The Lure of Undiscovered Beauty – A Brief Glance at Motivation

It’s a regular ritual – I strap on my walking shoes, set out to “get my exercise”, then begin scanning my route with hawk-like observation to discover that plant that I’ve never seen before or spot the hidden garden of a yet unknown gardening soulmate. Sometimes I return simply sweaty and ruefully satisfied the fresh air and accomplishing my 12,000 Garmin steps are good for my heart. But sometimes I uncover a gem along the way, as I did today, and my heart always benefits from viewing the beauty of nature and the passion of gardeners around me.


Iochroma cyaneum cultivar

While in my hometown of Macon, Georgia for a high school reunion, I took off this morning for a long walk in an area that I’d never walked before. I looked up to see the entryway to a home that hinted at being a botanical delight. Mr. Willingham, the homeowner, just happened to be adding a few new plants when I walked by.

Angel Trumpet

Angel Trumpet – Brugmansia

After a few minutes chatting about the unique tropical plants at his entryway, he asked if I would like to see the rest of the garden.


Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii – Turk’s Cap.

What followed was a beautiful wooded winding walk through 35 years of gardening love around the home of Mr & Mrs Willingham . Even in drought-stressed, mid-autumn condition, this art-accented garden showed pops of bright color like Turks Cap and Butterfly Weed Asclepsias .


Nestled garden art

Along a sloping bank was a harvest of lantana for a hord of butterflies.


A hidden treasure of a garden, a delightful conversation with a fellow garden geek newly met, and once again confirmation that there are so many beautiful places in the world around me yet to be discovered.

So I’ll keep on walking.


Pots Gone Wild! Easy DYI Weekend Project – Transforming a Planter into a Water-Feature

Adding a water-feature is not as daunting as some may think. And making that water-feature using a Crescent Garden light-weight planter means that you don’t have to hire extra muscle to get the planter to your home. Check out this easy transformation from planter to fountain that John Atkerson put together. John is the founder of Three Lions Garden Center located in Bowling Green, KY.


Growing Up Crescent

Growing Up Crescent – While at ‪#‎garden2grow‬ ‪#‎mossmountainfarm‬ with P. Allen Smith 25 social media influencers took a few minutes to learn about Crescent Garden planters and the history behind them from Crescent’s owner Paula Douer. They then were able to go back in time and pretend to be 7 year olds to compete in creating miniature gardens in a Crescent Garden Juno planter. The result was lots of laughter and a little bit magical.
Growing Up Crescent Video

Growing Up Crescent from barbara wise on Vimeo.

Miniature garden furniture came from Fairy Homes and Gardens, potting soil was provided by Good Dirt, plants are Proven Winners plants, those fabulous planters are from Crescent Garden, and the vibrant personalities of the folks pictured are all their own.

Social influencers pictured:

Michelle Slatalla

Jason Ambrosino

Brittany May

Penny Ausley

Rachael Brugger

Jennifer Burke

Melissa Caughey

David Ellis

Sara Gasbara

Daniel Bear Hunley

Amy Renea Kauffman

Luke & Sindy Marion

Nick & Allison McCullough

Russell McLendon

Tara Nolan

Gary Pilarchik

Jennifer Prock 

Stephanie Rose 

Nancy Wallace 

Max Wastler

Kristy Wicks 

Monica Willis

Brett Youmans


Spring at Franklin Park Conservatory

I’ll just let the pictures tell the story of Franklin Park Conservatory this spring.

Chihuly ceiling

Crescent Garden planters flanking the spiral staircase.


Win a Crescent Garden Planter!

How about starting off spring with a new Crescent Garden planter? Lightweight, durable, and attractive, these planters are your plants’ best friend with their double walled insolation, large cavity for plenty of soil, and food-safe, completely recyclable #2 resin material. Head over to their Facebook page for a chance to win one of their planters!

Crescent Garden planter giveaway – click here.


A Year of Gardens – Day 29

The Getty  – Los Angeles 


A Year of Gardens – Day 26

A summer visit at JJ DeSousa’s home in Portland 2014. Viva de colores. I think that is French, or Italian, or just some language I mangled where I’m trying to say, “Look at all this great color!!”

Jj De Sousa, a Portland designer, lives life in color.

Charlotte Weychan in a pensive moment

Her home is a reflection of her eclectic and fun shop Digs – Inside and Out.

Doesn’t everyone dream of a three carrot gate? 

Check out the old pigeon coops on the wall growing succulents


A Year of Gardens – Day 24

Last January the Colonel and I were in Kauai, Hawaii and were able to visit Allerton Botanic Garden.  There was much to see in design and flowering plants that were stunning, but the roots on the Giant Australian Fig Trees (Moreton Bay Figs) kept me mesmerized. Wouldn’t it be fun to grow up playing hide and seek among these roots?                      



A Year of Gardens – Day 23

 For all my friends who’ve been blinded by the white of the last few days of snow, here’s a little color from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles gardens. (Pictures taken this September 2015)


A Year of Gardens – Day 22

Gardening is not just about the plants or design, but the weather that controls the life of those plants. This snowstorm will leave many plants damaged and many others sheltered from the cold. And it leaves me with visions of beauty.