Sea holly (Eryngium species — I think this one might be Eryngium amethystinum?) is one of my favorite flowers to cut and enjoy in my studio workspace in summer. It’s so spiky and architectural, thistle-like without actually stabbing anyone — isn’t it perfect with my Scarab Bracelet? It’s an easy perennial to grow in my garden, and looks great without any fussing (always a goal for me.) This one hasn’t reached its full electric blue coloring yet, but I love it in all stages. Here it is last summer too, in the same Heath Ceramics bud vase. Why mess with something that works so perfectly in my everyday life? Maybe vases are like earrings: as long as you have a few to choose from that fit your style perfectly and go with everything, they’ll continue to bring you joy.
Say hello to this new little plant, Begonia sutherlandii! I grew this years ago and lost it, so I’m thrilled to try it again. This begonia is from Tanzania and parts of South Africa (it’s a botanical species, not a hybrid, and grows wild there in shady areas) and it’s pretty hardy (for a begonia), so I’ve got a couple outside too, at least for now. I’m hoping to enjoy this one as a potted houseplant in my studio for at least a while longer, though. My begonias came from Digging Dog Nursery, I have no idea how long I’ve had that pot or where it came from, and I’m wearing the Scarab Bracelet from my Mechanical Garden collection here. (Always one of my favorites!)
The ones outside have brighter orange flowers so far, but I love this backlit pale orange here too! So, so good with that almost chartreuse green.
Guess I’d better get back to the style sketches I meant to work on… At least I’ve got this happy little plant to keep me company!
Want to see more sneak peeks into my studio and what’s growing and/or blooming here? See the studio flowers tag.
I wish you could smell the star jasmine I cut to enjoy in my studio this week. Its gorgeous, haunting scent makes me think of evenings in California (where I grew up), lush and lovely as gardenias and orange blossom, but much easier to grow in my colder Seattle-area garden. I love the spiky, delicate flowers and shining green leaves with my Rose Window Earrings, Trellis Earrings, and Garland Earrings (from my modern botanical-inspired Mechanical Garden jewelry collection), above. This pale yellow version is Trachelospermum asiaticum, a little hardier than the Trachelospermum jasminoides I remember.
Here’s a closeup (in my favorite Heath Ceramics bud vase — mine’s in their Redwood glaze, which doesn’t seem to be available right now.)
Time to get back to work! Or… I could watch the mesmerizing swing of these earrings a little longer…
Want to see more of how I bring a little beauty to my workspace? See more of my studio flowers posts.
The old roses in my garden only bloom once a year, but when their gorgeous scent fills my studio, I know it’s worth it! This vase on my desk captures summer perfectly for me. Clockwise from the dark red center rose, this is Rosa gallica officinalis (the Apothecary Rose, also known as the Red Rose of Lancaster from the War of Roses, grown since before 1600 AD), Rosa alba ‘Maxima’, Rosa ‘Capitaine John Ingram’ (a moss rose, grown since 1854), Rosa alba ‘Semi-plena’ (the White Rose of York), and ‘Felicite et Perpetue’ (grown since 1827).
I suppose I’d better get back to work… But at least I can still enjoy these beauties! (Wish I could share their gorgeous scent with you too… It isn’t the same scent, but CB I Hate Perfume’s Tea / Rose has a similar lush gorgeousness.)
I love having something green and growing in my workspace, and I love growing orchids, with their strange, wonderfully beautiful flowers and traveling air roots. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough light to grow orchids well year-round in my studio. Here’s how I enjoy them during my work day anyway.
Dendrobium ‘Green Flash’ blooms frequently and prolifically for me, and its small, green and purple flowers last for a few days in a bud vase. I love the pretty-yet-edgy vibe they bring to these jewelry photos for my Wisteria Bracelet (above) and earrings from the Mechanical Garden collection (below.) Styling them was as simple as picking up my vase of studio flowers! (I love having my inspiration right in front of me!)
2. You don’t have to grow them where you enjoy them.
I have sunny (for Seattle, anyway!) east- and north-facing windows in my entryway that are great for orchids! They live here most of the time, where I get to enjoy their green leaves and pots in passing (and play spot-the-orchid-spike for upcoming blooms.) They’re joined by a couple of hoyas (below), and a tropical Nepenthes pitcher plant and Bilbergia nutans (above.) But, I don’t spend a lot of time in this spot, so when one comes into bloom, I bring it up to the desk in my studio for a week or so. (Can you spot the blooming Phalaeonopsis and Encyclia mariae here? It would be a shame not to spend time enjoying them closer up, right?)
3. Standard-size pots and a designated spot make it easy to place an orchid that’s blooming.
If I had to clear a different-sized space every time something bloomed, I’d never bother! Most of my orchids are about the same size, and I use these green Ikea cachepots for almost all of them. (The plastic pots inside have drainage holes, the cachepots don’t — so they don’t make a mess everywhere when I water them.) A designated spot on the shelf beside my window is ready for them. (Unfortunately, the window looks straight into my neighbor’s bathroom, so… Yeah. Curtains it is!)
Above and below: Oncidium ‘Tsiku Marguerite’ (one of my favs from the Twinkle family!) shows off its green cachepot, and brings a little life into a jewelry photo.
I work in my home studio, but commuters going in to the office might appreciate lightweight standard plastic pots that slide neatly into a beautiful (but heavier) cachepot that stays in the office. (Yes, you can still bring your orchids with you — especially if you spot them as they first begin to spike, when they’re shorter and less likely to get a bud knocked off. Treat the pot like a bouquet of flowers — hold it in your lap on the bus, or wedge it securely into place while you drive. And test it first with something less precious, like a Trader Joe’s mini phalaeonopsis, before risking a rare orchid’s first bloom.)
Most of the time, my orchids give me a beautiful spot to rest my eyes on a computer screen break or during some creative daydreaming. That’s reason enough to bring them in, for me! But they do have other benefits too — like inspiring photo shoots and even new jewelry styles.