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green style

The other day I was paging through a Pottery Barn catalogue with my frient (that's what I call a friend who has turned client) and we were admiring the greens they stage in their rooms to make it dramatic.  Greenery really does bring a room to a whole new level-try it, take one of their catalogues and cover up all of the 3 - 4 dramatic greens, plants and branches they have filled within each page....not so fab now  is it?

Not everyone lives on an orchard or has 5 acres to meander about and is awarded the free time to clip and arrange.  But let's admit it, we all want that look. You can!   Here are some simple ideas to bring the outside in and temper your spring fever until our beloved blossoms come about.  I also show some photos of my favorite plants that have come (and gone-sniff sniff) from our house.

Looking back at all of the plants that have been with us reminds me how much I have learned.   I am not, by far, an expert in horticulture, however I have now figured out my house and which species do well and which do not, and in which corner.  I have a system and some tools ( a watering meter which reads moisture level-then I tag the pot with tape labeled it's desired water level i.e."4" or the right level as given per the gals at the nursery).  I now always fill my watering can with water so it is ready at room temperature, which is less shocking to the tropical plants I have).   I now know how to water, how much and how often, when to translplant or whether to wait until spring.  I have learned which to move them away from heating vents come winter too ( I learned that one the hard way) and bring inward from any cold and  drafty windows).  I have learned that when I go on a vacation, if I want to come back to plants that are alive, I drop them off at a nursery for care (we have a local place here that provides that service).  I know which plants my cat won't eat - she has eaten too many Maiden Hair ferns that I care to list (grrrrr that stinker) but she won't go near an orchid.  The one shown in my bedroom?  Dead.  I even tried spraying the fern with hot pepper spray- and that worked for awhile, but the maiden hair was too delicate for the amount it took to deter Ms. Kitty.  She also loves ferns, so I have to have those perched high.  (No philodendrons or poinsettias-I know they are poisonous to pets -and kids).

With all this knowledge, I still lose a few for unknown reasons, and it's so disappointing.   I just lost the bonsai that I show in some of the photos below that I had for 4 years.  I moved it to the kids bath thinking that with the skylight and the humity it would be a great fit, but it didn't like the change, maybe for the sake of change.  (I sure wish they could talk!)

Even with the risk of plant loss,  the trial and error is all worth the breath of freshness they bring into a home. It's equally rewarding when you are doing something right and witness them thrive!  I know plastic and silk plants are easy, but for me, I just can't accept the fact that they are fake.  To me, it's so much more beautiful to have something that takes care, a little bit of work and natural looking.    

If you like the green touches, but can't handle the committment a plant requires, then maybe you will be more comfortable with sprigs.  For $4.99 I purchased a cluster of filler "greens" at a grocery store florist and cut some sprigs for around the house.  Collect some little bud vases from various stores (or goodwill) and fill with water , then add your little sprigs and show off on tables, a mantle, or a sill, in collections of two or three.  Easy breezy and they will last over a week!  The more thick and sculptural, the better.  If a sprig is more delicate or "weedy" looking, try to single it out (one sprig per bud vase) so it doesn't appear to be a snarley mess.  

 I hope I have inspired you to green up your home!  Send my some photos of your"sprigs" to post if you decided to go green this week!

Have a great weekend!

Kari

 

 

A single-so pretty in the light!
A single-so pretty in the light!
Here are  the  grocery store greens  I purchased and turned them in to little  sprigs .
Here are the "grocery store greens" I purchased and turned them in to little "sprigs".
Yes, grocery store greenery.
Sometimes It s just about the pot, yes?
Yes, grocery store greenery. Sometimes It's just about the pot, yes?
More sprigs.
More sprigs.
On the left, Myrtle Balls.  I loved them.  I lost these when I went on vacation and left them in the care of a neighbor-whoops.  That one hurt at $25 a piece.  Live and learn!
On the left, Myrtle Balls. I loved them. I lost these when I went on vacation and left them in the care of a neighbor-whoops. That one hurt at $25 a piece. Live and learn!
Another sprig for the mantle.
Another sprig for the mantle.
Orchids.  I love orchids for bedrooms and bathrooms and coffee tables.  They can last up to 6 months!  What a bargain if you compare them to florals at $15-$75 / arrangement.
Orchids. I love orchids for bedrooms and bathrooms and coffee tables. They can last up to 6 months! What a bargain if you compare them to florals at $15-$75 / arrangement.
Another orchid.  I have had the best luck watering them with one or two ice cubes a week.
Another orchid. I have had the best luck watering them with one or two ice cubes a week.
You see that new little fabulous green sculpture in the background?  That would be the Fiddle Leaf Fig (a Ficus Lyrata).  Open any House Beautiful mag or Elle Decor and you will see a one of these guys (in tree form) on any page.  The trees can run all the way up to $200-so when my friend Michelle (thanks MRS. THOMAS!) who messaged that she spied the smaller version for just TWELVE  BUCKS at IKEA, I bee-lined.   I bee-lined 1.5 hours to grab one (of course I bought other things-do you really think I could get out of there with just a plant? 

She looked very sad inside at IKEA, but after one day in my bright living room, she was verrry happy.
You see that new little fabulous green sculpture in the background? That would be the Fiddle Leaf Fig (a Ficus Lyrata). Open any House Beautiful mag or Elle Decor and you will see a one of these guys (in tree form) on any page. The trees can run all the way up to $200-so when my friend Michelle (thanks MRS. THOMAS!) who messaged that she spied the smaller version for just TWELVE BUCKS at IKEA, I bee-lined. I bee-lined 1.5 hours to grab one (of course I bought other things-do you really think I could get out of there with just a plant? She looked very sad inside at IKEA, but after one day in my bright living room, she was verrry happy.
See that white pot in the upper right corner?  I am not sure how popular these are, but they are one of my personal faves.  She is a houseplant called Baby s Tears, and they are SOOO pretty when the grow to a full mound.  The are very delicate and I have learned that you should water them from underneath, otherwise their little  afro  sinks.  They have a great  spring green  color and look best planted in a group so you get one nice round mound.  After a while they trickle and cascade down the pot. This plant is not to be confused with the Chia Pet-Baby s Tears is definitely an upgrade to that!
See that white pot in the upper right corner? I am not sure how popular these are, but they are one of my personal faves. She is a houseplant called Baby's Tears, and they are SOOO pretty when the grow to a full mound. The are very delicate and I have learned that you should water them from underneath, otherwise their little "afro" sinks. They have a great "spring green" color and look best planted in a group so you get one nice round mound. After a while they trickle and cascade down the pot. This plant is not to be confused with the Chia Pet-Baby's Tears is definitely an upgrade to that!
This is some tropical house plant that flowers white blooms in spring-sorry I do not know the exact name, but it is doing VERY well in my concrete glazed pottery from Anthropology.  She and I are going on 3 years.  Yay me!
This is some tropical house plant that flowers white blooms in spring-sorry I do not know the exact name, but it is doing VERY well in my concrete glazed pottery from Anthropology. She and I are going on 3 years. Yay me!
Maiden Hair Fern.  One of my favorites and unfortunately, my cat s.  

Besides the ever-popular Fiddle Leaf Fig, I would call this plant number 2 on the Designer Favorite s list.  There is something very whimsical about this plant.
Maiden Hair Fern. One of my favorites and unfortunately, my cat's. Besides the ever-popular Fiddle Leaf Fig, I would call this plant number 2 on the Designer Favorite's list. There is something very whimsical about this plant.
A Snake Plant once lived on the hearth...usually we see this in commercial spaces-these are seriously hard to kill.  They like to be in tight crowded containers and dry dry dry.  If you travel a lot (or tend to be forgetful), this may be a good match.
A Snake Plant once lived on the hearth...usually we see this in commercial spaces-these are seriously hard to kill. They like to be in tight crowded containers and dry dry dry. If you travel a lot (or tend to be forgetful), this may be a good match.
A gardenia sprig.  Uh, gardenias, they are like Zsa Zsa Gabor-the beauty and temperment.   We just don t get along.
A gardenia sprig. Uh, gardenias, they are like Zsa Zsa Gabor-the beauty and temperment. We just don't get along.
Hosta leaves.  Brilliant.  These girls last FOR-EVER.  Even one in a single vase makes a statement.
Hosta leaves. Brilliant. These girls last FOR-EVER. Even one in a single vase makes a statement.
My beloved (late) bonsai.   I think this is a japanese serissa bonsai or just a ficus bonsai.  They have gorgeous sculptural bases.    Every one seems to be quite different.  Mine like(d) dryer soil-you can somewhat ignore them and they will give and give. They like tight spaces.
My beloved (late) bonsai. I think this is a japanese serissa bonsai or just a ficus bonsai. They have gorgeous sculptural bases. Every one seems to be quite different. Mine like(d) dryer soil-you can somewhat ignore them and they will give and give. They like tight spaces.
Here is a close up of the twisted sculptural stalk-so cool.  I have seen these do so well in a very shallow and pot-I think they look better displayed that way as well-it shows off that cool root.
Here is a close up of the twisted sculptural stalk-so cool. I have seen these do so well in a very shallow and pot-I think they look better displayed that way as well-it shows off that cool root.
Such great vintage appeal.  Popular in the vitorian era, I understand.  Likes shade, No direct sun light.  They do great and are everywhere here in Oregon.  It s illegal here to pull one out from the forest!  This fern loves his morning mists.
Such great vintage appeal. Popular in the vitorian era, I understand. Likes shade, No direct sun light. They do great and are everywhere here in Oregon. It's illegal here to pull one out from the forest! This fern loves his morning mists.
Here is a family of plants I am designing for  Client Fabs  enormous multi-faceted terranium.  I will post the finished product once in place-wish me luck!
Here is a family of plants I am designing for" Client Fabs" enormous multi-faceted terranium. I will post the finished product once in place-wish me luck!

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