"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" / by The Tim Barber Ltd. Team

In creative circles, some artists and particularly, authors categorize themselves into one of two schools of creative processes: “the architects” and “the gardeners”. 

 “The architects plan everything ahead of time,” novelist George R.R. Martin once explained. “They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be.  They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up.”  Conversely, Martin continued, “Gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is… But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have; they find out as it grows.” 

Many on our team are by occupation and certifications literally architects, yet even we architects and designers begin our creative process as so-called “gardeners”.  When developing a new house from the ground up, we don’t instinctively  know exactly how many rooms there will be, nor their adjacencies and sizes. We know there’ll be electricity and plumbing, but not the exact locations. We start with a lot of unknowns that — with significant attentiveness and care, form into a viable design and one day become forever homes, passed through generations of family. That is our hope for our designs, our clients, and the future whenever we cultivate a project. 

We believe that everyone in almost everything they do are metaphorical gardeners. We sow the seeds of ideas in the gardens of our minds, then patiently nurture them to an uncertain germination, in hope that they will one day blossom into a beautiful reality. 

To be a gardener – factually or figuratively – is to have hope that something wonderful can and will happen.  As we look back at an uncertain year for many in our community and look toward the new year, we chose belief in a better future as our gift to friends and family.    

Our plantable holiday card is filled with black-eyed Susan, evening primrose, spurred snapdragon, Shirley poppy, Mexican hat, white yarrow, and sweet alyssum seeds.

Our plantable holiday card is filled with black-eyed Susan, evening primrose, spurred snapdragon, Shirley poppy, Mexican hat, white yarrow, and sweet alyssum seeds.

To “spread seeds of hope”, we created the above holiday card.  It showcases one of our own dreams-turned-reality: the garden and shed of a magnificent home we recently designed in Santa Monica. (Photos and stories of which will come in the future —Stay tuned!) The card also happens to be 100% plantable

We share it here with you, too, because whether you’re a literal or figurative gardener with real or idea seeds, we wish for you that your dreams (and/or seeds!) take root and flourish in the year ahead! 

The cover art of our holiday card (first) and the garden shed from the new Santa Monica residence that inspired it (last). Photo by  Joe Schmelzer .

The cover art of our holiday card (first) and the garden shed from the new Santa Monica residence that inspired it (last). Photo by Joe Schmelzer.


How to Plant & Grow Your Tim Barber Ltd. Holiday Card

Know Before You Grow:

  • Your card should be plantable for up to two years after receipt (so long as it stays dry and in a mild temperatures). It can be planted indoors year-round.

  • If you live in a cold region but want to plant your card outside, consider first establishing your flowers indoors around 6-8 weeks before the last freeze (early spring). Subsequently replant the flowers in your garden.

  • These flowers thrive in direct sunlight and may not survive in partially or fully shaded environments.

What You’ll Need:

  • Your card

  • Two quart-size, resealable (zipper) plastic food storage bags OR a two-gallon resealable plastic food storage bag

  • Water

  • At least one planter and fresh potting soil

What To Do:

  1. Moisten the inside of your bag(s) with water.

  2. If using two quart-size bags, rip your card down the fold into two pieces and insert each side of your card into the moistened bags. Gently flatten the bags around the card pieces to dampen them and seal the bags tightly.

    If using a two-gallon bag, unfold your card and lay it flat inside the moistened bag. Gently flatten the bag around the card to dampen it and seal the bag tightly.

  3. Place your bagged card(s) behind a window that receives direct sunlight for +/- 2 weeks.

  4. Occasionally check on your card to ensure that it remains moist. Remoisten the bag(s) as needed, being careful not to over-water the card.

  5. Once your card germinates, remove it from the plastic bag(s) and tear it into small chunks.

  6. Fill your planter(s) about 3/4 full of soil and place the paper chunks atop.

  7. Cover paper chunks with a light layer of soil.

  8. Place in direct sunlight and water frequently and generously (especially for the first 6-8 weeks).

  9. Enjoy your flowers as they grow!

Today a card, tomorrow a garden! Our plantable holiday card germinated in eleven days and continues to grow.

Today a card, tomorrow a garden! Our plantable holiday card germinated in eleven days and continues to grow.


We love sharing our journey with you. Watch our cards (and projects!) grow by following us on Instagram!

Interested in growing with us as a client or colleague? Tell us more about your proposed project or send us your resume. We’re excited to learn more about you!