Thursday, May 1, 2014

Your SGD Gift Guide for Mother's Day

I've been a mama for almost 29 years!

Here is my brood on a Mother's Day some twenty years ago.

Here are a few things that I most enjoy
either doing with or receiving from my children...
your mother may like these ideas, too!

Outdoor dining

these beautiful French hand towels for the kitchen

breakfast in bed!

A day on the beach with my ducklings :) 

something functional yet fancy for my beach bike
Riverknoll Bike Basket

something to protect the gardener from the sun!
(I have been wearing mine for 15 years!)

a trip together... a day long or a week long!
Your mama may also enjoy a gift card
 to use South Gate Design
for her garden, containers or help with landscape design.

Happy Mother's Day!



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mother Nature has heard us whine all winter

and has decided to respond, despite all of our grumblings, 

with SPRING!






Friday, March 14, 2014


How to make people smile!

What you will need.

Two bunches of flowers.  
These were $5 each,
 one sleeve of green and one sleeve of white flowers 
in honor of 
St. Patty's Day.

Grab a vessel.
This small square shape is a great choice,
and costs less than $5.
Find a similar vase at Michael's or Walmart.

   A soup can (think Andy Warhol),
 a naked soup can,
a mason jar, 
 a jelly jar from Trader Joe's
will also work.

All of these
 small containers
 easy to transport.

In this case,
 you want to go for
 a tight, low arrangement. 
It is all in the container, no skill required.

Hold the flower next to the vase
 decide on how short to cut the stem.

Cut the stem on an angle to increase the surface area,
 which will allow more water uptake.

Fill the container with the bigger white flowers
 then stick in 5-7 of the green button flowers.

Send this to your child's teacher on  St. Patty's day
(the teacher's pet)
 place it on a coffee table
 for a little
 nod to the Irish.
You have all of these flowers leftover for more gifts!

Pick up a coffee cup at a consignment shop

 pick up a large latte cup at Anthropologie and fill it with flowers!

Take a vase,
 cup of flowers
 literally just one flower in a vase
 to someone who is under the weather,
 to that friend who listened until you chewed her ear off,
 to the neighbor that you haven't spoken to all winter,
to anyone who needs a smile!

It is a win-win!

You will get
 worth more than a
pot of gold!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Get going.

Life is short,
 be the light
 make someone



Monday, March 3, 2014

Found a NEW HOTTIE...

 in the houseplant arena! 

(Beautiful shop of houseplants in Ljubliana, Slovenia)

It is the Streptocarpus or the Cape Primrose.

and is kin to the African Violet, but showier!

Some of the varieties look like
 and some look like giant African Violets!

No houseplant is foolproof but the 
Cape Primrose
 is easy to grow in bright, indirect light
 and needs water when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Easy as that!

The Cape Primrose
will make 



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Put a blanket on it!

Lillian Charles, my daughter and my wardrobe consultant…(yes, I have my own stylist and everybody should have one)...just wrote on FB about bundling up for the cold.

 Wait a minute, is that my plaid shirt 
I have one identical to that!  
Going to check my closet.  
Ok, that one is hers.

Well, back to the cold.

 I will not belabor the part about it being cold as snizzle out there. 
  That is all anyone can talk about, 
so if you are breathing today 
you probably know it is COLD!  

You know the temperatures 
will be 
sinking like a submarine 
as the sun goes down.
Don a hat,
  put on a
 go out and cover all
 of your green tender plants. 
 burlap fabric, 
burlap sacks,
beach towels
or anything else
 that is snuggly
needs to be

 Now run out
 wrap those plants
 before you have to venture
 into the 
subfreezing temperatures
 the sun goes down.

When the cold snap is gone, 
you will still have beautiful green plants!

  When the sun comes out and it warms up tomorrow, uncover the plants so they can breathe and see the sun!

Repeat as necessary.  

If you don't' cover up the plants and they die, call me!

I can get you more!!


Friday, December 20, 2013


If you are still trying to find a gift for the flower lover or dirt digger in your life, hurry because time has "FLEWN" and Christmas will be here real soon!

The Flower Recipe Book, from the fabulous founders of Studio Choo in San Francisco, is a wonderful book on how to bring nature and beauty into your home.  My daughter Julia gave me this book for Christmas last year and it still makes me smile almost 365 days later!.  I have followed these two artists for awhile; I guarantee you, they will inspire!

Order online or pick this up from Anthropologie,
Also available on Amazon.

The top to this vase-jar (found on Ebay, who knew?!) has a built in frog so you simply place your flowers into the squares of the top of the container  Your flowers will have "just stay!" power and will not flop around.  Brilliant concept.

Plus it has that zinc look which I am wild about.  

Speaking of zinc ("antiqued" zinc is best), has an aged crusty look pairs perfectly with a conservative, neat bouquet as well as a wildly fluid handful of field flowers.  

pro tip: take one of these with you as you gather flowers from your garden
to keep the flowers together and hydrated.

from Houzz

If it comes in Hermes-orange, I'll take two!
That means two "Dramm Hoses" for me please, honey!  
Available at West Elm (currently shipping for free) 
and Walmart

(Guess which one is cheaper?)

The Dramm Hose
at Walmart or West Elm

Not your average trowel.
This little ditty has a stainless steel blade: rust-free for life!

pro tip: colored tape on the handles of your gardening utensils makes it easier 
to find them as your tools get scattered around the yard… I know, brilliant. 

Available at Home Depot

I'm obsessed with this copper vertical planter.
This is a great way to grow herbs on an outside porch off of your
kitchen or indoors if you have a super sunny location.


These low boots are made by
Le Chameau.
They're French.  Obviously.
One for you, one for me.  Next!

Le Chameau Terrain

A Gift Certificate
South Gate Design
 is a thoughtful, personal gift for someone
 who loves a beautiful garden
 but is lacking time (or the green thumb gene).

Drag & print this 
.jpg gift certificate
 for someone special on your list!

Have a joy-filled Christmas!