Posted on Leave a comment

Succulent Crafts

Succulent Crafts Wreath, driftwood, picture frames, troughs

Succulent Crafts: Wreaths, Driftwood, and Frames with Succulents

The Ted Lare Look

Succulents are the gardening world’s current favorite, skyrocketing in popularity due to their unique jewel tones and stunningly symmetrical appearance, but solidifying their place as reigning popularity royalty thanks to their versatility. Succulents are absolutely everywhere, and for those of us that crave a little bit of a DIY touch to our home decor, they are the perfect opportunity to get our hands busy.

Here are some of our favorite ways to get crafty with succulents and create lasting living arrangements that are sure to be the centerpiece and talking point of any room.

Succulent Crafts Wreath, driftwood, picture frames, troughs

How To Make Succulent Wreaths:
Wreaths aren’t just for the holidays, and you can use this popular style and shape to make a creative decoration to enjoy all year. Most plants would never be able to tolerate an environment growing vertically on display, but succulents have strong roots and are adaptable enough to flourish – even sideways.

Gather all of your succulents and materials before you get started. Make sure that the wire wreath frame you choose is strong and specifically made for planting live plants. From there, there are a few different methods to choose from, depending on what you’re interested in and what works for your home decor:

Burlap and soil: You’ll need burlap, a wire wreath form, cactus or succulent soil, some fibrous material (like coco fiber), a hot glue gun, and your favorite selected small succulents.

Place the burlap liner inside your wreath form, molding it to the shape. Next, you’ll cut a hole in the center of the wreath and trim off the excess burlap, allowing the fabric to extend a few inches past the edges of the wreath. Fill the wreath with cactus soil, packing it in firmly. Cover the soil with a piece of coco fiber or other fibrous material and use hot glue to fasten everything together to enclose the soil underneath. Fasten the back of your burlap ring to the wreath, and you’re ready to plant.

Use scissors to cut holes in the burlap liner to expose the soil underneath, and then plant the loosened roots of your succulents right into the holes.

Sphagnum Moss: If the burlap method sounds too complicated and messy, a sphagnum moss frame is a great way to tidy the process up a little. It’s also the perfect choice for succulent cuttings that don’t have a great root system yet. You can purchase them ready to plant or you can make your own by filling up a tube of nylon mesh with loose moss. Soak your sphagnum wreath in water before you place it in your wireframe to get started.

Poke a hole in your frame through the mesh liner, and make space for your succulent or succulent cutting. Try mixing and matching bigger and smaller plants to create an exciting display full of color and texture. Once you have your wreath planted, you can tidy up the look by inserting some soft moss in the gaps to cover up the form underneath.

Lay your succulent wreath flat for a week or two after you build it so that the roots have time to establish themselves before their gravity-defying trick of growing horizontally. We also suggest laying your wreath flat when you water it, too, for better coverage and drainage.

Succulent Crafts Wreath, driftwood, picture frames, troughs

Easy Succulent Driftwood Planter:
Why buy a boring planter when there are perfectly good spots for your succulents in a cool piece of wood? Filling in all of the nooks and crannies of driftwood with succulents and moss is a great, earthy, and natural display piece that will catch the eye with unique forms and shapes to match its succulents.

You can shortcut and simply hot glue the succulents straight onto the driftwood, but giving them something for a base will help them to grow roots and last much longer. Glue some moss to your driftwood first to create a long-lasting display sure to please.

Finish off your artwork by fastening your succulents to the mossy areas – use hot glue, floral glue, fishing line, or craft wire for a secure but polished look. If your driftwood has any deep holes, you can always fill them with moss and cactus soil and plant your succulent straight into your display. Mist your plants to keep them happy and beautiful for longer.

Succulent Crafts Wreath, driftwood, picture frames, troughs

How to Make a Succulent Picture Frame:
What’s inside the picture frame is normally the most important part – displaying photos of loved ones and favorite memories to be treasured forever. We love the idea of making your home personal with photos, but your picture frame decor should match what you love! Picture frames and shadow boxes are actually idea homes for your favorite succulents!

For this DIY, you’ll need a shadow box or a glass panel picture frame with the back removed and some wood to make your own shadow box. We like using frames and boxes made of redwood and cedar, as they’re naturally water-resistant and will hold up more to time spent as an impromptu container. You’ll need hardware cloth, cactus soil, succulents, and cuttings – as well as some household tools, like a staple gun, a hammer, and some nails. Cuttings from plants should be given a few days to dry before you replant them, while whole plants can be planted directly.

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

If you don’t have a shadow box, you’ll be creating one with your picture frame to give your succulents’ roots space to grow. Staple hardware cloth and insert it halfway into the box. You’ll be using this to push the roots of your plants through to keep them anchored, so midway or even at the top under the frame of your box is ideal. A half-inch grid should be enough to accommodate your stems but keep the soil locked in.

Fill your shadow box with cactus soil by pouring it on top of the hardware cloth and sifting it through the openings. Use a pencil to poke holes in the soil through the square holes in the grid and fill your frame up with plants! We recommend starting with your larger plants and moving toward smaller ones to fit them in more nicely next to each other – even if you have a favorite that you want to make sure is on display the most.

Like the succulent wreath, leave your box laying flat for a few weeks to let the roots start to settle and establish – as well as using greenings clips to keep everything in place. When your plants have rooted, you can hang your frame or prop it up on a shelf for a living display to go along with all of your favorite memories and photos.

Succulent Crafts Wreath, driftwood, picture frames, troughs

Succulents in Troughs:
For a display that’s a little more common sense and straight-forward, plant your succulents in a trough. They’re still more creative than a normal succulent container display with old planters, but they are more manageable for people that aren’t sure of their DIY capabilities. Choose from wood, terra cotta, metal, plastic, and even cement troughs for your plants, creating an aesthetic that both matches your decor and draws the eye. You can accentuate your darling succulents while still creating a lasting impact in your home’s style.

Once you’ve selected a trough planter, make sure that it is designed for drainage. If it has a solid bottom, you might want to drill some holes before filling with soil and planting or just layer the bottom with pebbles to improve drainage. Then, all you have to do is fill the trough with cactus soil and you’re ready to plant! These are the perfect planters for a tidy and neat succulent planting design to meet rustic style with your fun and unique container.

Once you start to think about the different and unique ways that you can plant beyond regular containers, the possibilities with succulents are endless. These are just a few of our favorite, creative DIY displays we’ve seen people come up with. Creating your own display is a fun craft, and it’s a perfect way to mesh together your personal style and personality with your home decor for something uniquely you.

Posted on Leave a comment

DIY Terrariums

terrariums in glass

Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”
-Alice Walker

Terrariums are not just a hot designer trend, they’re also incredibly versatile and easy to add to any home decor! While it can be convenient to find something that’s a perfect fit right on the store shelf, we love that terrariums are just as simple to make yourself, where they are entirely customizable to your aesthetic.

DIY Terrariums:

The beautiful thing about terrariums is that they are so simple in concept: a partially or even fully enclosed display for your favorite trending houseplants. The style and contents are entirely up to you, so you are free to create the perfect look for your home and lifestyle.

Terrariums give us all the gorgeous centerpiece aesthetic without the high-maintenance care needs. The only important thing to remember is a terrarium is just like a fancy container – all you need to worry about is watering your greenery enough that it is hydrated but not drowning. It’s all the ease of houseplants, but with a designer upgrade.

DIY terrariums

Succulent Terrariums:

Succulents continue to grow in popularity and it’s easy to see why. As cousins of cacti, these plants offer a beautiful aesthetic that is simply irresistible. They combine the simplest of care with gorgeous textures and colors, making them perfect for displaying in a creative terrarium. Plus, they’re slow-growers, meaning your beautiful terrarium will look its best for years!

The trendiest looks: Succulents look amazing combined with rustic or antique terrarium pieces. There’s something about their unique look that makes them the perfect match with a statement piece. We simply adore the look of our favorite aloe, echeveria, rosette, or string of pearls succulents in unique terrarium pieces, like old lamps, bottles, or even more creative displays, like coffee pots and gumball machines.

Create this look at home: Succulents are native to arid habitats so, while they don’t want to dry out completely, it’s very important for them to avoid damp roots. Drainage is the key here, so take advantage of space in your terrarium to layer in drainage pebbles underneath your soil. You can even consider taking advantage of these layers with decorative, colorful sand around your plants!

Succulents don’t like humidity, so they’ll thrive in a partially open terrarium that allows for some fresh air. However, you will want to keep your dainty plants out of too much direct light to keep them looking their best in all seasons for years to come. Since these plants are such slow growers, you can pack them in as tight as you want, without worry, and even finish off your look with bits of decorative moss to fill in the gaps!

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

air plants hanging in glass bowl

Air Plant Terrariums:

Air plants are curious houseplants with a unique look that has made them very popular over the past few years. These marvels of the plant world don’t grow in soil and are found in the wild high above the ground on trees. Instead of using their roots to pull nutrients from the soil, they use specialized pores that take care of feeding and watering. They also have an interesting sci-fi look that make them perfect fits for terrariums.

The best air plant looks: These plants are adapted to living high in the air, so we love to pair them with classic glass terrariums. With such an stunningly alien aesthetic, they are also a perfect pairing with the clean-cut, modern terrariums that feature glass panes and stylish metal shapes. Although the crystal clear style of glass terrariums takes advantage of this plant’s strange ability to thrive entirely without soil, they also pair beautifully with other terrarium or container plants, too.

How to DIY your air plant terrarium: While air plants may seem to thrive off of nothing but the air itself, they’ll still need a little bit of help to thrive in a terrarium. Our homes don’t have the ambient humidity that these plants are used to in the steamy jungles that they call home. To keep them hydrated, they will not only need a regular humidity boost with misting, but they will also need an occasional drink from being submerged in distilled water and biannual fertilization with a mild orchid fertilizer solution.

fairy garden terrariums

Fairy Garden Terrariums:

While some terrariums are noteworthy for their unique plants, others make a statement with their cute, DIY design. Fairy Gardens have gained popularity recently and are known for their adorable fairy-themed terrarium displays that are great for kids and dreamers alike. Anything at all can go into a fairy garden, embracing a whole range of plants and decor.

Our favorite fairy garden aesthetics: The miniature scale of a fairy garden transforms regular houseplants into a lush jungle. The idea is to create a container or terrarium that looks like a little fairy home, complete with tiny decorations for an endearing and quirky aesthetic that is so fun to explore when you create and display it. We love the look of some of our favorite tropical houseplants, like ferns, mosses, ivy, or baby’s tears, in fairy gardens, but have also seen some impressive creations that take advantage of flowering plants, succulents, bonsai, air plants, and more.

DIY fairy garden terrariums: The fun of this style is how much you can personalize it. Find a container and little fairy decorations that you love, and fill in all the gaps with your favorite plants. We recommend sticking to plants that enjoy the same conditions since they all have to share the same soil in your terrarium. When you’re creating a fairy garden, choose a terrarium that offers great visibility so your decorations can be enjoyed more. Plant with good drainage and lots of soil, and water according to your plant’s needs. For faster-growing tropical plants, don’t be afraid to keep the scissors handy to keep them down to the size you want in your design.

We can’t blame everyone for suddenly wanting to take these gorgeous plants home – they are simply irresistible and add that accent of natural color and style to your indoor decor. We certainly understand why they’re so popular right now, and are happy to help you bring your own fiddle-leaf fig home without the hassle! Visit us in-store today to pick one up or to learn more.

Terrariums are so popular that everyone wants one in their home and with so many terrarium options for every aesthetic and style, it’s easy find create your perfect fit. Come in today to have a look at all the great terrarium products we have to get your creativity flowing for the perfect terrarium for your home and family.

Posted on Leave a comment

Succulent Pumpkins DIY

“Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin.”
– Simone Schwarz-Bart

Pumpkins are one of our favorite, iconic fall decorations, but it can be hard to imagine them in our home decor as anything other than a jack-o-lantern. It’s such a simple craft to carve a face into a big, orange pumpkin and then light a candle inside, that we even let our kids do it – with a little supervision. While carving up pumpkins can be just as artistic as you want it to be and will be a fall-time favorite that many of us partake in every year, the pumpkin has a new trend that is catching our attention, too. Move over, pumpkin spice, turning your pumpkins into adorable decorations fit for the entire year is the style this autumn.

two succulent stuffed pumpkins

Pumpkin Planters:

Pumpkins don’t just have to be the hosts for scary faces for a few short-lived weeks on our porches anymore! These gorgeous gourds have found a new niche as the carrier for some of our favorite, adorable houseplants. Plain pumpkins can easily transform into unique and captivating containers that are stuffed with spectacular succulents to add a creative and sophisticated twist to your fall decor, and making your own is simple:

Method 1: Cut and Paste

We’ve all been disappointed to see our super cute and creative pumpkin crafts wilt away only days after Halloween and it’s no mystery that pumpkins don’t last very long once we cut them open. Luckily, this method is cut-free so you can be confident that it’ll be looking its best for more than just a few weeks. Here’s how to make this cute planter happen at home:

You’ll Need:

  • pumpkin for each planter – any variety will work, but we love using flat-topped pumpkins, like Cinderellas, for easiest application
  • A hot glue gun or floral glue
  • Sphagnum moss, spanish moss or sheet moss
  • Succulent clippings

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

How-To:

  1. Clean your pumpkin. You’ll want your container to look fresh and polished, and will need to make sure that there’s no dust or dirt getting in the way of your glue.
  2. Glue on your moss. Use the hot glue gun or the floral glue to attach a layer of moss that’s ½ to 1” thick on top of your pumpkin. Make sure that you don’t leave any bare spots.
  3. Pick your succulents. You can purchase new, small succulents or, if you’re lucky enough to already have some thriving at home, you can take clippings from them, too. Make sure you let the stem dry and scab before you glue it on to prevent it from rotting.
  4. Glue on your succulents. It may sound crazy, but a little bit of glue on the stem of a succulent clipping won’t harm it. If you’re still worried, though, keep your glue gun on its lowest heat setting. You’ll want to go big in the middle and smaller on the sides  to create a balanced and pretty planter. You want your pumpkin to look like it’s bursting with life, not sinking in the center.
  5. Fill in the blank spots. Use the smallest of your succulents and clippings to fill in every crack and corner for the most polished look.

Your pumpkin is ready to shine all season, you can proudly displaying your new succulent garden. Once your planter inevitably starts to show its age, you can keep your succulents thriving by slicing off the top of your planter or gently prying the layer of moss and succulents off and planting it directly into a pot to enjoy for years more.

succulent stuffed pumpkin DIY

Method 2: Stuffing

Using glue to attach your succulents isn’t going to hurt them, but it could be committing to a look you aren’t finished playing with yet. For something that is a little more impermanent that lets you play with your plants in so many more ways, try this method:

You’ll Need:

  • A pumpkin (again, we recommend flat tops for this method, too)
  • A knife
  • A planter pot (something simple and plastic is just fine)
  • Succulents

How-To:

  1. Get your pumpkin ready. Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin that is the same size as your pot. Don’t worry about cleaning out the inside of your pumpkin too much unless the seeds are in the way.
  2. Get your pot ready. Plant your favorite succulents in the pot as densely as you can, packing them until they look like they are overflowing. You’ll want your planter to look like it has a lush bouquet of succulents in it for the prettiest and most impressive look.
  3. Plant the pot in the pumpkin. Carefully place your container right inside of your pumpkin, hiding it inside. If it sinks in, you can use an overturned bowl to lift it.
  4. Decorate and fill it in. Finish up your container will some moss or trailing succulents to fill in all the gaps and make it look like a natural pumpkin-topper.

Having cut into your pumpkin, you know it isn’t a fabulous look that is going to last forever. The clean-up is simple, though. Lift your pot out of the pumpkin and you’re ready to move onto a fresh, new one or into any other creative container for your succulent garden.

succulent stuffed pumpkins DIY

Ted Lare Tips for Stellar Succulents :

No matter which way you choose to display your beautiful gardens, it’s all just the frills on top of your healthy and gorgeous plants. You’ll want to keep your succulents in great condition for them to be looking their best in any way that you choose to show them off. Remember to water your plants every few days – only a little mist or trickle to quench their thirst without drowning their roots. Keep their delicate leaves away from direct sunlight and protect them from temperature extremes, and they’ll be happy and thriving for years.

Pumpkins are a staple of the autumn season, but they don’t have to always have the same sad fate of being left on the stoop for a week’s enjoyment before they get thrown away. Pumpkins are the ultimate fall theme and we’re so excited to enjoy their gorgeous colors and style in fun, new ways this season. Your pumpkin will be happy to have a glamorous upgrade and shot at something prettier than scaring the neighborhood kids.

Posted on Leave a comment

Container Gardening with Succulents

Savvy gardeners have picked up that succulents are the hot trend to be on right now. Not only do we find them everywhere – from wedding designs to home decorating magazines – but they’ve proven to be the dream match between versatility, aesthetic, and ease of care.

High-performance annuals will likely always have a place in our home and hearts, but contemporary styles have allowed us to repurpose some of our containers for succulents. Here’s how to take advantage of the unique elegance and low-maintenance care of succulents, which you can feature in your home and garden year after year.

three succulents in containers on coffee table in living room

Choosing a Container:

Many of us have a few extra containers sitting unoccupied at home, but they might not be the perfect pairing for your succulent garden. While those containers are an exciting but fleeting experiment with a look for only one summer, your succulents are a chance to make a statement that lasts.

Planting a container full of annuals often includes a plan to have them spill elegantly over container edges. Their natural habit of obscuring their own pot sometimes makes the design of the container secondary. Succulents are much more subtle than annuals and will replace aggressive, in-your-face blooms with cool jewel tones in stately, sculpted forms. Very few of them trail, but they all possess an exotic and dignified vibe that makes it important to choose a container that works with them to display their charms.

Pictured below: Echeveria

close-up echeveria succulent

Choosing shape: Gravitate towards shallower pots. Not only is it important to maintain the right proportions to make your low-lying and slow-growing succulents the star of their show, but it’ll help your plants to stay healthy too. Succulents have tiny roots that spread in a fibrous web close to the surface, rather than drilling deep to find moisture. On a larger and deeper pot, the lower soil will remain untapped and possibly waterlogged, threatening to rot your succulent’s roots. Unless you choose a tall container for a specific design purpose – in which case, opt to fill the majority of the container with a substrate with better drainage than soil – a shallower container promises healthier, prettier plants that are in proportion with the entire design of the container.

Choosing for Function: The biggest choice when picking your container comes down to what you want your container to do. This requires some big-picture design ideas.

For a tabletop centerpiece, a shallow clay or ceramic dish is a great way to display some diminutive succulents like echeveria and haworthia. For the more creative and DIY types, repurposing antiques like wooden milk trays, metals dishes or shallow boxes are a fun and unique container choice. Some people have even managed to turn other everyday objects like watering cans or bird cages into containers! As long as they have good drainage, your succulents will thrive in whatever container you can dream up.

In contrast, for a pedestal top centerpiece that commands the focal point of your entire yard, something more dramatic like a cast iron urn is a great place for the more bold succulents like sword-leafed yucca with trailing burrows tail or string-of-pearls. Succulents have an amazing ability to command fun and functionality and can help you turn your backyard into a classic European design, even while adding some fun and whimsy.

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Planting Your Succulent Container:

Guidelines: Your succulents will be incredibly low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a few guidelines for how to take care of them. The cardinal rule of succulents is simple: they cannot be left in standing water. Drainage is the biggest factor when it comes to helping your plants thrive. This means including drainage holes you are sure won’t get clogged, and even adding a bottom layer of pebbles to the bottom of anything deeper than 6 inches. Water them thoroughly, but make sure that the water is draining freely so the delicate roots don’t drown.

Make your container crowded! This might feel like breaking the rules if you’re used to gardening with aggressive annuals, but the slow-growing nature of succulents means that they won’t overwhelm each other like other plants. This is a great excuse to cram in all of the delightful shapes and colors that you want.

hands potting succulents

How to Plant: Set pebbles at the bottom of your container if it is deep enough to need the extra drainage, and then layer cactus or succulent soil on top, setting the plants in that. Be delicate with these dainty plants and don’t yank them out of their pots – tip the pots upside down, cup the soil around the plant to guide it, and gently squeeze until gravity helps you free the plant. Fortunately, you won’t have to handle their delicate roots and can plant them just as they come out of the container you buy them in.

Your plants should be crowded enough that there are only little gaps between the root balls, so you shouldn’t need too much soil to fill in your container. Gently tuck it into the grooves of your soil. The idea is to fill in the air pockets without compacting the soil into an impenetrable stone. If your soil settles after the first watering, top it up as needed.

Succulent Container Care:

If you’ve set them up to succeed, the joy of succulents is their longevity and ease of care. They’ll thrive in our heat and will be more tolerant of the sun than many of our annuals, although too much can still always give them a sunburn.

Water your succulent container garden more than you would a cactus, letting the soil dry out a little between waterings, and soaking the soil until it flows out of the bottom with every watering. This is called “flushing” and is actually a vital part of their care that helps prevent the build-up of salts or fertilizer in the soil, where it can burn the roots. If you do choose to fertilize, do so with care. Use a half-dose at most, and only every few weeks, if at all.

various succulents in a container

If you’ve never bought succulents before, individual plants could give you some sticker shock the first time you go shopping. These plants are slow growers, so they are certainly more expensive, but they are so long-living that they are a great investment for your garden. If you want to use a container that isn’t easy to bring inside for the winter, simply plant your succulents in their pots and bring them inside individually when the weather cools. Just water them less over the winter while they are dormant, and they’ll be ready to impress outside again the next year. And the year after that!

There are few things as impressive than a classic 5-year-old succulent. These plants are so uniquely beautiful they are guaranteed to catch the eye for years to come. Their unique care makes them the most welcome addition to your garden, and their contemporary aesthetic will inspire you to design not just individual containers, but eventually your whole home and garden aesthetic around them.

Posted on

Modern Container Gardens

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” 
– Claude Monet

Gardening trends are their own little paradox. On the one hand, the essentials of how we take care of our gardens and the joy that comes from nurturing life out of soil remain the same each year. But our gardens themselves get a refreshing lift each season with new trends and fashion. The new “it” trends are as seasonal as our gardens themselves.

Container gardening is the best choice for exploring new trends with each summer. They’re creative, dynamic, but also very non-committal, so you are free to explore new ideas as much as you’d like. A few of this year’s top trends are the perfect fit for your own container garden this spring:

Gardening with Succulents

Succulents continue to have an impressive presence in garden trends and on garden center shelves. These adorable plants have a unique aesthetic and add a certain edge to any indoor or outdoor creation. Succulents are the perfect combination of ease of care and contemporary style.

Succulents are a great choice for a chic container. Choose a shallow container (terra-cotta is a great choice) and hunt for your new favorite succulents at our garden center. The most striking container should have a healthy mix of different shapes and colors. Even if one type of succulent catches your eye more than the others, the mixture will help them all to stand out even more once they are planted.

For the creative, it could be a great DIY project to make your own container. Head to the antique mall and take advantage of any improvised vessels you can find. Bird cages, toys, dishware, and even shoes have been inspirations for many succulent crafts.

Some tips for creating the best statement-making succulent container:

  • Choose a few of your favorite succulents you would like to bring indoors in the fall. By keeping them in their pots when you plant them, you can easily separate them from the container when the weather cools. Give them lots of winter light indoors until next spring and they will eventually become specimen pieces as the seasons go by.
  • If you have the space, you could bring your whole container indoors. Spray it a few times to make sure it is clear of opportunistic pests before taking it inside for the winter.
  • Try blending your succulents with less expensive bedding plants to create a planter full of unique interest. Costly designer annuals will overwhelm and devour your succulents, but sun lovers like marigolds, zinnias, portulaca, and other classics are great choices.
  • Choose soils and containers that have excellent drainage. Try blending a potting mix in a 1:1 ratio with cactus soil for an easy blend that your succulents will thrive in. Consider layering pebbles on the bottom of your container if spacing permits to improve drainage even more.
  • These trends offer a unique take on the normal garden favorites. Choosing any or all of these great seasonal trends offers your backyard and garden a fresh new take on the season that will be catching the eye for the entire summer.

Gardening with Water:

Backyard water features are chic and add a serene calm to your yard, but sometimes you don’t want the full commitment. You can actually take advantage of the backyard water trend without the landscaping hassle. Something as simple as a container can be transformed into a trendy statement for your yard this summer.

Creating a backyard pond only requires a non-permeable container, some water, and a few aquatic plants. Whether you choose to commit to a permanent feature or just retrofit a container, the principle is the same.

To make your own miniature water feature, find a large container without any drainage holes. Add some clay-based soil, some water, and specific water garden plants to complete the look. You may even choose to add fish for an extra aesthetic bonus. Simply provide your miniature garden with 6 or more hours of sunlight a day, and your water garden is ready to impress!

As you build, remember:

  • You can add soothing sound effects with a small pump. The sounds of water will fill your yard, and the ambient humidity will give any surrounding tropicals a healthy boost! As an added bonus, a pump will keep your water moving and help to discourage any mosquitoes from making themselves at home.
  • As beautiful as they are, avoid any repurposed alcohol barrels for your pond, as they could leach harmful chemicals into the water, potentially harming plants (and fish).
  • You’ll need to add water as it evaporates. Water plants and fish are sensitive to chlorine. Let your tap water sit out for a day or two to evaporate some chlorine away before you add it to your container.
  • Maintenance might require cleaning some algae from your container. Once or twice a year is usually enough to keep it at bay unless you have fish in your container.
  • Get creative with this project, and choose a statement container to really make your seasonal water feature pop in your yard.

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Gardening in Ultraviolet:

Pantone is the color authority for all things design. They have an exhaustive library of colors and they are trusted as the leading name in indoor and outdoor decor, as well as fashion and art. Every year they announce which of their colors will be setting the trend for design. After a few years of underwhelming selections, 2018’s choice of Ultra Violet (18-3838) is full of potential.

One of the most complex colors on the spectrum, the intensity of ultraviolet comes down to science. Human eyes can only see some of this color, the rest is filled in as your brain’s best guess. While other creatures like a bee can see the true color with their fuller spectrum of vision, we are treated to the optical illusion of a color that is half real and half imaginary.

Popular ultraviolet blooms take full advantage of this trick for an even more impressive range of beauty. The combination of real and imagined color can make the color of intense violet appear vibrant in full sunlight, but downright brooding in the evening. One set of blooms can transform your outdoor space with color that almost changes to fit the ambient mood of your yard.

Here’s how to make the most out of ultraviolet for the trendiest and most stunning containers this season:

  • Violet contrasts strongly with yellow. Adding a simple and vibrant sunny yellow next to your ultraviolet blooms will spice up your container. The contrast will bring out the best of your violet. You won’t be able to keep your eyes off of this color combination!
  • Violet is so intense that it can be lost in the shade or shadows. Pairing it with a bright companion (like a lighter foliage) will give it the stage that it needs.
  • Purple works extra hard in your containers to keep its appeal even into the fall. The lower angles of sunlight late in the season plays tricks with the light and will bring out yet more dimensions of your ultraviolet flowers.
Posted on Leave a comment

Easter Decorating Tips

Eggshell succulent easter design creative DIY projects

Easter is a season all about rebirth and, as the doorway to spring, it’s the time to start ushering in new life at home. Now is the best time to revive your home for visiting friends and family, and to sweep out all the lingering hints of the long winter behind us.These are some of our favorite easy DIY ways to welcome spring into your home this year.

Wheatgrass:

This is the easiest and freshest trend to bring some vibrant greens indoors. It’s so easy, even the kids can help with bringing a bit of spring into your indoor decor! Growing wheatgrass at home offers a beacon of health and new growth.

All you’ll need is a container, potting soil, and some wheatgrass seed. If you don’t plan on eating your wheatgrass in a tasty smoothie, catgrass is a great alternative that might be easier to source – giving the same visual effect. Here’s how to make it happen at home:

  1. Soak your seeds in water for 12-24 hours to soften them up. Softer seeds will give you faster-growing grass.
  2. Add soil to your container. You’ll only need a few inches. If your container is significantly deeper, feel free to fill the bottom with gravel or other fillers.
  3. Moisten your soil before planting and layer your seeds so thick that you don’t see any soil. Too thin and your decorative grass could end up looking sparse or patchy.
  4. Place your container in a window and wait a few days to enjoy the green vibrant growth of fresh grass. With this display at home, you’ll want to take a deep breath of fresh air every time you see it.

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Eggshell Succulents:

This DIY craft combines the season’s trendiest houseplants with the classic design of easter eggs! Not only does the eggshell make a chic and adorable statement piece, but it even adds nutrients that help your succulents thrive.

You’ll need some eggs (we recommend six or a dozen so you can use the whole carton) and succulents. You’ll be looking for young, small succulents, around 2” in size. Choose whatever variety you fall in love with, as any type works well.

  1. Use a dull knife to carefully notch and then cut the top off of the pointy side of the egg. Make a hole just large enough to pour out the egg – we recommend pouring it out on to a sizzling frying pan to add more enjoyment to your craft. Wash the inside of the shell and let it dry for a day or so.
  2. Carefully remove the succulents from their pots and very gently plant them into the shell. Chopsticks are great improvised tools to help push the soil into all of the air pockets and work the delicate succulent roots into their new soil. We recommend using a cactus or succulent blend of soil, or mixing some soil half-and-half with sand.
  3. Water your succulents sparingly, only until the top is moistened. You now have an assortment of easter egg succulents, with happy plants munching away at calcium. Enjoy this low-maintenance, trendy glimpse of spring all year!

Indoor Fresh Air:

Spring is the time that we get to break out of the house or open the windows to enjoy the fresh air. This Easter, you have the chance to bring the freshest of outdoors air inside with you to clean out the staleness of winter.

Houseplants have recently been celebrated for their ability to clean the air around them and have even enjoyed a boost in popularity, thanks to these hidden purifying abilities.  If you make a garden of these popular and attractive plants, they will bring some spring air indoors for you, stripping the air of toxins and boosting humidity and oxygen levels around them.

Many of these plants are very low-maintenance and easy to find. Some of the best varieties include:

  • Spider plant
  • Peace Lily
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Ferns (Bostons are best)
  • Palms (look for a Parlour palm)
  • English Ivy
  • Mum

Plant these air-cleaning machines together, with some optional fresh spring ornaments, for a boost that lasts all year. Don’t we all want that fresh spring feeling for ourselves no matter what season it is?

Posted on

Houseplants in the Winter

winter houseplant care home interior design

Are you feeling a little of those winter blues? When the winter temperatures drop and the outside world gets frosty, our houseplants are the green aesthetic boost that we need. However, the darker and drier winter conditions can be hard on your beautiful houseplants. Understanding the needs of your plants can help you keep them gorgeous and lush all winter.

Winter Hibernation

With how short our winter days are, everyone is getting less natural Vitamin D from the sun than usual. We may even be feeling the difference, getting a little sluggish and tired on darker days. The indoor plants in your house also rely upon the sun to boost their metabolism, so many of them may even be hibernating these days.

You might notice your plant taking a short break: leaves might fall, and growth slows down. Don’t worry too much, as your plants will perk up with the return of more sunlight in the spring. 

In the meantime, watering less will help your houseplant’s dormant roots to avoid being overwhelmed. If you poke your finger into the soil and it is dry up to the first knuckle, it’s time to water your houseplant.

Dry Air

On the other side of giving your plant the water it needs, the drier winter air can be very stressful for your houseplants. With the exception of succulents and cacti, most houseplants are from tropical forests, where they enjoy nearly 100% humidity. If the air gets dry enough in the winter, it can even pull moisture out of the leaves of your plants, leaving them parched.

If possible, keep your tropical houseplants close to together to let them benefit from each other’s moisture (with the added bonus of creating an attractive tropical oasis in your home). Boosting the humidity of the air can also help, either through the use of a humidifier or by letting your plants enjoy evaporating air nearby. For a quick pick-me-up, your houseplants will love a brief misting to keep them healthy and lush.

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Cold Drafts

Another thing your favorite tropicals struggle with is temperature changes. Back in their rainforest homes, the temperatures barely change a few degrees over an entire year, while our homes can change several degrees in a single day.

If your houseplants are close to cold windows or in the way of icy drafts from doors, they’ll appreciate moving away from sudden, cold temperatures. Keeping attractive and healthy plants sometimes calls for being flexible about where they are displayed to keep them rich and green, especially this time of year.

Houseplants are one of our favorite ways to add winter interest to our indoor living spaces. We get to bring something green and colorful inside to enjoy every day of the year. Keeping your houseplants healthy in winter conditions will ensure that they are lush all season and better than ever when they come out of hibernation in the spring!