First Show-Because we don’t have snow here in Florida.

Ok, this post doesn’t really have anything to do with the weather, but we came across a lot of questions during our first show over the Black Friday weekend.

So, for the most part we found that our snowbirds down for the winter had a lot of questions about air plants (apparently they are better known as air ferns up north). We’d like to take a little space to let people know just how easy it is to enjoy air plants, no matter where you are.

So the most wonderful thing about air plants is that they don’t need dirt. This means they’re not banned from the office like many other plants (no dirt=no bugs). It makes them the perfect gift for coworkers, bosses, and other peers in professional settings for the holiday season.

While we explained that air plants need more than air, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or energy to care for them. As long as they get bright light without direct sun and water, they are good to go. They even do well with fluorescent lighting. As far as water, some our pieces are misted or sprayed every other day and others can be submerged for 20-30 minutes twice a week. With the dozens of pieces we have and the small nursery, it only takes me about 10 minutes to care for the many we have.

That brings us to why they are our favorites. Without the need for soil, they can be mounted on nearly anything and almost anything is fair game for holding them. Now, you see all kinds of globes and terrariums for air plants, but don’t forget they need air circulation too. In fact, we’ve gotten loyal patrons by fielding questions and advising them on prior purchases from other sellers that were not thriving or even dying.

So, that’s the lowdown on these wonderful plants and why they make great gifts for anyone, especially all those “green” friends and family.

So comment, send an email, or visit us on Etsy to see what we’ve done with these marvelous plants and enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Find us on Facebook and “Like” us…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Art-by-TandA/112701265493130

Visit our Etsy Shop for holiday shopping…

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLivingArt

Advertisements
Posted in Life Around the Yard | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capitata Select Air Plant

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Just a quick post to add photos, one of my Capitata Selects is blooming. I wonder how long it will be before it pups. Here’s the pics even though one of the flowers is already spent apparently. The link to … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tillandsia Recurvata

If you live in the South, you’ve seen this air plant all around. Balls of gray-green stuck like gum to the trees, ranging from golf ball size to soccer ball size based on the age of the cluster. You may or may not like the aesthetics, but understand that these little bundles of plants are not harming their host. As an epiphyte, recurvata take their nutrients from the air and water around them, not the tree. They’re just hanging on. Even blooming their lovely lavender flowers, they can be easy to miss. I know I did for years, actually all my life as a Floridian.

Most prolific to Florida and Texas and ranging across the southern U.S. to include Louisiana and Arizona and Mexico, populations are critical in New Mexico and Georgia[1]. Attempts to cultivate it in Georgia and South Carolina have had limited effect, primarily because it is extremely cold sensitive.

Now I have found numerous photos of ball moss, (just type “air plants” and “recurvata”) and you’re sure to be able to find some yourself.

I’m not quite up on copyright law on the internet and I have such a large population right here in my own yard, I decided I will do my own photography.Let’s just hope my camera is up to the job. One of my pet projects will be to document the life cycle of this wondrous plant here as well. See, not only do they form pups (which gives them their shape), but they spread by winded seed and the droppings of birds on the tree limbs. They begin so tiny, you can barely see them in the bark of the oak. I’ll probably set up a video of photos on our YouTube channel since we had some success with the making of the Etsy Store Showcase Video.

Researching for this article I also found some pretty amazing tidbits about this plant. This wonder plant apparently may help the fight with cancer as well. In 2007, a Dr. Henry Lowe of Jamaica applied for a patent[2] for an extract of recurvata, which has been shown to be effective in cancer cell death. Since then, he’s gone on to develop an anti-cancer drug for prostate cancer. [3]

[1] NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. (Accessed: August 20,2011). http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabular_report.wmt&loadTemplate=species_RptComprehensive.wmt&selectedReport=RptComprehensive.wmt&summaryView=tabular_report.wmt&elKey=139712&paging=home&save=true&startIndex=1&nextStartIndex=1&reset=false&offPageSelectedElKey=139712&offPageSelectedElType=species&offPageYesNo=true&post_processes=&radiobutton=radiobutton&selectedIndexes=139712

2US Patent and Trademark Office. 2007. (Accessed: August 20,2011). http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=lowe-henry.IN.&OS=in/lowe-henry&RS=IN/lowe-henry

[3] Green Antilles. 2010, December 3. Jamaican scientist formulates prostate cancer drug using native plant. Online Accessed August 20, 2011. http://www.greenantilles.com/2010/12/03/jamaican-scientist-formulates-prostate-cancer-drug-using-native-plant/


 

 

Posted in Air Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Air Plant Adventure

Oh, what fun it is to ride...all the way to the tillandsia grower. Now, when we go, its a day trip and we have a lot of fun. Actually, the search and acquisition of materials for our art and our garden are the best times.

Now I don’t know that I’d like to have an operation of this size myself, but what I wouldn’t give to have just one of his “greenhouses”. The funny thing is, when we get there our list goes right out the window once we walk into the first area and our eyes flit everywhere looking at all the different plants as far as we can see.

The owner recognizes us from our last visit (was that really last month?) and asks us if we need an escort. We assure him we’re fine but ask him for a quick rundown on what is and is not available. He takes us through the house pointing out the tables that hold the plants he will not sell and he tells us why too. Some are extremely rare and will probably never be available for sale. Some are “pupping” and some are for other orders.

We are captivated-there are new varieties here today that were not here last month. We are disappointed-a couple of the ones we really wanted to get are not available right now. If we had known, we would’ve bought 5 or 6 more of the Xerographicas last month when he had hundreds. There are none of that size here today, only babies. That’s ok too, we got some babies and I’ll be able to document their growth. Apparently, they are already 2 years old.

We end up getting a lot more plants than we intended-mostly new and even found that our grower actually has some varieties we thought we’d only be able to get in California. We got some more Funkiana and Filifolia, some Fasiculatas and Streptopyllas, as well as some Ionantha Peach, and Ionantha Peanut (crazy little balls of beauty). So 8 new varieties plus 28 re-stocks equals another 43 plants, yay! I’m a mother dozens of times over.

Getting them home, I feel like the little old woman that lived in the shoe with all these new babies to find beds for. Definitely have to make another air plant bed for the new additions as things are getting a little crowded. Plus, there are four more art projects in the works now that we hope to complete and put on the store this weekend.

As I learn more and find more resources, I’ll be sure to share them here with you. Now, my latest project should be dry enough to mount my little Argentea. He is one of my new favorites because he looks like a little fuzzball and I’ve always had a thing for fuzzy things.

 

Posted in Air Plants | Leave a comment

Air Plants All Around

Today is the first day I’ll be able to go outside since it has stormed the last 2 days. Need to finish a couple of ongoing projects and get them up on our Etsy store.
I also have a couple ideas I want to try with some air plants around the house.

But really, I just want to walk around the yard snapping pics of our most prolific Florida air plants, the tillandsia recurvata, or ball moss; though it’s not a moss at all. Very common, I never really thought about them as anything other than some wild plant around the yard (and they are wild).

Big bunch with several buds.

Having acquired quite a collection now of different air plants and succulents, I see that my native air plants are quite unlike many that you commonly see online. Now that it has stopped raining, there will be literally hundreds, if not thousands, of these recurvatas blooming with their delicate lavender flowers as far as the eye can see around here.

Oh, that reminds me…I should put some photos up here just in case someone wants to see the yard I’m talking about or the projects I’m working on. So that’s next….be back soon with some pics.

The Yard

Top of Driveway

To exit

Going down

Swing

Playground

I’m going to start a series showing the life cycle of these recurvatas as well, so look for that coming soon.

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Air Plants-Growing Trend

There seems to be a growing trend in the gardening world (haha), the increasing popularity of air plants. Whether designing for small interiors, busy lives, or special occasions, tillandsias (air plants) are riding a wave that’s sure to continue for a long while due to their versatility, ease of care, and unique beauty.

The Google search for “air plants” racked up 20, 100,00 (yep, 20.1 million), “tillandsia” netted 1, 100,000, and “ionantha” (a specific type) came in at 227,000. I’m sure other popular types have much larger results, but that is not the purpose of this article. My search on Etsy using “air plants” resulted in 955 items at the time of this writing. (Several are mine as a matter of fact!)

I saw air plants in 2 different Better Homes and Garden magazines yesterday at the dentist’s office and on Hell’s Kitchen last night.

No, this article just points out some resources I’ve found for readers who like to stay up with the latest in home decor, natural design, and going green. I admit, I’m new to this blogging thing, but I will catch on. I found some great sources and if you know of others, post them in a comment. (Well, when I figure out comments, sigh.)

Posted in Air Plants, Life Around the Yard | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment