The Sill

Fall Plant Care

Autumn is fast approaching in NYC and we couldn't be more excited. There is something nostalgic about fall. To celebrate, we're… 

1. Layering… bring on the sweater weather :)
2. Planning our Halloween costume (a little DIY inspiration)  
3. Sipping on anything pumpkin-flavored
4. Potting our miniature Fall Collection
5. Tweaking our plant care routine (get our top tips below!)


As the temperature starts to change outside, your plant care should change inside. Follow our top plant care tips for fall to keep your houseplants healthy and happy…. 


- If you moved any of your houseplants outside for the summer months, it's time to bring them back indoors before it gets too chilly. Keep in mind they might have picked up a few friends during their summer vacation, so check your plants carefully for pests before bringing them indoors. (Find expert tips for dealing with pests here.) 


- Like dust accumulates on your bookshelf, it also accumulates on the leaves and stems of your houseplants, clogging the porous surface and making it difficult for them to "breathe". Lightly dust your houseplants with a damp cloth every week or so. 


- Indoor humidity levels drop considerably as buildings fire up their heating systems. This can be devastating for your houseplants, considering most of them are tropical in origin. Try to mist your plants daily, or invest in a humidifier. And never place plants next to or on top of a heater. 


- The angle of the sun changes considerably with the season, so pay close attention as fall settles in. Some of your houseplants might require a new location to receive the same amount of sun as they did during the summer. Additionally, rotate your houseplants every week or two so they receive light on all sides. 


- Because plants growth rate is considerably slower in the winter, your plants won't require as much water as they did during the summer. You might find yourself watering half - or even two-thirds - less frequently. For example, that succulent might be thirsty once a month (instead of once a week). Nervous about under-watering? Follow your gut - or our guide.


Shopping and Potting at Darling Boutique

Join us for an evening of *shopping and potting* at the beloved West Village boutique Darling. Shop two floors of beautifully curated clothing and accessories -- all at 15% off -- then join The Sill team in the back garden to pot your very own houseplant while sipping on champagne.

Choose from a wide selection of our locally made ceramic planters and a variety of easy-care, apartment-friendly plants. Not sure what plant is right for your space? We'll help! Don't want to get your hands dirty? We'll pot! Planters start at $28 -- which includes a plant of your choice, potting materials, a helping hand, and care instructions. 


Shopping & Potting with The Sill
Wednesday, September 17th 
6pm - 8:30pm
1 Horatio Street 
(W 4th Street & 8th Avenue) 
New York, NY 10014

Green Leaf Giveaway Series: BRIKA

Round two of our giveaway series features our newest shopping obsession BRIKA -- a well-curated online marketplace with an emphasis on modern crafts and their creative makers. Through original storytelling and the celebration of building a beautiful life, the site bridges the gap between consumer and creator, offering unique products that are destined to become heirlooms. 

Not surprisingly, it was extremely difficult to pick just one piece for this week's giveaway. But when we spied New York maker Sonia Tay's black terrariums scarf, we knew it was a match made in greenhouse-heaven. Fortunately for you, the lovely ladies of BRIKA are kindly offering our readers 15% off their purchase all week! Simply use the code THESILL15 during checkout. 

To enter to win a beautiful black terrariums scarf, all you have to do is:

  1. Follow @TheSill on Instagram and Twitter
  2. Follow @ShopBrika on Instagram and Twitter 
  3. Retweet our contest on Twitter for 1 entry 
  4. Regram our contest on Instagram for 1 entry 

Questions? Feel free to shoot us an email at - and good luck!


In The Workplace: Green is Better than Lean

A University of Queensland study has found that a "green" office, or an office with plants, makes employees happier and boosts productivity by 15%. Additionally, plants in the office improve employee satisfaction and quality of life.

Over a two-month period, the research team examined the impact "lean" versus "green" office space has on employees from two large commercial offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands by monitoring employee productivity levels and surveying employees to determine their workplace satisfaction in multiple areas. According to the study, in all 3 field experiments conducted, enhanced outcomes were observed when offices were enriched with plants. 

"Employees were more satisfied with their workplace and reported increased concentration levels and better perceived air quality in an office with plants," said UQ's School of Psychology Professor Alex Haslam.

The findings challenge the modern notion that a "lean" office, or sparse workspace, is a more productive one. "…our findings question this widespread theory that less is more," Professor Haslam admits, "sometimes less is just less." 

Bottom line? Invest in your workspace - make it a more enjoyable, comfortable, and profitable place to be! 

The Relative Benefits of Green Versus Lean Office Space: Three Field Experiments.
Nieuwenhuis, Marlon; Knight, Craig; Postmes, Tom; Haslam, S. Alexander
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Jul 28 , 2014.



Hanging Plants and Planters

Let's face it - in a New York City apartment every square foot matters. Hanging your houseplants is a great way to bring the outdoors in without losing valuable living space.


Five Favorite Hanging Houseplants:

  1. Spider Plant 
  2. English Ivy 
  3. Bird's Nest Fern 
  4. Philodendron 
  5. Golden Pothos 

Tips for Hanging Plants: 

  • Wet soil can be heavy -- before you hang anything from your ceiling, make sure it can support the weight 
  • Choose a light-weight potting soil to reduce heaviness 
  • Make sure the soil is an inch or so below the lip of the planter -- this will help to reduce dripping when watering 
  • If your hanging pot has a drainage hole, attach a saucer to the bottom or take down to water to protect your floors and furniture 
  • Air near the ceiling tends to be warmer and drier than down below -- high hanging plants will need to be watered more often than floor and table plants 


How To: Terrariums

If you're feeling a little time-challenged, terrariums are a great way to add life to your space without the hassle of a watering schedule. Its own ecosystem, terrariums make it possible to grow things in places that aren't exactly conducive to growth. There are two types of terrariums and it is crucial you choose the correct plants for inside based on type: 
1. Open
An open terrarium provides ample air circulation and lower levels of humidity, than an enclosed vessel. Choose varieties of plants that prefer a drier environment. Open terrariums are the only type of terrariums we'd recommend for drought-tolerating succulents and cacti. 
2. Enclosed
An enclosed terrarium is water-tight, has a cover or lid, and functions by creating its own ecosystem. The plants inside release moisture, which condenses inside the vessel and trickles back into the soil. Choose varieties that are compact and thrive in humidity, for example ferns and mosses. We're big fans of the delicate looking asparagus fern (Asparagus setaceus). 

Find suggestions for terrarium plants based on light here

Images via Pinterest 

Our Top Terrarium Tips: 

  • Pick slow-growing plants that require less trimming and are less likely to outgrow the container quickly 
  • If you are mixing plants, choose varieties that thrive in the same environment -- i.e. prefer the same amount of light, humidity, and watering schedule 
  • Choose a clean, glass container with an opening that is big enough to squeeze your hand inside  
  • Before filling your terrarium with soil, place a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom of the terrarium followed by a thin layer of charcoal to create drainage 
  • Lightly press the potting soil down to remove air pockets 
  • When placing plants, do not overcrowd -- make sure to leave room for growth 
  • Use a paintbrush to remove any soil from the sides of the container or leaves of the plant 
  • Put your terrarium in indirect light -- full sun can fry the plants inside 
  • Water directly at the base of the plants 
  • Do not overwater -- an open terrarium can be watered once about every one to two weeks, while a closed terrarium can be watered once about every two to three weeks 
  • Let enclosed terrariums breath by opening the lid for half a day every two weeks or so 
  • If you see dead or dying plants, remove them immediately 
  • Rotate your terrarium so plants grow upward 


Looking for a little more inspiration? Check out 21 Ideas for DIY Terrariums on BuzzFeed


NYC Summer Series: Get Your Hands Dirty VII

Week of 8/18* 

If you have a spare night:
This week marks the annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, and this year's New York City-inspired line up includes team favorites like The Royal Tenenbaums and Ghostbusters. These classics will surely attract a crowd so arrive early - and don't forget a blanket and snacks.

If you have a spare hour:
Check out the Public Art Fund's recently revealed piece of art at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. The interactive outdoor sculpture, "Light Over Time", is the work of Los Angeles-based artist Sam Falls. On display until May 2015, the brightly colored mazes, benches, and chimes will change color and texture as guests interact and the elements change with the seasons.

If you have a spare minute:
Enter the second installment of our Green Leaf Giveaway Series, highlighting unique companies and tastemakers that inspire our team. This week features the stylish, reusable, and do-good S'well bottles! We'll be giving away one 17oz bottle from their new Wood collection. Learn more

(*The best part? They're all free!) 


Green Leaf Giveaway Series: S'well Bottle

Round two of our giveaway series features our new friends S'well Bottle -- a company that creates reusable bottles that not only look great but also do good. Made of non-toxic, non-leaching, and BPA free stainless steel, every bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Did we mention the bottles do not condensate? In addition to their mission to rid the world of plastic bottles, S'well aims to give back to those in need. They're proud partners of such organizations as WaterAid, American Forests, and Drink Up. 

We're giving away a 17oz burlwood* bottle from their new Wood Collection. For every bottle sold American Forests will plant one tree, helping in the preservation of forests around the country. 

To enter to win a wood bottle, all you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you like @TheSill on Instagram and Twitter
  2. Make sure you like @SwellBottle on Instagram and Twitter 
  3. Retweet our contest announcement on Twitter for 1 entry 
  4. Regram our contest announcement on Instagram for 1 entry 

Questions? Feel free to shoot us an email at - and good luck! 



*No trees were harmed in the making of these bottles. Their "wood" facade is hand painted. 


How To: Herb Window Box

Window box planters are a go-to for both frustrated urban gardeners and nervous beginners. If you lack the time, energy, spare space, or green thumb to maintain a large scale garden – you can still enjoy greenery in small yet striking ways with window boxes. Available in an endless amount of choices of color, texture, and size, you are sure to find one that is a perfect fit for your space.

Herbs are a popular choice for indoor window boxes because of their utility. We choose basil, which prefers full sun, but there’s a multitude of herbs out there that can thrive on a shadier sill. Make sure to choose the right herb based on your light. 

Our Top 5 Light Shade Picks: Mint, Chamomile, Thyme, Parsley, Cilantro
Our Top 5 Full Sun Picks: Basil, Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Chives

* Make sure to combine plants that need the same amount of light and water if you plan to plant more than one herb in a single box. Planting in a plastic liner instead of directly into the box makes changing plantings easy.


Our Top Tips for Window Box Planters:


-       Pick Your Potting Soil 

Choose a good quality, fast draining soil. For small potted plants, including smaller window boxes, we recommend Brooklyn Blend potting soil. This lightweight potting mix also makes moving around window boxes a bit easier.

-       Create Drainage

It is important to have a box with drainage. If your window box does not have drainage holes, layer the bottom with stone or gravel to create drainage. We like to use a mix of lava rocks and charcoal.

-       Leave Room For Growth  

Don’t cram plants in too tightly. Leave room for roots to breath and plants to grow.

-       Prune & Snip

Don’t be afraid to clip and cut. Regular pruning keeps plants in a restricted space healthy and happy. Herbs especially benefit from constant harvesting - pruned plants grow back more thickly and compactly. 



NYC Summer Series: Get Your Hands Dirty VI

Week of 8/11

If you have a spare weekend:
Travel back in time and visit Governors Island this weekend for the Jazz Age Lawn Party. There will be live music, an outdoor dance floor, summer cocktails, and a 1920s tasting menu. Finally a reason to break out that flapper dress that's been hanging in your closet.

If you have a spare night:
Have a meal at one of NYC's oldest restaurants - there's a reason some of these standbys have been around for over a hundred years. Yonah Schimmel Knishery, which has called the same storefront home since 1910, is one of our team's favorite lunch spots.

If you have a spare minute:
Check out this slender four-story home designed by Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa. Tucked away on a Tokyo street, the plant-filled oasis is a creative example of the utilization of small spaces. Fingers crossed its on Airbnb ;)