Sharing ideas and encouraging creativity is part of the heart of Carmen Johnston Gardens and exactly what happened at the annual Haven Conference in Atlanta. As a Southern Living Garden Lifestyle Editor, I was honored to present great ideas in plants & gardening with the always beautiful Southern Living Plant Collection.

The Southern Living Plant Collection, first introduced in Spring 2008, provides gardeners with innovative new plants designed to solve specific landscape challenges and to excel in Southern gardens. Each plant in the collection is the result of years of plant evaluations, plant trials and research.

During the two sessions, I had SO much fun presenting lifestyle gardening solutions with container gardens, something I’m excited to pioneer and to share! My co-presentor for the two sessions was HGTV/DIY’s Jeff Wilson and I loved hearing about his home adventures and the building of his deck using Thompson’s WaterSeal products.

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens


Some of the most popular tips from my session were the “stuff and shove” where we created beautiful container gardens with plants from the gorgeous Southern Living collection. Using the Three Ts, tall, thick and trailing, DIY bloggers from across the Southeast helped me create fresh container gardens which were also given out to several lucky winners. Everybody went home with their own lovely plant and so can you by visiting your local Home Depot today!

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens


We took a variety of fun snapshots and assemble a quick glimpse in this video.


Remember, have fun and don’t forget, if you fail, just give it back to the Earth and try again!




Quick, easy entertaining and garden solutions are being served up at an exciting event called Haven convening in Atlanta this weekend, a conference started by some of the top DIY Bloggers in the nation. As a Southern Living Gardening Lifestyle Editor, I’ll be sharing exciting ideas from the Southern Living Plant Collection including six DIY gardening and decorating projects from get your hands-dirty to ready-made solutions!

Carmen Johnston, Garden Lifestyle Expert, Carmen Johnston Gardens

This will be happening Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. (EDT). For those of you not attending, you’ll want to check out the highlights of the great ideas we’ll be sharing via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and follow the hashtag #havenconf as well.

I’ll also be sharing some of the hottest trends for gardening in 2015 at the Southern Living potting shed as part of our exhibit for the event and we will be posting plenty of those pics too!

So here’s a little nugget to inspire you to join us on this weekend adventure. Give color a boost! Keep your blooms looking their best by pinching all dead foliage and blooms. Be sure to give them a drink -plants like us need a lot of water during the heat of the summer. And, are you done with your morning coffee? Give your plants a java jolt pouring the left over coffee into your plants.

Carmen Johnston Gardens


We are going to be crafting a floral centerpiece with ice, ice cream and florals. Intrigued? Join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and be sure to hashtag #havenconf, #SLPC, #CarmenJohnstonGardens.