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Willow Spheres

Celebrate the art of willow crafting by making willow spheres that can be used as light fixtures or displayed as indoor sculptures. Willow is a sustainable, fast-growing resource that has been used throughout history to make everything from houses, fences, baskets, furniture, and fish traps. The willow industry declined with the advent of manmade products, but today there is a growing interest in willow weaving and basketry in the form of willow sculpture, wattle fencing, and garden structure...

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Tillandsia Wall Hanging

Driftwood and a few tillandsias make a light and airy wall hanging or mobile. This tillandsia wall hanging was inspired by today’s bohemian ceramic and fiber artists, who are bringing macramé and weaving back from the 1970s, but with a modern twist. Tillandsias are the perfect plant for this project—their simple beauty and ability to grow without soil lend themselves beautifully to a wall hanging. I placed my finished piece near the entry of my house, but it could also be installed over a win...

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Rain-Forest Branch

Add a touch of rain forest to your home with this fun, movable mounted rhipsalis. This is a great sculptural project fashioned from rhipsalis and a large piece of a branch. The branch does not need to be hung on a wall or suspended from a ceiling, but you are welcome to experiment with those options. Or you can simply lean it against a wall or shelf. Rhipsalis is an epiphytic cactus native to the Brazilian rainforest canopy. It grows nestled in tree branches and drapes gracefully to the gr...

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Hanging Rock Garden

An unusual collection of orchids suspended on lava rocks. For many orchids, mounting them is the most natural way to grow them. You usually see orchids mounted on wood, but mounting them on a piece of lava rock allows them to function as a hanging garden in a way that a flat piece of wood does not. A wood-mounted orchid is often displayed hanging flat against a wall, but the three-dimensionality of the lava rocks in this project allows the orchids to be suspended anywhere. The lava-mounted or...

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Cholla Cactus Planting

Cacti skeletons transformed into a planter with a freshly planted display. This tabletop planter uses a zigzag cactus mounted inside chunks of cholla cactus skeletons to make a wild centerpiece or an extraordinary display for a credenza. Or hang it on the wall for a cool vertical garden. As cholla cacti die and decay the skeleton, or woody interior, remains intact. The skeletons can be found in flower markets, select plant nurseries, and online. They are wonderful for crafting or just disp...

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Bromeliad Stump Garden

Let your imagination escape to a distant land by creating a magical mini landscape. During the summer, I often find myself daydreaming about traveling to far-off places like Machu Picchu in Peru, home to countless stunningly beautiful bromeliads. Short on time and funds, instead I created a miniature garden reminiscent of that distant land. This bromeliad stump garden provides you with an escape to a faraway place without actually leaving home. The mounted plants add delightful color and text...

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Driftwood Water Garden

An engaging aquatic landscape. This dynamic duo consists of two tall cylindrical vases, each holding a single piece of driftwood mounted with Java fern and Java moss. The ferns and driftwood are visually grounded with the addition of a few Japanese river rocks at the base of each vase. (You can find Japanese river rocks at garden shops or online.) You could use Anubias nana or Anubias barteri in place of the Java fern and Java moss. Java ferns and Java moss have low light needs, but they do r...

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Lava Rock Bonsai

Lava rock bonsai are a lively take on a traditional root-over-rock bonsai. This project is all about creating a fun yet serene tray garden. An airy Euphorbia californica is mounted on a porous dark lava rock displayed off center on a crisp rectangular white marble tray. The light, flutter-leafed euphorbia is set off by dark, textured lava rock and grounded by the marble tray. A surprising magenta twine holds the bonsai to the lava rock. Plants with shallow root systems work well for this proj...

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Epiphyte Garden Panel

A lightweight vertical garden panel. Many plants grow as epiphytes, which are an excellent choice for a vertical garden panel. In this garden panel I used a variegated vanilla orchid and Christmas cactus. Often you see or receive Christmas or Easter cactus as a small gift around the holidays. After they are done blooming, mounting them is a great way to take advantage of their epiphytic nature. Both plants need a bright spot to live. Other plants suitable in this project are hoya, rhipsalis, ...

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Living Wreath

Celebrate life with a twist on the traditional May flower wreath. One of the time-honored ways to commemorate May Day, an ancient celebration of spring, is by making a flower wreath. Instead of making a customary floral wreath, welcome the power of nature into your home with a living wreath. Although traditionally the wreath decorates a door until the day of St. John the Harvester (June 24), the idea of hanging a living wreath at any time of year is a wonderful way to celebrate life. This liv...