Frances Gardening

About Frances

Wayfinder, writer, speaker, artist, and seeker, Frances re-directed her life and career during the pandemic of 2020 to become a certified Martha Beck Wayfinder life coach and master coach-in-training. Ever the enthusiast on decoration and design, food and entertaining, travel and style, Frances hosts workshops and retreats in creativity and personal development at her home in California and around the world. Her mission is to bring  light to the world and to guide others to do the same in whatever way that brings meaning, purpose, and joy.

She is author and co-author of several books, including The Bee Cottage Story—How I Made a Muddle of Things and Decorated My Way Back to Happiness, and California Cooking and Southern Style. Frances is also the West Coast contributing editor for Flower magazine and a contributor to Veranda magazines. Frances has written also for House Beautiful,The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, Indagare, and others. She was for six years on-air host of the award-winning cable television show Southern Living Presents, with numerous other TV and video appearances to her credit as well. She was named to the 2019 Salonnierre 100 top party hosts in the country, and she very much hopes there will be a new list, whether she is on it or not.

Born and raised in the small town of Tarboro, North Carolina, she graduated from St. Mary’s School in Raleigh, NC, and from the University of Virginia. Frances is the proud aunt of four, a step-mother and grandmother; and she serves on the board of the Horticultural Society of New York and the Advisory Board of the Empowers Africa foundation. She lives with husband Tom Dittmer and dog Alice, and divides her time between the Santa Ynez Valley of California, New York City, and everywhere else.


Books

California Cooking and Southern Style, by Frances Schultz with Recipes by Stephanie Valentine
Life is a banquet and you are invited! With over 100 recipes and 150 photographs, this book will make your mouth water, your eyes dance, your guests grateful, and your heart happy.

 

The Bee Cottage Story, by Frances Schultz
Inspired by Frances’ House Beautiful column, what began as a decorating book evolved into a memoir with lots of beautiful photos and a compelling, irreverent personal story.  Fried Green Tomatoes author Fannie Flagg hails it as “charming from start to finish.” Charlotte Moss says it “has you laughing hysterically,” and former Veranda editor Clinton Smith says “You’ll never think of decorating the same way again.” 

 

A House in the South, by Frances Schultz and Paula Wallace
Though times have changed, the charm and grace of Southern style endure. In this affectionate portrait of Southern homes, the authors lead a tour of a few of the South’s proudest houses, proving that the legendary graciousness of the Southern home lives on in all forms, from seaside cottages to grand mansions.


Frances’ Reel…mostly from her now-ancient TV days

 


What they say…

Entire copies of articles referenced below may be obtained through Frances’ office via the Connect tab, above.

 
Frances’ former Atlanta townhouse was featured in a 10-page-spread in Veranda, 1996.

—Interior design by John Oetgen

 
“…Love, friendship and warmth emanate equally from Frances Schultz’s home and personality. I walk into a townhouse that is a living, breathing, sunny autobiography… Gallery masterpieces hang alongside a niece’s crayon drawing…It’s a house so personal and clearly reflective of Frances Schultz that the visitor wants only to wander around this museum of memorabilia to learn more about her sharp sense of humor, refined tastes, extensive travels and warm character.”

—Dossier Magazine

 
“Frances Schultz…has built a career on her sense of beauty, her storytelling genius, and her warm Southern charm…”

—Signature Magazine

 
“…Tall and slender, Frances Schultz is vocal about the importance of listening to your inner voice…It is this inner voice that lead her to be a writer. Her mother taught her to appreciate the inherent beauty of even a modest home. “She kept a lovely house full of flowers and pretty things, and she was a wonderful cook. I learned to value those things, but I never imagined I might grow up and make it my life’s work.” 

—Atlanta 30305

 
“I think they got tired of hearing about Mama and barbecue, and they wanted to come see it for themselves,” says Frances, host of Turner South network’s  Southern Living Presents. “She’s always been proud of her Southern roots,” says the show’s producer, Craig St. John. “That inspired us to come here. A lot of her personality comes from this town. That’s part of what the whole South is about.”

—The Daily Southerner