Archive for April 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Big Day is Almost Here - Are You Ready?

Milner Village Garden Centre Mother's Day display

At this time of the year, all of our work for the past 12 months comes to fruition.  365 days ago we started ordering our pots, soil, seeds, carry trays, trollies, plant tags, protective sleeves, decor containers, fertilizers and so much more.  All in preparation for the biggest day of our season…..


We have travelled the world in search of what exactly your Mom will want for her special day.

  Our entire team has been working hard behind the scenes…..

Our Container Garden Planting Team

They all take great pride in making sure you will get the pretties flowers on the market!

Our Drivers and their swampers

Our team is the BEST!

With such a fantastically creative team behind us here, we take great satisfaction in a job well done.  A celebration is in order, wouldn't you say?

Any excuse for a party

Cheers to the BEST CREW ever!

And now, I must admit that what I would really like for Mother's Day looks something like this…

One of my favourite things to do…..climb ladders with wine bottles at the top!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Welcome - Enter Here……Enter Often!

Has it really been 20 years?

Our first greenhouse, 20,000 square feet!

It feels like only yesterday we were starting out on the farm.

The old greenhouses are still in operation!

Not much has changed and yet nothing is the same.  Even our prices are better than ever!

Only moments ago, we were parents to 5 under 10, working hard in the flowers and trying to raise our family to be good stewards in this beautiful world we live in.

Now we're Grandparents to 4 under 5, working harder than ever and having more fun than we could have imagined 20 years ago!

We just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have watched our family and our business grow here in Milner.  Many of you have come in and offered your congratulations over the past few weeks, reminiscing with us on how much things have progressed.  You have rejoiced with us in the great things that have transpired over the past 20 years.  You have no idea how much your well wishes mean to us.

#blessings abound


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Old Fashioned Manners are Hip and Happening!

Poppies by Anna Benham

I don't know about you but I LOVE beautiful note cards.  They are a perfect little "Thank You" for any occasion.  Actually, in today's busy day and age, we seem to have lost a little of that old fashioned etiquette when it comes to writing thank you notes.  I mean, when was the last time you sent off a pretty card to show your appreciation for an evening of wine and companionship with your friends or family? Amy Vanderbilt, a well known etiquette guru from the 50's said the following:

Whether you spend a night or a weekend at someone's house, you must always send a thank-you letter to you host and hostess within a week of your return home. Take time to write an enthusiastic and appreciative letter, mentioning something you did that particularly appealed to you or people you met who impressed you. If you did not take a present with you when you visited, now is the time to send one with a gift enclosure card reiterating your thanks.  

Wouldn't you love to go back to those fabulous days when good manners were very important?!  Fella's opening doors for the ladies, youngsters helping the elderly with their groceries, young women hosting tea parties for their neighbours……

Those were the days.

I think it's time to bring them back, don't you?!

I must say, this past weekend I felt like I had walked back in time.  I was down in Idaho for a very special Bridal Shower.  You see, my son is getting married this summer to a beautiful young lady with South Carolina mannerisms.

The Bride and Groom
She calls me Ma'am.

Being called Ma'am was kinda disconcerting at first.  Now that I'm used to it, I find it rather charming!

My grandkids call her "Miss Annie"

Miss Annie getting help from Wee 3 to open her Shower gifts
They absolutely love her to death!

So, this weekend at the Bridal shower, I found out that lady like charms are not just antiquated and old fashioned things of the past!  Those fabulous qualities are still alive and flourishing in the tiny little town of Moscow, Idaho in the lovely heritage home of the Wilson's who hosted a bridal shower for my daughter-in-law to be.

Meet Heather Wilson, Hostess with the MOSTEST!

Annie and Heather
This beautiful young lady met us at the antique screen door on the front porch of their home and welcomed us with a cup of French Hot Press and fresh baked quiche at 10 AM Saturday morning.  The table was set beautifully with Mimosa ingredients and all sorts of home made goodness I can't even name.  I was quite stunned that she had put together such a lovely event for us!

And her MOTHER wasn't even home for the weekend!

There were a lot of guests……

and she was cool as a cucumber…..

a great time was had by all.

I must admit that I was mentally bemoaning the fact that my sister Rosa was not able to attend because she would have LOVED this heritage home with all the original wood trim and hard wood floor throughout.  I found out later that Heather's Dad even keeps bees out back!  It's like living the dream, right Rosa?!

Mr Wilson hiving his bees

Now, while I was sipping my coffee and enjoying my quiche, I met an amazing lady sitting beside me who just happens to be an artist with the most wonderful English Accent.  We chatted while the gifts were being opened and passed around.  She made mention that she is a painter.  At some point in the event I happened to see a BEAUTIFUL pack of note cards, a gift from her to the bride-to-be.  They were stunning!  Eventually I found out that these were hers and she has actually produced designs for the likes of Georgio Armani and Harrods.  She was so kind as to invite me to her home to see some of her work.

I did not hesitate to accept.

Later that afternoon I had the chance to hold some of her beautiful designer bags and fabrics that are to die for!  Oh, how I would love to have taken home one of her colorful purses, not to mention her china mug collection.

Anna Benham designs

But, not to leave completely empty handed, I managed to buy a very limited quantity of her note cards which I have made available in the store for all my friends and neighbours to enjoy!

Make sure to stop in and pick out your favourites before they are all gone!  Let's put old fashioned etiquette and "Thank You" cards back on the the map, shall we?!

In the mean time, my son, the groom, gave my husband a book that is a "Must Read" for all the fellas out there, he insists.  My boy is studying up on how to be a good mate to his Southern Belle and figured he'd better share his new found wisdom with his Dad.  Now aint that just the darndest thing?!

The Big Guy getting a bit of wisdom and sharing it with Wee 3 this past weekend!
Here's a bit more information on it and how you can get your own copy!  Wishing you a "muy caliente" week full of joy and passion!

and Other Short Essays for Men
by Douglas Wilson

"Marriage is not a vending machine, and love is not two quarters to put into it. It's a manner of life, not an exchange of commodities. So what does it look like when a man loves a woman?"

Douglas Wilson answers that question in How To Exasperate Your Wife and Other Short Essays for Men, and his responses are as wide-ranging and humorous as they are incisive and down to earth. Douglas explains why men's distorted view of wisdom handicaps their understanding of their wives, and he exposes rigid (and wrong) approaches to marriage and relationships. He gives practical advice for identifying unhappy households (Mom is ignored) and replacing abdicating Dad with a true leader ("Measure strength not in decibels but in performance"), all combined with hot tips on how to exasperate your wife (you may start with leopard-spotted underwear...).

Both realistic and insightful, How to Exasperate Your Wife and Other Short Essays for Men points husbands (and wives) towards a passionate married love that is particular, sacrificial, sacramental, and muy caliente.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A New Home - Remodelling a Retail in Under Two Weeks

I can hardly believe that 6 whole years have passed since we first started our little retail garden centre in the old Milking Parlour on the farm.  A lot of things have changed over the years!  We've had some great parties……

hosted a whole lot of Farmer's Markets…..

made some wonderful Christmas memories…..

so when the Big Guy decided it was time to move the store out of our old barn and into the new greenhouse, I was a little torn.  I love the old girl with all her bumps and wrinkles.  She just has so much charm about her, what with the old wooden walls and the crooked concrete floors.

But then I thought about the icy cold breezes that inevitably blow through the un-insulated cracks and crevices, the huge puddles that form everywhere on rainy days, not to mention the little critters that love to hide in dark corners, I figured "This will absolutely be a change for the better!".

So, with a good deal of trepidation on my part, we began the process of moving in to our new digs!

But I really wanted to retain some of the vintage character of the old place while enhancing the enormity of the actual greenhouse.

How on earth do you make something NEW…..

 look like it has a little bit of that OLD charm?!

What a conundrum.

Good thing Tamara is never one to be scared off by a challenge!

And where is the first place one goes for ideas when faced with a big design challenge?

Why, PINTEREST of course!

My first inspiration was a Pergola Pin I fell in love with…..

which the guys built for me in the blink of an eye.

And of course, when you do things the Tamara way, ONE is just never enough.

As a matter of fact, neither is TWO.  The plan called for EIGHT Pergolas in total.

As the guys were busy building and painting all these beautiful elements, I continued my PINTEREST trolling, looking for the best Shabby Chic Garden ideas I could find.

These two pins caught my eye!

And then, as if by divine intervention, I glanced through my living room window from my perch in front of the computer and saw that my neighbour across the street, Napier Antiques, had the very same fire truck for sale.  I immediately went over to check it out!  Wee One accompanied me to assist with the haggling.

Unfortunately, this lovely antique was a little out of my budget so I did a bit more internet searching and found a brand new fire truck/pedal car on that fit the bill.  Once the parcel arrived, it only took 3 of us to assemble in just over an hour.

I was in charge of reading the instructions.

The Big Guy did all the actual assembly.

Mini Me just handed him his tools.

We make a good team!

A few days later I managed to convince the fellas to bring over some of the walls from the old Milking Parlour and re-assemble them inside the greenhouse for a perfect vintage back drop.

With a few tweaks…..

the final display turned out perfectly!

Of course, I also need to make sure that my favourite Shabby Chic cottage came along in the move….

which was no small feat!

First the roof was removed and brought across the driveway…..

where it was re-assembled in a jiffy.  Just a quick coat of white paint and the whole thing looks good as new!

The next step was to bring in the old chandeliers…..

the road sign….

the front entry…..

and, of course, the walls for all our fabulous decor goodies!

It only took a few hours to get a whole bunch of wonderful product out on display once the shelves were up.  So many treasures to be found here this Spring!

So, I hope you make time to come and check out our new digs across the driveway for yourself.  It's warm and dry…..

full of amazing garden inspiration……

and a whole lot more surprises!

Now, pardon me if I go and soak my aching bones in a nice hot bubble bath.  It's been a busy couple of weeks and I think I may need to spend a few hours resting up before our big Hanging Basket Blowout this weekend to celebrate the BIG MOVE.  

10" Baskets for only $7.99 each.  

I think it's going to get a little crazy around here real quick!