Posts by Whitney Curtis

Whitney Curtis

Heart Strings in the Garden

I was lucky enough to spend a few days earlier this week at the Garden Blogging Conference in Atlanta, GA with some talented garden writers and bloggers. Chatting with my fellow green thumbs, I was struck by the heritage of gardening and the consistency with which we shared, “Well, my mom was a big gardener” or “My father’s family had a farm” or “My grandmother grew the most amazing roses.” It was neat to hear how everyone came to the same hobby, with fond memories and heart strings firmly attached.

transplanting plants

transplanting plants

We’ve grown our backyard garden from just a few special plants – special deliveries traveling in trash bags, fed-ex packages with overnight delivery, and birthday trips to the big box stores. I think that’s what makes this hobby such a heartfelt and emotional one, I could recount a memory or a story with every plant I plant.

transplanting plants

Today, BHG readers, I’d love to hear your stories! Why do you garden? Who are your gardening mentors? Do you have stories and heart strings attached to the plants in your garden? Surely you’ll share a story or two with us? We’d love to hear!

inheriting plants

Photos by Whitney of The Curtis Casa

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Whitney Curtis

5 Easy Indoor Plants

Since it’s National Indoor Plant Week this week, I thought I’d show you a few easy indoor plants to inspire you to add some greenery to your home. I have a bunch of indoor plants around my house, they really do add depth and life to any room – and they purify the air too! Below are my top five picks for indoor plants, as well as light and water requirements. And here are a few more houseplant suggestions.

 

Maidenhair Fern

Light:  Low light
Watering:  High humidity and consistent moisture (I water mine daily!)
More info on Maidenhair fern here.

national indoor plant week

Philodendron “Orange Prince”

Light:  Low light
Watering:  Moderately moist soil, water once or twice a week

philodendron national indoor plant week

Pachira Aquatica (aka The Money Tree!)

Light:  Bright light, no direct sun
Watering:  Moist soil, high humidity

pachira aquatica money plant national indoor plant week

 

Aphelandra (aka Zebra Plant)

Light:  Bright light, no direct sun
Watering:  High humidity, moist soil (Don’t let the soil dry out!)
More houseplants with fantastic foliage here.

aphelandra national indoor plant week

Bromeliad

Light:  Medium light
Watering:  Moist soil, but tolerant if you forget every now and then. (You can water into the stem where the leaves form a little cup at the base, above the soil. It’s actually a good idea to keep some water in that “cup.”)

bromeliad national indoor plant week

 

 


Whitney Curtis

Greenhouse Inspiration

Sometimes a garden just hits you. Sometimes you walk into a garden so fabulous, your jaw hangs open for a period of minutes while you take in its glory. This feeling first happened to me at Ryan Gainey’s Atlanta home walking around his cottage garden and it happened to me again over the weekend at the greenhouse on the Anne Springs Close Greenway property just outside of Charlotte, NC.

greenhouse inspiration

 

Every corner of the greenhouse was as full as it could be with greenery, pots and plants. A lime tree, variegated bougainvillea, orchids, hibiscus, the list goes on. And the size of the fiddle leaf fig tree just blows your mind, doesn’t it?

greenhouse inspiration

The greenhouse of my dreams has shelves just like this – the perfect size for terra cotta pots en masse. I couldn’t get enough.

greenhouse inspiration

greenhouse inspiration

greenhouse inspiration

greenhouse inspiration

I spotted this Starfish Flower Cactus (Stapelia grandiflora ) from all the way across the room. I have never seen anything like the star-shaped flower that blooms at the tips of these branches. It’s quite a sight, especially with at least a half a dozen blooms right behind the first large flower.

greenhouse inspiration

greenhouse inspiration

Orchids galore… Here are a few tips on growing your own.

greenhouse inspiration

greenhouse inspiration

And a little treat tucked far in the back near the wall, a baby pineapple sprouting up!

greenhouse inspiration

All photos by Whitney of The Curtis Casa


Whitney Curtis

Get The Look: An Outdoor Bar

As soon as I spotted this outdoor entertaining space, I loved the DIY-able idea for an outdoor bar. You could use any type of cinderblock base and any pressure-treated wood that will withstand the elements. Grab a few colorful accessories, invite your friends over, serve some drinks and enjoy the arrival of fall! Here are a few items I rounded up to help you get this look!

outdoor bar get the look

I think a butcher block piece would look really great in this set-up. The sleek bar-height chairs give a great space for seating and chatting with guests as you serve up a drink. Don’t forget to finish the look with a few pretty containers and plants. (Ikea always has great, inexpensive options!) Shop for a few color coordinating pieces like a watering can or hand towel. Enjoy!

outdoor bar get the look

 

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Whitney Curtis

Garden Inspiration in San Francisco

I was in San Francisco last week and I was so pleased that everywhere I turned there were beautiful containers, giant succulents, and colorful (mini!) city gardens. Here are a few of the plants and containers that really inspired me during our trip. I am dying to add a few more succulents to my collection, and hopefully find a sunny place they’ll thrive.

garden inspiration from san francisco

This succulent container (below) has got to be the healthiest and biggest I’ve ever seen. I love the idea of succulents in a strawberry pot. Here are a few other ideas for succulents in your home!

garden inspiration from san francisco

This one (below) was also huge! I wish I’d gotten a picture standing beside it for scale. It was at least 3 feet tall and as big as my face. It was so fascinating to see so many succulents with stems thick and strong like tree branches. I even spotted a few succulents as big as shrubs. From afar, I’d never have known the difference!

garden inspiration from san francisco

I’m not sure what these purple-headed fellows are, but they are lovely. Nestled in this stone container structure and up against the purple walls of the boutique they belonged to, they really stood out!

Update : A kind reader emailed to tell me these are statice, they like dry conditions and do well in California. (Thanks, Diane!)

garden inspiration from san francisco

This is definitely the biggest cactus I’ve ever seen!

garden inspiration from san francisco

At every storefront and back alley there are containers (mostly wooden, I noticed) like this one, with succulents, grasses and herbs lending an intimate and thoughtful feel to the quick city streets. Here are a few great succulent ideas I’m going to try next in my own garden. I’m definitely inspired by these container gardens and the thoughtfulness of those who created them!

garden inspiration from san francisco

Photos by Whitney of The Curtis Casa


Whitney Curtis

Three Go-To Groundcovers for Shade

I have three favorite “go-to” ground covers for my shady Atlanta garden. One of them I grabbed a handful of in my Mom’s garden on a visit home and brought it home in a ziploc baggie. The other two, I desperately I picked up at my local nursery when I needed something that said “full shade” on the label.

Pachysandra

One of the prettiest leaves, I love the shape and the little white leaves that pop up everywhere when it flowers. I have seen a few gardens that grow Pachysandra successfully in full sun, but they seem to do really well in my shady environment too.

favorite ground covers pachysandra

favorite ground covers pachysandra

Ajuga

I think the glossy leaves of the compact ajuga plant are really attractive. The dark green and even deep purple tones provide some great color and contrast. This is the one I grabbed a handful of, it spread easily and quickly into a large swath. Planted below with hydrangea and Solomon’s Seal, ferns, hostas and a few seedlings of perennial begonia.

ground covers ajuga

favorite ground covers ajuga

Variegated Vinca Vine

This is an easy vine option that I love in my containers. My vinca vine has spilled out of the containers and pretty much covered up the surrounding area. Isn’t that the best? One plant that grows into many!

favorite ground covers variegated vinca vine

favorite ground covers vinca vine

What are your favorite groundcovers for shade? What about for sun? I’d love to hear your suggestions!