Carmen Johnston Gardens

FERNS: All You Need to Know About Caring for and Choosing Ferns for Fall Planting

An episode of Carmen Johnston Gardens

By Carmen Johnston
Planting tips and tricks, DIY inspiration, recipes, floral design, entertaining ideas and more straight from the garden. Follow Carmen Johnston for practical advice and for great ways to incorporate your garden in your day-to-day life and home.
More places to listen
Planting tips and tricks, DIY inspiration, recipes, floral design, entertaining ideas and more straight from the garden. Follow Carmen Johnston for practical advice and for great ways to incorporate your garden in your day-to-day life and home.

More places to listen

10 Minute Holiday Table Runner DIY
December 8, 2019
Cyclamen Tips and Gift DIY
Cyclamen are my favorite indoor blooming plants for the cooler temperatures. With incredible upside-down blooms that last for around 8 weeks, cyclamen make a great holiday gift. Also, they thrive in colder weather so they look great in outdoor container gardens like the one I did on my previous blog post linked here. A few tips and tricks for keeping your cyclamen happy: water from the root system, not over head, as they like to drink from below. No need to over-water…a half inch of water at the bottom of the vase is just right add one Miracle Gro stick, which will last 6 weeks, as a great way to “feed” your cyclamen full sunlight For all the materials used in this DIY: Shop my Amazon store here:  For pictures and a link to my YouTube video of this episode, click here:
December 8, 2019
10 Minute Holiday Planter DIY
Create a wow moment for front porch visitors this holiday! If you can take just 10 minutes, I’ll show you how to create a festive container garden that lasts well beyond the holidays and can be adapted to your style and local greenhouse finds. phenomenal lavender (lavender will work just fine) red cyclamen silver branches potting soil green apples (red apples, pinecones, or ornaments work great too) For full details and more great gardening tips click here.
December 1, 2019
Best Plants for Gift Giving
Looking for an easy teacher’s gift? Need a last-minute hostess gift? I’m sharing my 5 favorite plants to give as gifts as well as fun ways to dress them up for a personal and festive touch. Plants are always a welcome gift, especially if they are easy to care for, and the suggestions below are all “black thumb” friendly:) Instead of bath products and candles, why not give a gift rom the garden!? For links to all of my ribbons, paint, containers and more see my Amazon link and for great pictures/videos of these gifts click here:
November 22, 2019
Holiday Evergreen Wreath Tutorial
Recently I shared with you my easiest evergreen wreath, made using a faux wreath and clipped greens. Today, I want to show you how to elevate that wreath to use throughout the holiday season and into Christmas! Again, this is an easy DIY, taking only 10 minutes. You’ll need the wreath made in my previous wreath blog found here, some various shatterproof ornaments, and some paddle wire. For a video and all of the links to purchase supplies click here and thanks for listening.
November 22, 2019
Easy Live Evergreen Wreath
How to make an easy life Evergreen Wreath for the Holidays? The trick is: It's only "half alive". Listen to how I do this quickly for mailboxes, fireplaces mantles, and wreaths. For all the materials and a step by step video, see here: Thanks for tuning in!
November 15, 2019
10 Minute Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and with all the stress the holidays can bring, I want to share a quick 10-minute Thanksgiving Centerpiece that will elevate your dinner table to new heights. The centerpiece as a whole might look complicated but once we break it down, you will have a whole new way to dress up for the holidays! Try using colors that you wouldn’t typically see as “fall” shades, like coral and lime and pair with deep greens and fall reds. Most of the décor can be found at your local grocery story or craft store and you can find a lot of the inspiration on our Amazon list here: What you’ll need: Ornamental cabbages Caramel watermelon heuchera Any fall color roses Pyra canthus branches Dried putka pod mini pumpkins Small pinecones dried decorative limes (linked here: ) “Personality” containers, 5 medium, 5 small, and 5 extra small Okatsune scissors Fall tablecloth Place settings; plates, napkins, silverware, glasses, etc…
November 11, 2019
Tips for Growing an Indoor Herb Garden
Lots of people ask me about herb gardens and I’m excited to share with you my tips and tricks for growing herbs. I love to use my herbs in the kitchen, in my tea, and in my hair as I’ll reveal in this post! To begin, I’d like to share my 10 Herb Garden Must-Do’s, in no particular order: 1. Plant each herb individually. A common mistake is to plant all of your herbs in the same pot. Each plant likes their own growing conditions and they don’t do well in the same home. 2. Vary your pots and herb sizes. Variety in shapes and sizes will give your indoor garden that collected feel. I am a self-proclaimed terra cotta pot hoarder! I love to pick up vintage terra cotta pots with that fantastic patina at local antique stores or wherever I can get my hands on them. They make beautiful homes for indoor herbs. Of course don’t bother looking at the terra cotta pot if it doesn’t have the all-important DRAINAGE. 3. Full sun is so important. At least 6 hours of sunlight is what your indoor garden needs so find a sunny spot in your home for your herbs to live. 4. Indoor gardens need some time outdoors. Plants need fresh air every few weeks. If you live in a colder zone, look for a quick “break” in the weather” and give them a few hours outside.
November 5, 2019
What to Plant in Cooler Temperatures
I am so excited to share with you some of my favorite cool weather plants! My first pick is called free fall pansy. It may look kind of leggy to you, but I love to use in container gardens because it will spill over the edge and really soften the edges. It also comes in a soft violet, but you know how much I love classic white florals! When you come across this plant, don’t let the leggyness dissuade you, it looks phenomenal in a container garden! I love to start my container garden with big plants and I also use these in annual color flower beds, so they spread and trail out. Another favorite is gorgeous coral queen kale! It is a flowering kale and it just puts off this intense purple color from the inside. It is another beautiful fall accent that we like to use in décor and container gardens. Grasses also make for wonderful cool weather plants. Chartreuse grasses like everillo carex are a classic favorite that is great in beds or containers. I also love variegated carex as it provides great texture in our flower beds. Last but not least, we can’t forget about thyme! Specifically, lemon thyme! This is another great one to use in the cool weather. It flowers in the spring, so the fall is the perfect time to go ahead and get it in the ground. This allows the plant to establish its root system before the ground freezes. It has an amazing fragrance! I hope you enjoy some of my quick and easy cool weather plants that will make great additions to your garden bed or container. Be sure to plant now before the ground hardens for the season and the frost sets in. Happy gardening! For more information, tips, tricks, DIYs, recipes, and more from Carmen - click HERE.
October 28, 2019
My 6 Favorite Perennials to Plant in Fall
It. Is. Time! Time to plant your favorite perennials. Perennials are those plants that come back year after year, rather than annuals that have to be re-planted each year. Fall is the best time to plant so many garden favorites because the cold season allows the plants to grow their roots in peace. Once a good root system has been established, the plants are ready to show off come spring and summer! I met recently with Lanie of Thunderwood Farms and we talked about our six favorite perennials to plant right now! #1: PHENOMENAL LAVENDER While regular lavender often dies from over watering or soggy winters, Phenomenal Lavender can survive the wet winters we have down south. If you plant now, you will even see blooms your first spring season! This strain can be hard to obtain but really will flourish come spring. The leaves exhibit silver hues among the light green colors and of course the blooms are that classic lavender shade. Bees love these plants as they are a great pollinator and they can grow 2-4 feet in height. After the spring, cut back the dead blooms to ensure a great show the following year. I have this variety growing in my garden and it is growing so well! I adore it! Listen to the full episode to hear about my 5 other favorites... For more information, tips, tricks, DIYs, recipes, and more from Carmen - click HERE.
October 28, 2019
How to Create a Natural and Beautifully Layered Fall Front Porch
I'm walking you through how-to create a beautiful fall front porch that will last through November. Layering wicker, copper, pumpkins, and LOTS of plants, I'm going to tell you how I create gorgeous fall entryways step by step.  Plant Inspiration Crepe Myrtle that are at least 6-10 feet tall Large Copper Pots Pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors both real and faux Lambs Ear Rooster Grass Antherium Heuchera Variegated Ivy Carex Cabbages Kales Ajuga Bittersweet Vine Dried Oranges Dried Limes Large Wicker Baskets Use the list above as a guide to some great fall plants that thrive in fall weather and even survive mild frosts and winters! The plants, especially the lambs ear and green kales and cabbages, have silver undertones that really compliment the copper hues. All of these plants can then be planted in your yard later on to enjoy all winter long. Any young trees with colorful branches work well here, like maple or crepe myrtle. Or you can even cut large branches off an existing tree. Water everything very well before putting it all together so the soil is very moist and continue to water throughout the season. Make sure there is a hole in your container for drainage. This project is a classic stuff and shove, you won’t remove any plants from their plastic containers. I started with the tree, then added lambs ear and cabbages and kale in a triangle arrangement. Then layer your other plants and grasses on top, like carex and antherium. I try to always use gallon size plants- go big or go home!
October 23, 2019
How to Make 3 Delicious Fall Cocktails: Cherry Mint Julep, Hot Toddy, and my Fall Sangria
Fall is here and so is our readiness for some fall cocktails! Herbs like sage, rosemary, and mint are perfect fall herbs to base your cocktails around. Use the liquor and wine you already have on hand and pair with seasonal fruits! Listen in as I show you how I craft my three fall favorite drinks: Hot Toddy, Cherry Mint Julep, and my Fall Sangria! CHERRY MINT JULEP This recipe comes Dishes Delish (link) and we made our own version using what we have on hand! Let’s put the drink together! Ingredients Large bunch of mint (I love using spearmint!) 1 oz simple syrup (we made our own using organic cane sugar) 1 oz tart cherry concentrate Crushed ice 4 oz Wellers Bourbon Mint Julep Cups This cocktail could not be any easier! I use a cocktail shaker to muddle the mint by shaking the crushed ice and mint together. Add to the mint julep cups and add a quick pour of simple syrup. Top with a couple ounces of bourbon and cherry concentrate. Stir and garnish with springs of mint. Salud! FALL SANGRIA I absolutely love sangria! It is one of my all time favorite drinks and can be customized so many ways! Ours has so many fall ingredients but you can add any seasonal herbs and fruits. Let’s mix it up! Ingredients 1 bottle Prosecco A couple ounces grand manier Pomegranate Orange San Pellegrino 1 bottle ginger beer 1 cup soda water A couple ounces Blackberry Manischewitz Fresh orange juice Sliced Oranges Blackberries Cinnamon Sticks Rosemary Sprigs Mix the Prosecco, Grand Manier, San Pellegrino, ginger beer, soda water, blackberry Manischewitz, and orange juice in a large pitcher and add several cinnamon sticks. Let it chill for several hours or overnight. Pour the sangria into each glass and top with an orange slice, a couple blackberries, a cinnamon stick, and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy! THE ULTIMATE FALL HOT TODDY This is the ultimate fall cocktail! Served hot or cold, this drink tastes exactly like fall in a cup! Using copper mule mugs gives this the perfect fall look. Ingredients Wellers Bourbon Sparkling glogg (a spiced non-alcoholic beverage) Cinnamon sticks Mix a couple of cups of sparkling glogg with a shot of bourbon. Heat if desired. Pour into mugs and top with a cinnamon stick. Cheers!
October 23, 2019
FERNS: All You Need to Know About Caring for and Choosing Ferns for Fall Planting
I love love love ferns in all shapes and sizes and Lanie from Thunderwood Farms was the perfect person to share in my excitement for these beauties. Fall is the very best time to plant ferns because it gives the plants a chance to establish their roots before the leaf growth of spring and summer. Most ferns are evergreen and will stay beautiful throughout the fall. Also, ferns are, for the most part, deer resistant! Yes, if they are hungry enough, they might nibble, but most ferns can stay untouched by your forest neighbors. Our motto for ferns is “the more you love them, the less they love you”. Ferns need little attention, especially during the fall and winter. Once planted in the fall, your fern will want some space as it focuses its attention on creating a stable root system. Once spring and summer roll around, then it’s time to give a little fertilizer and love to give it a jump start into the new season. For my 6 favorite ferns and how to care for them...listen to the full episode!
October 20, 2019
Carmen Johnston Gardens
This podcast was created at Nashville Voice Conference for Carmen Johnston Gardens and will feature weekly updates including interviews and how-to gardening tips. 
July 31, 2019
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