Just because the weather is cooler doesn't mean you have to give up your dreams of a garden! We love this idea of topping a mantel with a piece of plywood and populating it with cacti in terra-cotta pots. The effect is halfway between a desert-scape and an art installation, but it soothes our itchy green thumbs. Cacti are a good choice for this project, since they are hardier than many other plants. But be sure to keep an eye on their water levels — proximity to the fire will make them dry out quicker! Pick up a variety of terra-cotta pots and differently shaped cacti, and you have an easy DIY that will bring a little of the outdoors in this Winter!
If you love the lush look of plants but don't think you have the room, take inspiration from designer Faith Blakeney's transformation of an industrial office space in Los Angeles. Wanting to bring a touch of nature indoors but not willing to sacrifice valuable floor space to make it happen, Faith turned to vertical planters for the solution. A narrow swath of wall was outfitted with multiple plastic Wooly Planter pockets ($27 each) and planted with a variety of indoor foliage. The effect is that of a lush garden canopy welcoming employees to an indoor refuge. The garden wall does double (triple?) duty by offering some privacy for the mezzanine level, making it the perfect place to hold important meetings. We also love Faith's idea of using green paint on the walls to continue the verdant effect of the plants. Tell us, does this project inspire you to create your own indoor garden?
The piece: Chalkboard Wall Planter
The price: $140
Why we want it: Perfect for the budding gardener who is short on space, this hanging planter is the ideal accessory for a kitchen wall. With room for 10 different plants, we can plant enough herbs to get us through all our Fall dinner parties, not to mention our cocktail experiments. Although we love the idea of labeling our herbs, we can also imagine embellishing the chalk frame with our own doodles, turning our vertical garden into an ever-evolving art installation!
If your heart wants a fiddle leaf fig tree but your black thumb is standing in the way, San Francisco Bay Area editor and garden consultant Julie Chai can help! While she considers fiddle leaf fig trees to be reasonably low-maintenance, she insists on tried-and-true methods for keeping them healthy and beautiful. Anxious to master the art of indoor tree survival? See Julie's 10 tips for fiddle leaf fig tree success!
- POPSUGAR Home: What should people consider when searching for a spot to place their fiddle leaf fig tree?
- PS: What do brown spots on leaves signify? Is there a way to stop the brown spots from spreading?
- PS: If the large leaves begin to collect dust, is it important to wipe them? Does that really keep them from getting enough sun?
Julie Chai: Fiddle leaf figs like it bright, so choose a spot where it’ll get plenty of light for as much of the day as possible. Just make sure your tree won’t have sun shining directly on it since that can damage leaves.
JC: Brown spots could indicate a number of problems, but they’re generally related to too much or too little watering, and either of those could lead to disease. You’d need to troubleshoot, starting with making sure you’re watering with the right frequency. Once you’ve resolved the source, which is most often water-related, the brown spots should stop.
JC: You definitely want to keep your tree’s leaves clean. Though dusty leaves could impact your plant’s ability to absorb light to a degree, you’d need to accumulate quite a layer for that to be a major concern on its own. A bigger problem is that the dust could interfere with the plant's "breathing," and could also invite fungus and bacteria that may lead to pests and disease. I wipe my large-leaved plants with a soft, damp cloth — old cotton t-shirts are perfect for this! You could also use a duster. I even rinse my plants in the shower or hose them off outside a couple of times a year. If you do this, be sure you use lukewarm water — plants don’t like cold showers any more than we do! If you’re rinsing outside, do it on a warm day and dry the plants in indirect sunlight.
Keep reading for more helpful tips!
The piece: Handpainted Watering Can
The price: $68-$78
Why we want it: We are convinced that our houseplants get neglected partly because we loathe keeping our ugly watering can in plain sight! With a cans this pretty, however, our long-suffering friends might finally get the attention they deserve. Handpainted with wide, vertical stripes, these cheerful iron watering cans, available in two color schemes and sizes, are sturdy enough to be used in an outdoor garden, but pretty enough to be used inside when the weather is cool. The only downside is that we are now fresh out of excuses for our black thumb — a price we're willing to pay!
If you're considering a fiddle leaf fig tree but haven't found the right spot for it yet, we're here to help! While towering trees with lush foliage are usually the prototype, we're convinced that in this case, size doesn't matter. From tiny tabletop trees planted in fine china to taller versions anchoring corners of rooms, these inspirational shots have us craving a fiddle leaf fig tree of our own. Check out our favorite ways to decorate with these trendy trees!
If you have an occasional chair that looks a bit lonely by itself, try anchoring it with one of these trees for a substantial and stylish pairing.
Why limit yourself to planting your tree in a traditional pot? This ginger jar is chic and unexpected — perfect for a small tree!
This pair of trees perks up two corners of the office, offering a lovely dose of greenery that will outlast any desktop bouquet.
Planting trees in lined baskets instead of smooth pots can add warmth and texture. Try coupling the large potted basket with a smaller lidded version for a bigger impact.
Jump into more fiddle leaf fig tree inspiration after the break!
The piece: Brass Modern Hanging Mobile
The price: $155
Why we want it: We all know that mobiles aren't just for babies, but unless you want a Calder, the pickings are pretty slim. Unless, of course, you happen to find a shop called Hruskaa while trolling Etsy. This geometric brass mobile is just one of Hruskaa's variations on a gorgeous theme (check the site for the rest, you won't be disappointed), and we are loving this symmetrical, slightly scientific version of a hanging sculpture. We also love its suggestion of tucking an air plant inside the mobile for a wonderful new twist on a hanging planter.
Perfect for adorning windowsills or even a crowded desktop, small plants like mini cacti require little space and almost as little care. For a potting vessel that trumps the hideous plastic versions, hit up the candle section of your favorite home store. Votives are not only the perfect size, but they're much more stylish than the average terra-cotta upgrade and can be found at affordable price points. I scooped up my cacti at Home Depot, but the votive pairings are seemingly endless. Since votives don't have drainage, be sure to put a few pebbles in the container before planting!
Keep reading to see four votives that are practically made for planting!
You may not know Fedor van der Valk by name, but chances are you know his work. Fedor's string gardens have graced the pages of books and the posts of numerous websites over the past few years. When I was in Holland, I saw his works displayed in several shop windows. His string gardens capture the imagination with their suspended, unexpected beauty. Recently, Fedor sat down to answer some of my questions about his work. Even though he warned me: "My English vocabulary is not that rich. It's a bit simple," I think you'll agree his responses and work are anything but. If you've never seen his string gardens before, prepare to have your breath taken away. If you're already familiar with his work, well, prepare to have your breath taken away yet again.