post card gardens + painted cabinets

by Grace Bonney

i think i’ve finally achieved amateur indoor gardener status now, as opposed to the dreaded black thumb i was for the past few years. i’ve managed to keep a few large-scale plants going for more than a month and i’ve feeling like perhaps the curse of my over-watered-plants past is fading. with my good plant luck still fresh, i’m thinking about growing some of these tiny gardens from postcarden. sara at the daily grommet sent them my way, and i love how simple and cute they are, from packaging to final product. “poscardens” are basically a pop-up card that comes with seeds and instructions for growing within the paper box. each card comes with a theme (city, botanical, or allotment) and grows beautifully within the tiny scenery. i’m partial to the botanical layout, but you can pick up any of the scenes for a little under $12 right here. if you’ve got a friend who loves to grow things, but doesn’t have a lot of space, this would make for a great gift. thanks to sara for the tip!

in other homemade news, i really love this idea from former cookie magazine editor jenny rosenstrach at dinner: a love story. jenny decided to have an illustrator friend, gina triplett, paint some of jenny’s favorite family recipes on the inside of her kitchen cabinet doors. i don’t know why i’ve never thought of doing this- it’s such a great way to celebrate family recipes (especially those you make frequently) and decorate your cabinets at the same time. i’m going to have to get crafty with this over the weekend- and i know what’s going up first. my family’s mustard sauce recipe. it’s great on top of anything….

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  • you’re so lucky to have got over the ‘black thumb’ status! i can’t keep a plant alive to save my life and it makes all the difference in a house!

    • tamara

      have you ever tried the plant oxalis or baby’s tears? i’ve grown those like crazy this year and they’ve been amazing, even when i neglect them a little bit (on accident, of course). i’d highly suggest giving those a shot.


  • Oh my goodness! My Grandma in upstate NY always had recipes on the inside of her kitchen cabinet!!! I’ve never seen anyone else do this- what fun to remember her unexpectedly!!

  • OMG! I love the cabinet idea! Now, are you going to share that mustard sauce recipe with the rest of us? Pretty please with sugar on top?

  • You are usually very good at listing the names of the artists you feature on your lovely, popular blog. Was wondering why Gina Triplett was only listed as “iilustrator”. Great to link to her – just would have liked it better to see her name in the article. Love her work! Love your blog!!
    Margaret : )

  • If your problem with keeping indoor plants alive is over- or under- watering (not just completely forgetting to water) what really helps me is a “moisture sensor.” I don’t know the correct name for it, but it’s a rod you stick in the soil and it registers how wet/dry the plant is on a meter at the top. It makes all the difference. The one I have now was only about $5 at Home Depot or Lowes.

  • My grandma always keeps her frequently used recipes posted on the inside of her kitchen cabinet doors.
    P.S. You should totally share that mustard sauce recipe.

  • I don’t care if you share the mustard recipe I just want to see how you decorate the door…your ideas and interpretations are always inspiring–photo of finished project please!

    • ari

      thanks, if i get around to it this weekend i’ll definitely share. the inside of my cabinets are majorly gross.


  • For the back of my cabinet door I have the world’s best cookie recipe that has been in my family for ages, (makes grown men cry). Oh, I should not have mentioned it as it is a family secret and I dare not give it out…

    Shame on you Grace for playing with my culinary affections with the Mustard Sauce! What a tease…

  • i love this illustration! both of my grandma’s used to keep their cherished recipes on the back of their cabinet door. bringing back lovely memories for me with this post.

  • love the cabinet idea. would be cool, too, if you did the recipes on the outside facing doors & with chalkboard paint so you could update with changing recipes :D

  • hello! I’m late on this, but I have thought about this idea and planned on doing it when I finally buy my own place ever since seeing it in Cookie. I’m now kind of leaning towards chalkboard paint inside the cupboards, so I can rotate recipes if need be….

  • ohohoh! And the greenhouse in photo is the palmhouse in the Copenhagen botanical garden! One of my favourite places in the city. Now I also need to buy a postcarden too (whoops! I almost typed “greencard” but that will have to wait) Great post, but expensive for me :)

  • my grandmother would clip recipes and paste them to the inside of her cabinets. it was such a neat thing. unfortunately ours have glass fronts…but i’m not too heartbroken over that :)

  • I love the cabinet idea!
    I think I’ll try putting it on clear contact paper (or maybe colored, who knows?) so I can use it in my apartment without losing my deposit…

  • Grace, Thanks for sharing the PostCarden with your readers. DailyGrommet.com is the only place in the US and Canada to buy them, so the North American crowd should use the Daily Grommet link you included–to avoid frustration. Your European readers can use the other link you include–PostCarden is located in London. Thanks! (I’m the Daily Grommet founder, and a designer myself. Love your special eye on the world.)

    @Emma…thanks for letting us know the greenhouse location. I wasn’t aware of that but I do love that Copenhagen Botanical Garden too. You have an eagle eye.

  • Wow! Whats an awesome idea! It would also be grand if you bought a house complete with vintage recipes :) Love this and will have to try it when I finally redo my kitchen!

  • The cabinets in the home I grew up in had a similar vibe to the artists’ rendition of favourite recipes. My mother scotch-taped her mothers’ recipes (in a gorgeous scrawling hand, no less) inside each of the upper kitchen cabinets. The recipes were in Dutch, so my mother was the only who could read them.

    I’m having a fine art giveaway at the end of the month and would love you to drop by my blog to enter, if you’d like :)

  • how stunning are those cupboard illustrations?! I’m so tempted to have a go. Its so lovely to see something with family history being illustrated and used in everyday life.

  • I Love that the former editor of Cookie has Ikea cabinets… I think I can recognize those hinges from a mile!!
    Very cute idea, I might do that with our white Ikea doors too… :)

  • The cabinet is beautiful! I hope it’s okay that I featured this as inspiration over on my blog, More! Than Scrap.
    Thanks for sharing this neat idea! :)