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Choosing the Right Plant to Compliment Your Arrangement

Our Operculicarya decaryi is out of dormancy so it was a good time to accent the base of the tree to compliment the foliage.

Our original plan was to pair it with some Sedum Spurium ‘Tricolor’ but because this area only got half day sun, the sedum would loose it’s reddish tone, as demonstrated in the second image.

Combining two plants with similar foliage size and color would ultimately cause the two plants to compete with one another. Choosing plants with unique differences will lead to a contrasting yet complimentary arrangement, providing each plant with individual attention.

This is what lead us to opt for something with larger foliage and provide more color contrast. This Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ has a vibrant purple color and large petals. On the color wheel, the two colors are complimentary. Combining them ultimately makes this arrangement more visually interesting and pleasing to the eyes.

Hope you guys like it! Enjoy and have a great day! 💚

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Easy DIY Hilariously Funny Dandelion Halloween Costume

Hi Everyone! Halloween is right around the corner and it will be here before you know it! This is why we’d like to get you a head start on some easy DIY hilariously funny Dandelion Halloween costume ideas.

We shared a video on our Melisse & Co. YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe for more creative DIY, Home and Garden Inspiration.

Supplies

  1. Styrofoam Ball 
  2. Plastic Straws
  3. Brown Floral Tape
  4. Jumbo Cotton Balls
  5. 1 Yd Brown Fabric
  6. Green Maxi Dress
  7. Sharpie Brush Tip Permanent Marker

We have included a 5×8 BLOW ME Graphic Template for your convenience. Make sure to print it on card stock paper or any type of thick paper for rigidity when tracing. ENJOY!

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Tips for Treating Mealybugs on Plants

Hi Everyone! Today we’d like to cover some tips on how to treat your plants for mealy bugs. There are various approaches that people take. This method in particular has been found to be most effective for us.

Here, we have an Aloe Hercules that has been compromised. It has suffered from root rot and therefore has become weak and more susceptible to infection. We pulled it out of the ground to try to disinfect, clean and re-root it.

In efforts to clear this plant of Mealy bugs, we simply use a brush to clean the infected areas off with alcohol. Using a soft brush allows the bristles to get into small creases and spread alcohol into hard to reach areas.

Being as thorough as possible we work in between the leaf folds and the creases where the leaves grow from the trunk. After brushing off all the infected areas, we let it sit for about 10 minutes before we hose the alcohol off.

We then allowed the plant to dry in the sun for a day before re-rooting it.

Hope you found this information to be useful! Don’t panic the next time you have a mealy bug infestation because remember! You are in control.

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Tips for Creating Interesting Vignettes

When it comes to styling a space, it can at times be overwhelming and challenging. The best way to start is prioritize the main pieces that you would like to see in the room and then style to compliment those main pieces.

Here, we chose to work around a piece of geometric art that resembles a Japanese screen door. All these items were added with that piece in mind.

Vignettes are intended to tell a story or inspire an idea. Adding variety (books, plants, vases, figurines, candle, etc.,) to a vignette gives a sense of depth to the story and having all the pieces work aesthetically is also a major goal.

For example, The furniture book was chosen not only because of my background, but it pulls in the color red from our entry doors and art piece to make the ensemble complete. These pieces are combined to share a traditional cultured story. Hope you guys like it! Enjoy!

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Phalaenopsis Orchid Repotting Tips

One of the common mistakes that people make with their Phalaenopsis Orchids is they tend to overwater them. If you are one of those people who love your plants to death, below are a few tips to keep your orchid happy and keep you feeling satisfied.

Orchids are Very Prone to Crown Rot

When potting your Phalaenopsis, make sure to keep the potting medium about 1/4″ below the crown. This will ensure that the crown stays dry after being watered. Any moisture that stays on the crown will cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually lead to crown rot.

The roots on Phalaenopsis Orchids have a stiff core that will bring water and nutrients up to the plant. This stiff core is covered by the outer part of the root that stores water, keeping the root hydrated and happy. A good rule of thumb for inspecting root health is check whether it is plump and green or turning grey. If it is turning grey, this means that it could use a gush of water.

Another way to keep the crown from rotting is to water it from below. To do this, simply fill a bowl of lukewarm water about 3″ up. Place the orchid in the bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes or until the roots look plump and green.

Take the opportunity to fertilize it when it is being watered in this fashion. This will ensure that the roots take up ample nutrition and store it for a good amount of time.

Why Planting Phalaenopsis Orchids in sphagnum moss can be a bad idea.

You are probably thinking tight and breathable are contradictory concepts. Allow us to demonstrate how this can be achieved to keep these beautiful plants happy

Commercially, Phalaenopsis Orchids are mostly potted in sphagnum moss. One of the reasons this is done is to minimize the amount to attention given to the plant. This allows stores enough time to turn over plants to consumers without having to water it often or at all. Sphagnum moss will keep the orchids hydrated for a substantial amount of time with little or no additional maintenance.

A major downside to potting Phalaenopsis Orchids in sphagnum moss is when these plants are brought home, people underestimate how little water this plant actually requires. This leads to over-watering and inevitably to root rot.

Another downside to potting Phalaenopsis Orchids in sphagnum moss is that sphagnum moss, when continuously moist can host algae and other bacteria. This will ultimately contaminate the roots and the entire plant.

Phalaenopsis Orchids Roots Like an environment that is Moist, Tight and breathable.

You are probably thinking tight and breathable are contradictory concepts. Allow us to demonstrate how this can be achieved to keep these beautiful plants happy

Medium bark and/or coco coir are great potting medium for Phalaenopsis Orchids. Both these elements retain enough moisture to keep the roots happy while allowing them to breath. The roots like to be packed in tight, allowing them to access the readily available moisture in the potting medium.

What do Phalaenopsis Orchids Like to be Potted In?

Phalaenopsis Orchids like to be exposed to air and sunlight. The roots photosynthesize sun energy and enjoy a breathable environment. Any type of container that allows air and sun to enter are ideal potting conditions for Phalaenopsis Orchids. Clear Containers with holes, Bamboo planters, Terra Cotta planter with holes make great choices for these beautiful orchids

What lighting conditions are ideal for Phalaenopsis Orchids?

Phalaenopsis Orchids will burn in mid afternoon direct sunlight. Phalaenopsis Orchids ideally like some light morning sun, typically before 11am if you are from California. Phalaenopsis Orchids can tolerate bright areas with no direct sun but they will be much happier in an area with some light sun.

How much and how often should I fertilize my Phalaenopsis Orchids?

Phalaenopsis Orchids like being fertilized regularly. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize them with a diluted (add twice the amount of recommended water) solution once every two weeks or once a month. If soaking them from underneath for a short time, once a month is sufficient.

We hope you give these tips a try as they have proven to give us much success with growth and re-bloom. Message us on Instagram with any questions you may have. Good Luck and Enjoy!

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How to Change the Color on your Hydrangeas

Use a soil test kit to determine the current pH levels of your soil. This may seem complicated, but it is actually a pretty simple process. All soil has a pH value which measures the acidity or alkalinity. The pH scale is from 0 to 14; 7 is neutral. Soil pH values of less than 7 indicate degrees of acidity. Soil pH values greater than 7 indicate degrees of alkalinity.

Determine whether you would like your hydrangea blooms to be pink, purple, blue or a combination of blue and pink. Then adjust the pH of your soil from it’s current pH level to reflect the respective color you would like. A good rule of thumb to follow is the more acidic, the darker the flower. For your convenience, below is a list of hydrangea bloom colors and the pH levels to achieve those colors.

  1. Blue flowers – pH 5.5 or lower
  2. Pink flowers – pH 6.5 or Higher
  3. Purple or a mix of blue and pink flowers on the same plant – pH 5.5 and pH 6.5

Note: Only the flowers of bigleaf (Hydrangea macrophylla), also known as mopheads and lacecaps, can change color. Other types such as oakleaf hydrangeas or hydrangeas ‘Annabelle’ only bloom in white or cream.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

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Create Ambiance with Lighting Design

In design school, we are taught the technicalities of lighting applications. The challenge is to tap into one’s creativity to create a space that speaks to the heart and the soul.

We recently had a leak in our kitchen, as a result, we were force to repair the damages and decided do some upgrades in the process. We have a long term vision for our kitchen but are not ready to pursue it at this time so we decided to keep the project short and get our kitchen back in working order.

Some of our upgrades were made with our long term goals in mind. We ultimately would like to add the vintage La Cornue stove. So, the faucet and sink design were chosen to compliment this stove. The light fixture was purchased a few years back to tie into our overall kitchen vision as well.

The Chesterfield faucet from Newport Brass along with the Lancaster Single Bowl Sink from Shaws of Darwen both share a french vintage style that is seen in the La Cornue stove. The light fixure shares somewhat of a french vintage with an oriental flare. Since our home is an eclectic mix of western and eastern design. We found this fixture to be a perfect fit for not only the kitchen space but also to tie in with the rest of our home.

In terms of lighting, the overall goal was to create a space that accommodates three occasions. We wanted lighting for simple tasks, full family activity and for calm and quiet romantic evenings. This light fixture is intended for the calm and quiet evenings. This light fixture reflects that romantic mood by projecting artistic dim light patterns onto the ceiling and around. Thus, further enhancing the ornate details of the medallion above. To further enhance the contrast of such ambient lighting, an unfrosted bulb is ideal. We opted for a frosted LED for a softer look and more energy efficient approach. This fixture is a perfect fit and ideal for candle lit evenings with a glass of wine and some soft lounge music.

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Top 5 Large Plants That Will Do Well Indoors

  1. Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig)
  2. Strelitzia Nicolai (Bird of Paradise)
  3. Rhapis Excelsa (Lady Palm)
  4. Howea Forsteriana (Kentia Palm)
  5. Dracena Fragrans (Corn Plant)

Above are a list of popular large houseplants that are relatively easy to care for indoors. These plants do not require too much sunlight to survive and are great accents to liven up any space in the house.

Although these plants can tolerate being in low light conditions, they do perform better with more sunlight. So, if possible put them near a window where they would receive a few hours of sun each day to keep them happy and healthy indoors.

Another great tip for keeping them happy and healthy indoors is to fertilize them regularly. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize them with general plant fertilizer once a month. If you see that your plant growth is declining, bring it outdoors where it would receive light early morning sun, fertilize it monthly and water it regularly until it bounces back and starts growing again.

One of the greatest things you can do is pay attention to your plants. There is always a subtle message in their changes. Being able to recognize these changes and making necessary adjustments is the key to being a successful plant parent.

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Tips on Restoring an Antique Chandelier

This fixture was first our first experience restoring a vintage chandelier. It was a great learning experience. We found this beautiful antique chandelier and remember thinking this is going to take some work! But took to the challenge because it had a lot of potential beauty.

The chandelier came with a dull luster and had lots of missing parts. It was missing arms, crystals, pins, hooks and some unforeseen necessary items. We remember thinking, what did we get ourselves into? But then assured ourselves that other people have done it, so it is possible.

We began scouring the internet for places that sold vintage chandelier parts. We really didn’t know where to start so we searched ‘chandelier parts’ online and started to study to each part individually to determine whether or not that is something we would need or could use to enhance the overall outcome. The picking process became really fun because this is when we got to use some creativity.

We purchased arms, French teardrop prisms, octagon crystals and brass pins to hang and connect the crystals. When we received the pins and crystals, we polished the crystals and began looping them into the brass arms. We got tap into our creativity to drape the crystals as long or as short and as much or as little as we liked. We wanted it to be look beautiful while maintaining good proportion and scale.

After a few crystal strands were in, the dull luster on the chandelier looked even more noticeable. So, we knew the fixture had to be polished before continuing. We researched brass polish and discovered Brasso! This stuff works great!

After polishing and hanging the crystals, We picked out a medallion. Taking into consideration the scale, proportion and structural details of the chandelier and dining space, we were able to find a medallion that fit just right. Finally, this work of art was ready to be hung up!

The chandelier and medallion was laid out and ready for installation. Then we noticed a hole in the center of the medallion and remember thinking, how is this hole going to be covered? We did some additional research. Our first approach was searching for the words medallion cover and chandelier cap and cover. After some digging we found that what we needed is a chandelier canopy! We measured the diameter of the opening and with design details in mind, we found the perfect chandelier canopy! Sometimes chandelier canopies don’t come with the ceiling canopy mounting hardware but fortunately, that was an easy fix. It is easily available at your local hardware store or online.

Now, everything is in place and our work of art is finally complete! It was a great learning experience and we became addicted. With that knowledge and some extra parts, we continued to scatter chandeliers anywhere we possibly could!

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How to Propagate Succulents Easily and Effortlessly

Succulents are one of the easiest plants to propagate. The method in which we found to be the easiest and most effortless is by breaking either the leaf or the stem off (as shown in this photo) We then sprinkled a light layer of soil (Just enough to barely cover it) over the ends, placed them in a planter by an irrigation under light sun. Within weeks, they will establish roots. Once the root system becomes a bit fuller, it’s time to transplant them in loose well draining soil. Now you have yourself some new plants!

Without irrigation, make sure to keep the soil lightly moist buy misting or light showers and it will also root!

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Revealing the Beauty of Vintage Treasures

Tarnished brass can make lovely vintage pieces look old and dingy. This is why it’s important to always keep supplies around that will restore your brass to its original gleam. However, how you clean your metal depends on whether it’s lacquered or not. The best way to polish brass that’s lacquered is to simply wipe it with a soft, damp cloth — do not use any kind of household cleaner. If it’s non-lacquered, using a good brass polish is recommended.

We found this beautiful side table that someone was ready to toss out. We saw the potential in it’s beauty and decided to rescue it. With a little diligence and some good brass polish, we got it to shine through and reveal it’s true beauty! This beautiful side table is so beautiful, it is definitely a keeper!

Resources & References:

  1. Brasso Brass Polish
  2. More Brass Cleaning Tips

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Tips for Starting Dahlia Bulbs (Above: Our very own Dinnerplate Dahlia ‘Arthur Hambley’)

  1. Select an area with full sun and regular irrigation.
  2. Dig a hole approximately 12″ wide and 6″ deep.
  3. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to ensure good drainage.
  4. Place tubers in and top with about 2″ of loose potting soil.
  5. If you have slugs in the garden, sprinkle slug bait over the soil and water thoroughly.
  6. As soon as new growth emerges, fertilize with a phosphorous rich fertilizer solution to encourage blooming. Continue to fertilize every month until you see flower buds emerging.
  7. As the plant grows a bit larger, fill the rest of the hole with loose soil to keep moisture in.

Note: Planting it shallow under 2″ of soil exposes the tubers to both heat and water. Thus encouraging the tubers to start up and sprout. Once is is a bit more established, covering the rest of the hole will keep moisture in and keep the plant healthy and hydrated. This process has been a success for us! Give it a try! Good luck and enjoy your blooms!

For details about fertilizer content detials feel free to reference our Fertilizer Content Article to get a more in depth details about Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium in fertilizer.

Dinnerplate Dahlias can be found from a number of vendors. We purchased some of ours at Eden Brothers and some at our local nursery.

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Above: (Our very own) Cussonia Paniculata

Transform your Planter from Modern to Traditional

This planter was selected because we felt it made a great pairing with the Cussonia Paniculata. From a design standpoint, the legs and the overall shape complimented the plant in that they both share a common theme: Movement. The nice thing is that the legs did not have too much movement that it would take away from the ruffled effect of the foliage. Thus, working well together.

The color of the planter was also complimentary to the plant. It has a slate gray tone, further complimenting the tone of the plant’s leaves. This planter is a perfect match for this plant. However, there was one thing that was slightly off.

The finish of the planter legs had somewhat of a Butternut tone, while the space where it would be displayed is a more traditional designed space. To give this planter a more traditional look, we went from a Butternut tone to a Walnut tone. By staining the legs a rich darker tone, it added warmth and an aged feel to the overall appearance of the planter. This project was a success and looks beautiful in our traditional styled space!

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What Does the 13-13-13 Mean on Fertilizer?

The first number on fertilizer content labels represents Nitrogen. The second number represents Phosphorus. Lastly, the third number represents Potassium. [Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium] These 3 numbers allow you to aide your plant in the right direction to help it thrive.

Nitrogen is the element that helps plants to grow by facilitating in the formation of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll allows plants to absorb energy from light. Next comes Phosphorus; Phosphorus in responsible for stimulating plant growth and development of the plant and roots. It also helps with the development of blooms. Last but not least is Potassium. This element helps plants survive drought and other stressors that affect proper grown. When a well nourished plant endures some stress, it is more likely to bounce back with enough Potassium to help it revive.

Understanding the essential roles of each of these numbers and the element that they represent allows you more control over the success of your plants’ survival and growth. Happy gardening and thank you for visiting our page. Enjoy!

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How to Care for a Cactus Epiphyllum (Orchid Cactus)

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Above: (Our very own) Cactus Epiphyllum ‘Pink Padre’

Cactus Epiphyllum make great hanging plants or hoisted up a bit off the ground, allowing them to drape down making them cover more area to show off their blooms. Their jointed stems that grow 18 to 30 inches long is therefore allowed room to grow and drape over. The pendant stems crown with spectacular flowers that last only a couple of days but produce from early winter through spring. They flower best when exposed to cool temperatures and shortened light periods.

Epiphyllum Cactus are a bit fussy with watering. They like to get close to drying but do not allow them to dry out. Depending on your location whether it is a dryer climate or a wet climate, a good rule of thumb is water approximately every 5 days. They are native to tropical Central and South America and span to approximately 20 species. These cacti grow in tropical forests, nestled in tree crotches and rotting vegetation. This gives us a glimpse of their ideal growing conditions. They enjoy early morning sun or light afternoon sun. When exposed to too much sun, they will begin to turn brown and lose their natural green tone. These plants love well draining soil and fertilize monthly with a light does of a general fertilizer. With the proper care, they will reward you with beautiful blooms for you to enjoy!

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