The Green Machine

Everyday I’m amazed at the beauty and wonder of the plant world.  From outdoors to inside our homes, they provide us with clean air and a calming environment. Plants have been a passion of mine ever since I was a young boy.  My first  job was at 11 years old  taking care of our neighbors yard as well as taking care of our own yard. My love of plants has multiplied from that time on.   Being an assistant grower at a wholesale growing nursery in the mid 70’s, SandyLand Nursery,  I learned so much about plants in general:  how to propagate them, grow, replant into larger containers, trim, stake and support, about anything you can imagine.  And that information I’m happy to pass on so you can create and grow plants for your environment.

I never want to read or hear these words from you: “I kill everything….I don’t have a green thumb”!   With a little guidance and plant education, all your doubts will be cast aside.  With the right soil, light, watering, fertilizer anyone can grow beautiful plants.   So we’ll explore this design avenue with explanations that will be easy to understand so you can let go of any “plant” fear you might have.  Blog Plants 6

 If you’re a pro at this, then hopefully I can share some design insight to construct valuable plant combinations that will give you or your clients much more beautiful specimens to enjoy.  And if not, no worries.  This is where I teach and share so you can get those hands dirty and play for fun AND profit!

I’ll reveal a variety of plant information for you to learn, where to buy plants on the cheap, the best soil brands to purchase,  how to plant properly for the planting to be eye pleasing, decorative additions like bamboo and rocks to add so your designs can be styled to your liking or for the proper décor.

Whether they are patio, interior or garden plantings, we’ll share lots of ideas so you can create your world into a beautiful plant paradise to enjoy for years to come……blog plants 8Blog Plants

Blog Plants 3



Faux and Beautiful

Orchids on upright logs
Vertical log “tower” I gathered from felled trees with white orchids for unique contemporary styling

Today’s Permanent designs ain’t your mom’s “silk” arrangements……the awesome product available from local retailers such as Michael’s Crafts, JoAnn Fabric and Craft, and Beverly’s Crafts make these designs become floral art pieces for your or a client’s home and office.  They are a passion of mine; just something about the way you can add  natural touches such as branches, pods, and mosses that gives these arrangements incredible style.

Chuck Merrill Ficus (6)
Ficus from Walmart embellished with branching to enhance the natural appearance

We’re going to explore this design medium in various posts so you can look at them in a new light.  Permanent arrangements are great money makers as well, customizing the designs for each customer’s décor style.  From Shabby chic to contemporary, there is a world of product available from your local retailers.  Michael’s Crafts, Beverly’s Crafts, Jo-ann Stores have almost anything you could ask for.  They’ve got the flowers, greens, dried foam, mosses.  And we know that the nature around you has got some wonderful things to pick up on your daily strolls.  I’ve gotten so many different types of logs and branches when I’m out and about on my walks…..totally exciting to find these treasures!  Looking forward to sharing this wonderful design medium so you can create lasting floral art.

Permanent designs Roseville
Vintage Roseville containers with dried items purchased at Dollar Tree and Michael’s Crafts
Permanent Design Birch log incurve protea birch branches (11)
Ceramic container with birch log and branches







Let’s Cluster Some Flowers!


Clustering (grouping tight and low) flowers and greens in an arrangement gives such a lush, focused appearance with visual interest spreading through the design. This flower design has a great mixture of texture and depth, using some things from my yard: succulents, heavenly bamboo, flax, variegated pittisporum and melaleuca bark (that I gathered from trees in my area).  The beautiful flowers were all purchased at Trader Joe’s: orange calla lily, roses, sun flowers, gladiolus (I used the blooms or “florets” for the punch of color).  Here’s the lowdown on my design approach: Continue reading Let’s Cluster Some Flowers!