Snow day at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Once again we are getting bombarded with snow here in Philadelphia. This seems to happen every year lately. Hard to believe that Junebug and I have been minding the booth for 12 years! What a gift. It’s so lovely seeing old friends and making new ones. I have the BEST customers. I thought it would be fun to share some photos from the show for those of you who weren’t able to come or would like to know what it is about!

The main entrance garden was alive with color and sounds from the Rainforest. Orchids and tropical flowers took the main stage with bamboo structures and numerous sources of water- including ponds, waterfalls, fountains and rain barrels.

One of my favorite displays was a wooded garden setting for a wedding. It was just lovely and magical!!

Isn’t it just dreamy?? I think there could be gnomes and fairies hiding about. Stop by again tomorrow for highlights of other sections of the show! : )








Catching Up…

Oh little blog… I have missed visiting you. I love the history that you hold. At times I have thought that it was time to end but I’m not ready to close that door. Let’s pretend that it hasn’t been so long and that the ups and downs of life don’t keep us from writing or using our creative voice. Let’s just do a little recap and catch up…

Last year was a bit of a challenge. We had to say goodbye to our sweet Oliver and it absolutely broke my heart. I had his companionship for 14 years- in the studio, in the kitchen, at the barn, in the garden, in my lap on the couch. His passing left such a void in our home and in my heart. The sadness that I felt overtook my creative voice for a while. I suppose that is a natural part of grieving.

After the Philadelphia Flower show last March, my ongoing issue of tendonitis progressed and placed limitations on what I could do physically. Simple, everyday things like brushing my teeth, picking up my coffee cup and washing my hair were very painful- not to mention packing, shipping and doing the most basic tasks for my business. My creative voice got quieter and quieter.

Don’t get me started on politics. Drama and uncertainty has played in the background noise of daily life.

On a happy note, my sweet husband and son fashioned beautiful cedar raised beds for me over the winter and what a difference they have made! Our potager has been going for a number of years but this is the first year that I have gotten to enjoy it more than feeling the burden of the work that is needed to do digging and weeding. The boxes and the stone walkways have been so easy to manage this year. I hope to do a blog post about that process!

Did I mention that we got a puppy? In confusing fashion for the family, I cried all of the way home from seeing the precious, squirmy puppy-breath puppies. I am a “both/and” person. Both happy (about puppies) and sad (about Olie) – at the same time. It is beautiful and abundant but sometimes confusing and overwhelming.

Oh, I do love dogs and one day I want a whole herd of them… or pack, or gaggle. Oliver’s little sister Gracie was adjusting pretty well but we wanted to introduce a puppy while she was young enough to play with him and teach him the boundaries here at the farm. We knew a puppy would be easier to acclimate to the chickens, cats, horses and Lily- the guinea pig.

We couldn’t decide on a name for the puppy so we settled on two derivitives of and including Theodore- Theo and Teddy. He really doesn’t seem significantly confused. He politely ignores or responds to all three names.

Having teenagers makes life busy. Really??? Some of us weren’t prepared. I thought those toddler years were pretty dang extreme. What was I thinking?

Where do I give my list of 10 things to do or not to do??!! Here I am rambling on and on and not giving any advice/tips to hold your attention. If you are reading thus far, bless your heart.

Speaking of “bless your heart” – we went to MS to celebrate my grandmother’s 100th birthday! It was a trip down memory lane to share with my family the many places and family that were a part of my growing up. My grandmother is something else. I wish that you could hear her voice and see her hands that I have known all of my life. I think I could draw her hands by heart. It was lovely to hold them again.

I’ve been going to PT for a while now and I’m happy to report that my arm/elbow has gotten much better!  What a difference. The puppy graduated first in his puppy school class. As shown above- he has out grown his older sister in only 8 short months. There were 4H presentations and horse shows, track, Young Life camp, Horse camp and the Newport Flower show over the summer. So many good things…

Fullness. It’s hard to sum up. My cup runneth over.

I am beginning to find my footing, my rhythm and my voice again. It was a bumpy year.

I think that we are caught up Little Blog. I hope to come back more often. You are such a good listener. ; )






Junebug’s Garden


What’s in Bloom Mid-July

I do love this time of year! The perennials are all in bloom.

There are so many things that I want to blog about! Numerous posts have been started that I can’t wait to finish.

So to kick things off today we’ll have a short stroll through the garden.

IMGP7688I do love Lilies! The soft yellow blooms show up nicely against its dark green foliage.




IMGP7684My absolute favorite color! I wish I knew which Lily this was so that I could order more. As you can see it is rather delicate.

IMGP7675Who doesn’t love a mass planting of daisies?!

IMGP7665IMGP7738Garden Phlox and Liatris make such a statement this time of year.IMGP7748

We can’t forget what is blooming in the potager! A star shaped yellow zucchini/squash blossom. To keep up with the zucchini this year I have a great new recipe! Check it out here.

What is your favorite perennial flowering plant?


Thanks for joining me! Now, let’s get back to work. : )

Overwintering Rosemary Topiaries

Rosemary Topiary

After selling topiaries at my shows for a number of years I’ve learned something… people are nervous about purchasing Rosemary plants for indoor use. And I’ve also learned… there is no reason to be! With a south facing exposure and a little attention you can have fresh rosemary on your windowsill all year long even in colder growing zones. I kid you not. It’s -12 wind chill here today. Eegads.

Shown above is one of a pair of rosemary standards that I brought home after the Devon Horse Show in May of 2013. The pair spent the summer planted in the potager providing garden structure as well as culinary deliciousness. This photo was taken soon after they were dug and potted up to bring indoors for the winter. I would recommend polyfoam or ceramic containers… terra cotta drys out much too quickly in a heated environment.

I LOVE the shape of these filled-out standards! They are gorgeous on either side of the fireplace. Generally they are kept in a south facing window with lots of natural light.

So, after some trial and error and a little “dried” rosemary over the years- here is my secret to overwintering Rosemary topiary.

  • Wait.
  • Soak with warm water.
  • Soak again.
  • Drain thoroughly.
  • Full sun.



I know, right!? Wait to water them until their new growth starts to show signs of wilting. They are a Mediterranean herb and the soil will need to dry out but they WILL give you a sign of when to water. When you perceive the new growth start to droop take them and soak them with WARM water. They need to be watered deeply, twice, drained and then given full sun.

I will admit- Rosemary is not terribly forgiving and you DO have to pay attention to them. But it is so worth it. The only time that I have ever killed (gasp!) a plant (I think) was when I put it in a place that I was not constantly buzzing in and out of. They all tell you when they are ready to be watered.

RIP my sweet bonzi ficus- though you looked so Zen by the bath tub I could not support your daily watering needs. If only you could have fit on the window sill in the kitchen- because we all know those dishes are a never-ending daily nirvana.


Do you have a south facing window in a place that you frequent? A perfect place for a Rosemary topiary! Looking for a yummy recipe to put those trimmings to use? Look no further! Tuscan Herb Seasoning one of my FAVORITE ways to use fresh Rosemary- perfect for meats and soups.

Do you have a favorite recipe that includes fresh Rosemary? Please share!


A Garden Tango

IMGP6424 My garden and I have done an awkward dance all summer long. Never on the same beat… our tempo completely off. A spastic horticultural tango if you will.

And then this past weekend… I finally had the time, energy and proper shoes that brought us together like the partners that we are. I spun from bed to bed in my red farm coat as the wind blew mightily. Probably a good thing we don’t have neighbors within eyeshot.

Earlier this summer I decided to exhibit at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, PA. Normally at that time I would be caught up with orders from the Flower Show, excited about spring, winter sowing and getting ready to plant. This year I was in full production mode for my business and then away for a two week duration.  So much happens on a farm, with children, and animals in two weeks. My “away” time limit was reached and I learned that it was too much at this point, at this time in our lives. I never got caught up… all summer long I was one, or two or three steps behind- in so many areas. My garden went in late… some things didn’t go in at all. Then the rains came. Seedings were washed away while the organic weeds that I cultivate so beautifully grew and grew.

My focus never zeroed-in out there. I was away dancing with other loves like children, family, friends and art. I even flirted with running and taking better care of myself. Gasp! Every now and then the sprinkler was turned on when I could remember.

So Saturday I had the opportunity to stand back and appreciate what happens when I’m not paying attention… when I am not in control, when someone else is leading.

# # # # Newsflash # # # #

It still grows and it produces what its supposed to. Even with my full dance card this summer my partner kept up the beet. (snicker). We could easily have scored a 30 on Dancing with Your Vegetables that blustery afternoon, in my opinion.




IMGP6432A little olive oil, salt and pepper then into the oven… carrots, onions, blue and red potatoes. Delicious.


Climbing Peace Rose


What I Found in the Garden Today…

Ahhh. I do believe that Fall is in the air! The kids are back in school and I am finally back in the studio with uninterrupted time…yippee!

Our little kitchen garden has been as faithful as ever- bursting at the seams with tons of vegetable goodness. So happy to see a nice crop of fancy pumpkins-  just in time.

So much to blog about! I have a number of great Fabulous Friday Find products to share with you as well as garden trips, tips, recipes and of course, new artwork!! So stay tuned. : )

My little garden companion, Helen

What I see while I’m weeding…

Don’t you just love help in the garden?

Indoor Fairy Garden

Do you remember the Living Spring Centerpiece and the Fairy Garden projects? Well, I was needing a little “plant time” last week and hopped on over to one of my favorite local nurseries/garden centers (Dickman Farms in Auburn, NY). They have a wonderful greenhouse selection and to my surprise/delight all of their house plants were 50% off! Sa-weet.  I knocked myself out.

Now, before I go further, you must know that I was driving hubby’s car listening to the new Coldplay CD Mylo Xyloto for the first time. I pulled up into the parking lot and was completely overcome listening to #5 – You and Me Against the World. Oh. So. Warm and Beautiful… the acoustic guitar and Gwenth’s Chris Martin’s voice. Love….Love.

Where was I? Shopping. I’m not a shopper typically- much to Farmboy’s delight. Plants, plates and ponies are some of my preferred items- much to Farmboy’s dismay. When I need a little retail therapy I head for the local nursery or Marshall’s rather than a horse sale, thankfully- for all of us.

Enough of my late-night, The Clone Wars is on (they all look the same)- pontificating. Here is the “how to” part.

Take a large container with no hole and fill the bottom third with gravel for drainage unless you plan to use a saucer of some sort to catch the water. Be especially sensitive to moisture when using a container with no drainage. Low and wide is better since it will be displayed on a table indoors.

Fill the remainder of the container with potting soil.

Get together all of your plant goodies…

Arrange low growing, mossy plants in the front and center of your Fairy Garden and add the taller ones to the back. Once your plantings are finished water gently until evenly moist.

* I found some wonderful Fairy furniture to add to my indoor garden at Dickman’s! Here is a link to fairy furniture images.

Be sure to add a stone path, some boulders (small rocks) and whatever you can think of to add ambiance! I wish that I could string lights in my little fairy garden. Wouldn’t that be great?!

This little garden has been inhabited so far by the following: Zoobles, My Little Ponies and Princess Polly Pockets. I think its magic is working. Soon, word will get out and the fairies are bound to come. We have recently put little Santa hats out and decorated the place for Christmas. I’m thinking that it’s enchanting- I think the fairies will agree.


Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.


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Upcoming Shows

Philadelphia Flower Show
PA Convention Center
March 5th-13th
Booth #Z-1002

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