Ink Drawing of Mikado plant

Nicole and I celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, a day early.  Nicole treated me to brunch at Terrain. Terrain is an enchanting garden center outside Philadelphia.  We arrived early enough to tease ourselves by wandering among the plants for about half an hour prior to our reservation.  We ate in the greenhouse room, surrounded by ancient, wooden doors and exotic hanging plants.  I sipped the most delicious tea, Key Lime, Ginger, Mint Tea. I think it will become a part of my regular diet.

After brunch we began to explore.  It was difficult to move quickly through the gardens and the garden shop.  The first item that snagged us was the “Rain” body lotion.  I’ll keep that in mind as a gift for someone special.  It actually smelled like the negative ions after a good thunderstorm, so fresh, so invigorating, balanced yet energized.  We moved on, snapping photos of plants and things we liked as reference for future projects.  The hours slipped by without notice.  Our only real mission was to find plants for Nicole’s hippo planter.

Once we actually focused on our mission we were led to the terrarium section of the garden store.  Sitting on a table among the small succulents were three of the most extraordinary plants I’d ever seen. They were ultra modern/deco. There was no doubt in my mind that I would be taking the little Mikado plant home with me.

Mikado Plant

Even after Nicole found the perfect plants for her hippo, we continued to wind our way back and forth between garden store and outdoor plants.  An air plant was added to the Mikado along with a lovely glass jar for the air plant to live in.

Air Plant in Hanging Glass Jar

Nicole also chose an air plant, an tiny one that looks a bit like an alien octopus.  It fits perfectly in the small hanging glass globe that was around the corner in a basket.

After making our purchases we almost succeeded in leaving the plants and body lotions behind when a sprinkling of bright yellow flowers on a cascading bed of bronze leaves caught my eye.  The Oxalis Zinfandel was destined to join the Mikado and the air plant on the ride back to New Jersey.

Oxalis Zinfandel sitting on the pot that might have been its new home but won't be

We returned to Nicole’s and planted the hippo, adding a few more hens and chicks that she already had.

Nicole's hippo planter

Today, Mother’s Day, started off with a continuation of the garden theme.  I found a whole box of clay pots and a hanging basket at the Route 46 Flea Market.  It was cold and very windy and I think the vendors wanted to go home.  I bought the whole lot of pots for only seven dollars!

Clay Pots and Wire Hanging Basket

The rest of the day was spent attempting to paint my little Mikado plant in watercolor.  Wash on….. wash off ….. wash on ……. wash off.  It is such a delicate yet strong plant.  I captured its essence in the quick ink sketch I did, but not in the watercolor.  The painting ended up being more about the metal planter than the plant.  I’ll try again, and again, and again.  The pot’s too big and the stems are too short.  Eventually I will learn to paint with a delicate touch.

Mikado plant, watercolor sketch