It’s hard to find just the right gift that evokes all the things you’d like to tell the mother in your life on Mother’s Day. Whether it’s your own mother, a best friend or the mother of your own brood, a beautiful bouquet from Stargazer Barn just can’t be topped. This Mother’s Day Bouquet is a stunning fresh-cut arrangement bursting with beautiful complementary colors, and long, gorgeous stems grown on the farm at Stargazer Barn. The bouquet features six perfectly shaped, bright yellow Royal lilies accented with16 gorgeous deep blue irises. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond by topping your bouquet off with a package of coffee or small-batch chocolate to make her feel like a queen!
You can have this bouquet delivered directly to your treasured matron, or order one to your own home and use it as décor to host a delightful Mother’s Day Brunch! Help mom kick back and relax on her day by providing a bountiful brunch complete with a Stargazer Mother’s Day Bouquet as a centerpiece.
I’m always amazed at the resilience and tenderness of motherhood, and I like to invite the ladies in my life to kick back and enjoy the day at Moss Mountain Farm on this special day. The fare can be simple—try a chicken salad and Buttermilk Pecan Pie—after all, it’s the togetherness and enjoyment of the day that we all come to celebrate.
See the whole fresh flower collection at the P. Allen Smith shop.
Stargazer Barn Mother’s Day Bouquet
The Stargazer Mother’s Day Bouquet features 6 perfectly shaped bright yellow Royal lilies accented with a full cluster of 16 deep blue irises.
Stargazer Barn Orange Tulips
Dazzling deep red-orange blooms open to reveal an unexpected surprising black base. The rich, hand-selected flowers will arrive in bud form and continue to bloom over the ensuing days.
Stargazer Barn Pale Pink Priental Lilies
These breathtaking Stargazer Barn Pale Pink Oriental Lilies have large blooms, high bud counts and long stems. The blooms have a slightly sweet, almost citrusy scent. With proper care, they’ll have a long vase life.
I recommend planting lavender in abundance because it has so many
uses, including as an infused vinegar that works as a facial toner,
hair rinse and all-purpose cleaner for your home. Harvest this
perennial just before it fully opens.
Lavender vinegar can be used as a fragrant fabric softener, a bath
fragrance, glass cleaner or, when diluted in water (8 parts water
to 1 part vinegar), as a facial toner, hair rinse or deodorizing
body splash. This easy recipe only has three ingredients and three
- Enough lavender leaves and flowers to fill a 1-quart jar half full
- White vinegar
- Sterile, glass 1-quart jar with a plastic screw-on lid
- Place the lavender in the jar and fill with vinegar.
- Screw on the lid. Vinegar will react with metal so use a plastic lid. If your lid is metal, cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap before screwing on the lid.
- Place the jar in a dark place for 4 weeks, shaking occasionally
Giving flowers is the perfect way to let someone know you are thinking about them on this love-filled holiday. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, child, parent or closest friend, everyone loves to receive a bouquet of elegant flowers for Valentine’s Day and know they are in someone’s thoughts. The folks are Stargazer Barn have orchestrated some beautiful handpicked bouquets to brighten your loved one’s home or office this holiday. Add a small batch package of coffee, or an artisanal chocolate bar and hearts are guaranteed to flutter. Here are a few of my favorite bouquets available in the P. Allen Smith shop …
P. Allen Smith’s Exclusive Love in Bloom Bouquet
A dozen long-stemmed Jumbo Pink tulips and a dozen Telstar Irises are sure to get hearts swooning.
Lilies For Lovers
The Lilies For Lovers bouquet of Stargazer and Oriental lilies packs a colorful and fragrant punch when the enormous buds burst open with beautiful pink and white petals.
Valentine’s Tulip Kiss
There is nothing more romantic than long stemmed tulips. This gorgeous combo includes 12 stems of the variety Ile de France and 12 stems of Jumbo Pink tulips to add sweeping romance to any room.
We have your Valentine’s Day gifts wrapped and ready in the P. Allen Smith shop! Whether your Valentine is a gardener, foodie or just loves nature we have just the thing for them.
“I Dig You” Gift Basket
This gift basket is perfect for your favorite gardener. We’ve hand-selected some of our favorite gardening necessities to satisfy any green thumb. This basket includes a Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Hand Trowel, “Love Grows” Journal, “Seeds From My Garden” packets to organize your seed saving, and an 8-piece Lambrecht Gourmet Fleur de Sel Toffee. It is creatively packaged in an Arkansas-made peck basket with a handle for easy toting, and wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with raffia ribbon.
P. Allen Smith Candle Collection in Rose
We’ve launched a delightfully fragrant line of candles based on inspiration from my own garden! I love this rose scented fragrance, and it’s here just in time for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to check out all eight scents!
Bubbly and Berries Goat’s Milk Gift Set
Treat yourself, a friend or a Valentine to indulge in a little aromatherapy with this Bubbly and Berries Goat’s Milk Gift Set including handmade lotion, soap and lip balm with a bubbly berry twist. We also have a Rustic Spice fragrance set for those who like a warmer, spicier fragrance.
“Love Bird” Gift Basket
This gift basket is perfect for the birding someone in your life. It’s filled with some lovely bird-themed treats including a lightweight pink scarf printed with colorful birds, “Love Sings” journal, little bird letter organizer, and 8-piece Lambrecht Gourmet Fleur de Sel Toffee. It is packaged in an Arkansas-made peck basket with a handle for easy toting, wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with raffia ribbon. Sure to get their feathers ruffled!
My favorite gift to give on Valentine’s Day is flowers. I like the idea of a hint of spring arriving at a loved one’s door just when it seems that winter will never pass. It’s a wonderful reminder that sunshine and blue skies are on their way!
Whether your sweetheart has a brown thumb or loves to get their hands in the soil you can’t go wrong with flowers. Although red roses are the classic Valentine’s Day flower, there are so many choices available it’s easy to be creative. Here are some ideas for you to consider.
Basketful of Bouquets
Flowers are a wonderful way to say I love you. To make the statement even more personal, why not put together the arrangement yourself. Here’s a simple gift idea I featured in Woman’s Day that I still use. It’s a whole basketful of blooms. The beauty of this present is that the vases can be removed from the basket and put wherever the recipient wants fresh flowers.
- Gather enough juice glasses or small vases (2 to 3 inches high) to fit snugly into a basket.
- Head out to your local florist and choose your combination of flowers. Or try my selections of 10 stems each of white and pink mini carnations, pink and red sweet heart roses, red tulips and pink ranunculus.
- Make each bouquet by gathering a bunch of the same flowers in one hand just below the blossoms and then trimming the stems to 4 inches. Wrap a rubber band around the stems to hold them securely together, then push the band up the stems just beneath the base of the flowers.
- Drop the bundle into a water-filled vase. Trim more from the stems if necessary. Repeat this process for each vase. Add a ribbon gift card and you’re ready to deliver your one-of-a-kind gift.
Flowering Houseplants, Hot House Shrubs and Forced Bulbs
I feel safe in saying that by February most of us are tired of winter. Even with the daring blooms of early daffodils, winter honeysuckle and quince, it can be a pretty dismal month. I suppose that’s why flowers are such a nice gift on Valentine’s Day. If your special someone has a green thumb, consider giving them a flowering houseplant, hot house shrub or forced spring bulbs. The blooms will last for weeks and with proper care the houseplants will bloom again and the shrubs can be planted out in the garden. Here are a few to consider:
- African Violets
- Miniature Roses
- Peace Lily
- Lily of the Valley
- Mixed Bulb Gardens
Give the special gardener in your life more than just a single bouquet, a rose bush will provide fresh flowers year after year. And now is the time to order roses. Just be sure to be around when it comes time to plant! Here is a list of some of my favorites:
- New Dawn
- Old Blush
- Russell’s Cottage
- Sarah van Fleet
- The Fairy
- White Meidiland
Good to Know
Make sure the message you send is the right one! Here are meanings to some popular flowers.
Azalea = First Love
Camellia = Gratitude
Carnation = Fascination
Chrysanthemum = Friendship
Crocus = Cheerfulness, Dedicated to St. Valentine
Daffodil = Chivalry
Daisy = Innocence
Forget-Me-Not = Memories
Gardenia = Grace
Hyacinth = Sincerity
Ivy = Fidelity
Lilac = First Love
Casablanca Lily = Celebration
Orchid = Rare Beauty
Peony = Good Health
Rose, Pink = Friendship
Rose, Red = Passionate Love
Rose, Red and white = Unity
Rose, Rhite = Youthful Innocence
Sweetpea = Lasting Pleasure
Tulip, Red = Declaration of Love
Violet = Faithfulness
Zinnia = Thoughts of Friends
It seems like every year Punxsutawney Phil, our official forecasting groundhog, sees his shadow and forecasts an extended winter. It’s hard news to hear when you are eager to get outdoors and start gardening.
So what’s a gardener to do? One way you can defy Old Man Winter is by forcing blooming shrubs such as quince, forsythia and pussy willow into flower indoors. The process is simple and the results will brighten your home while you wait for spring. Here is how you do it.
As soon as you see the flower buds on your spring flowering shrubs start to swell, clip a few branches to bring indoors. Select branches that are heavily loaded with buds. You will usually find these towards the top of the shrub.
Once you get the branches inside it’s important to re-cut the ends at a slight angle. Then make a few slits about 2 to 3 inches long around the base. Both of these steps will help draw more water up into the stems.
Put the branches in a bucket of water and keep them in cool dark place for a few days, misting them occasionally. Then move them into a well-lit room and watch as the warmer temperatures coax the flowers into bloom.
These teacup bird feeders are an excellent way to recycle old cups and saucers. And they are both whimsical ornaments for the garden and work great as feeders.
Teacup and saucer
1/8 inch ceramic tile bit
1/4 inch masonry bit
36 inch long 1/4 inch threaded metal rod
30 inch long copper tubing 1/2 inch wide
2 stainless steel nuts with 1/4 inch wide hole
2 stainless steel washers with 1/4 inch wide hole
First collect your cups and saucers. A good place to look is a resale shop or junk store.
Next prepare your cup and saucer. Mark the center of each and carefully drill a hole through them one at a time. To reduce breakage and frustration, first make a starter hole with the 1/8 inch ceramic tile bit and then widen it with a 1/4 inch masonry bit.
Now take the 36 inch long, 1/4 inch wide threaded metal rod and screw a nut about 1/2 inch from the top, place a washer on top of the metal nut and then the saucer and cup on top of the washer.
At this point you will have the tea cup and saucer balanced on the metal nut and washer with about 1/2 an inch or less of the threaded rod rising up through the middle of the tea cup.
Take your second washer and slip it over the threaded rod so that it sits flat inside the teacup. Next add a metal nut on top of the washer and screw it down tightly so that the teacup and saucer are secure.
Select the area in your garden where you would like to place the feeder, push the copper tubing into the ground about 2 or 3 inches and then insert the threaded metal rod down into the ground through the copper tubing to give the feeder a finished look.
With the increased popularity in feeding birds, specialty shops have popped up to meet the demand. These stores are basically delicatessens for birds. You can’t imagine all the different foods.
For instance, there is one blend called Birdola. It’s something like a form of granola. And there are several different types of suet cakes. These are basically bird foods mixed with beef fat and other things such as almonds. One variety is actually packed with insects and another is made with papaya and orange.
Now the reason for all the mixtures is that each one offers food appealing to different kinds of birds. But I have an easy to make general recipe you can try at home and it starts with a trip to the grocery store.
To make the suet cakes follow this simple recipe:
1 pound beef fat
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup corn meal
1 cup birdseed
The key ingredient or "glue" that binds these suet cakes together is the meat fat trimmed and discarded by the butcher. Most butchers will be happy to give this to you and some will even grind it up, which makes it easier to use. Other ingredients you’ll need to pick up – corn meal, oats and some peanut butter. I like to use the extra crunchy kind and you’ll also need a small bag of birdseed of your choice.
To prepare this recipe melt one pound of beef fat over a low heat until it is in liquid form. Remove the saucepan from the stove then mix in one cup of peanut butter, one cup of rolled oats, one cup of corn meal and a cup of your favorite birdseed. Then pour the mixture into a form, any disposable container will do, and let it cool and solidify.
Once cooled fit the suet cake in a wire cage or net bag and hang it in a tree branch you can see from a window. In a few days, you should be able to see some fine feathered friends enjoying this home cooked meal.
Making these natural ornaments is really simple and it’s a project children can enjoy participating in as well.
- creamy peanut butter
- yarn, ribbon or wire
- paper plates
- butter knife
- bird seed
Cut a length of yarn or ribbon to hang the ornament.
Wrap the wire or ribbon around the pinecone near the bottom so that it catches under the "petals."
If you are using ribbon simply tie it into a knot to create a loop. With wire you can make a hook shape similar to what you see on a Christmas tree ornament. I like to use wire because it gives me a sturdy handle to hold onto while I add the peanut butter and seeds.
Next scoop some peanut butter onto a paper plate and pour some birdseed onto a separate plate. I use a light colored seed such as safflower because the ornament will show up better on the tree. Safflower seed will attract cardinals and chickadees. But you can use standard birdseed or a mix to attract other visitors to your garden.
Now using the butter knife pack the peanut butter between the crevices of the pinecone and then sprinkle it with seed.
I find it easier to do all the peanut butter work first, wash my hands and then follow up with adding the seeds.
Once you’ve made the cones it is time to hang them on a tree. And I always like to hang them near an existing feeder. The birds just seem to be a little more comfortable in going to their new food source. And you can also place them close to a window of the house so children can enjoy watching them feed from indoors.
This is a good way to spruce up your garden for the holidays and help the birds. It’s also a great way for kids to learn a few lessons from the garden.
This is a project that adheres to the philosophy of waste not, want not. After pruning your lavender plant, why not put the stems to good use? These dried lavender bundles help get winter fires started and sweeten the air.
- Dried Lavender Stems
- Gift wrapping tissue cut into strips
- Paper clip
- Gather lavender stems in a bundle.
- Wrap a tissue strip around the middle of the bundle. Use a paper clip to temporarily hold the strip in place.
- Wind raffia around the tissue strip and tie to secure. Remove the paper clip.
- When you are ready to start a fire, place the lavender bundle between the logs in your fireplace. Fire can be a fickle mistress, so be sure to use caution and common sense when lighting the lavender bundle.
Good to Know: Pruning Lavender
Lavender benefits from a light pruning every year to keep the plants full and bushy, which means more leaves and blooms to harvest. You can cut the plant back in spring, summer or very early fall. I generally do this task right after the flowers fade because it will help promote new bloom. If you cut your plant back in fall, be sure to give yourself time before the first hard freeze. Cold temperatures will kill resulting new growth. Remove about a third of the height of the plant. Avoid pruning back into woody stems where there aren’t any leaves growing because the stem won’t survive.