Tag Archives: air plants

Orchids…Early Fall Arrangements

A lady slipper is framed by angelvine...

A lady slipper is framed by angelvine…

Orchids, succulents, dried pods and foliage are the common theme in these four arrangements. With the heat of summer receding (Thankfully!) and fresh material arriving to work with, it’s a happy time in the greenhouse. So, between new shipments of pots, plants, ribbon and more, these were a few of the pieces we created. Let’s take a look.

Orchid, succulents and dried pods Someone who worked for us many years ago called from North Carolina to order an orchid for her mother’s birthday. She likes succulents too; so a double stemmed phalaenopsis and a lady slipper orchid were paired in a container and succulents nestled at the base. The addition of  angelvine and a touch of brown ribbon complete the design.

The next two small containers both started with an orchid, then succulents, ribbon, and, in the second, Jamie selected just the right white miniature pumpkin and burlap bow…the perfect gift for someone!Fall Orchid Arrangement

No two designs are ever alike for us, though sometimes a customer will see something they particularly like and will request another version of it.  Our least favorite thing is when someone brings in a picture with the request that we copy it, though we’ll always accommodate as best we can.Fall Orchid Arrangement - Customer's Dough Bowl

Happily, this large dough bowl of a longtime customer is one we see fairly regularly and one that we have complete creative license with. This go-round I filled it with orchids and under planted it for fall with Rex begonias, a pretty ivy, and added dark, shiny pods for their color and shape. A touch of chartreuse mood moss picks up the light green veining in the begonia leaf. Some tiny cattails are placed as accents, and my design is done.

Cotton stems, dried sunflower seed heads from the garden, and fern fiddleheads were the starting point for the last piece in a pretty brown and white bowl. . I added an air plant at the base and wound angel vine up through the cotton for even more interest. Some days are so much fun in the greenhouse!

Cotton, sunflower seed heads, fern fiddle heads and an airplantThis is just a sampling of the early fall things we’ve been creating! Since we’re always searching for new ideas and ways to make our arrangements more interesting and  unique, who knows what we’ll come up with next…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Succulents…See Some Things We’ve Created!

succulents in the greenhouse...

succulents in the greenhouse…

air plants...

air plants…

With the spring planting season approaching, the nursery will be a plant lovers dream, filled with the best of everything we can find. These include fragrant, ornamental, and edible herbs, including the popular oregano ‘Kent’s Beauty’, sun and shade loving perennials for your garden,  bright, flowering annuals for pots and planting beds, and shrubs expressly selected for their ornamental qualities and durability in southern gardens.

Another grouping of plants we have all year around are succulents, and they are so beautiful arranged in containers for the summer or as a combination planting in the home all year around. Some shown here also incorporate tillandsias, or air plants because their care and culture is so similar.

living wreath...

living wreath…

The living wreath shown here that Molly planted was a huge hit on our Facebook page, and for good reason.  Just look at all the interesting textures and colors used, including echeverias, cryptanthus, air plants and even a tiny phalaenopsis orchid! This post on creating a living wreath give you some tips on how to make your own masterpiece. To see yet another that Jamie made, take a look HERE.

imageBecause succulents, air plants and even bromeliads (another great companion) come in so many different shapes, colors and sizes, it’s fun to come up with endless combinations. Here are more that we’ve created in the past few months.

In this long, narrow planter Lauren used a number of different plants including succulent echevarias, sedums, haworthias, and a pretty pink aloe. Meandering through this combination are pilea ‘Aquamarine.’

this will get large!

this will get large!

 

This two tier planting is going to get quite large! Flapjack kalanchoes share the space with a trailing succulent-like plant called dorotheanthus which will have charming little red flowers as the weather gets hotter. It’s also quite cold tolerant, though not completely hardy for us here. This container would be best moved in for the winter.

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We’ve used cork bark planters to great effect in the past, and here Molly planted one with some really beautiful hen and chicks, sempervivum sp., and a couple of hardy sedums. This planting could be kept outdoors through the winter with the exception of the tiny aloes on each end, which can be repotted and moved inside during the colder months. The entire planting could also be moved into a sunny room for the winter.

one of two...

one of two…

air plants add height until the flapjack kalanchoe gets larger...

air plants add height until the flapjack kalanchoe gets larger…

The two pretty white pots shown here work together (There’s actually a third as well.) I used a tall tillandsia to add some height to this planting until the flapjack kalanchoe attained some size. The cryptanthus adds some color at the front and the pilea will contribute delicate trailing leaves to this composition.   In the second pot I added an echevaria to the planting, keeping the pinky color scheme going.

Be careful not to overwater if a container doesn't drain...

Be careful not to overwater if a container doesn’t drain…

Succulents can be planted in anything! This copper planter does not have drainage though, so the plantings need very careful attention to be sure they’re not overwatered – always be mindful of what kind of containers you’re using. Those that drain are always best. I have to confess I just really liked how this looked anyway! And, it’s been growing quite happily in the greenhouse since February.image

Succulents can be used as accents. too. Here a container is home to a tall sanseveria and  pussy willow stems with  sweet allysum tucked between for it’s dainty white blooms.

Finally, if you’re designing a container with succulents (Or anything!) remember the container you’re placing them in is part of the design as well.  This little log shaped planter is brown in color but  tinged with a touch of pink. I liked how the cryptanthus on the left picked up on that but contrasted with the other plants chosen to offset it in color and weight.image

So, with warmer weather right around the corner,  grab a pot, stop in , and find some succulents and air plants of your own to plant up – you can’t go wrong – promise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found Objects – Planting Possibilities

An old window gets a new life...

An old window gets a new life…

Found objects…Have you ever come across something unexpected or in an unlikely place? Or turned a common object from one thing into another, transforming its former use into something completely different?

Found pipes...planted

Found pipes…planted

 

 

 

 

The  first happened to Jamie. On a walk she found two small concrete pipes…from what we’re not sure, but they were broken at just the right spot to make a planting pocket with a dip in the front. Serendipitous, indeed! She brought them to the shop so we could all drool over them (Yes, we all did!) and wish they were our own. Here is the planting she chose, using poppies, sedum,  variegated thyme and a touch of chartreuse reindeer moss.

succulents...

succulents…

The second is our group window project. This window had been floating around the shop for some time. Last year we did the first planting, transforming it from it’s former use, It became obvious, though, as the year went on, that it needed a planter box behind the frame so the plants could have more room to grow.

Echevarias, air plants, haworthias....

Echevarias, air plants, haworthias….

 

 

Thanks to the carpentry work of Bert, the window was transformed into a wall planter. Stuffed with moss, filled with potting soil, and covered with chicken wire, it was ready to plant!

hanging...

hanging…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly, Jamie, Lauren, Pinkie, and myself all took a pane and planted it up, pushing  various sedums, echevarias, haworthias, air plants and others that like a dry, sunny location through the chicken wire. It sat in the back of the greenhouse for a number of weeks, settling in. Our shop cat, Gracie,  discovered it at one point and smushed my pane and a couple of others. That’s when we decided to push sticks into it to deter him. It worked!

Found objects…sometimes the ordinary can become extraordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting Late Winter Arrangements…

Cork Bark Planter with Spring Bulbs and Lichen BranchesBark Planter with Spring BulbsNow that January is behind us, we can look forward to spring, knowing it is right around the corner. Until then, we’ve been satisfying our planting urges using late winter offerings from growers. We are determined to come up with something interesting on long winter days in the greenhouse!

Jamie found some wonderful lichen covered branches; they’re beautiful to work with. She positioned them on one of our cork pieces and planted around them, creating a visual feast of winter flowers – cyclamen, primroses, muscari, osteospermum and teté a teté narcissus – for a customer. The bright flowers of this piece and the addition of some ceramic mushrooms make it memorable!Lichen Branch Planter

I wired one large lichen covered branch that had an interesting shape to one a bit smaller, using bark wire.  I  then lined the opening that was created with waterproof foil and sheet moss. In this “container” I planted a simple fittonia and air plant arrangement. The size and shape make this one a nice coffee table piece…and it would be very easy to care for too.

Cork Bark Planter - Aeonium, Mustard & ThymeCork Bark Planter - Aeonium, Mustard & ThymeMany of the succulent aeoniums fare better here during the winter months. They seem to dislike our excessive summer humidity (Don’t we all?), and the Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ seemed just right to work into some sort of arrangement. I loved how they looked paired with this frilly dark purple leaf ornamental mustard. If I could just work it into a container that could be moved in and out easily if temperatures dropped below freezing…

I chose a cork bark piece that complimented  the aeoniums and mustard. With the addition of some creeping thyme and a couple of pots of species crocus bulbs just beginning to come up, I think it turned out pretty well!

Lichen branches and rex begonias...

Lichen branches and rex begonias…

 

 

 

 

We have more of these lichen covered branches available, if you’d like to use some for an arrangement of your own, or we can  put one together for you.

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Cork Bark Pieces – These Are Planters!

imageimageThese cork bark pieces are so organic and natural…we love them and wanted to pass on just a couple of ideas for planting them. Actually, they were one of those happy accidents – one wrong stroke of the keyboard, with a different item number ordered than planned, and, voila, these cork bark pieces arrived the other day that were rounded, with just enough space for planting rather than being flat…oh, happy day!

You may see other possibilities for these bark planters that don’t involve plants at all…that’s fine too – we will have plenty in stock in the coming weeks and you can decide how they’d work best for you. They are affordable and fun for whatever use you choose to make of them.

imageOf course, if you’ve been keeping up with previous posts, you know we’ve gotten in some pretty cool looking succulents, as well as air plants and the beginning of the new season’s herb offerings. So, with all this bounty to work with, one bark planter became a succulent, herb, airplant design and the other became a study in silvery grays and blues with a pop of chartreuse…image

 

imageAs with any combination planting,  look at color, texture and form of the plants you’re working with. The bark is rough and brown…in one planting the red coloring of the hens and chicks play off the brown of the planter while the red edging of the thyme also picks up the color of the succulents. The spiky air plants contrast with the rounded forms of  the rolled bark as well.

The silver succulents show nicely against the dark of the bark, and the repetition of the round forms is pleasing, almost like a river running along the piece…of course, succulents and some herbs are best for this type of shallow planting. image

 

Strong morning sun with shade in the afternoon will be helpful in keeping these looking their best…We planted these with a light potting mix – water freely when dry but let dry completely between watering. We will be checking  the thyme more frequently and keeping  it clipped, and as plants outgrow the composition we’ll  pull them out and replace with new ones…fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air Plants in Glass!

We’ve had these glass containers for a while and just haven’t had time to do them justice – until now. Layers of different size pebbles, dried peas, aquarium gravel or decorative rocks are wonderful layering options for this type of container.image image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the air plant of your choice and voila! an easy and interesting addition to your indoor landscape. These would be fun hanging on a porch too…or make a great gift for a friend!imageimage

Air Plants (Tillandsia) – Come In Now For A Great Selection!

Have we got a great selection of tillandsia, or air plants right now! These very cool indoor plants are the largest genus in the bromeliad family and are epiphytes, absorbing moisture and nutrients through the air.image

Like other bromeliads, their life cycle ends after blooming, but new plants, called pups, form around the base of the plant. They do not require soil to live – the roots help them to attach to a host, whether it be on a plant, tree or piece of wood. They are not parasitic, meaning they won’t harm the host plant, rather, they use it as a support, taking nutrients from the air and water you supply.
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hanging air plants...

hanging air plants…

air plants - we think they will look great attached to the bark pieces here!

air plants – we think they will look great attached to the bark pieces here!

There are tillandsias with rather stiff, gray or faded leaves and those with softer, greener foliage. As a rule, the stiffer leaved, gray ones will need more light but less water – and those with softer, greener leaves tolerate lower light levels but appreciate more moisture.

look at the contrast in colors here!

look at the contrast in colors here!

In their native habitat, tillandsias live on trees, so they get light, but it’s diffused through the canopy. Try to emulate this in your home, giving them strong, but indirect light (not right in a window, as that could burn the foliage and cause it to dry out faster too) or place them outside through the summer, in a shady spot, or at most a location with morning sun and dappled light.

As noted, the gray leaved tillandsias need less water than the softer leaved green ones but when you water, take them to your sink and water thoroughly, shake the excess moisture off (you don’t want water ever sitting in their base) and return them to their home. If they get too dry, they’ll look shriveled – you don’t want them to get to that point!image

If you display them outside, bring them indoors for the winter when temps drop below 40 degrees. Don’t worry about fertilizing – they are susceptible to over feeding – best to leave well enough alone!

Stop in and take a look at these cool plants – we’re sure you can find somewhere to try one or two – they’re too fun not to!