Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beautiful Botanical Bits For Gifts & Christmas

The 'Plantini' miniature Victorian hothouse kit. Designed and made in the UK by architectural model makers. Includes pot, compost and viola seeds. £28.

'Tree' decoupage tray featuring vintage print. John Derian New York. $185. (Also distributed worldwide through many stores.)

The perfect gardening smock. Available in linen or denim. A new venture by my friend Mickey Robertson at historic Glenmore House. Email

Gorgeous rabbit and cabbage deckchair. Ideal for sitting back and surveying your hard work on the vegetable patch. (Or sitting back and watching someone else do the hard work.) £125.

Peas in a Pod garden or shopping bag. $44. John Derian New York. (Also distributed worldwide through many stores.)

Vintage gardening posters. Sourced from Beligum. Various styles. Izzi and Popo.  (Puppy not included.)

Garden deckchair for literary lovers. Penguin's Store. £69.99

Spring-green wellies. Joules makes the cutest Wellies. Where Hunters are for the cashed-up highbrow crowd, Joules are for those who like saving money and having fun. Their wellingtons are not only cheaper but brighter, and beloved by country people who prefer some colour. £69.99.

Edith Wharton At Home: Life At The Mount. Full of gorgeous garden and interior design visuals showing the magnificent house and garden that author Edith Wharton designed. Amazon.

Flower cutting potting bench outfitted with a copper clad sink. Designed by the superb New England craftsmen at Hoffman Woodward. Snapped at the Trade Secrets Garden Fair in Connecticut earlier this year.

Fruit Tree & Bird Overnight Bag with Polka Dot Lining. £49.99

Celia Birtwell-print watering can.

Garden antiques galore. (And a gardener's B&B). Marston House in Wiscasset Maine must surely be one of the most glorious places to source unusual gardenalia. It's also a pretty B&B that's styled like a magazine shoot with antiques and other vintage garden bits. Created by architect Paul Mrozinski and his wife Sharon, Marston House has become famous for not only its lovely, simple-meets-sophisticated interior design style but also its range of products, which include vintage linen sheets, garden smocks in heavy-duty French linen, and textiles from France. They were at the Trade Secrets Show in Connecticut this year and everyone loved them.

Hamptons Gardens. $150. Assouline.

Brussel Sprouts umbrella. (Check website for price.)

Gisela Graham Botanical Print Gardening Gloves £9.99.

'Oak Tree' plates. (To make up a wall hanging). 9 Pieces; entire piece when displayed approximately 28" x 49". John Derian. (Again)

And lastly, look at this chappie! This DIY scarecrow will frighten the scavenging birds away..£25

Finally, there are only 4 places left on the Flowers, Frocks and Horticultural Fantasies Tour, so if you want to book, please do it soon!  It's astonishing to think that the inaugural tour has almost sold out in just 3 days. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has booked. It's just wonderful, and we can't wait to see you all. We have some really interesting people coming too – professional landscape designers, librarians, lawyers, teachers, writers, even a famous American blogger who's lovely. A delightful (and just-as-famous) Aussie blogger from Adelaide may be with us as well, but let's see how her knee fares. I'm hoping we can squeeze her in, even if it means taking a wheelchair along. The mix comprises gardeners from Canada, America, Australia and England, and I'm so thrilled that it's an international crowd. We also have some surprises up our sleeves for those who have booked. As it's the first tour we thought you should be treated like royalty. Even our travel agent is 'treating' us to one of the most divine places to dine in London. And we may have some amazing celebrity gardeners for you to meet... So there are lots of surprises for you to look forward to in May.

Due to the overwhelming demand, there will most likely be a second tour in June, for those who wish to visit England when the weather is warmer and the roses are out. Unfortunately the Chelsea Flower Show's 100th anniversary won't be on the itinerary but we'll find something lovely to make up for it – most likely the Open Gardens Weekend. So do email me at or our agent Jeanine French if you're still interested.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving week.


  1. Fabulous Janelle...that garden smock is calling my name. Your tour sounds amazing...I just love seeing women coming together and making the most out of life. I am sure there will be many wonderful stories as a result.

    So happy to catch up with your to read some more...

    Warm wishes...

    Jeanne xx

  2. Garden smock for sure. Plain.

    I never want to be a feature in my garden.

    Monet had all his gardeners wear blue shirts so they didn't disturb his 'eye'.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    Congrats on the tour selling so fast. Been to most of the gardens. None of the hotels. What a delight they must be.

  3. Janelle, so many wonderful suggestions! I love them all!

  4. Wish I could come as the tour sounds better by the minute! Dont tell me the famous US blogger is ??

    I wonder what the initial reaction was when someone designed/suggested one of the world's most disparaged veggies for the umbrella?

    Just back from Melbourne this time. I thought of you (and a post you did of a walk in the park) when I marvelled at a massive azalea in the gardens where the Melbourne museum and Exhibition building is. Lots of lovely roses in Carlton gardens too.

  5. Splutter, splutter, cough, cough - a wheelchair......I don't think so!!! I will be buzzing around those gardens on my new titanium knee unassisted thank you very much! Will know more on Nov. 26th when the Orthopod & I lock a date in for the deed to be done. My physio Scott knows about the FF&H tour in May & has taken on having me tip-top by then as a personal challenge. He is also the Adelaide Crows team physio (boo hiss, up the Power!!), but I'll forgive him anything if he gets me on that plane!
    Millie xx

    1. Good luck with it Millie! Look forward to meeting you on the Tour!
      A couple of months ago had keyhole surgery to trim torn meniscus and jagged bones bits in the knee. There was surprisingly little pain. Lots of exercises from orthopod and physio. It's Wonderful what modern surgical techniques can do. But of course my job was very minor.
      My mother had two knee replacements. It took quite a while to recover but both were completely successful and long term it was a miracle for her to have the mobility and freedom from pain. Best wishes, Pamela

  6. Janelle... These are wonderful gift ideas... I love the botanics theme... gorgeous..
    The trip sounds amazing... and I do hope Millie gets there...: i have a feeling she will... You have set a challenge... :)
    Happy weekend... xv


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