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The Plant Hunter

Memorial Day Inspiration

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With Memorial Day Weekend fast approaching - we thought we'd pull together some red, white, and blue inspiration to inspire you to get outside and enjoy the long weekend with friends and family! 

5 tips for having a memorable Memorial Day 

1. Embrace the color-scheme. Wear your white, red, & blue proudly! (We've been looking for a good reason to pick up this Madewell tunic.) 
2. Cook classics. When deciding what to serve, stick with the summer classics - think hotdogs and hamburgers, sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and a cold pesto pasta salad. For a desert, a classic vanilla cake pilled with berries. (Steal this Food52 recipe for Black Bean & Corn burgers. Yum.) 
3. Decorate! String starry paper garlands, hang holiday lights, and pot plants in red, white, and blue planters. (We love these easy DIY String Lights.) 
4. Say thanks. If you're not hosting, make sure not to show up empty-handed. A potted plant or bottle of wine will do the trick. Don't have time to grab something? Send a gracious thank-you note the following week. (Unlike cut flowers, a stylish potted plant is sure to outlast your weekend hangover.) 
5. Remember. Although Memorial Day Weekend is a celebration, it is also a time to remember and honor the people who died while serving in our country's armed forces. (Fly our flag, thank a veteran, send a care package, or support a solider.) 

 


 

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Brown Thumb? Meet the Sansevieria

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We receive a handful of calls and emails a week asking what we'd recommend for the houseplant-weary. Our answer? A Sansevieria - more commonly known as the snake plant. One of our favorite houseplants, the snake plant is not only a striking, sculptural addition to any room - it also improves indoor air quality, produces oxygen, and is incredibly easy to take of. We swear. 

Name: Sanseivieria
Common Names: Snake Plant, Mother-In-Law's Tongue
Description: A no-fussplantwith thin upright leaves that resemble the skin of a reptile
Care: Low-maintenance
Origin: Western Africa
Light: Bright to light, indirect light
Water: About 1x every 2 to 3 weeks (allow soil to dry out completely between waterings)
Temperature & Humidity: Average; can be used as an ornamental plant outdoors in warmer climates and indoors in cooler climates 
Dislikes: Over-watering, cold temperatures and drafts
Benefits: Purifies indoor air (absorbs toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene); converts carbon dioxide into oxygen; numerous variegations to choose from 

* TOP 5 REASONS WE LOVE THE SNAKE PLANT * 

  1. Its adaptations for surviving drought means it is extremely low-maintanece! Forget to water it? No problem - next time. 
  2. It has one of the highest conversion rates of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Did we mention it absorbs toxins from indoor air, too? (more Air-Purifying Plants
  3. It tolerates low and even artificial light - making it a great choice for first-floor apartments and office cubicles. 
  4. It comes in a vast variety of visually appealing variegations. 
  5. It has an extremely low toxicity level, making it less harmful to your fury friends than other common houseplants. (more Pet-Friendly Plants

Looking for a snake plant to call your own? See our AugustOlmsted, and, the recently launched, Case Study Cylinder (currently NYC delivery only) - or visit us at The Sill Shop at 84 Hester Street! 

 

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Tastemakers: Igor Josifovic & Judith de Graaff

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We're really thrilled to introduce you to our two featured guests in this newest installment of our Tastemakers series. Meet Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff - bloggers and friends, whose mutual passion for plants has resulted in their ingenious 'Urban Jungle Bloggers' project. To say we're fans would be an understatement. We urge you to follow, like, bookmark - and be inspired to bring the outdoors in… 

First up is Igor Josifovic, a Blogger (see Happy Interior Blog) & Social Media Manager, who splits his time between Munich, Germany and Paris, France. 

Can you share with us a little background about yourself - and your love of houseplants? 

I am a traveling sould, a digital nomad, an interior design lover and a plant person. My childhood had been accompanied by many plants in my parents' home and this passion has been planted into my soul as well. Living with plants is essential for me as I enjoy having living plants around me. Not only do they bring a home to life, but they also ground me. My life is pretty busy and I like to say that I have many hats on as a blogger, social media manager, son, friend, partner. My worklife is clocked by the fast-paced digital lifestyle of social networks and caring for plants is the sheer opposite. It requires time and patience. It reminds me that there is more to our life than the beeping iPhone and the ongoing email influx in my inbox. And to make it all perfect, my houseplants really match my lifestyle and make my living environment a healthier and better place. 

Can you share with us a little about the Urban Jungle Bloggers movement?

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a mutual project between Judith and me that was born out of our passion for plants in 2013. What started as a simple blog series on our blogs has quickly turned into a living, growing, and friendly green community uniting bloggers from New Zealand, over Europe to the United States. Every month we pick a green topic and share it with our community and everyone interprets the topic in its own way on their blogs and social media (learn how to get involved here). We then share the results on our Urban Jungle Bloggers platforms and bring people with the same passion and love for plants together. 

What's a secret skill you have?

I speak Greek, I can write shorthand, and I love to make people smile.

What's the best present you've given or received?

A few years ago I was taken to a trip in a car ending up on an airport and disembarking in Dublin, Ireland. Just like that. As a present. How cool is that?

If your space was on fire, what's the first thing you'd grab to save?

I'd run around cause I'd want to save everything. Most probably I would end up running out of the space with my iPhone in the hand. 

What's on your to-do list today?

Buying a new sweater, writing a blog post for Happy Interior Blog and potting a plant in my new handmade planter that I received from a potter in Vietnam.

What is your favorite plant and why?

Oh my, I have so many favorites. I do love my little Pilea Peperomioides that I received by snail mail from a befriended blogger in Sweden. But I am constantly charmed by my Oxalis triangularis that I bought in Paris a few months ago. She is such a charmer fluttering on my windowsill like many purple butterflies.

Do you have a green thumb?

I am not sure there is such a thing. Especially nowadays when all information required is available online. You can simply google your plant, check out communities like the Urban Jungle Bloggers or get professional advice on sites like The Sill - get to know your plant and the color of your thumb becomes irrelevant. 

Any plant care tips you can share?

Above all pick a plant or plants that suit your lifestyle. You are out and about a lot? Choose low-maintenance plants that require the least attention from you. The better you match your plant choice with your lifestyle, the more fun it will be to see it grow and thrive.

What tops your houseplant wish list?

I am looking for some colourful succulents on longer stems like the sedum rubrotinctum or the Aeonium cyclops. Because plants are not only green, right? 

Now meet Judith de Graaff, the second half of UJB, and a freelance graphic designer who resides near Paris, France. 

Can you share with us a little background about yourself, your love of houseplants, and the Urban Jungle Bloggers movement?

Hi! My name is Judith and I’m a Dutch graphic designer living in France. I grew up surrounded by plants in a typical 70s/80s kind of way: with suspended plant shelves in front of the windows and handmade ceramics. As a teenager I worked at a local garden center, but it wasn’t until I visited the Jardin Exotique in Monaco about 15 years ago that I realised I loved plants. I fell in love with the different shades of green, as well as the very graphic shapes of the succulents, the intriguing shapes of the cacti and the tropical vibe of the palm trees. I wanted that at home too and now live in a house where I have an entire indoor garden dedicated to growing all kinds of plants.
When Igor and I met a few years ago in Paris we started talking about the things we liked and realized we both REALLY loved plants. As we’re also both bloggers, we decided to start a blog series by showing our own urban jungles on our blogs. The response was immediate, so many other bloggers asked if they could join the green movement, too - and slowly but surely our small series turned into a green community with a monthly topic, hundreds of blogging members, and a popular hashtag (#urbanjunglebloggers). We feel so honored that Urban Jungle Bloggers is thriving and growing every day! 

What's a secret skill you have? 

I know a lot about keeping yourself warm in an unheated home. I have about 7 years - winters - of experience. Booze and activity, also combined, are some of the key ingredients.

What's the best present you've given or received? 

A blue-greyish shell my husband once picked up at the beach, it fits like a ring. Very random, but very pretty. 

If your space was on fire, what's the first thing you'd grab to save?

After people and cats - I’d grab my handbag with passport, phone and camera. If there was more time I’d also take my photo albums, computer, suitcase with worthless treasures, and my drawers with stationary knickknacks. 

What's on your to-do list today? 

Pack my suitcase for a week in the South West of France, on the Atlantic coast.

What is your favorite plant and why?

Impossible to choose just one, but I really like my giant agaves that I grew from cuttings many years ago. I like big plants and they have such a nice blueish color. I also love my different paddle leaf cacti because they grow in impossible directions to keep their balance. And another favorite are the aloë vera plants from which I use the gel to calm my skin after skin burns. 

Do you have a green thumb? 

I don’t really believe in having a green or black thumb. I believe in attention and caring for plants. And in trial & error. I’ve killed many many plants by overwatering, not watering enough, wrong kind of soil/light/temperature but I learned from the experiences. And by now, I know most of the plants I own and did my homework. And because the largest part are succulents, cacti and palm trees, they are very forgiving, which makes it fairly easy to take care of them.

Any plant care tips you can share?

Be particularly careful with cactus glochids, the tiny hairy spines of certain kinds of cacti. I once picked up a small paddle with my bare hands - as I do that all the time with regular cacti - but the tiny barbed tips that stuck in my skin, hurt for weeks, and were almost impossible to remove. I learned my lesson and now wrap these cacti in paper if I want to repot them.

What tops your houseplant wish list?

I would love a Sarracenia and some other carnivorous plants. I secretly hope my cats won’t eat them, & if so: that the plants bite back ;) 

(All photography courtesy of Igor & Judith. Learn more about Urban Jungle Bloggers here!) 

 

 

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Mother's Day Gift Guide

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Treat Mom: Insulated Reusable Water Bottle - S'well Bottle; Potted Plant* - The Sill; Printed Pajamas - Sleepy Jones; Mom Garland - Paper Source; Cook Book - Anthropologie; Monthly Beauty Subscription - Birchbox; Mom Charm - Kate Spade New York; Lavender Bundle - Williams-Sonoma; Wood Rolling Pin - Williams-Sonoma; Kokedama Ball* - The Sill; Jar Candle - Anthropologie

(*For national shipping, order by May 6th! Shop now.) 

 

 

 

 

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Enclosed Terrariums: Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration

Posted by The Sill on

A low-maintenance terrarium is a great way to add life to your space if you lack the free time or the green thumb necessary to care for a bounty of houseplants. Terrariums make it possible to grow things in places that aren't exactly conducive to growth, and can pretty much be self-sufficient aside from the occasional watering. If you have both - the time and the thumb - making a terrarium can be a great way to experiment with new plant varieties, or an outlet of endless possibilities for your creativity.

There are two general types of terrariums: open and enclosed. An open terrarium provides ample air circulation and lower levels of humidity. It is perfect for succulents and cacti. An enclosed terrarium, with a removable cover or lid, provides ample humidity and creates its own tiny ecosystem. The plants inside an enclosed terrarium release moisture, which condenses inside the vessel and trickles back into the soil. For an enclosed terrarium, choose varieties of plants that are compact and thrive in hight humidity, for example ferns and mosses. 

To coincide with the launch of Terrarium Plant Collects - (Shop The Sill Nationwide) - we're sharing our top terrarium tips for enclosed terrariums, and some inspiration to get your hands dirty, below. 

P.S. A handmade terrarium makes for a great gift for Mom for Mother's Day! 

How-To Plant A Terrarium General Steps + Tips

  • Pick slow-growing plants that require less trimming and are less likely to outgrow the container quickly 
  • If you're mixing plant varieties, choose plants that thrive in similar environments - i.e. prefer a similar amount of sunlight, humidity level, and watering schedule 
  • For your terrarium, choose a clean, clear container with a large bottleneck or removable top. We recommend choosing something made of glass. On a budget? A mason jar with removable lid is an easy pick. 
  • Before adding potting soil to your terrarium, layer a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom to create drainage. We'd recommend using lava rocks, followed by a thin layer of charcoal - but a mix of gravel, rocks, and sand works, too. Anything that creates crevices for water to trickle down into. 
  • Add potting soil and lightly press down to remove any air pockets. 
  • Arrange your plants inside. Make sure to not overcrowd the space - you want to leave room for new growth. 
  • Once the plants are securely potted, use a paintbrush to remove any excess soil from the sides of the container or the leaves of your plants. 
  • Make sure to place your terrarium in a spot that receives indirect light! A couple hours of full sun can easily fry the contents inside. 
  • When watering, try your best to add water directly at the base of the plants - not pour it on top of them. 
  • Make sure not to overwater your terrarium! An enclosed terrarium can be watered about once about every two to three weeks, or even less. Keep humidity levels high by misting weekly. 
  • Let your enclosed terrarium breath every week or two by taking off the lid or keeping it ajar for a few days 
  • If you see any dead or dying foliage inside, remove it immediately. 
  • Not sure where to start? Our set of 6 Terrarium Plant Collections are now available nationwide! See our Colorful Terrarium Plant Collection, our Tall Terrarium Plant Collection, and our Short Terrarium Plant Collection -- all perfectly suited for terrariums. 

A little inspiration… via Pinterest (follow us here

  

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