Archive for the ‘Indoors’ Category
Growing mushrooms indoors using a kit
Ever lamented the fact that you don’t have enough sun to grow food? Rejoice! There are edibles you can grow in shade—even indoors (and it’s definitely easier than making a mushroom log). Here’s how to grow mushrooms indoors using a mushroom kit.
Last month, on my birthday, I picked up a few things to make my favourite kind of lunch: a couple of gooey, stinky cheeses; a good, crusty baguette; some nice olives; paté; and an arugula salad tossed with balsamic and olive oil. And because it was my birthday, some bubbles.
While at Whole Foods, I noticed kits for growing oyster mushrooms indoors (by fresh-thinking Back to the Roots). They were compact, utilized recycled materials (used coffee grounds! Hello!), and (here’s what really got me) had irresistible packaging. So, because it was my birthday, I bought one.
Urbio Vertical Garden
From hanging baskets to Woolly Pockets, green walls to palette gardens, vertical gardening is hot. (Just flip through the inspirational Garden Up! by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet to get a sense of how many options there are for smart use of vertical space.)
I recently came across a vertical gardening concept different than anything I’ve seen so far. It’s called Urbio, and it’s a sleek-and-modern-looking system of magnetic pots that, according to the designer, “will help us transform any wall or ferrous surface into a beautiful vertical garden.”
Urbio is comprised of a team of designers lead by Beau Oyler and Jared Aller of Enlisted Design and Tim Cui of Volare Studio, and they are currently on Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced funding platform for creative projects. As of posting, 574 backers had pledged $52,816 toward making the Urbio concept a reality.
Intrigued, I asked creator Beau Oyler for the details on Urbio:
Heavy Petal: Enlisted Design, your product design studio, has a wide range of clients—not just the gardening industry. How did Urbio come about? What inspired the design?
Beau: I’ve lived in apartments, condos, and last year, finally bought a 1014sf house. Everywhere I’ve lived, I grown something. Whether it was herbs in a cup on the window mantle or a potted garden on the porch, I’ve found a place to grow herbs, veggies, flowers, etc. Urbio is the solution I needed all along. Once the idea was expressed, the design team branched out to urban gardeners in their sphere of influence and questioned the concept. Their findings and our design and development skills combined to create a fun product!
Each pot is made of eco-plastic and is equipped with large neodymium magnets that are strong enough to hold almost anything to the wall, or to each other. Stick ‘em together for a neat vase or centerpiece.
There’s really nothing simpler.
1. Place paperwhite bulbs in jar/vase/pot/bowl.
2. Cover the bottom two-thirds of the bulbs with potting soil, pebbles, or marbles.
3. Add water.
4. Stand back.
Most paperwhite-growing advice says the bulbs take about six weeks to mature, but that simply isn’t true. These guys were blooming in two-and-a-half weeks. That means there’s still time to grow them as Christmas or holiday housewarming gifts.
Talk about almost instant gratification.
In six weeks, they’ll be flopping all over the place (unless you included booze in their watering schedule).
Coveted: air plant pods by Michael McDowell
How beautiful are these handcrafted air plant pods by ceramic artist Michael McDowell? Incredible, right?
Available in matte and gloss white, as well as matte sand, these stoneware ceramic pods are designed to house a tillandsia (air plant) and can be hung—each pod comes with a natural hemp cord—or set right side up (upside down?) for a more traditional display.
Clearly, they look amazing hung in clusters.
Mudpuppy’s air plant pods are available through Dirt Couture (seller of other amazing garden accoutrements such as hose clothes and those lovely Gallant and Jones deck chairs) for $30.
You should also check out Michael’s sweet little peace dove trio, stoneware moon bells, and, my personal favourite, his Peking blue bird sculptures.
Given my penchant for indoor containers with a dash of quirky cool, I had to share GAMA-GO’s Power Planter.
The Power Planter is a small, porcelain, desktop planter in the shape of a nuclear power plant. It comes complete with organic soil and wheatgrass seeds, and is $16 at GAMA-GO. This would also make a great vessel for growing cat grass. What? Your cat’s always on your desk, anyway.
Other funky indoor planters from my archives:
Science and Sons Park Planter
Vitamin Living’s IV Plant Pot
Pad Outdoor’s Pad Aluminum Planters
Boskke’s Sky Planter
Karim Rashid’s GroBal
Pastense’s Retro Planters
Design Within Reach’s Bordato Illuminated Planter
Fruit and flowers
My husband, Ben, and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary on Friday. We don’t normally exchange gifts, but since the traditional gift for a four year anniversary is fruit or flowers, I told him he could at least buck up and get me some blooms.
Being the man that he is, Ben took it one step further, and made sure there was a side of fruit for my flowers. Thanks sweetie.
PS: If you live in the Vancouver area, I highly recommend The Flower Box (in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood). They rock.
PSS: Ben is the co-founder of an awesome blog for food-worshippers. It’s called Foodists. You should check it out.
No, it’s not the latest ornamental allium – they’re leek flowers. Pretty, eh?
Week Two on the Cure: Landing strip reveal
In Week Two of the Apartment Therapy Cure, participants are asked to create a “landing strip” (nope, it’s not what you think). In Cure lingo, a landing strip is the place you “land” when you get home. Where you drop your keys and coat, and file through your mail.
Ben and I started the Cure process back in January, so we’re a little off schedule. But I do like the way our front hall (i.e. landing strip) has turned out. Our entrance is very narrow, so we didn’t have room for a console or other table. Instead, we painted out a skinny shoe cabinet (SANDNES from Ikea) to match the wall, switching up the hardware to match the door pulls on the coat closet opposite. It provides just enough room to hold a bowl for keys and a vase of flowers. Oh, and it hides shoes! Always a good thing.
The mirror hung in my parents’ bathroom for the past 30-plus years (and was, at one point, faux gold leafed); I snatched it up during their recent reno. I love being able to “check my face” before I leave the house now.
We installed three hooks at Lila height, to the right of the cabinet. It’s great for little girl coats and daycare backpacks.
I can’t remember where we found the low ceramic bowl that now holds our keys and sundry items, but I love it. And I love that I can (almost) always find my keys now.
I also love the white vase that sits to the left of the mirror. It’s got pussywillows and cherry blossoms in it currently, and I plan to change it up with seasonal blooms or branches throughout the year.
Next: the living room.
Felted stone mat
Leave it to VivaTerra to carry this gorgeous felted stone mat by South African textile designer Ronel Jordaan. Made of 100% merino wool, I can just imagine how beautiful this would feel underfoot. Yum.
My first week on the Cure, plus some inspiration from Pad Outdoors
My husband and I are attempting to (re)decorate our living room. (I’m not sure whether we’re decorating or redecorating. We’ve lived here for almost four years, and the living “room,” which is part of an open plan kitchen/dining/living space, is completely dysfunctional.)
As an attempt to finally wrangle the beast, I’m reading—and following—a book called Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure. It’s written by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, creator of the massively (and deservedly) successful Apartment Therapy blogs. It’s an inspiring, energizing book that steers you through an eight-week rehab program for your home. (That’s right. I’m having an intervention with my living room.)
1. Pull together the jumble of styles (mid-century modern meets what I can only describe as cabin chic… then they both meet toddler.)
2. Acquire some vital missing furnishings, such as the area rug (which we got rid of once we realized the deep, cream, wool shag was not compatible with ground-in bunny crackers), a decent lamp, and some art for the walls.
3. Be able to manage clutter better.
But this is a gardening blog. So why am I talking about home decor? Because I like these Pod Aluminum Planters by Pad Outdoors and wanted to share them with you.
Despite having no talent for houseplants, I would love to find a place for a really great-looking plant in my new living room. Obviously, choosing the right planter is key. A bit of a splurge at $175 each (and extra for the stands), these spun aluminum planters make me happy. They’re going in my “style tray,” as the Apartment Therapy book prescribes.
There are so many great options for indoor plants/containers, so I’m going to continue to explore and share my discoveries/living room decor possibilities with you. Check back often this month, and help me create a home I love (please?!). I’ll be eternally grateful.
PS: Yes, I’ll post some “before” photos. Soon.
PSS: Check out my only other online foray into decorating with Lila’s nursery on Flickr.