Bringing the Outdoors In

Amber Tiede of Riverwood Gardens was scheduled to speak at the Ottawa Horticultural Society in June on “Bringing the Outdoors In”.  Amber is a floral designer and flower farmer here in the Ottawa area. She grew up in Oregon on the west coast until she married and moved to Canada … both she and her husband Ed run their business together along with the help of their four children. 

Her life has always been focused on growing plants and flowers, designing gardens, creating floral art, baking, travel, and creating a home where friends and family are always welcome. 

She has shared the following tips and video to spark some inspiration on how to bring nature into our homes.  

My journey with plants and flowers started when I was very young. My family would often go on walks and I was always picking bouquets of dandelion, chicory, grasses, and other weeds that I deemed beautiful.

Here are a few tips and ideas to use to Bring the Outdoors In and add the beauty of nature to your indoor environment.



I’ve always loved the little unexpected touches that add beauty to our home, such as a tray full of rocks and seashells from our travels. Often our kids will bring a rock home for me from places they go or from special events…the first mountain bike ride or a walk through a forest. Sometimes I label them, other times I just add them in to planters or a display on a shelf.

Dried elements and flora are also another way to extend the life and time of a flower, seed pods, or interesting weeds and grasses. We use these so often in our arrangements. People comment on it – that they see the beauty in these common plants.

In part of our video presentation I have shown an example of art made with dried, pressed flowers. This would be a lovely way to make gifts or create a card or framed floral piece. You can add in bits of poetry, a verse, a personal note or even just the date. It’s a way to preserve part of your garden for years to come.



A flowering branch from a tree in your yard, brought in and placed in a vintage wine bottle becomes art. Everything in nature is beautiful – the act of collecting and bringing them into the home creates an opportunity to really see and observe the details.





Moss can be lovely, even just on its own. Placed in a bowl or low dish, or added to an arrangement of rocks, seashells, a few candles and a lovely branch or two and you have a still life that could be photographed and put in a magazine. This is not the point of this of course, and I would encourage you to create in this way, not in a competitive way or be stressed in the creation. Nature is perfectly imperfect. Anything you do to create and to bring the beauty from the outside indoors will spark joy and make people smile.

Idea: Create a vase arrangement out of anything you have growing in your garden! Once a week. 
Photograph it. This will give you a bit of a diary of your garden through the seasons. Remember, nothing is off limits. Weeds can be lovely. A few trimmed branches from a tree can add beauty and bring the outdoors in.

Riverwood Gardens can be found online at and on Instagram at @riverwoodgardens


The Ottawa Horticultural Society can be found at