image:3217373e2e548c21cfbe57119baaadf60c448185 w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" These are some of my favorite picks this year among holiday gifts for the botanically inclined. Some of them are profoundly impractical trinkets; others are implements your plant-and-flower-loving friends will use for years. There are gifts for those who just like to gaze at plants and flowers, and gifts for those who like to work with them, most under $100.
Is there a twelve-step program for addiction to throw pillows? Maybe we’ll start one. It’s gotten pretty bad. In fact, we’ve had to place a moratorium on them for the calendar year (here we come, 2010!).
Bromeliads are some of the most popular house plants, and with good reason. They come in a beautiful array of colors and foliage; they reproduce on their own, growing cute little baby bromeliads right in their very pots; and they will basically live forever with relatively low maintenance. Sometimes, though—every few months, if our specimen is typical—they need a little attention to their coiffure. Find out how to pamper them after the jump:BeforeSee those yucky brown tips?
We love the geometry and repetition of a terraced garden, and this little set-up, from the home of Susann Larsson of Purple Area, is an ingenious way to bring the look to your small-space deck or balcony garden. It works perfectly for herbs, which will stay small with constant harvesting… Susann’s lovely little garden benefits from the uniformity of the galvanized steel pots.
Fresh flowers are a fleeting pleasure no matter how you slice it, but we think they bring so much life and color to a room that they’re absolutely worth the effort and expense. A few simple tricks borrowed from the pros will help you keep flowers around a good long while. So go ahead, buy yourself a Valentine bouquet!
Name: Jessica Engeman & Erik HovmillerProfession: Historic Preservation Specialist & Social WorkerLocation: Portland, OregonSize: 1500 sq. ft.Years lived in: 5 months, owned >> When they began their house hunt, Jessica and Erik, like so many first-time home buyers, found that most of the houses in their budget were old and needed a lot of work. But for a young couple with the creativity, vision, and unstoppable work ethic of these two, a fixer-upper can be a blessing in disguise.
Name: David Tomb and Susan SweetLocation: San FranciscoSize: Living area 1700 sq. ft., office/studio 700 sq. ft.Years lived in: 10 years owned >> Back in 1996, the architect Bruce Tomb heard about a 1950s dragnet-style police precinct coming up for public auction in San Francisco. At the time, Bruce’s brother, the artist David Tomb, and his wife, Susan Sweet, were living in New York, but hoping to come back to the Bay Area to start a family.
Name: Samantha Martin-EvansLocation: San Francisco, CASize: 950 sq. ft., 2-bedroom Edwardian carriage houseYears lived in: 11, owned >> Photographer Samantha Martin-Evans doesn’t know whether her hundred-year-old Edwardian cottage in Noe Valley was ever actually used as a carriage house, but one thing is for certain: the interior has come a long way from its buttoned-up origins.
Name: Julie, James, and Possum (dog)Location: Bernal Heights, San Francisco Size: 1,275 square feet; 2 bedroom, one bathYears lived in: Eight Julie and James don’t consider themselves “hard-core DIYers.” And yet—wait for it… they demolished the kitchen all by themselves. That little tidbit alone should give you some idea of these two: their rare blend of enviable talent and genuine humility.
Name: Samuel Barrett GenthnerLocation: Duboce Triangle/Mint Hill, San FranciscoSize: 2 bedrooms, 1500 square feetYears lived in: Almost 3 years If you’ve ever stepped foot inside Monument, the fabulous vintage and antiques shop in the Mission co-owned by Samuel Barrett Genthner, you won’t be surprised by the impeccable, interesting style that defines his home.
Name: Rhiannon Smith & Victor Obeck Location: Hayes Valley, San FranciscoSize: 501 square feetYears lived in: Almost 2 years, rented Rhiannon and Victor’s apartment is not what you might expect the home of a couple of college students to look like. But the two of them, who are both transferring into San Francisco State in the fall, decided when they moved into their Hayes Valley Edwardian walk-up that they were going to make it special.