Come With Me To France!

by Bonnie Jo Manion on October 1, 2014


Please Join Me on a Royal Horticulture Society Garden Holiday Tour
France’s Gardens of the Loire Holiday, May 15-22, 2015

Please join me on a Royal Horticultural Society Garden Holiday Tour to France’s Gardens of the Loire. A truly incredible tour which includes such highlights as spring time in Paris, Versailles, Chateau de Courances, Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire, International Garden Festival, Winery Tour, Plessis Sasnieres, Tours, Chateau de Villandry, and Monet’s Giverny. 8 Days, 9 Meals.

Deposit of $250.00 per person, is your reservation. Book early and save $150.00 before December 16, 2014, tour prices are $4,999.00 for Double Occupancy and $6,199.00 for Single Occupancy. Reservations are made on a first come, first serve basis. Tour prices include round trip flights leaving out of San Diego, California, round trip airport transfer, hotels, specialty garden tours, and nine meals. Departing from other cities is possible, and airfare may vary. Travelers have an option to book their own flight or use airline mileage, if preferred. Tour limit is 40 travelers. For more details and information please contact Bonnie, and go to Gardens of the Loire. Tell your friends!


Announcing My New Website, Bonnie Jo Manion, “A Taste of French Country Living.” You can find my blog, VintageGardenGal located conveniently within my website, too. Check it out!


Boxwood Bonus

by Bonnie Jo Manion on September 2, 2014


We all know how beautiful boxwood can be clipped in a formal garden, but have you thought about using boxwood as literally a very “green” oasis for your floral arrangements? I have a dear friend who is very talented in creating magnificent floral arrangements from her garden. On a recent visit to her showcase garden, she showed me how to use her boxwood from her garden as a way to secure her flowers in their vases. Clipped boxwood anchors your flower stems, looks great especially in your clear vases, and is what I call “garden economizing”–free from your garden.


The added advantage of using boxwood is that it will keep for a long time in your vase, far outlasting your cut flowers. Simply cut boxwood pieces to your desired floral vase or container size. Arrange them under water until your vase is full of boxwood clippings, and next add your cut flowers. The boxwood will hold your flowers in the spot you place them. I love the look, very classic, very green, and very earth-friendly.

Please share if you use a green, alternative to oasis for your floral arrangements. Please comment on which boxwood your enjoy the most.


Seed Sprouting Success

June 27, 2014

Chances are you have everything at your finger tips for creating perfect seed sprouting success. Sprouting seeds yourself is economical and expands your ability to grow many more varieties. Materials Needed: 1) Saved plastic tubs with lids and with bottom holes for drainage. Fruit such as berries are often store-packaged in these containers. 2) Potting […]

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Podocarpus Icee Blue

May 16, 2014

I am in the throes of landscaping my back garden this spring. One of my favorite new additions is the Podocarpus Icee Blue or also called Icee Blue Yellow-Wood, Podocarpus elongates “Monmal’. I love not only the striking blue-gray foliage, but the upright columnar form which is so distinct. I first saw this Podocarpus Icee […]

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Welcoming Appetizers

April 24, 2014

When I have guests visiting, I like to serve them two special house appetizers because they are so good and easy to make. Both appetizers can be partially made ahead of time, and then quickly assembled before serving.  Enjoy!   Print Goat Cheese with Marinated Olives Author: Chef Jenn Recipe type: Appetizer Cuisine: Mediterranean Prep time:  25 mins […]

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Beautiful Blood Orange

March 5, 2014

A few years ago I planted a Moro Blood Orange tree, after making this gorgeous Blood Orange Upside Down Cake adapted from the March 2010 issue Bon Appetit. This recipe is simple to make, and calls for creating it in a skillet. Packed with flavor but not overly sweet, it is a perfect way to […]

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White Bean, Pasta and Swiss Chard Soup

February 13, 2014

“China tea, the scent of hyacinths, wood fires and bowls of violets–that is my mental picture of an agreeable February afternoon.” –Constance Spry I agree, Constance, and what about soup to take the chill out of you, such as one of my favorites, White Bean, Pasta, and Swiss Chard Soup. I saw this recipe in […]

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A Wreath For All Occasions

January 23, 2014

I love burlap as a medium, see my post, Beauty in Burlap for more ideas. Burlap is easily found in art and craft stores as a finished garland. Over the holidays I made this rustic burlap wreath and finished it with a plaid holiday ribbon. Now that the holidays are tucked away for the year, […]

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San Diego Magazine Feature

January 7, 2014

Last fall at harvest time, our gifted architect, Bill Bocken  brought his partner, Paul Adams, a talented San Diego landscape designer, and his amazing photographer, Shelley Metcalf to photograph our home for the first time since the completion of our home remodel. San Diego Magazine took notice and features Metcalf’s photos, article written by Kimberly Cunningham […]

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New Year 2014 Greetings!

January 6, 2014

Greetings to you all, and wishing you the very best in 2014! It is only natural this time of year to reflect on the fruits of the past year, as well as plan and dream for the year ahead. Consider gratitude as a foundation for your coming year. One of the blogs I follow, Liz […]

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