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Styling Outdoorscapes

I’ve got my Go-To Supply List For Your Holiday Containers for you as mentioned over at the Red Bird Holiday Seasonal Sparkle [Containers + Decor]. These are my tried and true go-to’s that I keep *in* hand for this time of year when making #livingholidaygreetingcards. Though your results may vary, you can’t go wrong with any of these supplies:

  1. Twist-ems Twisty ties – I honestly feel like MacGyver with this supply. The fur-baby interns best watch out… they may have a winter bouquet twisty-tied to ’em! The easy cutter included makes this an on-the-go, ICOE, all-in-one tool – clip off just a smidgen or lasso the whole darn garland together.
  2. Tacky Glue – So many creations, so little time. This is *the* glue I’ve used since I was little. Perfect for working with sedums year-round.
  3. Garden Staples – Used all year, these fabric anchors are to container design as bobby pins were to my momma’s beehive hair-do. These staples hold everything pinned into place in the soil of your container. You know, taking care of the fly-aways.
  4. Holiday Greens – When not sourcing from our own gardens and farm, I shop VERY Pacific-NW local for the best greens, garlands, trees, cones at the seasonal retail store, The Holly Shop. (Bonus: they rent out part of the workspace to the AMAZING non-profit The Bloom Project – which ALWAYS feels good to be near!)
  5. Floral Wire – Great for bundling greens for your container centerpiece or stringing baubles and balls together before stapling into the soil.
  6. Latching Storage Box – KISS – All supplies stored in one safe place. Love these made in USA bins. Be sure to “size up” your bin as needed so that you have room to stow the baubles, bows, balls you want to repurpose next year.
  7. Wilt Stop – This is so handy for extending the life of your greens!  Spray directly to your holiday garlands, greens, tree to decrease drying out. (Keep on hand for transplanting in spring too!)
  8. Glue Dots – I’m definitely a dot-n-go gal. This handy dispenser helps make for quick(er) work. Choose from permanent (better for outdoors most times) or removable.
  9. Secret Sauce – not shown here. These are your special touches of found nature objects (dried seed pods or Allium blooms, let’s say) and baubles, balls, bows, bedazzling that make your seasonal decor yours! Have fun making your #livingholidaygreetingcard.

For more #RedBirdBehindtheScenes in real-time, Follow along. I’m always creating something for our thriving outside, healing inside.  Be sure to share your creations too!

Christmas Containers

“It’s that time of year when the world falls in love…” The Christmas Waltz is my theme song when preparing the Red Bird Holiday Seasonal Containers and Decor for my Red Birds.

It’s also that time of year when my studio moves from the larger-scale designing and styling outdoor living and healing spaces to the wondrous small, intimate container and pottery storytelling elements of delight that bid the blessings of winter’s peaceful hush and magic.

I’ll confess. I start imagining the holiday dress for clients in early October before fall planting design and fall decor finishes are complete. I can’t help the inspiration, especially with Mother Nature’s cues all around. The variations on theme of good will to all, nature’s quieting, the sparkle of the season dance like sugar plum fairies in my head. (Shh, don’t tell! I consider such my muses.)

The #MechanicalWonderman can tell it is Holiday Sparkle Services lift off in early fall when

  • my inner Martha hits a new gear and mossy branches, drying seed pods and pinecones start following me home from my morning dog walks.
  • glue dots, staples, twisty-twine show up as regulars on the weekly shopping list to restock my Supplies.
  • the parlor evolves into my inside creation station. (Haven’t we all commandeered a space or two?)
  • quickie stops at discount shops have employees greeting me by first name. (Cheers, anyone?)
  • the bags of baubles rolling around in the back of the Ruby plant mobile is like music to my ears.  (Straight into the crafting closest they go, tagged with client names and cliff note ideas for making.)

Some of you start to see covert Pinning operations. (Hey! Follow!) It is as though I go from Fairy Garden Godmother to frisky, designer glue-gun waving Elf overnight.

This is all to say that I’m excited to share photos with you from recent (and a few archived) decking of halls, porches, patios, terraces… exteriors! If you are like me – a maker, crafter, gardening decorator – you so enjoy dressing up containers too. It extends our gardening season, offers cover and forage for wildlife and lends the opportunity to channel our home’s spirit and heart’s sentiment for the season.

Find inspiration for expressing your spirit for the season paired well with your home’s architecture for your own Holiday Seasonal Container Sparkle. And check out my Go-to Supply List.

Traditional French Country says “Joyeux Noel!” with sparkles of white, natural pods, cedars and magnolia leaves.

Midcentury Modern speaks in simplified, organized, clean language, nodding “Merry Red-berry Christmas” with red twig dogwoods, red faux berries, baubles and greens. (Picture: Bing Crosby in his red sweater singing from the great room in his Rancho Mirage home…)   

Village-style new housing development calls for red and gold accents for individuation and uniqueness paired with dried iris pods gilded in gold.    

More than just a pretty dressing, though, holiday container design is about channeling the hearts and spirits of those that live inside these homes so that these vignettes help to spread warm winter greetings of love, best wishes and happy holidays to guests and neighbors.

With each pottery piece snuggled into dormancy below (bulbs!) and delight atop, there is an expression of hope, blessing, nurturing. For me, Sparkle decor doings are holiday gift baskets to the world outside and to clients safely, seasonally tucked inside. They give a reason to look out and lighten up. To be merry and bright even on the grayest, darkest of days. There is a child-like wonder no matter your architecture and no matter your embellishments. 

Over at Red Bird World Headquarters where many a #RedBirdBehindtheScenes design experiment takes place, I’m reveling in repurposing and harvesting fall seasonal castoffs for new takes on silly, sedums, pumpkin-as-snowman. Creating these vignettes allows for my own seasonal departure into winter wonderland outside and inside.

Want see how those sedum snowmen pumpkin are turning out? Find (and follow) me creating over here, behind the scenes. And you’ll see more about my tools, tricks, trials, triumphs (hark, the herald angels!).

From my [garden] heart to yours, in the crooner spirit of Frank, “Merry Christmas. May your New Year dreams come true.”

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Photography, design, sourcing, styling, plantings: Red Bird Restorative Gardens | Living Greens Supplies: personal nature soul strolls (always take a bag!), Bauman’s Farm & Teufel Holly Farms | Ornamentations, balls, baubles: Marshall’s, TJMaxx, Portland Flower Market, Al’s Garden Center, Dollar Store, Goodwill.

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If you are not feeling the healing benefits of your outdoor haven, it’s because your space isn’t growing your happiness inside; it’s not growing your peace, health, inspiration like it can.

Feeling disappointed with the energy and vibe of your garden space? Your space may need to be soul-styled.


To replenish your scene, reap the benefits and boost your mind, body, spirit, try my Cure #3 for what’s ailing your healing outdoor haven.

(This is Part 3 of a 3-part series – to clean, connect & find comfort in nature that awaits you, should you clear the channel. Cure 1 is here and Cure 2 is here. Cliff-notes version? Click here for Your 3 Cures Tip Sheet!)

Cure 3: Comfort opens a sacred channel

Spring_WaterBowl Floating Flowers

This is a Cure to Nurture Your Inspiration

When uncomfortable, we often close up. Just as when an outfit doesn’t fit right – too tight, not warm enough, can’t sit comfortably – when an environment doesn’t feel right to us, we can’t wait to get out of it.  Likewise, when an outfit speaks to our essence and helps us shine, we go back to it, again and again, as our favorite go-to ensemble. It’s an exterior expression of our interior essence.

You’ve got untapped potential right outside your door waiting to be your go-to sacred space where you can be comfortable to commune and receive. A sanctuary for the soul’s conveyance nourishes a sacred union that helps us to let go of the build-up of the day’s stresses and the wounds of grief. It helps us focus and hear what our sweet souls are trying to say. When we soulfully style our outdoor spaces, they become more personal and play a meaningful role in our lives. This cure is apt to draw you outside and help you go inward, opening a sacred channel to nurture inspiration.

[bctt tweet=”An outdoor space where your soul is comforted, opens doors to aligning w/ your interior world. “]

Action-taking Tips:

  • Reserve your soul a special spot. Instead of tackling an entire landscape, pick a small nook (aka “pocket garden”) where you can escape and make it your own.
  • Take small style bites. You’ve done some cleaning and clearing. You’ve spa’d up your scene to soothe your sensesNow get comfortable by selecting personal self-love-reminding elements to enliven and furnish your space. I call these #feelgoodfurnishings. For instance, a recycled this (chair?) or a recovered that (bench?). How about that chair if it had a couple of pillows? Perhaps drape a washable blanket over the back for chilly days? Strike up candles to set the mood. Create an exterior shrine with found treasures
  • Pad for privacy. Plant up containers with taller plants and move them into place to mark your space and offer a surround-sound buffer. Go for a cocooned or “womb” shape to your special space.

By soul-styling your space, you’ll find this cure has a ripple effect. It helps your body feel more comfortable; your mind more available to clarity and your soul open and more easily inspired to recharge. This cure for comfort opens a sacred channel of your soul and the What-Is beyond.

Our garden and outdoor spaces bloom with positivity, pollinate hope & nurture a beautiful world inside.


Hey Annie, how do I know when the cures are working?

When your garden living space:

  • soothes your senses and you get that ahhh feeling upon stepping into your #serenegreenscene
  • delights your soul and supports the rekindling your spirit
  • elevates your state of mind
  • is a place of relocation for daily living rituals (napping, yogaing, reading, phoning, working, meditating, eating, cooking, conversing…) because in here (hello precious spirit) finds safety, satisfaction and yearns for more out there.

Then, my Red Bird friend, you are on the garden path to having your very own Restorative Garden – your Sanctuary.

Start by making these cures to create positive change in the everyday nature that surrounds you.


Drop me a comment and tell me how you got a boost of sanity, perhaps some salve for your senses or some much-needed comfort for your soul. I’m listening… 

You hoo… I have something special for you… 

Get your 1-page Tip Sheet of my 3 Cures to Fix What’s Ailing Your Healing Outdoor Haven.

Click for 3 Cures Tip Sheet!

Need help in transforming your yard space from ugh to AHH! My Sanctuary Garden Design Consultation may just be the help you need!

Are you a style-keen, nature-loving, holistically-inclined “soilsoulsister” (or brother) who wants to tune out stress & dis-ease & tune into your mind.body.spirit connection, thanks to your own slice of everyday, personal paradise? Plant-tas-tic! Sign up for news, resources, good shares and we’ll get on with your thriving outside & healing inside.