Chris H. Olsen

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Chris H. Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

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Chris H Olsen

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At Home Blog

Botanica Gardens


Colonial Wine & Spirits


Flower Show

More Garden Show Info


January 2016 - Another new article in Arkansas Business - click for large version

January 2016 - Great "At Home" article featuring Chris (who also made the cover)
download here

Top FIve


Caprese Chicken and Avocado Chopped Salad

Yield: About 4 servings as a main dish


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup slightly packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salad
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 2 medium avocados, diced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil


  • For the chicken:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each). Using the back of a spoon, press basil against sides and bottom of bowl (to help extract flavor from basil). Place chicken in a resealable bag and pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet, then pour basil mixture over chicken and evenly distribute basil over chicken. Seal bag while pressing excess air out, rub marinade over chicken and transfer to refrigerator and marinate 2 - 6 hours.
  • Preheat a grill to 425 - 450 degrees over medium high heat (alternately you can also make this in a panini press, simply preheat to high heat for 5 minutes then spray with cooking spray, add chicken, close - don't smash chicken just rest top over chicken. Cook about 5 minutes or until 165 degrees in center. A grill pan set over stove top would also work). Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through cooking, about 4 - 5 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes then dice into cubes.
  • For the dressing:
  • Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar (or cover and seal jar and shake) until well combined.
  • For the salad:
  • While chicken is cooling, add lettuce to a large salad bowl. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, avocados and basil. Add chicken. Toss lightly then drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad, or plate and drizzle desired amount of dressing over each serving. Serve immediately.

Appetizer of the Month

Honey Roasted Carrots

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 8 servings


  • 3 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias to 1 1/2-inch long pieces (slice thicker portions into halves)*
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place carrots in a mound on a 17 by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Spread into an even layer. Roast in preheated oven 20 minutes then remove from oven. In a small bowl stir together honey and apple cider vinegar. Drizzle carrots with honey mixture and toss well to evenly coat. Return to oven and roast about 10 to 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven, toss again and sprinkle with fresh parsley and thyme. Serve warm.
  • *Thicker carrots are preferred. If thin reduce roasting time as needed.


Craft of the Month

You can do this!


Drink of the Month

¥ 1 1/2 ounces Absinthe (Absent recommended)
¥ 1/4 ounce Simple Syrup
¥ 3 ounces half-and-half
¥ Dash of Blood Orange Liqueur (Dekuyper recommended)
¥ 1 large egg white
¥ 1/4 ounce White Crme de Menthe (Dekuyper recommended)
¥ Ice
In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds to incorporate the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass.


Visit the Colonial Tasting Bar at this link


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Plant of the Month

Crocus (February)



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