I was perusing my former garden blog and came across one of my favorite posts from 2011...a little ditty on garden sheds.  Here is the post as written...

Can functional structures like sheds be beautiful too? 

As we decorated ours with corn stalks a couple of weeks ago I realized how lucky we were to have such a lovely, vibrant shed in our garden. I then realized our neighborhood was filled with similar structures...some old, some new, but all stunning. They all store tools (and some even chickens), plus garden ephemera. Each one has an intriguing beauty. 

Rather than build a typical shed in your yard, create a functional masterpiece that becomes an integral component of your garden. 

Our fun orange garden shed designed and constructed by my husband.
Our neighbor's garden shed and chicken coop to the east of our house. 
A shaker-like shed and beautiful worn brick a couple of houses to the north.
The oldest and most detailed shed in our neighborhood located just to the northeast.
A big thanks to all of our neighbors for letting me tromp through your yards, move around your garden tools and allowing me to flip your light switches on and off to take these photos.

If you'd like to read more articles like this one, please sign up for my email updates here.



For the past few days I've had the pleasure of taking a hand-lettering workshop through Skillshare with the talented Mary Kate McDevitt. We had to pick a quote, go through a series of warm-up exercises, then finally create a final hand-lettered composition. I created three, then plan to create a print with one of them. Let me know if you have a favorite.

You may wonder about the garden sprinkles. Sprinkles are those sweet details that you place throughout your garden to make it extra special.  These may include art, lighting, paint, furniture, wind chimes, etc.

If you'd like to read more articles like this one, please sign up for my email updates here.



Let me tell you a little secret about garden design. It's important to keep your livable spaces positive.

What do I mean? Often we'll lay out beds, think about their shapes meticulously, plop them in our yard, then fill them with plants...creating a negative space for our main livable area. This main area becomes leftover space, even though it should be the main focus of our garden. The main space is often the lawn (though it could be a patio or deck too). This is very similar to rooms in your house.  Each room has a strong shape with walls that reinforce it.
Try designing this way instead...

1. Identify where you would like your main lawn area.
2. Determine what shape it should be...an oval, square, circle, kidney bean, etc.
3. Keep the bed lines clean and/or in broad strokes (not a lot of small wiggles).
4. Place planting beds and plant materials to reinforce your shape (along the outer edge, not in the middle).
5. Now you have an amazing garden where you can place garden furniture, read a book, have a picnic or play a little croquet.
A couple of thoughts...though the positive garden I'm showing you above is formal, your garden does not have to be.  This process works for both formal and informal gardens.  Also, your lawn shapes do not have to be totally surrounded by plants.  You can place them sparingly to still give the idea of a lawn shape, without totally enclosing it.

In the end, I want you to remember that garden design is about creating space.  This space is formed by plants and hardscapes, but you must always remember to create the space first.

If you'd like to read more articles like this one, please sign up for my email updates here.



Making all that pesto inspired me to pull all my recent herb illustrations into one print. You can find out more about this print in my Etsy Shop.  I also have a digital version available here.



As I've been drawing food the last few years I've become more brave in trying some classic recipes. One of these is pesto. I happened to be paging through a magazine one day and came across this recipe and was shocked with it's simplicity.

I actually had most of the ingredients tucked into my cabinets, garden and refrigerator. The missing ingredient, pine nuts, was given to me by a friend (after I traded some fresh strawberries with her). I hate to admit that even though I was growing basil in the garden, I really didn't appreciate it's lovely scent until I prepared it into pesto.

My first batch was amazing, so a few weeks later I made a larger batch, then froze it in ice cube trays.  I plan to use these throughout the winter and mix them into pasta, potatoes, spaghetti sauce and whatever else needs a little extra flavor.


1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 cups of fresh basil
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In a food processor, finely chop 1/2 clove of garlic.
Add 1/4 cup of pine nuts and grind.
Add 2 cups of basil and process with 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and process to combine.
Season with salt and pepper.

This recipe is from Whole Living Magazine.  Their recipe is written in a more flexible format so you can mix in different herbs, nuts and cheese for different tastes.

 If you'd like to read more articles like this one, please sign up for my email updates here.