Friday, March 29, 2013

Exclusive Interview with P. Allen Smith

You all know how I love tulips, especially pink ones. 
So, while I was reading through my Instagram and began to see photos of pink tulips posted by internationally renowned garden and lifestyle expert, P. Allen Smith, I just had to know what was going on. Lucky for us, P. Allen was happy to share about his beautification project.  Looks like Little Rock is getting beautified...tulip style! Read on for the details.
Mayor Mark Stodola, P. Allen Smith, Sharon Priest

PPT: What's the background for the March Tulip Madness project? Is this a beautification project you participate in/lead annually? If so, is it always with tulips or was that new this year? 
PAS: I’m a big believer in creating green, or in this case pink, areas in urban spaces, especially in my own city. I love Little Rock, so I’m particularly dedicated to doing help in the revitalization of downtown. I talked with Mayor Mark Stodola, and we came up with March Tulip Madness 2013. One of my sponsors, Van Zyverden, supplied the city with the bulbs and we worked with Sharon Priest of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership to implement our idea.
For the project, we filled planters around the city with 25,000 bulbs, and distributed 1,000 Sun Valley cut tulips to restaurants in the downtown area.
I’m committed to beautifying urban spaces, and I’ve participated in city renewal efforts in other ways as well. I provided the historic Mt. Holly Cemetery on Broadway in downtown Little Rock with New Dawn roses, and now the popular climbing white rose has spread all over the city. I also partnered with the city to provide and plant antique roses at the Governor’s Mansion in 2007. All the roses that we planted are from the early 1800s, around the time Arkansas became a state.

This is the first time we’ve partnered with Little Rock for March Tulip Madness. We had worked with North Little Rock for the past two years, and wanted to work on both sides of the river.
PPT: Why did you choose pink tulips?
PAS: I choose a blend of three different types for the planters: Menton, Pink Impression and Negrita, which when combined created a pleasing pink and purple display. I choose mid and late bloomers to take full advantage of the season.
Choosing plants for downtown areas is a challenge. You have to consider the harsh urban landscape— the heat coming from the concrete, the level of sunlight reflected from surrounding buildings, the water requirements. The planters have to be hand watered by parks department employees, because the planters lack an irrigation system. So, it’s important to choose the best and hardiest plants.
After the tulips finish blooming, we’re planting Double Pink Knockout Roses in Little Rock’s planters.

PPT: What's your favorite season and why?
PAS: While I love the vitality and exuberance of spring, it requires a lot of frenetic energy to manage all the projects— the planting, getting everything started, managing the farm. I tend to have a million projects going on during the spring, which, while I choose to do it, doesn’t leave much spare time.  I actually prefer the fall season. After I’ve completed all my spring projects, I can really slow down and enjoy the beauty of my work without having to do anything else!
PPT: You're hosting a spring garden party at your home....give us all the details!! Who will you invite? What will you serve? Describe the scene.
PAS: Moonlight and Roses is a spring garden party focused on antique roses. In Little Rock, the beginning of May is the sweet spot for roses. They are simply spectacular that time of year.  Mike Shoup, a key figure in the renaissance of old rose varieties and who I’ve known for 25 years, will inspire us with his knowledge. Guests will be served beer and wine in my traditional English rose garden, which encompasses about 18,000 square feet and is close to the bank of the Arkansas River. We’ll eat a meal from one of my cookbooks and listen to live music—all outside, all under the stars. And we’ll end the night with a bonfire. There are still tickets available, so I’m inviting all of PPT’s fans to join me on my farm!
PPT: Tell us about the tours of your farm. I'd love to bring my garden club.
PAS: I view the tours of my farm as an opportunity to share and welcome visitors to my home state with southern hospitality. I relish talking with visitors that travel to Arkansas from all over the United States, preparing a big lunch for them, telling stories and watching them take in the view while sitting on the front porch.
I’ve been very pleased by the amount visitors I’ve had this year. We planted 280,000 bulbs on Daffodil Hill, and as always, people have really enjoyed seeing the bright blooms. I’m also quite excited about the rose season, because we’ve planted almost 1,000 rose bushes. 
Wow...thank you, P. Allen for inspiring all of us to beautify our own towns and create a seamless blend between garden and home. I have my sights set on a tour of Moss Mountain Farm one of these days! If you'd like to learn more about P. Allen, check out his website or one of his many books. These are 2 of my personal favorites.
Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! What will be blooming at your home this Spring? You know what will be blooming at mine!

images: courtesy of P. Allen Smith

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kerri Rosenthal Winner

Oh, how I wish I could give each and every one of you a painting by the super cool and uber talented Kerri Rosenthal! But, alas, there can be only one winner. And, it appears that she has chosen a tulip.

The winner wrote, " LOVE LOVE LOVE the tulips! There is a blank wall in my living room that is waiting patiently for me to find something I love. And I love tulips!"

Congratulations, Ashley's your lucky day! My only question is....what color?! I don't have an email for you, so please email me so we can get your painting going!!

Thank you to all of your who left comments. I truly appreciate your participation. Please stop back by on Friday when I will be sharing an exclusive interview with a an award-winning designer, gardening and lifestyle expert.

Wishing you color, sun and some springtime blooms!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Almost Easter

How do you like your eggs? Sunny side up? Over easy? Scrambled? I'm having a current love affair with soft the little egg cups. But, anyhooooo....I'm actually thinking more about Easter eggs.
If the idea of painting some little beauties is your speed, check out the tutorial at A Creative Mint.
Or perhaps you like elegant calligraphy....template available at Oh Happy Day!
Or, old fashioned dip dye available at Terrain.

So, how DO you like your eggs?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Flowers - Tulip Trend

Sequins and Stripes

Cashmere and Cupcakes
Grant Gibson
Welcome to the weekend! I'm wrapping up Spring Break with my family and look forward to getting back into my regular groove next week. 

In case you feel like picking up some flowers to bring home, may I suggest pink tulips? I've noticed that some of my favorite bloggers have been bringing them home and snapping pictures to share. I guess tulips are trending!

Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kerri Rosenthal Art - Spring Collection + Give Away

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day
At last!! Spring is finally here, whether it looks like it or not. Which is why I am so delighted to preview the new Spring 2013 Collection by Kerri Rosenthal! Color, flowers and more color! 
Kerri's art has become highly collectable, in addition to being highly enjoyable. Her work has appeared in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, Traditional Home and Luxe Interiors + Design, just to name a few. If you missed my first 2 posts on Kerri, check them out here and here!

I am crazy for that first painting, especially after a gray and gloomy winter here in the Northeast. Equally delicious is her brand new limited edition "Drippy Poppy" series. What a gorgeous pop of color to liven up any room in your home!
Drippy Poppy in Clementine (limited edition)
Drippy Poppy in Magenta (limited edition)
And, it wouldn't be spring without the Tulip paintings...also limited edition and fully customizable.
Limited edition Tulips
Here is my very own "pink tulip" painting from Kerri Rosenthal!
And a few new blooms in Kerri's collection.
Funny little flower "pop" paintings

Acrylic and pastels on paper

Now the fun part! Kerri is going to paint either a "Drippy Poppy" or "Tulip" for one of you. You get to pick the flower and the color. Just leave a comment below (by 3/24) for a chance to win. If you tweet about the give away, you get a 2nd chance. Winner announced a week from today!

How's that for picking flowers?!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Feeling Lucky

How was your St. Paddy's Day?! I think the Irish eyes were smiling on me, as I won not one, but two fabulous give aways this week. I can't remember the last time I won something! I wanted to thank the two generous bloggers who hosted these opportunities and make sure you knew them. 
The first give away is a 2 night stay at the Nantucket Hotel & Resort from Debby of Inspired Design. Debby is an amazing photographer (these photos are hers), a blog designer and savvy traveler. She hopes to retire to Nantucket some day as it is her favorite place in the world. I am delighted to visit this quaint New England gem thanks to her. Be sure and check out the stunning blog designs she has done and if you are looking for a re-fresh....she's your gal!
The second give away I won is a sweet one! 
Sandy, who pens the blog You May Be Wandering, is an avid traveler and enjoys the planning as much as the trip. She shares her insider tips on getting the most out of your trips and photos of places I only dream of going. Sandy created a French "macaroon" themed giveaway with 3 sweet related items. What a treat! As is her be sure and stop by for ideas on your next dream vacation.

This week it will be my turn to do some giving....I have a fantastic give away to announce on Wednesday! Until then....may luck be yours! Spring is just around the corner!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Candy Colored One of a Kind-ness

Top of the Mornin'
The clever team over at glassybaby has been busy creating Spring inspired gift sets and I want one of each in my Easter basket! One of these candy colored votives makes a perfect gift...but for someone really special, you can do mutliples. Choose one of these sets or use them to inspire your own ideal color grouping!

Egg Hunt

For Peeps Sake
Hot Chicks
Each original and one of a kind, better for you than actual candy and longer lasting. Which set is your favorite?!

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