One Fern Day

I recently joined a group of fellow designing writers at West Elm to get a planting and terrarium-making workshop directed by designer Shane Powers, famous for his work since the design and decorating editor for Blueprint and Martha Stewart Living. Powers, who has developed products for brands such as Martha by Mail, collaborated with West Elm to make a collection of garden-vessel designs comprising his love for simple, organic forms.

Woodland-style terrariums are everywhere, so it was refreshing to see how Powers used succulents, cacti and sand to produce terrariums and other plantings with a sudden twist. These design tips out of his workshop will get you started producing unusual indoor gardens of your own.

West Elm

Powers started by adding maidenhair ferns to one of those ceramic vessels out of his West Elm collection. First he included a foundation of soil, then a layer of activated charcoal (the same substance used in aquariums). Then he nestled the ferns .

West Elm

Shane Powers Ceramic Wall Planters – $19

To plant an orchid in a ceramic boat, utilize orchid mix (a mixture of tree bark and charcoal). The origins should be green — remove any white or yellow ones. Orchids must be watered every 12 to 14 days.

Powers’ design suggestion for your orchids: Remove the plastic ties that often arrive with orchids and replace them together with twine.

Powers gave these ceramic containers a rounded, soft form — instead of an angular contour — because they’re intended to stand out from a wall socket.

West Elm

Powers also demonstrated how to make a terrarium in a fishbowl with succulents and different colours of sand:

1. Add a layer of grey sand (available at blossom markets) towards the base of the container)

2. Nestle succulents and cacti from the sand. You may leave them in their containers should you like.

3. Add a layer of smooth black stones.

4. Top with a layer of brick-color sand.

5. Clean sand the leaves off with a soft paintbrush.

West Elm

To earn a terrarium inside this glass boat, Powers started with an inch of gravel. Then he added a thin layer of charcoal and a few succulents (now taking away the plastic pots and loosening the origins ) inside the terrarium. He included dirt round the plants utilizing a skillet, to safeguard the glass and his palms.

West Elm

This fishbowl in the collection holds a delicate fern in a little pot.

Care suggestion: Avoid overwatering or pouring water directly on terrarium plants. Water ferns in a fishbowl vessel every 7 to 10 days, with a turkey baster or dropper to prevent spills. Check the moisture level of the ground by sticking your finger in the sand.

For succulents in a glass terrarium, Powers suggests waiting a month between waterings.

West Elm

Air plants do not need dirt, so that they can float anywhere in dirt-free glass vessels. Powers made these handblown containers to permit air circulation for those plants.

West Elm

To warm water air plants, just put them in a bowl of water.

Inform us: Are you currently growing ferns, succulents, orchids or air plants at home? Please share your design from the Comments section.

Dirt Optional — Beautiful Air Plants

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