With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Landscape designer Tom Stout—featured on HGTV's Outer Spaces and Get Out, Way Out!—helps home landscapes spring to life through sustainable and eco-friendly methods. Tom will offer ideas to spruce up outdoor spaces during a 90-minute landscaping consultation, in which he looks for ways to capture each client's lifestyle and personality while integrating their collection of spitting-cherub fountains. After touring the grounds, Tom will discuss how to put yard, garden, pergola, and water-feature plans into action using bioswales and water-retention devices, as well as climate appropriate and drought resistant plant material. Click here to sift through a gallery of Tom's past projects, ranging from outdoor grilling areas to well-manicured replicas of the Garden of Eden.
The florists at Boulevard Florist Wholesale Market outfit patrons with tropical flowers, hanging baskets, and floral equipment to beautify their dwellings. Their boston ferns and caladium plants impress visitors with their fecund green leaves, and purple chrysanthemums or roses add color to kitchens not already covered in tomato sauce. The staffers also deliver blooms, and impart their green-thumbing knowledge during floral-design classes held across two weekend days or 90 minutes.
Rainforest Flora traces its origins back to the 1960s, when UCLA economics student Paul Isley developed a fascination with the otherworldly aspects of the tillandsia plant. The soil-free plant so captivated him that he embarked on an adventure through Mexico and Guatemala to collect specimens. After Paul met his friend and business partner Jerry Robinson on a Caribbean diving expedition for Spanish galleons, Rainforest Flora's lush bromeliad nurseries began to become a reality. Today, thanks to the work and sacrifice of Isley, Robinson, and their former associate, Bill Harris, the business's two facilities in California self-sustainably produce millions of high-quality neoregelias, ferns, and tillandsias.
Tillandsias are otherwise known as "air plants"—so called because of their ability to thrive outside of soil and to consistently deliver textbook underarm lay-ups. Gardeners often attach these colorful fronds to vertical indoor and outdoor spaces or suspend them from wires, helping them grow with the shop's ample supply of epiphyte-friendly fertilizers, waterproof glue, and hangers. In addition to initiating curious gardeners into the world of exotic tillandsias and other bromeliads, Rainforest Flora equips green thumbs with colorful neoregelias and easy-to-grow ornamental staghorn ferns.