Joanna Gaines' 'favorite thing' to do when she gets home from a trip is so relatable

Everybody has certain habits upon returning from a vacation –here's the ritual at the top of Joanna's agenda

Joanna Gaines headshot
(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

With her Magnolia empire and frequent HGTV appearances, Joanna Gaines' life is far from conventional – but a look at her 'favorite' post-trip ritual proves she's really just like us. 

'My favorite thing to do when we get home from a trip is to check the garden with Crew,' she says while sharing footage from her Waco estate. '[There are] so many changes in just a week. Butterflies dancing and apples and tomatoes growing!'

After a vacation in Mexico, the Magnolia designer enjoyed the same practice many of us also appreciate after being away from our favorite space for some time. And while our yards may not rival her sprawling cottage garden – we understand her joy in grounding herself with homegrown plants and flowers (especially when they're as vibrant as Joanna's). 

As mentioned, Joanna recently returned from a vacation to Mexico, where she also shared beach and poolside moments with her family. 'We explored, played, and rested. Grateful for these moments where it felt like time slowed down just a bit for us,' she says in her post

Mexico seems to be a favorite of the Gaines family – Joanna previously shared moments from a family trip to Tulum in 2019. In 2021, Chip and Joanna also celebrated their 18th anniversary with a romantic trip to the country (and once again for their 19th anniversary in Cabo San Lucas last year). 

This instance was the first time Joanna shared a post-vacation look around her garden, but since it's her 'favorite thing' to do, we can imagine it's certainly not the first time she's enjoyed the practice. 

One look at Jo's cottage garden makes it easy to understand why she likes spending time there – from the coral zinnias to the blossoming apple trees and, of course, the butterflies. 

When addressing how to attract butterflies like those in Joanna's garden, wildlife expert Sean McMenemy recommends beginning by planting colorful flowers like the designer demonstrates. 

'Plant bright, fragrant, and nectar-rich flowers, avoiding the use of pesticides and leaving fallen fruit under trees. Butterflies are particularly attracted to buddleja shrubs (aka the butterfly bush),' he says. 

Sean McMenemy
Sean McMenemy

Sean is the garden wildlife expert and garden wildlife expert and director at Ark Wildlife. With over 28 years of experience in the industry, Sean's company now stands as one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of garden wildlife products  – promoting sustainable, wildlife-friendly spaces for all. 

Alongside choosing the best plants for a butterfly garden, Sean recommends investing in a butterfly house that gives butterflies a 'haven' away from predators. 'Paint them bright colors to attract residents,' he says. We're beginning with this attractive butterfly house from Etsy below.

Butterfly house – $28.00 at Etsy

Butterfly house – $28.00 at Etsy

This painted, hanging house is striking enough to attract butterflies while keeping them safe in our yards. We love the vintage-inspired print that gives makes it as aesthetic as it is practical. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.