forcing spring a little early

Anybody out there NOT salivating for spring? New York got a tease Saturday a week ago, but that’s all. By Sunday it was chilly and cold again. Yet I wasn’t  to be thwarted. My Spring Green Thumb was twitching and I just HAD to dig in some dirt. Even if it meant getting dirty in the living room!

You might remember in my House Tour post that I mentioned the bedroom feeling a little “half-baked,” like this:

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The large window sill, about five feet long and two feet deep, had been neglected of late. Sometimes it has looked charming, like this:

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But I often like to rearrange things and nowadays the fountain is in the living room. And the terracotta pots seen here:

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looked a lot better with the bedroom’s formerly yellow walls than with the current bottom-of-the-ocean blue (otherwise known as Benjamin Moore’s Fiji).

My current apartment inspiration is a little Jonathan Adler: Bright, happy, fully of color. And what better way to bring some spring a little ahead of warm weather than with some bright happy pots and a few new house plants?  So here we go, yo!
I told you I’d be making a mess in the living room!

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A couple of little tips about planting:
1) NEVER use a pot or other container without drainage.  If you’re absolutely determined, at least fill the bottom with an inch or more of gravel or small stones.

2) Use a stone or piece of broken terracotta just atop the drainage hole. It will allow water to escape, but not flow straight from the top of the pot through to the bottom without pausing long enough to benefit the roots. It should look something like this:

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3) Pay attention to the type of soil your plant may prefer: sandy soil will keep the roots more dry, while more dense soil (with a higher clay content) will hold moisture longer.

4) Different plants may prefer to be “root bound,” a condition in which their roots wind around the outside of their soil up against the interior of the pot. Jade plants are an example. Other plants need plenty wiggle room for their roots.

5) This should be obvious, but read the care instructions on any plant before you buy it. A low-light plant such as a fern truly will burn in a south-facing window, while anything that needs bright sun will grow weak and spindly facing north. Simply Googling “good plants for dim light” or “good houseplants for bright light” will give you plenty of options.

So here’s what an afternoon of replanting yielded:

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It turns out I made three trips to the plant store. First to buy pots. Second for some sand to amend the soil for a huge Aloe Vera I replanted in the living room. And third because I decided my “half-baked” bedroom needed a couple of bright additions. All in all I’m very happy with the results. The flowering orange addition below is a traditional begonia, while the white flowering baby is an “eyelash begonia,” something I’ve never seen before, but I hope will thrive!

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So how about y’all? Anything springing up yet?

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