New Magnolia Tea Towel Available

Southern Magnolia Tea Towel

Now available in my Etsy shop Paper Gumbo.Southern Magnolia


1 cotton linen canvas tea towel, measuring about 15.5 inches x 24.5 inches. This vintage botanical illustration of a Southern Magnolia has been retouched and is printed on a burgundy background with the words Southern Magnolia imprinted in white. The fabric is beautiful, looks like 100% linen. The printing on this dish towel is bright and vibrant, a true representation of the original illustration.

Washable in warm or cold water with a phosphate free cleanser. Dry low or line-dry. Iron on the back of print if necessary on medium setting. Fabric has been pre-washed but may still shrink slightly.

Makes a great gift. Looks great hanging in the kitchen as a decorative towel.

These items are ready to ship!


Floral Design 1

Floral Design 1

Floral Design 1a

These are the results of my first floral design class. I’m loving this process, very fun! It’s extremely hot, so the Hydrangea are a little wilted. It was a class about using the right amount of materials.

DIY Cloche for Gardening

DIY Cloche

I recently returned from a trip to Louisiana visiting family and brought back multiple varieties of cuttings of Camellias from my mom and aunt’s yard. I removed all the leaves but kept the new buds on the stems, dipped them in rooting hormone and placed them under these DIY Cloches. A cloche (bell in French), is like a small terrarium for the plants. It holds in the moisture and heat, encouraging it to root, while protecting it from the wind and cold. If the temperature gets up to around 70º F, I’ll have to vent them to prevent theheat from killing the stems. I bought these glass vases at the thrift store for $1/each.

DIY Cloche

DIY ClocheDIY Cloche 2DIY Cloche 4

There are over 250 species of Camellias. Here are the results I’m after:

Camellia Varieties I’ll let you know how it works out.

Crepe Myrtle’s in Full Bloom!

The Beautiful Colors of Crepe Myrtle Trees
What I love most about the August and September is all the beautiful Crepe Myrtle trees are in bloom. Here in Southern California, the city plants them in the many of the parkways. They are so pretty when they’re all in bloom at the same time. There are many colors to choose from. I’ve seen Red, Lilac, Light Pink, Dark Pink and Purple. They originated in AsiaCrepe Myrtle Trees and once established, they need very little water.


Growing Black Tomatoes

Black Tomatoes are a Great Addition to your Summer Garden!

Black Tomatoes

I was lucky enough to taste a large black tomato in a salad last summer — it was absolutely delicious. So this year I planted some. Here’s what they look like on the vine. They tend to grow in small groups, kind of like a cherry tomato. I wasn’t sure how large they would get or when they were ripe. This particular strain only gets to about 4 inches in diameter at it’s largest. They start to get red or orange colored from the bottom up. I have found that when the red color is about 1/3 to 1/2 way up the tomato, it’s ready for picking. Although these are on the smaller size, they pack a whole lot of flavor.

I had no problem with any bugs or rotting on the vine. These tomatoes were very easy to grow and they look great. I would highly recommend them for your garden.

Zinnias in the Summer Garden

Zinnia GardeningMy Zinnia Garden is in full bloom and what a beautiful sight it is! I have a variety of colors and they bloom all summer. They will tolerate dry conditions and extreme heat. They can easily take full sun, even in Southern California. They grow from a small bulb and multiply from year to year. Every couple of years I divide them up, separate them and replant. They die back in the fall and winter, by late Spring the green leaves begin to return. They start blooming in early June. If you deadhead regularly, they will keep blooming through September. Zinnias require water a couple of times a week. They are an American plant of the daisy family. These would look great on your 4th of July party table!

If you would like to purchase a printable of this for $5, visit my shop Paper Gumbo on Etsy.

Gardening – A Creative Planter Idea

Creative Planter

Gardening – I bought this at a thrift store. It was rusty and heavy. It was made to hang on an office door to hold file folders. I sprayed it white and lined it with garden fabric, then filled it with soil and a couple of 6 packs of annuals to make a planter. I also ran a tube of drip line from my sprinkler to each section for irrigation. It looks pretty in my flower bed, giving my gardeni some height.