Category Archives: Terrariums

New Year’s Day…A Look Back And Wishes For The New Year

design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross









It’s a quiet, rainy morning as I write this,  too chilly to make my usual morning walk around the garden. The time the shop is closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a welcome respite from the previous month’s hectic pace. It’s such a relief to be still and have no demands, if only briefly.

design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons

Miniature Molly Hand

Miniature Garden…design Molly Hand

design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons





















design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross

I’m looking forward to the new year, and soon I’ll be writing of primroses and spring flowers…the ones that our growers magically produce for greenhouses much earlier than in nature – blooming daffodils, tulips, crocus and more.

design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons

design Molly Hand

design Molly Hand





 Kris Blevons

sleigh…design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons

design Kris Blevons

Today, though, I’m thinking of the holidays just past, when winter white azaleas, calla lilies, hydrangeas,  paperwhites, larger than life blooms of amaryllis in every color, jewel-toned cyclamen, traditional poinsettias, and all the most wonderful orchids on dazzling display turned the greenhouse into a wonderland.

design Jamie Cross

design Jamie Cross










I hope these pictures bring a smile at the start of this new year. The artful combination of plants, branches, textural mosses  (and other happy discoveries),  are our resolution for the coming year. Here’s to beauty and creativity in 2016!

A holiday Kris Blevons

A holiday terrarium…design Kris Blevons

While these designs are mostly mine,  Jamie’s, and Molly’s,  I’d be remiss not to mention that many more were created by Pinkie, Danielle, and Angie – worthy of a future post!

By Kris Blevons





Tiny Plants…Great For Terrariums Or Small Containers Too!

photo (6)If you haven’t noticed, terrarium plantings, miniature gardens and anything tiny seems to be the name of the game the past few years. Growers have taken notice and now offer a wonderful variety of plants for the smallest of indoor gardening opportunities.

Mini fittonia









Very little two-inch pots are just the right size for these starter plants. Some are quite easy to grow houseplants that are usually available in larger containers, and others are small succulents. Because of their diminutive size, it’s quite easy to incorporate them into mixed terrarium plantings or miniature gardens.

An assortment of tiny houseplants...

An assortment of
tiny houseplants…

Small ferns are perfect for terrariums....

Small ferns are
perfect for









Rex begonias appreciate the humidity in a  terrarium....

Rex begonias appreciate
the humidity in a

For terrarium plantings, choose from many easy to grow moisture loving plants. These include ferns, fittonia, Rex begonia, aluminum plant, pilea, strawberry begonia (It’s a good perennial groundcover in the shade too!), creeping fig, and others that enjoy high humidity in an enclosed environment.







Small succulents and other houseplants, like jades and hoyas, are best used in open containers and miniature gardens.  They offer a wide range of colors, shapes and textures and are quite easy to take care of too. The hoya pictured here in the open glass container has been growing for months, quite happily!









More Arrangement Inspiration – What We’ve Been Creating This Summer!

photo (2)This summer’s wet, cool weather might have kept many of you out of your gardens, but we’ve managed to stay busy in the greenhouse putting together arrangements filled with orchids, succulents, houseplants, and so much more…here’s a peek at some of them. We regularly have folks who stop in just to see what we’ve been working on! All of these arrangements are composed of live plants, no cut flowers here.

Orchids add elegance to any container, and  we love working with them. Here, the beautifully patterned leaves of a calathea contrast with the dark selaginella trailing over the edge. The houseplants shown with the orchid are actually planted in the container to make the care easier – our advice is always to feel where the plant is in the arrangement and water a bit when dry. Of course, some plants will need more or less water than others. For example, orchids last longest when they’re not overwatered!

glass, pebbles, orchid and succulents...

glass, pebbles, orchid and succulents…

The terrarium arrangement shown here was presented as a going away gift and was planted using pebbles, larger stones as accents, soil  and aquarium charcoal to keep the potting soil fresh. Here the care will again be to monitor the soil moisture carefully and water when it’s completely dry. The various leaf textures and colors of the succulents in the glass container make this arrangement interesting.

Yes, that's Thai basil with the orchid...

Yes, that’s Thai basil with the orchid…

As you can see, we’ll put orchids in just about any container and with just about any plant! In fact, the next arrangement shown uses a combination of houseplants, herbs, annuals and perennials with orchids. It was one of a pair used for a wedding anniversary celebration. So the celebrants were able to continue to enjoy the arrangement even after it was taken apart. Hopefully the Thai basil went in containers or the herb garden, and the perennial miniature grass-like acorus and purple leaf trailing annual irisene found new homes in the garden as well.

photo (3)Finally, the silver container was given in  memory of someone…the longlasting and low maintenance  houseplants of trailiing pepperomia and cryptanthus make excellent companions. It’s gratifying, also, to know that whoever is on the receiving end will be able to enjoy this longer than a fresh flower arrangement could ever hope to last.

We’re looking forward now to a new season, with fall right around the corner, and a whole new world of possibilities for creative arrangements – we’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, if you’re in Birmingham, stop in – there’s always something going on in our design area!











More Miniature Garden Magic

miniature world...

miniature world…

Oh my goodness…last week the first shipment of new miniature garden pieces came in – and what a delight! There will be even more in the weeks to come, but now we will content ourselves with brand new miniatures of weather vanes, picnic tables, tiny metal wagons and even the smallest bottles of wine for an early evening garden party..let your imagination go!

it's a garden party...

it’s a garden party…

We have everything you need if you’d like a fun summer project with your kids…one of our customers had a great idea – she purchased containers, pea gravel, little rocks, plants and miniature garden accessories; then she put everything in the middle of a table and let the kids go to town putting their own miniature garden/landscape together. It is really so much fun, and even more so if you let them use their imagination…it’s amazing what kids can come up with!

Billy's zen garden...

Billy’s zen garden…

We even came up with a miniature garden for the owner, Billy Angell, pictured here – it had a temporary “cookie stack/cairn” because he is a cookie fiend! It’s really a very simple garden, using a stone bridge and Japanese lantern to create his “Zen” garden…this was in the middle of a hectic spring at the shop and we felt he needed a little calm in is life! We added a little rock, and, using a sharpie, labeled it “Billy’s Zen Garden.” It made him smile – and isn’t that the point of these little gardens?

don't they look like the real thing?

don’t they look like the real thing?

We’ve also gotten in some very detailed “concrete” urns, “retro” red tables and chairs (Remember the ones your parents or grandparents had?), a sweet pair of frogs sitting on a cut log piece, a “stone” table with stools, and sets of tools, rakes and brooms – after all, you have to tend the garden and sweep the paths, right?

imageIf you’d like to have us put one together for you we have containers here, or you can bring something of your own in and we’ll create one for you. All we ask is that you give us ample time to put your miniature garden together – they may look less time consuming to make than a full size garden, but we promise you the devil is in all those minature details!

imageSome plants that can be used for gardens that will be used outside are many low growing sedums, echevarias, hen and chicks, euonymous standards (They make great trees!), tiny bromeliads, air plants and miniature jade plants to name just a few…indoor gardens (or terrariums) can be planted with fittonia, selaginellas, many small ferns, palms and more…there is always something in the greenhouse or in the nursery to use!

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