D.I.Y. Design: Kalanchoe and friends

Today marks the start of our D.I.Y. Design series. Three plants chosen by one of our Garden Spot designers that will complement each other in the garden or in a container. A lot of design is about creating areas of interest. We make it simple, with a collection of plants that lend a diversity of color and texture to your space.

Our first Design Pick is by Nancy. She’s chosen three houseplants that will look smashing planted together, or grouped in separate containers.


Her first pick is kalanchoe. An under appreciated workhorse in the home greenscape. Nancy loves that they bloom intensely for a long period, and since they’re inexpensive, they’re easy to replace once they’ve petered out a bit.


Her second pick is a variegated ivy. The key to growing ivy indoors Nancy says, is to give it a good shower once a month to keep the leaves free of dust. This will prevent spider mites. Also, keep them well fed with a quality fertilizer such as Daniel’s Plant Food.


Her last pick is a Pteris fern from the polypodiaceae family. They are easy care ferns and you don’t have to worry about them drying up as much!

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One note on watering… Kalanchoe generally take less water than ivy and Pteris ferns. With that in mind, if you do want them in one container, you can keep them in their separate pots and cluster them in a larger container with moss on top, as in the picture above. Or you can plant them together and think of this combo as a ‘living bouquet’ and just enjoy them as long as they last!


National Indoor Plant Week and a Farm Tour

Happy Monday Friends! We have a few pictures for you from last Saturday’s Whatcom County Farm Tour organized by Sustainable Connections.


What a great event! We feel like we learned so much about farming in Whatcom County and our neighbors. We even met a couple of lambs from the ancient ‘Soay’ breed of sheep that were originally brought to the northern British isles by Vikings according to farmer Nancy Hibbing of Acme Farm. (Find Nancy’s products at Farmer Ben’s)


We also got a chance to tour the new distillery at Bellewood Acres, and met the charming Laura in the tasting room and passionate distiller, Jesse. We sampled apple-flavored vodka, a brandy and even some gin (which was our favorite). Jesse, who comes from a family of home brewers, says that in the future they may even venture into whiskey.  “It’s really a labor of love” he told us.


Well friends, this week is National Indoor Plant Week and we’ve got a few tips for those of you new to houseplants from the Garden Spot crew.

#1- Water is good, too much water is a whole other matter

All houseplants have different watering requirements. What works for a jade, may not work for an ivy. Nevertheless, err on the side of caution when it comes to watering your houseplants. What many people don’t realize is that houseplants more often die from overwatering than underwatering.

#2- Consistency

That said, many times in our busy lives it’s easy to forget our houseplants for weeks on end. Resulting in a watering schedule that looks like this…water, water, water, no water for weeks, tons of water! While this can work for certain plants, it’s best to keep to a schedule if you can. Add reminders to your phone, or even put up notes around the house.

#3- Plants need food too!

So you’ve planted your houseplant in fresh soil and you’re watering it on a schedule. Well guess what? Many houseplants will perform better with a little liquid encouragement. If you’ve got an african violet or a kalanchoe, try a bloom-boosting fertilizer to encourage flowering. For leafy houseplants, an even-numbered fertilizer is best. Keep in mind that in the winter, for many houseplants you will want to hold back a bit on the fertilizer.


As always, drop by or give us a call with any questions you may have. We love to talk houseplants and have a whole array of indoor beauties to brighten your home or office. We can also help with design advice. Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration on arranging houseplants in your home.

What do you think of the weather today? All of this rain is bound to be good for our gardens. And maybe for us as well. How about you, did you need a little watering?

Have a wonderful week, from all of us at the Garden Spot!