When Garden Containers, Design and Parties Go Bad

Whether is it for a garden project, home or event design, we all have good intentions, but then sometimes….things don’t turn out as expected. Believe me, I see it all the time around my neighborhood and on my travels.

CASE #1:

You carefully put together a beautiful garden containers to place near your home or business entranceway or pool patio area for the season to bring life and color to the environment. They look fabulous for a week or so, you get lots of compliments and then; you go out-of-town for a week, the combination of plants is wrong for the location or you simply forget about them completely. Next thing you know your guests are being greeted at your doorway by a container full of dried up, dead or past season plants {think Poinsettia in April}.

CASE #2:

Your High School BFF is pregnant and you have offered to host the Baby Shower at your home. With excitement you buy everything you can in pink and blue from the internet for the garden party of 25 guests. The box of items arrives with plenty of time but you suddenly realize you have no idea how to put it all together to make it all work together. You end up throwing them all on the table together and then buying pre-bunched flowers from the local shop, plop them in a vase smack in the middle of the table. Your intentions are great but your execution is not what you had wanted, not like your inspiration picture at all. Not for lack of trying but due to: creativity, design knowledge or simply time constraints.

Do these sound familiar? Well they do to me because I see them ALL the time. Intentions are high but execution or follow through does not match up to your vision.

Well I CAN’T take it anymore. Starting this week, I will be doing a weekly post on these situations. Heading out and taking pictures of “When Garden Containers, Design and Parties Go Bad”. Think store fronts who have let their curb appeal fail to match their brand image, homeowners who allow dead plants to remain in entranceway containers for weeks, people buying those dyed flowers in the supermarket, etc… I will then post them with solutions and suggestions to the design “situation”.

If your business, home, party, design, etc.. is featured not to fear. I will not leave you on your own, I will offer you my services to work with your dilemma such as: 1 free month of container maintenance,  25% off event coordination services or design consultation. {I will not be mean or mention your name or business, unless you have approved this}

If I am able, I will post a follow-up before and after with a picture of your happy smile.

Feel free to send suggestions and you will also get a certificate for my services if the item/location is featured.

So say CHEESE if you see me with my camera peaking from your bushes! x0 ~ 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

High Style Planters As Clothing??

“Searching for clothing with room to grow? Look no further than Egle Cekanaviciute’s six-piece “Seed” collection, which doubles as a series of wearable planters. Using potato sacks and tailor’s muslin, the LIthuanian designer deftly manipulated familiar silhouettes to accommodate a sprawling assortment of living flora. Beneath the superficial whimsy, however, is a profound sentiment about human creation—specifically, our fundamental helplessness against “the power of nature.””

If you follow my posts you know I am a huge gardener, anything Eco lover, recycling, design, etc… everything that this collection stands for, BUT, even I’m not sure I could wear these and be serious. I mean as it is, at almost 6′ tall I am a pretty tall girl, and having a tree growing out behind me would just put me over the top!

That all being said, I love the concept and am pretty much jealous I didn’t come up with it…Would have loved to be at the runway show and see it in its glory.

As they stated, Fashion you can Grow with. Would you buy them?? Have an appealing day. ~ kf.

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The Home Depot Launchs the “Doing Nation”

Do your spring plans include projects such as a Vertical Garden? Patio Firepit?? Raised Vegetable bed?? Consider joining the Home Depot in their Doing Nation program recently launch, running from April 12, 2012 till May 24, 2012, with the potential of up to $125,000 being donated to partner non-profits.

Sure you have to head to your local store and spend a few dollars but, if this projects are on your list of things to do this spring anyway, why not help support the cause.

 Your Outdoor Spring Projects can now Support Veterans!

The Home Depot®,  announced the launch of its “Doing Nation,” a special spring initiative on Facebook. The benefiting nonprofit organizations serving U.S. military veterans and their families include:  Fisher House Foundation, Operation Homefront, U.S.Vets and Volunteers of America.

To participate, consumers can go to The Home Depot or The Home Depot Foundation’s Facebook page, and choose how many of the six easy and fun outdoor projects they want to tackle.  Once their project is completed, consumers simply upload a photo of their creation and select which organization they would like to receive $100.  The Home Depot Foundation will donate up to $25,000 to each of the four nonprofits for projects completed in their honor, and will double the total amount for the organization that receives the most projects.

Each project has a detailed how-to video highlighted on the Doing Nation Facebook application and you can download shopping lists for each project directly to your mobile phones.

“We hope people will join our Doing Nation and have some fun with these great outdoor projects,” said Craig Menear, executive vice president-merchandising, The Home Depot, and chairman of The Home Depot Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We offer great values every day at The Home Depot, but now we’re taking it a step further – we’re giving consumers the power to donate up to $600 each to support our nation’s veterans using our money.”

To learn more or to start doing these spring sprucing projects that do extra good, please visit www.Facebook.com/homedepot.”

Happy Spring ~ kf.

Growing with GROW.

Education Conferences are meant to grow your brain, but this week I worked with an Event Sponsor Grow Financial to bring life to their employee table and their vendor table.

Working with my newest passion Succulents I created small pots for each table guest. I ordered the succulents from Simply Succulents but they are also available at many local shops. Using succulent soil as a base and then filing with the small/medium-sized plants. I then place crushed oyster shells to cover the dark soil and to add visual interest and a clean look. The final touch was a wooden “popsicle” stick with GROW written in green sharpie. The hope is that they will place them on their desks as a reminder of all the useful tools they learned during the work shop. And to also remind them to continue to grow everyday.

The ladies from Grow Financial love their jobs and it shows! I was happy and honored to be able to help them spread the word and bring life to their tables. ~ kf.

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: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/lifestyle/garden/container-gardening-a-complete-guide-to-get-started#ixzz1sEH8bffv

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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