Green All Year – Faux Terrariums

Gardening, Gifts, Store

You’ve probably heard the phrase “luck of the Irish” – especially since St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend. Upon hearing this phrase, you’d typically think that it means that the Irish are lucky people, when in fact it’s just the opposite. If you look up the history behind that phrase and the Irish, you’ll see that it is not quite good luck they refer to, but that the Irish have particularly bad luck. Ireland faced famine, war, prejudice and had their land taken from them multiple times. However, later on in time, this phrase was also referenced to the times when the Irish came to America and found gold, therefore adding a positive connotation.

If you happen to have the bad “luck of the Irish” when it comes to gardening, you actually may be in luck after all! Keeping plants green (a.k.a. “alive”), does require some hard work. You’ve got to water them, fertilize them, keep pests away, and some of them even need to be cut back regularly. Not to mention some plants only grow in specific environments. So, if you have trouble keeping plants “green” then fake/faux plants are the way to go!

We recently launched a line of faux terrariums, cleverly named “Forever Faux Terrariums” because they will be forever green! If you’ve seen live terrariums and been envious of them, you’ll be happy to know that these Faux Terrariums look and act just like the real ones and you don’t even have to tell people they are fake!

Building a faux terrarium couldn’t be easier! Simply pick out a container. Next,  pick an artificial plant foliage option to place inside and then add a filler option such as rocks or moss. No watering, no cutting back, and no worrying required. You are also in luck because we made an easy to follow step by step How To Guide on Creating a Terrarium. Check out below all the fun options we have + save $5 this weekend only with coupon code: FOREVERGREEN5

faux-fake-artificial-terrariumsTerrarium coupon(1. Bubble Terrarium 2. Square Grass Terrarium 3. Terrarium Lid/Cover 4. Cylinder Terrarium 5. Large Bubble Terrarium 6. Cylinder Terrarium 7. European Terrarium 8. Lotus Terrarium 9. Grass Terrarium 10. Bubble Terrarium)

Not only will these Terrariums stay green forever, they’ll also add some life back into your home. Any interior designer will tell you that adding plants and greenery is crucial to good design. Place a terrarium on a bookshelf, coffee table or use it as a centerpiece for your table. It’s also a good idea to mix a few of them together. Here are just a few ideas to inspire you:

fake-terrarium-1 fake-terrarium-2 fake-terrarium-3 fake-terrarium-4 fake-terrarium-5

No more Irish luck for you and you also no longer have a valid excuse as to why you can’t “grow” a terrarium! And as the Irish say, may the road rise to meet you, which translates to may success be with you!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Scratching the Garden Itch

Gardening, Pin Inspiration, Store

If you’ve come to this blog, chances are you are lover of the outdoors…after all, this is intended to be an inspirational outdoor living blog! We hope this blog is satisfying your desire to be outdoors, despite the frigid temperatures or mountains of snow you are facing in your backyard. We hear you loud and clear, and we’re with you!

If you were hoping to find some ideas to “scratch that garden itch” you’ve been facing since October, or maybe the first frost, it’s your lucky day. There are numerous ways you can garden in the winter or at least prepare for your glorious spring and summer gardens.

Plan your garden
Winter is a great time to re-envision your garden. Start by heading over to Pinterest and gather inspiration for your spring and summer gardens. Make a Pinterest board with your favorite garden images that could work in your yard. Then head on over to a flower bulb or garden website and start pinning your favorite flowers and plants you’d like to add to your garden. There in one space (a pinterest board) you can see how your vision is unfolding and you’ve now also bookmarked your favorites for when you’d like to purchase them! This can also help you to decide what you like most and prioritize if you’re working under a space or money constraint.


Start seedlings
Many stores and websites start selling seeds in January, so now is the time to go pick up your favorites and start them indoors. There are numerous different and easy ways you can start them, for example in old toilet paper rolls, egg trays, cloches and more. Then after the last frost, you can transplant your mature plants outdoors!

starting-seeds-early(Photo Source: Mommysavers)

Force bulbs indoors
Fall-planted bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, etc.) can be forced to bloom earlier indoors — all you have to do is trick them! If you have fall bulbs you haven’t planted, all you need to do is chill them or finish the process of chilling them. Once they have been chilled for the proper amount of weeks, move them to a warm location in your home and enjoy their beauty. For tips on forcing flower bulbs, read this guest blog post, Flower Bulb Forcing. If you’d like to purchase already chilled bulbs, visit Willard & May.

Create a Terrarium/Succulent Garden
We love succulent gardens because they are easy to grow, pretty hard to kill (bonus!) and have a whimsical feel – almost like you could find a little fairy floating around them. One of our designers thought she’d give a succulent garden a try last February, and we all agreed it was nice to showcase a little extra green in our homes or office. To read more on how to create your own Terrarium, visit this blog post titled, Weekend DIY: Indoor Gardensucculent miniature garden in bowl

What have you been doing to “scratch your garden itch”? We’d love to hear all about it!

New Years Resolutions: Outdoor Style!

Pin Inspiration, Store

As you know the New Year is here! (As if you didn’t know, right?) As always, the new year is a time to reflect on the past year as well as make new goals. You may think back and realize you didn’t accomplish all you wanted to in your backyards or maybe you wish you would have had more opportunities to visit your favorite national park. Whatever it may be, this year why not trying to set a goal (and a deadline if that helps) and actually stick to it?!

In the spirit of new year’s resolutions, our team put together a few resolutions for 2013, relating to the outdoors. See what they have to say….



Jenny – I want to plant a vegetable garden in my small city lot using only heirloom vegetables and non-GMO seeds. To maximize the amount of space I can grow veggies in, I intend to plant in containers, as well as use the vertical growing area provided by my fence for climbing veggies like beans and cucumbers.

Mel – I really would like to add some personality to the back entrance of our house, which typically gets used more than the front. I’m hoping to incorporate some “no-installation-needed” LED lighting items and maybe add a few whimsical accents here and there to get me started!

NickThis year, I’m facing my fear of heights and going skydiving — I figure I might as well go all out. I’d also like to camp more throughout the summer – maybe I’ll even take a Chimenea.

VanessaOur deck could use some freshening up – I hope to pressure wash it to renew the wood, as well as add containers of colorful blooms that I can enjoy throughout the year. I’d also like to start my day more often out on my patio, drinking coffee.

Jonathan – My resolution is to get to the park/beach more, play some basketball, maybe some sand volleyball, and definitely enjoy the radiant sun. Pass the sunscreen, please.


Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to make a list of goals for 2013…or, if not a list, make at least one resolution! And if you feel like sharing your own, please do in the comments below!

Happy New Year!

Our Top 5 Gifts for 2012

Gifts, Outdoor Decor, Store

The countdown is on…Only 2 weeks until Christmas! Maybe you’ve been wondering what to get that special garden or outdoor lover in your life. Well wonder no more! We’ve put together our list of our top-selling items this holiday season to help make your shopping even easier. But you’ll need to hurry — orders must be placed by December 16th for delivery in time for Christmas!

top 5 garden gifts

Source List: 1. Rain Chains 2. Amaryllis Trio 3. Cobalt Blue Strawberry Planter 4. Garden Hook 5. Muscari Forcing Kit 

Happy Shopping!

Guest Blog: Flower Bulb Forcing

Garden Spaces, Gardening, Outdoor Decor, Store

Guest Blogger, Gabrielle from the blog FlowerBulbCrazy is here to share some unique ideas and tips for forcing bulbs this winter. After she is done sharing, head on over to her blog to check out other great ideas and tips on gardening with flower bulbs!

There are so many people who really miss out on spring blooming bulbs… people who live in the warmer zones and think it’s too warm to plant!  And then there are people like me who long for winter to be over and want flowers 24/7. Typically, growing flower bulbs is almost fool proof, but forcing bulbs takes a little more time and attention. Forcing bulbs is the term used for mimicking what normally happens to bulbs when planted outdoors.  It is a process that stimulates bulbs to bloom out of season.

The most common and easiest bulbs to force are:  narcissus/daffodilsamaryllismuscari, crocus and hyacinths.  Daffodils and tulips are not too difficult either, but choose shorter and earlier blooming varieties (Triumph, Single Early and Darwin Hybrid varieties) for the best outcome.   Generally, spring flowering bulbs usually require about 10-14 weeks at temperatures between 41-48°F in order to bloom and grow properly come springtime. Check out the chart below for the approximate number of “chilling” weeks required and number of weeks to bloom for different varieties of flower bulbs.

Name of bulb                         Weeks of cold                    Weeks to bloom

AmaryllisNone6 to 10
Crocus152 to 3
Hyacinths11 to 142 to 3
Muscari13 to 152 to 3
Narcissus/Daffodils15 to 172 to 3
Paper-whitesNone3 to 5
Tulips15 to 202 to 3

Pot your bulbs right away if you have an appropriate location immediately available, such as a refrigerator, a root cellar, cool basement, or outdoors if temps are below 48°F. When storing pots outdoors for the cold period, be sure that if temps drop below 30°F that you cover them with some type of insulation. If you can’t plant them immediately, bare bulbs can be stored in a mesh bag or paper bag with holes that permit ventilation for several weeks in a refrigerator prior to potting without damage. Note: Do not store them in same vicinity as fruit, as the ripening process can negatively affect the quality of the bulbs.

Use clean pots with drainage holes and regular potting soil. Make sure you allow for 2 inches of soil below the bulb and select a pot large enough to allow the top of the bulb to be even with the rim when placed on the soil. The bulbs should be touching each other for the best look when blooming. Water them well after planting in order to settle the soil.

The bulbs will begin to flower anywhere from 2-5 weeks after they have been brought into warmer temperatures, provided they have been given the recommended number of weeks of cool temperature (see chart above). If you have a set time when you want them to bloom, make sure you add the flowering period to the rooting/cold period for the total number of weeks to wait. Amaryllis and Paper-whites do not need this cold period.

These next steps would be ideal for the best and most perfect blooms.
Move your pots to an indoor area with indirect sunlight and temperatures about 60°F for a week or two. When the above plant growth is 4-6 inches tall, move the pots to a bright, sunny window to stimulate blooming. A temperature of about 68°F and direct sunlight would be ideal. When you see the color on the buds, return the plants to indirect sunlight to make the blossoms last as long as possible. Keep the soil moist at all times.

After blooming, hardy bulbs such as hyacinths and tulips cannot be forced again and should be discarded. They can also be instead planted outdoors where they may re-bloom within a year or two.

Forcing Flower Bulb Inspiration – Ideas for your Home

Maybe you will want to give this a try now?  I especially enjoy forcing Hyacinths for indoor enjoyment because of their sweet fragrance!  Thanks for letting me share and I hope you found this helpful and easy to understand.

Rain Chains: Cool & Functional Art

Gardening, Outdoor Decor, Store

rain chain function and purposeful art

Rain chains are a unique yet still functional way to add style to your gutters and yard.  The Japanese have been using rain chains for hundreds of years, which makes them a critical part of any Japanese garden. The original rain chains were simply links of chains that would hang from the roof to the ground. Even these primitive versions provided a calming and pleasant sound, however were not nearly as decorative as the new and improved ones we enjoy today. Originally, rain chains were used primarily for functional purposes, such as catching the water as it ran off a roof and collecting into a large barrel for use later for various household purposes.

The design of rain chains has come a long way since they were first introduced. Present-day rain chains feature a series of cups that work to funnel the water, creating less splash while still guiding the water down the chain to the basin. Rain chains can actually be used in place of a traditional downspout to incorporate great style and uniqueness into the landscape. Most rain chain cups and links are constructed from copper, adding a classy and distinct look whether the copper is new and shiny or weathered showing a bit of patina. Another feature that we love about rain chains is that the cup styles vary, so you can match them to the look of your house, garden and personality.  While style is always important in terms of accessories for your house, your home should also primarily be a place of enjoyment and relaxation. A rain chain can add a wonderful sense of relaxation on a rainy day. The soothing sounds of raindrops slowly trickling or abruptly splashing through the chains and links can add extremely pleasant sounds and sights to your outdoor room . Enjoying these little things in life and being able to appreciate something as simple as rain flowing through a copper chain can really help to clear the mind.

Besides the many style choices, rain chains also offer many choices for where to direct the water to after it has made it down the chain.  You may choose to catch the water in a large decorative pot with no drainage holes…you could even add water plants such as Water lilies or Umbrella Palms to the pot for added color and flair! Another option would be to place a rain barrel or other type of basin at the base of the chain. Then use this water on your garden plants! They’ll love being watered by the water that collects in this barrel as it contains minerals essential for healthy plant growth and your pocket book will also appreciate it since you will be using less water from the hose!  If you are thinking of installing a rain chain and would like to keep it simple, it isn’t even necessary to catch the water in any kind of container. The rain can be funneled down the chain and go directly into your garden! Simply be sure to select water-loving plants that are good for your climate such as Ligularia, or Sambucus under the chain so they can benefit from the additional water.

rain chain uses and ideas
(Photo Source: 1. WorkBench 2. Trendir 3. Willard & May 4. Houzz)

Rain chains can be hung from the gutters in the front of your house, near a patio, by the garden shed or even incorporated into the garden.  The best part is that these stylish copper “downspouts” are easy to install. First, remove the existing downspout.  Second, insert the rain chain into the gutter. The rain chain will come with a large “V” on top of the chain that rests on each of the gutters at the opening of the downspout. Complete the look with your decorative pot, rain barrel, rocks or just leave it to empty into the garden! Now, just wait for that perfect rainy day to enjoy the soothing and tranquil sounds of your newly installed and beautiful copper rain chain!

rain chains for sale at willard and may

You can find 3 styles of Copper Rain Chains and some fun large pottery to get you going on your new simple water feature at (1. Cute Cup Rain Chain 2. Flower Petal Rain Chain 3. Widelip Rain Chain)


Spotted: Cloche Terrariums

Gardening, Spotted, Store

New feature! Every time we see someone using an outdoor living product from Willard & May, out on the web or in real life – we’ll post it on our blog in a new category called Spotted. This way you can see how others use our everyday products and become inspired.

Last week, while perusing the blog, Young House Love,looking at all of their great DIY projects for outside and inside, we noticed a Cloche Terrarium featured on their kitchen counter, protecting a little plant. In the past, this indoor garden tool was merely functional as it was used to accelerate the growth of young plants. Now are they not only used for the same purpose and also to protect the plants from extreme weather, but they’re also decorative and uniquecloche garden terrarium bell shaped!

(Source: Young House Love)

Weekend DIY: Door Mat

Outdoor Decor, Store, Weekend DIY

Not only does the color of your front door give your guests a first impression of your style and personality but so does a welcoming door mat! Door mats have a tough life, getting stepped on all the time and you may think, “Who cares? It’s just going to get dirty anyways!” But that is no reason to go without one or put a less attractive one out for they serve a very important purpose and can add to the look and feel of your entryway.

Do yourself, your home and your future guests a favor and create a unique and vibrant DIY door mat! This do-it-yourself door mat comes from Lowe’s Creative Ideas, a site which features an abundance projects and ideas to improve your home inside and out. Visit their website for the low-down on all the supplies, instructions, and helpful tips to create this unique door mat.

diy door mat(Photo Source: Lowe’s Creative Ideas)

To put our own spin on it, we’d suggest not using the entire rainbow of colors (unless that fits the style of your home), but instead pick a color scheme that matches well with your home. For color scheme ideas, visit this helpful website: design seeds. There are hundreds of options! We picked out the following:

And if you are not a DIY-type of person, check out the new Door Mats that are available at Willard & May. (1. Blue Blossom Door Mat 2. Scroll Rubber Door Mat 3. Tulips Door Mat)
willard and may outdoor rug door mats
Happy Weekend!

Chimeneas – Outdoor Fireplace

Furniture, Garden Spaces, Outdoor Decor, Outdoor Party, Store

Create the neighborhood evening hot-spot in your own backyard by adding a Chimenea! You may ask, “A Chima-what?” I’m sure you’ve seen these patio ornaments during your last trip to Mexico or in western movies…the Chimenea actually originates from Mexican Tribesmen who developed a way to simultaneously keep their families warm and cook, all while keeping the rain off of their fires. Recently, these Chimeneas have gained popularity in the world of outdoor decor since they also make a wonderfully affordable fireplace/firepit. Also, unlike the Mexican Chimeneas, Chimeneas today are crafted out of durable deluxe clay and are made to last and use outdoors year-round – even in the northern areas.

mexican fireplace chimenea garden chiminea

Chimeneas are an easy way to add warmth, light, and comfort to your backyard space. The long-lasting Chimeneas from Willard & May can be enjoyed year-round when placed amongst your garden, on your patio or deck, in your pool area and even while camping. Use your wood burning outdoor fireplace to add an inviting ambiance, warm-crackling flames, and a delightful wood burning aroma to your backyard space. You can also burn pinion woods (a hardwood pine found in the mountains of the southwestern United States)  as a natural mosquito repellent!

– Use the included metal stand as this helps to prevent the clay from retaining moisture. Your Chimenea will last longer if kept above the ground and allowed to breathe.
– Use a 2-3″ barrier of sand or pea gravel in the base of the wood burning area. Do not build a fire directly on the clay.
– Cure the Chimenea fire pit by building 2-3 small fires prior to regular, prolonged use. Allow the clay to cool completely between firings for at least 4-6 hours.
– Use newspaper or kindling to begin all fires. Never use starter fluid, charcoal, or artificial logs in your Chimenea.
– Keep your Chimenea free from water by protecting it during rain or freezing weather. If water does find its way inside, replace the sand and allow it to dry completely before starting another fire. Apply a non-flammable water-based sealer annually.
– Chimenea will get very hot during and after the burning process. Children should be supervised in the vicinity. Also, keep Chimenea away from roofs, overhangs, and branches and take care when using on a wood deck.

To properly see how you should care and handle your outdoor Chimenea, view the complete Chimenea Care Instructions here.

mexican fireplace chimenea garden chiminea from willard and may store

Included with our Willard & May ceramic Chimeneas are the powder coated stand, the cap, metal grate, and care instructions to get the best enjoyment from your Chimenea. There is no assembly required, just plain ol’ fun and easy! Check out all the different styles available for sale now!