to a friends’ home for the Cinco/Derby weekend and I would have a few people to play with me. Taste testing versions #1 & #2 till we agreed #3 was the ideal version of a beverage I had never before made but had agreed to use as my contribution to the newly formed Sunday Supper Movement. A group of bloggers committed to bringing the family and friends back to the table for the Sunday meal.

I had something close to a recipe in my head but needed to adjust as the local shop in Baltimore, Graul’s, did not offer the mixer I was hoping to use {I feel a version 4 & 5 coming on}. However the basics stayed the same.



* Thyme & Tangerine Infused Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar into 1 cup water over heat till sugar dsolves. {Make sure to watch as the sugar is likely to burn if you turn your head to say check the crushed ice maker is filled….}

Place 4-5 sprigs of fresh cut Thyme and about 1/4 tangerine peel to mixture. Continue to heat on low. Set aside to chill. {I found that if you leave this over night the Thyme flavor will really develop and adds much more to the flavor but play around with your preference level.}

Tangerine Thyme Refresher


{makes one cocktail}

  • 1-1 1/2 ounces of Gin
  • 3 Parts Tangerine Soda
  • 1 Part Thyme infused Simple Syrup
  • Sprig of Thyme & small amount of Thyme leaves for garnish
  • Tangerine Peel

After testing three versions –

* San Pelgrino Tangerine was the prefered decided to have the best fizz, and Tangerine flavor with out adding to much sweetness.

* Gin was preferred over Vodka even with the “Vodka Drinkers” and gave it the herbal quality I was looking for. But give it a try yourself if you are skeptical.

* Some asked for more fizz which could be added with Tonic or Club based on your taste

* edible flowers are optional but my taste testers comments made them worth it. “I don’t know how it tastes but it is beautiful” ; “I wouldn’t change a thing”

Try your own versions with your own taste testers and let me know what you think in the comments below!

My Fantasty Land – Epcot 2012 Flower & Garden Show


Not usually a “Disney” girl Epcot has won me over. It is my grown-up fantasy world where life is good. The plants and grounds are perfectly manicured. The food and wine are perfectly placed and always tasty {ok the escargot in France were not my favorite. But no one is perfect right?}







This visit I timed my trip to be able to see HGTV’s Sabrina Soto give her presentation. She was very real and refreshing. She gave tips on how to get involved with the station and programing as well as answered all types of questions about design and her shows.








The audience was interesting to say the least. Two separate ladies made some what negative comments and Sabrina handled it very well. At one point joking saying she was not going to answer her question. She was also questioned on her fondness for Benjamin Moore paints when HGTV has a new partnership with Sherwin-Williams. Her response was frank and not based on monetary commitments…perhaps not wise but endearing her to me even more. As you can see she is a tiny girl with a big personality.








After the workshop I moved on to another favorite “country” England where Twings Tea has sponsored the English Garden. The herbs and boxwood have me dreaming of being whisked away and then “Alice in Wonderland” and the line of children waiting for their photo-op snap me back to reality. Brief but worth the trip as usual.

The show runs now through May 20th. If you have the chance, make the trip and have a sip of champagne in France for me. ~ kf.


Sunday Morning Container Gardening on ABC Action News

This past Sunday I was luck enough to be invited to the set of the Tampa Bay ABC Action News to discuss container gardening. Check out the video by clicking on the picture to the left.

Of course I was worried about getting soil all over the clean red carpet, but I managed to keep it under control and didn’t make too much of a mess after all.


There are many  reasons  to start gardening in containers:

  • Bad soil or poor soil
  • Portability
  • Vines or aggressive plants can be controlled with containers rather than  planting in the ground
  • Change seasonally or to match a theme
  • Use on patios, entranceway, pool decks – where you can’t normally  plant
  • Use as a barrier for pools or condo areas where you are not able to plant in  the ground


Where will  this container be placed, will be the biggest factor determining what plants you  will select. Will it be inside or outside; full Sun, full shade or somewhere in  between. Consider how much time you would like to spend caring for the  containers? Once you consider these factors head to your local nursery and you  will find a vast array of plant in very color that will work for your  requirements.


Containers with the most visual appeal and interest combine flowers,  with edible plants such as herbs and vegetables. As long as you select varieties  that will need similar conditions they will all live happily in one container. For a medium size container choose one or two herbs, one vegetable that will  do well in a container and one flower plant. For larger container choose bring  in another flowering plant or slow growing herb. By growing herbs at home  you will be able to get creative and try new recipes and always be ready to  dress up a table when entertaining.


YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG.  Just give it a try. If  a combination doesn’t work try a new one. Gardening is a process and always  changing.

Enjoy it.

Read more:

Happy Planting. ~kf.

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EcoFest  2012. Be there and be GREEN!

EcoFest  2012 is a community event organized by Learning Gate Community School to  celebrate the many businesses, organizations, and individuals in the Tampa Bay  area dedicated to the principles of sustainability – Ecology, Equity and  Economy.



EcoFest  2012 will be held on April 14, 2012 on the school grounds in Lutz,  Florida.  The event will be open to the  public from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M.   Admission to the event is free.

There  will be live music, workshops, demonstrations, informational booths, green  living products and services. Some local artists, green businesses,  environmental organizations, alternative health practitioners, renewable energy  specialists, organic farms and gardens with produce. All vendors must supply  their own tables, chairs and tents.  In  addition, we encourage you to become an EcoFest 2012 sponsor to highlight your  green brand within the community.




How to Conserve and Store water as our natural resource Virginia Overstreet – Water Wise


The Scoop on Chicken Coops – The Care & Well being of Chickens Joey Holloway   –  Halloway Farms


Growing Scientists Hands-On Environmental Projects Jim McGinity   –                               Learning Gate


Garden Containers – easy gardening for everyone Kray Funch


What is composting, and how nature processes organic materials Monica Ragukas


Project Based Learning at Learning Gate Middle/High Summer Solomon – Learning Gate


Rain Barrels – How to effectively store rain water & how it benefits us Shelly Stein


Greening Your Environment – How you can inspire others to be more eco-friendly and earth conscious. Let’s come together and learn how we can all be a part of the solution! Lisa Custer – Going Green Tampa


GATES High School Presentation Patti Girard –                              Learning Gate

1:00pm & 2:00pm

Why is Learning Gate an Award Winning Green School? Susan Burell


Give Me A “S”, Give Me A “U”

An Appealing Plan - succulentsMy shipment of Succulents arrived today. Project time!

Some for window boxes, some for patio gardens, and a spa waiting area! Tomorrow will be busy for sure!

Happy Day! kf.

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SPRING Entranceways!! We love you!!


Spring. For a small word it brings an enormous amount of memories and positive energy to the air and to the humans for that matter.  It means we can head outside, play in the grass, hear the birds chirping, see the sun again, switch out our closets, cook with local fresh herbs and vegetables, make fresh salads from our gardens.

This is also the time to update the containers greeting visitors at your front door. YES, you need to pull out the poinsettia and browning mini-pine tree. Spring containers are fun! They look great. Smell great and welcome the season as much as your guests.

{Use groupings of planters in various sizes for an appealing display}

Now get out there and smell the roses. KRAYL

{P.S. If you are looking to refresh your containers or give your entranceway an entirely new look but don’t have the time? Let me help you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. INFO@ANAPPEALINGPLAN.COM}


Teenage Greens

Mother Nature never ever ceases to amaze me. My little mixed lettuce seeds were just micro greens less than 12 days ago….


….and now they are filling the pot as teenage leaves. Beautiful shades of greens and purples.

I water daily and stare at them trying to calculate just how much they have grown since yesterday {occasionally it is multiple times a day, but who can blame me}. The process is so rewarding I wonder why everyone doesn’t grow from seed.

Happy Growing ~ kf.


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