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Christy Dailey: Plant Guru

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This is one of two giant philodendron plants that I had in my apartment. I brought it to the office one day last fall to spend the winter in Martha's office, and it had such a great visit that it completely outgrew its container and needed to be divided and re-potted. I hired Christy Dailey, a local urban garden designer, to come in and help with the situation.

Christy started out as a gardener, and now works designing and planting outdoor spaces as well as rooftop and terrace gardens in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is a great reference for all things planting and potting, and she often helps us with important plant or garden-related questions and projects.

Philodendrons, which are native to southeastern Brazil, typically grow to be quite large, but it is not at all easy to separate them. In fact, it can severely damage the plant. Check out my photos of Christy's process, but don't try this at home!

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Christy and an assistant had a hard time getting the plant out of the pot.

1 Christy and an assistant had a hard time getting the plant out of the pot.

As you can see, the pot was very root bound, and Christy had to separate the four trunks extremely carefully.

2 As you can see, the pot was very root bound, and Christy had to separate the four trunks extremely carefully.

Christy decided where the divisions would be best and least damaging to the plant.

3 Christy decided where the divisions would be best and least damaging to the plant.

The tools necessary for Christy's expert procedure.

4 The tools necessary for Christy's expert procedure.

Let the dividing begin!

5 Let the dividing begin!

Me and Christy. I couldn't be happier with the results. I now have two beautiful philodendrons to put on my terrace at home. I will post a picture once the plants have settled in and are looking their best.

6 Me and Christy. I couldn't be happier with the results. I now have two beautiful philodendrons to put on my terrace at home. I will post a picture once the plants have settled in and are looking their best.

Introducing Berkshire Orchids

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berkshire orchardsWrapping up my recap of this year's Trade Secrets showcase (see my previous posts on vendors here and here), is this beautiful booth. Berkshire Orchids is an amazing business run by Ann Roberts Levine in Lakeville, Connecticut, where she grows an incredible variety of orchids in her own greenhouse. I love how colorful and fragrant orchids can be and often keep them around my apartment. I think it's especially interesting to display different types of orchids together, which is great, since it seems like there is an infinite number of species and hybrids out there.

Ann is incredibly knowledgeable about all things orchid. She does custom floral design for her customers, and her expert arrangements are inventive and beautiful. Her shop holds a vast collection of baskets, pots, and terra cotta options for potting, and customers can even bring their own containers to her greenhouse in which Anne will inevitably create a beautifully designed arrangement.

Berkshire Orchids’ booth at Trade Secrets had orchids of all colors, shapes, and sizes, from delicate white and pastel blooms to massive, brightly colored stalks of blossoms, and I couldn’t help but bring several home with me to play with new combinations of species and colors.

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It was a veritable buffet of orchids. It seemed as though every color, shape, and variety was represented.

1 It was a veritable buffet of orchids. It seemed as though every color, shape, and variety was represented.

Pansy orchids are a great combination of color and pattern.

2 Pansy orchids are a great combination of color and pattern.

Vanda orchids deliver large on the promise of color. I like to put them on the console by my front door.

3 Vanda orchids deliver large on the promise of color. I like to put them on the console by my front door.

Miniature cahleya orchids are something I especially covet. I bought the white one for my desk.

4 Miniature cahleya orchids are something I especially covet. I bought the white one for my desk.

This dendrobium was the first plant that caught my eye and I knew immediately that I had to have it.

5 This dendrobium was the first plant that caught my eye and I knew immediately that I had to have it.

After a buy frenzy episode had passed my haul was taken to the back to be expertly packed. The final list was comprised of: cahleya, six miniature lady slippers, three miniature cymbidiums, and three dendrobiums.

6 After a buy frenzy episode had passed my haul was taken to the back to be expertly packed. The final list was comprised of: cahleya, six miniature lady slippers, three miniature cymbidiums, and three dendrobiums.

The three dendrobiums are living in my library quite comfortably.

7 The three dendrobiums are living in my library quite comfortably.

Meet Antiques Aficionado Debra Queen

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Yesterday I mentioned one of my favorite vendors from the Trade Secrets show, and today I want to introduce you to another business owner  I am always pleased to see there year after year. Debra Queen has been working in garden antiques and collectibles for 25 years, and Martha and I are always impressed by her unique and stylish pieces, most of which she refurbishes herself. A graphic designer and garden antique aficionado, Debra is a pro at spotting older pieces with potential. She favors small sculptural objects, cast-iron urns and tables, and other industrial pieces that she can brush, wax, and give new style and life. I loved exploring her collection at the show this year, and found quite a few pieces I wanted to take home with me.

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Miniatures seemed to be a theme in Debra's collection, as shown in these water hoses...

1 Miniatures seemed to be a theme in Debra's collection, as shown in these water hoses...

and these small flower pots

2 and these small flower pots

These vintage root beer bottles filled with miniature gerber daisies caught my eye.

3 These vintage root beer bottles filled with miniature gerber daisies caught my eye.

As did this bucket filled with baby's breath. It is one of my favorite flowers and I love the way it's arranged.

4 As did this bucket filled with baby's breath. It is one of my favorite flowers and I love the way it's arranged.

The red beaded fruit was the perfect match for this black wrought iron cornucopia.

5 The red beaded fruit was the perfect match for this black wrought iron cornucopia.

This pair of outdoor sofas gets my vote for best-in-show. I wished desperately that I had a backyard to put them in.

6 This pair of outdoor sofas gets my vote for best-in-show. I wished desperately that I had a backyard to put them in.

Debra is a regular at the Trade Secrets show, as well the Concord Armory, near her hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her collection is available for view by appointment in South Dartmouth, MA, by calling 508-542-4868.