Originally I mixed in a few pillar candles with the vases, but decided they looked too stiff and moved them lower, to sit in front of the firebox. We have a gas fireplace insert but rarely use it. When lit the pillars give a lovely soft light.
Since January is such a dark month here in the PNW, both plants and people need as much extra light as we can get. So I dug out the rechargeable clip-on lights I bought when I did the concrete planter mantel installation last February.
They do a great job of providing a little extra light...
And upping the drama...
Thankfully there was a sunny day in the mix so I could take some better photos of the plants and containers.
I began my collection of pottery sometime in the late 1980's/early 1990's purchasing at thrift shops, yard sales, and antique stores. In those days the in-person hunt was part of the fun, now it's gone online—my latest acquisitions have come to me via Etsy. This vase was a Christmas gift to myself, I love it! Tucked in are a few tillandsia.
This shallow bowl is the other piece I bought this Christmas, also from Etsy.
In it is a Begonia soli-mutata (I think, I bought it unlabeled).
This bowl was one of last year's Christmas/Etsy purchases—in it are banksia seed pods and other goodies I collected during my California garden adventures in November.
Here is a little no-name plant tucked in a tiny planter I bought years ago at a shop in Seattle called Laguna Pottery.
Sadly that shop is closed now, but when I lived in Seattle I'd visit whenever I was in Pioneer Square and needed to soak up the glow of a million vintage pieces I could not afford. I don't remember how much this small pot cost but I know it was a splurge at the time.
The larger vase behind it—filled with a kokedama bromeliad—was a thrift shop find.
The orchid—a Paphiopedilum Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Raisin Pie 'Hsinying' x Sib according to the label—needed something to help it be more of a statement, it was too dainty on it's own. A cut Trachycarpus fortunei 'Wagnerianus' frond added the needed graphic element.
This canoe planter was a score from a local antique shop going out of business.
It's filled with a trio of small pepperomia, lots of moss, and eucalyptus seed pods I picked up (literally picked up, off the ground) in California.
A mix of vintage and new. The two vases in front are vintage, the planter in back—with the dark bromeliad—is from IKEA. I picked up the IKEA pair (it's sister piece holds the orchid and palm frond) at the downtown Seattle Goodwill a few years ago, their IKEA tags still attached. I knew the luster of the finish was a perfect match for the vintage pottery, and the containers would come in handy as sort of anonymous planters.
This is another of the NOID plant we saw earlier. I bought them because their form reminded me of the "shingling" plants I love, but I am not willing to pay the outrageous prices for.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit these dried protea-family blooms are about 8 years old. I know. Gross. But they just keep on holding their shape and an occasional blast with the blow-dryer keeps them dust free. Almost.
We're to the end! You've seen these aeonium cuttings before, in this post. The anthurium in the container at the far right has also made an appearance here before, usually blooming though, with it's black "flowers". I guess it's taking a break—deservedly so after a year.
One last over-all shot...
And just two more images of the plants/planters at the base of the fireplace. This is a hanging piece that I haven't managed to get around to hanging yet. For now it sits on this simple brass stand—in it is another Begonia soli-mutata.
It's quite possible I love the rhizomes creeping over the side of this case study planter even more than the fronds on this Microsorum diversifolium. Maybe.
That's a wrap on the fireplace and mantel plants for now... I hope you're welcoming a few new houseplants into your home during this, the darkest month in the northern hemisphere...
— — —
All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.