HOME AND GARDEN
I write SEO-optimized content for national brands and publications featuring home and garden design, indoor-outdoor lifestyle, home improvement, sustainable living, and "garden tourism," a travel niche that bridges nature, design, culture, and heritage. My award-winning and Webby-nominated blog, Urban Gardens, has a loyal following of over 268,000 readers and social followers. Urban Gardens publishes brand-sponsored content and commerce features, including gift and buyer's guides.
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HOME AND GARDEN
With 42 species and over 50,000 named dahlia cultivars, there are many things about this flower that even the most accomplished gardener may not know. Some fun dahlia facts: Dahlias are native to Mexico and were a long-established staple in Aztec gardens before Spanish botanists in the 16th century discovered them growing there in the wild...
Excitement about gardening has grown over the past few years and produced a huge crop of new gardeners that will continue to blossom. Many new gardeners plan to garden more and are looking forward to experimenting with new plant varieties and styles!
Do you long for a food garden that's both productive and beautiful? You may be envisioning a potager, an ornamental French kitchen garden that blends design with function. During medieval times, monks in French monasteries cultivated "potagers" for growing the ingredients for a thick soup called potage.
The best outdoor bar carts are convenient and stylish stations for wheeling out a feast or mixing up some cocktails. See our list of top picks.
After summer's scorching heat, autumn's cooler temps have arrived, signaling the time to plant spring-blooming bulbs. Fall-planted bulbs may not offer instant gratification but will provide post-winter blooms worth the wait. Depending on where you garden, you may need to pre-chill your bulbs before planting them in the fall.
Whether you have a few pots or a house plant jungle, you'll need some essential indoor gardening tools to maintain a flourishing indoor garden.
When most flowers tuck in for the night, others only open their petals after dark. After the sun sets and the moon rises, night-blooming flowers put on a pageant of bright-white and silvery or pale-colored blooms, their petals reflecting against the moonlight to set the garden aglow.
The best outdoor sinks are weather-resistant, durable, easy to maintain, and multifunctional. Learn which features to look for and see our top picks.
Densely populated cities have limited space for cultivating gardens. But despite the constraints, you can still live in a city and take advantage of one of these opportunities for exercising your green thumb. Urban gardening is simply the process of growing plants within an urban environment.
With changing weather patterns, the new normal appears to include increased droughts and major wildfires, conditions that cry out for designing a fire-resistant garden. In wildfire-prone areas with low rainfall and dry vegetation, it's essential - and often enforced by local ordinances - to create more resilient landscapes with fire safety in mind.
Produce a bountiful harvest of sweet, juicy fruit by nourishing your plants with the best fertilizer for watermelon. See our top picks.
A small, narrow garden presents some challenges, but by embracing the footprint and employing some narrow garden design ideas, you can turn those challenges into opportunities. Susan Morrison, landscape designer and co-author of "Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces," believes narrow spaces can actually become the most interesting gardens.
Store-bought flowers can't match the freshness and cost-effectiveness of seasonal blooms picked right from your own cut flower garden. Draw inspiration from floral designers on how to cut a bouquet of flowers to add color, style, fragrance and beauty to any environment.
Don't despair if your garden's footprint isn't huge - a small plot or patio is enough space for growing a variety of small fruit plants. A fruit garden may require a little patience as many fruits don't provide the near-instant gratification that most vegetables do.
Ever wonder why purple is traditionally the color attributed to royalty? Throughout most of history, only the royal families could afford to purchase the indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) dye that produced a deep vibrant bluish-purple—in fact, indigo became so valuable that for a time people traded cubes of it as currency.
Learn what to add to the bottom of your planter to promote aeration without adding weight or expense - plus some things to avoid (including gravel!). Filling up a large pot with potting mix is expensive and makes for a really heavy planter.
With an increasing interest in biodiversity and sustainable gardening practices that rely on natural pest-control methods, naturalistic approaches to gardening are growing in popularity.
Dig into our list of the best gifts for gardeners of every level. A cultivated selection from seed to after harvest, we've selected gifts for vegetable gardeners and flower lovers alike, from essential tools and accessories to garden experiences and courses that educate and inspire.
As interest in edible gardens continues to grow, a creative culinary cocktail culture has emerged and with it, the cocktail garden - the liquid offspring of the locavore and the farm-to-table movement, bolstered by the growing popularity of craft distilleries. "Garden-to-glass" cocktails include herbs, fruits, and vegetables freshly plucked one moment and the next becoming part of a cocktail.
Variety is the spice of life and that goes for growing fruits and vegetables. If you've been growing vegetables in a raised bed, plot or pot, you can easily add in some fruits to diversify your harvest. You can incorporate many fruits right into your existing vegetable beds, interplanting them with herbs and flowering plants.
Explore how to create an outdoor vertical garden using different garden styles.
Natural stone has a place in every garden. As a complement or counterpoint to plants, stones and rocks add depth, dimension, texture and color to the garden. When landscaping with stones and plants, draw inspiration from how many global cultures use stones and rocks in their landscaping design, from Zen sanctuaries to Mediterranean gardens.
Don't let a small footprint keep you from producing a big yield. Learn how to make a garden on your deck or patio that will not only be beautiful but will also provide you with a bountiful harvest in a limited amount of space.
Imagine pinching off your favorite herbs from a vertical herb garden outdoors just steps from your kitchen or patio table. With its spectrum of colors and textures, a productive and aromatic herb wall will provide months of fresh culinary herbs and also double as ornamentals.
A potted tree defines an entryway, brings nature to an urban space and provides a focal point in any garden. Growing trees in pots restricts their growth, making them perfect for small spaces or indoor gardens. Although some trees grow better in the ground, many thrive in containers.
From the earliest of times, people have communed around the campfire, telling tales and sharing personal stories. Gathering around the fire brings us together, and a backyard fire pit is the perfect spot to kick back and relax. Fire pits provide ambiance, warmth, light, and a place to gather and entertain.
The continuing pandemic has a lot of folks rethinking how to manage life in the new normal. Planned vacations have become staycations. The commute to work for many remains a walk from the bedroom to the kitchen table, and some dining rooms have morphed into classrooms. Living and working in the same space leaves many yearning for an escape pod.
You've pruned, pinched and picked basketfuls of aromatic herbs. Now you have an overabundance and need to preserve some of those fresh herbs from the garden so they'll last through the winter.
With college dorm move-in day around the corner, it's time to think about how to personalize this space. Maybe you've already snagged colorful bedding, a rug, and some colorful wall decor. Now bring your dull dorm room to life with potted plants and some of these über cool indoor garden pieces.
Backyards, patios, decks, and terraces can benefit from creating separation to establish different outdoor rooms. Think it of it as creating multiple living experiences.
Succulents, a broad group of arid plants that store water in their leaves or stems, are perfect for busy, forgetful, or novice gardeners because they're easy to grow and don't require much water or maintenance.
Like the uninvited houseguest that never leaves, weeds can stretch the limits of your patience and have you dreaming up creative strategies for getting rid of them. The common conception is that they are all bad and unwelcome, but do they have any redeeming qualities?
Drying food has become an ever more popular method of preserving one's homegrown harvest. Drying foods is simple. Start small and experiment with your various homegrown fruits and veggies to find the ones you like best.
Hardy, soil-less air plants double as home décor. Discover air plant facts, good options to start with, how to care for them and more. Air plants don't require soil or even containers, just a supportive spot to hang out. Relatively easy to grow and maintain, they are a great choice for those not endowed with a green thumb.
You're down on your hands and knees engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the weeds, sweat pouring down your neck as you pull them out one by one. It's getting tiresome, but you know that yanking them out by the root is one of the best ways to ensure the suckers won't return.
After a year we would all like to forget, colorful spring-blooming tulips will be a welcome feast for the eye as well as the palate. From the same botanical family as onions and garlic, tulips are one of many edible flowers.
Most people think about fertilizing the lawn in spring. However, as the weather begins to cool in autumn, applying fertilizer will prepare the grass for winter and the following spring, Known as winterizer fertilizers or winterizers, these fertilizers serve a different purpose from spring fertilizers.
Ah, the elusive dream of working from home. No more commuting, no more "business casual," no more overpriced lunches scarfed down in ten minutes standing up. Along with this comes the freedom to make your own schedule, wake up when you want, work in your pajamas if you feel like it, and travel at any time as long as you have your laptop.
That generous bounty of fresh vegetables harvested from your garden won't last forever. Learn how to dehydrate vegetables, a simple and affordable way to extend the life of your yield and fill your larder for the winter. Properly dehydrated vegetables will keep in the pantry for six months to a year.
You don't need to have a large garden space to grow fresh herbs. Modular pocket planters are an easy way to design your own ornamental or edible living wall by planting up instead of out.
Solar power is everywhere––solar-powered clothing and backpacks that charge your gadgets on the go, solar-powered camping tents, Tesla's solar roof shingles, and even keyless solar bike locks that alert you if someone tries to nab your wheels.
Hydroponics is a form of agriculture where plant roots grow, not in soil, but in nutrient-enriched water. It's a great method for growing food indoors and in small spaces. With the addition of automatic controls, it can be nearly maintenance-free.
As a traveler with lifelong wanderlust, I can really appreciate the Bohemian or "Boho-chic" style, a carefree and spirited aesthetic adopted from the Romanis (as self-described), a nomadic ethnic group most refer to as "gypsies."
For gardeners and non-gardeners alike, here's my curated collection of 23 gardening gifts for Mother's Day-including some delicious finds for relaxation.
Valentine's Day is a good excuse (not that we ever need one) to celebrate a significant or sorta-significant other, and don't forget dear friends. Stay home, break out some bubbly and raise a glass to those you appreciate and love.
Gift ideas for the plantsman, pitmaster, outdoor entertainer, gamer, and gearhead.
Just as with learning to walk, children learn best by doing rather than by watching. Gardening with kids is filled with exploration, education, and fun, allowing them to experience things firsthand and participate in active learning. Working in a garden inspires creativity, develops nurturing skills, and empowers kids to make choices, thus giving them a sense of pride in their accomplishments.
Stock your pantry with preserved foods like salsas, vegetable relishes, fruit jams and jellies, pickled vegetables and fruits, soups, and much more. Besides canning, there are a few other methods for preserving fruits and veggies-freezing, drying, and salting-but in this post, we'll cover home canning methods.
At any given time, your garden might contain over 2,000 species of insects. Some of these are pests, the kind you don't want in your garden because they destroy your flowers and vegetables. But many others are beneficial insects, the kind you want to attract because they work with you to control pests and pollinate flowers.
March 26, 2021 by Robin Plaskoff Horton Mimicking the natural environment, EVA is an aquaponic planter system and light fixture designed as a modern piece of indoor furniture. Although robust enough for use in restaurants, Hong Kong designer Francois Hurtaud designed the planter for novices as it assembles easily with no tools other than a pair of hands.
Here's a great way to extend and blend the boundaries between indoors and out. For a designer show house where I helped convert a potting shed into a Creative Garden Retreat, I upcycled ordinary terra cotta garden pots into cool pendant lamps. It was easy: We reclaimed a few used pots, turned them upside down, added [...]
Time for some outdoor games. How about mixing it up with these concrete slab puzzle tiles interspersed with grass? They're chic and witty and let you play on the patio.
TRAVEL / GARDEN TOURISM
Chefs at "agrihotels" plan their menus according to what is growing in the garden, where some or most of the hotel's produce is harvested moments before it appears on the plate. Eat healthy and sleep well at these 8 farm-to-table hotel restaurants.
Looking for a break with the family, a romantic getaway with a significant other, or perhaps even a solo retreat? We've connected with local experts across the country to put together some of the best weekend getaways in the whole of the United States.
We could begin the day slowly and leisurely with no plans other than to focus on being together as we hadn't been in years. Spontaneous trips out of town, a staycation at the local B&B, or just indulging a bit beyond what previous parental limits would typically allow with kids back at home.
New Orleans The festivities begin as soon as I step into the streetcar. I sit next to a woman wearing a large hat adorned with flowers, illuminated by tiny, white lights. This might seem a bit odd anywhere else, but I'm in N'awlins, where nobody needs a reason to don a costume or have a parade.
From Winston-Salem's vibrant contemporary urban center, Old Salem is just a 10 minute drive, yet it's centuries away. Visitors to the North Carolina historic town travel back 250 years to experience 100 of America's most authentic and comprehensive collections of eighteenth century restored homes, buildings, and gardens.
South Carolina's Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is home to the oldest restored gardens in America with some areas of the property more than 325 years old.
New Orleans is always in bloom. Despite its intermittent searing heat and stifling humidity--and the knowledge that a hurricane can and has at various times destroyed much of New Orleans--locals in the Big Easy always find a way to regroup, restore, and replant.
The history of Girona, Spain is as colorful as the ochre and coral-toned buildings lining the banks of the Onyar river that flows through this ancient city. Gustave Eiffel built a bridge there ten years before designing his eponymous tower in Paris. Jews and Arabs once lived side by side in harmony within the city's medieval walls, and legendary Tour du Monde cyclists take advantage of Girona's mild weather and varied terrain to train there.
Like the nearby open fields where La Calendula's owner/chef Iolanda Bustos forages for flowers and herbs, her restaurant's exposed kitchen resembles a verdant theater in the round, a center stage surrounded by the colorful bounty she gathers every day between lunch and dinner seatings.
Before my recent two-day road trip through Northwest Arkansas, I had visions of Ma and Pa Kettle-type folks sitting on front porches strumming banjos while drinking moonshine and smoking corncob pipes. No, the Arkansas I experienced was nothing like that. Northwest Arkansas Pig Trail scenic byway. Photo via The Crescent Hotel and Spa.
From the street, one would never guess that hidden behind centuries-old plaster walls and a set of wooden doors marked 3201, there stood a magnificent narrative of Venetian history, art, and culture. Pass through the entrance and you step back centuries into the Palazzo Capello Malipiero Barnabò, the Countess Anna Barnabò's sumptuous antique-filled palace with verdant gardens that spill onto Venice's Grand Canal.
The model for its contemporary American cousin, The High Line, Paris's Promenade Plantée--also known as the Coulée Verte or "Flowing Green"--was the world's first and only elevated park before its New York relative spawned numerous followers, including Chicago's Bloomingdale Trail, Philadelphia's Reading Viaduct, Rotterdam's Hofplein station, and [...]
Although I have lived in Paris and visit every year, there are neighborhoods I've not fully explored. So when my friend Anne offered me her apartment in the posh 16e, well, I couldn't refuse. The place had two terraces and a view of the Eiffel Tower through the kitchen window. I've never met Anne except on Twitter, but I consider her a friend–a generous one. (Who says social media is impersonal?)
For Mardi Gras in New Orleans last year, I donned a pair of gold lamé pants, a feathered hat encrusted with shiny sequins and a colorful mask (not the kind we're all wearing today), then joined my neighbors and other revelers to cheer as the parade of floats, dancers and marching bands passed by.
You won't accidentally stumble onto Gibbons Rent, a tiny narrow cut-through between Magdalen and Bermondsey Streets in London SE1. Tucked away in the shadow of the towering spire-like skyscraper known as The Shard and close to the busy London Bridge train station, the garden is so obscure that even my taxi driver could not easily locate it with the GPS.
LIFESTYLE / GENERAL
Both casual cooks and celebrity chefs flock to their local farmers' markets to avail themselves of the freshest locally grown produce straight from the farm. In addition to produce, farmers' market visitors will also find regional and artisanal items such as baked goods, dairy products, grass-fed meats and free-range eggs, locally cultivated flowers, prepared foods, and even local crafts.
You've likely strolled through garden centers stocked with hundreds of ubiquitous terra cotta nursery flower pots in the usual shapes and sizes. But did you know that this simple pottery is descended from ancestors who played a significant role in human history dating back to the [...]
The novel Cornavirus has inspired some novel ideas. From personal glass greenhouses at an Amsterdam restaurant, stuffed pandas occupying chairs in a Bangkok eatery, to pool noodle hats at a cafe in Germany, people are exercising their collective creativity to maintain social distancing and make it safe to go out again.
Hidden within a 6.4-acre botanical garden in Mexico City's Santa Marîa la Ribera district lies an abandoned factory transformed into as a vast greenhouse garden filled with aromatic native plants. The disused space is on the grounds of the botanical garden surrounding the city's Vasconcelos Library, an imposing steel and glass building designed by Mexican architect Alberto Kalach.
As the global pandemic continues with many people still working from home, large amounts of urban office space remain empty. To offset consequential disruptions to the food supply chains, a group of Finnish digital agtech entrepreneurs has come up with a novel idea for turning these spaces into smart urban farms. The folks at iFarm [...]