Awhile back, I posted about a plant I rescued from the test kitchen where I was working at the time. The poor little guy was in rough shape when I brought him home, but I was determined to bring him back to life. After re-potting him and giving him a stake to hold up his stalk, I turned to you, savvy readers, to tell me how to care for him. Lucky for me, the plant I rescued needs very little care. According to reader Simone, he’s a Dieffenbachia and requires direct sun and a drink of water about once a week. A few of you also mentioned he’s poisonous to cats (and maybe dogs, too) but I don’t have any pets. I don’t get a ton of sun in my apartment, but I put him right up next to the window so he can soak in what I do get. A nice drink of water once a week and, I’ve got to tell you, my plant is absolutely flourishing! I had to add another stak,e he grew so tall in the time I’ve had him. Now I’m even considering a bigger pot (or are plants like goldfish — if you keep them in a smaller pot they just stop growing?) So I just wanted to say, Thanks for your help! — Erica P.
When I spotted them at a local gift shop, I immediately fell in love with these cute wooden gardening stakes with a twist. Seated at the base of each Magic Garden plant growing marker (either a gnome, toadstool, or ruby-bellied toad) are herb seeds that sprout up when watered, adding a bit of tasty edible foliage to existing flower beds or pots. I have some pansies in containers that could use a little touch of toadstool whimsy, and I cant help but think that these would make a lovely (and affordable) hostess gift for springtime. Find them at imaginechildhood.com, $5 each. — Megan B.
We’re all just itching to get outside and into the sun — and thankfully we’ve already got an early spring here in the Northwest. But all this lovely weather has me dreaming of new outdoor furniture to enjoy it in, and these fresh picks from Loll Designs are what I’m dreaming of! A pair of coco chairs (shown in apple) out on the deck? Sigh! Perfect for having coffee while I look at the lilac blooms. And that coffee is resting on a tiered topo table (shown in sky) while a family of robins chirp inside their pitch birdhouse (shown in leaf). But these are cooler than the average plastic furniture. Loll makes their products out of recycled milk bottles, and they’re constructed to last. See them all here. — Megan B.
Do I need my patio furniture to interlock into one tidy, design-y structure? No — but it sure is fun. The goofily named Art-Deck-Oh! Interlocking Furniture comes from Deeco. It looks like wicker but is made from polyethylene-based resin designed to stand up to sun, rain, and cold. (The site says it’s environmentally friendly — I’m checking into what that means exactly, but I believe it means it’s low on BPAs and also recyclable.) Honestly, it’s pretty darn cool looking — stacked or in use. You can learn more about it at the Deeco site, or shop online at just a few retailers so far. The groupings range from about $800-1500. — Mary T.
Stay tuned for more modern patio furniture — this time made from recycled materials — coming up.