Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle…..a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the aniticipation nurtures our dream. -Barbara Winkler


Antique French Wooden Garden Trug


This is one of my all-time most popular posts…worth re-blogging!  I’ve added new photos, and I hope you enjoy it.

If you remember it from a few years back, I hope it still sparks a love of all things spring, garden, and life!



I never claim to be a great gardener…or any sort of gardener at all, really.  My husband is the gardener, as was his father before him. Even though I come from a long line of gardeners, and all my best friends are amazing gardeners, I’m more of a waterer.

My grandfather was a wonderful gardener.  Even though he hired one of those old fashioned gardeners who “stop by” every day to clip, trim or water something, he still went to his garden first thing in the morning, and just before entering the house at the workday’s end himself to adjust something, or maybe talk to his plants.



Me?  I love to dream of the garden.  Make plans.  Buy plants. Water. And sit in the sunshine and soak up the beauty. Listen to the birds sing. And decorate my garden rooms with French antiques.


A garden can teach us so many things about life, can’t it?  Everything is just starting to bloom here at FrenchGardenHouse, our garden truly is our own little heaven on earth.


Gardener’s work apron. {A great Mother’s Day gift!}



From the time I was a little girl, I learned about patience, timing and planning ahead in my grandfather’s European garden.   Following behind him, he would tell me stories about all the flowers, and the birds and bugs.

They are some of the most special memories I have from my childhood.  It’s why I am so grateful to have a garden of my own, where I can spend time with all the family, friends and neighbors I love!






Begin early. 

But it’s never too late to start. If it doesn’t work, just go ahead and try something else.



Antique White Country Enamel Pitcher & Bowl




Dream BIG.

But try not to let your over-ambition turn the joy of gardening, the joy of the garden, into becoming a slave to perfection.  Sometimes the tiniest flower smell the sweetest.


 Antique Blue Enamelware Body Pitcher




Life is a daily thing.

It needs watering. It needs weeding. And it needs pruning on occasion. Pruning hurts, but pruning helps you grow.  Life is enduring. Trust it.



Patina Aged Metal Planter



Growth takes time.

Be patient. Grow what you love. Your love will keep it growing.


Antique Belgian Zinc Bowl



You reap what you sow.

Sometimes, though, there is a real surprise!


Antique French Coal Scuttle


Of all the places to be, I love being in the garden most.  We are in Southern California, so we are lucky that 2/3’ds of the year we can be outside most days.  The photo above shows Mr. FrenchGardenHouse’s pride and joy, one of his orchids in bloom.

The picture next to that is our Labrador Bentley’s new snacking station.  Before he came, I thought it was my own herb basket, and strawberry plants to use in my culinary adventures.  Now?  Since Bentley has made his home with us, he’s discovered the pleasures of the garden.  Not only does he love romping through the grass and chasing the ball there, he’s discovered the joys of a little ripe strawberry with a chaser of marjoram!


We are unpacking some intriguing garden antiques this week – you can see them here:


Happy gardening to you. xo



ps. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered to WIN our April reader appreciation GIVEAWAY!

If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

33 thoughts on “Reblogged | EVERYTHING I KNOW I LEARNED IN THE GARDEN”

    1. Lovely to have you visit, Rita! Hoping one day it will be “in real life!”

  1. I must have taken after my grandmother who worked every day in her flower garden. She planted most of the way to the lane leading to the road. As a child there were no flowers planted in our yard. I pulled weeds and raked our unplanted, unloved yard. Our elderly neighbor saw that I was trying to beautfy the place and gave me petunia seeds that I planted in several spots. They were watered and cared for with a can of water and lo and behold they grew and flowered. That was the beginning of my love of gardening that continues today. My sweet hubby and I love to care for our garden and are very proud of the beauty it provides. Sitting on the bench near the Koi pond in late warm Summer afternoons is a favorite pastime. The sound of the water trickling over the waterfall and flowing under the bridge he built plus the smell of the flowers is a joy only hard wirking can provide. Thanks Lidy for this post.

    1. Alice, what a sweet and beautiful memory of your grandmother and your childhood gardening love! So special, and I can imagine how much you enjoy your garden now. Happy gardening!

  2. What a tranquil and beautiful Garden. Mine is just waking up now from all the snow. I cannot wait to get my hands in the dirt this season!

    1. Christine, I can only imagine how excited you are to garden, and bring all that beauty outdoors back alive!

  3. Your garden is heavenly and those orchids…oh my! I learned from a life of gardening is if something doesn’t thrive, don’t hesitate to rip it out and replant with something else. Life’s too short to coddle plants!

  4. Thanks for your visit Carol. I’m looking forward to seeing how many orchids my Mr. FGH can get to blooming this year again. (There’s a whole collection of them lining our back picket fence). Happy weekend to you!

    1. Thank you so much, Linda. Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

  5. Ginger Valdes

    Your photos are breathtaking,Lidy! I’m finally learning what to plant, and what to let go of. If it can’t come back after a freeze, or can’t tolerate the heat and drought conditions in South Texas, it can’t come live here!

    1. Thank you Ginger! I think that’s part of being a good gardener, knowing what will thrive in your garden, and not planting the rest. {It’s tough being a plant!}

  6. Lidy: Lovely, lovely post. I so love all the things you learned from your grandfather and the garden. Both such wonderful teachers. A garden and beauty add so much to our daily lives, I can’t imagine life without either.

    Happy gardening to you Lidy, I know you can grow magnificent beauty out there in California. My mom visited her brother who lived in Sacramento and all she could talk about were the roses. Have a beautiful day and weekend!

    1. Thank you Sandra! I agree, gardens are wonderful teachers, and filled with so much beauty. Hope you have a gorgeous weekend, too!

  7. I adore foxgloves and yours are so pretty.
    Delightful story about gardening with your grandfather.
    It is such a treat to see your antiques in your garden. Just lovely.

    1. Thank you so much, Bonnie. I love foxgloves so much too, so far I’ve had no luck getting them to naturalize, but hope springs eternal!

  8. Sue Malizia

    Your garden is beautiful! Now that I’m retired I spend a of my time nurturing and “pruning” much needed over growth. It feels great getting it done…but still ongoing. =)

    1. Thank you Sue! Pruning IS an on going job here too, it seems that in our coastal California garden everything just keeps on growing and growing too. I bet your garden is gorgeous!

  9. Susan Harrelson

    Your garden is beautiful and has inspired me to get outside and start digging. Thank you. Susan.

    1. Yay for digging in the soil! 🙂 Susan, I hope you have a wonderful time planting, clipping and making your garden grow!

  10. Thanks for making me laugh when you said you’re more of a “waterer”.

    1. Robin. 🙂 I’m also the plant buyer, design planner, and bosser of the true gardener!

  11. All those beautiful pictures of your garden give me hope that Spring really is around the corner!!

    1. Susan, I hope that your spring really IS almost there! Happy Spring, with sunshine, birds singing and flowers blooming their best.

  12. Sharon Crigger-Stokan

    Quel beau jardin de fleurs! Gardening is my passion…so I particularly loved this post! Your husband does a magnificent job and your touches of the antique vignettes are stunning!

  13. Hello Lidy,

    Thank You for reposting your Blog of “Everything I Know I Learned In the Garden” As I sit looking out my window, with at least twleve inches of snow on the ground and another four inches on the way. I delight in looking at the pictures of your garden. I can’t believe it is April 15th, and we are in the middle of a snowstorm, which I hope will be the last of season. I was so happy that just a week ago, I finally saw the last of the ice and snow melt off my large garden, and was hoping to get out there and check to see if any of the Spring bulbs were stating to peek out of the ground. No sense in complaining, Mother Nature is just going to do her thing.

    I too feel the Garden is a place to Dream and Escape the everyday world. When I am out there with my
    gardening gloves on and working in the soil, and primping my plants, I think that is when I am the Happiest. I love if there is a light breeze off the lake which is just a couple blocks away, it cools me down when I am working in the bright sunshine. The Midwest has some good amenities, to make up for the cold and snow during the winter and early spring months.

    Your garden pictures are amazing. I loved the way you used different containers, One of my favorites that
    I use when I plant is taking my mother’s old Pickle Crock. I fill it with flowering herbs. I always try to put some dill in the background. I also loved your old wood and metal chair with the washbowl and pitcher, it is just lovely. I always look forward to my French Lilacs blooming by Memorial Day. I have some beautiful full thick fragrant white lilacs, and I pick up some red and blue flowers from the florist and make a Patritic bouquet to put on the front porch table. Our town has a wonderful Memorial Day Parade that goes right past the house, and my guests and I like to sit out and watch the parade go by. It is morning when the parade goes by, so I serve homemade Apple Crisp for dessert after their breakfast. Ala Mode if they prefer.

    I am going to have to Sit in the house, and Dream about being in the Garden for now, but before to long I will be able to sit out in the Garden and Dream. Your husband has done a lovely job of caring for the garden, and all of your little touches are all around. It is truly a joint effort on both your parts. A Garden shared with Love. Loved the Blue Hydrangeas in the zinc bowls, they go together beautifully.

    1. Janice, your garden a few blocks from the lake must be spectacular in spring and summer! Especially since you put in so much love. I love that you plant your Mom’s old pickle jar with herbs, I am sure that is beautiful for your eyes and your heart! I wish we could grow lilacs well where we live, I love them! You really have wonderful flowers in your garden. I can only imagine how blessed your guests must feel when they visit!

  14. Nancy Davies

    What a lovely post. Thank you for re-sharing. I come from a long line of gardeners but I don’t seem to have lived up to their standards. My talent is dead-heading!! Your garden has inspired me but I can’t do anything today as it is cold and wet.

    1. Nancy, I come from that same long line of gardeners…:)

      Our talents are evenly matched: appreciating, loving, dead heading and watering the garden! I hope spring
      arrives soon for you with sun, birds singing and lots of beautiful flowers.

  15. I love your photos! It is so hard here in Waco with the crappy soil I have. I love the foxgloves and wish I could grow them!

  16. Hi Lidy . . .how funny to see the previous post from Waco …a place we have all grown to love! What? It doesn’t have perfect soil?? I’m also in so California (Camarillo) and struggling with rust, black spot and yellow leaves on my roses. I’m just wondering where you are and if you ever experience this frustration?? I did see that your foxgloves do not regenerate, as mine don’t either!I won’t give up, but just wonder if it’s our unique weather this year . . .thanks for any advice you can give.

    1. Marta, yes, our roses all have that problem at one time or another! For rust I know my head gardener {Mr. FrenchGardenHouse} buys a special oil that he uses. I’m sorry I’m not much help, I’m not really the gardener! But a good nursery in Camarillo should be able to help you find the right oil for that…we use non-chemical ones. Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top