Prepare Your Garden for Fall Succulents

Succulents are one of Marvin Gardens favorite types of plants to keep in the winter time. Not only are they strong, durable and can strive in the most arid of conditions but also require very little maintenance and adds plenty of flavor to any garden space. There are a variety of sizes, species and colors of these plants to choose from.

Take a look at a simple list of tips from for successfully growing these fun plants:

1)  Prepare your garden area. Succulents thrive in full sun, with sandy, well drained soils. Remove weeds and till the soil, breaking up any hard clumps and removing rocks.

2) Choose which succulents to plant in the garden. Mass smaller plants around larger focal point plants or do massed plantings of a single variety. Popular varieties of succulents include aloe, cacti, sedums and jade plants.

3) Lay out the garden. Arrange the plants, while still potted, to get an idea of how everything will look. Choose layouts that will draw the eye towards the focal plants.

4) Plant the succulents in the garden. Use a hand trowel to dig holes slightly larger than the root ball of the plants. Leave the base of the plant slightly above the edge of the garden soil.

5) Water the succulents. Water them well to help the roots take hold, but don’t water on a daily basis. Unlike other plants, succulents don’t need daily watering after planting, and will only require occasional watering afterward.

Photo Credit: Hauty Culture

6 Lavender Care Tips

For centuries, lavender’s gentle color and relaxing scent have both been put to great use in a variety of ways by gardeners and hobbyists alike: its fragrance has been used in soaps, shampoos and even fabric softeners and also to relieve ailments like insomnia, anxiety, depression and mood disorders. Its subtle flavor has been used in teas, jellies and ice creams. Aside form all its many uses, though – and perhaps best of all—it’s a gorgeous specimen. Lavender’s sultry purple-ish hue livens up any garden. This herb can be easily grown in your own backyard or in a container on the window sill. If you’re considering introducing lavender to your plot, Marven Gardens suggests taking a look at these plant care tips below from Buzzle. Be sure to consider the type of lavender you’re working with, i.e. French and Spanish Lavender, as care varies slightly by specimen.

From Buzzle:

1. Make sure you regularly water the plants and use compost manure.

2. Never over-water; if plants develop a brown base, this is an indication to reduce the quantity of water.

3. Cut one-third of leafage in spring. When there is an appearance of new growth, leave it for a month or two. Cut half of the new foliage.

4. Spent flower stems would keep depositing on the plant. Cut spent flower stems regularly. If you don’t, the plant would grow woody and out of shape.

5. Avoid cutting the woody branches in order to bring the plants in shape. This might result in the death of the plants.

6. If the plants are ruined and cannot be saved and you have to replace them, wait for the fall. Winter is the best season to replace them.

Photo Credit: ShaunFleet.Com

Trading in Summer for Fall: A Look at Autumn-Inspired Rooms

At Marvin Gardens, the ambiance of the interior of the home fascinates us just as much as its exterior—after all, a perfectly manicured garden is nothing without a cozy abode to nestle up to! So, in light if the fact that tomorrow is the first official day of fall, we thought we’d take a look at some of out favorite autumn-inspired interiors from various designers as presented to us by Habitually Chic. We suggest that you use these early fall weeks to put away the light summer blankets, bring out the heavier wool quilts, trade your cool summer colors in for warm earth tones and swap the cold iced teas for comforting, hot seasonal ones. What’s your routine when preparing your home for the changing of the seasons from summer to fall?

Bunny Williams
Gil Schafer
Nathan Turner

Photo Credit: Habitually Chic

Wilton Historical Society Presents “Norwalk and Mark Twain”

To commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain’s death, historians Madeleine and Ed Eckert and The Wilton Historical Society are presenting “Norwalk and Mark Twain”. The production will be held on Sunday, September 26, 3:00 at the historical society and chronicles the relationship that existed between Twain and the residents of Norwalk, CT.

From The Wilton Historical Society:

The hour-long slide presentation describes two friendships developed by Mark Twain with Norwalk residents: Frederick Dimon, a shipping merchant, and Edward Keeler Lockwood, a leader in the mercantile industry, as well as a dramatic theft of valuables from Mark Twain’s Redding home during his residency. Also included are “bonuses” of connections with Silvermine artists Justin Gruelle, George Avison, Worth Brehm and Warner Chappell, each of whom illustrated books written by Mark Twain.

The  presentation was originally written as part of Connecticut’s 2010 Mark Twain Centennial Project. Twain’s death and will also be commemorated at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.

The Exhibit & Program are free to members and all children accompanied by an adult. There is a $5.00 admission charge for non-member adults.

Click here for more information.

Design is in the Details at the Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival

At Marvin Gardens, we believe the beauty of design is in the details. It’s for this very reason that we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for events, shows, fairs and workshops that highlight meticulously designed items. If you have an affinity for fine wood carvings and intricately detailed wooden furniture, we suggest you don’t miss the Seventh Annual Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival. The premiere woodworking event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sunday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Union Arena in Woodstock, VT. The family-friendly event features dozens of wood artisans and vendors. Take a look!

Click here to learn more.

Photo Credit: Jon Gilbert Fox

Jardin du Luxembourg at a Glance

There’s no better time than on a dreary, rainy day to revisit photos of a summery Parisian garden. Something about looking at all their detail and charm just helps pour the sunshine back into any gloomy day. So on this damp week, Marvin Gardens loved looking back at these photos of the Jardin du Luxembourg from Habitially Chic. Where’s your favorite garden located?

Photos Credit: Heather Clawson

Do You Know the Many Benefits of Garden Rain Barrels?

While the summertime is usually the peak time of year for a nearly 50% increase in residential water use, it’s still important to try to conserve water year round. Rain barrels are a great way to do this; not only do they help conserve water use and lower costs, but they can also reduce water pollution by reducing storm water runoff, which can contain pollutants like sediment, oil, grease and bacteria, according to the University of Rhode Island’s landscaping division.

So what is a rain barrel, you ask? It’s a large container – usually 40+ gallons large — that collects and stores the rainwater from rooftops that would normally run through gutter downspouts and off into storm drains. The water that’s collected in the barrel would ideally be used for later lawn and garden watering.  Rain barrels can also be arranged to slowly release the collected rainfall to areas that can soak up the water, reducing storm water runoff and increasing groundwater recharge, notes URI. And best of all, they’re easy to build and install!

Click here to learn how to construct your own rain barrel.

Photo Credit: This Old Home

The Charm of an English Countryside Courtyard!

At Marvin Gardens, we just love courtyards–they’re beautiful for so many reasons: their green foliage, soft and tunneled lighting and the nook-and-cranny charm they possess simply through being a “hidden” enclave between buildings. COCOCOZY recently featured the lush courtyard of an English hotel that we just had to share. Behold the Lime Wood Hotel. This former country house was recently renovated into a relaxing hotel in the middle of a national forest, COCOCOZY notes. Take a look below for some interesting facts about this landmark structure’s history.

From the Lime Wood Hotel:

Previously a hotel called Parkhill, Lime Wood was purchased by Jim Ratcliffe in 1999.  It was closed in October 2004 when work was begun on its transforming renovation. The original building is a Regency country manor house built on the site of an earlier 13th Century hunting lodge.  It subsequently became a prep school for Royalty and aristocracy. The architectural additions that we have made to the site were designed by Charles Morris and Ben Pentreath with interiors by David Collins. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed bringing Lime Wood back to life and are thrilled with how our plans have turned out.  We want you to get to know it, to enjoy it and to come back whenever you feel like being spoiled, breathing some fresh forest air, eating delicious food and just getting away.

What do you like about this particular courtyard? Do you have a certain hotel that you like to stay at regularly because of its own quaint courtyard?

Photo Credit: COCOCOZY