July 13th, 2012

The Hanging Gardens of Emmaus

It may not be one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but the indoor “hanging garden” at Organic Gardening definitely makes people slow down for a look.

This garden began by accident. Organic Gardening had a booth at the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show, and our marketing team bought some plants to enliven the space. It looked great:

The Organic Gardening booth at the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show

The Organic Gardening booth at the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show

After the show, they stashed the plants in a storage room temporarily, planning to offer them to the OG staff because they didn’t have space for them at home. The plants were naturally not happy in storage, and some started to drop their leaves. Therese and I brought them out and placed them on the cabinets outside of my office, where they would have light from the adjacent atrium and we could give them a drink.

As the plants sat in their “temporary” home awaiting new owners, passersby would stop to admire them and ask where they came from. They were like a mint garnish on top of the plain vanilla ice cream of the walls surrounding them. My office even seemed a little cooler and the sunlight from the atrium a little less harsh.

Since I have little luck with most houseplants in my apartment (not enough light), I thought, Why not keep them here, where more people can enjoy them?

So I begged, borrowed, and bought some containers to repot the ones that needed repotting and arranged the collection into a tableau that covered the whole countertop.

There was only one problem: We use that countertop whenever Doug, our Organic Gardening Test Garden manager, has extra plants or produce to give away.

The solution was to go vertical. Our friends at Avant Garden Décor came to the rescue by donating several large parasol-style “Queen Elizabeth” hanging basket planters by CobraCo., along with extra coco liners. Workers in Rodale’s Facilities department came and installed sturdy hanging hooks, and we were in business!

The plants were hung two days ago, and now everyone who walks down that hall on the way to the busy conference room—and everyone surrounding the atrium above and below us—has something green and soothing to look at.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we enjoy our hanging garden:

In the hanging basket, left to right: TK, TK, Maranta leuconeura 'Kerchoveana' (rabbit's foot, rabbit's TK), Epipremnum pictum Argyraeum (TK)

In the hanging baskets, left to right: Hedera helix ‘Ovata’, Nephrolepis exaltata (a relative of the Boston fern, cultivar unknown), Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoveana’ (a type of prayer plant called rabbit’s foot or rabbit’s tracks because of the markings on its leaves), Epipremnum pictum Argyraeum (satin pothos, silk pothos, silver philodendron). Below them, the plant with the large leaves and white flowers is Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’ (peace lily).

The view of the hanging gardens from across the atrium

The view of the hanging gardens from across the atrium

Schefflera actinophylla (Australian ivy palm, octopus tree, Queensland umbrella tree). This native of Australia and New Guinea will reach 40 feet tall under the right conditions. We may need a bigger atrium!

Schefflera actinophylla (Australian ivy palm, octopus tree, Queensland umbrella tree). This native of Australia and New Guinea will reach 40 feet tall under the right conditions. We may need a bigger atrium!

Schefflera arboricola (Hawaiian umbrella tree, dwarf umbrella TK)

Schefflera arboricola (Hawaiian umbrella tree, dwarf umbrella plant, arboricola tree, Hawaiian elf)

Dracaena

I’ve tentatively identified the plant with the solid green leaves as Dracaena fragrans 'Janet Craig' (Deremensis Group) and the striped one as Dracaena fragrans 'Warneckei' (Deremensis Group). They’ll be easier to identify when they get larger.

Microsorum musifolium (crocodile fern)

Microsorum musifolium (crocodile fern). This one is my favorite—I love the reptilian texture of its fronds, which resemble snakeskin.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments

    The Organic Gardening ‘office garden’ is spectacular. Well done Nancy!

    It’s a beautiful addition to the hallway! Falls into the category of why didn’t someone think of it before now? It is so perfect!

Post a comment




    Comments:






OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image
OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image OGFooter image