Living Ornaments: Tillandsia

Better Homes and Gardens

I've been trying to come up with creative gift ideas that show my appreciation for a few special people in my life. Of course I realize that for some folks — like my dog's groomer or hairstylist — a nice tip will be more than satisfactory. But there are situations when a tip isn't appropriate, yet you still want to show a gesture of thanks. Fortunately, when I flipped through the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I came across this idea and was set. The Forest Floor glass ornament is created by one of our favorites here on Apartment Therapy. The brainchild of the San Francisco company, Flora Grubb. Inside the glass ball you will find lichens, moss, feathers, seeds and a Tillandsia — or Air Plant as they are commonly called. Since Tillandsias derive their nutrients from the air and rain, the website suggests that all they'll need is an occasional spritz of water.

For a similar style of ornament, Flora Grubb offers kits for their hanging glass orb terrarium variety. Prices range from $28 to $37. Or for those crafty gift givers looking to save a buck, try your hand at making a DIY version. All you'll need is a clear glass ball ornament or a glass orb, bits of nature from your garden, a couple Tillandsias and your set!

I'm naturally drawn to this idea because I'm a bit plant obsessed — but this gift will also be perfect for my acupuncturist as well as a hostess gift for the majority of my holiday parties. And, it's a given that I'll need a few extras for myself of course!

Images: 1-2, Flora Grubb; 3, Terrain

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