Thursday, November 12, 2009

keep it green

one thing i learned from my wedding florist is that mums require a HUGE amount of water. so it's not surprising to see that many of the most beautiful displays of mums are starting to look dried out and tired. as a result, i've been feeling a special appreciation for the businesses and homes which passed on the colorful yet short-lived temptation of fall mums and have instead maintained a consistent green look since summer. one such business is the cinema cafe which i pass on my way to work which has several moveable "window boxes" full of a really pretty mix. i suspect they bring them in over night so that these plants, mostly considered "tender perrenials" (otherwise known as "annuals" in my world) are not subject to frost.

by making use of hardier plants like sweet potato vines (love love love) and different types of coleus and ivy, the mix stays vibrant and fresh looking even in late fall, a welcome respite in a landscape of shedding or soon-to-be-bare plants. i especially love that at closer inspection, i noticed some lavender in there too, a fragrant and unexpected addition to the mix.

what's especially nice about the coleus here is that it introduces some autumnal color in with the green. i think a similar impact could be achieved by having some spots within the boxes for potted mums when the season is perfect, and then replacing those holes as the mums dry up with a hardier specimen like the ones already used here. to me, that would be be the best of both worlds.

i think it's so important to take the time and notice these kinds of details as a source of ideas, inspiration and joy. also, because people spend a lot of time (and often money) to make their homes and storefronts attractive and seasonal, and i appreciate that. nothing turns me off more than a place that doesn't take any care to be pleasing. the converse is that it's such a pleasure to walk through a neighborhood or down a street where people have clearly taken pleasure in their own surroundings, because it's something one does not just for themselves, but for everyone. i find it to be one of those "we're all in this together" moments, and i find it touching. to me, it also speaks to the taste and goodness of what's inside the doors.

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