The trend of “set-abouts”
By the time April rolls around we are ready for some spring, soil and nature. It’s time to enjoy gardening again. It’s only natural our patience has “gone to pot.” April is the perfect month to practice your container gardening skills. Pots give us the chance to get our hands dirty and plant something. If a frosty night tries to spoil our garden party we can move the pots under cover. This gives us a chance to get a jump on the season. What plants do I use to get that kick in the plants? I would recommend considering the following in containers for the early spring season:
• Frost tolerant Pansies
• Herbs (mixed planters)
• Vegetable plants, understanding if the nights get frosty they will have to be rolled inside or covered. Generally our last frost date is not until May. Some vegetables like broccoli can handle a light frost. (Plants in the Brassica family known as Cole Crops)
Pansies are great for cool season containers!
When it comes to containers succulents are the perfect adaptable plant for indoors or out. With great variety and interesting texture it is no wonder succulents are a very popular trendy plant right now. Recently I went to the dollar store to buy some soup ladles. I planted Succulents and Tillandsia in the ladles and posted this picture in social media.
Succulent and Tillandsia Soup Ladles
I was amazed at the response and shares the post received! I call it the trend of “set-abouts”. Plants in a variety of containers used to brighten our corner of the world both inside and out. Recently attending a show in Florida I snapped these pictures of succulent “set-abouts” that took the idea to the extreme. It points out however that container plantings come in all forms limited only by your creativity.
Another means of “set-about” is to purchase early season plants at the garden center and “baby sit” them for a few weeks indoors. This can also be done with seed starting in containers. On nice days when the air is calm they can be set out to begin “hardening off” to the great outdoors. Come May after you’ve had your early spring gardening fix, they will be ready to make it on their own outdoors.
As with all container planting remember to allow for growth, use a good quality potting soil, and provide for drainage out the bottom.
The idiom “cabin fever” perfectly describes that claustrophobic feeling we have after months indoors peering out the windows over the frozen tundra. We long for the color green and the aroma and feel of soil as the earthy canvas for renewal. I have read studies that claim soil has natural anti-depressant qualities and I be-”leaf” it.
I recently read the Garden Media Group Garden Trends report stating “Forest bathing” is the medicine of being in the forest and is today where yoga was 30 years ago. Research continues to tell us that time spent in nature reduces stress and increases well being. From the practice of using living plants to “soundscape” our landscapes (buffering noise) to the simple benefit of a shade tree providing a sunscreen equivalent to SPF 10, we instinctively understand the benefits of nature.
How about some spring time forest bathing?
I remember in the 70’s the houseplant and indoor foliage craze and that too has found a resurgence of sorts. Today two things drive the resurgence. One is the array of options for indoor plants from succulents to tillandsias, citrus to herbs and trendy foliage like fiddle leaf figs. The second thing driving the resurgence is the tech savvy Millennials (18-34). Five million of the six million ‘new’ gardeners last year were 18-34 year olds, according to the 2016 National Gardening Report. These tech savvy millennials will “naturally” make gardening a 365 day-a-year activity via indoor lighting, apps, lifestyle and indoor growing techniques. This attitude carries over to the workplace where ROI is replaced by ROV (return on value) understanding that plants create happier and healthier workers.
An understanding has “seeded” in the minds of Americans that finding joy in less is part of a downsizing trend to gardening in smaller spaces. Keeping what you need or love and what loves your garden and de-cluttering the rest. Creating boundaries and defining spaces.
Beat that cabin fever and get “wealthy” by adding some plants to your indoor living space and going for a forest bathing walk in the woods. March is a great month to “turn over a new leaf”.
February 18 and 19, 2017 proved to be an unusually warm weekend on the lake shore with temperatures flirting with the 60 degree mark. I shot these pictures of the lighthouse at Pere Marquette beach Muskegon Michigan to celebrate the early arrival of “Spring” one month removed of the “scheduled” calendar date!
Lake Michigan light house Pere Marquette sunset February 19, 2017
Sunset on the channel Pere Marquette Beach Muskegon Michigan February 19, 2017
Shoot for the stars! Beautiful sunset Pere Marquette beach channel February 18, 2017
Star of the show. Lighthouse takes center stage on the channel at Pere Marquette beach Saturday February 18, 2017
Here’s hoping the beautiful weather we enjoyed on Valentine’s day is sign of things to come! Hoping for an early spring 2017!
Sunrise February 14, 2017
Posted in Spring
Tagged rick, vuyst
With the popularity of textural and easy to grow Succulents and Tillandsias, creative means of enjoying them soon follows. I went to the dollar store and bought a couple soup ladles. I put these simple “set abouts” together on TV this morning. What a kick in the plants! Enjoying plants throughout the home and office as “set abouts” brightens our day in a way only plants can. You can do it don’t doubt it oh ye of “ladle” faith……
Succulent and Tillandsia Soup Ladles
Saw these creative and dramatic uses for succulents at the TPIE show in Fort Lauderdale last week from my friends at Costa Farms:
Rub a dub tub!
A hot idea for succulents!