Sunday, March 15, 2015

Searching for Houseplants

Cinerarias for sale at the Mariano Market
Yesterday I attended the Garden Writers Association Region III Meeting in Chicago. It was held on Navy Peir and coincided with the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. We were able to attend the show and were allowed in 2 hours before the show opened to the public. We took pictures and shopped without the crowds. It was wonderful!
Of course the gardens were beautiful and at this time of year, the variety of plants they can use are limited in frozen Chicago. For that reason, a lot of tropicals or houseplants, as I call them, were used in the displays. I was in heaven and I'm going to take you on a tour with me to see all the wonderful houseplants used in these containers and garden vignettes. 
My favorite garden used houseplants in abundance. The amount of unusual houseplants used was refreshing. You decide for yourself.
Cordyline with cyclamens
This garden was designed by City Escape, a landscape company in Chicago. The first thing I saw was this amazing espalier of camellias. It made a beautiful backdrop for the cordylines and cyclamens.
Camellia espalier

Camellias, cordylines, and cyclamens

This planter above was created by company called Opiary and I am in love! Why hasn't anyone else thought of adding a trough at the bottom of a container so the bottom looks as good as the top?!  They used bromeliads, Tillandsias, moss, and button fern to create an amazing planter.
Tillandsias blooming in a table leg
This table/planter was also designed by Opiary. Who doesn't want a table that holds houseplants? I sure want one! 

The Opiary planter above has begonias, a staghorn fern, a medinilla, tillandsias, calathea, and an asparagus fern. Isn't it stunning?!

How about these planters with Tillandsias spilling out of the top?

Here is another Opiary planter filled with ferns and pileas and moss.

This planter placed on a pedastal had Medinilla, maidenhair ferns, and rex begonia vine or Cissus discolor.

Hydrangeas, cordyline, pieris, tulips, and arborvitae
I'm sure you can tell that this was my favorite garden. They had the most beautiful planters filled with tons of houseplants. But, there were many other gardens, all using houseplants in some way. Let's keep moving.

Bird's Nest ferns, crotons, and daffodils used in this water garden

The next garden was called Water for All the Senses and was built by Aquascape. They had many different water features, big and small.

Living walls are hot right now and this one, filled with houseplants, is lovely. It has bird's nest ferns, syngoniums, philodendron, hoyas, and moss.

Aglaonemas and daffodils

Above they added some color with the flowering anthuriums and the pink Dracaena marginata.

This simplistic garden above was serene and would be a wonderful place to sit and just watch the koi fish drift by. The terrarium on the side table was the only adornment other than the beautiful fish in this garden. 

This display was the Natural Gas Safety Garden. The idea behind this garden is to point out the fact that other things are in our soil other than plants. I love how they used these yellow pieces of pipe to add an architectual piece to the garden and softened it with tillandsias. 

Agave, cyclamen, and silver satin pothos
This was the planter on the deck leading up to the front door.

Mariano's orchid display
Mariano's Market had some beautiful orchids and houseplants for sale. 
I'm going to stop here and pick up tomorrow with some more amazing displays. The garden clubs around Chicago planted up some amazing window boxes and you have to see them. I also have made a Pinterest board you can visit here to see more incredible pictures.


  1. Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures!

  2. Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures!