I am so excited and humbled to share with you that I have been featured in the publication In Her Garden. This magazine invites readers to explore the inspiring outdoor spaces of women who share a passion for making things grow. I am honored to be included amongst so many incredible women in this inspiring and creative premier issue.
For my friends and blog readers, I have included my article, Expressing Myself Through My Garden, below. I also encourage you to explore this exciting new publication in its entirety to experience the stories of the other amazing women included in this issue. For more information and to purchase a copy, visit In Her Garden Volume 1 | Stampington & Company.
Being included in publications like this one never gets old! You may remember that I was also featured in In Her Studio in the Summer of 2021. Seeing myself and my work on the pages of these beautiful magazines makes me so grateful to reach more people and inspire them to create beauty in their homes and outdoor spaces. In a blog post from May 2021, “In her studio” featuring WM Design House, I answer some questions about the process of being in a magazine, so if you’re curious, be sure to check it out!
Expressing Myself Through My Garden
I have been fascinated with gardens and gardening from a very young age, when I would watch my grandmother plant bulbs in the local park. We would walk the dogs through the park and enjoy watching the progress of the bulbs growing. My mother worked vigorously to plant flowers and vegetables around our home’s yard, and encouraged us kids to help. My mother and I would plant a vegetable garden in the spring and reap the benefits over the summer and fall, picking our fresh produce to make salads and vegetable sides for dinner. We also raised chickens, creating potent fertilizer to make our gardens vibrant, healthy, and prolific. Some people see their yards as an unnecessary addition to their house — our family looked at our yard as an extension of our home.
We not only loved to plant in our own gardens but we also loved to visit others as well. Whether it was a city park, an arboretum, or just growth on the side of the road, I was all in for a visit. I have fond memories of picking bittersweet with my grandmother when we would see it growing on the side of a road. We would use what we found in nature to create a beautiful craft project. The bittersweet would usually end up in a wreath on our front door for the fall season.
It seems I have always had some type of garden, whether shared with family at a young age or one of my own when I was older. Naturally, as my family grew, our house size and subsequent garden grew. I’ve enjoyed all kinds of gardens, from vegetable to cutting, rose, and English, and even all simultaneously.
Currently, I live in a 125-year-old home surrounded by old, established live oaks, magnolia trees, and 100-year-old wisteria vines. Living here for 25 years has given me time to plant and develop my current gardens. Every part of my yard that has space for gardening has been thought out carefully and planted — if it didn’t have a building or hardscape, it became a garden.
My most inspiring gardens and the most prolific gardens on my property are my English cottage gardens.
I use a mad mix of flowers and plants to create an environment that is structured yet unstructured. The theme is more functional than form, with perennials and annual flowers mixed with vegetables and other plants to form an engaging atmosphere. We have created hardscape pathways connecting the gardens and leading to my “she shed” and planting garden area. My she shed also acts as my studio and workspace, where I create and dream about my many projects and gardens. My planting garden consists of a potting bench, old vintage scaffolding decorated with vintage watering cans and rusty treasures I have collected over the years, as well as a large farm table where we entertain guests. Strands of market lights with homemade garden chandeliers hang over the table and create an inviting atmosphere.
I love the width and breadth of plants that encompass my English cottage garden. The ability to plant roses with small shrubs and perennials gives me the chance to be flexible and creative. I also plant a cutting garden every spring, starting with seeds in small pots. I like to stick to a specific color palette of most variations of pink and white, with a little bit of purple and yellow. A white picket fence frames our home and my cottage garden areas.
In addition to my many plants, I have an assortment of unusual art pieces throughout my gardens
All these pieces have a special meaning to me, from a hand-welded metal garden bench my son created from an old car fender, to a mining cart I purchased from an estate sale, to a vintage arch that says “The Secret Garden” that was given to me by an exceptional friend. I also have several water fountains scattered throughout the garden; one of my favorites is an old tractor till that my husband turned into a gorgeous fountain for me. The variety of plants and objects of art create an exciting and visual environment that keeps my mind engaged, and visitors love it. My garden makes me feel relaxed, invigorated, and creative.
A beautiful garden and outdoor spaces are an extension of your home. Living in Southern California with such beautiful weather allows us to use these spaces for almost 12 months of the year, so we often entertain and dine in the garden. I also host a weekly program live from my garden called “Meet Me in the She Shed” that airs on Instagram at 10 a.m. on Thursdays, on which I teach and demonstrate many gardening and craft ideas for the home. Soon, I will be adding a YouTube channel. I like to look at my garden as an outlet for self-expression and creativity. One of the loveliest feelings is to have someone walk through my yard and compliment my garden environment.
Escaping from life’s everyday challenges into the garden has given me the ability to rejuvenate and has created fulfillment for my creative lifestyle. Everyone needs to find their creative outlet, and my garden is one of mine.
Be sure to check out the other amazing and talented women also featured in this volume of In Her Garden
Kayla Lobermeier – Under A Tin Roof
Stephanie Rose – Garden Therapy
Amanda Collins – GardenView
Tracey Hiebert – The Hydrangea Farmhouse
Vanessa Valencia – A Fanciful Twist
Venise Cunningham – Simple Goodness Sisters
Rachel MCaffee – Fawn
Meg McAndrews – Seed to Fork
Jane Peet –Jayne Margaret Photography
Lisa Steele – Fresh Eggs Daily
Julie Abrera – Beaumont House Design
Beth Billstrom – More Than Oregano
Ashlie Blake – Ashlie Blake Art
Cindy Fortin – Upcycle Design Lab
Melinda Barnett – Bees on Pie
Tanya Anderson – Lovely Greens
Johanna Love – @lovejohannalove
Laura Heller – Call Me a Hippie
Jennifer Swift – Well Crafted Studio
Kristy Doubet Haare – Life-N-Reflection
Patty Carley – Patrcia Carley
Leah Martorana – She Paints Promise
Tamara Elmore – Tam in the Garden
Chantelle Kinakin – City Girl Flower Farm
Kecia Deveney – Kecia Deveney
She Keene – A Girl Like Me