Classes, Flower Designs, Gardening, Gardens

Garden Chairs

I’m so excited about this project and the final results. I have been wanting to make a garden chair for a while but hadn’t found the “right” chair. Then at the antique fair this year, I found two chairs…already prepped for me! It was fate…or just dumb luck. So purchase them I did…even carried them several blocks home.

If you read my blog about the antique fair you’ll know that I promised to tell you how I planted in them. So here goes…my first ever “how-to”…let me know what you think.

Step 1: Find Chair(s)

You can use just about any type of dining style chair (not upholstered or a recliner). If you choose a wooden versus the metal one I used you’ll need to prep the container portion differently and most likely weatherproof the wood. Check out some YouTube videos on how to do so. In my case I had these great metal bistro chairs which someone had already removed the seats and attached the chicken wire.

I had debated on painting the chairs but ended up leaving them the white rusted look so they were a bit more neutral to appeal to more customers. If you are doing this for yourself you can choose just about any color you want…I had thought about a bright yellow, red or teal which I think would compliment the plants beautifully. Then again that probably why I left them white…I couldn’t choose a color!

Step 2: Gather Materials and Tools

Gather your tools and materials. Here’s what I used but all are subjective to the type of chair and what you are planting. Remember this is for 2 chairs.

  • Green moss – 820 cu. in. or 13.4 liter bag (used about 3/4 bag for both chairs)
  • Cactus Mix – 8 quart or 8.8 liter bag (pretty much used the whole bag)
  • Burlap – depending the size of the chair but I used about a 1/4 of a yard.
  • Gardening or work gloves – I used them only when I was working with the wire, however if you are planting cacti you’ll want to use them for that as well.
  • Wire clippers
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers – this is optional. Since succulents are fragile many people use tweezers to handle and plant succulents.
  • Zip Ties
  • Chicken Wire (floral mesh)
  • Several buckets
  • 28 plants (mostly 2″ pots but a few 4″)
  • Decorations (I.e. driftwood, bark, rocks, fairy garden accessories)

Step 3: Prep for Planting

There will be a lot of water dripping from your chair as you are working, so pick a work area that can get wet. This is also a somewhat messy job so take that into consideration as well.

Some of the chicken wire was saggy and not connected to the chair frame. I was worried that the weight of the soil and plants would cause a problem so I zip tied the chicken wire in a few more places. This is an easy way to attach it if you are starting from scratch. I happened to have white zip ties so they blended well with the chair frame. You may also want to do two layers of chicken wire and cross-hatch them so that the holes are smaller and the moss won’t come out the bottom.

I filled one of the buckets with water and soaked a good amount of the moss in it. You may need to work in small batches. Ring out some of the water from the moss and then start layering it on the chicken wire. I did I nice thick layer of it but not so much that I lost the bowl shape and the ability to hold the soil. I have to admit once this step was done, I was giddy. I knew this would turn out good…just from the layer of moss. Then again ya’ll know how much I love moss.

Next cut your burlap to fit on top of the moss. This is where your soil will sit. The burlap prevents the soil from falling through the moss. A little hint, I placed some soil in the middle of the burlap to anchor it before I cut it. Note: You can use coconut husk fiber or any liner that lets water through. This is really just to prevent the soil from pushing through the moss.

I poured about half the bag of soil into a bucket and wet it throughly and left other half dry in another bucket. I used cactus soil since I was planting succulents and I needed a soil that will drain well.

Fill the bowl of moss and burlap with the dry soil.

If you are using driftwood or something large, then place them now.

This was a piece of bark, so I filled up the underside with soil to keep it sturdier and so I could plant easily.

I also made balls of chicken wire to make little mounds to plant in. This is where the wet soil really helps as it clings to the mound easier. Be sure to fill inside your chicken wire as you want to make sure the plants are fully in soil when you insert them in.

Sorry, not the best picture of my ball of wire.

Step 4: Start Planting

I did a mock layout of where I wanted to put the plants. Basically leaving them in their containers and laying them around the container. I wanted taller plants towards the back and draping or ground cover along the sides or in open spaces.

Make a hole in the soil where you want the plant to go. Remove your plant from their container and discard the old soil. Insert into the hole you made. I used the wet soil to then loosely pack the plant in place. Step repeat until all plants have been used.

Step 5: Moss It

If you like the “bare soil look” then you can skip this step. I used more wet moss to cover the bare soil throughout the container. You could also use rocks, bark, sea glass, or a combination of these. I liked this “forest floor” look that the moss gave.

Step 6: Clean Up

There will be moss hanging down from the bottom of the chair. I just pushed it back up into the chicken wire or trimmed it where necessary.

Step 7: Enjoy

Take step back and bask in the glory of your finished project. Take tons of pictures and brag about it! You deserve it for all of your hard work. And please share those pictures with me! I would love to see them.

These lovelies will be for sale at the Art & Garden Festival on July 14 in downtown Petaluma. Be sure to stop by the booth and say “hey!”

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Pop Up Shop – The Finale

Note: I wrote this last week and then forgot to post it! As I state below…I was exhausted. So sorry for the delay in my pop up shop recap.

I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing about the pop up shop but I feel I would be remiss in not sharing how the event went and all the things I learned from it.

To be honest, it’s exhausting and stressful, but so very rewarding and worth every sleepless night.

First of all, the event was perfect and was exactly how I wanted it to be. There were many new people that I was able to meet and honestly I think that was the best part. I also liked that I was able to help promote my friend’s products as well. There is nothing like a good collaboration to boost sales for all parties involved.

I made more arrangements this time than prior and thus sold more. Had I made the same amount I would have been sold out by noon. While that would ave been nice, I wouldn’t have met the new people that came by the shop and I wouldn’t have sold more…yes more than the previous year. Yay me!

I always look back on an event and think about what went well, what didn’t, and what I would change next time. So here’s how my internal conversation went:

So what went well…a number of things actually. As stated previously collaborating with my friends brought in a fresh audience and gave me other items to sell besides flowers and added visual interest to the shop. It gave me another narrative to tell my guests. I really look forward to expanding on that next year. If there is anyone out there wanting to sell their handcrafted products, give me a shout and maybe we can work together.

Tiny nurseries by Living Miniatures. Livingminiatures707@gmail.com

My own narrative has improved. And I spoke to it probably for the first time. I have a vintage flair. My designs are classic and I like to use vintage containers and items. I will emphasize this more as I build the business.

Various vintage containers (Kraft cheese box, milk glass compotes, and enameled pot)

Marketing was better. As I said more unknown people came in because of my social media and others sharing it. Also, because I was selling items that were small, I had bags with stickers and I placed business cards and subscription postcards in each of the bags. Can I tell you that placing a bag with tissue and ribbon in someone’s hands just ticked off a bunch of boxes for me. I’ve stated before that I’ve dreamed of owning a shop…bags, tissues and bows go along with that…weirdly enough.

So what didn’t go as planned? I introduced two things that I thought might draw new guests in, the demos and the kid’s station. No one showed up for either of them. So ok..wasn’t the draw I thought they would be. Lesson learned…move on. Though I’d be remiss in not mentioning Miss Scarlet who came in with her grandma and was so shy she would barely speak to me. However after teaching her how to make a bud vase design and giving her a cookie she and I became fast friends and she waved goodbye to me from the car window. Worth it!

All-in-all I consider the day a huge success and am already looking forward to next

A few of the photos that Ann at @teadrinkertrixie took on design day. I love her perspective!

On to new business: the subscription service is just about up and running. There is a page on the website (just click on the subscription link at the top of this page) with the details, though right now it is under construction so please check back. I hope to have more info in the next week or so. I’m super excited about this…just think you can have Marmalade Sky flower arrangements delivered to your home or office on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis!

I had to post this last arrangement because I think it was my favorite of the day. I don’t normally name my arrangements but this one immediately was named “Little Poppies on the Prairie”.

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Photo of me curtesy of Ann. I love to hide.

Business, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Vintage Style

One of the many things I love about my hometown is that it holds an antique fair twice a year.  The city shuts down several of the streets downtown, which is brimming with antique dealers from town and afar.   Last year, I wasn’t able to attend either fair, so this year I was bound and determined to go.  Like a true junkie, I had to have my fix.  I mostly look for porcelain or china, linens, silverware, and home décor. However, with the focus on my business in the forefront of my mind and the pop up shop coming soon, I found my eyes wandering to other goodies.

Army Drawer
What should I plant in here??

Seeing all the dealers together in one place does allow you to see trends, as well and surprisingly the offerings are different every show.  This year, drawers were a big trend and are sold just on their own…no cabinets or dressers for them to set in.  They are great storage solution for a desktop, they can be hung to make shelves, used as planters, and whatever else your mind can think up.

 

Since it’s spring, there was a lot of outdoor and garden items; wire cages, plant stands, café tables and chairs, etc.

Box graters. Yeah you heard me, box graters.  I think I saw about 5 of them.

Lawn Seeder
I think some vines to trail up the handle are needed for this cool piece.

My creative mind was going a mile a minute throughout the 3 hours I was at the show.  I really wanted to find something very unique to sell at the pop up shop (being held on May 13 if you haven’t heard *wink*).  With all the drawers around me, it was inevitable that I would purchase one…a very cool metal army green drawer from a military cabinet.  The item I’m most excited about is this lawn seeder.   I’ll be getting my hands dirty this weekend getting plants in both items.

 

I’m already anticipating the September antique fair.  Anxious to see what treasures I’ll find!

P.S.  Look what delivered last night! My lawn signs for the pop up store. I think they turned out great!

Yard Sign

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!