Episode 12 - My Garden February 19, 2018 It’s been hard for me to keep this Fixer Upper episode a secret! My garden is truly the place where I find the most peace. There’s just something about working the garden and getting my hands dirty that is so relaxing to me. I’ve dreamed of having a garden like this one since I got into gardening years ago. Plus, when we decided to open our restaurant, Magnolia Table, I knew I wanted to use farm-fresh ingredients straight from our garden—but that meant I was going to need a much larger area to grow herbs and produce. My wish list for this indoor garden house included an indoor watering station, potting table, plenty of counter and shelf space for indoor plants and my gardening books, and room for a table. For the actual garden itself, I wanted raised garden beds and a chicken coop with a chicken run. DESIGN ELEMENTS The inspiration materials I used to interpret the style of the space Getting to design this garden house took me back to when we first renovated the Farmhouse. Because Chip and I had previously been flipping the homes we lived in with the intention of selling them off, the Farmhouse was the first place we designed entirely for us. I’ve had the privilege of getting to work with so many wonderful families with so many different design choices, so getting to design this space for my family was so special. Because our house is 120 years old, I wanted this garden house to have the same look and feel as our storied old farmhouse. So to make this new building look and feel old, I went with a rustic European farmhouse style—cozy, intimate and welcoming. I used a lot of white oak, zinc countertops and (of course) lots of green plants. EXTERIOR Objective | Design this new structure in a way that makes it look just as old as our 120-year-old farmhouse The combination of light wood trim and doors, white shingle facade and the cupola on top really infused the European cottage feeling I was going for. The old beams and copper gutters give the garden house a more weathered look. The arbors leading up to the front door almost give this little house a storybook entrance. The cobblestone walkway plays into that old-world feel I was going for and makes this place feel like it’s always been here. I’m so excited for all of the beautiful vines and fruit trees that will grow on and between these over the years. I’ve had these antique doors in the back of my warehouse and knew they’d look perfect on the front of the garden house. Another thing I love about them is that they can be easily propped open to let in even more natural light on a pretty day. INTERIOR Objective | Create a durable, inspiring interior with an old-world feel and plenty of natural light for plants I wanted this space to feel practical yet still inspiring. Everything needed to be solid—only using the kind of materials that could handle dirt, pots and sharp tools on a regular bases. While this room is pretty, it’s still a place that real, hands-on work needs to happen in it. Because of that, zinc countertops were the most practical choice for me because they are really easy to clean and could handle all the wear-and-tear. They’ll get scratches and scuffs for years to come and only get better with age. Pick up the spring 2018 issue of the Magnolia Journal to see the garden party we had at this table! I absolutely love the primitive style of this setting and how weathered and authentic it feels. I’ve had this antique european window behind the sink for a while now, just waiting for the perfect place to put it. I wanted the garden house to be filled with natural light, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to use it. This amazing window gives this space a storied look that I love. I’ve recently gotten into water coloring and this is the perfect spot for me to try my hand at something new. Over the years I’ve collected all kinds of gardening books so I wanted to add some built-ins to display them. I actually used to be the worst plant lady ever—I’d kill everything before it even had the chance to bloom. But I was determined to get better at it. Having the books close by has been nice because I’ll still reference them now and then when I’m dealing with a new plant variety. I’ve found that I can never have too many pots on hand. It’s always better to have too many than to bring home something from the nursery only to realize you don’t have a pot for it. A place to store all of the great pots I’ve collected over the years has been a game changer. This storage rack on the wall makes for a fun design element, but it’s also actually really useful. Garden necessities like boots, hats and tools are important to have easily accessible for working in the garden. This large concrete sink has made watering plants or cleaning off newly potted ones so easy. It’s durable and deep which allows for me to bring in some pretty big pots. The fireplace might be one of my favorite features. The stone ties in that European farmhouse look, and I’m not going to lie, Chip was right, I really love the look of this fireplace with the added “hips,” as he calls them. THE GARDEN Objective | Build a large garden that is conducive to growing multiple types of plants Garden beds that elevate your plants offer several benefits. Having them elevated separates your fertile soil from what’s natively grown in the ground, allowing you a little more control over the nutrients your plants are receiving. And if you set them up to drain on the rocks, it prevents your roots from drowning, which is the number one reason most plants die. When those warm summer nights get here, I know our family will get a lot of use out of this table. Our carpenter, Clint Harp, made it out of solid teak wood so that it would stand up to the elements. It’s little details like the turnip-shaped feet on the bottom of the leg that make Clint so fun to work with. I always know he’ll go the extra mile to make something personal. This table is on the opposite side of the garden. It’s more of a space to prep new plants or prune and tend to older ones. There are so many reasons to have a chicken coop on a farm but for this garden especially, the chickens keep the bugs that like to eat veggies away, and, of course, they produce eggs. Adding in the chicken run around the garden helped to not only keep my veggies safe, it has also become a fun project for the girls to help me with. For details on how to build this chicken coop, check out the spring issue of the Magnolia Journal! With as many animals around the property as Chip likes to bring home, a fenced in garden is a must. No matter how many tricks I try, our little goats love to find their way into snacking on my greens—so at the end of the day the tried and true solution was a classic white fence to match the rest of our property. I told Chip I can picture our kids getting married here someday, and I meant it. For us, this farm represents home—the kind of lasting place that gets passed from generation to generation, and adding in this garden adds one more chapter to the story.