1 The island of Madeira off the Moroccan coast is home to many rare species such as this Scilla madeirensis, with its two-foot tall stalks topped with exotic, lavender-blue conical flowers. We grew these from bulbs. In front, potted baby's tears, Soleirolia soleirolii - fast-growing evergreens with cascading habits.
2 And this is wild ginger, Asarum maximum, 'Panda Face Ginger', an interesting foliage plant best known for its unique two-inch velvety black and white blooms. It gets lots of attention sitting on my kitchen counter.
3 On each of the two demilune tables in my entrance hall, is a Calathea lancifolia, or rattlesnake plant. It's a great indoor ornamental houseplant with long, medium green leaves and dark green spots. The undersides of the leaves are a deep shade of purple.
4 On the center table, potted Rhipsalis, with its long, drooping green stems. It is an epiphytic cactus that needs morning sun and afternoon shade.
5 Rhipsalis is native to the rainforests of South America, the Caribbean and Central America. I have beautiful specimens in my greenhouse with stems hanging down at least 10-feet.
6 Plants always look so beautiful in my green parlor. This is one of two Epidendrum orchids set on pedestals flanking my fireplace. These plants thrive with medium to high light conditions, and should be potted in a well-draining medium.
7 Here is the other Epidendrum orchid - the bright pink blooms stand out against the green tones of the room. Epidendrums are tough plants and can do well in almost any temperature above 50-degrees Fahrenheit.
8 The tiny, dark, glossy green leaves of this wire vine, Muehlenbeckia axillaris, turn bronze as spring transitions to fall. It is a surprisingly hardy creeping shrub, and relatively drought tolerant. Its long, wiry vines are covered with small, round emerald-green leaflets.
9 Perched on these antique pedestals are three ferns - a blue fern with silvery blue pointy fronds, and two lighter green, more delicate maidenhair ferns in front.
10 The same trio of plants is on the opposite side. I buy silver plate saucers whenever I see them at tag sales or garage sales - they look great underneath my houseplants.
11 Lemon cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa 'Wilma Goldcrest', is among my favorite container plants with its bright green to chartreuse colored foliage, conical habit and lemon scent.
12 Ficus lyrata, commonly known as the fiddle leaf fig, is a species of fig tree that has become popular as an ornamental tree in tropical gardens, and as a houseplant in more temperate areas.
13 Paphiopedilum orchids are often called 'slipper orchids' because of their unique pouch-like flowers. These specimens are easily grown as houseplants, and look wonderful with their striking green leaves.
14 On the small dining room table in my canary room, I have two more potted Cupressus macrocarpa 'Wilma Goldcrest' plants, or Lemon cypress.
15 They add such a warm and inviting color to this room, especially with the potted myrtle in the background.
16 Myrtus communis 'Compacta' is a dwarf myrtle native to the Mediterranean region of southern Europe.
17 More Rhipsalis - I love its growing habit. It looks so beautiful draping over the sides of my antique wicker planter.
18 Don't worry - this plant is actually alive and very healthy, but there's absolutely nothing green about it. It is called Euphorbia platyclada, a fleshy succulent plant with flattened stems rising from a heavy rootstock, and branches that have an irregular, scab like texture.
19 In between my kitchen and canary room is my servery. The taller plants on the island are known as polypody ferns or hare's foot ferns, Phlebodium. I love the large serrated fronds - a lot tougher than the feathery fronds of other fern varieties.
20 Polypody ferns are rhizomatous, with creeping rhizomes that grow on the surface of the soil. These plants require high humidity and moderate temperatures.
21 On the other end of my servery island, is this gorgeous vase of cut Cymbidium orchids - look at the vibrant pinks and yellows. These can brighten any dreary winter day - and so can the charming ceramic Frenchies sitting below its colorful canopy.
22 On this counter, two maidenhair ferns, Adiantum. These soft and lacy ferns like to be kept moist, and away from direct sunlight which could burn their leaves.
23 Next to them, on each end of this counter, is a serrated leaf birds nest fern, Asplenium nidus. This tropical plant is native to Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. It is slow to grow, but makes such a beautiful houseplant for the home.
24 This counter in my servery always looks so pretty adorned with beautiful plants, flowers and other holiday decorations.
25 Here is another elegant 'slipper orchid'. The key to growing these plants is to keep the root systems strong and healthy. These plants have no bulbs or stems to store moisture and nutrients, so it is important to maintain their roots.
26 Sansevieria cylindrica or the cylindrical snake plant is a succulent native to Angola. It has striped, round leaves that are smooth and green to gray in color.
27 On my long dining room table are two pencil cactus plants, Euphorbia. These plants are easy to maintain and love sunny warm spots indoors.
28 The big, round leaves of this Ficus look great rising from my faux bois planter. It is a popular indoor plant, but doesn't like much change, especially when it comes to temperature. It thrives best in a controlled environment between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
29 Here's another Sansevieria - so eye catching in my antique urn. This urn is made of the same material used to manufacture sewer pipes. Sewer tile pottery was made by pipe workers who used leftover clay at the end of the work week to create sculptured forms such as this planter. Over the years, I've collected a few pieces.
30 And, looking down the length of my table, more myrtle topiaries underplanted with moss.