Category Archives: Before and After

Diana Digs My Secret Garden-3


414 State Street, formally known as, “My Secret Garden”.

A beautiful weekend to work on State Street. Much was accomplished like tilling the front terrace and removing unwanted plants.

4×4 caps were placed on the posts for iron fence, where pots will be installed later.

Every inch of this location will be taken advantage of. Cracks in the sidewalk, stairs and wall will be planted with crevice plants (not weeds).

 Several cascading plants will adorn the brick wall and bloom at various times of the year. Bulbs, annuals and perennials will add to the splendor. There will be a few spots open for people to sit as well.

Needed a nice entryway planter filled with perennials, sedum, annuals and the grass on top is called Amazon Mist.

   2 “Burgundy Cotton” Crape Myrtles were installed by the fence.

The project was supervised by my son.

We are getting there and hope to have our Grand Opening April 30th (after our April 16th event), just in time for Mothers Day plants, gifts baskets and more!

 Happy Planting!

Landscape Design, Installations, Consultations and Speaking Engagements


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Diana Digs My Secret Garden-2

Another day on 414 State Street at, “My Secret Garden”. It was VERY cold too. 360 Landscape and Lawn Maintenance helped remove a few overgrown shrubs and transplant the weeping cherry tree. Some of the roots are so enormous, a truck was needed to pull out.

If an existing plant will provide me hours of manual labor, it needs to go. “My Secret Garden” will be spectacular filled with low maintenance and drought tolerate plants. Don’t we all want this?

The upper terrace is almost cleaned out and will be tilled and stone re-positioned for a seating and display area. Was thinking about painting the fence and decided against it. So many flowers, pottery and other garden art will definitely cover its aged look. We may add a pergola for some afternoon shade.

Diana Digs Dirt


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Diana Digs My Secret Garden-1

February 18th Diana Digs Dirt signed the contract to move business onto 414 State Street, Greensboro, NC, along with Andrea Halsey Photography.

As a landscape designer, plans are underway to transform (and maintain the integrity) of “My Secret Garden”. There are many hours of work needed with the Grand Opening scheduled for March 2011.

Because of ample outdoor space, workshops will be ongoing to include

We are using materials on site, keeping with the charm of the garden, like this iron divider


Then adding overhead structures, like this arbor for roses and clematis (and shade:)

See you on State Street



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Installing a Stone Patio-DIY

Installing a stone patio  just takes a little planning, elbow power, $, and patience, not to mention a few tools.

Here at a Greensboro, NC residential entryway, lacks a great deal of curb appeal. The space should either be functional or VERY aesthetically pleasing because of its location, by the entrance. We opted for functional, since the basketball hoop is not far.

Hi Cody!

Determine how many people will be occupying the space. The general formula is 4 feet by 4 feet per person.

Make sure utility lines are located befor excavation, spray paint your lines and remove earth.

I choose Tennessee Crab Orchard Stone for its creamy beige, tan, burgundy and brown striations. A nice complimentary stone mimicking house color.

 A 2 inch depth of sandrock was tamped into the ground, with a gentle slope toward driveway. This makes it easier when using your mallet to set each stone. When laying stone, start laying large pieces first, towards the back. A small plant bed was designed at the foundation of the home to soften the transition between 2 hard surfaces, stone and siding. Plants marry them and they live happily ever after.

After completion, spray down with water. The sandrock will take a few weeks to settle. Play sand may be swept into the joints if creeping plants will not be utilized in the crevices.

Existing hosta perennials were installed to soften the transition between the driveway and stone.

Sky pencil hollies are the perfect shrub selection for tight spaces where vertical form is needed.

Adding the finishing touches; furniture, pots, and accessories.

Who wouldn’t like to sip coffee or tea on this shady morning patio.

Petunias are great in outdoor pots.

For under $3,000 a beautiful  Tennessee Crab Orchard Stone Patio is not only functional, but adds fabulous curb appeal. Your guest may not even make it into your home!!

Email me for help:)


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Loving Romantic Shabby Chic Cottage Office

Part 4 of the office transformation. I will really stress that I am one who truly recycles and love every moment of it. Below is an eyelet bed skirt from a second hand store. This is perfect for the romantic shabby chic cottage style room I am trying to achieve.


Another treasure I found was a piece of furniture for $15 at another second hand store.


It just had to be cleaned up and a light coat of white spray paint was applied.


This piece was sitting on the side of the road with broken glass everywhere. I saw the legs and had to have it.


My interior designer, Kasey Stamey selected the primary floral fabric for the room pictured below.


I found a secondary fabric, again at a second hand store. This smaller print of the same color palette will offer variety without overpower the main fabric.


I will probably drape this fabric across the piece of furniture from the side of the road to dress up a bit.

Since we are on the subject of roadside trash, I found several windows screaming for me to pick up.


I cleaned them right up and no extra paint was needed. I did apply paint to one side of the windows. On the opposite side, the primary fabric was applied.


There are 2 functions of the window hanging where it is. First, to divide the room in 2 distinct sections, guest room and office. The second function would be to hide the catch all desk behind it. We all need a spot for our junk to be dealt with at another time.


I found these beautiful Peony Pillows.

They can be found here-Bridge Water Gardens

On to part 5

Happy Planting!!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation

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Posted by on September 2, 2009 in Before and After, Crafts, Interior Rooms


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Romantic Shabby Chic Style Office

I recycled a medicine chest my girlfriend was ditching. There was a great opportunity to decoupage and create a one of a kind shelf. It did not have to be repainted and I was able to apply leftover wallpaper from the wall behind, to the underside of the shelves.


I decoupaged old piano music and book pages from 1898. My father happened to find them in a wall when remodeling an old house.


How I love to create non conventional pieces which are recycled, old and rusty.


The look is exactly what I am striving for…shabby chic, romantic, cottage.


the same girlfriend disposing of the medicine chest was also getting rid of this wonderful piece of office furniture, a particle board desk. Hideous, I know. However, we can work with this. I have started by gluing cork board squares to the front and sides.


Across the top is also cut cork board. To add shabby chic detail, door hanger scrapbook embellishments were adhered.


Any piece of furniture can be transformed, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Happy Planting!!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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Shabby Chic Design for Landscape Company

Now on to part 3 of the office transformation. Shabby Chic/Romantic Cottage is something I gravitate towards because of the comfort factor and that I never throw anything away. This was a birthday card given to me in the early 70’s. Next to it is a wedding etiquette book by Emily Post (what a joke to read it now).


Basically my work office is split up like the majority of the offices around the nation, into a work space and guest room. The area above is the guest room.


I took meaningful and older pictures and tacked to the wall above the chair rail (which is old barn wood painted). The shiny and silver element running across the wood is meant for scrapbooking pages.


For added interest and more detail, 4 picture frames were adhered.


The background is scrapbooking paper complimenting the shabby chic theme of peach, cream and pink. Pressed flowers in the center.


Detail, detail, detail. Just as though I am designing a landscape.


On the opposite wall is the office space. I cut square pieces of cork board and adhered to the painted barn wood.


Yes, those are buttons. Buttons that I will never use, but look great in the cottage, shabby chic office. They were simply glued to thumb tacks.


Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation

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Posted by on August 20, 2009 in Before and After, Crafts, Interior Rooms, Recycled


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