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Simple Organic Gardening Tips From The Pros

You are searching for tips on gardening, however you need look no more. It is important to you that you know what you are doing and that your garden is successful. This article will provide some of the best gardening tips that you can find on the Internet.

Your tool handles can double as measuring sticks. It is possible to utilize tools with long handles, such as rakes, hoes and shovels, as measuring sticks. Lay the handles on the floor, then run the measuring tape down next to them. You can label distances using a permanent marker. You will never find yourself looking for a ruler thanks to this simple tip.

If you are planting vegetables, choose varieties that don’t require processing in order to keep. For example, sweet potatoes and onions will keep for months as long as they are kept cool and dry, without any additional work on your part. This reduces the amount of time you have to spend after harvesting.

Plant vegetables and flowers that are native to your local area. These plants will grow better with less work than plants that are not native. Also, native plants won’t require much extra watering, as they will generally adapt to the amount of rain typical to that area. This will also reduce your need for pesticides and fertilizers, since the plants will be able to handle the soil and pests in your area.

To maximize the benefits of compost, put it in your garden about two weeks before you plant. Compost actually needs time to integrate with soil and once you combine the two they need time to stabilize. Plan to gather enough compost to fertilize your garden a couple of weeks ahead of planting to produce healthier and stronger plants.

Attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Certain plants are highly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds due to their nectar. Hummingbirds tend to favor any flower that is shaped like a trumpet, especially if it is pink, red or purple. Examples of these are honeysuckle, fuchsia and monarda. Butterflies like flat, daisy-like flowers, such as chrysanthemums, asters and coneflowers. Choose a sunny position, as both butterflies and hummingbirds appreciate the warmth.

To save money, consider making your own garden fertilizer. For instance, broken eggshells make a great fertilizer for small gardens, indoor plants and container plants. Mix the eggshells throughout the soil to get the best effect. Eggshells even have the added benefit that they aerate the garden soil as well.

If you are introducing children to gardening, start them off with an herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow and you can start them in containers, which are easier for children to handle. When children see that the herbs they grow can be used in your cooking, they will be very proud of their accomplishment.

Save the water when you cook pasta for use in your garden. If you have ever boiled pasta in water, you have seen the cloudy state of the water when you drain the pasta. This water is loaded with starch, which is quite nutritious for plants. Make sure to let the water cool thoroughly, as hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

Save your eggshells to use as a soil additive. Crushed eggshells add much needed calcium to your garden, and working the shells in also helps keep the soil aerated. A barrier made of crushed eggshells and placed in a ring around your plants can also protect them from snails and slugs. Their delicate bodies are cut and scratched by the jagged eggshells, making them avoid those sections of the garden.

Try to avoid using pesticides in your garden. Pesticides can get into your food easily when you spray them on your edible plants. These pesticides can make you sick, and have been linked to greater health issues. There are many organic alternatives to pesticides that are safe to you and the environment.

Mixing a variety of plants at different heights is how you can make a very interesting English garden. A uniform and flat bed is created by using plants that are the same height.

When watering it’s important to make sure that the water reaches all the way to the bottom of the soil. Roots that are grown closer to the surface are more likely to get damaged, and in turn produce plants that are less hardy and more susceptible to damage. By pouring water only on the top layer, the roots are forced to grow upwards and become shallower.

To wrap it up, you need to get the best gardening information that is available. While there is plenty of information out there, this is some of the best advice that you can find. Hopefully you can use it in your own garden and spread the knowledge around to other people.

Top Organic Gardening Advice From The Experts

Gardening may not come natural for everyone. While some have a “green thumb” others do not! The good news is that help is on its way! Here are some tips and tricks from experienced gardeners. Read on for some of these great gardening suggestions.

Don’t grow food no one will eat. Just because you can grow something, doesn’t mean you should. If your kids don’t like spinach now, fresh spinach from the garden isn’t going to change that and much will go to waste. Consider what you and your family like to eat and then determine your garden accordingly.

Save money by drying the seeds from your annuals to plant next year. Petunias, zinnias and impatiens are just a few of the flowers from which it is easy to extract and save seeds. You will have to extract the seed pod from some flowers, and wait for it to split open. With others, such as marigolds, you will have to open the flower and extract the seeds yourself. After extracting the seeds, let them dry for at least a week. Place them in a jar with a rubber seal, and add silica gel pouches to keep them from absorbing moisture. Store them in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to plant them next year.

Grow some wheat grass or catnip for your cat to eat instead. You can also put something on top of the soil around the plants that has an offensive smell to cats, such as mothballs or citrus peel.

To save money, consider making your own garden fertilizer. For instance, broken eggshells make a great fertilizer for small gardens, indoor plants and container plants. Mix the eggshells throughout the soil to get the best effect. Eggshells even have the added benefit that they aerate the garden soil as well.

To give your plants all the iron they need, bury old, rusty pieces of steel in your garden. Damaged steel should break down quickly, allowing the soil to absorb iron from it and feed it back to your plants. This is also a useful way to get rid of junk that might be clogging up your garage.

To bring birds to your garden, add plants that will naturally attract them. One of the best plants for attracting birds are sunflowers. Birds are naturally drawn to their height and scent. Birds also love small trees like Japanese maples and dogwood trees, as well as most kinds of shrubs or vines.

Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap, to seal the undersides of your nails off. Doing this will prevent dirt from becoming trapped underneath them while you are gardening. When you are finished in the garden, you can clean your nails with a nailbrush to remove the soap.

Evergreens are best planted at least four weeks before the ground freezes. This will allow the tree to establish some roots before the soil freezes in the late fall. Evergreens do not drop their leaves in the fall, but continue to lose moisture, so it is important to get them in the ground well before the first frost.

Create a series of garden ‘rooms’. The days of a square lawn with a surrounding border are long gone. A garden can offer so much more, by creating different areas to explore. A patio area is simply an extension of your indoor living space. Add an arbor at the end of the patio, leading to another outdoor room. This can be a play area for children, or a small vegetable or herb garden. Create seating areas under a tree or nestled in between shrubs. Add an element of surprise, such as a unique sculpture or piece of large pottery. Let your garden reflect your personality!

You need to prune your rose bushes on a regular basis. Pruning a bush helps to increase its circulation, which will help it to be healthier. You should use pruners when pruning a rose bush as they are quick, easy and do not cause damage to the bush when they are used. They are typically cheap and affordable.

Choose silvers and grays to lighten up the garden on dull days and shine in the moonlight. While most gray-leafed plants are attractive enough to hold their own in the garden, they are often used due to the effect they have on surrounding colors. They make pastel colors look brighter, and tone down the effect of vivid colors. Most plants with silver or gray foliage are native to the Mediterranean, therefore requiring little watering in the dry months. The best known silver and gray plants are dusty miller, lychnis, silver lace and artemisia.

Aren’t you glad you read these great gardening suggestions? Hopefully, you will try some of the tips and tricks that experienced gardeners have shared with you today! Don’t lose hope! Although gardening may not come natural for everyone, it is possible to improve!

Simple Organic Gardening Tips From The Pros

Gardening is a fantastic and worthwhile hobby as it provides you not only with a creative outlet, but also with fresh produce for you and your family to enjoy. Getting started may provide some challenges, as there are several nuances to successful gardening. This article is meant to provide you with the requisite knowledge to ensure you get the most from your garden.

Don’t over-plant your produce. If you plant more of a particular variety than you can use, store, and give away, it will simply go to waste. Plan out your garden so that you will have enough, without planting so much that your efforts will simply end up getting thrown away or rotting on the vine.

Choose perennials that won’t be taken out by slugs. A plant can be completely demolished overnight by slugs and snails. Certain perennials that don’t have tough leaves are especially tasty to snails and slugs. You can discourage snails and slugs from eating your perennials by choosing plants with tougher or distasteful foliage. Some perennial families that snails and slugs won’t eat include achillea, campanula, and helleborus.

If you have enough space pick one row in your garden to contain an assortment of different vegetables. Try uncommon or unusual crops that you wouldn’t want in abundance, but that can liven up a meal that you prepare using your usual crops. Plant crops in this row over time so that you’ll always have a selection of vegetables to try.

Gardening is not hard, but you should get advice before you jump in head first. You want your garden to be successful rather than fail, so it makes sense to read up a little beforehand. There is no need to purchase expensive gardening books because you can find gardening books at your local library, or find out as much as you need online.

If you can’t get mulch for your soil, use wet newspapers. Damp newspapers around the base of your plants will help hold moisture in the ground and protect your plants’ root systems from heat and sunlight. Newspaper is biodegradable, so it will eventually degrade and actually add more nutrients to your soil.

Make sure you read the labels on any weedkillers or pesticides that you use in your garden. Follow the directions closely. Using too much of a chemical can be dangerous to your health and the health of your garden. Failing to read the label might also mean that you get the wrong chemical for the problem that you’re having, polluting the ground around your garden for no reason.

To give your plants all the iron they need, bury old, rusty pieces of steel in your garden. Damaged steel should break down quickly, allowing the soil to absorb iron from it and feed it back to your plants. This is also a useful way to get rid of junk that might be clogging up your garage.

Wash off your garden harvest before taking it inside your home. Use a laundry basket or some other plastic basket with holes. You can spray down your fruits and vegetables easily with water inside the basket, and the water and dirt will run out. You could also save the water that runs out to water your plants with.

Remember to mulch before the first freeze. Spread compost or shredded leaves around the garden, mulching under shrubs, hedges, roses, and on top of the crown of any tender perennials. A layer of compost spread on bare ground will help to protect any bulbs, corms or plant roots. By springtime, this compost will have been taken into the ground by worms, and your soil will be full of nutrition, ready for new planting.

If you are going for a British feel with your garden, then vary the heights of your plants. By using plants which are all the same height your garden will appear flat and boring.

Use hostas to brighten up a shady area. Hostas are the perfect plant to brighten up a shady area of your garden. They are grown primarily for their leaves, which range in color from deep blue-green to vivid yellow-green. Blooms are usually lavender, but Hosta Plantaginea features showy, fragrant white flowers. They are best grown in moist, rich soil which has been amended with plenty of compost. Large clumps can easily be divided in the Fall.

You need to make sure to wear sunscreen when you are gardening. It is important to apply a generous amount of sunscreen on a regular basis when you are gardening so that you can protect yourself from the rays of the sun. Sunscreen should be applied more than just one time throughout the day.

From the simplest of gardens to the most grand, there are always rules of thumb that will help ensure you get the best possible results from your garden. By following the tips and advice from this article you will be well on your way to enjoying the fruits, and vegetables, of your labor.

Tips From Experts On A Healthy Garden

Gardening is a fantastic stress relieving activity that many people swear by. Making your own organic vegetable garden is a great way to improve your lifestyle, while also producing your own food, saving you money and providing you with quality produce right from your yard. Read on to find out how to have more success at it.

Remember to aerate your soil. If you loosen or puncture the soil, it will increase air permeability and water penetration. Aerating can be as simple as turning the soil over with a trowel, or in the case of lawns, making small holes in the grass. This can be done with an aerating machine, a garden fork, or even by walking on the grass wearing a pair of spiked golf shoes. This brings oxygen into the roots and promotes healthy new growth.

If you want to have a more productive garden, expand your growing season into the fall by using row covers. Row covers keep heat in, frost out, and also protect against deer intrusion. The crops under the row covers should still be somewhat resistant to cold however, so it is best to choose greens and root vegetables.

If you are intending on getting into gardening, be sure to purchase the right tools and equipment necessary to do all the tasks. This will help insure that you do not end up ruining your garden by using improper tools and wasting a lot of time and energy for naught.

If frost has killed your pumpkins before they’ve had a chance to turn orange, it’s not too late to save them. Cut the pumpkins off the vine, leaving a minimum of 4 inches of the vine on the top of the pumpkin. Wash them thoroughly with water mixed with a small amount of bleach to prevent the development of mold. Bring them inside, and place them in a warm, sunny location, turning them occasionally so the sun can reach all the green areas of the pumpkin. Within a few weeks or less, you’ll have bright orange pumpkins to carve into jack-o-lanterns or use to make homemade pumpkin pie.

Controlling pests is essential to a high yield garden. There are a variety of products available on the market that will kill any invasive pest in the garden. Many organic pest controls have been perfected over the years that work very well, although they can be more expensive than chemical alternatives. With a quick internet search one can find many safe home remedies for pest control too.

It is crucial that you have the proper tools before starting a garden. You do not want to begin the process of starting a garden only to realize that you are in need of a tool you do not have. Try to get shovels, trowels, pruners, hoes, garden forks, and rakes.

Start with a small manageable garden if you are new to gardening. If you are inexperienced, gardening can be stressful and frustrating. By starting with a smaller size, you keep your experiences positive and your plants under control. Gardens do require work and upkeep on a regular basis so keep that in mind.

When planting tomato seedlings, be sure to plant them all the way up to the first set of leaves. This allows the plant to grow a larger and deeper root system. The more roots your plant sprouts, the more tomatoes the plant will be capable of supporting and the more flavorful they will be.

If you have a vegetable garden, it can be quite difficult to decide what to do about pest control. You want to avoid spraying harsh chemicals since the vegetables are meant for consumption. So to help you control the pests that may invade your garden, you will want to stay vigilant. Natural pest control depends on the type of soil in your garden and the variety of plants growing there.

Keep your gardening tools organized. You do not want to trek out to your garden, only to realize you do not have everything you need with you and need to hunt your tools down. Keep small tools in a tool belt that you can grab and throw on easily or keep them in a 5-gallon bucket that you can carry out to your garden, quickly.

Gardening can be a relaxing hobby. There are numerous avenues to pursue when attempting to find your personal peace and relaxation. Gardening is a great way to achieve this satisfaction. The returns are huge for a very minute up front investment cost. The best part of it is not the plants themselves, but the stillness achieved by tending to them.

Improve your health and well-being now by applying these easy tips and making your very own organic vegetable garden at your home today. Don’t keep paying for inferior produce at the local supermarket when you could be improving yourself and providing your own food at home.

Shopper’s Diary: Flowers From Miss Pickering

In the heart of Middle England is Stamford, an outrageously pretty town. Miss Pickering’s flower business is just off the High Street, in a low-ceilinged shop, serviced by a single window. It is heavenly without being twee and the business is far from provincial.

Photography by Miss Pickering except where noted.

Miss Pickering's Flowers, Stamford, England. Gardenista

Above: Miss Pickering, a name not to be quibbled with, was at school in Stamford. She saw the world via London, Italy, France, and Spain before deciding to move back here. In London’s Notting Hill, she got a job with legendary florist Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart, taking phone orders. Miss P. left seven years ago, the same week as Vic Brotherson of Scarlet and Violet, another Wild at Heart alumna (see Shopper’s Diary: Scarlet & Violet).

Miss Pickering's flowers, Stamford, UK. Gardenista

Above: With a concrete floor and low light, Miss Pickering’s shop is a perfect stopping-off point in the journey of a cut flower. Fortunately the low-level lighting is flattering as well as practical. The shop building itself was built in 1463.

Miss Pickering flowers, Stamford, UK. Gardenista

Above: Miss Pickering began to write a blog when she moved to Stamford from London, partly for the sake of her sanity. It was quickly picked up and is a wonderful read, not only for the afianced.

Miss Pickering flowers, Stamford, UK. Gardenista

Above: Having sent an experimental bouquet to the editor of Country Living when her shop opened, Miss P. has been in demand ever since.

Miss Pickering flowers, Stamford, UK. Gardenista

Above: Miss P.’s wedding flower business thrives on personal recommendations. Her brides have a good idea of Miss Pickering’s style through the blog and through her posts on Instagram. They put their trust in her and may be persuaded to be more adventurous than they realized they could be, hitherto: “We’re here to make something for someone else’s day.”

Miss Pickering flowers, the Hound. Gardenista  

Above: The only permanent member of staff is the Hound. Miss Pickering likes to do everything herself, which is difficult to conceptualize: her weddings are not small and they are all over the country, though often in London or for London-based people. The Hound has his own blog.

Miss Pickerin's flowers, Stamford, England. Gardenista

Above: A wedding takes about a week to prep, from conditioning the flowers to figuring out the mechanics of building a floral arch for the church. Miss P. studied biophysics at university. She approaches each wedding with a healthy mix of emotions: “I’m excited and terrified in equal proportion.” 

Miss Pickering flowers, Stamford, England. Gardenista

Above: Being located in the middle of the country has its advantages for getting to bigger projects; the shop in Stamford is also open from Tuesday to Saturday for bunches of flowers. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.

Miss Pickering books on shelf ; Gardenista

Above: Miss Pickering flowers is at 7 St. Paul’s Street, Stamford PE9 2BE.

For more cut flowers that have a distinctly English style, see Wildflowers Delivered to Your Door. Getting married? See DIY: Secrets of Growing Your Own Wedding Flowers. How to keep your cut flowers from drooping? See DIY: How to Make a Vase of Flowers Last a Week.

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DIY Climbing Roses: From Trellis to Vase on Cape Cod

When my husband and I lived in Manhattan we’d often question, as we beat our way through endless traffic on the Merrit, why we bothered to make the four- or more frequently seven-hour trip to Cape Cod. Finally arriving some time after dark, we’d open the car doors to be greeted by an intoxicating wave of sea air mixed with honeysuckle and roses. There and then, before we even caught a glimpse of the sun dancing on the water, the stress of city life melted away, and in less than a New York minute the trip all became worth it.

Today, even though our journey from Boston is a good deal shorter, the pure magic of that cocktail of beach cottage aromas never wanes. This time of year, when the New Dawn roses that climb the porch are at their finest, I like to harvest them along with honeysuckle and grapevines. I created an homage to Cape Cod for the inside of the house, so the salubrious fragrance follows me wherever I go.

See below for step-by-step instructions for a DIY arrangement with climbing roses.

Photography by Justine Hand for Gardenista.

New dawn bouquet, Salt Timber Cottage covered in roses, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: My rose-covered cottage in June, when blooming New Dawn roses and honeysuckle frame the porch door.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, rose detail, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: A rugged Cape Codder: though most rose are finicky about Cape Cod’s sandy soil and salty air, this hearty climber seems to love the less-than-ideal growing conditions here. (For more, see 10 Easy Pieces: Perennials for the Seaside Garden.) Organically grown New Dawn Roses are available at Stargazer Perennials; $ 19.

New Dawn Bouquet, honeysuckle, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: For me, the sweet smell of honeysuckle is synonymous with the Cape. Even though it’s an invasive species, I can’t bare to remove the four plants that wind their way up the trellises of our porch. In my defense, I will note that this honeysuckle has been here since the 1960s, so was not planted by me. In fact, you can’t get Japanese honeysuckle in nurseries any more. When one died, I replaced it with a non-invasive alternative: Lonicera X Heckrottii Gold Flame, which is a similarly fragrant, climbing honeysuckle and available at White Flower Farm; $ 24.95.

New Dawn Rose bouquet, roses with honeysuckle, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: The inspiration for my bouquet is the way New Dawn roses and honeysuckle intertwine above the door of my cottage.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, grape vines, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: Another feature of a Cape Cod landscape: grapes often grow wild by the shore. Here an unknown cultivar grows on the arbor near my children’s play house.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, supplies, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: For the DIY arrangement, I cut long stems of each of the roses, honeysuckle, and grapevines. (Thick gloves are highly recommended when handling roses.) For a vase, I picked my grandmother’s old pitcher. An “ole Cape Codder,” my grandmother is responsible for instilling in me a love of flowers. I also employed her vintage frog useful for anchoring the long heavy stems of this sizable bouquet.

Shopping for an old-fashioned flower frog? See our favorites at Vintage-Style Flower Frogs.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, cutting grape stem, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: I absolutely love the expressive form of grapes, with their leggy stems, broad leaves, and grasping tendrils. Sometimes I will simply place a single cutting in a long vase. But after they’re cut, grapes tend to wilt rather quickly. To prolong their shelf life, I either use a knife to make a long diagonal slice to expose the center of the stem, or I smash them with a hammer.

For more tips on smashing stems to prolong the life of cut flowers, see DIY: Hydrangeas Gone Wild.

Step-by-Step Instructions

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, base of grape leaves, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Step 1: Make a base with the long grapes. I like to use one stem that brushes the table on one side, by a bushier sample placed a bit higher on the opposite side.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, cutting rose stems, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: While wearing gloves, prep your rose stems in the same manner as the grapes, with a long cut. I also like to remove the thorns because they catch on other stems, which can disrupt the whole arrangement if you attempt to move them.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, adding roses, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Step 2: Focusing on the center of the composition, place an abundant grouping of roses. But you also don’t want to lose informality of the New Dawn, so don’t pack them too tight.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, detail right, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Step 3: Finish off your bouquet with a few strategically placed pieces of honeysuckle. Structurally, these demure flowers add a sense of height and airiness to the arrangement. Their bits of yellow also complement the sunny center of the roses. Not to mention (again) that smell.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet with grape leaves and honeysuckle by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: That’s it. My finished bouquet has an abundant but wild aspect that captures the rugged beauty of the Cape.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, detail roses, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: A detail of the bouquet shows that expressive power can be achieved with a very simple palette.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, detail left, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: In this detail of the lower part of the arrangement, you may note that I didn’t try to tame the drooping forms of the grapes and roses, but rather let them inform the structure of the bouquet.

New Dawn Rose Bouquet, finished, by Justine Hand for Gardenista

Above: Now my cottage smells as sweet inside as it does out.

N. B. Take a walk on the wild side with these other foraged arrangements:

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Thanksgiving on a Budget: 7 Tips for Tabletop Decor from Stylist Beth Kirby

Yes, it’s about the food. We know that. We’ve been to a Thanksgiving or two. But, really? We like decorating the table. OK, make that love.

This year, we’re starting early. We asked one of our favorite stylists, Local Milk blogger Beth Kirby, to design a special no-cost Thanksgiving tabletop for us. It turns out that all you need for a Rockwellian moment are nice napkins, sparkly glasses, candles, and foraged greenery from the garden.

The best part, Beth says, is that anyone can recreate the look of her Thanksgiving tabletop. Follow her tips for how to mix and match items already on hand: 

Photography by Beth Kirby for Gardenista.

  Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 1: Create an unexpected hanging centerpiece using vines and greenery foraged from around your neighborhood or yard…

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

…and echo it with a few bits on the table.

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Above: A handful of S-hooks is all it takes to hang them. 

  Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 2: Use food from the meal as part of your centerpiece. A few leftover squash or a bundle of herbs in a small bottle pay homage to the meal as well as brighten up the table in a subtle, seasonal way. 

 

Tip No. 3:. Don’t be a afraid to mix and match your napkins—and let them be wrinkly and wild. The movement and the casual look of a table strewn with mixed napkins is inviting. When mixing, try to stick to napkins all of the same print—like the stripes here— or of the same color range. 

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 4: Serve family style and let your serving pieces and cookware be the stars of your table.

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Above: Do you have a cool vintage copper pot or an heirloom cast iron skillet? Put a trivet on the table and serve straight out of them. They look great and the food stays warm. 

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista  

Tip No. 5: Try using mugs as bowls. They give height to each place setting and make even a casual table feel as if it has personality. 

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 6: A few candles go a long way and the more imperfect the better. Grab a few from around your house and light them as the light sinks lower. 

 

Tip No. 7: Keep it simple. Plain glassware and simple white plates always look good. Keep your color palette to one or two natural colors and patterns at a minimum, and you’re guaranteed a classic table every time.

Want more Thanksgiving tabletop ideas? For inspiration, see:

For a tour of Beth Kirby’s kitchen remodel, see One-Month Makeover: Beth Kirby’s Star-is-Born Kitchen on Remodelista.

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Fioraio Bianchi Caffè: Food and Flowers from Milan’s Poet Florist

There is only one restaurant inside a flower shop in Milan—or maybe the flower shop is inside the restaurant? This much is known about Fioraio Bianchi Caffè: order the fresh pasta with clams (and rocket pesto) for lunch, and then you may buy a bouquet if you like. Probably you will want to, because the flowers are courtesy of the city’s most famous “poet florist,” 89-year-old Raimondo Bianchi.

It’s open for lunch and dinner, and all the flowers are for sale. Or go down to the basement workshop to order a custom floral arrangement between the hours of 9 am and 7 pm.

Photography via Fioraio Bianchi Caffè except where noted.

fioraio-bianchi-caffe-milan-shop-windows-gardenista  

Above: The story of Fioraio Bianchi Caffè begins in 1945, after the war, when 19-year-old Raimondo Bianchi became an apprentice florist in Milan to help his family make ends meet. A decade later, he opened his own flower-and-coffee shop at Via Montebello 7. As the Brera neighborhood became tonier, rents rose and by 2004, after nearly 60 years in the business, a change was necessary.

fioraio-bianchi-caffe-milan-tables-gardenista

Above: By 2005, the coffee shop had evolved into a restaurant under the guidance of owner Massimo Villardita, and the atmosphere remains “a very special place where the flowers will still surprise with their scents, their forms, their shades,” Bianchi said.

fioraio-bianchi-caffe-croissants-gardenista

Above: Bianchi’s arrangements are evidence, as the writer Gloria Wells has said, that he “is by nature contemplative, and not by chance has over the decades earned the title of ‘florist poet’.”

Fiorario Bianchi Caffe bar counter Milan ; Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Trip Advisor.

Billed as a bistro, the restaurant serves a full lunch and dinner menu. French music plays in the background.

fioraio-bianchi-caffe-milan-daniel-faro-gardenista

Above: Photograph via Daniel Farò.

(You also can order a cup of coffee at the counter in the morning.)

fioraio-bianchi-caffe-milan-sideboard-gardenista

Above: Says Bianchi: “A flower is a tribute. The antithesis of consumerism is ephemeral, but can take away the sadness.”

fioraio-bianchi-caffe-bouquet-milan-gardenista.

Above: Photograph via The Asmonti Chronicles.

The floral arrangements change with the seasons; Bianchi sources flowers from local farms.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffe Milan ; Gardenista

Above: Orchids are for sale (L) or go downstairs (R) to place a custom order.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffe Milan florists workshop ; Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Graffidigusto.

In the basement is Bianchi’s workshop.

Raimondo Bianchi Florist Milan ; Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Slowtown.

“I have always worked from morning to night with the rhythm of a clock because I think that being able to build something with consistency is important,” says florist Raimondo Bianchi.

Traveling to Milan? See more of our favorite spots:

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