The gorgeous weather we had on January 27th practically begged everyone to get outside and enjoy it, and it created the perfect setting for A Houseplant Event – our celebration of everything we love about houseplants. Judging by the number of people who came to share the afternoon with us – and the energy felt throughout the greenhouse – it’s obvious we’re not alone in our fascination with indoor plants and all the ways they benefit our surroundings.
Already as you entered the greenhouse, a crowd gathered to look at a new and unusual way to appreciate green things – Marimo moss balls. Creative coordinator Dana Howerter says Marimo moss balls are all over Instagram, and it’s easy to see why they’re so intriguing. Marimos aren’t really moss though – they’re actually solid spheres of algae that live on the bottom of cool lakes in places like Japan and Iceland. They’re green and soft, and in our homes, they’ll live submerged in any clear glass container filled with water. On the blog next week, we’ll take a closer look at these eye-catching orbs – they were certainly starting conversations and provided a perfect introduction to the rest of the event.
Continuing into the greenhouse, it was exciting to see all of our various houseplants enjoying attention from their own group of enthusiasts. Two young boys were fascinated by those weird little succulents in the genus Lithops – also called living stones – that look like pebbles lying on the ground. The Stromanthe cultivar ‘Triostar’ – which we visited in a previous post – found its way onto several carts, and one gentleman carried a beautiful prayer plant in his hands. And towering above everyone’s heads in the aisle was a six-foot mass cane Dracaena on a cart, making its way through the crowd and on its way home to add green life to the corner of an office or living room. Everywhere you looked, there were people lifting pots, admiring foliage, pointing out favorites, and conversing with each other and with our team about plants. It was so much fun. Greenhouse team member Jane Brady said the feeling throughout the store was light and happy, and people were excited to find new plants for their collections. What was especially rewarding for our team was helping so many people become plant parents for the very first time. Team member Erica Tirendi said one of her favorite interactions was with an eight-year-old boy who was so excited to take home a Venus flytrap. He asked dozens of questions about its exact requirements and care, all of which Erica carefully answered. Erica said she was sure after their conversation that this lucky plant may be the most cherished and well-tended Venus flytrap we’ve ever sent home.
At 1:30pm, well over one hundred fifty guests listened as Plant Care team member Woody Wood shared her best tips for growing and living with houseplants. With her enthusiasm and relaxed, conversational style, it’s clear that plants are more than a way to make a living for Woody – they’re a passion – and like so many on our team, she loves sharing that passion with others. Throughout her seminar, Woody introduced us to a number of different houseplants, told us about their unique personalities, what they like, how they grow, and shared her own personal stories about some of her favorites. Each plant had its chance in the spotlight, but Woody’s segment on ZZ plants must have been especially inspiring because after the seminar, many of those attending seemed to head straight over to our tables to grab a ZZ plant of their own. Woody said she was happy to see so many people like her – looking to escape their cabin fever and coming to talk about plants. And like Erica, Woody was also delighted to see several kids carrying around new plants of their own.
Of course, everything’s better with ice cream or coffee, and we had both, courtesy of Coneflower Creamery and Hardy Coffee Co. Fortified with one of these treats, several people tested their houseplant knowledge at the Plant ID booth for a chance to take home a new plant friend. The Potting Station was busy too. Angie Phillipp, from our Container Design team, answered questions, provided assistance, and doled out advice as several people took the opportunity to get their hands in the soil and transfer a new plant into a new container.
And congratulations to Vera Petersen whose photograph of a stunning Senecio rowleyanus – commonly called string-of-pearls – took first prize in our Houseplant Photo Contest on Instagram. On the blog next week, we’ll visit with Vera and find out more about her and the plants she cares for at home.
We hope you enjoyed A Houseplant Event as much as we enjoyed having you here. If one (or several) of our plant friends have found new homes with you, congratulations! Houseplants improve the spaces around us in so many ways. And if you have any questions about your new roommates, just give us a call – we’ll be glad to help.