Several planted succlents in gray stone pots.

A Tiny Garden: Planted by Longwood

By Katie Testa, on

At The Garden Shop, our team of creative curators not only gather local goods and horticulturally inspired gifts for purchase in The Shop …they also create their own tiny gardens, often seasonally inspired by what you can see in our Gardens. The beautiful terrariums, containers, centerpieces, cloches, and more living works of art, available for purchase in The Shop, are created by our talented Planted by Longwood team. From palm-sized creations to large botanical marvels, each of these Planted by Longwood pieces are meticulously arranged with fresh or dried materials—and each beautifully showcases the team’s creativity, from experimenting with different foliage and plant textures to arranging a piece with unexpected color combinations.   

The Garden Shop at Longwood Gardens featuring a table of planted terraiums.

Planted by Longwood creations can be seen in The Garden Shop all year round, with live or dried elements that change seasonally. Photo by Carol Gross.

Planted by Longwood Retail Manager Katrina Probst is the artist behind all of these pieces. With a degree in fine arts, Probst joined our team in 2021—marking her first time working with live plants. For Probst, “it was another opportunity to be creative,” which is something she continually seeks. Her team consists of Garden Shop Plant Specialist Eve Chang, a long-time florist whose expertise is in floral arrangement, and Garden Shop Retail Associate Nicole Ferrante, a natural at anything artistic. Probst expresses how she found a great tutor in Garden Shop Visual Experience Manager Kaitlin Dodds, the artist behind The Garden Shop’s handmade decoratives.

 

A person standing at a work table planting a terraium.

Planted by Longwood Retail Manager Katrina Probst works in her studio. Photo by Carol Gross.

Planted by Longwood pieces come in all shapes and sizes, including terrariums and containers of live and/or dried materials, dried foliage enclosed in a glass dome, live and dried centerpieces, Kokedama (the Japanese technique of wrapping moss around a planted ornamental), decorative baskets, hanging decorations, and more.

A display of fall products in the Longwood Garden Shop.

As we approach the fall season, autumnal Planted by Longwood designs have been placed in The Garden Shop. Photo by Carol Gross.

Each design brings in colors from the season and invites our guests to decorate their home with elements of the natural world. Probst loves to use anything that “makes something look like a dark forest,” as she’s intrigued by ferns, Job’s tears, creeping fig, and lush greens. Her interests shift with the seasons; during the spring and summer, she loves creating with cactuses and succulents, which match well with the beachy and sandy scenes she creates. In the fall, she likes to use dried materials, brightly colored foliage, seed pods, moss, and more to highlight the vibrant colors of the autumn season. She encloses these materials in cloches, gourd-shaped glass containers, lanterns, and more to bring a cozy feel to the designs. During the winter months, she uses evergreen plants and draws inspiration from festive vessels, which emulate sparkling holiday decorations.

Fall planted terraiums in a variety of sizes.

Probst creates many designs that are inspired by the colors of the seasons. For fall, she uses vessels that emulate the cozy season. Photo by Carol Gross.

By using these materials, many aspects of the creation of these pieces are an experiment in conservation and eco-friendly art—reusing materials from past projects, other Shop products, foraged materials, and more. The Garden Shop team forages when they can, gathering plant materials from the Gardens and their own communities. All other plant materials, such as fresh and dried moss, are sourced from vendors across Canada and the US. Consistently, Probst likes to use what The Shop has on hand—such as using extra cork toppers to create beautiful hanging creations with air plants and moss.

A cork bottle top with an air plant on top of it.

Raw cork bottle toppers are a perfect backdrop for live plants and dried mosses. Photo by Carol Gross.

A person holding an arrangement of fresh plants and moss.

Probst uses a piece of raw cork bark to arrange a beautiful creation featuring fresh plants and mosses. Photo by Carol Gross.

Dried flowers in buckets.

A variety of foraged and dried materials—dried in-house at The Shop—often accent these pieces. Photo by Carol Gross.

A person lifting green moss from a cardboard box.

Probst uses moss from vendors across the country. When watered, the moss comes back to life and takes on a vibrant green color that pairs well with her designs. Photo by Carol Gross.

When developing a new idea for a design, Probst considers horticultural, botanical, home décor, and gardening trends from the use of corkboard to Tillandsia to driftwood and creates a virtual display board to collect all her ideas and inspirations. While exploring new ideas, she also likes to take inspiration from the handmade decoratives in The Shop and new seasonal shop products.

A small hanging kokedama plant.

A small Kokedama design showcases the Japanese technique of wrapping moss around a ball of soil from which ornamental plant grows. Probst often makes them into beautiful hanging designs. Photo by Carol Gross.

A unique aspect of our designs is that they also offer an educational experience for guests. Each live piece comes with a care sheet, which details how to take care of that specific container, how much water those plants need, and more. Terrariums are made mostly with baby plants—and they grow! When a design is purchased, it grows and evolves over time just as a garden would, and the designs using dried materials last virtually forever. Planted by Longwood pieces also open guests’ eyes to new and unique ways to arrange botanicals that they may have never thought of before—and Probst, as well as our entire team—are in turn delighted, and inspired, by just that.

Editor’s note: Planted by Longwood pieces are available for purchase onsite in The Garden Shop.

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