Blog posts categorized as: House & Terrarium Plants

Force bulbs indoors now for the holidays!

Nov 18, 2012

Want to create some super stylish gifts or tabletop decor for the holidays? Why not force some bulbs indoors? Now is the perfect time. You can use traditional paperwhites, amaryllis, daffodils, muscari, tulips and hyacinth! Watch my Good Morning Texas segment from this week and I'll show you some creative options!


Tiny Terrariums!

Nov 17, 2012

A few years ago, I started designing these cute tiny terrariums for the holidays for North Haven Gardens in Dallas. They've become quite popular the last couple of seasons and I couldn't help but share a few photos of the first ones put together this season. 


I love using Tillandsias, because they require little to no care in a tiny environment such as these ornaments.


I also love using reindeer moss and assorted lichens, wood chips, branches and the like.

Terrarium ornament square

This year I started up some tiny square ornaments. TOO CUTE. You can create these kinds of low maintenance terrariums in just about any containter. Just a little fun homeade gift goodness! These terrarium ornaments are available for sale now at NHG.

Woolly Pockets planted up!

Oct 9, 2011

Yesterday morning I mounted and planted up two brown Woolly Pocket planters on my dining room wall. If you're in the Dallas area, you can get them at North Haven Gardens.

They look pretty fab already, but I imagine once the plants fill in more it will look even better. You'll want to use a mixture of plants that will provide some height, some fill with texture and foliage color, and some trailers that will eventually grow to cover much of the planter. For indoors, I suggest sticking to tropicals that can handle lower light conditions. You can even do African violets, orchids and the like as long as you have a nice bright North or South facing window.  If you want to grow more blooming color, herbs or veggies then you'll want to mount your Woolly Pocket outside. In Texas, I DO NOT suggest trying to maintain wall planters like this on a West facing wall or spot that gets sun most of the day...Maintaining adequate moisture could be pretty problematic. Morning to mid-day sun with a few hours of afternoon shade would work best.

I placed the planters on a wall that faces a North facing window, so they get lots of bright ligh (but no direct sun rays) all day. I used North Haven Gardens Premium Organic Potting Soil, which is a mix I created. This is a medium to heavier weight mix with some expanded shale. Even though a peat based indoor potting mix would be lighter, I felt that due to the wicking action of the planters, too much peat could dry too quickly and be difficult to rehydrate. Make sure to put down a drop cloth of some will make a mess, lol. I planted with several trailing Philodendrons, a large purple Philo, Prayer plant, and several types of ferns. All of these species will appreciate the light exposure and do well with an air root-prunign type container such as the woolly pocket.

I mounted two pockets using the dry wall brackets included, in an overlapping fashion so you wouldn't see the bottom brackets or wall-space. Filled 1/2 way with soil, then went about arranging the plants. Make sure to wet the rootballs before you plant. Top-dress with potting soil but make sure you leave at least 1/2-1" clearance to the top edge of the pocket.

When you water, make sure to apply the water to the "tongue" of the planter, not directly to the soil. I used my small copper watering can because the spout is tiny and can deliver just enough, but not too much. water to the planter. The water will wick down and be pulled up by the plants through the "fabric". Don't ever apply more than 3 cups of water in one application.

You might also consider keeping a plant mister on hand as these types of tropicals do like a bit of extra humidity. Don't apply too much water to the foliage this way or you'll end up with water drips on your wall or floor.

Just remember, while you may see photos of this planter online, planted up indoors with herbs and edibles, realize that plants like that requiring a lot of direct sun won't sustain indoors more than a few weeks...stick to tropicals indoors and edibles outdoors. If you mount a substantial grow light over the planters, then you could probably get away with salad greens and some herbs indoors.

I have a feeling that I'm going to have to put up several more of these in my house...they are my favorite new gardening product and I think they are especially perfect for those who have limited garden space, live in a condo or apartment or want an easier way to display plants indoors. I've already had a few friends request them as Xmas presents! Guess I'd better get to work...

Vertical Garden Planters

Oct 6, 2011

While at the True Value show up in Philadelphia, I found a couple of vendors that just joined the group that sell products I've been wanting to carry at the garden center for a while (they just weren't very retail friendly yet). Now that both vendors have worked out some better strategies for getting their product into independent garden stores, I'll be bringing them both in.

First are the Woolly Pockets. Now, I called them up when they first went into business...but the prices or merch'ing options just weren't right. Now that some of that is on track, I've ordered the brown "Wally" pockets...which just showed up.Very cool. They can be used inside or outside, have a water wicking and barrier system. You can grow houseplants indoors, or annuals/perennials/tropicals/herbs and veggies outdoors. We'll see how this one color does, then I can always select from black, tan and blue if you guys (customers) are interested.

I also plan to bring in the GroVert green wall systems. They finally have a smaller product available with a water wicking system that can be paired with a frame they are now making for wall art. Or, you can modularize multiple pieces to do a whole wall.These can be used indoors for houseplants/tropicals, or outdoors for succulents.

My biggest concern with these vertical growing systems is always the summer maintenance issues. Texas is darn hot and dry in the summer, and if you've ever tried to keep hanging baskets pretty in summer you know you have to water them daily. I think as long as you don't put these grow systems on a hot or West facing wall, or expect them to be low-maintenance in terms of water during the summer, you can create very pretty spaces with them. Using them indoors will be much easier. Use the Woolly Pockets for larger plant material, due to their larger planting reservoir. The GroVert system is going to be better suited to smaller terrarium plants indoors, and succulents outdoors, due to the smaller planting reservoir.

Look for us to have some upcoming how-to workshops on both of these growing systems up at North Haven Gardens.

New Begonia Variety ‘Gryphon’

Dec 1, 2010

Just happened to be sifting through some photos from the Ohio Short Course last year and came across this beauty: Begonia 'Gryphon', a new variety that will be available in 2011


It's HUGE!!! And how gorgeous. North Haven Gardens will carry limited quantities of this new beauty March/April of 2011. Just thought you might like a teaser!

Funky new African Violet…‘Neverfloris’

Jul 26, 2010

One of my favorite new things I found at OFA the week before last...A funky new African violet that makes these fuzzy little green "flowers". They never open up into a traditional flower with petals. I like to call them the "man's violet", lol. It's called 'Neverfloris'.


You can even use it like a flower "frog" know the little metal circle of spikes that allow you to hold cult flowers in place. You can use 'Neverfloris' as a base to hold other flowers, decor, little birds, etc. Too cute.

Amaryllis ‘Chico’

Mar 22, 2010

Well, look what popped open in my office over the weekend! Wondering why it's just now blooming in March? Well, I did leave this poor little bulb neglected in my office all winter long, sitting in a pot with it's tag. You know, I meant to get it potted up, but there it sat. Until finally, about a week and a half ago, it said "to heck with this.." and started to put up a bud stem. So, I dropped it a bulb forcing vase with some water to coax it along.


This particular amaryllis variety, 'Chico', is one of my favorites. It's a relatively new (last 2-3 years) variety out of South America. Just fabulous! It looks like it has a second shoot peeking out, so I should get a nice long bloom-time on this one.

Go ahead….feed that orchid addiction…

Nov 9, 2009

I used to have a kitty cat named Pierre.  He was super sweet...and super pretty. A blue Russian type mutt, Pierre never met a stranger. He loved his mommy and would have been happiest if I just carried him around in a papoose all day. But, seeing as he weighed about 22lbs..that was just not going to happen! Anyhoo...I had to put him to sleep last summer. Very sad. Pierre had a special talent...a talent for sniffing out the very moment an orchid flower was about to he could eat it. Yes, eat it. I used keep a bevy of orchids in my house, but due to Pierre's tastes that collection dwindled. I have a penchant for Paphiopedilums (slipper orchids), but those were some of Pierre's favorites. I even resorted growing them in glass cookie jars so I could keep a lid on them until they bloomed, but it never failed that Pierre would chomp the flower off just as I removed the lid to let the bloom emerge. Well, now that Pierre has moved on into the Light, I've started "acquiring" again. Here are a few new lovelies...

Paph_exodusPaphiopedulum hybrid (Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x Sib 

Paph2 Paphiopedulum hybrid (Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x Sib

Now...both of the above are labeled as the same hybrid, so I'm going to have to do some research on those...

Paph3  Paphiopedulum hybrid (Ninja 'Conquest' HCC/AOS x Oriental Enchantment 'Clarity')

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