MapleNest Blog

9 Trendy Garden Accent Ideas to Try This Summer!

What’s new and fabulous in outdoor decor? Gardens, Backyards and outdoors are more than just plants and vegetation. This summer try some beautiful reclaimed and repurposed materials, such as sea glass, river stones, petrified wood, bamboo, teak wood roots and branches. These materials are harmlessly cultivated and produced in West Java, Indonesia.

1.  Attracting Birds with Bird Baths– Bird baths with lifelike bird sculptures is a  bird magnet.

2. All-weather Reclaimed Teak Pedestals – You’ll never go back to plastic tables.

3. Light up! If you cannot make yourself a serene Japanese garden, a stone Japanese pagoda does the job!

4. Let teak stools mushroom this spring! Perfect seating for kids

5.  Sticks & Stones- preferred decor of the ancient man! 

6.  Garden Sculptures- Owls, dolphins, horses, mice, elephants and all your favorite animals.

7.   Get your own GOT Throne- for fun and games with grandchildren.

 8.  Driftwood Planters & Pots 

9.  Candle Holders of natural stone

Happy Gardening!

How to Stop Killing Your Plants- Container Gardening for Beginners

Its spring again, and like every year, your thoughts turn to trying gardening this year. Yet again. But you do not want to kill plants like you did last year.  Oh you tried to grow them in pots and in planters, in the sun or in the shade, all over  your little apartment, and, yet none survived. Secretly, you had begun to wonder if your green thumb was the Incredible Hulk, destroying everything it came in contact with! But help is near. Read our 5 must-do’s for plants to survive.

  1.    Gardening Soil is not equal to Garden Soil!  Potting Soil for containers cannot be the dense garden soil, instead it has to be a mix of peat, perlite, vemiculite, clay, sand, leaf and compost. Add to this a handful of the garden soil as well. Light and loose potting soil makes for good drainage and growth of roots.  
  2. Don’t drown the plant!  The most common mistake novice gardeners ma ke is to overwater the plant. They treat water as a substitute for love! A dry looking top-soil does not mean the plant is starved of water.  Try and approximate their natural habitat. If a succulent can survive in waterless natural habitats, spraying water every day will only rot its waterlogged roots. Water sparingly.
  3. The right container makes a big difference! Here I dont mean you should buy only certain types or size of containers. In fact every container can be a good plant abode; however be sure to match your plant to it. A flat and shallow container is great for a plant with spread-out, fibrous roots, but not so for a plant which sends down one single deep tap root. So match your plant and especially the root and foliage to the container.
  4. Drain the Swamp(!) Container plants may need a bit of help in draining off excess water if you over-water them. You can rescue them by pushing down a ball of blotting paper, or lining the bottom of the pot with pebbles, broken bits of china or even bits of terracotta or pottery.   
  5.  Two is company, but three is definitely a crowd- Resist the urge to showcase the container by planting many different types of plants together. Ideally give each plant its own planter; if you do want to plant more varieties make sure that the growing requirements of both are similar. You cannot plant a succulent with a water seeking annual.   
  6. Not a windowless room please! Plants need the sun and air. If you have to keep them in an air-conditioned or windowless room, give them a visit to the morning sun once a week at least. We have no doubt, with these few simple tricks you can fix that green thumb this spring. Happy Gardening!

7 Best Reclaimed Picture Frames & How to Use Them.

You are all set to go out for the evening. A nice dress, hair in place, your high heels strapped. And no make-up! Not even a bit! How does that feel? Incomplete, right? Sure, you could go without any make-up, it’s not physically impossible; but, you’d rather not. You know you will look a thousand times nicer if you did put on a bit of make-up!  Exactly like a picture does with a nice picture frame. You could mount pictures without any frame but any picture would look much nicer with the right frame.

  1.  A simple slim iron frame, unobtrusive and non-glitzy but with a charming antique-y character. It is made out of salvaged iron strips and has rustic keyholes and chains for hanging. You can use it to mount a single standout picture, a striking feather( as is shown here), an ornate large key. Anything which is a counterpoint to the plain frame, really. Why we love them is they let the picture pop out. You can buy it here.        
  2.   An exact opposite to the slim edge iron frame  is the recycled wood thick edge photo-frame. Made out of reclaimed red wood from Thailand these frames are a smart example of live-edge, which is a huge object of desire now. You can get them here
  3.  A sleek frame of horn and glass is the perfect frame for a bedside table. Frame pictures of family, or a card that your  daughter painted for Mother’s Day. Artisan Living’s hand made frame available here.    
  4. And here are some cheerful, lovely ikat print frames which are really inexpensive, easy to use and excellent for all family and baby pictures. You can find them here.     
  5. And if you want to go the industrial chic way, we have some really great frames made from reclaimed steel drums. You can even see the industrial print on the iron sheets. I find them great for imparting a sophisticated, theatrical design focus to an office room.   

     6.  If you are looking for a bold sophisticated touch, molten brass is the way to go. Lacking the shininess of gold, it has a rich matt molten metal sheen, which goes so well with leather and wood. The finish is great. Its brushed gold, not the crazy shiny brassy gold that looks super cheap. They are simple and modern.  Perfect gift for a married couple.   

7.  And here are some whimsical picture frames made out of salvaged wood cart wheels. What a rustic touch they bring to your surroundings. This is where you can get them.    

I am sure this has put you in a better frame of mind! Do post pictures and opinions of what makes for a good picture frame.

The 6 Easiest Plants to Grow in Containers & Planters.

You don’t need a green thumb to grow a bounty of plants in your new planters. Gardening may seem intimidating to a gardening novice, but we bring you 6 almost foolproof plants, flowers and even herbs to grow with the least amount of time and effort.

      1.   NasturtiumsThe no-pain, all gain flowering plant.Profuse, pretty, multicolored flowers; Can be grown in a planter, Watering and potting soil required. Bears flowers within few weeks.

2.  Pineapple MintLooks good, tastes even better. Herb with pleasant flavor; can be grown from saplings, variegated leaves grow easily and spread over a medium sized pot.

3.   Tomatoes- The easiest plant you will ever grow! Grows from a packet of seeds; Great for growing from hanging planters. Fruits appear in a few weeks, give it time to ripen.

4. Geraniums – Carefree Bloomers! Easy to grow from plants or seeds; Perennials; can outlast winters indoor;

5.  Basil- The queen of the herb garden. Blooms easily during summer; can survive winters indoor; lush leaves have a green distinctive shape.

6.  Succulents -Defies all plant murderers! Hardy beyond belief;Plenty of shapes, colors and sizes; Will probably outlive you.

 

We guarantee you that any of these 6 I-can-take-care-of-myself plants will leave you wondering if you had a magical touch with plants.

6 Awesome Planter Gardening Ideas for Your Small Apartment!

It is spring. There’s green shoots pushing out of the ground and leaves on each tree. And how you wish you could grow a few plants in your tiny apartment. There’s hardly any space for bringing in pots and plant a few nice annuals. Don’t let the lack of space keep you from joys of gardening. Here are a few tricks for you to become a great gardener even in a small urban space.

1. When you don’t have the floor, you still have the walls! Walls offer a large expanse of empty space and even if you have some wall decor or art, plants go very well with everything. You could choose wall mounted planters for showcasing small green plants.Tip– Do not select planters with drill holes because you do not want them to drip water down the wall.

2. Even if your walls are not vacant areas, a wall planter breaks up the space and adds a dash of color. And growing plants are wall decor which change color, texture, and form every few days; which makes it so much more interesting than a static decor item.
Tip– Be sure to pick up a metal or glass planter in a quiet earthen or metallic color to set off the green plants. Here is a good pick. You could mix and match a few such planters to form a vertical garden.3. There is a lot of buzz about “living green walls” which are a cool way to incorporate plants into your living space. They tick all the right boxes- sustainable living, healthy, good vibes, great hobby; but they are expensive. We recommend plant portrait, which is basically a small size plant growing tile. These tiles are built on self watering material, so you just need to water them very sparingly, once in a couple of weeks. Here is a great example of a plant portrait.


4. You could also use the ceiling or a beam to hang planters.

5. We especially recommend terrariums or small table-top planters which you can keep in whatever small area that you might find. You could even use tiered terrariums and hang them in a column.

6. And lastly, why not marry a planter and a pendant lamp? We found this really clever idea here.

Whichever option you might choose, it is really easy to get a small indoor garden going. Watch out for the next blog post on the best plants for easy indoor gardening.

 

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