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Laura On: Freshening Up Your Home With Orchids

Fri, March 31, 2017

I’ve been doing a lot of entertaining this month; some planned, some impromptu. One of the greatest honors was hosting the Editor and Founder of Flower Magazine, Margot Shaw at my home.

Admittedly, inviting an editor of a floral magazine to my home was a tad intimidating. She’s seen an incredible assortment of floral arrangements in her time, and there was no possible way I could “compete” with those! To top that off, I had been out of town for two weeks prior to having Margot over, and my home was looking a little unloved. I took a good friend’s advice and went back to my own philosophy - don’t sweat it. After all, entertaining is really about the company and conversation.

To quickly freshen up my home, I went out and purchased a variety of orchids, my old standby. Orchids are my favorite flower in the entire world because of how exotic and colorful they are. They also bloom forever, which is certainly a bonus.

Using orchids in your home is less difficult than you might think. Here’s how I like to prepare mine:

Shopping for orchids:

I buy them from various stores throughout town. It seems they are sold everywhere these days, which wasn’t the case many years ago. I traveled to Chicago a few weeks back for business, and passed a drug store that was had orchids. It amazed me…..Walgreens selling live orchids in the dead of winter.

As these flowers have become more readily accessible, their prices have also become more attainable. I usually head to the larger chain stores such as Fresh Market, Trader Joes, Lowes or Home Depot to find the most affordable blooms. When I do, I buy them in bulk; the same color, but different heights. My piece of advice, always seek out the plants that have the most closed buds. This will ensure you will have blooms to come for a very long time.

Types of Orchids:

Orchids with shapes and color striations can be found in boutique garden stores - that is where I often find the most unusual ones. They are typically more expensive, so I’m pretty selective. I place these in a single pot and set them on a bedside table or in a bathroom. I find adding a plant to a room adds life and warmth to the space.


Caring for orchids:

To make them last as long as possible, I place them in my kitchen sink and douse the roots and soil completely in water. I allow them to drain before placing them in my chosen pots. And that’s it! Rarely do they need additional watering, and if they do in a month or so, I’ll repeat the same process. Some blooms will last up to three months, how amazing is that?

Preparing the display:

I always keep orchids in their original container and simply place the small plastic pot inside of a larger display container. I like to put preserved moss over the orchid pots, so none of the plastic shows through. I keep different colors and types of preserved moss on hand. You can find different types of moss at specialty garden centers. It is sold in bags and can easily be stored and reused time and time again.

My favorites are:

  • Reindeer Moss, due to it’s fun shape and color
  • Sheet Moss, it’s a great lime green color and it covers pots well
  • Spanish Moss, this beautiful silver color hangs all over the live oak trees in my yard so it is easily accessible to me

If I need to create a large arrangement, I’ll choose one large container or select a few smaller containers that can be placed together in a unique way. The large container can be a giant basket, large clay pot, or antique terracotta container. There are so many options. Sometimes you will have to build up the bottom with newspaper or smaller pots so the orchids can be seen. Again, I keep the individual orchids in their original pots side by side. I usually set them on my kitchen island or on my round dining room table. I love to incorporate oversized pieces in these locations because one large arrangement is less fussy and looks great.

If I’m creating a display with multiple containers, I always choose an odd number since it looks better to the eye, 3 or 5 is typical {never 2 or 4}. Also, for this display I select orchids of different heights for the most interest.

Our new nesting cubes and party bowls are great for multiple plant arrangements.

Keeping the blooms upright:

Orchids often come with some sort of stick to hold their long stems upright. If these are plastic, I usually replace it with a bamboo stick and tie it with a more natural material such as raffia.


And there you have it, the easiest way to freshen up your home for effortless celebrations.




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