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Winter Holiday Containers

We are excited to share a few of our winter containers with you! Our shopping visit to Wilson Farm was so delightful! If you are ever in the Lexington, Massachusetts area, you must stop in and browse around. In fact, we can’t wait to go next year!

Winter greens are so fun to work with and definitely ring in the holiday season. We especially love taking our pruners and heading out for a stroll in nature. There are always good things to find for decorating!

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and can’t wait to share our holiday tips with you on our Facebook page. Stop by if you haven’t visited our site yet. You will surely be inspired!

winter containers 1 winter containers 2 winter containers 3 winter containers 4 winter containers 5


May all your gardens grow,
Jan ✿✿✿

Recycled tires in the GARDEN!

How to Make “Frieda La Frog” From Recycled Tires

frog 7


  • 2 car tires and one larger truck tire
  • 2 small tires with rims (from cart, wheelbarrow, or mower).
  • 4 plastic bowls
  • Tire inner tube
  • Garden hose
  • Recycled rubber doormat
  • Lid from a broken storage tote
  • Duco Cement
  • Silicon caulk (paintable)
  • Spray paint – green and white
  • Brush paint – Red and blue


  1. Power drill with ½” bit
  2. Utility knife
  3. Scissors
  4. Paint brushes
  5. Q-tips
  6. 2x6x8 piece of treated lumber
  7. 3” deck screws
  8. Long galvanized nails


1. Clean tires and let dry.

2. Select which side of the large tires will be down.  Drill 4-6 holes in that side of each tire to allow excess water to drain.

3. Cut storage tote lid about 1-2” bigger than largest tire opening.  Poke 3-4 holes in it for drainage, and work it into the tire to cover the bottom hole.

4. Use utility knife to cut 4 feet from rubber door mat.  I drew the first with a silver Sharpie and cut it out, then used it as a template to make the others match.

5. Lay all the tires, feet, hose, and 2 of the bowls out on drop cloth and start painting!  I used Valspar flat spray paint/primer-in-one, in “Tropical Foliage” color.  It took about 5 cans.  I didn’t paint the underside, since they wouldn’t be visible.

6. Paint the other two bowls white – I used Rustoleum flat white.  Once dry, paint the bottom of these two blue.

7. Using Duco cement, glue the bowls into the rims of the small tires.  The white bowls are the eyeballs, and the green ones on the back give the eyes a bulgy look from behind.

8. Spread a bead of silicon caulk on joint of bowls and rims.  Once it dries, touch up the paint.  Spray the caulked part on the back of the eyes.  To touch up the front, I spray paint onto a piece of wax paper or foil and use a Q-tip as a brush. frog 5

9. For eyelashes, cut a wedge-shaped section of inner tube, then use scissors to make cut from the inner edge to about 1-1/2” from outer edge.  Use Duco Cement to glue into the space between the tire and the rim.

frog 6

10. Using red paint and brush, add mouth to largest tire.

11. Now the slightly tricky part – making the eyes stable in their mounting.  First, set the eyes on the “head” tire and cut two slits in the large tire with a utility knife.   This allows the eyes to sit down into the tire a bit. 

frog 8

12. Insert the piece of lumber into the head tire under where the eyes will sit.  Install deck screws at an angle through eye tire, head tire, and into lumber. Do this with both eyes.  They will have a little wobble to them,         but not much.  Later, when this tire is filled, stability gets even better.

13. Put it all together!  Lay the 2 body tires side-by-side on the ground.  Fill them to within an inch of the inner circle with soil.

frog 4

14. Place head tire on body tires, centered and pulled forward a couple inches.

15. Lift head slightly and slip one end of arm hose on each side, between tires.

a. Cut off arms to length and secure to ground with galvanized nails as mini-stakes.

frog 3

b. Place feet in position, and use nails again to hold in place.

16. Fill top tire with soil to within an inch of the inner edge height.

17. Plant with flowers of choice.  I chose to use perennial daylilies in the bottom tires, and annuals in the top, so I don’t have to replant more than one each year.

This is how I did it, but if you make one, let your imagination go out and play … get silly or get serious, but make it YOURS!

Finally, and most important, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your interest in Frieda La Frog.  I’ve told her how popular she’s become, and I’m a little worried … she’s demanding an entourage, Ray-Bans, and one of those silly little purse-sized dogs …

Happy Gardening!

Lynn Lapka


‘Tis the season! We have all been waiting for our FAVORITE seed catalogs to arrive. It’s that time of year when everyone gets in the planning and designing mode. Despite the winter months, it’s a great time to be a GARDENER! What will you plant this year?!?

seed catalog

JAB Signature

Outdoor Decorating with Winter Greens

The winter and holiday season in Michigan is off and running!  This is one of our favorite times of the year and we are gearing up to deck the halls!

Outdoor decorating tip:  fill it UP and have FUN!  Don’t forget to let your imagination run wild! Remember this is the season to be JOLLY!

Here’s a few winter/holiday containers we installed this week!

May all your gardens grow,

Meet our Talented Team of Gardeners & Designers

Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.

~Pat Riley

Meet Ann Emanuelsen:

  Historical Garden Presenter; Future Master Gardener; Lifelong Gardener; Our Expert Weeder!

Meet Kathy Gilmour:

  Landscape & Horticultural Specialist; Lifelong Gardener; Our Expert Indoor/Outdoor Plant Doctor!

Meet Christine Statz:

Master Gardener; Lifelong Gardener; Our Expert Field Supervisor & Plant Installer!

Meet Kathy Chatel:

Lifelong Gardener; Future Master Gardener; Our Expert Perennial Divider & Tool Keeper!

Meet Darcy MacKenzie:

Lifelong Gardener; Master Gardener; Future Master Composter; Our Expert Veggie Farmer!

Meet Brendan Nolan:

Master Gardener; Lifelong Gardener; Our Expert Bed Edger & Foundation Layer (in many respects)!

Meet Tracie Brey:

Landscape Designer; Lifelong Gardener; Our Expert Hardscape & Outdoor Room Designer!

Meet Heather Lakatosh:

Landscape Designer; Master Gardener; Lifelong Gardener; Our Expert Softscape Designer with an artistic flare!

It is an honor and pleasure for me to work with such talented people who all share the same love and passion for gardening, wildlife, sustainability, and making our world a beautiful place!

May all your gardens grow,