Category Archives: Recycled

Sentiment Gardens Workshop-Cornerstone Garden

Treasured Memorabilia turns Memories into Gardens

Free Workshop Cornerstone Garden (414-B State Street)
September 3rd and September 10th at 10am
Beginning next door at The Secret Tea Room (412 State Street)
RSVP 392.4031

Strolling through the eclectic grounds of Cornerstone Garden in Greensboro,NC, several patrons openly expressed to store owner Diana Gardner-Williams that many keepsakes of loved ones past were difficult to part with.CornerstoneGardenis designed by using non-conventional items or pieces not necessarily found in the landscape, creating unique outdoor scenes or vignettes.

Stressful events such as loosing a loved one can lead to collecting because one often associates certain objects with the lost loved one.  Not letting go of “things” which may be viewed by others as unimportant, trivial, or even trash, is a physical way to “keep” the loved one who is no longer present. Popular television shows such as; Hoarding: Buried Alive and Hoarders have revealed the secret lives of those having difficulty in letting go of tangible objects after such events.

 All are welcome to a free workshop in Greensboro, Cornerstone Garden to discuss the art of incorporating keepsakes into homes and gardens with a designer’s eye. Workshop will begin at The Secret Tea Room (412 State Street) at 10 am Saturday September 3rd and Saturday September 10th, 2011. Please call Diana for reservations at 336.392.4031. Individual questions can be answered after the tour.

Diana Gardner-Williams, store owner of Cornerstone Garden, is a professional landscape designer working under the name Diana Digs Dirt for the past 13 years. She began helping the community create memory gardens after the stillbirth of her son in 2003. “My family keepsakes are designed into my daily environment providing great comfort because of the emotional connections,” says Mrs. Gardner-Williams.

If interested, there will be a plant swap September 3rd 8:30am at Cornerstone Garden


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Greensboro’s Cornerstone Garden Accepting Treasures

Cornerstone Garden (formerly, My Secret Garden) is now accepting your treasures, or should we say, junk, trash, dumpster digs, or garbage. Donate items to be up-cycled, adding to the charm and overall look of the new garden boutique. Your treasure could be used in a new and exciting way throughout the grounds.

Take a peek at some of the up-cycled treasures at 414-B State Street in Greensboro, NC. Trash to Treasure

 A metal towel rack used for a plant display

   Metal buckets, 2 tier fountain

  Closet doors attached to arbor

 Hanging planters created from tractor stands

    Window frames add charm to outdoor vignettes

    Shutters can be used in various ways

   Bushel baskets make great plant displays and add vertical interest in the garden.

 Handmade chicken wire hanging basket filled with ivy, sedum and carex grass.

Wheel barrow fountain

 A salvaged child’s swing offers your favorite plants at eye level

       At Cornerstone Garden, chairs are offered to the plants first

 Some gadget from a tractor

 Items in search of

  • Metal shelves, containers, utensils, (love anything metal)
  • Pressure Treated Wood from decks, fences or other
  • Wood or plastic containers
  • Dresser drawers
  • Window Frames, Doors, Shutters
  • PVC Pipe
  • Plastic Sand Boxes or Pools
  • Tin Roofing
  • Broken or Whole Bricks/Stone
  • Terra Cotta Pots
  • Fabric-Pink, White, Black, Red, Gold or Silver
  • Chicken Wire
  • Bushel Baskets
  • Mailboxes
 Cornerstone Garden is also accepting artwork, ironwork, birdhouses, etc on consignment (North Carolina artisans only please). Contact Diana Digs Dirt for more information at 392.4031.
Boutique is open Tues-Friday 10-5 and Saturday 9-4
Thank you Songbirds Consignment for their generous donation of many up-cycled items

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Composting Branches for Fence Material

OK, so we are not talking a permanent fence, but one that is original with tons of personality. Have the neighborhood kids collect branches and twigs that have fallen from high winds or ice storms. When pruning trees and shrubs, save them for your new compost fence.

First, select a location where this type of fencing will not look out-of-place. We have chosen a spot by the water outlet, where the landscaping is more informal.

Decide how long and tall you would like the fence to be. You could work in reverse by accessing the sizes of existing branches and limbs on your property. Tamp in metal or wooden stakes to hold your material in place.

Have the kids start gathering all the branches and limbs from your landscape.

Start laying the material.

This is also an affordable idea for those who have a small rodent problem, perfect for a garden area.

Don’t waste time bundling up for curbside pick up when you can easily create a functional compost fence.

I know the green metal stakes stand out a bit. I will eventually cover them with bark from a tree. You can also use rusty re-bar or actual branches.

This type of fence is nice to hide garbage cans too.

Children can erect their own forts in no time by creating 3 sides and draping a tarp on top.

To dress the fence up……

install small plants at the bottom and

potted plants

This project really excites the children

The compost fence above has been planted with morning glory vine and black eyed susan vine. These vines completely hide the fence during the growing season.

Over time your fence will decompose and add wonderful black soil beneath. Just add more branches on top of the pile as this occurs.

Send me pictures of your fences……


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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

1 Comment

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


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Landscape Company and Shabby Chic Paint

Onward with the transformation of my office into something shabby chic with a  hint of the romantic. Since I am a landscape designer and a women, I am entitled to chance my mind. Instead of the peachy walls, I have gravitated toward a more subtle paint color.


The ceiling color is something I mixed and the wall color was recommended by my interior designer, Kasey Stamey of Clerestory Design. I told her I picked up 1 role of wallpaper from a second hand store that I had to use. Very small pin strips of cream and peach. Khaki was Kasey’s choice to paint the other walls. I searched Sherwin Williamscolors in Oakridge, NC and fell in love with Biscuit.

In the middle of painting, numerous shabby chic projects are floating through my brain. Since I throw almost nothing away and I love recycling, old buttons were glued to thumb tacks.


Some of these date back to the 80’s. Perfect bling for shabby chic/romantic.


My girlfriend renovated her new house and was discarding the old medicine cabinet. Well, I snatched it up fast.


I will probably decoupage antique papers onto the back side. A light coat of Biscuit was dry brushed onto the frame and frosty spray was applied to the shelves.


Details of the shabby chic/romantic room should pull everything together. This interior design project will take me awhile to complete because many ideas need to be implemented or constructed. With the guidance of Kasey Stamey, my new office will inspire nothing but the best landscape design ideas for you.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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Decorating Gourd Craft for Kids

Birdhouse gourds, a rainy day, bored children and leftover craft supplies can create a one of a kind piece of art. A fun craft for kids and adults.


Birdhouse gourds are as easy to grow as pumpkins. They do require a great deal of space because they yield several gourds per plant.


The gourds need to sit in a cool, dry location. When you can hear seeds rattling, they are ready to craft and decorate.


I never throw anything away and love to decorate with elements of my past or anything with significant meaning in my life. I used to collect stamps as a hobby with my father and never knew what to do with all of these treasures.


This birdhouse gourd will sit in my old world style room, so the stamps will add to the richness.

Purchase decoupage at your local craft store and start adhering to gourds. since I am an avid scrapbooker, I have torn antique scrapbook paper for the background.


Antique scrapbook stickers were also used to embellish the gourd.

Older photographs were inherited and my mother and father are now integrated into my decor.


Tearing the pictures makes it much easier to adhere.


Piano music books were handed down from my great Aunt who used to compose and perform in the early 40’s in Buffalo, NY lounges and bars.


Flowers from my garden were pressed and dried and adhered to the gourd. I also have a suitcase full of costume jewelry from over the years. One gold strand was wrapped around the stem. Ribbon and yarn also adds to the piece.


Ribbon and yarn adds more dimension to the piece.


A very unique accessory to display in an old world or shappy chic style room.


Have fun with your gourds and plant them now.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Crafts, Recycled


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