Line porous terracotta pots with tall kitchen trash bags before planting to prevent plants from drying out too quickly


Each Spring, besides planting many annuals in the garden that I grow from seed or buy at local garden centers, I also put out quite an assortment of plants in containers that I display on my deck and patio, by the pool, along the side of my house, by my front door and even by my mailbox. Over the years I’ve amassed a collection of planting vessels that run the gambit from terracotta, to metal, to ceramic and plastic. Most of my planting containers I can just fill with soil from the garden and plant away, but I have a couple of, not inexpensive pots that are made of porous terracotta that seems to pull the moisture from the potting soil, which makes the plants dry out quickly. To remedy that moisture-wicking situation I line the pots with plastic cut from tall kitchen trash bags before adding my plants, which easily remedies the problem. This post is a quick pictorial showing how easy it is to do. Continue reading

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Posted in The Spring Garden | Leave a comment

Fred Gonsowski Garden Home.com has passed the THREE MILLION point for Page Views/Articles Read

Fred Gonsowski in the “Studio” at Bunny Williams and John Rosselli’s Falls Village. Connecticut estate.

A photo of the Insight screen on my WordPress dashboard showing the 3,014,775 Page Views/Articles Read by the 1,798,798 visitors viewing this blog.

Dash board close-up.

Recently my blog Fred Gonsowski Garden Home passed the Three Million point for page views/articles read, and in a way I think that was a great accomplishment.  As with all things, it wasn’t just about my writing and illustrations, but about the many people who, hundreds of thousands of times,  posted my articles on their Pinterest sites, the San Francisco Chronicle, BuzzFeed, eHow and Red Book Magazine.com who used my articles as references or resources for their pieces, which gave me some extra attention, the people who linked my website with the articles that they were writing and the many people who just told their friends to look at what I was doing. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Arranging furniture in an 11 foot 6 inch by 11 foot 6 inch section of a 13 foot 8 inches wide by 18 foot long Living Room

Recently one of the readers of this blog named Joy asked for my help with the arranging of furniture in her living room, which is open to her kitchen and dining area.  Joy has downsized from a larger house to a smaller space and arranging furniture in her new, somewhat open concept, home has become a bit of a challenge.   Joy’s dilemma became the starting point for this blog post.  I’ve come up with eight possible layouts that she might want to try; hopefully one or more will be to Joy’s liking. Continue reading

Posted in Arranging Living Room Furniture, Interior Decorating Principles | 8 Comments

Visiting The Real Housewives of New York (RHONY) Dorinda Medley’s home, Blue Stone Manor, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Dorinda Medley and me in her Living Room at Blue Stone Manor, on the day of the Lenox Garden Club Tour.

Garden tour patrons approaching the front door of the mansion.

On July 15, 2017 The Lenox Garden Club held its biennial garden tour, and one of the show-stopping properties visited was Blue Stone Manor. Blue Stone Manor is the country home of Dorinda Medley who is a reality TV star on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City. Dorinda and four other property owners were kind enough, to open their gorgeous homes and spectacular grounds, for the day, as a fundraiser for The Lenox Garden Club. People from far and wide traveled to Great Barrington, Massachusetts for the “sold out” tour. This blog post shows some of the well-appointed rooms and grounds at Blue Stone Manor, decorated by the super tasteful, effervescent and charming Dorinda Medley. Continue reading

Posted in Garden Visits (Road Trips), The Summer Garden | 9 Comments

Hanging Pictures on a Staircase, Creating a Gallery Wall.

Hanging a Gallery Wall on a Staircase.

Hanging a visually interesting grouping of pictures, on the wall alongside a staircase, is not just about getting out your hammer, picture hanging hooks, the framed things you want to mount on the wall and randomly going at it.  Creating a gallery wall is all about lining up the edges of frames, either vertically and-or horizontally with each other, so you can make a presentation of, sometimes diverse images, that hopefully in the end look good next to each other.   This blog post shows how easy it is to create a gallery wall that looks thought out and has some structure to it. Continue reading

Posted in Hanging Pictures and Mirrors / Arranging Knickknacks and Collectables, Interior Decorating Principles | 10 Comments

Arranging furniture in a 16 foot by 20 foot Living Room with Four points of Entry

Arranging furniture Eight different ways in a 16 foot wide by 20 foot long Living Room.

Recently one of my readers typed a note in the comments, asking for my help with her decorating dilemma. Summer R. has a 16 foot by 20 foot living room with four points of entry, and a fireplace built into one of the corners of the room and she is having a hard time arranging furniture in the space.

I asked Summer to measure each wall starting at the left corner, working to the right side of that wall. I instructed her to write down the distance from the corner of the room to the first window ( if that was what it was), the length of that window, the amount of inches of space after that window to any door in the room, its width, and the amount of inches from the door (it here was one on that wall) to the right corner of the room. I told her to do that for each wall, and make sure she labeled the walls for north, south, east and west; so I would know which walls were which when making a scaled drawing of her space.

I then asked her to take measurements of any furniture she had, for depth and length, that she would be working with in the space.  Summer supplied them and asked for suggestions for anything else that could be added, to make for an interesting and comfortable arrangement of furniture.   Now let’s look at the eight different ways of arranging her furniture that I came up with. Continue reading

Posted in Arranging Living Room Furniture, Interior Decorating Principles | 20 Comments

Mix up Shapes of Legs and Feet on Furniture when Decorating a Room.

Looking at the different shapes of legs on furniture, and some ideas on how to create a room that is visually interesting.

In 1950 when my parents married, buying furniture that was all matched was an ideal. People at that time grew up during the depression and had lived through the Second World War and times were tough. If you could buy a full room of matched furniture at the time, it said that you now had some money, and things were looking up. But, that was then, and opinions on decorating have changed. What was once considered fashionable, is now looked at as unimaginative and boring, or like you went to a furniture store and just said “I’ll take all of that”, and you never gave the decorating of your room a second thought again. This blog post shows you the different shapes of legs used on furniture, and covers how easy it is to mix things up when decorating a room. Continue reading

Posted in Arranging Bedroom Furniture, Arranging Living Room Furniture, Interior Decorating Principles | 10 Comments

Shopping the Upscale Stores in New Preston, Connecticut

A view of the stores on East Shore Road in New Preston, Ct 06777.

Looking at the Aspetuck Falls which is directly behind the shops on East Shore Road in New Preston Ct. and can be seen from decks, porches and windows on the backsides of the stores.

If you are the reader of “shelter magazines” (Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, etc) as I am, you will have noticed that many of the stylish properties shown in those periodicals are located in north-west Connecticut.  Litchfield County Connecticut, or the Litchfield Hills as it is also called, is a place where many people from New York City and Boston spend their weekends.  The Litchfield area is also called, by some folk, the “Anti Hamptons”, as people who weekend there want a place away from the hustle-bustle of more populated areas, and look for a place to commune with nature and get away from it all. The Litchfield Hills are like no other, and one of its jewels is the hamlet of New Preston. New Preston, Ct is located at the crossroads of Routes 45 and 202, on the east side of Lake Waramaug.

New Preston has a grouping of stores where it is not just about fine products, but also about how perfectly everything is displayed. Recently my friend Marguerite and I took a day trip to the area. In this blog post I’m going to show you the stores and go over some of the principles of interior decorating at the same time; as each of the New Preston’s stores is a perfect visual, showing what good design is really all about. Continue reading

Posted in Garden Visits (Road Trips) | 10 Comments