The Unexpected Houseplant & A Quick Visit to Terrain

October 23, 2012 — 4 Comments

The Unexpected Houseplant by Tovah Martin (those are primroses in the picture)

It is another one of those weeks here where any hope of getting a project finished or staying on schedule has disappeared. We have 1 case of pink eye and 1 case of 3 1 /2 year old surly, stubborn, clingy girl. One of the few actual accomplishments for the weekend (besides attending 3 kid related get togethers) was making it over to Terrain at Styers on Sunday morning to see Tovah Martin. Her new book, The Unexpected Houseplant is out and she was having a book signing and demonstration. Maisie and I watched Tovah work her magic on a couple of indoor planters. Tovah is probably best known for her terrarium design but I first discovered her on her blog Plantswise. Tovah was lovely and very inspiring. I am halfway through the book now and am feeling pretty inspired!

Indoor Planter for a Sunny Location

I have to say that although I love gardening outside, my indoor plants do NOT thrive. I have somewhat of a black thumb indoors. I am hoping to change that, and I think this new book might be the start of good things to come! Tovah advocates for planting what you love! I am totally guilty of having mediocre indoor plants in random pots and then totally neglecting them. She shows you how to step out of that rut and plant exciting beautiful plants inside.  Now I just need to get started!

For inspiration, I thought I would show you a couple of beautiful  planter that she made up while I was there. These were designed for a woman who has a sunny bay window. The one above is a pineapple plant (which I do love) paired with red and orange flowers (that I totally forgot to get the name of) and a miniature bromeliad (one that doesn’t flower but looks so beautiful regardless). I also learned that the pineapple and the air plants are also members of the bromeliacae family.

Another Planter for a Sunny Window

The second planter (designed to go with the one above) was mostly filled with succulents and more of the miniature bromeliads. I am totally in favor of succulents, since by their nature don’t require much care. I have a few now, but they all live in individual pots.  On the subject of succulent planters I saw that Emily Clark just posted about a beautiful centerpiece that she put together yesterday made out of driftwood and succulents.

Mix of Planters

I also really liked these shade friendly planters in the foreground above. Unfortunately most of my windows are too bright for these. Although I am totally in love with the lower plant in the foreground, which is ‘Frosty Fern’ (Selaginella kraussiana ‘Variegata’) which is a kind of moss. Tovah recommends putting mosses as understory plants, which is some cases can work in sunnier locations when you have broader plants sitting above.

Another useful recommendation that I asked about and is described in the book is using cat friendly plants like grass. I haven’t had any luck with growing the kitty grass that they sell at the pet store, but I am really intrigued to try something like a blue fescue. I might even grab one of my smaller perennial grasses from outside and try it indoors for the winter. I like the idea of giving the kitties something to munch on that will be good for their tummies, and then they will hopefully be less likely to eat the plants that aren’t so good for them.

My Little Helper

Finally my little helper smiled for me with the plants. Now if she only was this well behave all of the time! Now if I can just get her to help with the watering!


4 responses to The Unexpected Houseplant & A Quick Visit to Terrain

  1. I think I have a pineapple to share, if you’d like one, or we could start one from a fruit, if you’d like.

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