Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Myrtle Topiaries in Southern Living

As the new year approaches, I have exciting news to share! Thank you to Southern Living for featuring my myrtle topiaries in their January 2014 issue. YAY!!! What a special way to welcome 2014.

I am especially grateful to Editor Rebecca Bull Reed for her guidance and tireless work styling the shoot, writing the article and producing this project. Thanks so much, Rebecca! Many thanks also to photographer Helen Norman for capturing such exquisite photos. With her brilliant eye and camera magic, Helen can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary!

If you are a Southern Living reader visiting for the first time, let me extend a hearty welcome. And a big hug! Anyone who loves topiaries, or is curious about them, is a friend :) To my longtime readers, thank you for your continued support this past year - you all are the best!

There are fabulous photos as well as growing tips in the article. Please pick up the issue (if you do not have it) to enjoy the photos and my tips on keeping myrtle plants healthy throughout 2014 and beyond. Some of my babies are over 10 years old.

Various photos were taken with different vignettes, angles and layouts for this article. Here are the rest of the photos from the shoot. To see the images that actually made it to print, you'll have to check out the hard copy issue.
 On the dining room French console is a pair of triple standard myrtles from Snug Harbor Farm in Maine. You can read about my visit to Snug Harbor here.
 A cheerful and fresh way to start 2014! Let's set a casual New Year's Day brunch table with bright orange tulips and soothing green myrtles.

This version didn't make it to print, but I am very fond of it. Helen captured the essence beautifully.
 Switching out the tulips with winter blooms from treasured Sasanqua camellias from my southern garden.
  Switching out soft blue with vibrant chartreuse. And also a topiary switch - can you find this change? All the flatware, glassware, dishes and linens are from Crate and Barrel.
 In the conservatory, I demonstrate how to prune a young topiary. Hold it steady at the stem, and use sharp Japanese pruners.
 Perfectly pruned - that's how I like them!
 In addition to myrtles, I train and shape rosemary and ivy plants. You can also read about these in the article.
I love Rebecca's savy styling of the above vignette with the rosemary, ivy and concrete sphere atop the antique Swedish painted chest. Green on green!
Shots of the mudroom with Mocha and Panda, my Tibetan Terriers! The large wreath is English ivy.
Thank you, Southern Living. I am honored and truly grateful!!
To everyone, cheers to the rest of 2013! 
May 2014 be b-r-i-g-h-t!
Loi

90 comments:

  1. I am really happy for you Loi! Your topiaries are very lovely! Marry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
    Warm hugs from Belgrade!!
    xoxo

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  2. Gorgeous, Loi! I will look for the magazine this week. Looking forward to reading your tips about topiaries. Happy New Year!

    -Deborah

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  3. Picked up the issue earlier this week and loved the article, very glad to see even more beautiful pictures here! Thanks for sharing; it's tempting to try it!

    For you and Tom, have a wonderful 2014!

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  4. a beautiful feature, loi. when my copy arrived a few days ago, i was delighted to see your piece. so thrilled for you. first of many, I am sure. all my best, donna

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  5. Hello Loi, Congratulations on this recognition of your talents and decorating persona. Even though your house is already perfect, the professional photographers were able to work their magic. With these pale, delicate backgrounds, the topiaries are perfect for infusing just the right amount of life into the scene.
    --Jim

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  6. Loi!
    Beautiful Plants!
    I'm here to wish you Love, Peace, Health, benãos of the
    God in his life and all his Family!

    Adriano.

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  7. Loi, I was reading through that issue of Southern Living last night and saw the beautiful feature with your topiaries! It was so nicely done and had so many wonderful tips. Congrats! Have been following your blog for some time now (but am bad about commenting) and find it so inspiring!

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  8. Congrats Loi....I will have to pick up a copy...Your home is gorgeous and your topiaries look amazing...

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  9. I don't have to prune any of my topiaries, because they're all fake!

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    1. So funny! I can relate as I have a couple of artificial ones too :)

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  10. Congratulations, Loi. What pretty photos and your topiaries are lovely. I'm fairly sure I have received this issue of Southern Living, so I'll have to go back and find your feature. Love the photos of Mocha and Panda -- they're beautiful. How are they doing?

    Happy New Year to you,
    Claudia

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    1. Mocha and Panda are doing great! Going to be 14 and 13 soon. I'll give them hugs from you.

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  11. Parabéns pelo lindo trabalho! Gosto bastante de topiaria, especialmente, em vasos como você fez de forma caprichosa proporcionando muita elegância ao ambiente... Feliz 2014!

    César (Brasil)

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    1. Thank you, Cesar! And welcome to my blog. Cheers from DC, Loi

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  12. i felt like i was staring at each photo for 5 minutes. such natural beauty. congratulations on your shoot. well deserved!

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  13. Beautiful Loi and congratulations! I am a subscriber and cannot wait to receive my copy in the mail. The orange tulips and the green is a wonderful and refreshing combination. I hope you are enjoying the the time off and seasonal activities! xxleslie

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  14. We share a love of myrtle topiary and Tibetan terriers. On my way to purchase this issue-can't wait to read your tips. Happy New Year and your blog is so lovely. It feels like a wonderful treat awaits every time I open it up. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Anonymous. I'd love to see photos of your Tibetans - feel free to email me at topiaryplants@gmail.com

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  15. Dear Loi, you are so deserving of this article in Southern Living. You have inspired me so much in my own decorating, since I found your blog....I now have in my possession, an ivy topiary, two lemon cypress and two myrtle, but am terrified to prune them!! They are looking gorgeous, but a little unruly! Your home looked beautiful for Christmas..the little tree, wrapped in burlap with the bird....beautiful ! Still dealing with renovation dust here, but it is coming to an end next week! Yay!! Best holiday wishes, N.xo

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  16. Oh WOW! WOW! WOW! This is all so gorgeous, I can't stand it! I LOVE the topiaries, the vignettes, the furnishings, the doggies (very cute!) and the darling photo of you "cutting" the plants. (I know, just for show) :] However, I especially loved the fact that Southern Living grabbed you before some other publication did! Love that mag! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Loi! xoxo, Laurel

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  17. Many heartfelt congratulations on the publishing and recognition of your talents and amazing interiors. I will certainly look for the mag but not one I have seen here in Ontario, Canada. The dogs look great - can just feel their warm companionship...makes you want to relax. I look forward to reading about the topiaries as I just love having rosemary in the house and now maybe I can include in the decoration. Although we see them ( topiaries) in your pictures/blog frequently it is not something I've really thought about - the work, and I bet the love that goes into these gorgeous natural arrangements. As usual you make it look oh so easy. Thanks again for sharing your creativeness and genius. Wishing you all the very best for 2014, and yes I beleive it will be bright!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Maggie. If you cannot find the magazine, I am happy to email scans to you. Just let me know :)

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  18. WOW! You'al are flying!! Gee, if those are the photos that did NOT make it in the article...I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive! HAPPY! franki

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  19. LOI! I am sitting here in the Ontario airport in Southern California, getting on a plane back home. We had such a great Christmas with the best family, ever.

    I am so happy for you; your home is photogenic both from your skillful photography and the professional lens. Seeing your home makes me want to get back inside my home to gather my thoughts, my decorating ideas, and to get back on my normal routine!

    Your topiaries are so lush, and I'll be having some in my late winter décor, as well as a copy of Southern Living! Loi, you look wonderful, and this is so exciting for you!

    Happy Holidays my dear Loi, to you and Tom and Mocha! Anita

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  20. Hi Loi, Congratulations!! No plateau---and the boys are looking gorgeous. Thank you for all of your wonderful posts of 2013--and your faithful, considered support.
    xoxoxo Mary

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  21. Loi I have my lovely little Myrtle topiaries on my dining table as I type!! Love them, they last forever, and your vignette is fabulous! So excited to hear it made that great magazine!!
    Have a wonderful New year too!

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  22. Hi Loi, how funny that I just came to the blog from the Southern Living site as I checked there to see if the January issue was up with your feature! The images are stunning! I'm so happy for you for such great coverage. I have always been a huge topiary fan. When Steve at Urban Cottage took be to Snug Harbor Farm and I saw those endless topiaries, I nearly died. It has been on my mind to go back in the spring and get a few, and now it is a must! The images of your home are just amazing. Congratulations on the feature. ;-)

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    1. Can we all meet at Snug Harbor this summer? It would be soooo fun :) Just let me have first picks at the tops!

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  23. Had to come back .. I got this issue the other day:) and hadn't had a chance to look at it. Your pics are beautiful! Congratulations Loi!

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  24. What wonderful news and a Great way to start the New Year! Congratulations!!!!!!
    I will literally "run" to the nearest store and get my copy!!!!
    Thanks for showing us the unpublished shots,
    MC and I wish you and Tom the BEST NEW YEAR EVER!!!
    Patty

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  25. So beautifully done! Kuddos for the SL feature and well deserved I might add. Thank you Loi for bringing us beauty throughout the year! I have enjoyed following your blog. Thank you also for being a reader of mine. I feel honored to have you as a reader! oxox

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  26. What a thrill, Loi! The photos are fabulous - everything looks beautiful as always. I was signed up to take a topiary workshop at Sung Harbor Farm earlier this month but couldn't make the drive as a huge storm arrived the night before. I will certainly pick up a copy of the magazine - that might be all the instruction I need!
    xoxo,
    Phyllis

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  27. Great photos and topiaries, Loi. Will definitely look for Southern Living and, knowing me, will probably wind up filing it under January.

    Congratulations and happy new year.
    b

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  28. Dear Loi thank you - - I enjoy all your pictures, text and ideas.

    It´s a pity you are so far from Vienna.

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    1. I am thrilled to have a reader in Vienna :) Sending you warm greetings from DC, Loi

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  29. Wow! I had no idea all these topiaries were your creation, I always admired them but now I know you are the artist behind them. The pictures in the magazine look wonderful. Congratulations!
    Best wishes and a Happy New year.

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  30. wonderful news loi, have an inkling you are destined for the national stage. the images are serene and lovely. am not a southern living but will pick up this issue
    wishing you and tom a wonderful 2014!
    debra

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  31. How wonderful that your beautiful home and topiaries are featured in SL, I will have to pick up a copy! And I love that your beautiful pups were included...I hope they made the final layout! I also hope you both enjoy the rest of the year and that 2014 will be the year we finally get to have lunch! :)

    xo Kat

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  32. Hi Loi! I'm excited to buy a copy of the magazine and see the entire lay out- your collection is simply beautiful. Best wishes for more exciting happenings in the new year :). All the best to you and Tom!
    Sarah

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  33. Loi,
    Congratulations. I'll be thrilled to pick up a copy of that issue so that I can read your tips for success with the topiaries you've kept healthy and beautiful. I've never tried cutting my sasanqua and bringing them indoors. Do they last long?
    May 2014 be a wonderful year for you and Tom. I look forward to seeing the progress you share in work on your new (second) home.
    Happy New Year's.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. The blooms sadly do not last long as cut flowers. But I still enjoy them however brief :) Thanks, Karen!

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  34. These are really beautiful images. And it's great to see your sweet pups in the shots. I've always found my pets love to make it into the shots. I'll have to look for a magazine to see more, especially your tips for caring for them. I've had decent luck with them but not the best.

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  35. Congrats on the Southern Living article! Your home is so FABULOUS!! Articles like yours are exactly why I subscribe!! I must admit I've gone a little topiary crazy lately:) Hope I'm able to prune as well as you. We shall see... Happy New Year!! XO

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  36. Great news. What a great way to start the new year. The photos are lovely. I'll buy my copy pronto.
    Best...Victoria

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    1. Just picked up the issue of Southern Living and the images of your plants, pups and home are beautiful!

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  37. Oh, this is the BEST news ever! Your topiaries are delightfully beautiful! The styling is drool worthy! I absolutely adore that shot with you! Big Congrats to you dear friend. I will most certainly be picking up a hard copy! xx

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  38. What a stellar way to start the new year! Congratulations on your feature in Southern Living. I adore the Sasanqua camellias and the vignette with rosemary, ivy, and concrete sphere! Your spaces always leave me with a lasting artistic impression; its your gift. Blessings on you in 2014.

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  39. congratulations Loi….all looks so beautiful and elegant as always. And great photo of you as well! Happy New Year

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  40. Congratulations, Loi — the photographs are gorgeous, but then your good eye for beauty and detail was the groundwork for this handsome spread. I hope 2014 continues to hand you happy surprises! Mark

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  41. What a dream team - and incredible location and subject matter! Loi, Helen and I can't thank you and Tom enough for making this such an enjoyable story to produce, style, shoot, and write from start to finish. Sneak peak alert: Watch for more of Loi and Tom's garden coming up in 2014!

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    1. Thank you!!! :) It was an incredible experience. I learned so much from you and Helen! Can't wait for the other article!!!

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  42. Congratulations Loi! Buying my copy asap :)

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  43. I will definitely buy the magazine. Your topiaries are amazing and so well cared for. They are your babies. The photos are wonderful and so stylish. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

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  44. Congratulations! This is great, Loi!
    I am right around the corner from Southern Living, so the magazine is one I read monthly!!
    Can't wait to feet my copy!
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  45. This is so inspiring! Plants give life to spaces and YOURS are so pretty. I want to take down the Christmas decorations, get some topiaries and run out and buy that magazine!

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  46. I LOVE! your topiaries --- wondering where you find the perfectly weathered clay pots?

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    1. A few of the pots are from Guy Wolff, but most are ordinary terra cotta ones. They get the mossy surface rather quickly because of the constant watering.

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  47. Congrats, Loi! The styling is beautiful, as always! All the best in the new year!

    Poppy

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  48. LOI, loi, loi, loi - why do you do this to me???????????????????????????? why loi? I was happy with my house before i saw this post this morning. now i want to put a match to it all and go find japanese pruners and topiaries. i was happy loi and now i'm not and it's ALL your fault!!!!!! hmmm. ok. let me go find some kerosene.........

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  49. Oh man, perfection! Congratulations sweet friend, an honor truly deserved. Your home and your topiaries look amazing. I wish you and Tom the happiest of holidays and the best in the New Year! I will definitely go get the issue when it hits the stands, and gush with pride over knowing you and your talents first hand. Savor the praise, you so deserve it!!! xoxo Nancy

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  50. Loi, what a wonderful way to start 2014 + So proud of you! Must run get a copy of mag. now + always wanted to know how to prune a topiary + I must confess(keep them alive) + Happy New Year to you & tom xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  51. these photos are amazing and it's an honor so well deserved! you are so talented! merry merry and happy new year!

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  52. Oh wow, congratulations! Your topiaries really are stunning. As for that fantastic tablescape, I love all the versions, but those aqua plates will get me every time (and I like the tulips too). I will absolutely pick up a copy of the magazine. You've teased us with such gorgeous images, I can't miss the rest of them. I hope you had a great Christmas, Loi!

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  53. Hello Loi

    I am off to get my copy of Southern Living tomorrow. Brava and congratulations on this great honour. I say well deserved. I am looking forward to reading on rosemary topiaries.
    Wishing only the best in 2014
    Helen xx

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  54. can't wait to buy my issue, loi! i love what you've done. i trained some rosemary and ivy successfully years ago and truly want to try again. at the moment i have two rosemary topiaries that aren't lookin promising. i sweet talk to em everyday, encouraging them to hang on. so i really need the article with tips.

    have a great weekend!

    michele

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  55. Hi Loi!

    Wishing you the best year ahead yet! I have started work in an office and my blog is very shelved. However, I did manage to make another ceiling-high Christmas tree and I thought you would like to see it! tee-hee.
    http://tree-shades.blogspot.com

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  56. Can't wait to purchase the issue, Loi. The photos are gorgeous and it'd be amazing if I could learn a thing or two about growing/pruning topiaries. Again, gorgeous!

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  57. Beautiful to spend time with you Loi, over the holidays.
    Ever bit of this post amazes, congrats on your feature well deserved, as for the topiaries they are divine.

    A very Happy New Year to you.

    Xx
    Doré

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  58. I like your white kitchen cabinets with white door will make the kitchen looked so amazing. Wood material usually will be used for the custom kitchen. If you want to make the modern kitchen, the glossy door will be suitable. decorating your living room

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  59. YOU ARE SO GENEROUS IN SPIRIT
    AND
    APPRECIATIVE OF THE SUBLTY OF LIFE'S BEAUTY
    AND
    YOU SHARE SO PURELY.


    SO HAPPY FOR YOU.

    BLESSINGS,
    LISA

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  60. It was the green desk. Imagine my delight when I was quickly thumbing through my Southern Living Magazine during the holidays and there it was...the green desk that I covet! I stopped in my tracks and read every word of every page. I was THRILLED to see your work (and green thumb) in the article and learned alot in the process. Congratulations on the well deserved recognition!!

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  61. Congrats on the feature, Loi. I just saw it in my copy. Happy New Year!

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  62. Hello Loi,
    I am a huge fan of that Southern Living article. The shots were beautiful. I love the extra shots that you shared that didn't make the article..especially those tulips! Congratulations on the feature. We are all so lucky that you share your incredible talents with us. I wish you and Tom and very Happy New Year...and as you say....may it be BRIGHT!
    Cheers,
    Susan xxoo

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  63. Loi,
    Breathtaking beauty you nurture and grow. The photographs are stunning. I have trimmed boxwoods out front in my postage stamp sized front yard. I've affectionally named them FiFi (3 tiered) and the pips (single balls). Seeing your amazing myrtle topiaries has inspired me to try my hand at one in the house. I will pick up the Southern Living to enjoy the article and all your hints.

    Happy New Year.
    Vera

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  64. Every photo - simply stunning! Happy New Year Loi!

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  65. Stunning Loi and a handsome photo of you. You are an inspiration to me. I love the lines of the topiaries. So classical and lovely. You have such an eye.

    Happy New Year to you and Tom. I have been very bad at blogging this year with lots of other things going on, so please forgive that I am always the last commenter but I never miss a post. Yours is one of the few I always read.

    xo Terri

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  66. OH MY! I just love this!!! I cannot wait to go buy my copy and have some more greenery in my 2014! I use to be such an ivy topiary girl and somewhere along the way I lost it. I'm gettin it back! Merry Christmas to you and yours and an amazing new year! Thanks for sharing your life with us. Its so inspiring and fun and I cannot wait to see what the new year brings us all! xoxo

    jennifer@vreelandroad

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  67. Loi,
    I've been enamored with topiary since I was a little girl. This post is like candy to me. I'm headed out to get my copy of Southern Living NOW. I just started training some tiny, tiny ficus topiaries & am having so much fun with them. I'll enjoy reading your tips. Your home looks beautiful as always.

    Happy New Year!

    Keri

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  68. Loi, the photos are lovely! Of course, your home and your topiary subjects are wonderful - Rebecca and Helen must have loved having such amazing subjects for their work. Your variety of skills, talents and interests never cease to amaze me. I wonder if you ever sleep!
    Happy New Year, friend.

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  69. Oh Happy New Year my inspiring friend Loi! Happy Happy Happy Year!

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  70. Loi! Stopping in to wish you Happy New Year:) Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy new year ahead!

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  71. Dear Loi, I just found you and I'm so happy about that, so HAPPY NEW YEAR from a new follower from Italy!
    Buoin Anno!!
    Lisa

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  72. So very beautiful, Loi! Southern Living is quite a coo for showcasing your beautiful house and your talents. Congrats! I will definitely pick up a copy. Your love and patience for tending your topiaries is inspired. How fortunate your camellias were still in bloom. I know 2014 will be a banner year for you, Sunshine.

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  73. So pretty Loi! Congratulations! You and the topiaries look fab! Can't wait to pick up my copy!!
    Monica

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  74. oh loi - this is wonderful. im picking up a copy tonight when i run to the store. so happy to know you, thank you for having us into your beautiful home this year. i hope 2014 is wonderful for you and tom - although somehow i know it will be no matter what ;))

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  75. Hello Loi!

    So lovely to see you featured in Southern Living- topiary heaven!! I only wish I had your patience and skill.
    xo

    Mimi @ A House Romance

    PS Great picture of you!

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  76. So well-deserved Loi!!!! SO happy for you and Tom! Saw this while I was still on vacation in Cancun and internet was a bit so-so, hence I wasn't able to comment!!!! I love your topiaries and the way you care for them meticulously and oh-so-gently really shows in how beautiful they are. Alas, I have yet to grow a green thumb, currently have a black one, since I tend to kill almost all the plants I own no matter what ( yes, keep your babies away from me if I get to visit)! LOL! What a way to start off your New year! Fantastic, will definitely grab my copy! CHEERS!

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  77. What a BEAUTIFUL feature, Loi!!! Southern Living has been a favorite magazine of mine since I was a little girl, and it was such a treat to see your beautiful home and topiaries gracing its pages. In addition to being an incredible decorator, you also have a magical green thumb! You are so talented! Congratulations on the well-deserved coverage!!!

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

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  78. Hi Loi! Google finally let me back in..so I can comment! but blogger kicked me out again:( Congratulations on your 10 years. Like anything in life, there is an ebb and flow; it is no surprise that you and Tom did well all through those years. I love the piece on the topiaries too! I would love to incorporate them into our Florida home. Take care, and know that I of course am always lurking in the background watching your every move;)…even the dogs saw me in your back yard…thankfully they didn't bark and ruin the photo shoot;) xob

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi