It’s Easter weekend, and I’ve been busy with final preparations for my big Easter Sunday lunch. One of the last things I like to do is add pretty plants to my home’s decor. I love container plants, and I have a very sizable collection of them - they're kept in my greenhouse, where they can be maintained properly, especially during colder seasons and times when I am traveling.
Houseplants bring life to every room. For entertaining events, I always decorate with a wide assortment of plants that have bright, interesting and expressive foliage. My head gardener, Ryan McCallister, selected a lovely collection of ferns and succulents for this spring celebration.
Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all of you. Enjoy these photos…
A day or two before a party, Ryan loads up my Polaris Ranger 4 x 4 with beautiful houseplants and brings them into my Winter House.
In my entrance hall, Ryan surrounds the giant bird with a series of small potted plants.
This is selaginella. Selanginella is the sole genus of the vascular plants in the family Selaginellaceae.
There are about 700 varieties of selaginella, which are often referred to as Spikemoss or Arborvitae ferns.
Selaginella plants are very diverse in their size and in the ways they grow. Many can be found growing wild in tropical America, Asia, China, Japan, North America, Mexico, South Africa and Australia. Depending on the variety, they may be a creeping, climbing, or trailing.
These are bird’s nest ferns. They are sitting on antique cast-iron pedestals in my Green Parlor.
In the opposite corner, another trio of ferns – the foliage looks so vibrant in this room.
More potted selaginella on this tall chest of drawers. Overwatering is rarely a problem with this plant – it likes its soil moist.
Bird’s nest ferns make excellent low light houseplants. It is also an epiphytic fern, which means in the wild it typically grows on other plants or objects.
Here’s another bird’s nest fern on the other side of my fireplace – under ideal circumstances, all ferns like to have consistently moist, but not wet, soil. However, they will tolerate soil that dries out from time to time.
I adorn nearly every table with houseplants when I entertain – they’re always well-watered before they come into the house, but soon after the party, they are returned to my greenhouse where they can be watched more closely.
Maidenhair ferns fill this wicker planter – one of two in my “bird room”. These soft and lacy ferns like to be kept moist, and away from direct sunlight, which could burn their leaves.
Here is a mix of potted succulents – kelanchoe and sedum.
Next to the black swan basket given to me by Kevin Sharkey – a potted sedum. Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae, members of which are commonly known as stonecrops.
More selaginella – if you look closely, I always place a dish under my potted plants. Many of them are small single, silver-plate saucers I found at tag sales.
Houseplants also grace the island in my servery between my kitchen and my smaller dining room. This is usually where I serve cocktails and other beverages.
Potted plants surround these large covered cake stands filled with decorative eggs.
These are beautiful aeonium succulents. Aeoniums are one of the most ornamental of all the succulents. Also known as tree houseleeks, Aeonium is a genus of about 35 species of succulent, subtropical plants of the family Crassulaceae – I love the rosettes.
Ryan placed several potted aeoniums down the length of my long dining table. They look so pretty next to all the “chocolate” bunnies.
Ryan grew these aeoniums from cuttings just a few weeks ago. They are ideal container plants that require little care.
They come in a wide range of colors, textures and sizes. These plants also have fleshy leaves where they store moisture. Unlike many succulents, however, aeoniums have shallow root systems and prefer a little more moisture in the soil.
Some aeoniums will form a fairly tall stand of rosettes of green, dark burgundy or variegated foliage each on the top of a slender stalk. The leaves are spoon-shaped, sometimes glossy, and occasionally matte.
Here is a longer container of several aeonium plants – so eye-catching.
Laura and Ryan always create such beautiful tables for my parties – and every one, always a little different.
Next, I need to boil and decorate hundreds of eggs for my annual egg hunt. All these eggs are from my chickens here at the farm. I start saving them at the beginning of March, so I have lots and lots of eggs come Easter.
I have about 250 eggs to do. Remember my perfect recipe for making hard boiled eggs? Fill the pot with enough water to cover, put them on the stove and bring it to a boil, place the cover on the pot and turn off the heat, and let them cook for 13-minutes. Enjoy your Easter!!