Weekend Green Thumb

On Saturday we had gorgeous weather here so I thought it was high time I got rid of the dead Christmas greenery splayed sadly in my window boxes and plant some colorful stuff for spring. A was able to do our little refresh during one of Henry’s (very quick) naps and now I feel much better about pulling into my driveway.


I wanted to compliment the chartreuse color of our front door with the plant choices- and also add a complimentary color, in this case a deep plum.  So I came up with a plan (on the fly at the plant store, but we can pretend I was as thoughtful enough to do a Photoshop layout of it beforehand):


I follow my Mom’s lead when it comes to window boxes, and not to say that these are anything special like hers, but I have learned a little from her about mixing plants and how to arrange them for the best impact.  This includes mixing tall, low and hanging plants- usually with the tall in the middle (in this case the white geraniums and grasses, arranged in the center-back section of the box), in front of that and spreading to the edges is the hanging Vinca Vine and lower purple Coleus (and I plan to add some lime colored seedums too) alternated. Of course, check the labels to see what kind of sunlight each plant needs and make sure it matches up with the kind of light your window boxes will get.

Always start with a drainage layer (I used leftover crushed stone from our patio but packing peanuts work awesome too).  Then a layer of potting soil and then I arrange the plants before actually planting them to make sure I like the way the grouping is looking.


Plant away and stick into your window boxes (ours came my favorite source, Walpole Woodworkers. It’s clearly time I bought fresh liners though (and replace my old windows so I can get rid of these yucky storms!)


Yesterday we took a trip to one of my favorite gardening spots in all of Massachusetts- Gerard’s in Lincoln right on Route 2.  It’s mecca for those who love outdoor decor and gorgeous plantings.


Expensive? Yes. But everything looks so healthy, full and lush that you can almost justify it. :)  This is also where we got the cute stone dogs on our front step!


I highly recommend you go. Bring your wallet.


So many wonderful items for decorating your garden or patio.



They also have the BEST fruit pies (no seriously, INSANE) and jams.  Also a good selection of mind-blowing succulents that look fake they are so magical.

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And the hydrangea right now are BANANAS.


Head inside to see the incredible selection of home wares too- from lighting to art, pillows and accessories.


And LOTS of candelabras from my friend Stacy’s line, Dunes & Duchess! YAY!




These two huge prints of fashion soup cans were so fabulously Warhol-esque and perfect for a teen girl’s room or dressing room. Darling.



Henry LOVES flowers. He loves them so much he needs to destroy them.  Put down the $68 hydrangea Henry, mommy can’t spring for them if you want to go to college. :)


I’ll be doing a post or two in the coming weeks focusing on outdoor decor, patio furniture and accessories and maybe even some container plantings too.  As long as the kid keeps napping I can continue to work on my yard! :)


  1. See….the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Excellent job and I need to go there very soon!! Looks like a great resource for garden enhancements that don’t take a green thumb?

  2. Love this place! I haven’t been in a while and now I NEED to go!! So many inspiring pieces to spruce up the garden!

  3. This totally screams ROAD TRIP! Love this post- because I didn’t know about Gerard’s! Also check out Beverly Farms, Beverly. They’ve got gorgeous plants- very reasonable prices too! We’ve got Churchills up here- and after visiting Home Depot- I found out that the left overs that Churchills doesn’t take- go to HD! So instead of a $45 dollar rose bush- you’re paying HD $20! Same goes for the hydrangeas! Instead of $60 you pay $25! Price shop all of it. Miracle grow everywhere! And enjoy the flower spectacle!

  4. Hi, Erin! Thank you for this post! I mentioned garden posts when you asked for suggestions the other day! So thaaaank you!!!! Everything is so beautiful. I love your boxes and the color of the door. I wish I could do that but I’m renting an apartment, ha ha ha! I really liked the garden section on your book (Your mom’s work there was amazing!) i dream of having an English rose garden… And every time I go to my parents house in Colombia I play with my mom’s totally weird orchids (she has a lot, She’s awesome ) So again thank you thank you thank you! And I’m looking forward to your yard posts! (With Henry! hesnso cute !)



  5. Love this post! Gardening is not my strong point so I’ll take any tips I can get. I would love some advice on filling flower beds that edge a yard. I’ve been slowly adding things year after year, but high/low/sprawling plant/ decorative accessories help would be awesome.

    Yippi for napping babes! Keep up the awesome work!

  6. Have you tried the pies from Allendale? So good! I used to buy the frozen mini Strawberry Rhubarb ones when I lived in Brookline. After seeing this post, i think I might need a trip back up there from CT and head to Lincoln!

  7. Like Henry, I’m a sucker for Hydrangeas. Love them in every color. Great job on your window boxes. Do you get enough summer rain in your climate or are yours linked to drip irrigation? I live in Seattle and oddly enough, summer is our dry season so all my pots are on drip.

  8. I love this time of year and it is so fun to see your window boxes. They turned out great and once the plants start to grow, they will be amazing!! We are in the process of finishing up our new build back yard, we have gone from weeds to green and it is so nice to have a place to sit outside again. I am looking forward to your post on gardens, since I am totally immersed in mine right now. I did a little planting yesterday too! Happy Monday,

  9. Love Gerards (and the sister stores) but I live on the Northshore and have discovered Pettengill Farm, http://www.pettengillfarm.com in Salisbury, MA. Some great talent there! You could take a visit and head to Newburyport for lunch/dinner (Ceia and Brine). Lots of great shops to visit, Red Bird and Wish Basket at the Tannery are my faves. Sage Market + Designs for more plants and outdoor furniture. Thanks for sharing your windowboxes!

  10. I have no green thumb. Every green thing I touch wilts, rebels in disgust and then curls up and dies. So every Spring I take two giant empty baskets I buy at the Brocante shop to the flower and plant market. I then ask my man at the market to fill the baskets up with a mix of stuff ( yeah stuff…cos I don’t know the names of the plants…). Then I take the lovely result home and plonk it down in my near non-existent front yard. I envy all these capable gardeners…



  11. Looks so pretty, I love the tall / low mix you have going on. I recently made window boxes for my backyard cottage & can’t wait to get them hung up and planted! Thanks for the extra push

  12. If you like that place, check out Russell’s on Rte 20, on the Wayland/Sudbury line. It’s massive and has a great giftshop that includes an adorable toy section. There’s also an indoor koi pond that Henry would love to check out. Prices there are pretty reasonable for the geography, and they have a resident landscape designer who is quite helpful. Also, Allandale Farm on the Brookline/Jamaica Plain line (I’m guessing you are familiar with it from your stint in JP). Smaller selection but helpful staff, and fun hayrides in the fall!

  13. That Henry is “à croquer”! We also worked in the garden this weekend. And–you would appreciate this–today we were invited to a big (20 people) dinner by a friend who has inherited and is restoring the home that’s been in his family for 3-4 generations. They don’t live there. The place is HUGE and full of antiques (“what are we going to do with all this stuff?” answer: “I can help you!”). There was a giant Christmas tree in front of the house. Turns out, it had been inside since December. With no heat on, and plenty of springtime humidity, the tree hadn’t lost a needle–even when you pulled on the branches. The husband put it outside just before we arrived! Gotta love village life in the south of France.

  14. Loved this post. You gave some great tips. I’m obsessed with flower boxes! Yes, so obsessed that I just call Heidi at Windy Lo Nursery in South Natick and she comes out and does them for me every season. I keep telling myself that I will one day be able to do this on my own and save myself the $$! But like you, it makes me happy to see flowers when I pull in my driveway, so it makes it worth it to me. So impressed you were able to pull those boxes together while Henry was sleeping! He is just precious, BTW :) I love seeing pictures of him!

  15. I love this! I too have a chartreuse front door and love my window boxes to pull it out. I feel like such an old lady asking this… but can you reprint the plant names in regular font in the text please… For the life of me I can’t tell what the name is of the grass in that fancy font :)

  16. I’ve always been fascinated by flowers – they have the ability to completely transform a room. Especially roses – we have red and pink roses in the garden and I try to pick them before they wither.

  17. Wow! I wish we had a Gerards in RVA. The statuary alone is fabulous. But I would be afraid to bring my wallet for what might happen…..those chairs and bench are screaming for me….

  18. Oh this place looks awesome! I have had my windowboxes on my list for a couple of weeks (just waiting until I was sure we were done with the cold weather), so I mayyy have to make a trip to Lincoln this weekend!

    Alyssa @ Feathers and Stripes

  19. Thank you for these tips! I need to update my flower boxes ASAP and this post gave me just the boost of inspiration I need!

    xo Anna Lynn with Waiting On Martha

  20. For the love of all that is holy, please, please, please don’t replace your beautiful original windows. They make screens and storms that can be mounted inside or just new storms would probably be fine if you really don’t like your storms. Replacement windows are flat and soul-less and there are very few things that can be done to a house to ruin its appearance more quickly and make it look more lifeless than replacement windows. All the stuff about energy efficiency is totally inflated by the manufacturers, and if you look at the financials, replacements make no sense since their useful life is short and almost always shorter than the break-even period.

  21. Purple fountain grass gets 4 feet tall, Erin… what the heck? There’s another purple spiky plant I’ve used before which could be more useful. Sorry I can’t remember the name, but it’s common at even Home Depot / Lowes.

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