Winter Outside Bringing You Down? Indoor Spring Container Gardens Can Change That!

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Step One: Choose your container, below are three of my favorites. Mason Jars, Glass Vase, Clay Pot, and Wood vessels.

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Step Two: Add Potting Soil

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Step Three: Split flowering bulbs and cat grass to fit the containers

Step Four: Fill in soil

Step Five: Brace/stake with curly willow

curly willow

Step Six: Top with moss (sheet, Spanish or reindeer), Water and Enjoy

il_570xN_234571065 live moss sheetmoss

Step Seven: Add birch bark, mini birds, nests and or mini eggs

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When I do this project, I go to Skillins Greenhouse (my local greenhouse) www.skillins.com and buy bulbs that are in bloom. If you are a true gardener you might want to plant and force your own bulbs.

Below I have the Step by Step directions from Better Homes & Gardens if you want to give it a try.

1. Plan ahead. In autumn, purchase bulbs from a garden center, nursery, or mail-order source. Plant bulbs of your choice in any type of pot with a drainage hole. Choose a pot that’s at least twice as deep as the bulbs to allow for proper root growth. Fill the pot half full of soilless potting mix.

Most bulbs will do well if grown in potting mix. Always start with clean pots and fresh mix.

2. Place as many bulbs as possible in the pot, without letting them touch. A 6-inch-wide pot holds up to six tulips, three narcissus (daffodils), or 15 minor bulbs, such as crocuses or grape hyacinths.

For a thick show, layer more than one kind of bulb in the same pot; place larger bulbs on the bottom and they’ll grow around the smaller ones. If the two bulbs you want to combine have different chilling and blooming schedules, plant them first in small plastic containers and combine them once they’re in bloom.

3. Cover the bulbs with potting mix, leaving their tips showing. Water the bulbs thoroughly. Label with name and date; loosely cover pot with a paper bag. Place in cool (35 to 45 degrees F), dark storage for chilling. See our bulb-forcing timetable for chilling time.

An unheated attic, basement, or attached garage makes a good chilling area, but monitor the temperature if the weather turns extremely cold. Another option is to set the pots outside in a 12-inch-deep trench, lined with pebbles to prevent the pots from freezing to the bottom. Cover the pots with 10 to 12 inches of soil, then 12 inches of dry leaves held in place with a plastic tarp.

4. Check moisture in pot periodically. Keep soil damp but not wet. When chilling is complete, you’ll see roots poking out of the bottom of the pot and green sprouts emerging at the bulb tips. It’s time to move the potted bulbs into a warm room.

5. When flower buds form, move potted bulbs into a sunny spot. Keep the soil damp. When flowers appear, move the pot out of direct sun to make the blooms last longer. After the blooms fade and wither, toss them (bulbs and all) into the compost. Most forced bulbs have used up their energy and won’t bloom again.

Growing in Water

Paperwhites and Soleil d’Or can be grown without soil. Plant them in pebble-filled containers with the base of the bulbs in contact with water at the bottom of the container. These bulbs don’t need chilling, but will benefit from a cool temperature (50 degrees F.) until the top shoot is a couple of inches long. At that point, you can move the plant into a warm, brightly lit area.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and it inspires you to bring spring into your home.

As always thank you for reading my blog.

  • If you have any questions ask away, I will get back to you as soon as possible! 

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Thank you for your support.

Best, Celia

Photos: By Liz Donnelly (isn’t she amazing?)

Resources:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/plant-an-early-spring-container-garden.html

www.hgtv.com

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/gardening/flowers/bulbs-blossoms-time-10000001702182/index.html

www.bhg.com

www.gardening.com

Autumnal Plantings…everything seems to fall into place!

I hired Carol Hiltebeitel of Coco Design Company www.cocodesigncompany.com  to replant my deck planters. The woman is a miracle worker! She has a wonderful approach to design whether it is a pot or a large planter.

I wanted my planter to be chockfull of plants, maintenance free, and anchored by evergreens and perennials. Carol delivered! Liz Donnelly http://www.lizdonnellyphotography.net/ photo documented the entire process.

I hope you enjoy it!

Carol knows plants, flowers and design…boy am I lucky!
Carol searches for the best plants to add color, texture, height and drama to the planters.
Step 1: Buy plants from a garden center. I went to Skillins in Falmouth, ME
Step 2:Carol removes plants from the pots.
Step 3: Carol loosens the root ball to prepare it for planting.
Step 4: Carol gets her hands dirty…getting the plants into the earth.
Tools of the trade, spade, clippers, good soil and shovel
Step 5: Trim the plants
Step 6: WATER, WATER, WATER
Step 7: Fluff the plants
Step 8: ADMIRE…Wowie this looks fantastic
I am so pleased…Carol you are amazing!

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let us know your thoughts…by COMMENTING, or LIKING this post! Thank you for reading I really appreciate your support!

Celia

Using herbs in containers, flower arrangements and recipes

Herbs…a thing of beauty

The Best Way to Store Herbs

Different herbs demand different storage techniques.

By Renee Schettler & Gregor Halenda

Basil, Parsley, and Cilantro

A fresh bunch of basil can be treated like a bouquet of flowers: Just trim the ends, place in a glass with an inch or so of water, and place on the counter at room temperature. (The leaves will turn black if refrigerated). The basil will remain fresh for anywhere from a few days to a week. You can also try this with similar long-stemmed herbs like parsley and cilantro.

Chives, Thyme, and Rosemary

Other herbs, like chives, thyme, and rosemary, require a slightly different approach. Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator; one of the compartments in the door works perfectly. Do not wrap the herbs tightly or the trapped moisture may cause them to mold prematurely; many people like to add a crumpled paper towel to the bag as a safeguard. Do not rinse the herbs until just before using.

How to Dry Fresh Herbs

If you have more fresh herbs than you can use, dry them. Place the leaves on a plate (chopped if using basil or parsley; whole if using thyme or rosemary) and set aside in a cool, dry place for several days. Then store them in a resealable container in the refrigerator.

When to Pitch Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are no longer fit to use and should be discarded when the leaves turn dark or brittle, or the stems begin to show traces of mold.

BEAUTIFUL POTS

How to plant herb containers/planters

  1. Buy beautiful containers, you do not need to spend a lot of money…Home Goods, Goodwill, yard sales and consignment stores are all good place to look for containers
  2. Buy good soil with plant food in it, herbs and sheet moss
  3. Add rocks to the bottom of the container
  4. Add your soil and plants and top with sheet moss
  5. Water and enjoy!!!!
YUMMY

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.

Add the lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, pita chips, and Feta and toss to coat. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper.

This is great on Chicken, Pork, Beef or Fish!

David Lebovitz’s Herb Rub

Herb Rub
Makes 1 small jar

A very large bunch of fresh sage, two to three times as much as the rosemary
A large bunch of rosemary
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt

1. Pick the leaves off the sage and rosemary stalks. In a small food processor, chop up the herbs with the garlic cloves and salt until the mixture is pretty fine. Discard any sticks or seeds.

2. Spread the herb mixture on a baking sheet and let it dry for about three days. Once dry, store your herb in a tightly-sealed in a jar for up to a year.

Herb Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds small white boiling potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm.

 

Dressing your outdoor space

Now is the time to think about sprucing up your outdoor space. The retail world is winding down on summer and you can get some great deals on outdoor furniture, umbrellas, outdoor pillows, table clothes, lanterns, fun planters and everything you need for summer entertaining.

This is a great outdoor decor/lighting item
$119 Pottery Barn
Ballard Designs has great pillows and cushions for outdoors these are $25-$45
Restoration Hardware outdoor furniture now 30% off
These great dinner plates are from Frontgate $49/set of 4
Magic in the trees $49-$199 from Restoration Hardware
Ballard Designs rectangular umbrella dimensions: 7’11″H X 8’W X 11’D
$369
Planters from Restoration Hardware $495-$695, I wish I could afford these!
Pottery Barn table-cloth 70×108 -$69
Nice lines on this Crate and Barrel Chair sale price $649
Marimekko blue melamine plate Crate & Barrel $4.95

Home Goods is another great place to get summer items for less! Be sure to shop the sales to upgrade your outdoor space for less.

If you like this blog please follow us! We are so thankful for all of you! Enjoy the beginning of summer!

Celia

What does summer mean to you? To me it means picnics, sun & family fun.

I love summer. It is my favorite season. Summer evokes memories of picnics, barbeques, beach trips and family time.

When I think of this season in terms of decorating I think of white, sea glass blue, & aqua paint colors, linen, cotton, and organza fabrics, distressed, reclaimed & drift woods and bare, painted & cotton rug covered floors.

House Beautiful showcased this wonderful colorful summer home
This room is painted a summer blue, has a summer rug and has a distressed wood table…love it! Photo by Liz Donnelly
House Beautiful does it again…with this wonderful example of summer decor

Martha Stewart has 60 ideas for summer decorating

http://www.marthastewart.com/274784/60-summer-decorating-ideas/@center/276964/60-days-summer

Bringing the outside in is the name of the game in winter and spring but making outdoor rooms is the summer mantra! In New England we live for summer and living life outside for a few months. I grew up in Washington, DC, and although I loved summer, it was hot and sticky. We can all enjoy planting flowers, vegetables and herbs in summer, in fact those of you down south have two opportunities to plant during the season. When planting flower beds I like to keep height, color and scent in mind. Mixing herbs in with flowers make a pretty herb garden and a more fragrant flower bed! I also like to add lighting to flower beds, candle light adds romance to a garden patio or deck.

Check out this amazing garden and many more on HGTV’s website

Finally, I love to cook, entertain and eat. Summer means picnics, barbeques and fun cocktails. I do not like to use my oven from June-August. It heats up my entire house, which is lovely in the cooler months but sweltering in the summer.

I grill vegetables, pizzas, meats and event desserts and serve them with salads. Clean your grill, replace parts on your gas grill, or purchase a new coal chimney. Here are some yummy recipes from The Food Network.

Veggie Kebobs

Bobby Flay’s yummy veggie kebobs Food Network Photo

Ingredients

Marinade, recipe follows

Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Directions

Cook potatoes in salted water until fork tender; let cool and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place potatoes and the vegetables in a shallow dish or container. Pour marinade over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat.

Remove vegetables from the marinade, reserving marinade. Thread vegetables onto skewers, alternating colors. Cook skewers on grill until vegetables are lightly charred all over, about 10 minutes, basting with reserved marinade and turning occasionally.

  • Marinade:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. The marinade can be prepared in advance and held covered in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Grilled Basil-Marinated Chicken
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
Directions

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, basil, onion, salt, peppercorns, and garlic in a bowl. Transfer the marinade to a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag with the chicken and shake to combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.

When ready to cook, build a charcoal fire or preheat gas grill.

Remove chicken from the marinade. Grill the chicken, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and garnish with the basil sprigs.

Picnics are such fun. Preparation is the key to a great picnic. Pack a bag or basket at the beginning of summer with good quality paper plates, a roll of Viva paper towels (they are the best), plastic flatware, a small light cutting board, a good small knife, trash bags, zip lock bags, wipes, plastic cups like Solo (they can be reused), a Sharpie pen (to label cups), bug spray, sun screen, and an old blanket or table cloth.

Martha Stewart Yummy picnic sandwiches

Martha Stewart Knows Picnicking here is a sandwich idea from www.marthastewart.com  

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 loaf crusty bread (about 1 pound), sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mortadella, prosciutto, or thinly sliced deli ham
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered or sliced
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained and halved if large

Directions

  1. Sprinkle a double layer of paper towels with salt and place zucchini on top. Sprinkle with salt and roll up like a newspaper. Let sit 10 minutes to draw out excess liquid.
  2. Over a low gas flame or under the broiler, roast bell pepper until skin is charred, 10 minutes, turning frequently. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit 10 minutes. Rub bell pepper with a paper towel to remove skin, then core, discard seeds, and slice flesh into strips.
  3. Pull out about 2 cups bread from inside loaf halves. In a food processor, combine beans, garlic, lemon juice, and oil and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Completely cover inside of both bread halves with an even layer of bean puree.
  4. Arrange zucchini on bottom half of bread. Top with mortadella, parsley, roasted pepper, artichokes, Parmesan, and pepperoncini. Sandwich with top half of bread and wrap tightly in plastic. Place on a baking sheet in refrigerator. Place another baking sheet on top and weight with several heavy cans. Let sit at least 3 hours (or up to overnight). To serve, unwrap and cut into wedges with a serrated knife

Check out this craft from Martha…

http://www.marthastewart.com/860999/mslv-grab-picnic-pouch-640x480mov

Farmers markets are a great place to shop in the summer. Go to your local market and meet the farmers who grow your food and ask them their favorite way to cook what you are buying. These people are experts, believe me their families eat a lot of the items they grow…they will have multiple suggestions.

 If you like this blog click on the follow button and never miss a post! Thank you for reading, and let me know if you have design or entertaining blog post ideas for me.

 

Memorial Day:Planting Containers, Lanterns & BBQ’s

Hello loyal Celia Bedilia fans…Happy Memorial Day weekend. I am such a fan of summer and I cannot wait to get started enjoying this wonderful season. So this weekend I am planning to fill the pots and planters on my deck and front patio add lighting to my backyard and maybe host a BBQ!

Wonderful Colorful Container from Better Homes and Gardens

Container Planting Tips

  • Fill 1st ¼ of your Containers with Better Than Rocks, this is a mesh product
  • Be creative when choosing planters this is a great place to reuse/repurpose items, Wheel Barrows are great for vegetable gardens and you can move it to follow the sun! Choose different size pots and 1 color or mix and match.
  • Choose the right potting soil for what you are planting
  • Start with your favorite plant as the center of your planter, add filler around it.  I like potato vine, and herbs as my filler.
  • Make a color plan before you go shopping; take the color of your house into account. For example I have a red house, purple, white and yellow look great against red.
  • I use different height plants as well, I like to have some height to each pot, I think just having pansies in a pot looks dinky!
  • Fertilize your containers!
  •  Have fun with it your pots, if you have young kids get them to help…they love to get dirty.
Mossy goodness
Mossy Mason Jar Lights

Mason Jar Lights and Lanterns

  • Collect assorted sizes of Mason jars, add a 2” pillar candle, moss (wet it first) and then use twine on the lip to complete the look! These look great on outdoor tables because they are rustic and natural looking.
  • For the hanging Mason Jars (use large jars) you will need wire, I make the U shaped hanger first with four 14” lengths of wire create loops at the bottom and then twist the 4 wires into one, then side wire through the loops and around the lip of the jar I go around the lip 4 times and then cut the wire and twist it onto one of the loops of the U. Add a small pillar candle and a touch of water. Hang from branches in the trees or from shepherds’ hooks! They are really cool.
Hang from the trees

Easy BBQ Menu                       

Baby Grilled Potatoes

  • Toss mini potatoes with oil and salt and pepper grill over medium heat for 30-35mins.

Yum Mum Salad

  • 1 bag Boston lettuce
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 10 strawberries sliced length wise
  • ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 3 Tbsp goat, feta or blue cheese
  • 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar, 5 Tbsp Olive Oil, 2 Tbsp OJ, Pinch of Salt, Sugar, and Pepper,  ¼ Tsp Mustard-mix in small bowl- toss with other ingredients just before serving.

Lemon Grass Flank Steak

  • 1/3 cup Peanut or Canola Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Other ingredients
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Put all ingredients in a large zip lock 6-8 hours before grilling
  • Grill on med-high for 4-6mins per side

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND

Celia

Rustic Wedding with STYLE

Next weekend I am doing a rustic country wedding for my niece. Here is my plan!

Location: Picking a beautiful site…step one

Rustic Wedding heavenAdd Lanterns: this adds to a funtastic time!

lanterns are a mustcool candlesLighting is a must these rustic candles above will give a glow to the tent. Below are the vases and arrangements we are using! Mason jars and birds what could be more country?Mason Jar CollectionsBird vases...chic Mason jars hanging in space

Fun idea for place cards

I love this sweets table idea…so cute!

Yum

Easter is coming…Sunday

Easter Is Sunday. I need to order a ham www.virginiatraditions.com these are wonderful Virginia hams and my Hubbs peanuts too www.hubspeanuts.com. Once this is done I can get down to business and confirm my guest list (my family is not very good at RSVP’s).

I am going to keep the menu simple, peanuts and fresh vegetables to start, ham, sweet & regular roasted potatoes, green beans and salad. Oh and I need to order a coconut cake from Scratch Bakery www.scratchbakingco.com I hope I am not too late!

Now I love to cook but I like decorating more. I have inherited beautiful linens (because my sisters did not want to iron them) I am going to use lace and linen napkins, my silver (which I do not use enough) and white dishes.  I want to keep my tablescape simple but springy. I love hyacinth but you may want to use daffodils as hyacinth are very fragrant (with 2 dogs and 2 teens I need the fresh floral aroma).  I want my flowers to add the pop to the table!

Easter crop

For the centerpiece you will need: A 6”-8” deep vessel (like my wire basket) this can be a bowl, pot, really anything that holds plants, Sheet Moss (available at any florist), Hyacinth or Daffodils (Greenhouse or even Wal-Mart), potting soil, some nests, small natural looking fake eggs (or better yet your own Easter eggs) and bunnies (Home Goods or Pottery Barn).

Step One: Line your basket with moss, if you are using a bowl or planter skip step one

Step Two: Cover the bottom of the vessel with soil

Step Three: Add plants and fill in soil to fit plants snugly in place. This is important because these plants tend to be top heavy. You may need to stake them too, I would use Pussy Willow and a twist tie.

Step Four: Cover the top of the plants with moss, and if you have a staked plant with a twist tie you can cover the twist tie with a little moss!

Step Five: Put your new planter in the center of your table and surround it with your Easter treasures (bunnies, eggs, nests etc.)

Step Five: Get into the kitchen…it is time to cook

Bunny-nest-flowers...perfection

WowSo cute

Photos by: Liz Donnelly

Spring Table

 A spring table allows one to bring the outside in through plants, bulbs, nests, and eggs. I adore spring and the feeling that everything is new again. Fresh starts are always exciting; everything is budding and coming to life at this time of year.

 I love to buy bulbs and force them inside; here I have forced daffodils and grape hyacinth.  In the fall I buy bulbs for planting and forcing. Some go in the garden, while others go in paper bags in the garage. The ones from the garage will be forced into bloom in my home in March.

The 1st week of March is the time to start forcing bulbs. I prepare wide mouth jars or shallow bowls with pebbles at the base, potting soil and finally the bulbs. Mason jars work very well but can only hold one bulb, if you want more impact you might want to plant a large bowl the bulbs can be crowded quite tightly together. Water and set in a sunny spot, in 2-3 weeks you will be enjoying the fruits of your labor!

Now you have your bulbs add bird nests and eggs and you have a great centerpiece for spring holiday entertaining.

Sun is warm but the temps aren't

Photos by: Liz Donnelly

Spring Inspiration from Fleur de Lis

This week I had the opportunity to take a road trip to Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I was meeting a friend for lunch and I wanted to bring her flowers. I stopped at Fleur de Lis www.flowersinmaine.com , what a treat! I have included 2 photos from their store. I found flowers, a beautiful blue throw and inspiration! When I got home I put together this little spring planter. I used a 3” pot, a container of daffodils, potting soil and pussy willow. You can see the how to photos below. I set 3 of these little daffodil pots on a tray filled with moss and added a couple of nests and some quail eggs to finish the spring look! Coco my CFO was overseeing this process from her perch in the mudroom.