Front Door Challenge, June 2021, Carmen Johnston Gardens

It’s time to get your front door summer ready and I’ve got a great challenge for you with a sweet reward coinciding with my June story in Country Living magazine!

Front Door Challenge – You Could Win!

Along with several of my influencer friends, Noell Jett, of Jett Set Farmhouse, Sarah Elizabeth Ray and Sara McDaniel, of Simply Southern Cottage,  we’ll be sharing with you through May 21 some front door inspiration.  I want you to create your own dreamy entry and enter for a chance to win a $1,000 cash prize!  The second place winner will receive a FaceTime front door consultation with me and another $250 Home Depot gift card!

Once you’ve created your entry, post it to your Instagram and/or Facebook page or stories and tag me @CarmenJohnstonGardens and use #CJFrontDoorChallenge. You can also tag Noell, Sarah and Sara as well as Country Living too!  So many fun ways to spread the cheer!

On May 21 at 2:30 p.m. EDT, I’ll be sharing the behind-the-scenes, DIY of the June Country Living gardening story on Country Living’s Instagram – be sure you follow them here.  Immediately after, I’ll announce our winners on live on my Instagram!


Front Door Challenge, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Country Living Tips

If you’ve seen my Instagram lives for Country Living, you know I love sharing some DIY magic!  In the June issue, I’ve got my sure-fire way to spruce up your porch for all summer long enjoyment.  You’ll also find a few of my favorite things for working in the sun and playing in the dirt!

The issue comes out May 11 so you’ll want to be sure you subscribe for year-long inspiration!  And, definitely check out the Country Living Country Club, introduced in December 2020 for all-access membership! Click here. 

And, they’ve just released the gorgeous June cover on social media with two of my favorites, Erin and Ben Napier, of HGTV’s Home Town!


Country Living, June 2021, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Don’t Miss TV Segments!

On May 13 at 11 a.m. CDT, if you live in the WTVF Talk of the Town viewing area, please tune in for great gardening tips with my talented friend Meryll Rose.  We are so honored to be working with her again! Click here to see my last segment with Meryll!


Carmen Johnston, WTVF Talk of the Town

Carmen Johnston with WTVF Talk of the Town host Meryll Rose. Tune in May 13 in the Nashville area when Carmen creates a great front door DIY for them on May 13.



And, on Friday, May 14, I’ll be with my good friend, garden guru Danny Watson with the awesome folks at Atlanta & Company weaving some front door charm for their smart anchor Christine Pullara at 11 a.m. EDT.


Carmen Johnston, Danny Watson, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Carmen and long-time friend and garden guru Danny Watson created some front door magic for Atlanta & Company anchor Christine Pullara which airs on May 14.

Connect With Me!

Friends, I gain so much inspiration from gardening and outdoor living but also from my friendships with you!  Please share your inspiration and questions via my social media at Instagram and Facebook. Summertime is calling and we have so many other fun adventures ahead and want you to join us!

Kitchen HGTV Smart Home 2021, Carmen Johnston Gardens

The HGTV Smart Home 2021 in Naples, Florida is smarter and more innovative than ever and I’m pleased to share I served as the tech and wellness expert which you’ll see during the April 21 special.


HGTV Smart Home 2021, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Photos © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.

HGTV Smart Home 2021 Tech, Wellness Expert

If you are wondering how I connected with the smart folks at HGTV/Discovery, last year I was thrilled to attend the influencer event for the HGTV Dream Home 2020 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Designer Brian Patrick Flynn gave me an Alexa/Delta faucet demo which I captured here?


This moment aligned perfectly with my passion for home and garden innovation and technology.

I’ve now spent the last year helping research and identify technology and wellness elements which can help make all of our lives smarter, healthier, and, honestly, more fun! Below I’ve outlined some of the items identified in my research woven into the home build and smart design created by rock star, Tiffany Brooks.

Home Helps Mind, Body and Soul

Now more than ever, HGTV knows how truly important home is. It’s not just a place where we eat and sleep. For many of us, home is our family hub, our office, our place to learn, and our haven. So, this year’s HGTV Smart Home is designed to help consumers lead a life well-lived – mind, body and soul. From the latest tech innovations, to smart organization solutions, to rooms created with health and wellness in mind, join HGTV as they redefine what it means to “live smart.”


HGTV Smart Home 2021 entrance, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Photos © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.


Be sure and check out these smart tech and design elements during the special or on-line: Savant Hue System Lighting Indoor/Outdoor, DAKBoard, Corian Wireless Charging Counter Top, Clean Pods, Core Meditation Trainer,  Rise Garden, Gentleman Door, Pocket Door, Napoleon Outdoor Kitchen Grill, Avalon Outdoor Fridge, Phantom Voice Activated Outdoor Screens, Lift Master- Garage Door Opener and App,  Ooni USA Gas Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven, Samsung WiFi Washer and Dryer, Samsung Savant Ecobee Smart Thermostat,  Garage Smart Motorized Storage Lift,  Universal XL Lift, Garage Smart Park Assist, Smart UV Apollo UV Lamp/Light Tower Entire Room Disinfectant, Solo Stove Yukon, Bunk Beds for Multi-Purpose Space, Voice Activated Electric Linear Fireplace, Apple Tablets and Amazon Alexa Device.

Special shout out to these HGTV Smart Home sponsors: Ashley HomeStore, Mercedes-Benz USA, Keurig®, LendingTree, The Sherwin-Williams Company, SimpliSafe Home Security, Sleep Number®, Kohler Co., OxiClean™ , Trex®, Phantom Screens, VELUX® No Leak Skylights.

Watch The April 21 Special

On April 21 at 7 p.m. EDT, the special airs where Tiffany and I are joined in the build process by one of your favorite home improvement experts, Ty Pennington.  And, he is just like you’ve see him on television – hilarious, fun and so smart!


HGTV Smart Home 2021, Living Room, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Photos © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.

The one-hour special will also simulcast on Hogar on Wednesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. EDT. There will be special encores on Tuesday, May 4 at 8 a.m., Thursday, May 13 at 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 26 at 11 a.m., Monday, May 31 at 8 a.m. and Friday, June 11 at 1 p.m. All times are Eastern and be sure and check your television guide for any changes.

Enter For A Chance To Win April 21 – June 11

Who wouldn’t want a luxury coastal getaway in Naples, Florida?!  Beginning April 21, you’ll be able to enter online for a chance to win the HGTV Smart Home 2021. The grand prize is worth over $1.1 million and includes the home and all furnishings, a 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet and $100,000 from LendingTree!


HGTV Smart Home 2021, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Photos © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.

Carmen Johnston Rise Garden Giveaway!

I’m passionate about making wellness and technology fun for the entire family by helping people successfully create beautiful spaces through smart, comprehensive plans for outdoor and indoor living!


Rise Garden, HGTV Smart Home 2021, Carmen Johnston Gardens

Rise Garden: Photos © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. All rights reserved.


And, I want to share the love by giving away some of my favorite tech and wellness items featured in the HGTV Smart Home!  The first giveaway we are sharing on my Instagram and Facebook is the Rise Garden which was woven into the kitchen pantry. April 14 through April 21. We’ll be sharing all the details there soon!

Most of all, follow along this amazing journey via HGTV and my social media.  I’m so grateful to be a part of this magical project which I hope inspires you!

What’s in Bloom: March Edition

Spring is approaching quickly and we are ready at Carmen Johnston Gardens. Check out what Carmen’s six favorite March blooms are!

Did you miss our last blog? We share the best winter tips to ensure a beautiful spring garden — check it out here.

Taking the time for winter prep can result in a beautiful spring garden so check out these great tips and then grab that coat and gloves and get to work!

Photo by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Winter Prep For Beautiful Spring Garden – Perennials

It is important to consider your location and the current weather your area is experiencing. Located here in South Georgia, we have mild winters. If you live in a cooler region, you will want to delay the following garden tasks until just before spring but begin with perennials.


Perennials are nature’s gift that keep giving year after year. To keep them looking their best, prune back perennials to the form and size you desire. This will allow the plant to fill in with new, lush growth when spring arrives. Avoid pruning certain plants that bloom on old wood. These types of plants formed their buds the previous year and if they are removed, will not flower.

Photo by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Roses – Start Pruning Late Winter

Roses are an essential component to any garden. Late winter is the best time to prune your roses back allowing for new, fresh growth to occur when spring arrives. Remove any dead canes and cut healthy stems back to approximately 1/3 to 2/3 of the size of the plant. Remove any suckers from the plant as these will steal nutrients and stunt overall growth.


Spray the rose plant thoroughly with horticultural oil to rid of insects as well as their eggs before they become active again in the spring. Reward all of your hard work with buying yourself a new beautiful rose bush to add to your garden as now is a great time to plant them.

Photo by Carmen Johnston Gardens

New Plantings

Now is the perfect time to get new perennials, shrubs, and trees planted in your garden, as long as your area is safe from freezes. Planting now allows plants’ root structures to form well before the intense summer heat arrives.


Some of my favorite perennials to bring gorgeous spring color into the garden are foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), peony (Paeonia lactiflora), African iris (Dietes iridioides), coneflower (Echinaceae sp.), and larkspur (Delphinium sp.). My favorite evergreens to incorporate are Wintergreen boxwoods (Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Wintergreen’), dwarf bur ford hollies (Ilex cornuta ‘Dwarf Burford’), and distylium.


Photo by Carmen Johnston Gardens


If you are looking forward to a gorgeous spring, make it even more beautiful by fertilizing everything from curb to foundation including your lawn, shrubs, and trees.


Choose a fertilizer that is of good quality because it truly makes a difference. I like to my secret “go-go juice” Nelson plant food Nelson plant food. You will want a complete fertilizer, meaning it has both macronutrients and micronutrients.

Photo by Carmen Johnston Gardens


Last but not least, make sure to give your lawn the love and attention it deserves. I recommend having a soil test completed with your local extension office to assess your lawn’s nutrient needs.

Here in the South, our soils tend be quite acidic which most plants are not fond of. It is likely your lawn needs to be limed which will neutralize the soil pH. This will improve nutrient availability to your plants and improve the overall health and structure of the soil.


One of the most important things you can do for your lawn is known as scalping. This involves lowering your lawn mower setting each time the grass is cut in order to clean up the thatch. Thatch is the area of dead and living grass that is between the soil and the lush green grass that graces your lawn. By cleaning up the thatch, you improve aeration, drainage, and nutrient absorption. Also, when the grass is cut, make sure that the grass clippings are not left on the lawn during this time of scalping.


Photo by Carmen Johnston Gardens

Looking For Garden Inspiration

Did you see my last blog on a beautiful outdoor living and garden installation by the gorgeous Savannah River in Augusta, Georgia.  Click here to see this stunning project with a fun video.

And, f you need some spring-time inspiration, be sure and follow along via our emails, blogs or on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest!


Boxwood Shrubs, Carmen Johnston Gardens, Thomaston GA