Picture Snob

January 13, 2010

Some big bargains on indoor plants at IKEA

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I was in IKEA this weekend looking for countertops from my new kitchen and on the way out of the store, you pass the plant section which is located in a good place for impulse buying. I was totally boggled by the size of the $50 plants which were head high with no yellow or brown leaves. They had Ravena, Dragon Tree, Unbrella tree, and Yucca in $20 sizes which were about waist or chest high. This is where I'm coming to get plants for the house! There were small pots of Bird's Nest Fern, Ivy, Song of India, Bromeliad and some tiny seeded pots of herbs all at unbeilevably low prices.

The Dragon Tree and the Ivy are both mentioned in "How to Grow Fresh Air" as being high in their ability to remove toxins. Since this book covers only what was used in NASA's experiments with their biosphere, there's no information on many of the plants. I'm definitely getting several large plants that are well established as well as smaller ones. One reader mentioned getting a Boston Fern for her baby's room. It is the best toxin remover and easy to grow.

If you are far away from IKEA, like I am, and only make a trip there twice a year or so, it seems Amazon has some plants to try.

At Lemon Lime Madagascar Dragon Tree - Dracaena - Easy!

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2010

How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office

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This is a great book. I bought it for my daughter and her husband when they first moved into their house. The place had just been painted and I was worried about the fumes from carpeting and paint. But the book offered much more. There are studies conducted by NASA which show that plants remove pollutants from the air. The book has great photos of houseplants and a very easy to read scale which shows what pollutants each plant removes, how easy the plant is to care for, and how beset by insects it might be. We went for a Fincus, Dumb Cane, Peace plant, and an English Ivy. My strategy was to buy the easy to care for plants that removed a lot of pollutants and to see how well they survived in my daughter's household where no one much is interested in caring for them.

The Fincus lasted several years and finally for no apparent reason, started dropping all it's leaves and died. But the several year were worth it. It's a lovely tree and can grow very tall under the right conditions. A teacher friend of mine had one ten feet tall in her classroom. The Dumb Cane was very attractive and lasted longer. The three suvivors of the original picks are Pothos, Snake plant, the English Ivy, and Spider plant.

I'm building a new house and am going to use this book to pick out house plants. I'll have plenty of light and so am looking forward to another Fincus and some rubber plants. I want to grow a Dumb Cane really big also. I loved that plant. It's exciting to think that these lovely plants will also help clean the air and keep it fresh for me year round.

I repeat. "This is a great book!"

At How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 7, 2010

Seedling Heat Mat warms soil for early sprouting

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I'm in Boston this month. There's snow everywhere and temperatures in the 20's. It's hard to imagine gardening unless you have a sunny room or porch. But for those of us who can't wait to start some plants, I'm thinking this heating pad looks perfect. It's 20" by 10" so it fits underneath a large seed flat. It's waterproof and made of heavy fray proof material. It will warm the soil in the flat 10 or 20 degrees above room temperature so that seed germination is faster. It comes with a 6 ft. power cord and instructions for use and also comes in larger sizes. No matter where you are, if you can't bear the thought of another month or two of winter, you might try hastening the season with this seedling heat mat.

At Seedling Heat Mat

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December 28, 2009

Large Leaf Italian Basil Heirloom Seeds for a stocking stuffer surprise

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If you're going crazy thinking of stocking stuffers, why not try some seed packets like these Italian Basil seeds. It novel, inventive and holds the promise of spring and the growing season. Seeds should please any gardener and might interest children in a indoor winter time project of planting seeds and waiting for the exciting results. Herbs would do well indoors and flower starts would be fun.

At Large Leaf Italian Basil Heirloom Seeds

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December 17, 2009

Juniper Bonsai Tree makes a great gift


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Bonsai plants make a great gift. Creating small, visually pleasing and interesting shapes is an art practiced in Asia and today particularly identified with Japan. It makes a wonderful hobby for those indoors in winter. There are many websites which give instructions for the care of bonai trees, but this one comes already started and carefully packaged so that you or another can begin at once to work with it. Juniper trees are hardy and easily cared for and the leaves are small so that visually they are lovely to look at.

At Juniper Bonsai Tree From Bonsai Boy

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December 16, 2009

Backyard Greenhouse is a perfect big splurge gift

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This greenhouse is a blowout gift for the gardener in your life(or your own garden). It is easy to assemble, sturdy and durable and will extend the growing season and give healthier veggies, more vibrant flowers, and abundant herbs year-round. It uses solar heat and the glazing resists fogging. The roof is strong enough to hold a snow load and the greenhouse makes a beautiful accent to the garden. Here is a great way to protect seedlings from frost for an early start. So if you want to splurge on a loved one or on yourself, this is the item to choose.

  • Hobby greenhouse with sliding door
  • 100 percent UV protection: protects glazing, plants, and gardener from harmful rays
  • Classic apex roof design for head room; roof vent for proper ventilation
  • Aluminum frame, powder coated galvanized steel base;
  • Measures 6 by 8 feet, manufacturer 12-year warranty

At Rion Greenline 6- By 8-Foot Backyard Hobby Greenhouse

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December 14, 2009

Prepara Power Plant Mini grows plants hydroponically

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This small hydroponic grower has a clean, svelte design looks great on any counter or window sill. You don't need experience to use it; just set it up, plant your seed, and let the Power Plant Mini do all the work. It can grow up to 50% faster than potted plants do. It uses distilled water, nutrient, and air to grow abundant harvests. A good starter kit for someone in the family.

At Prepara Power Plant Mini

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November 23, 2009

NEPTUNE Portable Green Grow Hot House lets you garden in winter

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Year-round gardening becomes possible with this portable greenhouse. A transparent plastic covering keeps the heat and lets the light in. The wire grid shelving is easy to assemble and there is a roll-up door for efficient access. It requires no tools and instructions for assembly are included. This will work by a window in a garage, or by a sunny wall, on an unheated porch where you can start your seedlings early or overwinter you favorite plants.

At NEPTUNE 4-Tier Mini Portable GREENHOUSE Green Grow Hot House

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November 19, 2009

Amaryllis Growing Kit makes a great gift for the holidays

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Amaryllis grows well indoors in the winter and this kit provides everything you will need to produce huge, brilliant colored flowers to brighten your home. The flowers can be 8" across and you have your choice of red, white, or appleblossom. Complete instructions are included. You can get successive year's blooms. I've grown these many times and never been disappointed. They make a great gift and are lovely at Christmas.

At Amaryllis Growing Kit - Great Gift - CHOOSE COLOR!

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 12, 2009

Florist In A Box for winter color and table decoration

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If you're a little bummed that the growing season is over, this should cheer you up. Florist In A Box flowers grow and bloom for months. The AeroGarden 3 uses the simple, Plug & Grow system to grow flowers fast and reliably, guaranteed. No dirt, weeds or mess. It's so easy that anyone, with or without gardening experience, can grow lush, beautiful flowers. Simply add water, drop in the pre-seeded grow pods, turn it on and watch it grow.

The kit comes with a set of 3 attractive vases specially designed for the Plus & Grow seed pods. Flowers can be put in the vases for up to 24 hours, then returned to the AeroGarden. Also, the entire bowl can be removed and placed in an included wicker basket and used as a centerpiece. The kit comes complete with everything you need and a fully illustrated guide.

At AeroGarden 900120-1250 Florist In A Box

Marilyn Renaker at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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