It feels so good to have the pergola mostly finished (we still have to stain it but we’ve relented…that just isn’t going to happen until spring).  We had a little gathering of friends and hastily put up some lights so that we could see at night and so that we had a little ambiance.

by rochelle greayer

Without a doubt these lights did the trick, but we found them to be incredibly fragile and in the course of stringing them up and despite our extreme care, quite a few broke.  These will continue to serve the purpose until they have to be taken down for the staining….but I worry that they will look even more shoddy by spring and I am certain they will not fair well in the taking down and putting back up.  by rochelle greayer

So I am shopping for something with the same warm light and that imparts light that is helpful for evening activities, but isn’t too harsh, isn’t too bright or not enough, and is just a little different.   I love little white twinkle lights, but I’m desiring something else.   by rochelle greayer

So, I’m excited to find these:

lighting for the patio

1. Brown Edison Bulb String Lights – These will I hope be much more durable and interesting than the fragile balls that I used.  I think a few diagonal swags across the width of the structure will be perfect.
2. Black Chandelier String Lights  – Can I wrap more lights around this fixture (I really want to beef up the base)?  I hope so — would be so cool to hang two of them.
3. Copper Wire String Lights – I discovered these last winter and they are great for decorating plants that can’t otherwise hold lights (without damaging them).  FWIW, it isn’t a good idea to wrap trunks (like in this product photo – unless it is for a short period of time).

I’m debating if this will all be too much?  And if it is, which would I cut? hmmm….

Images by rochelle greayer

This post is sponsored by Lowes.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 



gorgeous garden gnomes by rochelle greayer
I’m off for the weekend – literally – catching a flight in the morning for Richmond, VA.  I’ll be spending some sweet time with friends as we gather to catch up on our personal celebrations (big birthdays, big moves, big changes, big accomplishments).

I can’t wait!

But before I go — I’ve got a little irreverence for you.  Gnomes –  you might think they are tacky (I have certainly thought that myself) but these stylish versions all make me smile and I would be happy to give them a home.  I even threw in an extra one.

Til Monday!


1. Ceramic Gnomes from Potted

2. Glazed Dijon Gnome from Urban Barn

3. Modern Gnomes from Gardens2You

4. Gnome Glow Lamp from Urban Barn

5. Bees Wax Gnome Candle from Atomic Garden Oakland

6. Wire Gnome from CB2

Oh boy, I used to think I was the kind of person who handled change really well, but this week put my just-go-with-it mentality to the test.

It was the first week of school being out and the last week that I am letting my little people go without highly structured levels of ‘something to do’. I was not so good with change this week and as a result I am trying to get back into routines that I have long ago let slide….like an editorial calendar here. I need a framework for my creativity or else the stress of everything else I have going on just overwhelms me to the point that I have nothing.

So — I’m bringing back a few things…slowly but surely and I already feel better.pattern inspiration for garden via

I’ve been obsessing about all things pattern related. So bringing back the Friday 5 roundup, here are some of my favorite patterned items for your garden decor.

1. Grassrider indoor outdoor mat by Domestic Construction
2. Liberty print melamine tray by RiceMorrocan Mosaic Tables from Tazi Designs
3. Morrocan Mosaic Tables from Tazi Designs
4. Visions Ombre Pillow from Shop Boxhill.
5. Arteriors sullivan polished brass perforated lantern.

I am not sure why it rarely occurs to me that I can ask you all questions too when I need some help….but it just did…so I thought I would throw out a few things that I am looking for some input on.

small scale barn lights

1) I have been coveting light fixtures like these for a few years.  Problem is they are both British and I can’t find a US retailer that carries the same for our US electrical system.  I am aware of barn light electric….nothing there has ever been quite the same (too big, wrong finishes, and simply more than I want or need)….I’d like the galvanized finish, a rusted steel finish or a white finish.  I can’t figure why Home Depot or the like hasn’t figured how to make a simple mass market version for a good mass market price.  Anyone got any leads?

These lights are from Baileys and Cox and Cox.

canon ipf700 printer2)  I have a printer that I need to sell.   It is a really nice printer and it has been well cared for and lightly used.   It is a large scale (36″wide) full color printer (Canon IPF700) — that makes garden design plans look beautiful.  It would be perfect for an artist, a designer, a small architecture office…a printshop…anyone with an interest….

It is one generation off the most current model but I have spoken with the local company that services these types of professional printers (and from whom I bought this printer), and I know that they are still sold, actively supported, parts are available should they be needed, and that while I paid around $3000 for it new, they still sell these exact (used and refurbished) printers for around $1200 – $1500.  I’m asking $900….but if you are seriously interested, please, lets talk.

My parents are coming to visit for the holidays and this thing obscurely sits between the spare bedroom and the spare bathroom and I would just like to get it out of the way.

3) I am writing a book….and I am in need of some images (actually a lot of images)….if you have some great photography of gardens that are full of personality, they may be a fit for the book (I am not yet sure how much I can say about the book concept — so I am purposely being a little cagey here with the description).

I would love to see your pictures, I would love to hear from professionals that might have beautiful things in their portfolios.  I am looking for some very specific things…but I just know that if you send me some of your projects or you get in touch, we will unearth something that is just perfect!

Thanks for your help - Rochelle


creighton Berman coil lamp kit via www.studiogblog.comOk –I admit this maybe stretching the definition of DIY  — but for those of you who perhaps need a bit of help when it comes to getting your hands dirty, maybe this is just the right project to start with.

creighton Berman coil lampCraighton Berman’s Coil Lamp Kit allows you to make your very own coil lamp from your very own extension cord and your very own light bulb.   I am partial to the standard orange extension cord verison….but if you want to play around, check out the variety of custom colored cords you can get over at Fourman Industries.  You can even get the cords printed….endless options….

See Craighton Berman Coil Lamp Kit Here.

images Craighton Berman

minali singh rocket planter terracotta

As I have sort of begun to organize the chicken coop/ potting shed I am – with every item that gets discarded – wanting to fill the space with terracotta and other sweet containers for making indoor  and mini gardens.  I’ve discovered that perusing flea markets and consignment shops with the specific purpose of digging up pots, usually has good results.

Read the full post

I love imagining gardens and outdoor rooms that have a distinct look and feel and when I start to play with ideas I always start with words. Specifically the words that appeal to me at that moment, or to the people whose space I am working on. When I started messing around with Studio ‘g’ and the new design here, I came across this collection of images at Joy Thigpen‘s Blog.
black urban earthy by joy thigpen

The title is ‘Black Urban Earthy’. I love those words by themselves, but together they get really good…and there it was, an immediate starting point for the Studio ‘g’ redesign.  But since I am still obsessing over the sexiness of it…I thought I would make a garden board with the same inspiration.

garden design inspired by black urban earthy

Images: 1. Black Orchids – Cymbidium Kiwi Midnight ‘Geyserland’, 2. Chicago Reclaimed brick veneer from Bricksalvage 3. Lantern, similar at Zgallerie, 4. Azobe Salvaged Wood and Rope Planters from Restoration Hardware, 5. Black, Urban and Earthy Flowers from oncewed. 6. Agapanthus ‘White Heaven from Sara Raven, 7.  terracotta pots image from pinterest. Pasha by Pedrali garden chair from Umodern. 10. granite cobbles image from Pinterest.

Here is what I would do — cover something in those bricks (a wall preferably).  Use a whole bunch of those lanterns.  Plant lots of white agapanthus in Terracotta pots and those great rope containers.  I’d probably under-plant them with Thyme or some other green cover plant.   Center pieces of my chunky rugged dining table would be a beautiful arrangement accompanied by breathtaking back orchids (in terracotta pots).  Floor would be dark grey granite, and at least two of the black chairs (at the head and foot of the table) would be absolutely necessary.   To top it all off, I would create a little mood noise with these chimes from a collection at Studio by the Forest.

urban earthy chimes

Would you add anything?