garden inspiration

One of my long term goals is to settle into a home where I can have a pretty yard and flower garden.  Someday!  Meanwhile, I’m doing my best this spring to pot small plants here and there.  Here is some garden goodness to start your week.


I have an obsession with pea gravel.  It seems so quaint and adds such a classic vibe to a garden area or path.  Not sure what it’s like living with it day-to-day?  High maintenance?  Easy?  I imagine my young ones would play with the gravel or bring it inside for their trucks and Breyer horse farm set-ups.  Maybe I’ll ask Peter for pea gravel and a path for my birthday.  He wouldn’t know what to say.

This garden and design by Douglas VanderHorn is heart-stopping gorgeous.


I love how all of the main shrubs in the pic below are sculpted to give the area a more tailored feel.  And who could argue with hydrangeas growing in a big basket!  Last spring I planted the beautiful hydrangeas my children gave me for Mother’s Day and they slowly died in the ground despite my tending to them every other day.  Ugh!  #blackthumb


Sidenote:  Our oldest daughter took a gardening class at her school this year and learned all about growing vegetables.  She absolutely loved it!  Seaside Neighborhood School has a garden with raised beds where the students grow beautiful collards, broccoli, kale, and carrots with the gardening teacher.  Here’s my girl on the day the gardening class hosted a parent tour.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 7.52.57 AM

I’m toying with the idea of planting raised beds this spring, plus I’ll have a little helper with me who can share her knowledge.  Seems fairly doable?  Of course this is coming from the girl who can hardly manage to keep a succulent alive.  This raised garden is UNBELIEVABLE.  There’s that pea gravel again.


And this beauty.  Article on the how-to of this garden here.


Every gardener needs pretty tools.  Love these little dandies with their mint accent.


Another lovely raised garden.


What a beautiful saying.  How cute would this be framed in a potting shed!


So tell me, what are some good plants or veggies grow in a humid, hot, Florida climate…with a beginner gardener who is slightly errrrr, unskilled in the basic nurturing of plants?  I think I will need fairly hardy (or independent/survivalist) plants.  Any advice from green thumbs appreciated!

[photos via here and here]

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  1. Wendy A says:

    Pea gravel takes quite a bit of maintenance. We have a pea gravel patio edged in low evergreen shrubs; it leads up to our deck and this year it will be changed out for bluestone. The tiny pieces of gravel are mischief-makers! Sometimes when displaced by a step, they spill over into the edging and mingle with the mulch. Autumn leaves get caught in it and have to be picked out as using a leaf blower sends the gravel flying. You have to rake it to keep it smooth and pretty looking, otherwise you get a nice pattern of footprints. The tiny gravel gets caught in any type of lug sole shoe to be brought into the house and to scratch the hardwood floors. And worst of all, our lab puppy thinks its dessert so we have to constantly monitor that nosy little mouth to make sure she’s not eating rocks which can only be removed by surgery! Thankfully we haven’t had to go through surgery but that’s the main reason the gravel is leaving. I will miss the feel of it underneath a shoes and the pleasing crunch it makes when you step on it.

  2. Seleta says:

    Thank you for the detailed and helpful feedback, Wendy!


  3. staci amy says:

    This post is SO timely about the pea gravel!!!! I LOVE the way it looks…but if I am telling the absolute is kiiiiind of a pain to live with :( We placed it in our outdoor pavilion …for the floor…and every time we move the chairs…they have to re-settle themselves and sometimes catches guests off guard when they go to sit…and are not anticipating that extra inch down feeling :( The string lights we have hung up got (accidentally) knocked down (by a “helper” 12 year old boy with a pool net…long story…rod was extended out :( not good :) so little bits of glass went everywhere ;( and lastly, little bits of the gravel get carried into the pool on little feetsies :) I am sorry for the long story…but I was JUST talking to my husband last weekend saying…”no one ever tells you all these things …you just see the prettiness of it :)” Maybe I am a whimp and need to just suck it up???…but I can’t wait to hear what your awesome readers chime in and say!!!! I rarely comment but you bring so much lovely for everyone!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Seleta says:

    Thanks, Staci! It sounds like pea gravel might be best suited for someone who enjoys fussing with its frequent maintenance ; ) I know I would not have the time for that in this particular season of life. I appreciate you taking the time to share!


  5. Cindy says:

    There is also crushed rock which has a similar look but I believe is less maintenance. We are pondering gravels for our next home that is in the design phase right now. Nice to hear feedback from your readers. We love the look also but are worried about the little oak leaves that fall year round here in coastal South Carolina getting stuck and being difficult to remove. However we are seeing it used quite a bit here. Need to research more. Pretty garden inspirations in this post!

  6. L.A. says:

    My Grandfather used to be the County Agent for Walton Co. FL! How I wish he were still here. You would love to talk to him about gardening. He passed away two years ago, two weeks away from his 102 birthday!
    My Dad is just down the road from you, and in addition to all the regular things in his garden, my children have always loved it when he plants sugar cane! We cut it at Thanksgiving and it is so much fun!

  7. Zoe Borrowdale says:

    Living in a hilly city pea gravel has a tendency to ‘wander’ but some people have achieved the effect by using pea gravel set in a resin. Have no idea what it is called but it is very common in the UK especially on driveways.
    I have raised beds ,all the optimum 1.2 m wide, which makes them easy to tend from both sides.

  8. paula says:

    These are so dreamy!!! My garden is just starting to wake up and I could not be more thrilled. Keep at trying to make things grow. For years I killed everything and now I rarely have a mishap. Limelight hydrangeas are better for our crazy heat and pretty hardy. Maybe you could give them a go? They are big and white and love the sun/heat.

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    SeletaI‘m Seleta, a city girl living the beach life with my family. A former TV personality turned designer, I love to share the sparkly side of life. Read more here.
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