some before and afters, pool side in Niagara on the Lake and a planter walk of shame

Good morning all.

A simple post of interesting tid bits today. First up my biggest sewing job to date is done. Finito! I am happy to say it turned out fabulous, but I may be more happy to say it is done as 1 person and 20 cushions seemed like a mountain a few weeks ago.

 One of my customers is a manager at the Pillar & Post inn in Niagara on the Lake and asked if I would be comfortable taking on this project. I am not exactly one to turn away from a challenge so with determination in hand and a couple of weeks I went about transforming the pool cushions from traditional floral to a more modern take of tropical vibes.  It was a lot of Gilmore Girls episodes watched in the creation of these cushions (my go to sewing background noise)

In a hotel that is so busy much of the time these cushions see a lot of use, and wear and tear so they were definitely due to be changed out and it meant I really wanted/needed to be on point with the perfection gnome that plagues me when creating things.

Here is a quick look at the space before (i borrowed this photo from the pillar and post website)

and here are the cushions now.

i didn't take a whole pool view with all of the couches and chairs as there were quite a few people chill-axing around enjoying the hotel. but you get the picture.

part II of this post is the walk of shame. it happens to the best of us, but in the shop we see it about every 2 weeks. someone takes one of our premade planters home to love and then walks back in with the container either empty or full of the dead plants a couple weeks later.

usually with i don't know what went wrongs, or i watered it exclamations.

one of my favourite parts of the shop is the education with plants. not everyone has a green thumb and honestly they may not exist. it is learning, practice and the willingness to take care of something.

this vintage cookie jar came back this weekend and i asked my lovely customer if she would mind if i turned this into a learn moment on the blog.

she laughed and said go right ahead.

so here is what we started with.

a vintage cookie jar that had been turned into a terrarium by yours truly with an orchid and 2 baby ferns. as you can see those ferns have taken on a lovely golden tone much like the colour of my lawn this summer. the orchid however seems quite happy. now to find out why?

after a few questions the demise of this planter because obvious and was a common mistake that is easily rectified. if the customer had just forgot to water completely the orchid too would be showing neglect but it is in quite fine condition just finished flowering.

the customer had the planter in medium light [check] was placing 3 ice cubes in the planter near the centre where the orchid was once per week [check]. this is exactly perfect when caring for an orchid. in the winter months there may be some need to mist as well but most orchids are perfectly happy with ice cube method. however, this was a mixed planter and the 2 ferns had other needs [no check mark here...]

the ferns need moisture and actually need you to bust out a watering can or a cup of water at least weekly to give them a good helping of water. most people love small plants. they look cute, fit in many places and are great in terrariums such as this. small plants mean though that the plant is a baby and just starting to grow into a big plant. the roots of these plants need water and nutrients to get going. most don't like being soggy all the time as this causes rot but a good healthy drink once a week lets them do their thing. the ice cubes would only trickle water to these young roots and with a happy older orchid sharing the space, they were not getting their fair share.

so now that we're all put back together what is the right answer for taking care of a terrarium like this?

if you are comfortable doing the ice cubes with the orchid, keep doing that just keep the ice cubes on the orchid side of the planter.

find a beaker (most of us have one we use for cooking in some form or another) or a skinny neck watering can and once a week, water the side of the planter that has the ferns until the soil looks moist. you put drainage in the bottom right? so unless you are seriously heavy handed with the water they shouldn't be too wet. once that soil looks light coloured again in a week, repeat your watering technique and voila. a happy terrarium until your orchid flowers kick the bucket again. but at least this time you only have to replace the orchid, not everything.

Have a great day everyone,


Leave a comment