mercredi 25 mai 2011

Plant Sacks at Galeries Lafayette Maison

This was a lovely display in Galeries Lafayette Maison.  The plant sacks are a very unusual and cute way of making a moveable display as opposed to pots or containers.  I also loved the multicoloured wooden lanterns which would brighten up any outdoor space.

dimanche 22 mai 2011

DIY Living Wall (Mur Vegetal)

Ok, you've admired them from afar in shops, on shops, on new buildings, in restaurants, on TV, yes they are everywhere - Living Walls or mur vegetal are all the rage.  You've looked into the price and it's waaaay too high to ask a professional to come in and install one.  But you'd still like one?  Here are some ideas I've seen:-

This one is on sale at BHV on Rue Rivoli and is plastic so it would be fine outside.  The colour might be a little strident although it might look better once it was slightly weathered or dirty and the plants are hanging down covering the support.

This one is on sale at Alinea stores around Paris.  Each section is 45 Euros so it might be quite expensive to cover a large area.  I like the sombre colour better than the orange one although the cups that hold the plants are smaller than the one above and there is no gutter holding water below on the Alinea one.

This is a sort of hanging flower pot for inside.  The white would go well with a modern decor.

Voila!  You too can have a living wall.

Another DIY way of recreating a living wall is to cover an area of grill (a fence or a grill frame drilled to the wall) and hang lots and lots of flower pots to it using a special metal attachment on sale in most garden centres.  Then fill the pots with plants that drape or grow upwards so in the end, the impressin is that the wall is covered in greenery.  The great thing about this that it's not a disaster if one plant dies because they can be replaced individually and the pots can be changed around according to taste.

You can also do this by suspending a number of windowboxes together on a grill (we recently did this on a terrace I worked on and it looked great and was good because we wanted to keep the ground as free as possible, so suspending plants was a good solution).  Remember to use green or dark colours that don't clash with the support and that will blend in unnoticed behind the plants.  It is also nice to group types of plants together such as herbs or ferns for example.  This gives a nice effect.

And yet another living wall (mur vegetal)

Spotted these very nice living walls in the Steiner Shop in Domus at Rosny sous Bois.  Almost as nice as the furniture.....

dimanche 1 mai 2011

Jasmine (Jasminum)

Fresh from our holidays in Turkey, I wanted to add to my favourite plants postings.  I've already sung the praises of the winter jasmine that brightens up our front garden.  Now just imagine yourslelf walking past this magnificent hedge of pungent smelling jasmine, brushing against it, the sweet scent bathing your nostrils.  Mmmmmm.....

There are 200 or more species of jasmine from decidous (lose their leaves in the winter) to evergreen (keep their leaves all year round). Some are classed as shrubs, others as climbers and they often have frangrant flowers (and boy are they frangrant)..

Climbing jasmines will twine over any suitable support like a trellis, a pole, fence, a garden arch and so on.  They need something to twine around and will not normally attach suckers to the wall like ivy does.

Jasmines can be fully hardy to frost tender.  They can be grown in full sunshine or partial shade in well drained soil.  During growth, water a lot and apply a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer monthly.  Water very little in the winter.  The jasmine in the Turkish pictures is more than likely jasminium polyathum which bears pink budded white flowers and is only suitable outdoors for warm climates where it flowers from spring to summer.  In France we are more likely to cultivate it as an indoor plant which can lend a fine fragrance to any room.

•Jasmines grow well in moist, well drained, sandy loam to clayey graden soil with moderate level of fertility.

•Jasmine prefer full sun to partial shade and a warm site.

•Jasmine bushes should be planted during June to November.

•Jasmine Plant should be kept at least eight feet apart in order to save the later growth of the plant from jamming together.

•Adding of leaf moulds to the soil makes it better for the growth of the plant.
•Water well during the summer.

I've just installed a wall of evegreen jasmine on a terrace and yesterday, I was working on a terrace with a very well established evergreen jasmine that has grown up a huge wall to give pleasure to all the inhabitants in the buildings around it.

Jasminum officinale (a variegated jasmine with cream edged leaves) and Trachelospermum Jasminoides (Star Jasmine with glossy dark green leaves and creamy white flowers) are reccomended for south and west facing walls.

Jasminum Humile (yellow jasmine in a bushy shrub plant) is reccomended for North and East facing walls.

Hre's a Tachelospermum jasminoides making pretty a hotel terrace in 6th arr of Paris.  I've just planted by the side of our cherry tree and I'm hoping it will climb up into the branches.  (I've supported it discreetly by tying twine around the trunk so it can climb up).