New Plants & Making Another Air Plant Garden

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I flew back from Phoenix on Friday night and didn’t hop into my own bed until 2 a.m., but somehow I was not completely wiped on Saturday. I took my time getting settled and then Graham proposed a trip to our favorite garden shop to buy a flower pot for our second bonsai tree. It’s been in its plastic packaging since we bought it, and that’s just unacceptable.

I asked Graham if we were just looking for pots when we walked into Gethsemane Garden Center, but he told me he couldn’t make any promises. Soon enough he was browsing the bonsai collection in the greenhouse and eyeing a plumeria tree.

Meanwhile, I picked up the essentials to create my own vertical air plant garden at home. I wanted to make another so I could hang it beside the one I made at my recent Dabble class with LeeLee’s Gardens.

Here’s what I bought to make my air plant garden:

Notes: You don’t really need two colors of moss, and I have a ton left over to make about 10 more gardens if I wanted to do so. I also now have the glue for other projects. If you happen to live in an area where air plants grow you wouldn’t have to pay the prices I did. Also, you could probably find them in other stores for less, but we like the quality of the plants we purchase at Gethsemane, and we notice plants just seem more expensive in Chicago than other places. You can also find a variety of sizes of cork bark online for different prices. I like that the piece I bought already had hardware to hang it, so I didn’t need to purchase that.

How I made my air plant gardens:

  1. Screw your hardware (screw eye hooks) onto the back of the cork bark. Space them equally and toward the outer top corners of the cork bark. You can use fishing line, twine or whatever other material you like to loop and tie through the hooks and use for hanging. You could also just screw the hardware on the top of the cork bark if you prefer to hang it that way. This is how my newest cork bark came.
  2. Pick your air plants based on what the cork bark looks like. It has nooks in various sizes and places, and those are natural spots to place air plants and moss. Design your layout of the plants first. I like having a large air plant, a medium size one and one to three small ones. 
  3. Decide where you want to place moss and other decoration. You can stick the moss in with or without glue. (Tweezers or a pointy object can help stick the moss on.) In class I didn’t use glue, but this time I decided to put a tiny bit of glue down first before glueing the moss on.
  4. Place glue on the bottom of the air plant and place the air plant onto the cork bark/moss. Repeat with the rest of your air plants. 
  5. Leave it resting on a flat surface and wait about 12 hours for it to dry. 
  6. Hang and enjoy!
We repotted the bonsai into our new addition, and it looks beautiful! We actually saved money buying the bonsai apart from the pot. Already potted bonsai trees can be anywhere from $50-350 or more depending on the size and type.

Other than that, we bought tiny foliage for about $3 to replace the only one we have ever lost from this shop. We also picked up some succulents from both Gethsemane and Lowe’s recently. We have yet to place some of these together in a pot, but garden planning is a process!

How we save money on plants at Lowe’s:

This is probably not a secret to anyone, but we pick up plants that are on clearance because they are struggling and bring them back to life. We have done this many times. Sometimes all it takes is placing them under a grow light or in the actual sun. Typically we get these for $1 each to $5 if they come in a nicer pot.

All of these are from Lowe’s except the orange celosias, which were about $3.49 for a six-pack at Gethsemane.
Do you enjoy gardening? How are your plants doing?